Feeling Diaryish

I'm interrupting the Queen Mary narrative, despite having a post in progress for the past few days (a testimony to the ravages of this cold aka PLAGUE), to babble about misc things and not have to worry about the exertion of remembering anything or inserting an image. Oy, my aching clicking finger.

We have discovered Kedem Grape Juice, marked down for Passover season. It's, like, the best grape juice. The best. Not too dry, not too sweet. The best. The internet agrees; Google if you don't believe me. (Clicking Finger can't be bothered to link much, either.)

I'm reading the Michael Palin diaries from 1969-1979 (The Python Years), which has sort of inspired this post. (In the sense that sometimes the tiniest little posts of nothing are the most interesting to reflect upon decades later.)

I'm also (finally) reading Mes Tartes, inspired to do so by Clotilde at Chocolate & Zucchini. (Inspired a couple of years ago, but Clicking Finger also can't often be bothered to use the online interlibrary loan system.) I figure, hey, I've made tarts twice now. I'm ready for the master course.

(This will end in tears, but hopefully they will be deliciously sweet and savoury tears.)

I don't think I ever mentioned how the kids did this project where I gave everyone in the class a different word and then we passed papers with the words around to get everyone's gut reaction to the word. ("Write every word that comes into your head when you see this. Don't read other people's words until you're done.") The students then made posters with their word at the top, a cloud of classmate-supplied reaction words on the poster (the more times a word occurred, the bigger the word was written - I'm sneaking in some learning about web 2.0 tagging), a picture in the middle, and - based on the evidence they got from their classmates - the phrase "GOOD CONNOTATION" or "BAD CONNOTATION" at the bottom.

We did this as a little side project when talking about symbolism and poetry. The idea I wanted to convey was that many of us have common reactions when we see a word, and a poet may know that and choose that word deliberately, but sometimes the word will have a very personal meaning, which affects other ways to read the poem. I'm pretty sure most students just registered this as a "Play with Markers for Points!" experience, but now that they see the posters on the wall, it may be more meaningful.

But that wasn't what I wanted to say. All I was going to say is that I used the same word list in each class (which makes for interesting comparisons), and so in each class someone had the word "book." I've only had two posters turned in for this word, and in both cases it says BAD CONNOTATION at the bottom. Books = boring, reading, dull, pointless, stupid, nerdy, loser, no fun. Just FYI in case you were enjoying your reading and didn't know how silly you are!

(And because I had to be fair and hang up all posters with acceptable words, even if I didn't personally agree, I get this disheartening reminder of being in sales instead of teaching every time I walk into the room. Surely I'm the only English teacher with anti-English class sentiments on vivid display in the classroom. Next week maybe they can all write short persuasive essays about how worthless writing is. Ah, but we already covered irony.)

Ursula is still hanging in there, heaven knows how. Arthur went to the vet last week (the morning after we came back, with me blowing my nose every 45 seconds in the exam room) for what I was afraid was an overgrown tooth but ended up being only a slightly infected scratch. This deserves its own post, but who knows if I'll remember to mention it in 2011 when I finish the QM report?

I took him to the new vet that just opened around the corner and they are AMAZING. Not only do they  know about rodents (as evidenced by the smart questions the tech asked), but they provide caramel chocolates while you wait in the exam room (no, really, plus the aforementioned box of tissues). They also take photos of your pet for their database (and already had the photos in the system by the time I paid - there was Arthur grinning up from the bill). And they send a "welcome" letter a few days later. And they volunteer for the shelter. AND THEY CALL YOU AT HOME TO SEE HOW YOUR PET IS DOING.

It makes me want to adopt the city limit of dogs, cats, birds, and sea lions just so I can patronize this hospital all the time. (The "sea lions" mention is foreshadowing for a post yet to come about our Balboa Harbour cruise.) We had a good vet back in Texas, but I've not been very happy with anything here until now. (I wish they'd been around when Raisins was sick, but it's best not to think about that.)

Arthur's scratch is better, either through time or the twice-a-day "fruit drops" (a tiny bit of Baytril antibiotic shot into his mouth), which he adores. Sherman just smells the where I touched the Baytril bottle and he goes nuts, lying on his back and trying to nurse off my finger like the world's cutest ball of sentient fluff. (Anne Geddes and I should really form a partnership. Forget photographing babies in sunflowers - cover them with dwarf hamsters!) However, Arthur's eye by the scratch is still a little swollen and weepy, so I'm not happy yet. He is looking thin and worn but is still eager and reasonably active. I wish I knew how old he is.

Sadder thoughts: a vet office on the other side of town burned to the ground this weekend. At least 25 pets died, some of which were just there for boarding over Easter weekend. Can you imagine coming home to that? Worse, they haven't ruled out arson.

And then there is this story, as part of Crystal "McKnob"'s "Crazy Chronicles" series, talking about her recent brief and unexpected (to her jillion loyal readers, anyway) stay in a mental hospital.  Don't read it if you've already had today's ration of the world at its worst.

25 March 2008 |






Carnival Elation (2009)
Carnival Splendor (2009)
Carnival Spirit (2010)
Carnival Spirit (2011)
Carnival Splendor (2011)
Norwegian Pearl to Alaska (2012)