Friday, September 29, 2006

Hund vs Katsl

So, I've been complaining about pets to my sister, and laughing over horrible trips to the emergency vet...and, karmically, I spent 3.5 hours and $300 at the emergency vet last night. I was there until 2am.

Crisfield bit Willa (Harriet's cat who's still at our house) on the nose in a squabble over a treat. I didn't think anything happened, but two hours later, I saw blood on the stairs. When I finally found Willa, her nose was terribly swollen, and she was CRYING and SNEEZING blood.


Alexis thinks that Willa's tear ducts got torn. Thank god it wasn't anything more serious - like, the dog's teeth were less than millimeters away from eyeballs and other stuff. It could have been life ending. I don't think dogs are worth it, really.

So, visiting the vet in the middle of the night (any time really) is kind of terrible because they will do everything, and if you don't agree, you sound like the worst owner in the world. I mean, three things were going to be true after this bite:

1. Willa was going to die and there was nothing to do about it.
2. Willa was not going to die and there was nothing to do about it.
or 3. Willa was not going to die, there was something to do about it, and we weren't going to pay the thousands of dollars to have it done.

So, when the vet starts filling syringes of pain medication (to be delivered orally), and I am too tired and too sorrowful to stop them (because I sure as hell can't get oral pain-medication into this cat's maw without causing her or myself significantly more pain), I end up paying $50, and waiting an extra 1/2 hour for stuff I'm not going to use. And when the vet suggests an x-ray to see if there's a broken bone in the face, but can't even really fucking read it ("well," she says, "it's really hard to see in a cat's little face, and I'm not sure if this is normal or not" IF YOU CAN'T READ IT, WHY DID I PAY $80 FOR YOU TO TAKE IT?).

Maybe I'll give Crisfield the pain medication right after I beat the shit out of her. Actually, Alexis and I were strategizing how Crisfield is going to have to pay us back the three hundred dollars. I wonder if there's a market for dog kidney (for medical, rather than gustitory purposes, I mean...I think vets pay a little more per pound).

Thursday, September 28, 2006

New Moondog! It is crappy!

U Mich's college radio station specializes in three things:

1) Uncomfortable pauses filled with ums and yeahs.
2) Mispronouncing things
3) Playing the bad (therefore obscure, therefore *cooler*) songs of usually awesome artists...except this one guy on Saturdays who plays really good, I mean REALLY good Trance. Now, Alexis and I have been trying to pin down really good Trance since way back when it was cool when we were kiddos, so when this guy played something that we both fucking loved, I actually called in to find out what it was:

Guy: "Um, hello?"
Me: "Hey, can you tell me what that song was, before that last one. It was awesome, I loved it, I must get it."
Guy: "Uh, yeah, well, that's my iPod on shuffle. I can't really tell you what it was. Yeah."
Me: "Dude, your iPod rocks. I want my iPod to be like your iPod."
Guy: "Yeah. Um, Sorry."

So, tonight, the obscurity contest was in full swing, and I heard what I swore was Moondog's voice. Except atonal, poorly rhythmed and bizarre...I wasn't sure until after the first chorus when I heard the phrase: "What about goat rights? What about stoat rights?" It was then that I knew. Who invokes stoats in song but the 'dog? I mean, if I wrote songs, they would all be about Stoat. Because, well, I love Stoat.

The song is actually called "Enough about Human Rights," and then goes through a series of paired questions with rhyming animals, including goat and stoat and pike and shrike (shrike!). It is from an album called "H'Art Songs." It basically sucks. It's cool, though, I mean, they guy was a genius like, 97% of the time. I'd like to see your genius percentage, ya' smarty-pants.

Now, we here at Bean Gables are totally committed to Stoat rights. We do, after all, have the lead quacker of the Stoat's Rights movement in our bed most nights. What's she doing? Quacking. All the time with the quacking.

In fact, Stoat has become so committed to the Stoat's Rights movement that she's considering changing her name from Stoat to Stoat X (the x stands for x-tra quacky). We don't give it much credence, though, she's changed her name a lot these days as her self-identity shifts. In the past she has called herself:

Quetzestoatl - during her obsession with blood sacrifice...and calendars
Der Strudle - during her German Existentialism phase
Stoatle McGroatle - who stood against the tyranny of British Rule (also briefly dated Sinead O'Connor...the Pope thing was Stoat's idea.)
Sad-Sad Magraw - from her early days in the American West

A Stoat is a varied and wondrous thing!
It has rights!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

vinter kumt

Flap? Snap!

We had occasion to pass three flags on Sunday all at half mast. Half mast unnerves me - I always worry that I'm unaware of some national day of mourning like Memorial Day or my father's birthday. Trust me, you can get into trouble if you are unaware of days that are very important to other people - like that one day that I licked my thumb and rubbed the dirt off of someone's was no so cool.

