Monday, September 28, 2009

Also, I was going to check out “pop-a-prune.com” because who doesn’t enjoy that? Prunes, maybe.

Things I have done since my last post:
  • Eaten many, many candy corns.  Please be advised that if you buy the little cute bags with only five corns in it, you will be obliged to tear open hundreds of them to get your daily allotment, but that’s okay because cellophane tearing counts as exercise, and think of the upper arm toning.
  • Graded one-hundred and fifty student essays, five of which included misspellings of the writer’s own name.  Wrote passive aggressive teacher-ish comments in margins such as was your character trapped in a cake?
  • Contemplated new career.  Perhaps a  seeing-eye ferret trainer. Sky-diving mailman. Something easier than teaching.
  • Received notifications from school nurse in staff mailbox. Learned following things:

    1. Everyone has asthma.
    2. Two students have peanut allergies (Even the smell of a peanut on your breath can send these students into shock.  Peanuts can kill!). 
    3. One student has something reassuringly labeled “Sudden Death Syndrome”.  (If students falls to the floor unexpectedly, get help.) 


  • Resolved to revise my current “step over body and continue” plan for dealing with deceased students in the classroom.
  • Bought trail mix from vending machine.  Ate nuts first and then raisins. Theorized that raisins cancel out peanutty breath.  Was unable to test out raisin antidote as nut avoiders absent.
  • Discovered large piles of hair in back of classroom.  Three days in a row, so three large piles of hair, black and curly.  All pieces of hair approximately three inches long.
  • Suffered unpleasant mental picture of giant swarthy man, say Paul Bunyan, manscaping in back of classroom.
  • Scanned room for suspiciously balding freshmen.  Conducted casual investigation into hairball origins.  Possible witnesses refused to come forward. Case cold.
  • Concluded that today’s teenagers are broken.
  • Went to the junk store in search of odd things which bring me joy. Developed  irrational fear of large Victorian-era portrait featuring a malevolent crone in a bun and high lace collar.  Became convinced  beady eyes were watching my every move.  Looked behind self at portrait.  Suspicions confirmed. 
  • Thought briefly about taking photograph of scary picture for blog readers.  Remembered that this is excellent way to be stalked by spirit and end up in A & E ghosthunter special with nervous wringing hands and a piano that plays by itself in the middle of the night.  Would like to meet Chuck the psychic, but totally not worth demon woman.
  • Found this for blog readers instead:
tv1
Is it just me, or is that baby a little pissed off?   Do you think it’s me?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Probably next they’ll get earthworms. Then we could open a bait shop.

At the risk of abandoning the hard- hitting journalistic coverage you’ve grown to expect here at WWYT, and an even  greater risk of becoming the All-Cats-All-The-Time station, let me just get a couple of kitten-related things off my chest, and we’re moving on.  Deal?

First, and most important--  It’s been a long time since I’ve been as touched as I was by all of your responses to my last post.  It’s such an unexpected thing to be surrounded here in this little virtual cocoon by so many great people; when I started this blog I never expected to have any readers at all.   Your comments meant a lot to me, and helped to make a really bad day more bearable.  I’m feeling grateful to be here, and to know you all, even from a distance. So, thank you.

Second, I think I owe the shelter lady an apology for making her seem more callous than she was. Her timing may have been a bit off, but she was a very nice woman, and she was concerned about my kids, and the solitary kitten left at home.  (In fact, I called the shelter a couple of days ago because we discovered we needed to know whether Violet was gone, so we could let go.  The shelter lady had kept Violet two more days, giving her pain relief and cortisone, in the hopes that it was some muscle thing the doctors missed.  Sadly, it wasn’t and the kitten continued to go downhill.  Ultimately they did put her to sleep, but I was touched that she also didn’t want to give up on the baby with the wise little face.)

Then, surprisingly, my son decided he wanted to get another kitten to keep Vladimir company, so we adopted another one three days ago.  Dmitri.  Naturally. He’s sweet, but a follower.

Third,  to all the people who told me that “cats are easy”, I would like to report that you are all Big Damn Liars.  Cats, from my vast experience of a roughly a week, are practically a full time job. They keep us up all night pouncing and thundering and eating meatloaf scented food and walking on the heads of the unconscious.  They stalk the dog, who cowers from them, and has the worried eyes of someone whose anti-anxiety medication has run low.

They require a firm hand.

