Archive for February, 2006

(or, Stories in Progress, or, Things About Which I Am Procrastinating – take your pick):

The Painting Project That Would Not Die
How My Kid Had A Better Vacation Than Me (see previous subject)
The Continuing Saga of The Squeakers
How to Outlast Your Mechanic
Trading Time for Money
Matador: Olé!
Shower Me With Love
Theme for the week: Buttered Toast, With a Subtext of Cat

all of these will be explained at some point. 🙂 i continue to be staggered by the amount of time i no longer have, now that i’m back at work. this is also complicated by the fact that hubby was first disabled (shattered bone in his foot) and now sick as a dog (poop on toast, i think, is about how he’s feeling).

i finally wrote up The Big List. lists are the theme tonight. lists of things to write, things to do, things not yet done, lists of how i’m behind… yeargh. Big List: things to get done in the next week. so far, crossed off 6 tonight. hopefully, progress will go as well the rest of the week.

small notes: took MedSm to a hockey game last night. loved catching up with friends. loved, even more, throwing myself into a field of snow to make a snow angel on the way back to the car. i fought the impulse, briefly, then thought, ‘why delay joy?’. first snow angel in likely 20 years. and it was magnificent. equally fantastic was MedSm’s snow angel – to which he added antlers, because he wanted to make a MooseAngel.

found it mildly disturbing that my mom said, when i told her that hubby sent kisses, ‘oooo! he’s a good kisser!’ um…. mom? ‘oh, well, in a mother-in-law sort of way.’ eh! 🙂

looking so much forward to seeing my sis this coming weekend, and having her shower.

and how is it that i can do at least one load of laundry every night, and still be behind?



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unconscious mutterings:

Baby step:: 15 minutes
Wasted:: afternoon
Reggie:: Lewis
Pitiful:: poor, poor pitiful me (courtesy of Van Morrison, who may or may not have sung that)
Acting out:: brat
Tomato:: Nation
Bad night:: all around
Trip:: and fall
Finance charges:: mercenary
Sport:: pal

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james turned me on to Pandora. it rocks long and hard. it’s free, it’s music, it’s streaming, and it’s customizable.

i’ve recently built a station of my own that you might enjoy, particularly if you’re a fan of WERS. it’s called coffeehouse, and is modeled after their weekday morning show of the same name.

even if you don’t dig my coffeehouse, pandora is well worth exploring. for now, it’s free, and you can build multiple stations for yourself, and/or search for stations that meet your tastes. only catch is, you can’t rewind. but that seems minor. and did i mention it’s free?

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(Cliffs Notes, rather than War and Peace Volume II, so to speak, because i went from 6:30 this morning to now around midnight with not much more than 5 or 6 minutes here or there for me. not complaining, just… observing. it’s been a busy day.)

1. my cat continues to be a treat hog. at 16, i think he’s entitled.

2. Valentine’s Day rocked, altho possibly not as much as katherine’s, whose beau is to be admired for his display of testicular fortitude. 😉

3. i got Romantic Brownie Points from hubby.

4. hamilton squeakypuff and all the little squeakers continue to do well. i confess to thinking, while watching her run like mad in the exercise wheel, ‘i must get back to my prepregnancy weight of 1.2 ounces!’, which makes me giggle.

5. MedSm’s teacher is a tool. plain and simple. i no longer care to give her any thought, altho the punitive change to MedSm’s report card may merit some thought. long story short, she refused to own up to any part of her involvement, flat out denied calling MedSm dishonest, called each of us (adults) in turn a liar, and never once used the word ‘sorry’. hell, lady, my hamsters have better manners than you.

6. i’m trying to finagle a permanent spot out of my contract.

7. what gives with the 50 degree day, and the melting of the snow? the snow that we all had to move somehow just the other day? eh? and my plants, which were confused before, are now positively schizophrenic.

8. i got the fundraiser i wanted for MedSm’s school. it’ll be work, but i think it will be good.

9. it’s nice to be able to talk to MedSm’s mom. i think we’re approaching friendship. it’s odd, but less odd than it was. and it’s certainly healthier for all involved.

10. my kid rocks.

and that pretty much sums it up. *facekeyboard*

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sounds good, n’est pas? of course, Part One of the brilliant snow day plan got short changed when hubby started snoring like a power drill going thru concrete. usually, i can ask him to roll over, so as not to snore in my ear, and we both go back to sleep. for some reason, tho, he decided to go downstairs and sleep in MedSm’s room (MedSm was up at his mother’s, and a dang good plan she had to run him up there the night before). this was all well and good for him, but not so good for me, as he was now snoring into the baby monitor in MedSm’s room. i ended up with all the snoring and none of the snuggling. what’s that? why didn’t i turn off the monitor? well, that would have involved reaching out from under the warm and cozy blankets! 😉

so… *yah ta dah da dah dah* *does little Eddie dance* so, yeah. so what’s been going on… much to my sorrow, i lost alphonse pigwidgeon to diabetic coma the day after hazel jumping bean died. i came home to find pig hunched up in a corner, barely breathing. quick call to the vet, panicked drive (hamster cuddled in one hand, right next to my chest to keep him as warm as i could, while still trying to drive a standard), and a very teary goodbye. he was minutes from the end by the time i got there, and didn’t even last for the vet to give him a less painful way out. i am incredibly grateful that they were there, that my favorite vet who had seen him before was there, and that the options to help were available. it still tears me apart.

