Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Brain Dump

When we left for Italy, I still had that cough, but it seemed to be improving. I don’t think I disturbed too many of our fellow travelers with my night-time coughing in our various hotel rooms. I do remember that one night before it completely cleared up, I rolled over in bed and there was this weird *sucking* sensation in my sinus, as if something were detaching itself slowly from one wall of my sinus and flopping down on to the other side. Think one of those gummy-toys that you slap against the wall. Yes, it was *that* pleasant.

The cough got better, and I didn’t think much more about it. Then on about day 7 or 8 of our trip, when we were on the Mediterranean coast, I bent over to pick something up off the floor, and it felt like someone had sprayed my sinuses with salt water. Wow!* I chalked it up to the salty sea air and tried not to bend over any more. But then, the salty sinus feeling never really went away, even when we went further inland and away from the sea.

While walking along the Reuss River in Lucerne, Switzerland, I felt a little dizzy, but at the time I thought that the water rushing by was giving me vertigo. Since then, I’ve had minor headaches, a slight sore throat, and a painful spot that I think is a swollen gland at the back of my throat.

As you can tell from all this whining, I do not like being sick. No sir, I don’t like it. I am hoping this laundry list of maladies clears up quickly so I can move on to complaining about other more interesting things.

*I can hardly write “Wow!” without thinking about that comic strip dog Fred Milton, the beat-poetry reciting poodle.

Hannah has been back in school 3 days, and it has been a mixed experience for her. On day 2, she called home in the middle of the day to inform us that her teacher had already brought her to tears. It wasn’t completely clear what kind of dastardly deed he had done, but she was hoping he would get hit by a bus. I fussed at her about saying that, but she wouldn’t budge on her position. This is going to be a long year.

While taking care of all our last-minute trip preparations, including cleaning the cats’ litter box and the mice’s cage, we discovered that one of Hannah’s mice had *something* sticking out around her mouth. Hannah thought she had a bit of hard, carroty food stuck between her teeth, but on closer examination, we decided it was her tongue. It wasn’t going back in, so we rushed the mouse to the vet, who was able to get us in. It turns out that it was some kind of swelling or growth on her lip. It had probably been growing inside her mouth for a while but got so big that it flipped outward. Somehow this mouse, who has been safely ensconced in Hannah’s closed room for 15 months, picked up the papillomavirus from somewhere. The vet said it would probably go down and that we should just keep an eye on it. Ok, but we’re leaving on vacation tomorrow, said I. We had a pet-sitter, but that seemed like too much to ask of him: Please observe our sick mouse, thx bye. So the vet snipped the growth off. Hannah was concerned by the lack of anesthesia, but I told her to let the vet do her job. Then I had to run out and buy another cage for a little mouse quarantine—a travel cage did the trick—plus another food bowl and water dish (and cat food, because somehow John overlooked that when cat-litter shopping earlier. Good thing I remembered, or we might have come home to a gnawed-on pet-sitter). The mouse survived her surgical procedure and our absence just fine and is now back in the big cage with her mouse friend.

Hannah keeps coming out with weird stuff. Part of it is her; part of it is her age. At the beach, she would get in the water, then run out to cover her feet in sand a little, then run back in the water. If John and I lay out on the blanket, she flopped down next to us in the sand and wallowed around. Because she was breading herself, you see.

Then while we were walking around in Siena in Tuscany, she asked about dieting. I explained about how food is made up of different components, and how those have different caloric values, etc. Then I pointed out that eating healthful food and exercising is the best way to stay in shape, not by restricting your food input. That is when she said that she wants to diet “so I don’t end up like you”. (Lil Sis—you can forward that to Mom, if you like. She’ll be pleased.)

I was offended for a few days until I realized that my fluorescent orange swimsuit, which I thought fit me pretty well, probably wasn’t the most flattering when I was bending over to wash off my hands at the beach. As a matter of fact, it probably looked like my ass had gone supernova. So if Hannah doesn’t want to look like me, more power to her. Fortunately for her, she seems to take after John’s mom in body shape. No ham-shaped calves for her.

Today was a deeply sucky day. I had to go into town for my student job, so I made a little list of things I could take care of while I was there. It was sprinkling when I got off the bus, and an hour later, when I got off work, it was raining lightly. And of course I did not have a jacket or umbrella, just a long-sleeved shirt over a t-shirt. So I walked through the rain to John’s department for a couple of things, then over to the stationers for Hannah’s school supplies, then over to the bank. I was wet and my throat hurt, so I was going to call it a day and head home, but then I noticed that the rain had let up, so I decided to take care of my library errand while I was already in walking distance. Except when I got to the library, it was closed for a service day. *sigh* Then I was about 3 minutes too late for the bus—I saw it at the other end of the bridge as I approached. At least I could sit under the bus shelter while I waited 17 minutes for the next one, but it turned out that I had walked the length of the shopping district and back—in the rain—for naught.

I did laundry for 3 straight days after we got back from Italy, but I think the last 2 loads will just have to wait for a less sucky day to get done. And the organic garbage to get taken out. And maybe the stairwell to get cleaned.

I need to go into my YouTube account and close the comments on the couple of videos Hannah and I have up. I haven’t specifically said, “Video made by small child,” so people can’t know that when they comment, but typing “fagfagfag” isn’t really constructive criticism. Yes, I agree that that is the swishy-est undead cephalopod to come nancing down the pike, but your comment is not really adding to the discourse. *delete*

Hannah sometimes goes to this Halloween costume site where she will spend hours—if given the chance—looking at costumes. We have started a list of themed costumes for her, me, and John to wear, ignoring the fact that we don’t go trick-or-treating or to costume parties. But anaways (as my Grammy would have said):
Tropical theme: monkey, banana, hula girl
Natural enemies theme: cat, mouse, cheese
Garden of Eden theme: Adam, Eve, apple with worm
Half of the fun is arguing about who has to wear which costume.

And now I may go lie down before making dinner. Ciao!

Monday, September 08, 2008

We're Ba-ack!

Yes, we made it back from Italy on Saturday, no worse for wear.

Hannah started school this morning, but we overslept, so things were a bit hectic--did you know we can wake up, get ready, make a snack, and run out the door in 3 minutes?--but she made it on time.

I am still hip-deep in laundry and receipts but will be back in the saddle again soon.