Also, I have been back to my vet twice in the last twenty-four hours toting a bulging Sack O’ Kittens.  (One of them escaped the carrier on the way home today -  a loose cat in the car while on the freeway= excitement!) Thank you, local shelter, for sending home with us two kittens each with an upper respiratory infection, eye infection, and three (three!) varieties of worms. (One type of worm doesn’t even appear on the wall charts.  That’s how cutting edge these cats are.)

The vet sent us home with enough medication to open our own cat pharmacy-- pastes, gels, powders, and liquid antibiotics, all of which I have to force down or rub in the eyes of squirming, irritated cats twice a day.
Enough.  Back to the news, because it’s my job to keep you informed about all the crucial happenings.

Here’s one.  Remember my neighbor, whose yard looks like this?


yardatrocity

Gazing ball man has added to his collection!  I know!  Luckily he had some extra unoccupied pillars, because now, flanking his door, are two green pears the size of small refrigerators. Apparently he’s moving away from the animals-in-chains/everything whitewashed motif and towards a more vegetarian world view.

I tried to get a picture of the pears (I’m on the scene for you!) but he almost caught me and I had to nonchalantly walk away with my cell phone up to my ear like I was talking to someone, when really the phone was recording a video of the palm of my hand.

One more thing:

vlad Vlad’s shelter mug shot.  This is where all the trouble started.
That’s it, I promise.  Unless you think he needs a shower cap?

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Dog May Be Lumpy, But At Least He Never Broke My Heart.

**

Irony:  Blogger jokes about cat strollers in post, because cat strollers are ridiculous.
Ten minutes later.  Blogger discovers new kitten can no longer walk.
(see also, Foreshadowing)

Tuesday.
We pick up two kittens from the shelter at 6:30 pm.  Both are in cardboard boxes. Both have had surgery in the morning.  One box is moving, the other not so much.  Shelter lady says the female kitten (Violet) is still groggy.  She'll be up and back to normal any minute. Really, really, soon. 

At home, the male kitten (Vladimir) rockets from the box and roams the room.  Violet is quiet. I lift her from the box and put her in the new cat bed.  She walks slowly for a drink, lies down and sleeps for the next several hours.

I write a post about Sumeria.   Make a joke about cat strollers.  Stretch.  Yawn.  Think, better check on the destruction kittens before bed.  Vladimir (kittens were named by the shelter, by the way, and fairly well, considering others were named things like "Wal-mart" and "Plebko22") is stalking a sock.  Violet is sleeping.

I pick Violet up.  Put her back down. Awake now, she flops straight down on the floor, and then drags entire length of two completely slack back legs behind her, pulling all her weight along with two tiny front legs.

                Confusion and hand-wringing, a call to the 24 hour Animal Hospital.  Twenty minute drive to pet     hospital at 1:30 am.  Watch a retrospective on the Night Stalker that is playing on the overhead monitors in the dim,empty waiting room.  Assistant at desk wears a nametag that says "Violet".  Coincidence.  Then,

Vet says:
????   Did someone drop her? No? Odd. We'll keep her here and charge you 700 dollars by the morning. Probably it won't help. See you at 10 am!


**

Pathos:  Blogger drives hither and yon across the city, crying, with  tiny paralyzed kitten riding shotgun. Driving and crying. Crying and driving.  Not looking in the carrier at the little alert eyes and the long, limp back legs stretched out on the blanket.  Paraplegic kitty.

Wednesday.
I take the day off work and drive back to the animal hospital in the morning. Conference with two vets.  Both say it's a mystery.  They have never seen this happen with a kitten, ever.  Both say the prognosis is guarded at best.  She can no longer go to the bathroom on her own.   I surrender the remainder of my bank account and load Violet up while they toss out words like "neurosurgeon" and "MRI". (They have neurosurgeons for cats?) They say probably that wouldn't help either.

Violet and I drive.  Across the city is the shelter, where euthanasia awaits.  I can't bring myself to drive there.  I call my regular vet.  He says "Let me see her".

Hope.
I drive in the opposite direction to vet.  Dr. H says, well, hello little lady to the kitten, and to me he says, no feeling.  None at all.  Seen this twice in thirty-five years.  Maybe a blood clot in spine.  Hard to know. Kitten 's not going to walk again.  Kindest to put her to sleep.

I knew this.  I cry some more over a kitten we 've had less than twenty-four hours, and drive to the shelter.
Hand over the carrier without looking inside.  Feel like a betrayer.

Shelter lady says, you can pick out a replacement if you want to.