Also, I wonder if there's ever a hierarchy of half-mastedness. Like, if Michigan's governor died (which, if we've got AmWay Junior on the throne in January, would be just fine by me), would Michigan's flag be at half mast while the American flag waved snappily in the breeze, saying:

"I don't care if I lose one governor. I've got fifty! Wait. Do I have fifty? Does Puerto Rico have a governor? I think it might. Isn't there another territory, like Guava or Gaul or something? Oh, I don't know, but my point still stands! I have fifty-something governors! Oh, wait, if one dies, I might have fourty-nine, plus, like a second-stringer. But, listen, I have more than I need at any one one dying doesn't really *lower* me, if you know what I mean."

I asked the Doctor if we knew of any particular reason for the low flags. She shrugged and said: "I dunno.

Maybe God hates flags."

Which made me laugh and laugh for two reasons.

First: If there is a God, God probably does hate flags. They're man-made symbols of man-made definitions that men use man-made tools to defend against other men. If I were God, I would hate that too. Alternatively, maybe God feels about flags the way I do about MySpace and Facebook: we know they exist, we know they're REALLY important to some people, but God and I *just* don't get them.

Second: I like puns, and this is a Fred Phelps-related pun. So it makes me giggle. Phelps probably really does hate the flag, too, since he's doing that thing where he and his nephews picket servicemen's funerals. And they chant and are horrible. And then the Hells Angels come and rev their motors to drown out the chanting. And the Phelpses get louder. And the motorcycles get louder. And, and...And then everybody takes off their chaps and has a Biker/Twink gaygay bubble party! Yay!

When I hear about Phelps and crew, I again feel that I must be missing something. Surely, they can't be talking about me...I am unbelievably non-threatening. Impotent even, and yet some folks must feel that I play a role in some coming biblical doom (In the movie version, I play Locust Number 67,531,933,012. It's a speaking part. I say "Bzzt. Bzzt!" It was only a few moments, but I created this whole character who pupated in a small town, where nobody really understood him, he was the loner who didn't like to swarm...).

And I'd just like to say: if there's doom comin' baby, we're all standing here together. And if you fall and writh in your hate and your fury, I ain't going lower to mourn...I got fifty more o' you at home, and tonight, we're having us a bubble party!

Those wacky Yids.

Yiddish is a mish-mash of a bunch of languages, but it's mostly from German and Hebrew (which means it sounds like German, but the Aleph-beis looks like the tracks left by a bunch of pigs running through a muddy field). The thing is, the Aleph-beis has all the regular Yiddish letters, plus a bunch of them that are only used for Loshn-koydesh (words direct from the Hebrew - Biblical names (like my mom's), religious and moral sayings, etc), which brings the sum to 44 dig-dang letters to memorize in type and script. Don't get me started.

The thing is, you never know what is going to show up in Loshn-koydesh (the "holy language" as opposed to Yiddish, which is the Mame-loshn...the "mother tongue" or women's language). Most recently I've learned the Loshn-koydesh word in response to the query "How are you?": *nishkoshe*.

Which means, in the holy language, so-so.

That's right, the Jews have a holy word for "meh."

I do love my people.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

What's better?

Than having your mom sew you skirts?

Not a whole lot.

(You can't fully appreciate the sparkle in this light, but trust me, they've got SNAZZ.)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

New Year

The Mouse.

The Bird.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

What the...

There's something about this time of month. No not this time of month. *This time of mo-nth* if you know what I mean. I make poor decisions, I am randomly aggressive - (heard myself call a stranger a little fuck moments before it slipped from my lips & scream repeatedly at the printer), and seem generally unable to properly coordinate my life and the actions necessary to sustain it.

For example:

I am snotty. I thought to take pseudepherin (which clears noses and doesn't make sleepy-sleepy). It is red. One takes two.
Instead, I took Benadryl (which stops sneezes but doesn't clear noses and makes sleepy-dopey-sleepy). It is pink. One takes one. One took two. Therefore: sleepy, dopey, snotty.

Also, in the middle of a conversation with Jess, only a few minutes before catching the bus home at the end of a long day I paused mid-thought, looked down and realized that my shoes were on the wrong feet and had been all day long. They felt funny, but not that funny. Funny.

The fifth plague?

More dead birds.

This time, whole bodies and heads and other things.

I heard my name in the courtyard - my Yiddish teacher had seen me crouched over a bloodied mess.

"What's happening? There are dead birds everywhere!"
"It's okay, it's the Falcons. They're just really active."

What I didn't say, what I didn't mention was that I'd ID'd the three-inch beak I saw last still attached to the head and a torn neck. Some kind of heron. Brown? Green? Whatever we have around here. Dulled eyes and broken heart.

A shande far di goyim!

"A shame in front of the goyim."

Hurled by Abbie Hoffman at a Jewish judge, Julius Hoffman, during the trial of the Chicago Eight. Thrown about originally in 1756 during the "Battle of the Balcony," and most recently blogged about Sen. Joe Lieberman.

A shande, indeed. We just watched the one X-Files with Jews - the one with the Golem. It's very good, except for the fact that the young Jewish widow keeps calling her father tate (which is right) and pronouncing it tahtay (which is wrong).
The word is pronounced ta-teh.


