The Fifth Graders Probably Think I'm a Little Odd

One of the fifth grade English classes came in to do a little research this afternoon. I think they might be writing a persuasive article on a topic of their choice. One of the students chose tennis and was doing a little reading. As I walked by, she looked up and said, "Tennis balls are made of wool!"

Without missing a beat, I cocked my head quizzically and replied, "You mean there are green sheep?"

Even the English teacher told me to keep my day job. (Nicely, though.)


Even the Spam Is Rubbing It in Lately

My newest spammail subject? "Meet Senior Singles!"

Hey, I might have been single for a while now, but I do NOT qualify as a senior.



This Crazy Week

Yesterday, I officially worked out for the first time since I got sick last Fall. I mean, I did some walking and stuff in September/October, but the weather and my timing just made things too complicated. One of the teachers knew a trainer who was willing to come to school and lead a workout--sounds like something different every week--so I'll be doing that once a week. It's about the same cost as joining a class somewhere else, and a bit more convenient.

It wasn't bad, but unfortunately I'd been feeling a sore throat coming on all day, and by the time I got home, I knew it was more than that. I was a little afraid it was strep again, because I had a temperature when I got up this morning, so I stayed home. I hated doing that--I'm always nervous calling in sick from work, especially my first year on a job--but this is the only day I don't have classes scheduled, so this would be the day to miss. Judging by how well the sore throat responded to cold medicine, I'm pretty sure it's not strep.

So, I slept, entertained The Cat, ran the dishwasher. All in all, not much of a day, which is why I don't consider sick days real vacation.

Only two more work days to go. On Friday, my fourth graders will be doing a Social Studies presentation that they researched in my class, so I can't wait to see how they do. I'm worried for a few of them, but some of them are going to be pretty amazing, I think.

Of course, I have lunch duty with them right beforehand, so I'm guessing some of them might spill the beans about their presentations. They do like to talk. And I do like to listen!


Seen "Must Love Cats"?

Cute show--very cute host (writes all his own songs). And lots of cute kitties and interesting places! I was at my parents' Saturday night and caught one of the episodes.

Show info here. There are some funny video clips, too. Including one about, uh, "cat poo coffee." I think I'd kinda draw the line there, even though I love coffee. Brave guy.


Somewhat of an Appreciative Maiden Moment

This afternoon, I met up with a couple of former co-workers (from the job I quit to student teach, although they both had been let go post-merger before then) to go see The Unknown. (My impression: It was O.K. but seemed at times to be ripping off Vanilla Sky--ugh--and The Manchurian Candidate, if that's possible to do in the same movie. It was based on a novel that I'm fairly certain was written in another country.) Afterwards, we had dinner at a local diner and had our girl talk. We promised to do our movie/dinner thing again soon, and then we parted ways.

By some bizarre cosmic timing, I had to go pick up a book from the bookstore--I made the reservation for the one near the movies--went upstairs to nose around the YA books, helped a dad and his daughter looking for the Warriors series (yes, I introduced myself as a librarian so I wasn't some nosy stranger)--and then as I'm coming down the escalator to go to the register to get the book, The Ex walks by downstairs. And of course looks up--then keeps walking (thankfully). There's probably very little chance he didn't recognize me, even though I had my hair straightened and my "church makeup" on.

I don't know where his wife was, but. . . weird. I still don't want to be in the same room with him (and I noticed his car was heading out of the parking lot as I was just walking out of the store), but it's more like just a huge, huge relief that I don't have to put up with him and his hang-ups for the rest of my life. I know there's better.

Am I sad I don't have that "better" in my life right now? Am I frustrated that for whatever reason I don't know where "better" is? Sure, but I think there's still a tiny part of me that needed to grow up. Still some things I need to experience, some things I need to do to get myself in order. Like all the lovely apartment-cleaning I'm doing this weekend. I'm getting there.

But jeez, out of all the bookstores in the area and all the times of day--what are the freaking odds?


Another Typical Week

Sorry I've been scarce. This week has been exhausting! Let's work backwards:

Today: First day off in a nice long weekend. It wasn't the prettiest day outside, but it certainly was warm. I slept in, a little bit, and let's face it--does it really count when The Cat has me up at 3? The only real bummer was that when I went to return my videos (Date Night: not as hilarious as advertised, or perhaps Despicable Me spoiled me), I found out the store is closing. (I guess library + online service will be it; not a fan of On Demand.)

Thursday: One section of fourth grade is out of control. I mean, I know they were excited that there were only two classes left until their big day off (and some of them were heading out for some serious travel), but really, 35 minutes with me--classes are shortened on Thursdays, and on top of that they were late--should have been more learning and less bouncing off the walls. I think they might have learned a little something when the only three students who devoted their full attention to their assignment and got all six (!) questions right received a candy award at the end of the day. (Still. . . *sigh*)

Wednesday: Recovered from Tuesday.

