Friday, August 28, 2009

Worms and Jane

Lots of rain for the start of classes here. Twice I walked through the pouring rain to work last week. The smell of rotting worms came up from the lawns afterwards. I have a soft spot for worms. I hate to see them drowning on sidewalks. Do they drown in the mud too? I feel like saving the ones that are stuck on the pavement. I did actually pick up and fling two worms to grassy safety. Maybe that's enough this semester. I don't like the smell on my fingers. This concern for our annelid friends seems odd to me because from a tiny child I was taught to cheerfully thread worms and pieces of worms on hooks to tempt the fish. I did have some crisis of empathy about it once I got to be eight or nine. But the possibility of fish always won out. So I guess I'm kind to worms unless I want to use them for bait. Those are my rules, worms,
you've been warned.

Finished watching Emma last night and the experience turned out to be yet another gift with love from my worthless memory. I enjoyed it very much but I had indeed seen the whole thing. Although I have no memory of the event (a little scary?) I'm sure it must have been the Danish who sat me down and watched it with me. At any rate the movie captures the feeling of joy very well. A little too glib, but they can't just read the novel's dialog now can they? I like GP's acting, her neck is incredibly expressive in this film and her voice is pretty wonderful. I had forgotten that Frank Churchill is played by Ewan McGregor, another lovely voice. I was sorry they didn't include her making amends with Miss Bates and Miss Jane Fairfax. But plenty of good stuff including what must be an English Country Dance enthusiast's wet dream of a ball sequence. It shows significant amounts of at least two dances and advances the plot while doing so. Bravo!

Now I feel that I should include my book report on Pride and Prejudice. But I've missed the moment a bit. I finished it just before the beginning of semester tsunami hit. So I'm left trying to remember what in my brain then. When I got to the end of the novel I was smiling at Miss Elizabeth's triumph over Mr. Darcy. It made me want to study this in conjunction with Taming of the Shrew (high school english teachers everywhere are applauding my insight). It seems as one-sided as that is, in its way. Absolutely delightful. Elizabeth and her father are great characters. The plight of feeling ashamed of one's family must be universal and is very well rendered here. Elizabeth gets to be critical and
demanding while being loving and valuing goodness. Of course I enjoyed her spleen. Here's some when she has come to stay with her sister Jane, taken sick at the Bingley's home. The two ladies of the house make much of Jane when she's around but can't be bothered with her when she's not so, "their indifference towards Jane when not immediately before them restored Elizabeth to the enjoyment of all her former dislike.” A girl after my own heart.

My Austen summer was a big success. I'm so glad to know these novels at last, as more than the script source for so many period costume dramas.

Friday, August 21, 2009


My boss told us a story yesterday that her husband had brought back from his weekend of camping in Oklahoma. He was in line behind an rv camper who was complaining to the campsite office that there were way too many trees around his site. All those dang trees were preventing his satellite tv from receiving a signal and he was really steamed about it. We laughed but I wondered how prevalent this was. Dr. Google to the rescue. Here's a page of campground reviews from the perspective of the rv'er who values wifi, cable TV and good clear satellite reception (i.e. not too many damn trees). Amazing world we live in. Philistines in my view, but sounds like there must be plenty who feel this way.

We camped last weekend. Just one night out on a sandbar in the middle of the Missouri River. Our wonderful relatives hosted and packed the boat full of supplied and wrangled the tents into submission etc. etc. They are saintly. It was tiring but fun. The kids were extremely excited about the whole camping concept and about being out in a giant sandbox.

Still lots of worky work here at work. But I had my really shitty day earlier in the week so I feel like it's downhill from here. (The good kind of downhill, where you don't have to keep climbing). I'm done having my nose out of joint after my boss sent me an email to tell me how she didn't like how I'd been doing my paper pushing. I have done what she asked even though I didn't like how she asked for it. And both my cramps and the rain have stopped. So it's a beautiful day today. Hello, you beautiful Friday afternoon, you!

