There’s a crowded situation growing at the various foster homes of Feline Friends and they need your help! There are many young cats and kittens who are desperately in need of loving foster parents while efforts are made to get them adopted and placed in permanent homes! If you’re in the Chicago area and are willing to provide a foster home for a cat or kitten PLEASE consider contacting Toni McNaughton (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For those who don’t know, Rohn, our little buff-colored, big-eyed, ball of curiosity and cuddles was adopted from Feline Friends. Here’s a list of posts that are either about Rohn, mention Rohn or have a photo of him, for those that are interested … it should be noted that he was named Julius when we first met him:
As we drove around to the homes several potential adoptees, we had the chance to meet and chat with several Feline Friends volunteers. Everyone we met welcomed us warmly into their homes and you could tell they were all very happy to be giving of their time and their lives to help keep these cats and kittens safe, healthy and well-loved. If you choose to adopt, your adoption fee goes directly to help pay the vet bills for the cats of the Feline Friends network.
I could see my breath on the way to work as late in the month as June 16th. For real. My buddy at work, Bea, she told she had never met anyone so obsessed with seeing their breath. I tried to explain that it was not the phenomenon of visible breath itself that attracted my attention so much what it indicated about the current weather situation – June 16, it’s cold out. See-your-breath cold out. I did talk about it a lot, I guess. I talked about it because it was interesting, because I like the weather, and because it was something to talk about. I sit chairside with people while their mouths go numb so we can drill their tooth out, we’ve got to talk about something neutral! But just because I talked about it a lot doesn’t mean I wanted it to end. And it certainly doesn’t mean I wanted it to get hot out.
Saturday, it finally felt like June here in Chicago. It was hot. Ice cream melted instantly. Eggs fried on the sidewalk. Mac and I took a walk to the bookstore, and the air was slow, sweaty, sticky, gross. I was slow, sweaty, sticky, gross. I turned to him and said, “ok, summer, we did it. I’m ready for winter now.”
Mac’s gaze remained steady on the hazy horizon. ”Nope,” he said, “I could go another week or so.”
Break out your sundresses, kids. It’s (finally… finally?) summer.
One of those things is that I left the admittedly fascinating world of tea cafes to instead pursue a career in the even more fascinating field of dentistry.
No, no… oh, yeah, no, I did it to pursue better pay and better hours, albeit less tasty job perks.
I’m not a dentist, of course, not that I couldn’t be if I tried. ;) I’m a dental assistant. I have been for weeks now, maybe even a whole month. And two days ago, I did a root canal on a little five year-old boy.
Well, I assisted the root canal.
The little five year old boy in question was actually a twin. We’ll call him Clive, because that was his name and there’s no way any name I make up would be better than that for this story. Little five year-old Clive and his little five year-old twin brother both had cavities, both on the same tooth. Twins. Always have to be matching. The twin was in the care of Bea, the other dental assistant at this practice, and little Clive was in my care.
The procedure was to go like this. Dentist numbs little twin’s mouth. Dentist numbs little Clive’s mouth. Dentist fixes up little twin’s little cavity. Dentist fixes up little Clive’s little cavity. Little Clive and his little twin get little souvenir toothbrushes, everyone goes home happy and watches Curious George: The Movie, which was on at four, apparently.
Except, little Clive’s little cavity was actually not very little. In fact, for what a little tooth it was, the cavity was huge. Poor little Clive.
But let me back up. Clive and I are sitting in the back room, with his brother down the hall in the front room, and his brother is getting his mouth numbed. Clive is climbing all over the seat, telling me about summer camp, about school, about his pet cat, about how he got that scab on his knee. Clive is a very chatty young man, and not a bad conversationalist either. Clive is also very easily amused by the little thing that shoots water into the bowl you spit in, since I’ve convinced him that it’s magic by flipping the on/off switch when he’s not looking. Clive giggles and giggles and looks so amazed every time the water comes on. Magic!
