I often feel when I’m posting about vacations or fun times that it seems like I’m posting something blog-perfect (to steal a term from Instagram). Not that what I’m posting isn’t real, of course, just that the warts are hidden from public consumption. So, today’s post is filled with the regular and irregular ups and downs of the last ten days.
Friday (one week prior)
The day was filled with the stress of meetings, trying to get my younger son out of bed, both of us leaving the house more than an hour late for his class (it starts at 1 pm each day), and consequently having to conduct an important call with a government official on behalf of the sector I work in from the car on the side of the road. Sigh.
My dog was acting weird before I left to go pick my son up again close to 5 (I don’t like my son to ride crowded transit during the pandemic). By the time we got home, the dog was doing this strange panting, that was actually more like gasping for air. It was super scary and I ended up taking him to the animal emergency hospital. After telling me that they thought he was in congestive heart failure (he’s 13+) which would give him at most a few months to live, they admitted him to spend the night in an oxygen cage, but not before asking me whether we wanted a “do not resuscitate” order or CPR in case things took a turn for the worse. Stressful decision, but they told me that CPR could quite possibly leave him with fractured ribs and bruising and works in only 5% of cases, so the choice was clear.
The next day, after the chest X-Ray was done and interpreted, they called to report that, while he has a heart murmur and slightly enlarged heart (both of which we knew), he does not have congestive heart failure and in fact they have no idea why he suddenly couldn’t breath. So, $2,000 later (no, we don’t have pet insurance), my husband said that the dog basically had an expensive night in a hotel, complete with oxygen therapy and adoring techs! No idea why this happened, but he sure did give us a scare. Now the poor guy just has a sore forearm, where they put the IV in.
Once we got the dog home around 4 pm, my son was finally ready to go to the office with me. His body clock really resists “normal” scheduling, and yet both he and I had work to do. We go to the office often on weekends because there it is very quiet and conducive to concentration with no one else around. My son is on the autism spectrum, with ADHD and other hurdles, and so, particularly at the end of the month when all the school assignments are due, he comes to the office to work. (He’s cool with me posting about him, by the way.) I have lots of work to do too, so it’s fine — except that I would rather get there before noon.
Another day, trying to get my son up, and then working together at the office from late afternoon until 9:30 pm or so. The upside about leaving home so late is that I finally managed to finish the blog post I had been working on. The smoke rolled in again, although not as badly as before. This time it’s from the California fires, they say. It promised to get worse over the week, posing a moderate health risk. Over the next few days, we all developed coughs again. My son has asthma, and I struggle when my throat is irritated. I have irritable larynx syndrome, and one of the issues I have when I am in a bad period is laryngospasm. Not fun and scary for myself and anyone watching, although I try to remain calm until the vocal chord spasm relaxes and I can breath again.
Usual weekday stuff with a 9 a.m meeting (hate those… not a morning person), trying to get my son up, me stressing over how late he is, postponing the meeting I’d scheduled for mid-afternoon because I couldn’t guarantee getting back from driving him in time. Sigh, again.
Another 9 a.m. meeting (why do people seem to like that?). At least my son decided to log in from home, meaning that I wouldn’t have to drive him.
Well, I just realized that the course I am taking for work has a huge volume of course work! Hard to find the time to do it, with regular work going on at the same time. (At least my son decided to log in from home again.) In the end, after a meeting that ended at 6 and dinner (really glad my husband decided that he now enjoys making most of the meals), I went through all the online prep and discussion topics and collapsed in front of the TV around 11:30. Yes, I know I should go to bed, but somehow watching an hour of Medium as I work my way through the complete DVD set is very relaxing. I really enjoy how real the relationship between Allison and Joe seems — and usually the gruesome murders don’t follow me to sleep.
