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I’m still pretty sick, though I’ve finally kicked the fevers. I lost most of the week sleeping and sweating and cringing with pain every time I swallowed, so the holiday sort of snuck up on me. Anyway, Happy Independence Day!

And of course, a very happy birthday to Mrs. G-pants as well. Here is a Muppetacular video for you:

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I’m super sick and hating life a teensy bit right now. I had to go to a new doctor this morning to get some tonsil-saving medicine (Z-PAK! to the rescue!) and the only appointment available was at her office located right off of Michigan Ave. Right by Water Tower Place. On a gorgeous summer day. The week of the Taste and two days before July 4th. I can’t tell you how close about 157 smiley, non-traffic-light-following, self-absorbed,  super-annoying tourists came to being mowed down by a feverish and frustrated Keem.

Luckily, Neatorama pointed me to this Flickr set of extra duckies that turned my frown upside down. They aren’t all winners but there’s something about the way the duck keeps looking at me and seems to be posing and grinning in each one that keeps cracking me up.

While walking home from a baseball game last night, a group of us spontaneously, soberly and (mostly) non-ironically burst into two full verses of “This Land is My Land”.

You see, it’s the little things that let you know you are hanging out with the right crowd.

I have the weirdest cat. I realize that is a very bold statement, but I feel confident in the assertion. He can’t jump, for one thing. There are lots more but this is not the Crazy Cat Lady post. (Save that for another day)

One of our biggest problems is that Magellan won’t eat. The vet and I are still trying to figure out if this is a medical problem or just a bratty catty. For example, right now Mags has a plate of boiled chicken and duck and is shoving it under the oven. I realize duck is not for all palettes, but please, this is an animal who licks itself clean. I’ve spent so much time, energy and money on trying to find SOMEthing that this cat will eat…any suggestions are welcome and frankly needed.

To be fair, other than the eating thing, I love this cat like crazy. We are a good fit – cautious and bitey when uncertain, lovey and sweet once we  feel comfy. Also — just now he killed his first spider ever in 8 years.  Just like me.

I am on my way to visit friends on the easterly coast for the holiday week and am really very excited. Really. I am. I have never been to most of New England before so that is fun, I haven’t seen the friends I’m seeing in a long time so getting to be with them will be a real treat, and I get to eat delicious foods without thinking twice about it for a week, which is always good.  But I have to keep reminding myself of these things over and over so that I don’t chuck this laptop at one of the nearby fellow travelers that have been stuck in the airport with me for the last 3 hours waiting for our flight to be rescheduled. I can’t decide who deserves it more — the man who is shrieking “Poopy Pants!”at his (evidently soiled) 2 year old, the woman who keeps talking about her local “homies” on her cell phone, the two kids laughing maniacally at whatever thing they are watching on their portable DVD thing, or the couple who just changed their 3 month old on the seat RIGHT next to me. I mean the seat that is immediately next to me. 6 inches away. Sigh.

Oh lord, Mr. Poopy-pants and someone in the baby’s entourage just discovered that they went to school together and are now loudly reminiscing about all the guys on their hockey team and how they died in the last 10 years.  A laptop to the head in a crowded airport has not yet been mentioned, but stay tuned. We have an hour before take off.

When did people start writing the year 2008 as 2K8? Am I behind the times? Is this the way we will be referring to this decade — “Your grandpa and I met back in the 2K’s…”? That’d be too bad. I was looking forward to saying the word aught a lot.

Tonight I killed a spider with my hand, using a kleenex. This is the first time I have ever done this in my entire life. It was only about the size of a mosquito but I refuse to let that diminish my glory.


smash

Originally uploaded by Kayewe

Today Little Red Car learned a valuable lesson about how rough the real world can be. I’ve tried to shield her as best as I could from the harsh realities, but I suppose I always knew this day had to come eventually.

After spending this rainy afternoon at the mall I trotted out to find this lovely picture waiting for me. Sigh.