Then the dentist comes in and it’s time to numb little Clive’s mouth. All of a sudden he’s a bucket of tears. He scoots himself all the way up to the top of the dentist chair, like maybe he can escape through the ceiling, as the dentist trys to calmly but firmly get him to open his little mouth so he can apply the topical anesthetic so he won’t even feel the needle on the novacaine. Little Clive cries and cries, and I hold his hand so he’ll stop grabbing at the dentist’s hand in his mouth. He squeezes it. The dentist asks, “does that hurt?” Little Clive shakes his head. ”You’re just scared?” the dentist asks. Little Clive nods. ”That’s ok,” the dentist says, “you’re being very brave and we’re almost done.” As soon as the needle is out of his mouth, little Clive looks around bewilderedly and starts telling me about the stuffed gorilla that he got for his birthday one month ago. It’s big, though not as big as a real gorilla.
The dentist leaves to go start working on Clive’s brother’s cavity, and Clive and I get back to our discussion of the scab on his knee and other related topics, like the bruise on his arm. He is a five year-old boy, and this is summer, after all. He’s still climbing around the chair, but less like he’s trying to escape and more like he’s training for the circus. Down the hall, we hear Clive’s brother crying.
Clive looks at me. ”He’s crying,” Clive says.
“I can cry too!” he declares, and commences on a fake wail that sounds all too much like his “I’m scared of novacaine” wail we’d heard just a few minutes earlier.
“I don’t think that’s going to help your brother feel better,” I say, and Clive smiles, apparently less concerned with empowering his brother during this difficult time and more impressed with his own fake crying abilities. He lets out a few more wails.
“Clive,” I say, “they’re going to think something’s wrong with you and come running to see you, and they’ll have to leave your brother in the middle of his filling. That’s not a very nice thing to do to your brother, if nothing’s really wrong.”
Clive smiles again. And wails again.
It’s not my favorite part of the day.
At this point, I decide to tell Clive a story. I start by saying, “Clive, have you ever heard the story of the boy who cried wolf?”
Clive stops wailing and looks at me. A story. ”No!” he says. “Tell me!”
So I start to tell him, and from the get-go, from the opening line about a shepherd in some made up fable who has to protect a flock from wolves, I begin to wonder about this wisdom of this decision. What does little Clive know about sheep and wolves? What the heck does little Clive care? But Clive listens attentively.
When we get to the end, when there really is a wolf and the boy cries it, and nobody believes him and nobody comes, Clive looked at me, wide-eyed. ”What happened?!?!”
I shrug. ”He had fight the wolf himself.”
Clive looked at me still: “AND?!?!”
At this point, I fully regret my boy-who-cried-wolf story decision. Since when have I become so moralistic? Since when have I believed in motivating good behavior in children by scaring them? Since when have relished the told-you-so of “teaching them a lesson”?? This isn’t me. I looked at little Clive, his little lip a little puffy from the novacaine.
“The boy got fired from being a shepherd.” I said.
“He DID?!?!” Clive asked.
“Yep,” I said, looking off out the window, wishing the story were over. ”And he had to get a new job, and it was in the trash department.”
“He had to make GARBAGE?!?!” little Clive asked.
“No,” I clarify, “he had to clean up garbage. It was totally gross.”
“Eeewwww,” Clive says, smiling. ”That was a good story. Tell me another.” He had obviously missed any connection between my story and his current situation, and for that, I was glad.
“No,” I said, “you tell me one.”
So he did, and we went back and forth, until we quit noticing whether his brother was crying and the dentist came in to fix up his cavity. It was then that we discovered that little Clive’s little cavity was so huge that it went all the way down to his nerve. Little Clive, with horror on his face, squeezed my hand as the dentist drilled away big chunks of his little tooth. He couldn’t cry because of how his mouth was propped open and blocked with a rubber dam. My only consolation was that he wasn’t lying there thinking, she told me so…
The procedure went quickly enough, and little Clive was on his way, though he’ll be back in two weeks so we can finish things up. I suggested that next time, he bring his stuffed gorilla along with him to hold while he’s getting his teeth fixed. He smiled and gave me a hug. Little Clive and his little teeth.
