I am attempting to write this post through Ben’s head. Spelling errors may be inevitable.

We’re back, anyway. Ben is VERY glad to see me, and is standing on my laptop and headbutting my face. The beagle whimpered and grovelled and peed on my feet. Normalcy is restored, for our value of normal.

Nevertheless, it’s been kind of a rough day. I pride myself on indomitability in the face of adversity, but this is gettin’ a little ridiculous.

The plane ride was…something else. The flight was delayed for lack of a flight attendant, they got another flight attendant scheduled, and while they waited, two more volunteered to get us all onto the plane, although they couldn’t actually take off with us. Great, so we all get on the plane. Then it turns out, after half an hour of sitting at the gate, that the first flight attendant had failed to check her schedule and gone home. We all got off the plane again. I went to the bathroom three gates away. While in the bathroom, I was informed on the intercom that everybody needed to get back on the plane immediately, as we had a new attendant and we’re reboarding now now now. So I sprinted to the gate, a sight which Kevin described as "really quite epic," because I happened to be wearing a very low-cut top and…well…a pair of DD’s can generate some serious motion when their owner is hauling ass. (I don’t run anywhere these days without a sports-bra, unless life or death or planes are involved. Or good birds.)

I take consolation that any straight men or lesbians in those three gates may have had their airport experience made just a little brighter.

So we get back on the plane. The man sitting next to me, who had been quite agitated about our delay, revealed the source of his agitation–his carry-on consisted of a small dog, who wasn’t feeling well. I made sympathetic noises. We got airborne. Concerned for the dog’s apparent misery, he opened the carrier and put her on his lap, whereupon we learned that the problem with the dog was air sickness.

Science has yet to adequately document the ability of the human body to levitate in times of great stress, which is a shame, because I could have provided the grounds for most of a scientific paper right there. Moving at blinding speed, I flung myself upwards out of the seat, out of the path of dog barf, which pooled on my seat instead. I stayed that way, braced upright, unable to free a hand to unbuckle my seatbelt (which might have helped) while the dog owner apologized, horrified, peeled off his sweater and began trying to clean my seat with it.

Kevin, who had been seated on the opposite side of the aisle, watched this whole performance in bafflement, since he’d missed the dog barf, and all he was seeing was my sudden quasi-yoga position.

The barf got cleaned up, the dog went back in the carrier, the deeply mortified owner apologized four or five more times. "Don’t worry about it," I said wearily, finally dropping back into my seat. "It’s not the first time an animal’s thrown up on me, and I seriously doubt it’ll be the last."

Uttering a statement like this tends to make one reconsider one’s life choices, but before I got to do more than muse vaguely about where I went wrong, an unmistakable odor drifted up from the carrier. Apparently the dog had finished with the front end and decided to evacuate from the other end as well.

"I’m doing to take her to the bathroom," said the owner sadly. "And see if I can give you some time to recover."

I assured him that I was fine, really, I have dogs, would he like a beagle? but he went off and spent half an hour or so with the stewardesses in the back. I explained the situation to Kevin, largely in mime.* The little old lady seated next to him said "You know, I was going to be nice and switch seats with her so that you two could sit together, but now I’m kinda glad I didn’t…" Can’t say I blamed her.

We finally got to Raleigh, my seatmate apologized again, I told him again not to worry about it, and then once we were off the plane and I had stopped at the A&W for some deep-fried cheese curds** he bolted in, tossed a twenty into my purse, said "At least let me buy you dinner!’ and ran off again before I could finish protesting it wasn’t necessary at all, I worked at a vet for a couple of years, I have been puked on by professionals.

But hey, free cheese curds. Poor guy.

So we got home at last, all the animals were fine–it’s bloody COLD here, in the twenties, and we left sixties and seventies behind us, but hey, that’s life. And then Kevin’s car wouldn’t start. Fine, take mine to get kids and groceries, not a problem. Battery had just run down, recharging as we speak.

After he drove off, I opened the fridge and discovered that the milk had become a consistency and color that one hates to see in one’s dairy products. Hmm. Sell buy date’s less than a week ago. Odd. Sure, it might go bad, but would it go solid?

I went to get it out, and it was…warm.


Some experimental feeling around confirmed my fears–the fridge had died the death of large appliances. A hooded chest freezer with a scythe had come in the night, and taken it wherever faithful refrigerators go. Well, at twelve years old, it pre-dates Kevin’s children, and it’s been on its last legs for awhile, so we weren’t that surprised. Fortunately, it’s so damn cold out that we can just shove the groceries on the deck and keep them plenty fresh until we manage to get a replacement in.

Blargh. Well, okay. Two things malfunctioning. That’s okay. We can deal with that.

I went upstairs, hit the on button on my main computer, saw the little blue light flash, and then it went deader than the refrigerator.

Right, I thought. The important thing is not to panic.

I pushed the button. Nothing happened. I pushed it longer. Nothing. I stared at the ceiling, pretending to be considering something else, and casually, nonchalantly, nudged the button. Nothing.

I will not panic. I will not gibber. Yes, my life and my tax information and my art are all on this machine, but that’s FINE. No need to panic. All will be well. I can always join the Peace Corps. Yes. They’ll take me. I can plant trees in soil-eroded areas. Admittedly, it would have been better to do it ten years ago when they would have forgiven some of my student loans as a result, y’know, before I paid them off, but that’s fine. Fine. FINE. The trees will love me. Perhaps they will make me their queen.

I checked the various plugs and connections, all of which were perfectly fine. I got up and went and unpacked a suitcase, applied Liquid Nails to the cow horns, lunged at the button, got nothing, went back to the cow skull, got Liquid Nails all over my hands, went and washed it off, came back, glared at the button, and went to go take my aggressions out on the contents of the fridge.

Kevin came home, discovered me being Just Fine, Thank You, being the technically minded one, dissected the beast while I was cleaning out the fridge. My video card is fried, he’ll try and replace it tomorrow. Whew. Okay. That’s easily solved with application of money. Sorry, trees. You’ll have to find someone else to be queen.

So Digger will be back Thursday instead of Tuesday, I’m typing this on my laptop, and I think I should probably go to bed before something else breaks.

*Fortunately the mime for "vomit" is beautifully precise.

**One of my vices, developed from years of living in the Midwest.

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