I caught a bug last weekend. By bug, I don't mean a creepy crawly critter... nobody would say I wouldn't hurt a fly, because I totally vacuum up critters. (Squashing them makes me queasy). No, the bug I'm referring to is the kind that make us sick. I don't know if it was a virus or infection, but it laid me out all weekend. I went into work yesterday, but ended up leaving early. And this morning I woke up with a fever so after an internal war, called off and went back to bed. I fed the cat first of course.
Later Mr. Bear said "Meow!" and curled up next to me, purring. He's been so loving the last couple days. It's either because I'm sick or because I've stopped using the Furminator. He really hates that thing and I don't actually blame him. It a clipper blade with a handle on it. The teeth are sharp and metal and I've known since the day it arrived in the the mail that it's apparent effectiveness is a result of both shed hair removal and cutting hairs. (Which results in shorter hairs fall off him in rivers, shorter hairs being harder to remove.) Nevertheless it's pleasurable for me to use.
Feeling both outright sick and sick of the plumes of hair falling off of him, I said, "I just gave you a bath. You're getting Furminated."
After all of two minutes his sweetness vanished and he snarled at the Furminater, biting it. That lead me to YouTube videos of people Furminating their cats. I'd watched similar videos before forking out the thirty bucks for the tool. Then I had been looking at whether it worked. Now, I was looking at how people got their cats to hold still and the answer is they didn't. Video after video, I saw pet owner restraining their kitties to brush them.
"I'm sorry Mr. Bear," I said. Pets are forgiving so he said "meow," and jumped onto the sofa next to me. I pulled out the old wire type with plastic balls at the end of the wires to protect the kitties skin. He purred and purred and rubbed his cheeks against it. Unlike the Furminator, I didn't have to worry about ripping out a whisker or hurting him. (The Furminator is not safe are a pet's face.) Thirty minutes later Mr. Bear wasn't even close to being finished, though I was ready for a third nap. He joined me in the bedroom, and curled up next next to me. Around eight tonight my fever finally broke and now I feel much better so I thought I'd write a little something on my bog. He's currently warming my lap.
A writer friend who I made on this blog sent me an email asking about how things are going and I told her the truth: slowly. And because I spent more time procrastinating about working than working today, somehow I landed on a Google search that lead me to an author who wrote about review bullies and catfishing, which lead me to the movie and ultimately to the TV show which turned out to be a really great way to procrastinate. (Since there were full episodes on YouTube.)
From a douche who used the internet to practice his game to a man who got involved with a transgender woman who wasn't transgender, the stories are interesting and ... complex. Because people are complex and sometimes we just don't know all the reasons we do things. Take writing (because I might be a writer) for example. I started writing because it was my way out of dead end jobs and I continued writing because I enjoyed it and now I don't know. I have moments when I think, "I really want to finish that" but when I sit down to do it, I find a thousand other things to do, from washing dishes to cleaning the cat.
Yes, I admit it. Instead of writing, I watched Catfish and gave the cat a bath which he really did not appreciate. Also, the bath came before the Catfish marathon, not that you needed to know that. Anyway, I am impressed by this TV show's kindness and understanding of people and their complexity. It exerts change, often without judgement.
I've professed a love for reality TV previously and a disillusionment when I learned that a lot of it is orchestrated through sleep deprivation and alcohol and that's assuming the reality isn't outright fake. Also, I love My Cat from Hell and Gold Rush Alaska-- this season is awesome!
The big news in Yeongju is that the public schools will not be renew contracts in 2015 for elementary school teachers. Just two years ago, native teachers worked in high schools and middle schools. Korea is shifting a lot of it's budget for native teachers to a free school lunch program and free day care program. The number of teachers in public schools is falling, falling, falling. Those of us that remain are being asked to do more work for less pay.
When it happens to you it feels like $$&***. Like all your efforts and hard work and the gazillion little things that you do that aren't required... you can understand why the workers of American Airlines started doing exactly what their job required which caused lots of delays.
A few weeks ago I resigned my contract (as per my last post.) I wrote that working at my job is emotional antimatter. Since then A LOT has happened, the most important being that I realized I love my job and it's not emotional antimatter. It's... that I minimized who stressful living in a foreign country is. It's tough. It's taken me six years to realize that what I do is truly, utterly tough, but there it is. And now that my work is like a regular job back home, which is to say, busy, busy, busy, I am truly, crazily feeling the impact of living abroad.
Anyway, there is nothing like hearing about all the people who are loosing their jobs, to you appreciate the one you have.
Mariel R. is an ESL teacher, horse trainer, writer, editor, sporadic blogger, and lover of beer. She lives in South Korea with two cats, three horses, a German Shepherd and 17 chickens.
Bear (Gom in Korean) then (above) now (below)
Geumbi (Goldy in English) R.I.P February, 23, 2018