That is all I needed to say right now.
It’s Banned Books Week. What are you doing about it?
May I recommend….
Harry Potter (JK Rowling) — Woo! Witchcraft!
Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury) — Curiously enough, this book isn’t about censorship, even though it’s understandable why one might get that opinion. But Bradbury, who as author knows his intentions best, stated that it is actually about the evils of television. I can’t argue with that. Have you ever seen Jersey Shore? Or Toddlers & Tiaras? I’m with Bradbury there, although there are a couple of shows I like and catch when I can, which honestly isn’t all that often.
Huckleberry Finn (Mark Twain)
The Bible (various)
To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
Crank (Ellen Hopkins) — Don’t get me wrong. I loathe Hopkins’s books, having read one and subsequently pulled it apart, stomped on it, and threw it away (I thought about flushing it down the toilet and decided that no toilet needs that much crap in it), and I might agree theoretically that it should be banned, but not for subject matter. Nah, it should be banned for bad writing. I joke, I joke. I don’t think any books should be banned. I think that people should use common sense.
Twilight (Stephenie Meyer) — another book that should be banned for bad writing. :p
His Dark Materials trilogy (Philip Pullman) — absolutely brilliant. But the first time I talked them up to someone I knew from church she told me about how they should be banned from elementary school libraries because the subject matter was too advanced and controversial for kindergarteners. WTF? Um, a kindergartener, unless exceptionally advanced, wouldn’t be able to read it. So that is just a ridiculous argument.
I’m celebrating BBW by reading an exceptionally bad novel, and I can’t wait to be done with it. And then I’ll go read An American Tragedy or Sister Carrie (Theodore Dreiser). What are you reading this week?
No, not diapers–don’t have any kids. Clothes? Well, I tend to change those pretty frequently. At least daily, if not more often.
My mind? Heck yeah! I reserve the right to disagree with anything I have said in the past, or will say in the future. I’m always learning, and that’s how I like it.
I have definitely done a lot of changing over the past year, so if you’re like me and obsessively read people’s blog archives (ahem, Forever in Hell–honest, I’m not a stalker. I just like what you have to say.), just know that I’m not necessarily the person I was when I wrote some of these past entries. And I’m happy about that. Some things I’ve said and done in the past to try to fit in I now find cringeworthy. I actually thought about going back and deleting some things, and I may yet do that for certain posts, anyway. But except for that whole trying to fit in thing, I think I’ve been pretty honest here, and I plan to keep it that way.
That’s all. You may now return to your regularly scheduled life.
That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. (Shakespeare, der.)
I’ve been musing on names the last two days. I finally learned the name of a woman I’ve been seeing around the office, and it just doesn’t suit her. But of course when kids are born, their parents don’t know what they’re going to grow up to be like, and they thus pick names they like, or family names, or names they hope the kids will grow up to be like, or whatever. So this woman’s parents had no idea that the name they so lovingly chose for their daughter would be a little odd, just based on what she looks like, how she carries herself, how she speaks, etc. Now granted that I don’t know her at all, so perhaps I’m wrong and her name suits her beautifully.
Plus, her name is a song from the 60′s, so I’ve had that silly song going around in my head for two days, and I only know a couple of lines of it, so it’s very annoying. The ear worm, I mean, not her name. And no, it’s not Windy, and that’s all I’m going to say. Okay, it’s also not Saffron. There. Besides, I know more of both of those songs than I do of my current ear worm.
And then I had a brief net meeting after lunch today, and as we were waiting for the database to open, I commented that I was glad my mother hadn’t named me Patience, because I have none. Boy, that would have really sucked! I don’t particularly like it when parents name their children (usually girls) after traits they hope their children will possess. Just think–my mother could have named me Patience Grace, and I’d have had to listen to all those not-funny jokes every time I get annoyed because things are happening too slowly or not at all, and oy, the comments I’d hear when I fell or bumped into something or fell up the stairs or slipped on nothing and landed on my butt. Of course, my co-worker stated that I named myself Faith, and that I have plenty, but that’s different. I named myself.
Now you’ll probably be asking yourself, “Isn’t this the woman who said she wanted to have 4 sons so she could name them John, Paul, George, and Ringo?” And you’d be right. And Ringo’d probably think I didn’t love him as much as the others, but he’d be wrong, because Ringo! Or I could have chosen their last names, and named my non-existent 4 sons Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, and Starr, and that might have been better for John, Paul, and George, but poor Ringo would be even more miserable.
