Dogs, Cats and Other Phenomena

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Nikki's Latest Adventure, Plus High School Memories ...

Cathy, Nikki & Magic, Near the Balboa Pier

Nikki and I had been looking forward for several weeks now to having another play date with my sister, Cathy, and her cocker spaniel, Magic. At first we were going to go to Fashion Island but then we deemed it would be better to go to the beach instead. We decided to go to Newport Beach, meet at the Balboa Pier and walk around. I was pretty happy about that as this would be Nikki's first exposure to the ocean!

Unfortunately, when I woke up this morning, I had one of my accursed headaches. The debillitating kind that make you cry, which makes it worse. I took 4 Advil and I finally began to feel human around noon. So a very slow start to the day. The Advil helped my left knee, for which I was glad. I had worried that I wouldn't be able to do much walking but my knee felt good. Later, I took 2 more Advil just in case.

OK, sounds like background time about my knee. My left knee began feeling odd several months ago. Suddenly, it was hard to bend, stuff like that. It's now gotten much worse in the last month and sometimes I hobble around. I need to go to the doctor, find out what's wrong with it and get it rehabbed. I don't know if it has been caused by Nikki but I think it's been aggravated by Nikki, at the very least. And no, I'm NOT old! I'm just temporarily a little messed up, thank you very much. You would be too if you had an exhuberant Golden Retriever 65 lb. puppy tackling you.

Anyway, Cathy had things she was doing, so we ended up meeting after 3 PM. It was pretty windy by the beach and the air was clear and cold. Felt good once you got used to it and Nikki didn't mind it as she has a double coat and is only 9 months old. But Magic doesn't have a double coat plus, since he's an old gentleman of 14, I think it was a bit nippy for him. It was too cold for Cathy, too.

I was able to get out of the car without wincing or having to put both feet on the ground before standing up (like I've had to the last couple of days). I got Nikki and we went over to Cathy's car. Nikki and Magic sniffed hello so we went back to my car to put my stuff away and start walking.

Nikki, however, stopped in front of me. I had to stop suddenly and since I was wearing heavy tennis shoes, my left foot felt like it was stuck to the ground and my knee kept moving to the right. Ow!! Pain! And that was the end of walking for me.

Sure, we walked around but I was so debilitated that it killed me to go down a ramp. We wanted to go on the Balboa Fun Zone ferry (wouldn't that have been fun with the pups!) but I could barely get down the ramp to the ferry, and then I couldn't step off of the ramp. This little 1/2 inch step and I couldn't do it. Cathy pointed out to me that there was no way I could get on the ferry as it would be quite a step down, etc. Disappointed, I hobbled back up the ramp.

I wanted to take Nikki down to the ocean for the first time, but I would never have made it across the sand. Here's hoping I'm better next week! Maybe we can try again then.

Nikki did quite well (Gentle Leader) and had a good time despite the fact that she was forced to walk at a crawl. I thought she'd be interested in the bay, etc., but for some reason she was more interested in sniffing trees! Can't understand why!

High School Memories ...

Greg Hulka and Abby

Last night I was doing research on the Internet ... I was trying to find out some information on a murder that happened in 2004 down the street from me. This murder has always bothered me. An elderly 84-year-old woman stabbed in the neck by her 23-year-old great-granddaughter because she was tired of her family having to care for her .... Sick! I always hoped this sick person would serve lots of time for this crime, but I haven't been able to find out what happened. Somehow in my searches, but I don't know how, I stumbled onto a guest book for my old high school, Bolsa Grande.

Lots of old comments left by many people I had never heard of - but then I was amazed to read a comment left by an old 10th grade boyfriend! Then I saw that many people had died ... some from cancer, some were suicides, some were car accidents. Many didn't give the cause of death or when.

But then I saw a name on this list which surprised me. Greg Hulka. He had been in my younger sister's class, plus he had been a friend of my best friend, Marianne. I found out that she knew he had died in a car crash. I searched the Internet and was surprised to learn that he had been a consul general. In another article that I read it appears that Yuri was driving the car. Greg is mentioned on Google many times, plus I found this photo of him and Abby.

So sad. Even though they died in 2001, for me it's as if he died yesterday since I just heard of it. So tragic.
14:44 2001-11-14
Alexander Gorobets: The tough luck of American diplomats in Ukraine

The bodies of Gregory Hulka, the US embassy’s consul general, and his 10-year-old daughter arrived today in Kiev to be transported further to the USA.

The consul general of the US embassy in Ukraine died in a car crash late at night in the Vinnitsa region. According to the traffic police, a Fiat car containing the US diplomat and his daughter suddenly moved onto the contrary traffic lane and collided with a Mercedes minibus driven by a resident of the Zaporizhzhya region. After that, the US embassy in Ukraine announced that apart from Mr. Hulka and his daughter Abigail, their relative Yuri Kotik, a Ukrainian citizen, also died in the crash. The crash occurred on the road between the cities of Uman and Nemirov. The three were heading for the Khmelnitski region from Kiev to attend a wedding party held by another Ukrainian relative.

Greg Hulka, 44, first arrived in Kiev in early September and filled the position of the consul general in the consul department of the US embassy in Ukraine. He had been longing for this appointment for many years. His previous appointments included Moscow, Tegucigalpa (Honduras), Beijing, and Guanzhou (China).

From another article:
Gregory Paul Hulka was born October 31, 1957, in Inglewood, Calif. He is survived by his wife, Jane, and three children, Andrew, 12, Alexander, 6, and Aaron, 3.

The Interfax news agency reported that the Fiat in which Mr. Hulka, his daughter and Mr. Kotyk were riding was trying to pass a KaMaZ tractor-trailer on a curve and collided with a Mercedes minibus. The accident is under investigation.

Another Bolsa Grande death that I just heard about was Kevin Cartmel's. I remember him well from the 9th grade ... he loved golf. I wonder why he died and when.

So many people have moved to other states and other countries. I hadn't realized that our old Matadors were that well traveled. Still, so many people that I don't know what happened to ... hope they're all well and doing fine.


Post a Comment

<< Home