After calming down a bit — thanks to Mr. G-pants fielding a tearful phone call and the super helpful and patient fellow-shoppers Erin & Kasia — I managed to get the police to come fill out a report in less than the projected hour despite the Rah Rah Football Game taking place on the other side of town. The officer that responded even turned the game down a bit on the radio while we talked – impressive. Oh, Big Ten towns. And then once we cleaned up the major glass enough that I could drive home, Little Red Car and I shared a jaunty, soppy ride home.

Mostly now I’m just really annoyed that I have to deal with the the fallout of someone else’s dumb choice. I realize that people are burgled all the time and that is an unfortunate part of living around, you know, others. But I’m annoyed that the jerkfaces did this on a rainy day. I’m bothered that they chose my dinky car out of the hundreds in the lot. I’m also annoyed that they did it on a Saturday, so that I’ll have to wait a couple days to get it into a garage. I’m annoyed that they smashed out the whole window instead of just a smallish part or jimmying door open. I’m annoyed that they took the CD that was in the player – mostly because it was the final CD in the The Subtle Knife audio book and a library loan to boot.

However, I am grateful that they only stole the stereo and not the whole car. I’m also slightly impressed that they thoughtfully removed the OTHER CD’s I had in the little compartment of the stereo and set them nicely on the seat instead of stealing them or smashing them. I’m grateful that I have insurance and a network of friends who are willing to help me. I’m lucky that I even have a car to be broken into and that the damage is relatively minor.

But I do think it is a little funny that I lived in Chicago for 6 years and never had a single thing happen, then I move the “safety” of small-town Midwest and my car gets roughed up twice in 6 months. Tough times in the corn belt. I blame the cows. They are just the shady sort to do this. Stupid cows.

Happy 4th to all! I hope that wherever you are you are enjoying the day with good food and relaxing times. I wasn’t in town last summer for the holiday so all the patriotism here is a nice surprise. Last night a neighboring town held their fireworks and I sat outside with a handful of stranger-neighbors and watched what we could over the trees. And in just the last 10 minutes I passed a pick-up truck with a person-sized Statue of Liberty tied to the front bumper, as well as what I think was a turf war over prime parade viewing spots near campus, complete with wild gesticulating. Ah, summer. I am skipping the parade in favor of a nap, but plan to enjoy a lovely barbecue and hopefully up-close  fireworks later in the day.  I really relish these kinds of holidays because for about 10 years I had jobs that required me to work on the 4th.  So enjoy the day, whatever your plans!

ALSO, special birthday wishes to my darling sister! Firecracker, firecracker, boom boom boom!

This weekend I made the long journey into Iowa in order to throw my sister a rockin’ baby shower. Okay, it wasn’t that rockin’, but there were all the makings of a successful baby shower: finger foods and petit fours, monkey-, frog- and baby chick-themed onesies, old friends and (I’m not too ashamed to admit) a little bit of happy tears. I think a good time was had by all. Or at least by the mommy-to-be, who is all that matters, don’t you know.

I drove out Friday night in order to squeeze in as much time as possible with my sister and her husband, aka Mr. and Mrs. G-pants, who are two of my most favorite people on the planet. As we were sitting around the dining room table, undoubtedly having a Very Insightful Conversation, we all sort of simultaneously noticed that there was a very frightened, very flappy, very adorable bat flying around in the house. Let me tell you, things went from zero to frantic awfully fast. My favorite parts were the bat’s increasingly frenzied — and ALARMINGLY silent — laps around their house, my seven-month pregnant sister repeatedly apologizing for not chasing the bat down bare-handed in between her (and my) shrieks every time the bat dive-bombed our heads, and Mr. G-pants tearing off his shirt and yelling “Calm down!” just before throwing himself flat on the floor when the bat suddenly reappeared in the TV room.  He very bravely chased the bat out of the house through an open window a few minutes later and everyone, bat included, resumed our peaceful evening.

On another topic, though not entirely unrelated to the title of this post, I think that watching Robin Williams on Inside the Actors Studio sounds like the worst possible way to spend the evening.