And yes, I still want a pet Peeve, even though my husband is thoroughly opposed to it. I guess I’ll have to get a fish. Or a pet rock. It can be my Peeve.
I think that the names parents give their children should be temporary. Like placeholders, I suppose, that when the children become adults at the age of 18 (or 17, in the wizarding world), they can choose to keep or add to or get rid of altogether. I didn’t get rid of any of my names, even though I still don’t feel like a Virginia; I just plopped Faith down in front. And overall, I’m happy with Faith. Are there days where I wonder what I’d be like if I had chosen Claire? Because that was one of the options I was considering. Not really, because Faith is so perfect for me. And my sister, the incomparable Izzybella, not infrequently refers to me as “Oh ye of little” and I think that’s funny.
So now every time I see this particular woman at work, I’m going to be thinking about what I would name her if it were my decision, and if she knew what I was thinking, she’d probably be extremely glad she doesn’t know who I am. I don’t blame her.
Names are such funny things. I mean, all due respect to Shakespeare, and all, but a rose might smell just as sweet no matter what you called it (although if it were named Pungent Pit Sweat, I’d probably take its sweetness for granted and keep my nose far away from it), but the word rose is only beautiful because of what it stands for.
Did any of this make sense? If not, please pardon me. Lay the blame for this nonsensical posting on the fact that I’m mentally singing the two or three lines of a very annoying 60′s song.
We had company again to dinner last night. I’m training someone from out of state, and thought it would be nice to have him come to dinner. And considering that it got things off Joe’s mind at least a little bit, I’m even more glad. We had a pleasant evening.
Near the end of dinner, when J and I got to talking business, Emmylou insisted she had business of her own that needed to be taken care of. So Joe took the dogs out and was gone for a good 45 minutes. J and I were both dead on our feet, so he headed on back to the hotel and I started cleaning up. When Joe got back home with the dogs, he said that Scout was running around and playing and getting loves from all the other pets and their people, and seemed great. Of course, he then went straight to his bed and flopped over like he’d just seen the end of a very long day.
This morning I managed to get my lazy tuchus out of bed early enough to enjoy a delicious warm morning beverage, walk the dogs, and get them fed. Feeding Emmylou is easy: open up a can of puppy food, put it on a plate, and let her have at it. Feeding Scout is more difficult–he won’t eat the prescription dog food or the dry food or pretty much anything. But we gave him a little bit of chopped beef and some smashed potato and carrot. He ate all the beef and most of the vegetables. So if I have to buy a pot roast every week to get him to eat, then I’ll do it. I rinsed off the meat and veggies to try to eliminate as much of the salt as possible. And then he finished his breakfast with a shot of lactose-free Ensure. He had lost another 2 pounds from the time he left the vet. Scary.
Joe left to go out of town today; he’ll be back probably on Saturday. I’m just praying that if Scout is going to leave us, that he hang on until Joe’s back. Of course, I’m also hoping and praying that he’s not going to leave us anytime soon.
And yet I’m going to try to write about it anyway.
This year, as I may have mentioned a time or two, has been sucktastic. Husband got food poisoning and nearly died. Our Molly girl passed away. Our house caught fire. The hotel where we stayed soaked us (pun intended) for over $800 claiming that our two dachshunds caused so much damage that they had to replace the carpet padding in our room. Scout’s kidneys are failing him.
Scout spent 5 days at the vet’s office, where they had him on an IV and pumping liquids through him. His numbers dropped, over the course of those 5 days, from an 8 to a 5, still higher than they wanted, but an improvement. And then he came home and we were very happy to have him home. Well, he had his follow-up today, and his numbers have shot up to a 10.
The vet says he thinks that one of Scout’s kidneys is okay, but thinks the other may be cancerous. He added that Scout seems remarkably healthy for such a sick dog.
We’ve had trouble getting him to eat, which, if you know Scout, is unheard of. He is lethargic, just lays around and rests or sleeps all the time. But he is still interested in going for walks, and he comes to greet me and Joe whenever we come home. We’re just hoping and praying that he won’t be in any pain, and that we’ll get to have him around for a while longer. If it becomes obvious that he is in pain, then we’ll have a difficult decision to make.
