We haven't talked in two months! So sorry. Have some Korean pop music to make up for it.
5 years agoParis
I've been volunteering with my church youth group for a year and a half now. Hubby came with me once last summer and the high school boys insisted he stay, so he's been there every Wednesday since.
Last summer, we had less than a dozen kids coming. The only girl was the pastor's daughter. For some reason, in December and January, the group exploded and now we consistently have 45 kids or more. Most of them are from the same neighborhood, and their parents do not go to church. Their parents are more than happy for us to take their teens for a couple hours, but we currently send a bus to pick them up because the parents can't be bothered to drive their kids four miles to do something they enjoy.
That may sound unfair, but I'm a little sick of parents at this point. Several parents had a fit when we asked them to sign permission slips that said they were okay with their kids being at our church every Wednesday and giving us permission to talk to doctors in case we ever have to take them to the hospital. We need those slips because a mother called livid one day because she'd found out her son had been going to our church for six weeks without her permission. I understand her anger that strangers were taking her kid somewhere (He'd told us his parents knew where he was going), but it bothers me that she was content with the idea that he was running around the neighborhood unattended but furious to find out he was playing dodgeball in a gym and talking to someone about school bullies instead. Regarding the medical release, one mother even said that if her daughter broke her arm, we could call her so she could pick her up. The few parents that do pick up their kids for a while were trying to pick them up half an hour late. And then there's the dad who, while drunk, drove his 12-year-old son to a camp out and told my pastor, "Let me know if the little shit gives you any trouble."
We have so many kids who are abused, neglected and damaged. One of the juniors started coming because he was friends with the pastor's son; he now basically lives at my pastor's house and only goes home when he knows his step-dad is sleeping or out. He flinches when people raise their hands. I have a bright, emotionally damaged 16-year-old who is basically raising herself because mom's so busy with a rotating door of boyfriends. There's a sixth grader with anger issues who cuts, and her father buys her razors because he thinks it helps. Two weeks ago, two of my girls told me they'd been molested and a third raped. They're all 14.
I'm not sick of step-parents, and nearly all the kids have one. This past year I've heard so many stories of step-parents rescuing their step-kids from abuse, supporting them when no one else would and generally being Superman.
Here's where I'm supposed to tell you this is the most rewarding thing I've ever done. It's not. It's hard. I've had arguments with the other youth leaders and we've cried about this tangled mess of youth. I've given up my Wednesday's completely and often feel I'm getting nowhere. More than anything, I'm tired, but when you're the only adult in a kid's life who isn't insane, you cant very well turn your back on them, can you?
5 years agoParis
We hadn't intended to bring home a bunny. Saturday was supposed to be our initial outing to look at adoptables. Three weeks after losing Kinka was enough for looking, but not committing. We planned to look, set up some meet-and-greets with Mocha, and bring home the bunny he picked out as a friend. (Trying to force bunnies to be friends can be a bitey mess.)
We decided to look at the county Humane Society first because their bunny listings were pathetic. They hadn't even bothered to take pictures and listed all the rabbits as American males. When we got there, they only had one bunny. One bunny, and lots of cats. They had cats in the lobby. Cats in the hall. Cats in the small critter room. The one lonely bunny has a wall of cats on one side of him and a ferret on the other side. He was trembling and curled into a tight ball.
Well, we couldn't just leave him.
They got him out of the cage for us and he was very snuggly. We introduced him to Mocha, who was indifferent and scared of all the cats.
When they heard we already had a bunny and a vet, they rushed our paperwork through in 20 minutes. They said they usually give all their rabbits to the local small animal rescue (in the next county over) because no one comes in looking for rabbits and they can't give them the socialization they need. However, the shelter was too full to take our new little bun. He'd been with them for over a month; he'd been abandoned on the street. We signed up to foster bunnies for them as they'll be flooded in a month or so.
So we brought Java home! He's been very dancey since getting a forever home. The vet said he's looking handsome and is in fine shape. Oh, and he talks. Yes, my new bunny sort of quacks like a duck. It's hilarious.
