Thursday, January 10, 2008

the state of the January

I'm sick again, with a sore throat, fever, and general malaise, but not sick enough to keep the Sober Husband home from work, so I must struggle on. Meanwhile we're in a rare cycle of storms.

On the worst day, hurricane force winds lashed the city, dropping trees left and right. We were lucky not to lose power that day, although my odyssey to deliver Lola to pre-k was filled with adrenaline. Power outages all around us meant that the traffic lights were not functioning, including at a rather scary intersection we negotiate many times a day. This particular intersection is located at a twist in the road, so one cannot see whether there is oncoming traffic when making one's way across several lanes.

Later in the day I collected one of Iris's best friends, who attends what is generally considered the best public school in the city (once heralded by Redbook magazine as one of the top public schools in the country). The power was out all day at her school, so she spent the day playing mancala. This young second grader insisted on going outside in the storm with no coat on the hopes of acquiring an illness severe enough to keep her out of school for at least a week (I didn't have the heart to tell her that illnesses come from bugs, not from wind and rain). Later yet, pining for pre-k, my young friend proposed to Iris that they sneak back into pre-k under the guise of being new students. "Lola is so going to bust you," I said, but she believed donning a foreign accent would cause the other students not to believe Lola. She tried out a Slavic sounding one in the car all the way home from Iris's school.

We finally took down our Christmas tree and lights last night. We hadn't put them up until three days before Christmas, shamefully enough, but we left them up long enough afterward to compensate (adding a different form of shame, the House That Keeps Its Christmas Lights Up Too Far Into January). The children were quite pissed and fussed at us the entire time we were taking down the ornaments. "Don't take our tree," they whined and whined. Their whininess changed to cheerful greed when the Sober Husband did his annual tradition of paying them to find any straggling ornaments we had overlooked. On the spot he decided to give them a dollar per ornament, a sharp raise from the traditional quarter. Lola earned three dollars, bringing one-dollar Iris close to tantrums, but then kindly "found" a dollar lying around (obviously one of her own), which she presented to Iris as possibly being hers. Iris was not too ashamed to scoop up that charity dollar with alacrity.

And in another mark of the season, The Party Is Over. I took my last foster kittens in to the shelter yesterday. This was depressing enough, as normally I circumvent the front desk and deal only with my rescue (the kitten rescue for which I toil is a private 501(c)(3) which has an arrangement with the city's Animal Care and Control shelter). Any day you will see people turning in once-beloved cats and dogs. Up in the intake room, one black cat had a beautiful tiger-striped collar and was hissing at the shelter workers sadly. Thinking she was a lost cat, I said, "Oh, someone loves you. They got you that great collar. They'll come get you," but the shelter worker corrected me. "That woman down at the desk just surrendered her."

Coming home, my house felt empty and dull. No kittens greeted me at the front door. Soon the scabs all over my legs will heal, with no more kittens trying to jump into my lap and skidding off. Often with five kittens squirming for position in my lap, I'd remark, "There's a party on my pants", but now the party is over. The Sober Husband was celebratory. When I mourned about missing my little kitten herd, he said acerbically, "Perhaps I should have saved some of their dander for a souvenir." But on the bright side, my little Henry Hairball will be coming home in a few days, as the Sober Husband was weak enough to give me Henry as a Christmas present.

Warcraft update: My character is now at level 37, and I have a formidable goal. I'm in sight of reaching level 40, whereupon my character (if she has amassed enough gold) will be able to train a mount. No more walking around on her own pixillated legs, she'll be able to ride in style. The Sober Husband was happy about reaching level 17 until he saw my level 37. "I'll never catch up," he said bitterly. There is a website where one may buy level 40 characters (for a few hundred dollars) all the way up to level 70 characters (over a thousand dollars). The Sober Husband isn't desperate enough to buy a character, but he proposed I sell mine soon and start another as a part-time job. I reminded him that it wouldn't even work out to be minimum wage given the hours it takes to level those characters up. "But wouldn't you get efficient at it?" "If it were that easy, people would have 'bots doing it."

2008 book tally: I just read "The Summer Before the Darkness" by Doris Lessing. Written in 1970, it's the tale of a middle-aged mother confronting her loss of individual identity as her children, now young adults, no longer need her and her neurosurgeon husband devotes himself to affairs. I found this book maddening. First I loved it, then I hated it, then back to love. Although the character is exactly my age, I could not relate to her passivity.


* said...

Have you read "The fifth Child" by Doris Lessing? Good read.

Unknown said...

People who get involved in power leveling or buying/selling gold in WoW get banned in massive numbers periodicly. They pay attention to the IP addresses of players, and monitor the websites that sell characters and gold. Then every few months, ffft, thousands of accounts get banned and credit cards no longer accepted.

Missy said...

Maybe January is the cruelest month.

hughman said...

yay! you get to keep a kitty! you should keep one from every litter you foster.

the Drunken Housewife said...

Lisa, I'll look for that. Thanks.

Jeffrey, I'm glad you shared that, although I doubt my husband would mind much if I were banned from WoW. Then I'd pay more attention to him.

Missy, Jan. is the cruelest month for cars. I think my car just died.

Hugh, if I kept one from each litter, I'd have a hundred cats here by now! And no husband. And possibly an investigation by the city.

hughman said...

you'd be the crazy neighborhood cat woman! HOW COOL IS THAT???

the Drunken Housewife said...

There could be a lot of competition for that title. I know a woman who lives not far from here who has owned as many as 27 cats at once, and the very head of my rescue lives not far off, who doesn't permanently own a large number of felines but who usually has 20 odd kittens in residence.

hughman said...

trust me. in a perfect world, i would be the crazy neighborhood dog man.

Anonymous said...

A very clever ploy by the SH - trying to convince you to sell your character so then he would be ahead!

I found Animal control to be completely heartbreaking as well (and not just because they refused to give me Bruce and Ninj, leading to an odyssey of phone calls and trips across the bridge - though I did get them in the end!)

Seeing the animals being surrendered made me so sad. There was a fabulous looking pair of cats - brothers - that a young woman was giving up, saying that they were too active for her grandmother, they got into the kitchen cupboards (horrors!) and Grandma was making her bring them in. :-( It would be SO EASY to become a crazy cat lady!

At least I have a bird to geek out with now - Arlette brought her cockatiel from her parents house where he was mostly ignored, so we are working on resocializing him. (He's about 10, and is warming up to me.)

BTW this is M, I can't remember my goddamn password!

Vodalus said...


It's actually a really good guide, but probably redundant now that Blizzard revised the 0-60 experience. (I used a bootleg copy from a friend)