on the plus side, he was active and happy up until that morning, came to cage door when i talked to him, snuggled, and i was able to give him a few extra months of happy hammie life with a better diet and supplements. from what i read, many owners find out their hammie is diabetic when they die, so i’m grateful we caught it in time to give him a little extra time.

both hazel and pig are in cryo at the moment, and MedSm is decorating two little wooden boxes, so we can have a proper funeral at some point. and the vet sent a very sweet condolence card the day after.

of course, seeing the empty cage kept making me cry. so i went to get a new hammie a few days later. same kind, a blueberry Campbell’s dwarf. he doesn’t look all that much like pig, altho he’s still grey with a dark dorsal stripe, but with a healthy sprinkling of white (think a grey powder puff). i think that hamilton sqeakypuff is technically an opal or a blue pearl. i very nearly got a Chinese tailed dwarf hamster (which, i think, is not technically a hamster, but they’re damn close, and incredibly cute). the deciding factor was that, sweet and easy to handle tho he was, the Chinese dwarf was a male, and much like mice or rats, the Balzac is quite pronounced. call me fussy (go ahead, i dare you!), but aesthetically, i can’t quite handle that. so instead, home came hamilton sqeakypuff.

he’s absolutely wonderful about being handled, a complete little love bug, and while i don’t miss pig any less, it’s nice to have a little fuzzy one around.

i was a bit worried about him the first few days, as every time i filled the food dish, all of it disappeared in about 2 minutes. he was packratting it all away in the top sleepy spot in the cage, to the point of running out of room for himself. plus, he has this habit of running on *top* of the running wheel. cracks me up. the top of the wheel is between two shelves, so he get up there, runs and runs and runs, then stops short when i laugh, looks over at me all startled, then falls on his ass, because you can’t balance on those things.

he still has the running on top of the wheel thing going on, but i’ve at least got the explanation for the mad, crazy food storage. turns out that hamilton squeakypuff is *most* decidedly a girl! yup, i brought home a pregnant hamster, who is now proud mama to 6 or 7 little squeakers. can’t really tell, because i don’t want to fuss her at all by sticking my nose in there. i went to do cage check the other night, opened up the top hatch, and was concerned that hamilton had a cold, because ‘he’ was squeaking an awful lot. and then i saw them – teensie weensie little squirmy hammie babies! making so very much noise! and so very teensie weensie! when you figure that a full grown Campbell’s *might* tip 2 ounces, and she had a half dozen or so – and i couldn’t tell she was pregnant, because she didn’t look fat – you can figure how very eensie they are.

i’ve been keeping in extra warm in here for her and them, and trying to quietly sneak super good mom food in there, plus extra nesting materials. they’ll need to be with her for at least four weeks (three til weaned, then one for good measure to be safe), and then i’ll be finding new homes for them. anyone interested in a charming little furry friend? 🙂

what else… work is fine, going along, can’t complain. i decided to make one recent project more interesting for myself by doing a little research, so learned quite a bit about various classes of drugs, and got some insight into intervention treatments. i was transcribing meds on admission from our donor files, and figured it would be helpful to organize the drugs by type (vasopressors, vasodilators, anesthesia, pain relief, etc.). amazing to me to learn how oh, so very critical spelling is – one letter off, and you have a whole ‘nother drug. and the handwriting was less than Palmer perfect in nearly every case. not to be critical, but it no longer surprises me that there are accidents in hospitals when it comes to drugs and dosage. further confirmation that you are always your own best advocate, and failing that, have someone there to cross check everything for you.

in the process of the research i spent way too much time on Google. happy accident of the week – i found out that you can customize your Google home page. i now have that set as my default page, with local weather, news, word and quote of the day, a how to section (i’ve already learned how to make a paper tank and a paper airplane with flapping wings – handy things to know in the Mom Department), and recipes over at Simply Recipes.

fun quote from this week:

In science, ‘fact’ can only mean ‘confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.’ I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.