Mocha was not excited about Java being in his indoor cage (Mocha's so spoiled he has an indoor cage and a porch condo). He kept nipping at Java through the bars. We're keeping them apart until Java's fixed, then we'll move Java to the porch too (still separate cages). We're still going to look for a bond-mate for Mocha, but I don't regret one bit getting Java out of that terrible situation.
5 years agoParis
What's that I spy? Oh, it's a time machine! Let's take a ride, shall we? *WHOOSH WHOOSH CLANK SPRONG* Uh, it's just Decemuary, a time when everyone likes to make year-associated lists. Time machine, you suck! I guess it's okay because I biffed on posting my books read in 2011. As always, I don't count poetry or kid's books (thinking I shouldn't count graphic novels either, one sitting and all). In 2011, I read 22 books, beating 2010's crumby 16. I recommend books in bold.
Never Wrestle with a Pig and Ninety Other Ideas to Build Your Business and Career by Mark H. McCormack
skirt! Rules for the Workplace: An Irreverent Guide to Advancing Your Career by Kelly Love Johnson
The Memory of Earth by Orson Scott Card
The Call of Earth by Orson Scott Card
Earthfall by Orson Scott Card
The Ships of Earth by Orson Scott Card
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Costume and Fashion: From 1066 to the Present by Jack Cassin-Scott
Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty by Andrew Bolton
Chanel: A Woman of Her Ownby Axel Masden
Murder Mysteries by Neil Gaiman
Fables and Reflections by Neil Gaiman
Gotham City Sirens Vol. 1: Union by Paul Dini
Dark Entries by Ian Rankin
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Wolves at the Gate by Joss Whedon
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier by Alan Moore
Ball Peen Hammer by Adam Rapp
Ringworld by Larry Niven
Spoiled by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
Stitch by Stitch: Learning to Sew, One Project at a Time by Deborah Moebes
Along the Inca Road: A Woman's Journey into an Ancient Empire by Karin Muller
Once on a Moonless Night by Dai Sijie
Two years in a row, Karin Muller has written my favorite book of the year. Admittedly, she has an advantage as I love to travel, but her books are so much more than a travelogue. Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty was also amazing, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys photography, fashion or art. (You don't even need to like all three.)
I've linked to the reviews I've written of some of these, but if you're curious about a certain title, we can talk shop.
5 years agoParis
If the title didn't clue you in, this is a sad journal. Don't read it if you're having a bad day.
My sweet snuggle bunny, Kinkajou, passed away on March 14th. I'd noticed Tuesday morning that she didn't want to come out to play in the morning. I put food in front of her face and she wouldn't eat it. I put carrots in front of her and she wouldn't eat those. Something was clearly wrong, so hubby took her to the vet. Our rabbit vet was out of town so another vet in the building saw her and said she was stopped up -- GI Stasis. It's common with rabbits, especially rabbits that like to nibble everything like Kinka, to get an intestinal blockage. Unfortunately, it's very serious, and the rabbit, in pain and scared, will usually starve to death instead of do anything to work the blockage out. One of the heart-breaking things about rabbits is they won't let on when they're hurting. The vet gave us cat laxatives and scheduled a surgery appointment for Thursday just in case.
We had to pump this terrible tuna-flavored goo into her mouth. It dribbled on her chest and we couldn't get it off. Just holding her still made her shake with pain. We did this every four hours.
I'd convinced myself everything would be okay. In a little while, she'd be a poop monster again. She'd dance for her food. She'd head butt my ankles. She'd climb on my laptop. She'd snuggle her brother.
Tirade was not convinced. He took Wednesday off to be with her. She was drinking at least, but he was worried and made an appointment with another vet.
The vet x-rayed her and said they needed to operate on the mass. They needed a second angle, but after the second x-ray, Kinka couldn't even stand up. She just laid down and passed away before the surgery could even start.
Tirade had called me at work to let me know she wasn't doing well. I cried the whole 20 minute drive there only to learn she was already gone. Tirade was a mess. I was a mess. He'd rushed home to get Mocha. Mocha would need to know what happened to his sister. We put his carrier in front of where she was laying, wrapped in a cheery yellow blanket, and he tried to build a wall of blankets to hide behind. He was terrified.
