Thursday, November 22, 2007
J: "It's Molly's FIRST SNOW!"
M: "Well, not really. I mean, she's two. It's her first snow with us, though."
J: "Do dogs remember snow?"
J: "She is so excited! She forgot about the snow from last year!"
M: "Yes, that's what it looks like."
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Josephine: "Did you know that unicorns and giraffes can be friends?"
Marla: "I hadn't really considered that."
Josephine: "What does consider mean?"
Marla: "It means to think about something."
Josephine: "Oh. Well, it's because they both have horns, only unicorns have one horn and giraffes have two."
Marla: "I've never thought about that either!"
Josephine: "You mean you never considered that."
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
I have Ringworm.
However, since fungi are hard up there under worms in “Things I Don’t Want In OR On My Body” - it’s only a small consolation. Ask Dr. Sears was a very comforting site to visit. It gave me hope, with its "harmless" and "easily treatable", that with just a little cream, I could go on. I went there first, like dipping a toe in the water, as I'd always viewed it as a childhood thing. Okay - I'd also always viewed it as a white trash, impoverished third world country or crazy cat lady thing. I had never viewed it, ever, as something that could (or would dare to) happen to me. However, since the only other adult that I know that has had it (until a good friend whom I will not link to just confessed to once having it in an equally almost pretty hideous place, thankyouverymuch) is an older relative, who falls under the crazy animal loving adorably nutty old lady variety, I have been feeling like a pariah.
Oh...wait...did I say that the friend's was in a bad place? Well, mine is kind of worse. I mean - there's one on my upper arm on the right side. Oh yes, I am going to show it to you:
And there are two on my face. On. my. face.
I am not going to show those.
One on my nose, admittedly - very faintly, but it'd dead centre on the bridge. Not on the tip, like Bozo, but still...and one on my left eyebrow.
As I have been obsessing about where I could lay the blame, I can think of three main possible carriers of this awful contagion, plus one bonus source that's almost too terrible to contemplate - and that is not, the husband, because he is not in consideration due to the fact that the others are so much more likely:
He is a filthy beast, roaming the neighbourhood and hiding and exploring in every little hiding spot, brushing undaunted through bushes and over rocks and borders that have been showered with dog pee; or even hiding in overgrowth that masks human excrement that we’ve found in the parking lot near our home. He’s a horrible little bastard, who lost his $9 reflective collar with the $6 tag AGAIN, and I’m now thinking of just shaving our address in his side. He also sprayed on every place that Molly hangs out when we were away for the weekend (he has been fixed - he's just evil). That means Josie’s antique rag rug; Molly’s chair, the down throw on the sofa, a spot on the carpet in Steve’s office are all places I've been spending my best hours removing odours from lately. He’s also requesting to be let in the house more now that it's getting colder; but then when he’s in, he’s baiting Molly like a frat boy starts a bum fight. I am so ready to punch him in his wee little black nose that I am almost ashamed of myself.
She has been on antibiotics for a month or more, with all her surgeries, and still has an eyeful of pus. Who knows what’s in that pus, the goo that I scoop from her eye three times a day? Should I be saving it and selling it to foreign governments for germicidal warfare? The drugs may have lowered her resistance, she could have caught it at the vet’s, and studies show (from one of the scarier sites about Ringworm (Here, by the way, is one of the scarier sites) (and don’t look up Roundworm first, which is how I scared myself shitless, because the rings of fungus are round and I got panicky and confused and thought I had Roundworm and all I knew is that I had some worm disease) that it mostly comes from dogs. And when dogs have it, it is even more gross and horrible and so I am glad that Molly probably doesn't have it, because I see no evidence of it - which means, the possiblities are now exponentially worse.
As the scarier site above says, cases of Ringworm are on the rise. She's in a new daycare, one that already treated us to a lovely bout with Bronchiolitis. The site also makes it seem like it’s something I could have picked up anywhere and everywhere, and like if I don’t already clean enough, which you KNOW I do – I have to clean more. I know the daycare is very clean, but still...kids and germs. I admit Josie and I often share hairbrushes, or sometimes towels and stuff – but it’s her new and awful habit of nail-biting that’s freaking me out. She bites her nails, and rips the shards off and then sucks the blood when they bleed. Now, because I am checking everything in my life with a fervor, I can see no evidence of Ringworm on her, anywhere. The dog and the cat are seemingly fine as well. Which leaves, the worst and most appalling potential source:
My Parents' Home.
Oh, sweet hairy Jesus, I've complained about their place all my life, and now it's happened. I've become infected, afflicted by something in that unhygienic hellhole..
