This weekend I was tired of my animal charges about six minutes into my shift.
Surprisingly it wasn't just the dogs I hated. The weekend before I had a cat, "Samwise," who was staying in Recovery because he was on medications. Neither I nor Tery understood the need to keep him up front, particularly when being in the center of activity made him so agitated and belligerent that a towel had to be draped over the door at all times. He wasn't bad for me Friday night, but on Saturday he was doing his best impression of this nightmarish feline:
Take it from me, this sound is 7,000 times more bloodcurdling in person. He would start out spitting and hissing every time I simply stepped into Recovery. The closer I came to his cage, the more his rage escalated.
In between these outbursts of hostility, he would meowl plaintively, as if to ask, "Why do you hate me so much?" Schizo cat.
He was still there this past weekend, not any calmer and probably a good deal filthier, since no one could come anywhere near him (I was told it took three people to give him his meds during the day. Hence I happily ignored the blanks on the chart where my initials should go).
However, he was far from alone. I had a neutered lab mix puppy, no special attention needed but he spent most of the night loudly making that howling/groaning sound I can't stand. I had a pointer that had been hit by a car, on fluids but remarkably low-maintenance considering. I had a postop cocker, described by one doctor as "a litttle high-strung," whose alarming, gasping respirations sounded perpetually three breaths away from a heart attack.
But the worst, the WORST, was a tiny chihuahua named "Squeeme." Squeeme was actually owned by an ex-employee, a girl I'd met once when another of her dogs was admitted in more serious condition. She had stopped by with her entire immediate family, chain smokers every one. I'm not kidding, fifteen minutes after arriving, the entire clan trooped outside for a smoke. That dog stunk, and so did Squeeme.
But Squeeme was also, as Dr. Norton put it, an "arborial dog." A dog who spends his whole life being carried around by someone, and who consequently spends every single minute NOT being carried by someone emitting a short, shrieking little yelp with every breath. These dogs need to be shot in the head, followed soon after by their owners who make them this way. A person would need the patience of a saint to live with this thing, and I was conspicuously absent the day they were handing out patience (probably grew tired of waiting in line and stomped off to write an angry letter). "Trust me, Squeeme," I told him, "You won't find anyone on this earth less sympathetic than me." It was a bit like Chinese water torture, those constant, unending little yips.
Then he FINALLY fell asleep after about three hours, thank the gods. Until ten minutes later, Samwise decided to remind me of his presence by slamming his bowls against the side of the cage as hard as he could, which of course woke Squeeme up again. God DAMMIT I hated that fucking cat at that moment. Even more than later, when he thought it would be fun to start throwing litter onto the floor through the bars, then become apoplectic again when I had to enter his "personal space" to sweep it up.
I was immensely happy Saturday night when everyone was gone but Samwise, who was much more relaxed when not surrounded by scores of other animals. Even let me pet him for a minute before remembering himself and slashing at me without warning.
Well, I had an old cat, "Tuffy," on fluids, child's play in comparison. Except around midnight I suddenly smelled an ungodly stink, and realized someone had pooped in their box; and furthermore, there would be no ignoring it, it smelled so awful.
So I bearded the lion in its den, armed with a wooden bird perch to fend Samwise off. I tried conciliatory measures, sliding it across the floor in an attempt to play. He watched it like a normal cat -- his eyes weren't black, his tail wasn't puffed, he didn't look the slightest bit threatening. But he never stopped growling loudly all the while. Schizo cat.
I finally got his box out with all my limbs intact, only to realize that it was Tuffy that pooped. GODAMMIT. Putting Sam's box back was even more difficult, as he kept attacking it with terrifyingly swift paw swipes. Yeah, give me a "will bite" dog anytime. They're far easier to convince of your dominance.
Dr. L called to check on everybody, then to my surprise asked if I would be attending one of the employees' baby shower Sunday. I begged off, claiming Sunday to be my "crash" day after my long weekend (half true -- most weeks it's actually Monday when I can barely move). The guest of honor was someone I had met maybe twice in my life, couldn't pick her out of a lineup. Spend the afternoon pretending I give a toss about her stupid baby? I'd rather spend another night locked in a room with Squeeme.
The other day I was peacefully working when I received an email from eBay. "Congratulations! Your item listing is confirmed!" Apparently I was selling a pair of Ugg boots. News to me.
