Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cat Care

My two little fur babies have brought lots of joy into my otherwise pretty boring life. They greet me at the door after each working day and snuggles with me in bed each night. As much as I enjoying having them, I now also have some added on responsibilities. I worry about them when I'm not home and always walk by the cat isle when I go to the stores. While on vacation in Cancun, the downstairs neighbor was kind enough to stop by and feed the two kitties once a day. But the responsibilities don't stop there. The two cats have also proven to be financially costly.

We got Teddy from a friend for free but that's where the free stopped. The same day we brought him home we also got him lots of kitty things from the store like food, dishes, toys, liter, bedding, etc. Couple months later, he got neutered at Fairport Animal Hospital. We paid $72 for an otherwise costly procedure with a coupon from the Lollipop Farms to subsidize my lack of income from Myland. At the same time Teddy got his first three rounds of his vaccinations at Petco and they are respectively $52.95, $35.90 and $19.95. Ernie came to us from Four Legged Friends in Penfield. $50 covered his procedures and all shots, which seemed like quite the bargain compare to Teddy's $180.8 medical expenses already!

Teddy had fleas...Flea collar $12, Flea drop $8, Frontline from Amazon $55, Fleas spray $30. Total war on fleas: $105.

So then, Ernie had a vet visit for his ear mites - $82.90. Two weeks later, no improvement so I took him back requesting a microscopic exam suspecting that he never had ear mites. It turned out that Ernie actually had an yeast infection which cost me another $$50.35.

Profender for deworming ordered online: $63.88

Teddy had squinting eye. $47 for a comprehensive exam. No diagnostic.
December 5, another exam and Dexamethasone injection for lip sores - $67.15
Medication for gingivitis - Azithromycin 200mg/5ml: $32.45.
Second squinting eye is visit last Friday, $52.40 with antibiotic ointment, still no diagnostic.
Third squinting eye appointment on Tuesday as Teddy's left eye had drastically worsened over the weekend. Vet finally gave me a free visit and changed only $13.35 for an "Elizabethan Collar" (really? they named it that after those Shakespeare customs?) I got a referral to take Teddy to see an ophthalmologist...
Ophthalmologist visit $100.00
Fluorescein Stain $18.90
Antibacterial eye drop $11.30
Vetri-Lysine Plus cat treat $26.35
Famciclovir Tablet 10 $48.66
Yesterday's total $205.21

Total medical expenses for Teddy: $735.3!!!
Ernie only came in at $215.19.
Grand total: $950.49
Having two great cats? Priceless...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New Year Old Problem

New Yeas came and went. Vacations are short and reality is long. I think I've explained the situation enough by now. The baby who cries gets the milk but it doesn't mean that the mother prefers cry babies. People who know me have always known that I'm a person of my own will and I would do anything to find happiness. What people don't know is that sometimes even I feel defeated. All women, no matter how strong they may be, fall in the demise of a man at some time in their lives. I'm sure the same can be said for men. Frankly, I wouldn't be all that surprised if Oprah all the sudden comes out to admit that even she gets domestically abused. When it comes to the current relationship I have come to accept the fact that the harder I fight it the more I suffer. Countless words have been said but none taken to heart. I live with a consistent level of dissatisfaction on many levels. It's stifling. I feel like I'm being slowly suffocated mentally, emotionally and socially. I have no friends, no soulful conversations, mental stimulation or personal growth. Rather than learning and growing, I waste all my energy to frustration at things I feel that are completely out of my hands. But how could that be, people ask? The truth is you'll never know until you're in the same situation and I don't wish this upon anyone, even my worst enemies.

Monday, January 4, 2010


It's our last day in Cancun and we thought we must make the best out of it. And by making the best out of it, we decided to take a plunge for a snorkeling tour to the nearby reef. After all, it's what everyone talks about around here. The weather is changing with extremely windy evenings and prediction of rain for today. Despite the clouds and wind, as long as the coast line is open the tour must go on. So we rushed over the breakfast buffet paid our dues and got in the boat. Although lack of any swimming skills, I was never afraid of the water. However, when the boat stopped in the middle of the Caribbean Sea with waves crashing towards us that are bigger than the boat I started to have some second thoughts. When the guide told us to jump in I actually said "are you f*** kidding me???" Having snorkeled in calm shallow waters before without much trouble I decided to jump in anyways and give it a try. Well, trying lasted maybe 5 minutes.
I was nervous as soon as I got into the water and started to breath rapidly. The wave pushed me around and I had a terrible time moving to any particular direction. I latched onto Rob once he got into the water and refused to let go. It was terrifying watching walls of water crashing towards me and being pushed around helplessly. So I forced my head into the water and actually try to snorkel. I saw few fishes about 20 feet down but that didn't last more than a minute. As my tube started to fill up and it wasn't long before I started to drink salt water. Trying to blow it out constantly was impossible. I struggled to come back up to the surface to empty out my tube and try one more time. No dice. By the time I was finally dragged back onto the boat I felt so queasy that I had to lay down. Rob went out with the small group and later told me that he suffered from sea sickness as well. After taking in some salt water he shared the breakfast buffet with the fishes. I heard it was quite the hit with all the fishes bumping into him to snatch up some nutritious breakfast!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Isla Mujeres