Despite a diminished appetite for a few days and a preference for a different cage, Mocha appears to be doing fine now. Bonded rabbits can often go into deep depression over the loss of their friend. We're relieve he's coping.
We're not coping. Both vets said we did everything we could. The rabbit shelter sent their condolences and assured us we're good bunny owners. Still, we've been blaming ourselves. Why didn't we seek out another rabbit vet sooner? Why didn't we do some research online about her condition? Why didn't we reach out to the house rabbit community? Was it the carpeting in her cage? Did we kill our sweet little bun?
I grew up with animals. Four dogs I've loved have died in old age. One was hit by a car. Two cats disappeared and one -- the one I couldn't stand -- lived with us for well over a decade before passing away. None's hit me as hard as this. When Max, my first dog and the most noble canine to ever live, passed away at 14, I was relieved. He was in pain. He was ready. Kinka wasn't even 4 yet. She was so full of love and bounce and goof. I miss her sweet face and her little kisses.
A strong part of me wants to get another rabbit. A friend for Mocha. A snuggler for me. But I don't know if my heart can take it. Spending so many days caring for such a sweet, gentle, defenseless creature...Moving on almost seems like another pending tragedy, another week of tears.
5 years agoParis
I was at work when I commented to my coworker Angry Ren Faire Guy, “Do you remember where Japan_Books sits?” She was coming back from Japan for a month after three years away and we’d been saving her job. He didn’t remember where she sat either and got upset about it. “That’s just like this place! Kicking a good employee to the curb just because she goes on vacation!” Two of my coworkers -- a middle aged lady and a punker gearhead -- looked at us over their monitors and giggled like Japanese school girls. I asked my boss what to do, and he said give Japan_Books my friend Girr’s desk and we’d figure out where to put Girr later. But Japan_Books was coming back on Monday and I had Friday off, so it wasn’t going to get done.
I went to a friend’s house that night because we were having one of our parties. In the wee hours of the morning, I went to the bathroom, an avocado green tile and shag monstrosity. Unfortunately, the red chair that was filling in for the toilet was covered in raw (with the exception of one fried) eggs. Then I remembered Red said her brother had an aim problem.
Still needing to go, I headed for the bathroom by the chapel. There was an open window looking out onto the hall, and I crawled in through it only to find Poe curling her hair. She explained that she needed a moment to herself before the boys woke up. As soon as she left and I’d started to unzip my jeans, a couple hundred people filed into the chapel and sat in all the folding chairs. Tirade said, “Don’t worry, we’ll close the door.” Only the door was a breezy french door and a holey hospital curtain. They provided all the coverage of semi-open venetian blinds and they didn’t even go all the way across. They “blocked” the open space with a woman in a red business suit. Since they’d run out of seating for their annual business meeting, they put a couple women, loopy on tea, in the bathroom with me. When they decided to open the meeting with 10 minutes of silence for the victims of something, I turned the water on for a second (so they would think I washed my hands even though they knew I hadn’t used the bathroom) and climbed out the window again.
Then I was headed to New York City on my street luge. I noticed I was wearing dark grey jeans, a grey wool vest and a navy blue button down shirt, an outfit I blamed on the Mumfords.
Luge! Luge! Luge! Luging through the topiaried suburbs. Luging on the highway. Luging through Little Mexico. I was looking for a particular college, but I couldn’t remember if it was at 22nd & 60th or 60th & 22nd. I decided to take my chances and was right.
I couldn’t find the room I was looking for, and I ended up lost in the electronics department. That same middle aged coworker was working there as a receptionist. When I asked for directions, she giggled like a Japanese school girl. I didn’t want anyone to know I was lost or to try to sell me a tv, so I hid. This was difficult as I was now wearing a ruffly pastel Easter dress and heels. Hiro from Heroes found me and turned out to be really nice unlike most salesmen. He didn’t try to sell me a tv and was pleased I’d found his glasses case.
As I was rushing out of there, I passed a former coworker in her new cubicle, and she wanted to read me some jokes from the Reader’s Digest. I ran.