(Do I want to?)

Then I  go home to tell my kids.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I Might Be a Little Homesick for Sumeria. Also, a cry for help.

Conversation with my son  (while working on his "Sumerian Family" essay)

Son:  "I said here at the beginning that Dad wears a grass man skirt.  A BIG man skirt."
Me:  "mmhmmmm...That's nice."
Son:  "Can I say you're approaching fifty?"
Me:  "WHAT?  No!  I'm not 'approaching fifty'!"
Son:  "Well, what ARE you approaching?"
Me:  "Just put my age, if you have to."
Son (wearing kindly, pitying look):  "How about if I just say you're 'approaching twenty? Then you'd feel young again.'"
Me:  Why do I have to be 'approaching" anything?  That's way too young anyway. I would have been a mother in the first grade."
Son:  (eyes glazed with studious math-avoidance) "Whatever. "
".....hey, Mom, what's a good Sumerian name for the dog?"
Me:  "Do I look like a Sumerian name expert?"
Son (clicking, clicking, clicking keys on the computer):  "How about ...' Stanley'?"
Me:  "Stanley?? That's not a Sumerian name."
Son:  "Uh huh!.  Come look."
Me: (looking over son's shoulder at the computer):  "Look at that.  Stanley.  Huh."

Then I took a moment to survey the accompanying crayon illustration of the Family Vic circa 1200 BC.

Me: "Where's your dad in this picture?  I see you and me, and your sister, nice hairy wrap dress, by the way, and the dog.  And a.... er.....gazelle in a basket? Where's your dad?"
Son:  "Oh, him.  He's in the hut.  He's sleeping because he's a night guard at the Ziggurat, and also, I was tired of drawing."

Which totally figures.  I'm out by the garden with a hoe in my hand and a generously sized hairdo, laboring away in the sand under a hot Mesopotamian sun, and he's in the hut. What's more, everyone in the family got a cool retro name (Gilgamesh,  Endukagga, Aruru, Stanley), except me.

At least I look really hot in my wrap dress and strappy sandals.  Seriously.  I should have been born a few thousand years ago.

Because right now I am way less stylish than my Sumerian alter-ego, and also kitty haggard.  From kittens.  In our house. (None of this is a euphemism.) Indicating how big a pushover I am as a parent, because we are really dog people, and the dog is a dog's dog and not really thrilled about the whole idea, although he is pretending to be indifferent until we leave the house, we have brought two small kittens home today.  I think one of them has been drinking back-to-back Redbulls judging from the blur of destruction and chaos, and the other is still stoned from surgery and may sleep until next week. Kittens are so cute!

I'm going to need you people as spotters -   if kittens appear on this blog in outfits (except a shower cap, which is excellent on any animal), or if I start talking about purchasing a cat stroller, please stage an intervention.

Please.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

I bet Jigglypuff could sing that dog to sleep. But then she’d have three foreheads to draw on with her Magic Marker.

finished3headeddog
Have you ever had one of those days where you feel the hot breath of hell hounds on the back of your neck? Where you feel anxiety about the uncertainty of the future, and about how the boatman’s gonna row all of us over the river some day, like it or not?

Me neither.

It was just a rhetorical question.

And it’s not like I spent any time this last weekend playing with someone else’s child’s toys, cruelly fitting Wendy upside down in the center jaw, and then Sir Handsome straight out to the side at a ludicrous rigor mortis angle, and then introducing Anonymous Sidesaddle Elf Princess to the remaining jaw, carefully squeezing the plastic dog teeth closed around her abdomen.  My friend did that.  She even laughed a little while she did it.


I was as shocked as you are.  I think she has some unresolved aggression probably. I only laughed too so she wouldn’t be a lonely laugh-er.  Nothing’s worse than being a lonely laugh-er. Except maybe a flesh-eating disease.

And just because I took a picture of the nightmarish tableau and then set Cerberus free to wander in a dreamy marsh-like Photoshop environment with his jaws full of human chew toys, you shouldn’t think I was enjoying playing with molded plastic, or that it represents anything. No strained metaphor here, no commentary on the impending death of childhood.

Definitely there was no contemplation on the worry you might have about  maybe having to give up your favorite action figures just because you’re in middle school now, and what if the other kids find out you have a box with awesome elves and Harry Potter figures, and maybe even some old Pokémon (oh,there’s Jigglypuff!) at home, and that they still matter?

It’s just a picture.  Sheesh.  Let’s change the subject, shall we?