And here I thought I was completely prepared for the Thursday morning class. No. Apparently, in addition to the Moodle (online) modules and forum participation, there was a case study for in-class discussion that was sent via email! At least I wasn’t the only one who hadn’t read it. (It’s important that I make a good showing, since I am in this course with my boss, one of my subordinates, the board chairperson, and two board members.) At least hubby did the son waking/driving routine.
An 8:30 meeting! Why??? Worked hard in the morning and early afternoon. Worked harder on getting my son up. Again, he decided to log in from home, as he was going to be late. Mid-afternoon I’d had enough and became distracted by YouTube videos of Mandy Patinkin (thanks, Esther). Particularly his singing of “Younger than Springtime” and of “Stitches”, the latter in Yiddish. I also enjoyed this video where he talks about various subjects, including his acting technique (very different from Armitage). (Haven’t finished watching it yet.)
It being my husband’s and my 32nd wedding anniversary, we had booked dinner at a fancy place that we had been to before, down by the water. It’s on the manmade Granville Island, where during regular times it is very hard to get a parking space. Coming onto the Island, my husband was remarking on how difficult it was to see the two bicycle riders on the crosswalk ahead of us. As they passed and we were moving towards it, I noticed a woman leaving the left side of the street at a running pace and not watching the traffic. I immediately yelled, which startled my husband (but at least made him stop) which of course then lead to an argument for many minutes. Inauspicious start to the evening.
My husband parked in the first space he saw, which was a very long way from the restaurant (and of course the pandemic meant that there were actually lots of spaces lol). I’m still suffering with my right hip and now my left knee too, the latter of which my doctor says is a meniscus problem that may not be helped by physio. Long walk, but we just walked slowly.
When we got to the restaurant, we realized that the fine dining part of the restaurant was closed due to the pandemic. Instead, we would be sitting on plastic seats outside (with heaters) and ordering off the pub menu. Undaunted, we ordered beer (him) and wine (me), appetizers, and main courses of steak (me) and seafood pasta (him). When the appies came, we were sharing the caesar salad and deep fried calamari, when after several mouthfuls I suddenly noticed a long black hair cooked into the calamari. So disgusting! And during a pandemic, doubly so.
The server offered to get the manager, but I just asked him to take it away and off the bill and to bring me a new fork and plate so I could at least eat the salad. After watching him serving other customers and going back and forth around 5 times without bring me a fork, I was starting to get annoyed and asked him to please just bring me a fork so I can eat at least something. That finally done, we finished the salad and waited. And waited.
After we had been at the restaurant for an hour, our main courses finally came. By this point we were starving and unhappy. I touched my steak and found that it was lukewarm and rubbery, while I could stick my finger right into the cold mashed potatoes without getting burned. Needless to say, the beurre bleu on the top of my steak was a cold hard lump. Now extremely upset, we gave the server and then the manager an earful. They comped everything and we left, me not having eaten anything but lettuce. At least the wine seemed to have lubricated my hip and knee, which were no longer painful!
In the end, we walked one minute to The Keg, a steak chain that you can count on, where we had wonderful service and a great meal.
My older son came by for a bit in the morning. The younger one slept through it, but his brother will be over again for Thanksgiving dinner. Went to the office on my own and worked again. Amazingly enough, the general manager of the original restaurant called my husband unprompted to hear our tale of woe again. If we are brave enough, we now have a $75 gift certificate to go and eat a meal for free to make up for our terrible experience. Hubby and younger son and I all went swimming in the evening. They even have the hot tub open now! And because it was Saturday night, there was only one other person at the pool. Bliss.
Finally took a day off from work. Slept in a bit and then did groceries, laundry, and cooked two dinners. See, my son wanted this tofu dish that I make with hoisin sauce, siracha, and udon noodles which is very yummy. My husband doesn’t agree… hates tofu. So, I made him beef bulgogi. Lots of leftovers for the week now. Watched the final Lucifer episode of the eight released so far by Netflix. I am really liking this season a lot and can’t wait for the next episode!
Maybe I’ll watch one more episode of Medium before going to bed and getting ready for another hectic week to come.