With only two days left of our tropical vacation, it was a toss up between going to Isla Mujeres or Playa de Carmen, the fastest growing city in the area. We eventually made up our mind between room service and the breakfast buffet that we should make a second attempt to go to the island. After all, a beach resort vacation is just not complete without a boat ride. We boarded an open top boat at El Embarcadero, just a short bus ride from the hotel. The guidebook mentioned more economical options at a farther port but $15/round trip isn't really breaking the bank either. A nice older couple took our picture in front three large pirate ships just before our boat took off. The captain played some good old American tunes as we battled with the waves on the open sea. The sky was overcast but we had every hope that the day will turnout to be just fine.
Isla Mujeres is just 5 miles across the bay from Cancun, clearly visible from the resorts. The water in between alternates between patches light and darker shade of turquoise. As the gigantic Mexican flag at the port diminishes with ever splash of the waves we slowly reached the ferry dock at the northern end of the linear shaped island. El Pueblo is the only town on the island, just across from the docks with the main street lined with souvenir shops. Since the island is small, laid back and had no major sights or waiting lines, we had no time constraint. After browsing around the town center for a while we opted for a daily rental of the preferred local transportation vehicle: a scooter. Most other tourist rented golf carts for 40% more $$$ but the scooter for two was the perfect way to explore the island.

Of course, it's not enough to drive what the locals drive but one must drive like a local too! Depending on the speed, it takes only ten to fifteen minutes go from one end of the island to the other. The western coast of the island is doted with lovely beaches, calm turquoise water and few recommended restaurants.

Punta Sur is the opposite end of the island from the main ferry dock. Climb the short lighthouse here for a panoramic view of the Caribbean Sea. Rocky coast and big splashes at the Caribbean side of the island where we found some nice seashells for souvenirs.
But of course, the true objective for this day trip is not only to delight the eyes but the taste buds as well! The food at the resort is ok but nothing to write home about. The small portions have forced us to eat eight meals a day rotating between three difference restaurants. Now I'm on a mission for something local and flavorful...
When there is a will there is a way. And Playa Lancheros Restaurant is just the place to satisfy the urge for a taste of local favor. The restaurant is situated right on the beach with tables and chairs in the sand. As the guidebook pointed out "The house specialty is the Yucatecan tikinchick (fish marinated in a sour-orange sauce and chili paste then cooked in a banana leaf over an open flame)." So we ordered two grilled fish with slightly different sauces. The waiter warned us that it's going to take 45 minutes to prepare the dishes but we were not discouraged. There's a whole beach and boat dock to entertain us.
And entertained we the shark boy!

For a dollar we had our pictures taken with the baby shark too...


Fish Grill

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Chichen Itza

I just can't go anywhere without sightseeing. Even at a all-inclusive resort is no cure for itchy feet and today we are on for a day trip to Chichen Itza, biggest Mayan site with the tallest Mayan Pyramid. I booked the tour online for convenience and later found out it probably saved us a couple bucks too. The large tour bus was comfy for the 2-hour ride but the screaming kid was excruciating. By the end we were all tired and irritated by the constant screaming so one tourist finally shouted "shut the f*** thing up!" And miraculously that worked like a charm. Had I known that I would probably have shouted that first thing in the morning! Listen, just because you have a brat doesn't mean he's allowed to ruin everyone else's vacation!
So other than the screaming kid we stopped by a souvenir store on the way and passed by a Mexican prison where the inmates make hammocks and sell them outside the prison wall (well, the inmates stays in and the guards sell them). Lunch was buffet style at Mayanland resort, the only hotel within the Chichen Itza archeological site.

6 hours after we first stepped onto the tour bus we were finally face to face with El Castillo, the most distinguish structure at Chichen Itza. 80 feet tall, 91 steps on each side and one on top, 365 steps total. It is the largest calender on this side of the globe. But honestly, it was a bit underwhelming. I was completely disappointed for not being able to climb to the top of the pyramid because a tourist fell off of it and died couple years ago. In fact, we were not allowed to climb any of the buildings! How about a live sacrifice to spice things up a little around here?! The local guide spoke feverishly about the Mayan civilization and their accomplishments but we were more entertained by bargaining with the street souvenir vendors. We bought a small pyramid statue for $2 and later found the same ones in Cancun for $8. Nothing feels better than finding a good bargain. Although, personally I thought even $2 was too much. Anyhow, I'm glad we did the whole Chichen Itza thing. One more thing off my list of places to visit around the world.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year from Cancun

I'm happy to report that this is the third New Years that I've spent outside of the US. Last two where with Rose in BA and Paris. This time no Rose but can't complain much about Cancun. We spent most of the day enjoying the different amenities offered by our resort, Dreams Cancun. The resort beach is a bit small and crowded but the water was warm and clear with super fine white sand. I paddled around a little on a float and enjoyed a short kayak ride across the neighboring resort. Just wished we could have taken the kayaks farther out. Pretty sure both of us wouldn't mind staying on the kayak all day in the turquoise water. Lunch was right off the beach, al fresco with ocean view. Although the food could use some improvement, the location and setting couldn't have been better. The ceviche de pescado and grilled grouper was actually pretty good but the shrimp taco didn't seem too appealing.