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Scha-wing, Batta, Batta
Last night I took The Austrian to an American baseball game (Dodgers v. Padres), his first. And of course because I am taking him there and am hoping like hell he'll have a good time, things started out rocky.
First, we were late since I wasn't going with Penny, who likes to get there A MINIMUM of a half-hour before the game starts so that she can watch the players warm up and marvel at how Dodgers fans trickle in around the third inning. Although. Let me tell you. Now that I've come to a game NOT a half-hour early, I know why they get there so late. Dodgers' stadium parking = EFF'D UP. So bad in fact that the only reason we ever got to park was because we bribed the Reserve Parking dude $5. The Austrian: "Hmph. Typical American Way. You have to bribe to get into clubs. You have to bribe to park your freakin' car."
Luckily, once we got into the stadium, he was pleased by the hubbub and the family of truly nerdy people behind us comparing stats recall, saying things like "Scha-wing batta, batta" and talking about the physics of it all.
And of course, the beer and Dodger Dogs.
Later came some digital-camera-videotaping of The Wave and some pics of Take Me Out to the Ball Game and yay! Dodgers fans threw in someone storming the field and getting tackled by like 5 security guards!
Then, in true Dodger fan style, we left in the 8th inning to get home, where The Austrian played with the cats.
Scha-wing, batta, batta!
And So It Begins
So, I didn't really intend for this to be a knitting blog. I mean, I've knitted ONE ITEM in my life, which came from a Learn How To Knit kit, took me three years to complete and in fact by "complete" I mean one of these days Laurie is going to have to show me what to do with the ends, which I believe is what you call those bits of leftover string.
But lo and behold, you Evil Knitters have sucked me in! Suddenly I'm a third of the way through my next scarf and am planning to knit, egads, some kind of sweater-like item! And now I'm about to post pictures of my knitted items on my blog.
Here is my first scarf. For reference, I am an intimidating 5'2". Yes, my scarf will EAT YOU.
A. My Homies. And my old desk plate. B. My Magic 8-Ball and my A Little Joy, A Little Oy calendar. I like to cover all my bases. C. The quickly-growing scarf, which is a belated birthday present for one of my favorite Aries. D. A vintage postcard from that same Aries' wedding -- she had them as placecards; how cool is that?
Option 1. Kind of boobalicious, so I'm not so sure. Or maybe that is its biggest selling point?
Option 2. I'm not sure I can do the cabling, but how hot would this be in ivory with tight dark Hudsons and gold heels?
Next thing you know I'm going to get myself some cats and start drinking merlot and... oh wait.
It's funny how just the littlest taste of something good awakens latent desires for more. Or how a dry spell can suddenly create desire where there was none.
When I took a brief, sanity-relieving break from force-feeding Ethel 4x/day, she suddenly started eating like a pig. The break was only possible because my mom, who is AMAZING btw for doing this, came down to stay with me and make sure Ethel ate while I went to work. THANK G-D for mothers, particularly mine.
In addition, after experiencing Mom-prepared Real Food for a week, I'm ready to eschew Lean Cuisine and Cheez-Its in favor of some honest-to-goodness self-cooking. I actually marinated some salmon this week. Me! Marinating! And it was GOOD!
Also, all this knitting has awakened some kind of crafting gene in me. Because somehow, as you know, I painted my dining room table, and I've started planning other home projects as well.
And after only four months of The Austrian, leaving in less than three weeks now, I don't see how I can do without some love in my life after he leaves. Before The Austrian, I thought school would be sufficient, but now I don't know.
All it takes is a little bite to awaken The Pig, the greed for a healthy home life and satisfying love life and creative expression and all that whatnot that makes people real and alive.
Party, That Birthday Party!*
*To be sung a la commercials for 80s board game Pizza Party.
Laurie's birthday party was a rousing success. There was cake and beer and presents and good conversation and really what else can a girl ask for?
The Duncan Hines masterpiece I brought to the party. CAP = Crazy Aunt Purl.
The SnB crew says hello: Audrey, Ellen, Regina and Regina's mom Suzanne.
Laurie's fiesta was no exception to the rule of parties and of biogeography: everyone gathered around the food source.
Amy and Rebecca brought some green.
IHOP: International House of Party - Rebecca the Canadian, Alex the German, Karman the Southerner and David, Alex's husband the Somewhere-ian.
Cake! And crotches! I am a master photographer!
Laurie has a new wireless weather set!
Karman & Amy, lookin' cute as buttons.
I had to leave early to take care of this little muffin.