So. I was going to write a post last night, but Manson was on the History Channel, and those people feel like family.

Actually, they mostly just look like I remember my cousins when I was little, all long, pointy hair and groovy clothes and mysterious smoking things in their hands.  Also an air of danger, and some mindlessness.

Anyway everyone on the show was oddly familiar, and then I had a bad post-simulated –murder- spree taste in my mouth, and no time left to post.

But tonight I’m here, writing a post about (let’s pretend that Manson detour never happened, okay with you?) Greek mythology, and Peter Pan, and some existentialist angst, and a great kid with a box full of childhood.  I hope he keeps that box for a long, long time.

Sing us out, Jigglypuff.

Jigglypuff

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Sometimes I Eat Fish Sticks In Front Of Them, Just As A Warning. Also, a Meme Thing.

I'm pretty sure that fish know what we're thinking.

Probably your brain waves travel through the water and then right into fish, (AKA Thought Receptacles), and therefore we should be really glad that fish lack vocal chords because otherwise they would rule the world.  Because of all the sensitive information to which they are privy.

What's worse is that at our house we accidentally blinded one of our betta fish when we went on the Clampitt Family Vacation this summer.  In retrospect,  it was a bad move to trust the teenager they had working at the pet store who said  just dump this stuff in the water and it'll dissolve, leaving time release wormy bits afloat for the fish's dining pleasure. Only, when we returned there was a solid layer of what looked like plaster floating at the top of the water, and underneath was the Betta with a monocle in one eye.

Since then,  Roku  (that's the fish's name. Don't look at me.  I wanted to name it Maury Povitch but I was outvoted) has been swimming into the sides of the tank with its mismatched eyeballs.  This is bad for two reasons: one, nothing's worse than a fish with a vendetta (see Jaws IV), and two, blind individuals have stalked me before, as some of you know.

Which brings me to what I really want to talk about today, and that's Pearl's meme.  (I'm sending you a fish, Pearl.   You can send them in the mail.  I checked.  Also live chickens, and cadavers.  I'm still not sure about beer.)

I usually duck memes when I see them coming, and anyway I still have a couple of awards to hand out at some point, but Pearl might rough me up, so I'm going to do this meme really quick.

So. Now I'm supposed to tell you about seven quirky traits of mine as shown in this blog.
Kindly stifle your mocking laughter.

1.  As we have established, I 'm pretty sure fish know what we are thinking.  OR,  I believe that if I say it enough, I'll convince someone else it's true, and then I can be responsible for developing a full-blown fish phobia in another person.  Which would be an accomplishment.

2. I'm a little awkward socially.  For instance, I really don't like going to co-worker's TGIF parties, because I spend the time staring at my feet and listening to everyone reminisce about the last time they got together and something hilarious and shocking happened in the hot tub, but the story's all jumbled because they're drunk as they're telling it, and anyway, I wasn't there, so I just go "Ha, ha. ... Ha. Hot tubs are nice... I need to get going, I think."

But then today I heard all about the last party, and I wasn't invited apparently because I'm so good at parties, and I should be relieved, but I'm feeling sort of left out.  I'm pathetic.

3.  I have synesthesia, which means words and other things have specific colors in my head.  September is chocolate brown, and all the months travel in a circle, like a pop bead necklace. Also, I think that people are secretly convinced I just make that up, so I don't usually tell anyone.  Except here.   I'm secretly convinced I've made you up, so we're even.

4.  I have a  mental block about liquid measurements.  We apparently learned about liquid measurements in the third grade, but that year we moved a lot and I went to a bazillion schools, or maybe it was four, and every time we started to learn liquid measurements, BOOM, we moved.

And now I can't seem to keep them in my head, no matter how hard I try.  My recipes come out pretty exciting.  Sometimes we have soup unexpectedly.

5.  I never paint my fingernails, because the polish makes my nails feel like they're suffocating.  They get a little throbby, and that makes me focus too much on my fingers, and I start noticing that they look extra short and stumpy with polish, and if the polish is red it's very much like someone has chopped each finger off at the first knuckle.

6.  I would rather be hit by a semitruck, or fall off a cliff, or be mauled to death by a hippo, than drown.  Everyone says drowning's such a peaceful way to go, but I don't believe them. Sometimes I have nightmares about drowning.

7.  I am not as ditzy as I sound on paper.  Probably.

Here's the part where I pretend to forget about tagging seven other people, unless you want to be tagged, in which case You're It.