Last week did not start out on an auspicious note. Mostly I've been keeping informed about the major events in Iraq and then trying to put it aside, as something that I can do nothing about just now, but Monday I was unsuccessful. My body was refusing to cooperate with me, and I spent far too much time reading about the looting of museums and the burning of libraries: a veritable lack-of-control positive feedback loop. I know people with chronic illnesses (one with an illness edging toward acute, if one can call it that), and I admire their ability to cope more than ever, because I was doing a remarkably poor job of it last Monday.
As far as the looting of museums and the burning of libraries, multitudes have said it better than I could. Here's two: Teresa Nielsen Hayden at the always-excellent Making Light; and Melymbrosia, in "Sleep for Grief" (Sandman fanfic, though I don't think you need to have read the series to follow it).
Tuesday was better: my body started cooperating, and it was sunny and nearly 80 degrees Fahrenheit (on April 15!). I sat outside and finished Lost in a Good Book over lunch, giggling madly to myself.
And then Wednesday came. With it came Chad's parents to drop off R.D. (for "Ron's Dog")—the cutest puppy ever (even cuter than in this picture) but also a little monster. He was just nine weeks old, and was staying with us for the weekend while Chad's parents went to California on a long-planned trip to see Chad's sister.
R.D. is a Labrador Retriever. Which means he chews constantly. I took care of my parents' puppy for a week and knew it was a lot of work, but I was unprepared for the level of Constant Vigilance (heh) required to take care of R.D. Quite literally, if we took our eyes off him for more than five seconds while he was awake, he would be chewing on something he wasn't supposed to—knobs to the video cabinet, handle of the recliner, carpet, power cords, you name it. Not because he was bored or mad or hungry (well, he may have been hungry, because he's a puppy, but)—just because it was there, and why not? He would also try this on our hands, and our efforts to deter him from doing so were not noticeably successful. On the other hand, when I gave him something else and put my hands behind my back, he wouldn't keep going after them—he didn't want to bite to be mean, which is a relief. They were just there, and why not?
Very cute dog, attention span of a butterfly on speed.
He was also not housebroken. Did I mention Constant Vigilance?
We puppy-sat R.D. from Wednesday night until Monday night, and he pretty much took up all of our time when we were home. Very cute, and we do plan to get a puppy (as well as a kitten), but I confess to being relieved when he left. Two lessons out of this:
- We are not getting a Labrador Retriever.
- We are getting a puppy that's even calmer than we think we want, on the off chance that it's sick and therefore low-energy when we pick it out, as R.D. appears to have been.
This week has basically been spent working on a case that's due Tuesday. Unfortunately, it's a case that's driving me nuts on several different levels, the most pertinent of which is that it's due Tuesday. So that's how I spent today, which was perfectly gorgeous: up in my office, working on the papers. (And laundry. Lots of laundry. [To be said in the same tone as, "Guns. Lots of guns." I am looking forward to that.])
To end on a positive note, on Friday Chad found out that he got a research grant. This was actually a re-application, so it was even more of a relief—both for the funding and for the hopefully-improved tenure prospects. We went out for a nice dinner last night to celebrate. And from Wednesday through Friday of this week I'm in New York City for a conference, and I'm looking forward to the meeting; hopefully I'll get to meet up with some friends, too—I've already contacted some, but that reminds me: pnh, tnh, redbird, are any of you around Thursday evening or maybe Thursday lunch? I'll be in the Penn Station area.
Right. Once these papers are off, a better week awaits. Which means I should get back to them . . .