The next day I went over to Laurie's to help clean up but ended up just extending the party with her through Sunday. Minus a few people, as you can see by empty chairs.
The Horror of It All
I know what you're thinking. When will this girl stop complaining? But seriously, the last couple weeks haven't provided me much in the way of laudable events. This morning I woke up to Drunk Ethel. She was staggering around everywhere and her head was bobbing about like a little black furry buoy. Long story short is that she's either got ammonia on the brain due to the toxins in her liver or she's had a reaction to the medicine. Either way, I've been sent home with a doubled feeding regimen and I get to hook her up to a kitty IV once a day.
HOWEVER. I'm just going to ignore my $2750 kitty credit card bill. And the fact that I missed a day of work after only a week and a half of my internship. And the next month of forced feedings. I'm going to focus on the good things that came out of this day:
1. Laurie, home sick, was awesome and came with me to the vet. Because she is a Known Crazy Cat Lady there, it seemed to bring me some street cred with the staff and vet. Plus, we recreated this day, except that knitting books have replaced the self help section and this time Laurie was the rescuer.
2. I scored some time to do my laundry, long neglected. Can I tell you that if I did not date, I would never do laundry? Really. I have A LOT of undies. Most of them days of the week (including Sunday. Apparently underwear-makers are no longer pious). I can go forever without hitting panty-less territory and have no shame about wearing the same suit like 10 times before taking it to the dry cleaner. If I didn't have to, you know, WEAR CLEAN CLOTHES on dates, who knows how long I would go between washes. This does not bode well for when the Austrian returns to the motherland.
3. Now I won't have to take Ethel in on Saturday AM and can devote myself fully to making a cake for Laurie's b-day party, yay! Luckily, that girl is southern all the way and likes her cakes out of the box.
4. Laurie and I stopped by her mailbox, and I got The Horror of It All from Stephanie! She read on my list of 100 Things To Do Before I Die that I wanted to own a first-edition something, and she sent me The Horror, which her friend wrote, signed by the author! How hard does she rock?!!
5. I believe I've found some replacements for the chairs Allan (my ex) will be taking this summer.
They've been sitting outside my door for three days now. You know some teenybopper (my complex is full of these) inherited these from his/her parents and decided that early 1990s peach, aqua and taupe wasn't for him/her. And then left them in my hallway. $5 they'll be there for another week at least.
Also, although Allan is taking his chairs back (as is his right; he did painstakingly strip them on our then balcony over four days), I am so grateful we're still good friends. He didn't mind when I called him several times at 1:30 a.m. Texas time to cry about our cat. And he took my update calls while he was in Madrid (lucky bastard) at a conference. That's a good man for you.
p.s. Dagny and Anne, you Blow Out fans, you will be sooo jealous to hear that on Wednesday I took the Austrian by Jonathan and then to The Breakfast Club for lunch, where the Jonathan crew is always eating.
Shopping Is My Cardio/Lifesaver
Sometimes your professional life (I am an Access drone), your love life (my Austrian is leaving the country in a month), your academic life (I am too ashamed to tell you my grades this semester), and your home life (I have to force feed my yowling, writhing Ethel three times a day with medicine-infused kitty food that makes her froth at the mouth like Old Yeller) all take a nose dive. And what do you do at times like these? You, as a wise woman once told me, throw money at the problem.
Luckily for me, there's this nirvana called Target, where throwing money at the problem doesn't break the bank. Because hi: I am 28 years old and had to borrow money from my parents to pay for my cat's medical treatment (word to the wise (read: not me): pet insurance).
So Laurie and I went to Target and look at my cute new shoes:
You wouldn't believe they're Cherokee, no? I was a little worried when I bought them. Like the time I briefly considered buying a pair of Easy Spirits. No offense to you sane, comfortable-shoes-wearing peeps out there, but Easy Spirit?! Do you remember those ads with female executive types playing basketball in Easy Spirit heels?? I think of Cherokee the same way -- even though I am in fact a part member of the tribe.
Cute, tho, no? Besides, I used to think of Coach as total old-lady gear and now I am lusting after this purse. Brands can undergo transformations just like people do ('cept men of course).
Also purchased in my Target spree:
- A super-cute tunic. Because I'm, like, so freakin' boho chic it's not even funny (ha!).
- Brown (it's my new black) sparkly shoes to go with tunic.
- Um, Wimbledon. I know, not a great movie. But it was on sale! And Paul Bettany is so cute and there have to be some hot-accented foreigners out there who don't leave you after six months.