I made it to the meeting just in time. Japan_Books and I were pitching an idea to the college, something about marketing a new endeavor. Giggling middle-aged coworker was the stenographer. All the administrators in the room looked about 20 themselves. “What is it, exactly, you say you can do for us?” a mop-topped blonde kid asked, leaning forward with steepled fingers.
Then we were all running. Trouble was, someone had tied all the doors in the stairwell shut with garland. We had to climb down the stairs...upside down. I was wearing flared heels, and they kept getting stuck in the grating of the stairs, annoying when walking, a major issue when hanging on to the grating while climbing upside down. I complained to Japan_Books, “Add grating to the list of what we need to fix here. It’s all sized exactly wrong.”
We just couldn’t get away, so we tried hang gliding. Mop-topped blonde kid kept leaping like a flying squirrel from glider to glider, laying right on top of people. “Crawling is the new planking!” he said, meaning that the goal was to get from point A to B by interfering with as many people as possible in the process. He kept asking for people’s permission after laying on them. I told him he made me very uncomfortable and he lept to the glider of a large Samoan. He was not having anything to do with crawling. “I’m a death metal head,” he yelled, “and I will drop your mother flippin’” -- and then my alarm went off.
5 years agoParis
I work 40 hours a week in sort of a stressful position.
I am learning how to sew and hope to make a side business from my endeavors.
I write for and promote a popular fashion blog.
I am working as a rep for an international student exchange company.
I spend Wednesday evenings with the youth group at my church, and I'm now responsible for writing my own lessons and leading my own class (sr. high girls).
We're thinking about fostering bunnies from the humane society.
I am trying to exercise.
I like to cook and host parties for my friends.
I suffer from frequent migraines and have been sick with a virus for a month.
Something has to give.
5 years agoParis
I based this off of South African Yellow Rice and a mix of Bobotie and meatballs. The meatballs were awesome, but I'd make the rice with chicken broth and more craisins, maybe even diced mango.
2 cups brown rice
4 cups water or chicken broth
3 teaspoons turmeric
1 cup craisins
1 teaspoon white sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
Follow directions on rice bag.
2 pounds ground beef (I put 2/3 of this in the freezer)
2 cups bread crumbs
1 tablespoon curry paste
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 red onion
half a bottle bbq suace
2 tablespoons apricot preserves (Yes, do it)
Baked at 400 F 20 minutes.
Serve over the rice.
5 years agoParis
I haven't been able to speak for two days. Tuesday my throat was sore, but I muddled through the day with hot tea. Wednesday, I couldn't speak even with tea, but this morning the soreness escalated to did someone punch me in the throat? Since I've missed two days of work, I went to the med clinic.
Mind you, I know this is a viral infection. I had this annually in college. I know doctors have nothing for viral infections (Western medicine for the win!) I know this just has to run its course. But our human resources department insist on a doctor's note that says you were unable to work. It's a bit of a pain in the ass to pay $40 to be told things you already know just so you can get your attendance record cleared at work (and not be out a day's pay). Even if you're vomiting, you need a note that says you're vomiting.
So I went to the med clinic because there's no way in hell I'm going to make an appointment with Dr. Mono. This time, I did not see the awesome lady I saw before. I saw some guy who told me it was a viral infection and there's nothing he could do for that. "But I can write you a prescription for some good cough suppressant. Do you want that?" I explained that as my cough wasn't that bad, I'd rather keep doing what I'm doing with rest, tea and cough drops. I told him what I really needed was a note saying I couldn't be at work. He seemed a little miffed that I wanted a note instead of drugs and refused to write the note in the manner I need to appease HR. (Is it so strange in this country to prefer to rest when you're sick instead of drugging yourself into a workable faux-health state?) So now I have a note that may not be good and I'm out $40.
Still sick, too.
I am not called to be successful; I am called to be faithful. - Mother Teresa
The human mind is generally far more eager to praise and dispraise than to describe and define. -- C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves
You don't have a soul; you are a soul. You have a body. -- C.S. Lewis
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