I woke up today with the sun shining, the birds chirping, and a film crew dumping bags of fibreglass-like white fluff all over the lawn of the house across the street to simulate snow (just another day in New West). I was all excited because a) I had recently finished a project for my internship that required me to create a database of every single lit mag in the known universe and I awoke with the knowledge that I would never have to look at a single rhyming cat poem or erotic horse-themed literary magazine for the rest of my life and b) because I only had one more sleep until my trip to Champaign and could almost taste the beef brisket.
The good vibes lasted through my walk up to the drugstore to buy more Extra Strength Tylenol. After a month of being off pain meds, I'm back on the meds...I suspect I have been watching too much "House" and have learned that people with canes are supposed to have raging pain-killer addictions, though the fact that anything even mildly narcotic makes me throw up does not bode well for my chances of developing a taste for the hard-core shit. The good vibes even lasted when I made the mistake of cuddling our cranky old tabby Mr. Chubbz and he lovingly kneaded several scratches all along my chest, so it now looks as if I had a massive rash there (because what I need in my life is another rash).
When I got home, however, I had a message on my answering machine from my Great Uncle. My grandma had been rushed to the hospital after her caregiver found her catatonic in her bed. Since my dad was at work--he hurried back from Vancouver as soon as he could--I headed down to the Royal Columbian Hospital, figuring that since I have become the Crown Princess of Hospitals lately I might be of some help. I therefore spent a couple hours hanging out with my grandma, who was curled in fetal position on the bed looking like a little bird since she must weigh about 75 pounds, and watching a woman flopping around on the floor trying to pass kidney stones in front of everyone, screaming, "I can't do this! I can't do this! Let me lay on the ground!" as the nurse gave her the side-eye and noted that she, uh, might not want to get too close to that floor because there's this little thing called a staph infection.
There's nothing like an emergency room to make you realize how lucky you are. I may walk like I have a moderate case of polio, but at least I'm not screaming in the middle of an overcrowded emergency room trying to squeeze stones through sensitive areas of my body as dozens of elderly people stacked nearly on top of one another in the hallway judge me. Luckily, it turned out that my grandma (who has dementia) had just suffered a mild quasi-stroke called a T.I.A and was sent home. I went home to see how our kitties are doing.
Poor Logan, who is my sister's cat, has not exactly been rocking at life lately. He was rushed to the emergency vet on Sunday night because he was hissing and shaking and was diagnosed with a severe infection of the pancreas from eating a sick animal, (which, by the way, wouldn't happen if he would direct his attention to the rats infesting our house, as opposed to eating whatever dead things he finds on the ground). Yesterday, I rushed poor Logan to the vet again after discovering a bulge on his side. The vet therefore had to shave part of his side--which is not the most attractive look when you're a long-haired ragdoll persian--and it turns out that once Logan's pancreas is back in fighting shape, he has to have the bulge on his side removed. I am happy to report, however, that today Logan is not only doing better, but he is the only cat in the universe who purrs while getting medication, since he's so happy to be touched. (Okay, so that wasn't a bad part of the day, just a part of the day that required me to get cat fur, tuna cat food and cat antibiotics all over my clothes).
Next stop on the failure express: book my bus ride from the Chicago airport to Champaign. I thought I'd put one over on the universe by getting a great deal on a flight, even though I arrived at 11:30 at night. No problem, I thought, since the bus company runs vans throughout the night. Yeah, it turns out that the bus company runs vans throughout the night...on every night but the one I was set to arrive on.
I therefore went through the following process:
- Complain loudly for a couple of minutes, which looks way crazier when I do it here in New West since I don't have a cat to talk to (Logan and Mr. Chubbz are outdoor cats).
- Phone A. and receive a gentle reminder about how I have to think things through and I can't just jump at every deal and now I'm going to have to waste money getting a hotel because I just don't think and all this could have been avoided if I would just think things through. I suspect he is still a little testy about my having lost his car keys for 2 hours the last time I was in Champaign. (In A.'s defense, he did soften quite a bit when he learned about my grandma).
- Book a hotel on hotwire near the airport after thoroughly researching various travel options in a futile attempt to Think Things Through.
- Go to book a bus ride at 7:30 a.m. the next morning, then discover that the 7:30 bus ride inexplicably costs $17 more than the 9:20 bus.
- Book the 9:20 bus ride, then realize that by the time the bus gets in, Aaron will probably be off fishing and I will have to take a taxi then try to get ahold of my new roommate to get the keys to my place, which is not a big deal but will probably result in another discussion of my ability to Think Things Through.
- Watch wedding shows for the next three hours in a deep funk, wondering why it is that potentially not being able to walk does not fritz me out as much as traveling through the Chicago O'Hare airport.