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Today was supposed to be a vacation, but it doesn't seem like it yet. I woke up to find Guri all crusty and caked with her own vomit. she has been puking off and on for a while now, this time it looked worse because I put her on a nutritious paste diet. Normally she just spits out her half digested seeds, but still, still solids. I can always tell when she pukes because I either hear the seeds spraying all along the inside of the cage, or, when she is outside the cage, I feel the seeds spraying all over me, as well as hear them hitting the walls of the apartment.

Anyway, Guri looked worse today than ever, so I called Tomoe to come over and say her goodbyes, just in case, and then we called the vet to see if we could buy only the miracle medicine that always brings her back to life. The vet was hesitant, saying that she had to do a (5000yen) checkup first, but I have had her checked up so many times and each time it is the same problem... namely the eats her own sh... After some argument by Tomoe on the phone, and me in person at the vet's, she relented and gave us the medicine.

I feel a little bad, but it's pretty crazy taking her in for the expensive checkup every time when I am 99% sure of the cause. I have taken her in to the vet 3 or 4 times already... I can't even remember the last time I went to the doctor without the need for a signed health voucher or something for school or work. ( actually I think it was two years ago when I went to the eye doctor about a scratch on my eye.. it only cost 1000 yen for the checkup and medicine).

Now Guri is in her tiny little incubator cage with a hot bottle of water. We tried cleaning her out with a squirt of saline to her stomach as the vet did... actually that's another story.

Usually when I go the the vet, paying the 5000 yen covered 1) Looking at her crap under the microscope, 2) Sucking out any gas bubbles in her stomach, 4) Squirting saline into her to clean her out, and 4) a bottle of medicine. The last time I went, the doctor was different... the old man who actually owns the practice. (usually it is a nice young woman who seems to actually care about Guri). The old man didn't even touch Guri, just put the poop on the microscope, gave me medicine and charged me 5000 yen. I asked him to clean her out (which makes her feel goo immediately) and he said this time was different than last time, so she didn't need it. Today when I went there, the kind woman looked at Guri's medical records and told me that she had the same problem, and I received the same medicine every time I have ever come! Today when I was contemplating taking Guri in or not, I would have had no trouble making up my mind if it had been that jerk old man. Unfortunately the lady made me feel a little guilty.

Now Guri is resting.

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I have listened to many more interesting Talk Of The Nation programs lately, but this is the one I was listening to today, so I will comment on it. It was about re-gifting. They spoke about how to do it, and the manners involved etc... The whole point was to make everyone feel OK about getting and giving crap that no one really wants. Why not just stop giving crap then? As we think about it on an individual basis, it seems harmless, but this Christmas at the hash, as is a hash ritual in Tokyo, the run stopped by the 100 yen shop and everyone was to buy a piece of crap, this crap would then be exchanged for some other crap later in the evening. Sure it is fun (once) and sure it is not so expensive, (although the 3000 yen total could have been put to better use) but what made me shudder was seeing 30 plastic pieces of crap, each in it's own plastic bag passed around. Half of it was "forgotten" at the restaurant, and the other half will be in the un-burnable garbage next week. (Luckily I happened to have some sketches I had previously made of some of the hash members in my sketch book, so I gave that)

Anyway, the point I would eloquently make if I had time, is that before giving a gift, people should probably think not about how funny it is, or how expensive it is, or maybe even how much people would enjoy it... how about thinking if it is needed and weighing that need against the cost.

That being said, I asked my mom to send me some shirts, cookies, and a great painting book, despite the fact that I don't really need them, and probably would not buy it myself (except the cookies). Of course she wraps each package in three pounds of non-burnable tape, and add up 10000 of these packages, and it causes Fed-ex to use enough fuel to send an extra plane to Japan... I would send it back, but it would double the evility... I guess I will just have to keep it and enjoy it.