You see, for years I've been grossed out, in a bratty teenage way, by their various disgusting habits and health problems. The times I lifted up my mom's skin folds to dust powder underneath in order to keep away yeasty skin infections are never recalled without a shudder. How I refuse, usually, to go barefoot there and never let my baby crawl there because there have been toenails found on their living room end tables and there are always dirty nylon knee-his under the sofa. How the food storage there is beyond scary. How the Preparation H is WAAAAY too close to the toothpaste in the bathroom. How just this weekend I nearly coughed up a lung after getting a face full of Lysol that my mom crop dusted the bathroom with after she had her "constitutional" - because opening a window wouldn't have done the job, what with her poor diet and digestive problems...and how I've been complaining about my Dad's various fungi problems, and how he needs help - professional help.
With all the medications he's on, his immunity suffers. Sure, he might be repelling heart attacks with medications galore - but there's a toenail fungus that has had a hold on him for over a decade. And, something I've been fighting with them about for over a year - his dandruff problem. I'd seen bottles of anti-dandruff shampoo, and even expensive salon tea tree oil shampoos appear in their shower, and asked my mom about them. I pointed out he could have a fungal scalp infection, and that those products wouldn't help. He needs a doctor to really look at all of the areas where he has itchy crusty scaly yellowing thickening problems, and he needs help, he needs actual doctor that exists with a certificate on his wall help, and he needs to get that shit taken care of. There are good drugs that he could be taking for them! So that others wouldn't have to be in danger of catching his funguses! Fungi. Cooties.
And I've become a bit lazy - while I'm not exactly using their communal bath pouf, I haven't been as careful about never ever touching anything that might have come in contact with their business with my bare skin (which is why I've also always refused my mom's offers to take naps in her bed - even a thin layer of boxer shorts is not enough distance between me and my dad's junk). In fact...oh dear. I'm also recalling that not too long ago he did go to the dermatologist...for a fungus on his...well, um...Steve and I, between ourselves, were calling him "Fuzzy Johnson"... IfI'vecaughtmydad'spenisfungusI'lljusthavetodie.
The gestation for Ringworm, the time it takes to manifest itself after contact, is 4 to 10 days.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
All summer long, Josephine said goodbye to Steve when it was time for him to leave for work by following him out the door, down the walkway, and along the sidewalk. But, because that wasn't complicated enough, she did so pretending to be various animals (always baby animals), and then after being very surprised, every day, that a small animal had followed him out the door, he'd have to guess which one based on how she was holding her hands - were they raccoon paws? Reindeer hooves? Kitty cat mitts? Then, to draw it out even more, he'd scoop her up, and carry her back to me saying "OH! LOOK! A baby ____ almost followed me to work! Would you take care of it for me?!"
Then, I'd take her in my arms, all almost forty pounds of her, and coo "OH, you dear baby _______. Look at your little (hooves, paws, claws, etc.). Let's get you inside and I'll give you some delicious (bark, kibble, bugs etc.).
This game had become long and tiresome by about the third time, but Josephine has stamina. Now that it's cold, on the days that she is awake when it's time for one parent to go somewhere, it's hard to dissuade her from playing this little charade.
I had to come up with something. What would keep her indoors, and let us escape the house without putting on a play of epic proportions every time someone had to leave?
The best thing I could come up with, and I'll admit it's pretty lame, was that she could make smooshy faces against the glass whenever someone was leaving.
Everyone wants in on this act, it seems.
A little pity for the person who cleans t the windows in this house?
I'll give you a hint:
Her name starts with M and ands with E.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Snowflakes! Today! They landed on me! Right now, I'm looking outside, and there they are! Being all cold and freezing and stuff! Falling from the sky and landing on things!
I must think of warm things...the sun. The sun is warm. The sun...the beach! Let's all think warm, sunny beachy thoughts. Let's all think I've just made the perfect segue to showing you beach pictures from our vacation at the Jersey shore...
She'd held and petted live Horseshoe Crabs like these at an aquarium on the boardwalk, so she was intrigued by these, notwithstanding their being dead.
This is a Horseshoe Crab wedding; again, notwithstanding their deadness. After she was done with them, as others walked by them and stared at the phenomenon of four dead Horseshoe Crabs all lined up, Josie would keep chortling "They've never seen Horseshoe Crabs get married before!"
Oh..that? That's me in my bathing suit. Behind the umbrella, which had blown away. That's all you're going to see of me in my bathing suit too.
Now for a series of other dead things on the beach:
Dead, sometimes in parts, but beautiful nonetheless.
(ed. - what is with nonetheless and notwithstanding today?)
(M - what does it matter?)
(ed.- get a Thesaurus)
(M-get a life, it's just a freaking blog post)
(ed.-moving on, more beach images please)
Josephine had spilled a bag of Baked Tings on the floor of the car, so we gathered them up and brought them to the beach for the shithawks...er, seagulls. The flew in formation, catching them in the air just inches from our faces.
(They're arranged in a more aesthetically pleasing fashion in that one.)