- New t-shirt worn w/ above-pictured jeans and new shoes on date with Austrian to Sushi Roku, my favorite raw-fish spot. And then worn again paired with suit to work the next day. Because I am THAT KIND OF CLASSY.
- Cokes (I love you, Coca-Cola!)
- Cat litter (Of course. does it ever end?)
Cool New Ways to Piss Off Your New Coworkers and Boss
1. Leave early on your second day to take your cat back to the vet for more blood tests.
2. Oh, did I say I'd worked with Microsoft Access before? Really?
3. Watch them lean against the bathroom counter, knowing that a h-u-u-u-ge water stain (I'm pretty sure people bathe in our bathroom sink) will soon grace their ass but don't tell them because you're too busy being terribly uncomfortable with chit-chat in the bathroom.
4. Accidentally wear a suit with a shoulder stain on it because you were too damn lazy to take it to the dry cleaners the last time you left the corporate world.
5. Refuse to eat communal pie. DO YOU KNOW WHAT DISEASES YOU CAN GET FROM COMMUNAL PIE? (apparently OCD is also contagious). Communal food diseases can only be counteracted with lots and lots of alcohol. And sadly, this is not available in the workplace. I say sadly BECAUSE I REALLY NEED A BEER. Or six.
p.s. To people who have sent me comment love, when I don't have to spend every post-work evening taking a cat back to the vet, I will reciprocate! I am reading all of you, just not commenting yet. Also, Kristy, I owe you a me!me!
p.p.s. Gloria, did you know that Jonathan of Blow Out has named his finger-wave blow-up doll after you?
I Blame Cosmo
And Lindsay Lohan. I mean, how is Ethel supposed to feel good about her cute little kitty belly when she's confronted with a society that marvels when we waste away to nothing?
I'm pretty sure that's why Ethel stopped eating. It was getting close to swimsuit season, and she couldn't stand the thought of sunning in the window still carrying around her extra waddle.
Little did she know her foray into anorexia would land her on the kitchen floor three times a day with me holding her down and force-feeding her NutroCal and kitty food through syringes.
That's what I'd like to do to Lindsay Lohan, too. And to the editors at Cosmo. And at Vogue. I'm silently judging you, bitches!
Thank You, Internets!
Please take me home. I hate it here.
Ethel is on the mend, in large part due to all the good kitty karma you all have sent her! Her liver is considerably improved. And she is eating a little bit when I come by to visit her, so she may even get to come home tomorrow!
As a super extra-special thank you from me, here is a picture of my left buttock that I took in the vet parking lot while I was on the phone with Laurie because I was afraid I had something on it.
Who knew a digital camera could save you from a potential butt-tastrophe?
See, when I visit Ethel, I have to lean into her little cubby to feed and love on her, so I am continually giving the vet staff a porn-eye view of my heinie. While I am willing to walk out of there smelling of cat food and covered in Ethel hair, I am not willing to walk out of there wondering if the entire staff has been snickering at me for the past hour.
Thus the buttock photo. I know it's just the thank-you gesture you all had in mind.
Bad News, Good News, Rough Patches & Bright Spots
Happier, sleepier times
This morning, after spending the night on the floor so I could be next to Ethel first under the bed and then in the closet, the vet confirmed that she had severe liver disease and that I needed to bring her in immediately. I couldn't focus on what she was saying. All I could say was, "OK." Luckily Laurie is the best friend ever because she called the vet for me to get a better understanding of what was going on.
A few hours after dropping Ethel off, the vet called me to tell me that Ethel's ultrasound had the best possible result: Fatty Liver Syndrome. Also known as: Not Cancer. Ethel will need to be in the hospital for a few days, and assuming she responds to treatment, she has a really good chance at making a complete recovery. It won't be pretty -- I may have to feed her through a tube for 6-8 weeks to get her liver back to normal. And I have no idea what caused Ethel to stop eating, or how I didn't notice. I'm trying not to focus too much on this or else I really start to freak out.
Seeing your little muffin half-shaved, sedated, and hooked up to a bloody kitty IV is not easy. Nor is leaving her. Nor is coming home to her brother and knowing he's wondering what the hell you did with his sister.
The best moment of my day was coming home to find 45 comments (now there's even more!) sending my little furbaby lots of love from the internets! I can't thank you all enough, or Laurie for posting Ethel's story. I know your i-love is going to get Ethel through the night so that when I go see her tomorrow, the vet will tell me she is improving rapidly. And Fred and I, who are going to bed shortly even though it is only 8:00 p.m. because crisis wears you out, are sending warm fuzzy, furry love right back at you and your beloved ones.