Thursday, May 24, 2007

Circle of (hair) death

Is it possible to brush too much hair from your cat or is there some sort of natural hair-retention mechanism so that only dead undercoat gets taken away? This question was brought home with much urgency earlier tonight when I decided to actually be a proper mommy and give The Monkey Cat a brushing, something I've gotten out of the habit of doing regularly. But, it is summer and I'm sure she's got some she needs to get rid of. Well, instead of using the regular brush, I used my new pseudo-torture looking tool and OMG! Wads of hair!! I swear, I didn't know it was possible for her to have that much undercoat. Is that natural? I'd have been afraid that I was hurting her, except she loved it! She just kept rolling around trying to get me to attack her with the circle-of-hair-death-device (COHDD) again and again!

Luckily I chose to conduct the hair-removal procedure inside the tub, because the fur was flying everywhere! I even got some in my own hair. This thing is efficient, I tell you. The final result was massive, and sort of icky. Sorry, but it was so amazing, I had to share :-)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The ostrich system

I'm outing myself, but I have to admit something that those people who really, really know me well (as in know my dark side) have already figured out, which is that my default method of coping with stuff that I feel totally helpless, hopeless and/or inadequate about is by sticking my head in the sand and not picking it up till the world gives me a kick in the ass and I have no choice but to deal. This isn't the hating confrontation issue, another wonderful trait of mine that I'm sure I'll get to later. No, this is more the "maybe if I ignore it, the world will end I won't have to deal with it at all" strategy that I always tell myself I'm going to be mature enough to stop using. But, I never do.

The most recent example of this is my as yet refusal to start trying to figure out what I'm going to do with my cat once I move. Meesha is a neurotic, slightly manic-depressive tortoiseshell beauty who I alternately grumble at and attack with kisses because she can be just the sweetest most loving thing ever! [I'd insert a picture of my sweetie here if they weren't all taken with the film camera and so, as yet, not available digitally] And whoa betide the family, friend or acquaintance who dares to comment on her minor social skill deficits or tendency to nip when playing. This is my baby and I'll defend her till death! She may be "slightly" neurotic, but she's my neurotic.

OK, so back to my own neurotic-induced crisis. The thing is that, before I can bring Meesha over to Ireland, she has to go through a 6 month process here of microchipping, vaccines, tests, then a 6-month wait to make sure that she's not rabies infected. What that means is that she's going to have to stay with someone here while I'm getting settled in Ireland. Unfortunately, my cousin who I'd drafted to do this, had the nerve to somehow convince her daughter to come down with asthma! Which means, no free cat sitting. The nice thing about family is that you can browbeat them into doing all sorts of things. The bad thing is that you sort of have to take their word for it when they say their child could die! Unfortunately, substitute cat sitters who are pet-less (Meesha does not play well with others) are short among my pet-loving, baby-producing friends.

I should have already started researching my other options - tap into my other social networks, actually pay someone to foster her, try to convince my mother in Miami to take her? - but instead have apparently been just hoping that the right answer would appear out of the blue and I'd be rescued from actually having to deal with this myself. Unfortunately, I'm not the type of girl who gets visited by the chivalrous knight who's just begging to ride me off into the sunset. Maybe I should just pretend I'm a mature, independent-minded adult and actually try to deal with this like a manageable problem that has real solutions? Shrink, heal thyself! The sand in the hair look is just not a good one on you.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

There's no going back now

So, the round of goodbyes has officially begun. Last Friday, some wonderful church friends gave me a send off dessert party. It was intimate (read "small"), though I've been assured that most people didn't actually know it was happening! Apparently, I'm the only one who reads the church bulletin! :-) Nevertheless, it was a wonderful experience. I was reminded again what amazing, funny, intelligent and giving friends I've racked up at CHBC over the years, and I was made to feel loved and appreciated in a very concrete way. That's not to say that I didn't already know that my participation, personality and talents were valued, but it's very affirming to have people actually say such things to your face, to be actively loving in a way that we often forget to be with each other.