But Josephine loved the sandpipers more, and often resembled one herself. Shrieking and chasing the emerging and receding waves, we haven't often seen her as careless, as joyous, as brimming with freedom as she was on the huge, nearly empty beach. I think we might need to install an ocean in our back yard.
(ed. That's nice, but we've lost sight of the sand and the water and the hot, sunny beachy feel of this post.)
(ed. Look at the shadow of that ponytail!)
(M. You big softy, you!)
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Though one of us rather needs the closed captioning, as the hearing loss means that a certain amount of information is missed otherwise (though there are some mad lip-reading skillz at play), the hearing person here enjoys them for the typos and mis-heard words. Watching the closed captioning is like a sport - will they get it right?!
We've often wondered how it works, and today I looked it up. In fact, someone else asked the question almost exactly as I would:
|We've always had a strange fascination with closed captioning. Is there a person sitting in a dark room typing the information in real-time? Have the words been "closed captioned" before the airing of the program? Are monkeys responsible for the words that magically appear on the screen? After a bit of searching, we learned that closed captioning is pretty straightforward.|
The answer is also pretty much what I thought:
Closed captioning for a live broadcast is very similar to court reporting -- stenocaptioners use a special keyboard to write what they hear as they hear it. Stenocaptioners are often capable of writing at speeds of up to 250 words a minute -- much faster than even the fastest typists.
The typed words then go into a computer system, where they are translated into text and commands. Captioning software then converts the text into the captions which are then sent to a caption encoder. The results are what you see on the television screen, typos and all.
So this morning, when I came downstairs after the slightly deaf person had left for work, I turned on Breakfast Television, and it was just ending. I left the closed-captioning on, though I wasn't really watching the tv (cough cough reading blogs cough cough).
The Barenaked Ladies were singing "One Week", and having some familiarity with that song from having been bombarded by it godknowshowmanytimes whenever it was a hit, I was curious to see how accurate the closed captioning would be.
I mean - look at this (understanding that some people feel like they have to accomplish things like these - I mean, even I tried to sing along with REM back in the day) :
I don't know who was the person working on this segment this morning, but BRAVO:
I mean, I don't know what type of person does this job - I imagine it takes massive skill and a fine command of the language - not to mention a huge vocabulary, as during Coronation Street I'm happy to see the captioners get words like "owt" right. I'm imagining some nice lady, or very professional gentleman, having to type about rug burns on knees here, though, and I've got to snicker.
The captioning kept up pretty well throughout, and I wondered if it was live or if it had been pre-prepared...
Then the impromptu bits clued me in:
It was indeed live closed-captioning, but I am thinking either someone did their homework, or the captioner deserves a great big prize, because at a certain point even I'm all like "Chickety China the Chinese Chicken? What the fuck is this song about anyway? Nobody should have to caption the Barenaked Ladies for a living."
Monday, November 05, 2007
Boo Boo: "THE FLASH! JESUS HAROLD CHRIST, YOU WITH THE FLASH ALL THE TIME!"
B: "That's better. Where is it?"
B: "She. Where is that driveling hoary mephitic domesticated canine?"
M: "You've been in the Thesaurus again."
B: "Well? Where is the slavering hirsute malodorous beast?"
M: "Why? Do you care? Are you worried about her?"
B: "It is the little bits of things that fret and worry us, we can dodge an elephant, but we can't a fly."
(Josh Billings, American Humorist, 1818-1885)
M: "And you've been on that quote site. What's your point? You want to know where Molly is? She's spending the night at the vet's - she had another surgery on her eyelid today. Wait a minute...awww! You miss your friend, don't you! You really do like her, don't you!"
B: "A dog is like a liberal. He wants to please everybody. A cat really doesn't need to know that everybody loves him."
(William Kunstler, 1919-1995, American jurist, self-described "radical lawyer" and civil rights activist)
M: "That's not exactly refuting my statement. I think you two are going to be friends some day! Oh, Boo Boo. I do love you."
B: "The cat could very well be man's best friend, but would never stoop to admitting it."
(Doug Larson, middle-distance runner who won gold medals at the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris, 1902-1981)
M: "She'll be back tomorrow Boo Boo."
B: "Great. Then I shall remain on the sofa and lick my privates in peace."
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Saturday, November 03, 2007
And if there is ever a reason in this world to have a child, it might just be so you can watch her see the ocean for the first time.
And then, you have to explain to the child "Don't poke that! Don't! DON'T TOUCH THAT! Be careful where you step! Watch out! It's not a balloon!"
Because that magnificent storm churned up an incredible number of jellyfish, and left them scattered along the beach, where they looked for all the world like some long-gone ladies had lost their b-cup implants.
Once I was satisfied that Josephine wasn't going to start day one at the beach with a painful wound, I watched her jump and play and have a blast in the waves. And then I dropped my camera in the ocean.
