Sunday, July 30, 2006

Ewwww - gross.

I have recently adopted a cat. Well, a kitten. She was found in a dumpster and I agreed to take her off the hands of the woman who rescued her. Her name is Asha, and here she is:

Adorable, no?

She's not the first cat I've owned. She's not even the first stray I've found and adopted. She is, however, the frist one to give me a communicable disease. Sigh. Yes, my friends, I have contracted that childhood bane - ringworm. I thought only little kids got it. Apparently not.

I noticed a strange red mark on my ankle about a week ago. Thought it was a mosquito bite. Noticed another the next day on my leg. Then another on my other leg. Then another in a place I was pretty damn sure no mosquito has ever had access to. So I looked on-line (what did we ever do without google image search?) and was dismayed to discover pictures of my spots and explanation that ringworm is not a parasite, but only a fungus. Oh, well that's a relief. Essentially, I have athlete's foot on my body. Or jock itch. The same treatments are used for all three, so pick the most amusing one.

I bought some cream at Target, started applying it and hied myself and Asha to the vet today. They took her in the back to run her under the blacklight that apparently makes it easy to identify where the ringworm is on a cat and therefore treat it. The vet returned to the room with a rather awed (and, I think, disgusted) look on his face and told me that my adorable calico kitten turned into a green, glowing ball under the blacklight. He gave me gloves to use when handling her, told me to isolate her, disinfect my house and get to a dermatologist. Again - ew.

So now Asha is all alone on the back porch, crying to be let in to cuddle. Everything in my house has been either thrown in the washing machine, vacuumed or lysol-ed. Some have had all three treatments. I have to take her back to the vet *three* times in the next three weeks to be dipped from head-to-toe. I know that in the end, ringworm is easy to treat and will be gone quite soon but can I just say ew one more time?

No good deed goes unpunished, right?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I will never be a model

I am about to embarass myself horribly.

I am single right now, and 34, and wishing to have a date or two occasionally. I'm too old to meet men in bars and meeting men through work or church is iffy at best and so I decided to go on-line. Again. Lots of people do it. This is not the embarassing part.

In looking for a picture to post on-line, I found that I didn't really have an appropriate one of me alone. There were of me with my ex-boyfriend (probably not the look to go for when advertising yourself for a date), me with various students (ditto), me looking rather, well, spectacularly bad or tired or fat or whatever...but none I would be proud to put up on the web. So this past weekend while at a wedding where I was dressed up nicely, hair done, make-up perfect, I asked a friend who is rather good at taking photographs to perhaps get a shot of me. Here are some of the results.

Yes. I am so photogenic. Sigh.

Exactly *one* picture was acceptable. Not great, but acceptable. There goes my second career as a cover girl...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Appliances Hate Me

Who knew that the small things of home owning would be the things that send me over the edge? Take mowing the lawn.

My parents never believed in "girl's work" or "boy's work". So mowing the lawn was a chore I was taught fairly early, and something I've never had a problem doing. It's not that taxing, it's good exercise, it's certainly more appealing to me than dusting or sweeping. So earlier this week I took out my new lawnmower and began mowing the lawn. Well, the kudzu in the back of my property. This is when the fun began.

I looked down when I was a little more than half-way done with the lawn and thought, "hmmm. That wheel doesn't look like it's at the right angle on the mower." Just as I thought this, the wheel fell off. I turned off the mower and found that the nut had simply fallen off the bolt holding the wheel on. I did a cursory search for it, but knew I'd never find it in the yard, so figured I'd just take a break and finish the next day. So I went to Home Depot, bought a nut, and came home ready to be a handy-woman, fix my mower and get on with life. I tipped the mower on its side, screwed the nut on as tight as I could and started again. Took one pass and the wheel fell off again. Sigh. Turned the mower over again, got a different tool, tightened the nut even MORE this time, and started. Tried to start, actually. There was something wrong with the primer button. I pushed it, but it whooshed half-heartedly. Hmmm, I think. On closer examination, there appears to be oil spilled from the machine. Ok, I think. By turning the mower on its side, I've poured the oil out and I must replace it. No problem.

I trubdle back to the hardware store, buy oil, get home and put the the carburator. Yes, I did. After pouring some in and wondering why it is so inconvenient to pour a little and wait for it to go down, I spot a little cap in the back of the mower with the familier drop-of-oil symbol on it. Uh-oh, I think. So I quickly put the cap back on the carburator, fill the real oil tank, and try to start the mower. But the pull cord suddenly becomes obstinate. It won't pull out. I try, and have no luck. I look carefully at the bottom of the mower to see if anything is blocking the blades. No luck. I start to panic. This, you understand, represents a significant investment of money at the moment. I cannot just replace this mower. And the lawn is about to swallow me - it needs cut NOW. I try again to start it. No luck. It was about this time that I called my mother in tears. Yes, I am 34 years old, and I still call my mother and cry when I can't figure things out.

Now, my step-father assured me that I just needed to drain the carburator overnight, let it dry and all would be well. And it turns out he was right. With a little milking, it started right up today, and after nice blue smoke poured out from the engine for a minute or two, the mower is right as rain. But oy. If this is what happens to me everytime I attempt to fix something, I'd better move back to an apartment right now.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Double Entendres Abound

Summer is drawing to a close. Oh, it doesn't seem like it, what with the 100 degree days and the air conditioning running at full tilt, but it's a matter of a few free days and then school starts again. For students and teachers, the year doesn't start on Jan 1. It starts on the first day of school.

My students live for vacations. Actually, during the school year, so do I. Days off are part of a teacher's life and they are desperately needed. Mental release from the constant needs of 100's of kids, the planning, the beauracracy. But about this time every summer, I find that I desperately need to return to school.

My moods can swing wildly, as can anyone's at times. But when I don't have a schedule and I'm alone more than I'm with people, I find that my moods swing even more wildly. So the return to school gets my routine back in order, my moods under control, my mind back in the groove. So vacation is looked forward to all year, and then it is that vacation that drives me a little mad every summer.

It's a funny thing how something that looks so appealing is in the end something that is so bad for us.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Hey Jealousy

Tell me do you think it'd be alright
If I could just crash here tonight
You can see I'm in no shape for drivin'
And anyway I 've got no place to go

And you know it might not be that bad
You were the best I ever had
If I hadn't blown the whole thing years ago
I might not be alone

Remember that song? I used to love it. Described a relationship I had at the time to a T. But I never really got the "Jealousy" refrain. Why is it about jealousy? Seems to me that it's more about regret.

I don't understand jealousy. Even when I experience it, I don't understand it. Either you trust or you don't, right? Either you're told the truth or you leave. Seems to be simple, but somehow it never is.