Ruth Ayres hosts a weekly celebration at her blog. I appreciate this invitation to look for the positives in my week.
1. Fantasy football! I love my work fantasy football league. I like talking football in the halls, I like overhearing football talk coming from other people’s offices, and most of all, I like winning. The Sunnydale Slayers (that’s me!) may have gotten a B for their draft grade from Yahoo and be projected to place 11th in my 16-team league, but this reigning champion (who has never finished lower than 3rd place) has every intention of repeating. My fantasy football draft went exactly according to plan. I’ve got the strongest team at the position that matters most: running back. Let the winning–nay, the crushing domination–begin!
2. Big Dopey lives to nap another day! Puck has a pica problem that nearly killed him in his youth after he swallowed a very long string that got tangled in his intestines. He has tried to off himself countless times in the years since by consuming “substances largely non-nutritive” (a wonderful phrase from Wikipedia’s definition of pica). He has an special affection for broom bristles and tufts of hair belonging to other cats. He seems to be one of the dumber creatures ever to live, yet he never forgets where he last sighted a broom. He long ago used up all of his nine lives. Now, my husband says, Puck is borrowing lives from other cats. This week, he once again overconsumed cat hair and got his system blocked up. Yet another $100 trip to the vet and he’s feeling himself again–which means he will be spending 22 hours a day sleeping, 1 hour a day searching for expensive mobile devices to knock off surfaces in an effort to get our attention and get us to feed him, and 1 hour a day maniacally searching for those “non-nutritive” substances to consume. His pica problem requires constant vigilance on everyone’s part to ensure that he doesn’t kill himself. He is on various special foods and medicines, one of which requires a special trip to a vet over 60 miles away, and also needs five or six trips to the local vet every year to get enemas. He’s getting elderly–somewhere between 12 and 14 now–and at some point, there will be no more lives from other cats for him to borrow. But I am glad that he is feeling spry again. I will be the first to admit that he is mostly an incredibly unrewarding cat, and yet I can’t help being very fond of him.
3. Cuddle time with the elderly dog! Roxy is wondering why I’m taking a photo of her when I could be snuggling with her. I read every word of Ken Foster’s great book about pit bulls with my own pit bull absolutely plastered to me.
4. A chill in the air! Fall is my favorite season, and I’m always excited when there’s finally a chill in the air. The temperature was all over the place this week–one night dipping into the 40s but the next day soaring to 100. Cool fall weather is predicted for most of next week, however, and I’ve already pulled out the flannel PJs and sweaters.
5. Planning for several literacy events in September! I’ve made arrangements to take several students to the Plum Creek Literacy Festival at the end of the month. Donalyn Miller! Rosemary Wells! Jack Gantos! Steve Jenkins! Floyd Cooper! And many more. Although the event is in Nebraska, it’s not exactly local. These Plains states are gigantic. But the road trip across the state should be full of good conversation with my two favorite world-changers, Kelsey and Maggie. Then I’m currently reading The Maze Runner for a YA Book Club Kelsey, Maggie, and I have started on our campus. Kelsey selected our first book, and I think it was a good choice, as many students have told me they’re reading it and plan to attend. I’m hoping we can actually make a go of a monthly YA Book Club. And thanks to my mom for purchasing two copies of The Maze Runner for me to loan. They were snapped up immediately in my British Lit class this week. #bookpusher4life! And then I discovered that my favorite new independent bookstore also has a book club, and they read good books! September’s selection is Kevin Powers’s novel about Iraq, The Yellow Birds, a book I wanted to read so badly that I bought it in hardcover. And it’s been sitting on my shelf unread ever since. The book club has inspired me to dust it off, however, and it is very good.