– Stephen Jay Gould (1941 – 2002)

for some reason, that tickles me. 🙂

am looking forward to seeing the Winter Olympics this week. unfortunately missed the opening ceremonies, altho i only feel *so* badly about that – they don’t always live up to expectations. i just thought it would be a cool thing to see with MedSm, as he’s never seen them. we did get out to do a bunch of stuff on Saturday; hubby had gotten up Friday to get MedSm organized and off to school so i could snooze a few more minutes, so i took Friday night and Saturday. Friday fell in the shitter (more on that in a minute), but Saturday was great. we got up early and went to MedSm’s basketball game, then went to find him some new cool shoelaces for his sneakers and get him a haircut. we were able to drop into the local barber shop, which worked out nicely. and yes, truly a ‘bring out the clippers and dust off with a bristle brush and talc’ sort of barber shop.

then i took him downtown for Winter Fest. six acres of manmade snow (oh, the irony of timing) and lots of fun stuff to do. of course, i didn’t put him in snowpants (what the hell was i thinking? it’s not like i’ve never seen snow before), he forgot his gloves in the car, and i have no idea what he’s done with his boots. how do you lose your damn boots? but in spite of all that, he stayed warm, had a blast snowboarding, couldn’t talk him into snowshoes but got him onto a pair of skis (those are my gloves he’s wearing, if you’re wondering why he has ginormously long spider fingers), and generally had a wonderful time. he even shared his pizza flavored goldfish with me. 🙂

and as if that weren’t enough, we went to see Benjamin the Juggling Clown perform in the evening. this guy is amazing – his specialties are juggling, of course, but also balancing, as in, balancing a measuring cup on top of a 10 foot pole on his forehead, then throwing a ball up and *catching it* in the cup. yeah. he’s good.

after that, we ran MedSm up to his mom’s, and he crashed deep and hard on the way up. the happy side effect of that was that we were able to hang out and talk for a bit with her and StepDad (don’t know how to shorthand that yet). and it was good. no, seriously. it was a nice conversation, about all sorts of MedSm stuff. i’m still amazed at how far we’ve all come.

it was good to be able to talk, too, because there are Issues. (see above, Friday in the Shitter.) MedSm’s teacher pulled him aside last week and told him that he was so bad, she’d have to have a parent conference – and then sent him home with no note. so i pick him up, and have a bawling kid in my back seat, for no reason that i can understand. next morning, i leave her a note – ‘please call me at your earliest convenience, because we’d really like to understand what’s going on.’ all of this seems very out of the blue. when she finally calls me two days later, it doesn’t go well. not well at all. i ask her to outline the issues. he’s been ‘sneaky and dishonest’, and late to school. late, i’ll cop to, and that’s an issue with the adults. MedSm isn’t driving himself to school yet. if it’s really that much of a problem, call me. don’t harass him.

the ‘sneaky and dishonest’, as best as i can construct, is her not having all the facts and making wildly inappropriate assumptions. my kid is no angel, but he’s not a baldfaced liar, either. *snarl*

but i don’t get into it with her. the phone call is only to establish the issues, and find a time to meet. so i ask when is best for her to meet. and then the teacher says she didn’t really want to call me, because she ‘didn’t want anyone left out’. read: ‘i assume that you’re incapable of including all the other parents, because life must be a living hell, and you clearly don’t all talk to each other.’

*sees red*

the icing on the cake is her response to me saying that i was quite distressed at how upset MedSm was. ‘oh, i explained it was for his own good, and he was fine with it!’ NO, HE WASN’T. and where was the note? ‘oh, i didn’t have time to write one.’ and here is where i rip her a new asshole. ‘frankly, i have a big problem with that. if you don’t have time to write a note, don’t use my kid as a messenger. he was upset, and felt threatened by what you said. you need to see us, call or write to *us*.’ to which she responds, ‘well, i disagree.* *head explodes* disagree all you want, lady. don’t fucking use him as the messenger. and that’s not a suggestion. that’s me telling you what is and is not acceptable in how you treat my child. when it comes to his health and well being, you had best not cross me. do it again, i’ll go after you.

yes, i was rather Mama Bear about the whole thing.

oh, how very surprised she will be when we all four of us walk in there Wednesday morning and give her enough rope to hang herself. have i mentioned the delicious sense of glee i’m taking in picturing StepDad kick his way thru the door, in uniform? daydreams can be so satisfying… i fully anticipate having her apologize to MedSm, which should be fun, because i don’t think she’ll do it.

*deep breath* i’m trying to find the Happy Shiny Place before then, because nothing will be gained by playing Bad Cop.

as for the snow, it’s still falling, MedSm has the day off and a chance to play with his friends and stepbrothers in several feet of snow, and the table out on our deck looks like it’s topped with a giant Kondeitor Meistor cake iced in rolled fondant. that, and watching the kids sled right down the middle of our big huge hill, made me happy today. shoveling out the car tomorrow might not, but i think we’ve found the optimal parking arrangement for days like this. both cars alongside the house, shortest path to the cars, and one whole side of the driveway for tossing snow. may require a little car juggling, but that’s okay, and preferable to shoveling more than necessary, with no place to put the snow.

dang. didn’t mean to write War and Peace! there’s more, but perhaps i’ll save it for another post.

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