I love my dogs. You know that. I couldn’t have children, so we have dogs. And they’re my babies. I hate losing them. The pain of losing Molly earlier this year just about did us both in. Then the thought of losing Scout so soon is unbearable. Please, universe, remember when I asked for a break? I meant it. Kthanxbai.
I went to see “The Help” this weekend. I knew I would like it, and I did, even more than I thought I would.
And it made me think of Mrs. Williams.
I have to state, first, that I was born around the time the events depicted in the movie occurred. And Mrs. Williams didn’t start working for our family until I was in junior high, I think. I’m not quite sure.
I also have to emphasize that my family was not a wealthy or upper middle class family, with a stay-at-home mother who hired help so she could go be involved in bridge clubs and social events, etc.
No, my mother worked full-time, and she worked damn hard. My father worked full-time, and he, too, worked damn hard. It’s entirely possible that during Mrs. Williams’s tenure my father was working two jobs. My mother was the first female certified latent fingerprint examiner in the state of Georgia. She was either working days and on call nights, or else she was working nights and spending her days testifying in court.
So Mrs. Williams was no luxury for our family. She was a necessity. And we loved her. I loved that she and I shared first names (Virginia). My sister loved her for standing up for her when my brother and I got too bratty. She taught me how to roll lemons on the counter, putting a lot of pressure, before you cut them open to squeeze the juice for lemonade or hot toddies, because that releases so much more juice. She taught me that hot lemonade made with honey worked wonders on sore throats.
She loved us. At least, that was the impression we got from her. Maybe she didn’t. Maybe we were just a job. I remember being struck by the difference in our homes, on those days that I rode with my parents to take her home to the projects. I remember being a little scared when we drove through the projects, because the people looked so tough. Now my older self recognizes that if they were tough, it was because to survive, they had to learn how to be tough.
Mrs. Williams, wherever you are, please know that in the months that you worked in our family, you earned a tremendous amount of love, and your memory will always be bright in our hearts.
We had a fire drill today at work. I knew it was coming. They sent us emails telling us exactly what time it would start, where to go, what to do. No big deal, right?
Today we were also asked to wear red, white, and blue in honour of those who lost their lives and loved ones on 9/11/01, and we all stood for a minute of silence at 9:11 this morning. I was very moved, and felt for that minute that I was a part of something much greater, and it was a good feeling.
And then I sat down and went back to work, trying to get as much done as I could before the fire drill. My heart started pounding a little faster, and I obsessively kept checking to make sure I had my handbag and everything I needed inside it. The ubiquitous they said we shouldn’t stop to grab our things. Well, having recently been through a fire where I didn’t grab my handbag made me determined that it, at least, was going out the door with me.
The alarm still managed to startle me when it went off, but I got my handbag, went out the door, and walked to the far end of the parking lot, where I plopped my backside on the grass and realized I was in the middle of a full-fledged anxiety attack. It was about 2 hours, long after I was back at my desk and working, before my heart rate finally slowed to normal.
It’s been a really rough day.
The vet said that Scout’s levels have improved somewhat, but not enough for him to be able to come home yet. So they’re continuing to flood him with fluids in the hopes that the kidney failure was because he got into something toxic, and that he can recover as much as possible. But if it is chronic kidney failure, his kidneys are (as of about 8:30 this morning) working at only 30%, which is not good. We’re continuing to pray, of course. The thought of losing him is just not to be tolerated right now.
And as I sat to write this post, my heart rate sped up again, and I’m feeling not my best. I’m glad it’s Friday. I need a good weekend, and I need my little Scout boy to heal.
Joe asked me today how much a person can handle before they just collapse under the weight of everything. My response? I don’t want to know. I’ll add, though, that were it not for my lovely psych meds, I’d probably have collapsed already.
The last two nights, Scout’s been doing a lot of vomiting during the night. Otherwise he’s seemed fine–low appetite, but we chalked it up to stress. I mean, first we lose Molly, then we adopt Emmylou, then we have the house fire, he spends a night at my Dad’s, a night at the kennel, then the hotel, and now the apartment. That’d stress out any dog!
So I made a vet appointment for him this morning, and Joe took him in. The vet said the blood work indicates that his kidneys are failing. They’re keeping him there and pumping fluids in via IV, and we’re in wait and see mode.
In the meantime, here’s an open letter to the universe:
I have had enough. Please quit sending bad things our way. It’s time for some happy.
Yours very truly,