Zing lived up to her name and after her spaying last week continued to run around and play and run and up and down the stairs. And after a week had pulled out all but one of her belly stitches. I had Nod get a collar to put on her head but then I couldn't bring myself to do it. I was worried about the vision of her thrashing into walls trying to get it off. Nod took her to the vet's office yesterday and they gave her antibiotics, recommended keeping her confined in a carrier and insisted on the collar. So we're doing that. And she mostly holds still while she has the collar on so her belly is looking better already. I r idiot re: spayed cat bellies. Live and learn.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Kit Kat and Socking it Away

A cat adopted us a week ago. She showed up in the yard while Nod was working outside. And wouldn't leave, mewing at the door. He fed her, which I thought was not a good idea. She was hungry but she had a flea collar on and looked clean and healthy. No ribs poking out. It was the end of July/beginning of August moving weekend. In our town that's when most of the students do their move outs/ move ins. So I guess she got lost. She didn't seem to have claws and I relented on the feeding front. I decided she could stay while we looked for her owners.

We checked the listings for lost cats and posted signs on our corner. No dice. All the lost cat postings in our area were for gray cats. We let her in the house and that was that. She's little and gentle (no biting or scratching) and likes people. She comes running if you call to her. The girls are delighted and we grups are pleased too.

So far Zing is very easy to live with. Except for going into heat. But even that hasn't been too annoying as she's so small and quiet. Her spay appointment is tomorrow. The vet told us that she's somewhere between 8 and 12 months old and weighs just under 8 pounds. Her claws have grown back, so she wasn't declawed, just ground them down while sleeping rough I guess. She is a light orange cat with orange brown eyes, a buff belly and a floofy tail. I find her tail shape intriguing and wish I could think of more words to describe it. A bit like a plume, not la plume de ma tante, but an ostrich plume. Very flexible. The long hair is beginning to float around our house and a new vacuuming regime will need to begin. I'm handling the cat pan so I think Nod will be promoted to Captain Vacuum.

Bankruptcy learning continues. When you declare bankruptcy the court seizes your assets (except for the excepted ones, like cars, whew) to pay your bills. Which makes sense. And while it's a good thing that we're doing this now before we're so strapped we can't afford to move, that means we have more money in the bank than we want to give to the court. That sounds grasping and I am forced to admit that maybe that is the most economical description. We need to decide the timing of the bankruptcy and do something with the money that remains to us before declaring. I've learned that we'll be in the house for longer than I realized, six to nine months after declaring b/k. So that puts us to late winter, early spring before we would be out of lodging. Interesting.

Older notes, not revised:
Mother in law has been wonderful with children this week. I think they have not been crabby with her, but she might not tell me even if they were. She called this morning to ask if she would be stepping on any toes if she took them clothes shopping at Target. I assured her that no toes would be harmed and that she would probably get big interest from the kids. I suggested that she try to find a pair of shoes for Lexi. I didn't mean to play a trick on her with that. Lexi got very very picky about what shoes she would put on her feet this past spring. They can't be too big or too squeezy and I get frustrated very quickly when shopping with her. At least I know that I have to have her with me now when trying to shoe her. MIL will be with us until early Sunday morning. What a generous loving soul she is. And I'll be glad to say goodbye and have my space back. But I'm glad that I got over my snit last weekend and I have been sincerely grateful for her presence this week.

It feels like so much is shifting right now. Thank you forces of change; we're ready to ride. New cat, new commute strategy and parking lot; new job for Nod, new school for Lexi; new home to come.

Got a call from Nod at the b/k atty today saying something about a "spend down" and that maybe I should open an IRA. Ugh. More things I don't understand. So I guess we don't get to keep all our money in the bank if we're claiming that we can't meet our debts? Okay, sounds reasonable. But how do we live and pay for a new apt. in particular if we have to give up that money? More grilling of Nod to come tonight.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Fair Time

County fair barrel racing was good free fun last Friday evening. Half a moon rising in a beautiful twilight while the horse folk groomed sleek beasts and rode. MIL took the girls this morning early to see the llama show. I'm jealous. We will probably all go out to the carnival later tonight.

Over the weekend we hit the zoo and playground and carousel in Topeka. (That zoo link is not very interesting and I'm surprised that no one has created a website for the whole park. I'm not even bothering to link the wikipedia entry as it's paltry and missing vital ingredients.) Much fresh air and sunshine was imbibed. The lions were reclining in the shade when we went by them in the late afternoon. There were two females lying up against the glass in the viewing corner. So we were only inches away from them. Amazing. The only unpleasant event was Nod's carousel injury. Men, learn from his mistake. Keep your jewels away from the carousel pole! It pinches. (He has made a full recovery.) Otherwise we were all smiles.

Avant moi, le deluge. The first day of fall classes is 8/20. Our pace in the office is picking up and will reach fever pitch in the next two weeks. Blogging will be scarce.