It's interesting because the message last Sunday was about the (assumed but often ignored) centrality of the relationships among and between members of the Body of Christ as the way we grow spiritually. Certainly, that's been true for me. However much I gripe and complain sometimes about how much I miss having someone like my dancing partner Heather to sit with on a Sunday morning, now that she's abandoned me for San Francisco (so what if she got married!), the truth is that this church family has been my home for more than 10 years and it's almost impossible to imagine myself without it.

This Saturday, I'm being given another party, this one with a wider range of family and friends. Even my mom is coming up from Florida. Yeah! I'll get to see friends I haven't seen in many moons and get to hang out and soak in all the lovingness :-) How cool is that?! Of course, as someone who shall remain nameless was snarky enough to tell me at the church party, this means now I've got to leave. I've had my party(ies) and no changing my mind is allowed! You'd think church people wouldn't have such sarcastic senses of humor! Of course, hmmm, we pretty much have the same sense of humor. Oh well, there goes another stereotype :-)

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Slightly impulsive

OK, the truth is I couldn't wait one bit longer! I finally gave in my resignation to the JFH ("Job-From-Hell") yesterday, and it felt gooood!! My recruiter advised waiting till next week when the visa application will actually be submitted, but I've been bursting to tell the job trolls for months now, and I couldn't wait even a few more days. Impulsive? Probably. Dangerous? Probably not. I just really needed to finalize things here and convince myself that the long nightmare is (almost) finally over! [Deep, heartfelt sigh]

I set my last day of work for the 31st of May, which should give me another 3-4 weeks to close up the house, etc, etc, before flying out. I can't say enough about how much I'm looking forward to not having to go into work to sit and stare at a computer all day! This is my definition of absolute, stark raving boredom. Ugh! I'm looking forward to sharpening my clinical skills even more and actually interacting with other professionals, rather than being indentured to a bureaucratic, paper-pushing system that could care less about clinical values. OK, enough ranting. I'm supposed to be feeling happy here.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Woo hoo!

I've been grinning so hard the last couple of days, it's a wonder that my face hasn't frozen in that position! Yes, it's true, the final (almost) hurdle has been overcome. I heard from the recruiter yesterday morning that I am officially "validated" to work as a psychologist in Ireland. As Michele says, Woo hoo!! Nothing can stop me now, well except for waiting for the work permit (Green Card) to come through. But, that's basically a formality in the process. My big worry had been that somehow, Ireland's psychologists would say that my training was somehow lacking (that's crazy talk!) and tell me I needed to have some extra training/classes/ whatever. Silly worries, I know. I'm a highly trained and very experienced professional after all, if I do say so myself. But I've heard of crazier things happening and, this is me after all, not heretofore the luckiest person in the world. But, things are looking up!

So, what this means in the immediate future is that I can FINALLY give in my notice at the job from hell. [pause to allow me to do the crazy, happy jig dance] And, uh oh, there goes that darn grin again! My plan, unless someone I trust talks me out of it in the next couple of days, is to give in my notice when I go back to work on Tuesday, then work out the rest of the month. That would give me 3 weeks or so to pack up and close up the house, start showing it to potential renters, and do all the other tiny, little leaving-the-country tasks, before flying out. I'm estimating I would be leaving here around the 3rd or 4th week of June, unless the work permit takes an overly long time to come through. Worst case scenario, I'm left waiting around an extra couple of weeks with nothing to do and no salary. Again, the lack of control issue rears it's ugly head - I have no way of knowing how long it takes to get the Green Card. It's such a new scheme (i.e. "program" for you other non-Irish readers) that it's not clear how long it takes. I've read of some people getting it in 3 weeks, while others say 8! But, I'm determined to think positively. After all, I have been lucky in some things so far, even if the validation did seem to take forever.

All in all, I'm still doing a little jig in my heart :-)