What, you couldn't find a Jew in show business to teach you?
Shande. Shan-deh.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Beyond Done

The word "done" does not even begin to describe how I feel about remodeling this house. Like, I was over it so, so long ago...and this is unfortunate, because we are just now getting to the point where the things we do make our house look and feel like a real house. For example:

Yes! That's right. We are actually lit in the back. It took a Master Electrician 2 hours to figure it out, she left with every bit of cash in the house, and it was worth it. Naughty electricity!

The kitchen is looking like a lovely green box - I'm thinking we'll end up leaving it like this...

And the back room is a real guest room again - with doors n' everything!

My experience is summed up in the mantra I chant when I'm hammering (especially when I'm hammering my own hands - I hammered the joint of my thumb so hard that I just put down my nails and sobbed in the middle of the kitchen. It is a dusky purple.) I say: "I hate this, I hate this, I hate this." Or, alternatively: "Fuck you, window. Fuck you, door. Fuck you meticulously refinished flooring gouged by the fridge."

Fluff loss

Every year around this time, Mr. Tiny Trou starts losing his hair.

It would be one thing if he lost it in any reasonable manner, but he ends up looking like the sickest lil' bunny who ever threatened the whole of mankind. First, his ears go partially bald (I know it doesn't seem like rabbit ears have a lot of hair, but when they bald it looks very wrong), and then the hair falls out around his eyes and nose - giving him a starved, sickly kind of look. Also, I don't think he's very comfortable. He just sits in a loaf, eyes half-lidded, kind of singing to himself.

And every year, I go through a long, angst-filled period...thinking he's dying. I mean, he is nine this year (and dwarf rabbits are only supposed to live 6-8 years, I've read), and I worry that he won't be with me forever. That this will be the last time he pees on my couch, the last time he humps the dog, the last tuft of fur he pulls from one of the cats...*sniffle*

I know, I know, those of you who have felt his patented "Jaws of Justice" may well wonder what makes a girl love a bunny when that bunny is so obviously a very, very bad one. I can't explain, but know that I've spent quite a bit of time this weekend scritching his tiny little head around his short, bald ears, and plucking downy fur from his wiggly nose.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

All around the clocktower

Yesterday, as I was tootling along after my lunch (organic mushroom pizza), I saw what registered as a blocky stick on the pavement beneath the central campus clock. I usually have my eyes to the ground, and am been pretty damn good at picking out anomalous items (fossils, especially, but not four-leaf clovers - my mother's speciality) even while walking along at a good pace. So in the course of a moment, my brain said: "Stick? NOT STICK!" I backpedaled a few paces and crouched down amid the bustle of undergrads (the horror of it, I can't even express to you).

Not stick, beak.

Over three inches, devilishly pointy (and a bit serated, maybe) as beaks are wont to be, and attached to only the barest few face feathers. No eyes, no skull, just beak and if it were a very tiny plague doctor's know those, right? -
(Do you know from whence came the long, threatening beak? It was where doctors placed what they believed to be a protective posy, so that the air they breathed would be filled with medicinal, rather than putrid scents. Ah, the wisdom of medical science...staggering.)

So, there I was, squatting in the rain, staring at the beak and thinking three things:
1. The Falcons are here.
2. Falcons are often lauded urban additions because they keep the pigeon population in check (not, as I had assumed, because of their soothing shrieks.)
3. Ann Arbor is too sterile for pigeons. To clean, maybe, or perhaps they expulsed the flock years ago for rowdiness. Therefore (I knew this, but it hadn't hit home before), the Falcons are killing other birds...birds that do not breed and infest as pigeons do. Birds that are threatened enough as it is.

Not that I begrudge Perigrine Falcons anything. Anything, they can and should have. I am just wishing really hard that they might start in on the species that truely infests our town: those damn size 00 coeds (they're all wearing their rush shirts, and therefore easier to identify). I know that Falcons can be trained...I'll need that gauntlet and tiny hood to start.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Tea and Cake

It's that time of year my lovely little GSSA position...interviewing grad students. Oh. Yay. Get this, I make hour-long appointments, drink tea, and force people to explain their (usually complicated) research to me. It RULES. Ostensibly, I'm doing this to make sure that they will make a positive impression on our rich and not-neccessarily genius, donors.

So, I'm sitting here, flipping throught the Pre-Doc Fellowship awards and thinking to myself: "What do I want to learn this fall?"

Social Determinants of Malaria outbreaks? Yeah.
Emotional theory of Juvenal's Satires? Okay.
Radical literary activism of the 1950s? Absolutely.
Chemically-passive suppression of laminar premixed flames in spacecraft?
(They're premixing flames now? This, I've got to see.)
p-Adic cohomology and companion forms? What? Freakish mathmaticians...
Equilibrium structure of dark matter halos? For heaven's sake, yes!

This is like, the funnest thing ever. Funnest.