Monday, July 27, 2009

Dear John or Catharsis, Part Two

Dear John,

It's not you. It's me.

No, wait. It's you. It's totally you.

What can I say? You had your shot. You had your opportunity to contribute to this relationship and you blew it. You said you wanted to be involved, but I can see you only wanted to be involved in theory. That you'd much rather squander your free time with your other fantasy writing friends. You know, the ones you don't know personally. The ones who have not spent an ultimately futile year awaiting your feedback.

Well, count me among their number because I am done. I am out. I've been nice. I've been really nice (the occasional bitchy blog notwithstanding, of course) but I just can't do it any longer. I can't pretend that it doesn't hurt like hell to know that I entrusted my work to your apathetic hands and got very little out of it apart from heartache and misery. Any further pretending is something I'm just not interested in doing.

So I'm drawing the line. The line, my so-called friend, has been drawn.

You may be saying to yourself right now, "Hey, didn't you tell me not to worry about it?"

And I did. I had to say that and here's why: I couldn't take it anymore but I was trying to be nice. Trying to be polite because my mother raised me to be polite. My mother did not raise me to write passive aggressive blogs but that's neither here nor there.

There's a saying that writing is easy. All one needs to do is open a vein and pour it all out onto the page. I'm paraphrasing but I find it to be accurate. Not to sound too overly dramatic or anything, but that's what I did with Effigy. It's long been the first thing I think about when I wake in the morning and the last thing I think about before I fall asleep. That is, if I do happen to sleep because it's also been the cause of many a sleepless night.

You, by the way, have also been a cause of many a sleepless night of late. And that irritates me. Thus the whole letter thing I'm writing here and now at three in the morning.

It would've been one thing if it turned out you just weren't that into the book. I've said it before but I know my book will not appeal to everyone. No book does. That I could've handled. That I could understand.

But you claimed to be interested. You claimed to like it. You claimed I had a talent and you were interested in finding out how the story ended. Just not interested enough, as it turns out, to actually read the book.

So I don't understand and I'm done trying to understand. It's also something I'm just not interested in doing anymore.

And one more thing: I'm kind of surprised I actually have to tell you this but do not, under any circumstances, send me any of the writing you've been working on in the brand spanking new writers' group you started with your co-worker. Thanks, I guess, for being interested in my opinion, but I'm not particularly interested in giving it. If you did send me something to read and critique, I would then be obliged to both read and critique your work and do so in a timely manner because I know how very hard it is to sit around and wait on someone to get back to you on a project into which you've put a lot of work. For a spiteful moment, I considered accepting anything you sent and sitting on it for at least a year and then telling you that I just didn't have time for it because my free time was instead being devoted to my passion of online gaming. But that just seems mean and, as irritated with you as I may be, I'm not that mean.

So the bottom line (the line which I have drawn) is, I am not interested in doing that for you. Perhaps I should be a bigger person about it but it doesn't look like that'll be happening any time soon. So, please, keep your work to yourself.

That said, I wish you all the very best on your future endeavors.

Sincerely yours,

Saturday, July 25, 2009

My Cat Has What?

I don't blog about them often, but I have two cats. The eldest of the cats, Lily, is eleven years old now. She's been sick, of late. Sneezing and then sneezing some more, often blowing big chunks of snot all over whatever happens to be nearby when she blows. This disgusts Joe more than anything. Joe can clean shit soup from the dogs' asses out of the carpet without blinking, but Lily sneezes and Joe hightails it outta there.

So we went to the vet a couple of times and got an antibiotic a couple of times that didn't really do much for us. The sneezing continued so Joe begged me to take her back to the vet. So I did.

We went to the North Country Animal Hospital, the same vet where I took Max last year when he had his failed jail break attempt (not to suggest that spending time in my house is akin to being in jail, of course). They poked and prodded. Thankfully, Lily, as ornery as she is, is not her sister, Jenny, the psycho hell bitch cat who put four puncture wounds in my palm during one ill fated vet visit. Jenny is the cat with the big ass red flag on her file, the one the poor vet techs probably draw straws to see who'll have to deal with her. Lily, on the other hand, is much calmer. She doesn't want to be there but she won't take your hand off to get away from you either.

Which is good because they had to take her out back to do a respiratory infection something or other test which was a swab of her eyes and throat and nose. They brought her back saying she did beautifully and since everyone still had all their fingers still attached, I counted it as a win.

