Catching Up

I’ve been terribly slack at keeping up with writing here lately. I think it’s all part of my general feeling that I can’t keep up with my life. Yes, I know I said I was going to try and ease off on things, but sometimes that’s just not possible – I’ve got a sociolinguistics assignment due on Friday that I’ve hardly even looked at, work is in crisis mode again (when isn’t it lately?), pre-planning for 2009 is taking up more time than I’d anticipated (a product of having a larger planning committee than for previous conventions – while more people does mean the workload is spread further, it also means every decision has to be discussed and debated for so much longer, and while we’re working really well as a team in terms of listening to and respecting each others’ opinions, we do seem to already have a few quite fundamental differences in our visions for this convention which we need to resolve before we can move on much further in the planning. And of course, being spread across the country (four of the seven members are outside Christchurch), we can’t just get round a table and nut these differences out until we reach agreement, and email just isn’t as satisfactory (by the way, as I know all the team members read my diary ;-), I’d better say none of this is intended as a criticism of any of you – I stand by my original statement that you’re all great people to work with, and do I think the planning is going really well so far – I just sometimes wish we were all in the same place so we could get together and talk properly instead of via technology!)), I’ve got piles of books waiting to be registered, I haven’t even started looking at resources for my next lesson with my ESOL student, I promised MrPloppy ages ago that I’d help him with the design for his new website and haven’t done anything about it yet… – basically, I’m back in that state where whenever I start doing anything, I feel guilty about all the other things I *should* be doing, so I end up getting nothing done.

Anyway, enough moaning, onto the catching up.

First, a Ming report. As far as we can tell he’s completely back to normal after yesterday’s seizure, with no after-effects. Thanks everyone who left me nice comments – I have passed all the hugs on to Ming 🙂 I did a bit of internet research about seizures in cats, and found out that while strokes are pretty rare in cats, they can happen (but when they do, recovery is generally fast). There’s other kinds of seizure it could have been, but the general advice seems to be that a one-off seizure in an elderly cat is nothing to worry about too much, it’s only if they’re frequent or prolonged that you need to see a vet. There was also a lot of information about possible causes (and, of course, because most of the sites I was looking at belonged to vets, the many expensive tests and treatments that are absolutely essential), but most of them seemed to come down to old age in one form or another.

Warning: what I’m about to say may seem callous to some people: Even if Ming does have another seizure, MrPloppy and I are firmly decided that he will not be getting any of those tests or treatments, even though they could potentially add a year or two to his life. Ming’s about 14, which is a good age for a cat, and (like most animals) he hates going to the vet. As long as his quality of life is still ok (which it seems to be – the seizure didn’t appear to really distress him), we’d rather the rest of his life be short and happy with the minimum of unpleasantness, than that we extend his life a few more years but submit him to regular vet visits and having medicine forced down him every day. And if his quality of life does start seriously deteriorating, then we’ll have him put to sleep before things get too bad. Part of this is just the pragmatics of cost (we don’t have a lot of spare money lying around to throw at looking after a sick animal), but it’s also about not making the rest of his life more miserable than it has to be. (Of course, this doesn’t apply if he gets sick with something easily treatable over the short term, like Saffy with her flea allergy last year – I’m only talking about the kind of illnesses that require ongoing treatment.)

Enough about cats, and on to Cats 🙂 On Friday Lytteltonwitch and I went to see the new production that’s touring NZ. I know it’s not cool to say so, but I’ve always liked the big West End-style musicals, and I’ve always had a special affection for Cats (wonder why? ;-)). I saw a touring production in Auckland sometime in the late 80s, and saw it a couple of times while I was in London (late-90s), so I was a bit worried about the whole “brand new production” thing, but they didn’t destroy it too badly 😉 Actually, it was really good. There were a few changes to the actual music (the Battle of the Pekes and Pollicles was gone, and some of the other set pieces lengthened), but the main change was in the costumes – the terribly 80s fluffy legwarmers were gone, and the costumes were much less literal in their interpretations of catness than in the previous productions I’d seen, and were more like exagerated “street” style that (other than the fact they all had tails) just hinted at the idea of cat. Still loads of fun, even from our cheap seats way way up in the gods.

Bookcrossing meetup/gathering/thing last night. None of the new members I’ve been PMing managed to make it (though I had nice PMs from quite a few putting in their apologies, so at least they’re aware of the meetups now), so for a while it was just me, MrPloppy, and lytteltonwitch. We had a useful chat about the convention, though, and later Alithia turned up – and had brought her laptop so she could see the 2009 presentation as promised. Of course, I hadn’t actually remembered to bring the disk, had I??? I remembered I had an earlier version on the flash drive on my keyring, but it didn’t have the video or music added, or half the photos, so it didn’t really give her the full effect. I’ve promised to remember to bring the full version to the next meetup. (And that reminds me, I haven’t posted the copies of the presentation to otakuu and Sherlockfan yet to start off the “not-a-bookring”s. I am getting so disorganised lately! 🙁 ) I managed to resist the temptation to take any of the books on the table (another side-effect of how crowded my life has been feeling lately is a distinct down-turn in my reading rate, so Mt TBR hasn’t been diminishing as fast as I would like), and gave lytteltonwitch The Problem with Murmur Lee by Connie May Fowler, so for a change a meetup actually *reduced* the total number of books I have in the house (this is one of the great mathematical mysteries of the universe: how is it possible that at most meetups everyone goes home with more books than they arrived with?)

Currently reading: When the Devil Holds the Candle by Karin Fossum
Currently listening to: Hissy Fit by Mary Kay Andrews

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