Tuesday: The Cat went to the vet for her blood pressure and eye exams. While we waited for our turn, a very friendly Irish-named chocolate lab made a few attempts to shove his shnootz into The Cat's carrier. He lives with chihuahuas, so maybe he was expecting one to be inside the carrier!
Of course, for the eye exam, The Cat had to get drops in her eyes. Not fun!
Next, the vet took her to the back workroom for the blood pressure check. "SO not fun!" I could her her wailing.
After she came back, with normal BP (yay!), they put out the lights in the exam room and took a good look at her eyeballs with the penlight/magnifying lens combo. She was trying to squirm out of the vet tech's grasp the whole time, but everything looked O.K. There's a slight anomaly with the blood vessels at the back of one eye, but it didn't signify any problems.
We discussed the problem with her not eating. It was decided she should take her anti-thyroid medicine, which recently had been reduced again, only in the morning, and then her anti-nausea meds in the evening before dinner.
I also got the green light to give her "junk food"--some smelly Fancy Feast might be more appealing. So what I did was I picked up some Appetizers (it's allegedly just plain ol' fish/meat and not cat food per se) and mixed it in with some of her usual food. . .

Look who's eating!!


Speaking of Cats. . .

. . . The Cat went in for tests on Thursday, to see how her thyroid is doing and also to check her kidneys. She's still acting a bit off to me. Not eating was the main concern; however, her weight has stayed the same in a month.

I mentioned to the vet that I thought her eyes looked funny the other night, as if one pupil was dilated more than the other. He did a couple of quick checks (some like the light/motion tests for blinking here) and she was more responsive in her right eye than in her left. He said that hyperthyroidism could lead to high blood pressure (hypertension), so it was possible that she "blew out a retina."

Now there's a comforting expression. (Mind you, I like this doctor because he actually talks to The Cat and doesn't sound like a textbook when he's explaining things to me. But that was one time I wanted some safe, cold jargon.)

Then he took her to the back workroom to take her blood/urine samples. I went back out to the waiting room and joked with the receptionist about how I knew The Cat hadn't left the building because we could hear her complaining meows all the way out front. Anything not to think about her losing her eyesight.

When the vet tech brought out the carrier, The Cat was quiet, probably stewing about all the annoying touching and poking and--her most hated thing--claw-trimming. The vet came out and told me that he is suspicious about her eyesight even more, because when he let her go to jump back in her carrier (her M.O. every time she is freed from the grasp of anyone at the vet's), she went the wrong way first. He had moved her carrier from one side to the other, and she apparently didn't see it--just went for where it had been last. Now, it could be that she was just on auto-pilot and retracing her steps so to speak, but still that's upsetting to hear.

He would have checked her BP after having observed that mistake, but she had just gotten all those tests done. Ticked-off cats, like ticked-off people, really have their BP up, so the reading would have been less than accurate.

So, Monday I should get test results, and sometime during the week I have to take back in for that BP reading. Oh, and return the special cat food she refused to eat so I can get a refund. I wish I hadn't tried for so long; a lot of uneaten food went down the disposal.

But, hey, now that she's back on her regular food, and I gave her a little extra last night, she let me sleep in until 6:00 this morning. I'll take what I can get.

I expect test results on Monday, and I have to bring her back in to get her blood pressure checked. I feel guilty that I didn't do the thyroid tests sooner and am hoping that waiting didn't create this problem. If it turns out she has either kidney or BP problems, most likely she'll have to eat different food.

It had better be tasty.

Did You Know This Week Was "Cat Guy Week"?

February 7-13 is designated as "Cat Guy Week" by Much Love Animal Rescue. (Note: there are a couple of vulgarities in the video below.)

Watch the other "It's Okay to Be a Cat Guy" videos here.


This Weekend: Done and Not Done

Done: Four loads of laundry
Not Done: Putting away four loads of laundry (I dragged them across a parking lot and up two flights of stairs; isn't that enough for one day?)

Done: Watching most of the Puppy Bowl (including the Kitten Halftime Show). Yeah, I miss Harry Kalas a lot.
Not Done: Watching most of the Super Bowl (are the Peas' 15 minutes up yet???)

Done: Returning phone message left with my parents by someone from whom I haven't heard in years (and wondering if it's just about getting an interview about my California trip)
Not Done: Receiving phone call from person after having left a message on said person's answering machine

Done: Receipt of $7 check from The Cat's insurance as reimbursement for $35 medicine
Not Done: Deposit of check (Would you run right out for $7? Especially if you're waiting for another reimbursement based on her next round of tests?)

Done: Survival of a Monday with the deadly combination of being the day after the Super Bowl and the first day of a drastically changed schedule for the fourth graders. Oh, and the library secretary was home with a stomach bug.
Not Done: Remembering to give homework to today's section of sixth graders so they are finally caught up with the other two sections. (Dammit!!!!!)

Done: Finding a St. Valentine's Day card to send to my great-aunt.
Not Done: Figuring out how to wrap the accompanying chocolates so they don't get smashed in the mail.