Dog & Cats & Homework & Websites
(I wrote part of this last night and then part of it this morning and that's why the time-line might seem jumbled.)
Today is a day of re-entry. We flew home last night, getting in around nine p.m. L.A. time. The reality of the fact that I’ve been gone for 12 days set in. Not only piles of mail, but Mulan has homework that hasn’t been done. Her teacher sent some homework off with us to do in New York. I would say we’ve completed… about half of it. And it’s really my fault that I hadn’t made her finish it.
That’s funny, me saying, “made her finish it.” Because homework these days, as any parent I know who has a child in public school can attest, homework isn’t about THEM doing it, it’s about sitting with your child for hours on end and talking them through it.
Mulan has about… oh, I would say a half an hour to forty five minutes of homework a night. She is in first grade. She is reluctant, however. And that makes homework take about an hour to an hour and a half. All I’m saying is that this homework thing is kicking my butt. I never had my parents help me with homework, unless I needed something big typed up when I was in sixth or seventh grade. Mulan is six and one of her spelling words this week is “anarchid.” ANARCHID.
Also, I put our dog, Arden, into this schmancy Kennel while we were in New York. And when we returned to Los Angeles, my old cat, Val, showed up. I have always had outdoor cats. I’ve always been a bit lackadaisical about my cats. Sometimes they didn’t come home for a day, or even two. And then they did. At one time I even had four cats. Three of them lived to be over 16 years old. And the three of them died within a month of each other about four years ago. But Val was left. And when Arden arrived on our doorstep (he was a stray) he chased Val off. I thought they would work it out, but Val is rather timid and didn’t stand her ground. Or maybe she was just smart, because Arden seriously hates cats. And squirrels. I have seen him tear a squirrel’s heart out in front of my eyes.
So Val went off and I imagined she found some other home. Because I would see her, once every two weeks or so. And she looked well fed, even chubby. And sometimes I would hear Arden chasing her out of the yard. Every so often I would give her a pet and wonder which neighbor was now Val’s owner. Or rather, her feeder. Who was getting Val’s little fluffy head rubs against their ankle?
This must make me seem so irresponsible.
In the meantime, Arden took over our life. He is active and needs at least an hour of rigorous exercise a day. He is overly protective of the house, in my opinion. Anyone who comes to the door is greeted by a crazed barking maniac of a dog that any reasonable person would think would kill them instantly. And that’s good. Except when it’s bad. Like children, he scares the bejeezus out of children. Also, I can never have the front door just open casually anymore, because I have to worry about Arden rushing out.
I came to really like Arden. Even love him. It IS irritating that every time I get up out of a chair, his claws scrape across the tile floor and he begins to hyperventilate in anticipation of a… possible… could it be?… walk! And mostly it’s just that I have to go to the bathroom, or answer the phone, or get a tissue. Okay, I’ll admit it, he’s seriously irritating.
I like lazy dogs. I like big, dopey dogs. I like dogs that lie about all day and drool in one spot and then look up out of their haze. I hate the subservience of dogs. Or rather the eagerness of dogs like Arden. I like, I’m temperamentally more appreciative of the aloofness of cats. I like that you have to work a little bit to get their attention. I like that you can ignore them and they can ignore you.
But still, I love Arden.
I really do.
Anyway, when we came home, Val was at the door. And we let her in. And she’s been hanging around. Sitting on the table while Mulan does her homework last night. Sitting on my lap while I chatted to my boyfriend last night. Purring sweetly in the chair next to me while I read. Rubbing against my legs while I give Mulan a bath.
I miss her! But I can’t have both of them.
I called the Kennel and they are keeping Arden another week. This gives me time to think. Mulan wants Val to stay. I am shocked at my own lack of feeling about Arden. But maybe in a few days I will miss him too. Hmmm… what to do. What to do.
My new website is taking longer than expected. It should be up by Wednesday. But then, the merchant people who do the credit card processing for the CDs won’t be ready until Wednesday too. And then, Thursday, the list of 500 people who are on my pre-order list will be shown where to buy the CD. But then – Fresh Air said they will rerun the interview I did this weekend and have my website listed for people who want to buy the CD. So that means that the 500 people will probably only get a one or two day advance chance to buy them. Which wasn’t how I intended this to work. Agh. Also, I want to try to get as many people to buy the CD in the first two weeks as I can. Because, since it takes four weeks to order more CDs, I can accurately judge whether to order more CDs for Christmas. I have no idea what going on shows like The View (especially since I have no idea how that interview will go, whether it will be like – one minute or ten or fifteen minutes) will generate in terms of interest.
I got thousands of emails after the Fresh Air interview. Thousands. Frances, my assistant, is sorting through them. Some of the letters are so moving. I wish I could read them all. I intend to.
But first, I have to be (and thrilled about being) a chaperone with Mulan’s class today when they visit a nearby museum. And it’s Halloween.
Also, I can’t stop thinking about Bookboy’s comments on my last blog. Or the quote he posted. I wish I could stop my life and just muse over how we all frame our perceptions about reality and then seek to confirm our perceptions and at what point we change them based on what types of evidence. This area is super interesting to me.