We designed them. We dug through all the papers and bought the ones that looked best. We laid everything out, we printed them, we cut them. We stamped them with pretty blue flower stamps. We addressed the return envelopes. We addressed the envelopes. We put stamps on everything. We stuffed them all with everything – the invite, the card with info about the reception, hotels, and a map, and the response card with envelope. Then we sealed them shut. Last of all, we put a pretty gold sticker on the back, because we didn’t trust the glue to hold, and dammit, we worked too hard on these things to have them come all afluttering apart in the mail.
Then we walked them to the post office and dropped them off.
Wedding invitations, done.
We were up visiting my parents today, and I was talking to my mom, over fresh homemade rhubarb muffins, about how we didn’t really trust the glue and had to get the pretty gold stickers to make sure the envelopes stayed shut.
“You be careful,” she said, “remember what happened to George!”
It was George Costanza’s wife-to-be, Susan, to whom things happened, of course. I assured my mom that we used a sponge to wet the envelopes and didn’t lick them,
didn’t poison ourselves, and didn’t die. Thank god for Seinfeld, hey? Could’ve been a close call!
The blog is dead!!! We plan to resurrect it, sometime, but I don’t know if that’s going to happen anytime soon. Maybe in the meantime you could watch this video about how to make a robot out of a toothbrush:
It’s a nice sunny day out, and I’m once again looking for a nice place to sit and hit at my keyboard while eating/drinking something delicious.Truth be told, I was wanting to go to Phoebe’s Cupcakes… not that I’m dissatisfied with Molly, but Phoebe’s right down the street and brand new… so new that in fact she’s not open yet.Mac was going to be meeting me, and since he’s not so much in a coffee mood, I suggested somewhere else: of all places, a candy store.
Windy City Sweets, actually even closer down the road than the soon-to-be Phoebe’s, has been a standard “we don’t do this often but it’s a special day” choice for us, with their wide array of candies for every person and every occasion, if a bit pricey.
(Mac particularly likes their sponge candy. I got him some for his birthday, which was Monday. Did you forget? Don’t worry, he’s still accepting presents, and will be, until his next birthday.)
Anyway, I saw walking past today that Windy City Sweets had outdoor seating, which means they must serve food or drink of some kind, right?Sure enough, in addition to ice cream sundaes and hot chocolate, they boast a line of malts, shakes and smoothies.
I decided on one of the no-dairy smoothies, listed at the top of the right (not left) panel. You must understand, with all respect to vegans, that the most important thing to remember about my interest in the eight different smoothie flavors labeled as “no dairy” (with a mysteriously unnamed #9) is that they were 75 cents cheaper than the smoothies advertised as having ice cream or yogurt.Imagine my surprise then, upon ordering the raspberry smoothie (#3) when the nice but methodically slow man behind the counter asked if I’d like ice cream or yogurt.
I stood for a full six seconds (actually a long time), searching for words to express my confusion.“Um,” I finally said, “I was just actually looking at the dairy free smoothies,” the ones, I wanted to add, that are 75 cents less.
“Ok,” he said… pause… “that would be the yogurt then.”
Now you know, and I know, that yogurt is dairy. But the second most important thing to remember about my non-dairy choice is that I actually would’ve preferred dairy… which is why I replied, “oh, ok.”
He proceeded dump a big scoop of white stuff labeled “fat free vanilla yogurt” into my cup and blend it.
Non-dairy frozen yogurt?
Might’ve been.I didn’t press it, and I’m thoroughly enjoying my raspberry smoothie… but the vegans among us might want to dig a little deeper before indulging. Something like, “but isn’t yogurt, um, still dairy?”
As far as I’m concerned, at the end of the day, and the man behind the counter’s methodically slow approach to smoothie-making aside, this little quirk only adds to the charm of the top-class candy store we’re proud to call our neighbors.
And meanwhile, if you happen to see Molly, there’s really no need to mention this whole Phoebe thing… thanks…
And I thought it was cool that I could make it to work in 15 minutes (with a tailwind)… I’m going to have to work on my skills. Also though, I don’t think my bike was built for this… and I’m not crazy… but wow, I kind of wish I was… anyway, just watch the video. Don’t forget to pick your jaw up off the floor when it’s done.