The results took about a week to come back. When they did, I asked to come back in. The test they ran on Lily's swabs all came back negative for all the things they were testing for. This led the vet to suspect that my cat possibly has herpes.

"My cat has what?" I asked.

"It's different than in people," the vet said next.

"My god, I should hope so," I said.

What it is is Feline rhinotracheitis virus (feline herpesvirus infection). It is characterized by sneezing, nasal discharge, rhinitis (inflammation of the nose) and conjunctivitis. It's common in domestic cats in situations like multicat households with poor ventilation. Which is applicable here.

We also have two dogs. I might have mentioned them before, but they, at times, like to chase the cats. They wouldn't hurt the cats, not intentionally anyway, but they'll chase the cats. To give the cats a safe haven, we put a baby gate across one of the odd little rooms we have in the house. It's really more of a glorified walk in closet or something, but we put the cats' stuff in there. It does not have ventilation.

Lily spends a lot of her time in there as she is the more skittish of the two cats. Jenny, who is less fearful of the dogs, spends a lot more time out and about and meowing at your every move. Jenny does not have cat herpes.

Other symptoms (ones Lily does not have) of cat herpes include:

Coughing
Fever
Cat anorexia
Runny nose
Runny eyes

To treat cat herpes, if that is indeed what the problem is, we've been given a series of medications because there's nothing more fun than holding down a cat and a shooting a vial of meds down her throat. First, we were given steroids. Which could possibly make her aggressive and hostile. Of course, it's Lily we're dosing, so nothing's changed there. We're doing that medicine twice a day for another week (already been doing it for a week) and then once a day for a week after that, and then we step down to once every other day. Because it's a steroid, you have to step down gradually. We also have another medicine, an antibiotic that was specially mixed for us and shipped to the house. We're giving her this until mid-August. On top of those, we have to give her Lysine.

Lysine, as I found out, is a vitamin supplement. It is not, however, called Lipine, which is what I thought the vet's handwriting said so when I went to GNC and asked the kid behind the counter for Lipine and he said he didn't know what it was, so they must not have it, he was right and I should probably apologize for calling him a stupid know-nothing kid.

Whatever. Nobody's perfect.

Anyway, it's called Lysine and it's fairly common for use for cats and their mucus membranes or whatever. I don't even know. What it means to me is that I have to crush a vitamin every morning into fine powder and sprinkle it onto Lily's food. Thankfully, she doesn't appear to have cat anorexia so I don't have to force feed or (even better) tube feed her.

Do not let it be said that I do not love my pets.

So the prognosis of this cat herpes thing seems a little unclear. Some of the message boards I've looked at describe cats in really horrible sounding shape and Lily's really not that bad. Sure, cat snot on the walls is gross but it washes off (one of my super fun daily chores...clean up dog vomit and then move right on to cat snot.). Plus, she's not coughing and doesn't have any issues with her eyes or weight or anything else, so maybe it's just something that looks like cat herpes but, you know, isn't. If it is, some sites say it lasts seven to ten days, others say its incurable but treatable. Don't know which it is for Lily. I guess maybe I'll find out at our follow up appointment next month.

Should be fun.

P.S...Lily's been sneezing a lot less since we've started our newest treatment. Here's hopin' it lasts!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

June 2009 Book Report

This month was slightly less pathetic than last month because I broke with my Jane Austen punishment (My synopsis is thisclose to being done, so I decided to grant myself parole for good behavior.). Of course, I didn't break with the punishment until the very last week of June, thus the whole "slightly less pathetic" thing.

Finger Lickin' Fifteen- Janet Evanovich- Made me laugh more than some of her previous outings have. Maybe it was all the cars catching on fire. There was still a lot of eye rolling stuff. It sometimes feels like Evanovich is just throwing whatever in and ends up putting in too much stuff. The earlier Stephanie Plum books are the best. This one had moments that made me laugh out loud but they were few and far between. Still, it was a much easier read than anything Jane Austen wrote.

Sense And Sensibility- Jane Austen- Well, there’s six weeks of my life I’ll never get back. Life is too short for Jane Austen. Major props though to Emma Thompson who transformed this dreary novel into a tolerable film. Your changes were much welcomed and appreciated, Emma!

Wake- Lisa McMann- This is a very cool young adult book which again makes me wonder when the switch went on for this genre because the books weren’t like this when I was a teen. At least I don’t remember them being this way. Maybe they were and I just totally missed it. Figures. Anyway, I can’t wait to check out the sequel.