Saturday, May 02, 2009

The Great Big Sucking Vortex of the Last 48 Hours

Hannah came home from school on Thursday at about 2 with two classmates in tow to work on a class project. That's when she informed me that she had taken a spill in the hall at school and her arm hurt, just above her wrist. I wrapped it up with the bandage left over from when she sprained her other wrist last fall and gave her a cold pack and an ibuprofen. She held her arm still all afternoon, but otherwise she seemed ok, ok enough to do a half-assed job on her project and watch videos online with her friends. I tried to call the pediatrician's office but didn't manage to get through, so I figured we'd keep it wrapped and wait and see.

Just before her friends were going to leave, she discovered that her mouse Dickerchen, aka Vanessa, was dead in her cage. That night, Hannah wanted to sleep with us. The next morning, she discovered that the other mouse, Isabelle, aka Pipsqueak, was also dead. Friday morning was rough. When Pipsqueak developed her tumor, we had started discussing where we could possibly bury her. There is no yard attached to our apartment, just a square of dirt next to the front door that is mostly taken up with a giant pine and a bunch of bushes, but Hannah didn't want to put the mice there because she thinks it is full of refuse from passing teenagers. (She has a pretty poor opinion of teenagers for someone who claims she basically is one.) John and I had been thinking we could take them up to the woods, but Hannah didn't want them to get dug up by wild animals, or for someone to come along and mess with the marker she had made, and she thought it was too far to go to visit them. Hannah asked me if we could bury them on the balcony in the same pot with one of the walnut trees, so that is where we interred them.

RIP, Pipsqueak and Dickerchen

John and I had wanted to go for a short hike with the other May Day celebrants in our village, but Hannah complained of grief, depression, tummy ache, diarrhea, and pretty much everything short of plague. She didn't look like she felt very well, but she is averse to physical activity and the great outdoors, so we weren't completely sure that it wasn't a put-on, but we stayed home and went ahead and cancelled our dinner-date for that evening. Then she started complaining that her arm hurt, so we ended up taking her to the emergency room (May 1 is a holiday). An x-ray showed that she has a Radiuswulstfraktur, which I think roughly translates to a green-stick fracture. She ended up with a shoulder-to-hand cast.

Hannah's new cast

The whole emergency room trip took about 4 hours, even though it didn't seem especially busy there. We went back and forth between the examining room and various waiting rooms, and since we weren't sure when we might be called for the different procedures, we didn't want to leave to go find some dinner, even though Hannah was starving. We were finally able to eat at about 8 and then drive home.

I have to do the grocery shopping this morning before taking Hannah back to the ER to have the cast checked again. Then on Tuesday we go to the orthodontist to have a new mold made of Hannah's teeth for her activator. Then on Wednesday we go back to the ER for one last check of the cast, then she should get the cast off 3 days after her birthday. *sigh* This is going to be some long-lasting suck.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Facebook and all that

I have been thinking about writing a post about facebook for a while, trying to formulate my thoughts in a way that doesn’t make me sound like a drooling idiot—too late!—but I guess I will just have to blunder my way through this and hope it makes a little sense.

When I joined facebook, it was at the behest of a friend and former co-worker. She had joined at the behest of yet a third friend. Neither of us did much posting, and I didn’t search out any other potential fb friends. Mostly, I just let it molder. As a matter of fact, if I wanted to check my account, I had to go back through my email to find her original invitation, because I hadn’t bothered to bookmark it. That was roughly my first 6 months on facebook.

Later I discovered that Yoda (formerly known as WesTexGirl, not yet known as a symbol), with whom I’ve been friends since the 6th grade, was also on facebook, so I friended her. I friended my husband, who is probably more the original target demographic since his friends list consisted mostly of friends from his grad school days. I got most of my fb friends after that through one of them.

I’ve been very reticent about embracing facebook: I don’t have my maiden name posted, I don’t look for new fb friends, I don’t use the suggested friend function, I don’t use many of the applications. For one thing, I don’t need another time suck. For another, I don’t see the point of a lot of it. Don’t get me wrong: I liked people I went to school with (or worked with), and they liked me, but it was a vanillla-ice-cream kind of liking. No one actively hates vanilla ice cream. But I can’t see devoting a lot of my time to a big bowl of virtual vanilla ice cream.

I have tried to limit my friends list to the chocolate-covered coffee beans—and if you are reading this, you are a dark-chocolate-covered espresso bean!—but the occasional scoop of vanilla has snuck in. The people who are vanilla ice cream to me might be baked Alaska to someone else, but I don’t know them well enough to be aware of that. And they probably don’t know that I am Stephen Colbert’s AmeriCone Dream. I am loathe even here, in the sanctuary of my own personal blog, to let my freak flag fly, so you can image how much blander I am over there. I really am vanilla ice cream on facebook.

Once you are stuck in the sugar-cone of facebook, it is really hard to break free from the unending banality of "here’s a picture of my cat" and "I had soup for dinner". (Of course, you could say that about 99% of the non-political content on the internet in general.) There have been times when I have wanted to ask more questions of people I have re-friended on there, but I would feel like a tool bringing stuff up after weeks and months of being friended and years of being not-friended. Maybe I am just overthinking things.

The last point was brought home to me by a message I got from someone I had been close with all the time I was growing up in West Texas, but who I had let drift away in the intervening years. We became fb friends, but I felt awkward and didn’t know how to get past the vanilla-ice-cream stage, so I just let it stay that way. She showed me that she is a Frappuccino by making the first move. I really hope that we can reconnect, although I can’t imagine doing it through facebook alone. But I will say that for the Frappuccinos who are brave enough to take the first step (obviously not me), facebook can at least provide you with a place in which to take it.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Britain's Got Talent

By now, most people have seen Susan Boyle's performance on Britain's Got Talent, but I bet you haven't seen this.