Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Monday, March 26, 2012

Zota Eht

Yep, it's that time again. The A to Z returns.

Once again, I will be participating in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. What this means is during April I'll be writing a themed post for each of the 26 letters in the (English) alphabet.1

Last year I may have gone a little overboard with the creativity, incorporating everything from anagrams to science to math to love letters to Star Wars to thumbtacks to vampires vs. velociraptors. So, this time around I thought I'd reel things back a bit. And by a bit, I mean all the way. This year, my posts will exhibit no creativity whatsoever.2

You see, my lessons with The Professor (now nearly 9 months old!) take up a great deal of my time these days. Thus, rather than try to come up with 26 original ideas to entertain you, I will instead share things other people have already come up with, in the hopes I can entertain you by proxy.

Each day, I shall highlight items I feel far more people need to know about. One film, one television show, one board or card game, one musical artist, one book.

I won't necessarily be sharing my favorites for each letter; I want to focus on the lesser-known entities that deserve more attention: independent and foreign films, shows cancelled before their time, bands on the edge of mainstream, that sort of thing. Of course, as I am a product of my upbringing, the vast majority of my recommendations will be from the past twenty years, but I make no apologies for this.3

It all begins this Sunday. I'll see you then.4

1 With the possible exception of G. It knows what it did.
2 Okay, that's a lie. It's just something I do. I lie. In fact, though my posts will only contain the bare minimum of creativity allowed by maritime law, I promise you there will be a metric tonne of lies. Also: cake.
3 Sorry about my lack of apologies.
4 Not literally. I may be all-knowing, but I'm not all-seeing. (Note to the gullible: I am not all-knowing, either. Also, you owe me money.)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired

The title pretty much says it all.

Okay, it doesn't quite say everything. But it does say I'm sick of being tired and tired of being sick.

Although, technically, it doesn't say that, either. Which is just as well since the first part isn't true: I'm not sick of being tired. In fact, I'm rather used to it. I've been tired in some fashion1 almost every day for the past 20 years, ever since 7th grade when I started a 5:00am paper route for some insane reason. (Note: I am not a morning person.) And of course, since I now have an 8-month-old around the house,2 I'd expect to be tired.

So, I guess all I'm saying is I'm sick (and tired) of being sick. I'm on my third cold in a month and a half (new record!), and I suspect another sinus infection isn't far behind. I knew sending my son to daycare a couple days a week would put both our immune systems to the test, but I never imagined mine would fail so spectacularly.3

You might think I'm telling you all this as an excuse for why I haven't been blogging much recently. Nope. I don't make excuses for not blogging. I'm too busy living.4

Well, that's all for me tonight. I'm going to try turning in early, and see if I can catch up on sleep. Because if I can somehow not feel tired tomorrow? Yeah, that would be sick.

1 Sweatpants were the norm for a while.
2 Technically, he's in the house, not around it. So back off, Child Services. It's an expression. (Although a more fitting one would be c = πr2, seeing as how today is Pi Day. (For reference, in my version of this equation, the c stands for cake.))
3 At least the viruses are being nice about it. They let me retake the test every two weeks.
4 Living sinus-deep in mucus, but living nonetheless.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Yesterday was a day of ups and downs. On the one hand, my son turned eight months old (23 new photos in his Flickr set). On the other, we learned our older cat — who has barely hit middle age, and only came home with us last January — won't be with us much longer.

In the months following her accidental 4-day excursion in October, we noticed Calypso (a.k.a. Callie) was losing weight despite eating plenty of food. Our vet found a culprit: hookworm! We gave her some de-worming pills, and all was right with the world.

Except it wasn't.

She continued losing weight at the same pace (1 lb per month), and then started having problems with her eyes. She began to drink little, and eat even less. Only yesterday, after repeated vet visits and a multitude of tests, did we discover the real culprit: the feline coronavirus. It's actually a rather common virus, but in rare instances (such as when hookworm has weakened the immune system) it can lead to FIP, which is fatal. There's no specific test for FIP, and other than her lack of appetite her behavior had been normal — in fact, she'd been looking for more attention, rather than hiding herself away like a normal sick cat — so we were holding out hope it was something else. But alas, the tide can turn quickly; she abruptly exhibited three of the other symptoms last night. Now I'm not sure she'll last the week.

I'm telling you this not to elicit sympathy, but to raise awareness of these ailments. Besides, the Irish part of me (acquired via marriage) knows I shouldn't focus on the sadness; I should be celebrating Callie's short but wonderful time with us:

When she's happy, Callie will climb up my shoulder and lick my neck.

When it sounds like she's yowling in pain, she's actually playing with a sock. I can't tell you how many times we've found socks, dish towels, washcloths, potholders, baby's onesies, and/or bras on completely different floors from where we left them.

She has little use for string or catnip or stuffed mice or any sort of cat toy... unless it's red. Red shoelace? Kill it. Red laser? Let me at it!

Callie knows all the warmest spots in the house. In the morning: the couch. Noon: front hallway. Afternoon: my office. Overnight during last year's weeklong power outage: between my wife and I, on top of the baby.

It'll be tough when she's gone, but I know I'll handle it better than when my last cat died. For one thing, it's hard to stay sad with such an adorable baby around to cheer us up. And also, unlike last time, we've seen the end coming. This time, we get to say goodbye.

Callie, we'll do everything we can to keep you comfortable in the coming days. But know this: Despite your short stay with us and this unhappy ending, we have no regrets about bringing you home that day last January. You are such a sweet cat, and we've been blessed to have had you in our lives, as part of our family. We'll miss you dearly.

We'd love for you to fight this and stay with us, but we know it's not to be. So ignore the words of Dylan Thomas, Callie, and when you're ready, go.

Go gentle into that good night.