By the time I had gotten to my main account page, I had three more listings up, all for Ugg boots. By the time I got on the phone to eBay the total was eight. Me, the fashion plate, who ironically thinks Ugg boots have one of the most apt names ever.
It took eBay about 20 minutes to sort it all out and cancel the phony auctions. By that time my password had suddenly stopped working and I could only log into the eBay Canada site. Whoever this was, they had fucked me and fucked me good.
The funny thing was I had just left negative feedback the previous night on a seller who sent me some software that didn't work. I had asked for help and he had put me off, claiming to have a funeral to attend. After waiting more than a week I asked for a refund with no response. After another week I figured I'd been scammed and left feedback accordingly.
This morning he reappeared to cry about the unfairness of my feedback and demanded that I retract it. I wrote back, reminding him of the actual chain of events, and pointing out that what was unfair was spending money and having nothing to show for it. I would gladly retract my feedback as soon as I got either a) what I paid for or b) a full refund. Now here, a few hours later, my account was hacked into. My sister thinks it's coincidence, but I don't believe in coincidences. Needless to say I've deleted the software from my system in case it was involved with compromising my identity somehow. I also passed his eBay user ID onto the customer representative who ultimately resolved my password issue, not wishing to accuse anyone, but just throwing it out there for consideration.
I was going to list something to sell, but now I think I'll hold off in case this guy decides to fuck with me (more). And needless to say, it isn't a pair of Ugg boots.
Now for some quickie movie reviews.Slumdog Millionaire
: Believe the Oscar buzz. Tery was excited to see it. I knew nothing about it. It was immediately endearing, with a wildly clever plot device. A waif from the streets of India (a "slumdog") scores big on the show "Who Wants to be a Millionaire," and is accused of cheating by the producers. The movie involves a series of flashbacks demonstrating how he came by his knowledge honestly while living rough. The music was fantastic with a satisfying Bollywood ending that's all Danny Boyle. I LOVED it. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
: I agree with the review in Entertainment Weekly
-- it's a movie that's easy to admire but difficult to like. That's it in a nutshell. I love David Fincher and Cate Blanchett. I don't mind Brad Pitt, except this movie is merely a continuation of the skills of wide-eyed, otherworldly contemplation that he developed in Meet Joe Black
. It was very stately, and very slow-moving, with the ultimate message that time is fleeting and happiness even moreso. Did you really need 2-1/2 hours, Fincher? I could barely stay awake.Iron Man
: Believe swankyfunk
's hype. I know nothing of the comic book, but as a neophyte I can say the story, and moreso Robert Downey, was engaging, funny, intelligent, with eye-popping CGI effects. I never felt one way or another about Downey (Tery somehow got the impression I hated him) but I have to say I'm really glad he's come back from the cliff edge he's been hanging on. I don't know if Jeff Bridges was the best choice as the "bad guy"; even with a disturbingly shaved head, I only saw The Dude. The only other comic book movie that left me feeling so excited and uplifted at the end was the first Spiderman
: I knew within the first five minutes that I was going to love this movie. It's a hybrid of The Matrix
and Fight Club
, with protagonist narration and unexpected slo-mo and zoom shots in even mundane scenes. But the action scenes blow The Matrix
out of the water. Positively jaw-dropping, with CGI so good it never crosses your mind it's CGI. I remember there being some kerfuffle when this came out over the conflict between Angelina Jolie's supposed pacifism and the excessive gunplay, and rightly so. I'm not usually a fan of gun movies, but it was handled so stylistically I couldn't complain. She was perfect for the role, and reminded me of her part as Tigress in Kung Fu Panda
. More of a surprise was how well James McAvoy did as Wesley, who begins as a mousy, anxiety-ridden cubicle jockey and turns into a supersleek master assassin. Contrary to reviewers on Amazon, I felt he was equally convincing as both. Though in my heart he'll always be the deliciously adorable Mr. Tumnus.
I can't help but wonder how much better both of these will look on Blu-ray.Return to House on Haunted Hill
: Because I'm always hoping to stumble on the next Aliens
(e.g., a sequel that's arguably better than its predecessor). This movie is not it.
Up-to-the-minute update: We just watched Nate Fisher, Jr.'s funeral on Six Feet Under
("All Alone"). Why does this merit mention? Because it's the first time I've ever
seen Tery cry at a TV show.