Friday, November 02, 2007
I came home from work. Steve was sitting on the sofa with Josie, who squeaked and dove behind him and folded herself up like a pill bug. The game was on. I asked, oozing bewilderment, "Where is Josephine? Did she go home with Grandma Joan and Papa Glen?" She giggled and wiggled, and I said, "I think I'll sit next to Daddy on the sofa, right on that nice pillow." When I did, she said "Now say, 'Oh! A tawking piwwow!"
That's the kind of bossy we've been missing around here.
Now, she was asleep and I was enjoying a glass of wine and What Not to Wear, but as I was typing that? She woke up coughing, and now she's on my lap. My left arm has been pinned down by a sweaty moppet head, and her feet are wiggling between my thighs. The laptop is on the arm of the sofa, and she's mouth-breathing up my neck. Everything is out of reach now - the remote, the wine, the phone, and again with the Halloween candy.
I was looking at our vacation images today, trying to conjure up a happy time to see me through the whining and the sniffling and the cough cough
cough cough cough
cough cough cough
cough cough cough
cough cough cough
cough cough cough
cough cough cough
cough cough coughing.
When I left off describing our vacation, we were ummm...checking....well, at any rate -lunch time was approaching and we were close to Philadelphia. Having been there a few times before, Steve and I knew we could find something to eat, and something to do for a break from the road, on South Street.
Because South Street is like Toronto's Queen Street West, in more than a few ways...
We found that the fun place we'd been to on our last visit was still there, which is always nice.
The tree covered in chewed up gum just outside it was even more beautiful than when we were there last.
Yes, I think it's beautiful.
And believe it or don't, for a bar-type place, the Tattooed Mom was the perfect rest stop for Josephine. The music, is of course, what we love most. That day, we heard lots of the Jam and the Clash, and other bands that start with the. There were, as always, dime store toys scattered over the tables, and Pabst Blue Ribbon was $1 a can - $1.50 on tap for a princess like me. Good enough food. And enough noise and space for us to just relax and enjoy our adventure.
Josephine really loved the "muwtimedia awt instamations".
And just lounging.
And wondering what this crazy game was.
Afterward, a wander up and down South Street netted some new kicks for Josephine, and a ceramic Basset Hound for me (um...for Josie's room) and a vintage shirt for Steve. Josephine emulated her dear father perfectly, as we searched for the newest Heavy Trash CD.
It's such a vibrant street, and while it has become less touristy and more run down, it's all the better for us. To look down as I was crossing the street and see stuff like this:
...was great. Inspiring. Uplifting. Fun. We were a happy, fun family, and I loved us that day.
So, it's on days like today that I really miss how we were that afternoon. Lighthearted. Energetic. Excited.
Today, we are bagged. All of us. We are all cranky, and sore, and yawning and stupid with the tired. At work today, I cursed and cursed because the sticker remover wasn't working. I soaked and scraped and wiped and the residue from some Halloween decorations wouldn't disappear. And it wasn't until I was cleaning up at the end of the day that I found I'd been using Orange Glo instead of Goo Gone.
I don't so much miss the vacation today, I miss us at our best.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
In the wee small hours the fever returned, and the croup reared its ugly head again, and as the wind and rain moved in, dampening and whipping the cobwebbing into a frenzy on the porch, we sat outside on the glider and I just rocked her while she huddled under the down throw and whimpered. We'd visited the doctor yesterday morning, and the medicine that was prescribed for the bronchiolitis hadn't really kicked in yet. Fantasia had been run through, twice, and we were finished making a dent in the sofa cushion for a while. After a bit, she wandered up to bed upstairs and crawled in with Steve, and I watched some of those wonderfully bad commercials for music compilation CDs, with gritty eyes begging me to remove my contact lenses.
This morning, she thumped downstairs with moppety hair and sweaty pajamas. She crawled into my lap, and for over two hours she slept, a paperweight on my own tired limpness. The only problem? Problems? My coffee was just out of reach, and the Halloween candy was all the way across the room.
When Josephine woke up, she cheered up a bit and followed me around while I got ready for work. She offered to pack up a few pieces of candy for me to take, and actually - I became excited. What a sweet little kid! I'd avoided the dreaded Halloween Candy for Breakfast Syndrome, and I really, really wanted some candy.
I came to work, and opened up the bag - eager for a sugar rush to take me through the next part of the day. What did she give me? What did the child I nurtured through the night with my worry and care and love give me?
Five jawbreakers. I know, I know. In her own way, she gave some "beeyoootiful" candies, and lots of them, and she knows that choking hazards like these are for grown-ups only.
But what wouldn't I give for something chocolate - even something nasty with peanuts and gunk in it right now! Is it wrong to be ever so slightly, just a tiny bit, only a little grumpy about having to go six hours with no chocolate now?