October 22nd, 2003



Very early on in my adult life, I worked as a third-shift supervisor in a bakery on the Northwest side of Chicago. The plant was hot during the summer, cold during the winter, always noisy, dusty and full of bugs, mice and other vermin. The president of the company would spend many of his off hours in the bar across the street, then arrive at 3 AM, drunk as a skunk, and make my life and the lives of everyone on the third shift a living hell. Every week or so, we would have to shut down and clean the plant and all of the equipment. The smell was always awful, and the slimy mold that covered the insides of some of it was enough to make me gag. At least once while I was working there, the INS showed up and hauled half of the guys off to jail, and one particularly terrible night when I was assaulted by a guy who used to work for me. (I still have the scar to prove it.)

You know what? There are days that I look back on those days fondly, as if they were the best time of my life, almost wishing that I could go back to those salad days of mine. Today was one of those days. Let's leave it at that.

Connie update

The cat's doing much better after several days on IV fluids. Mary went to see her today, and she was acting like her usual self. The staff at the vet's office love her, and she's been demanding (and getting) lots of attention. Mary says that she's been purring and cooing as she always has.

Unfortunately, her liver is swollen, and pressing up against her stomach, and she's not eating. Of course, cats don't generally eat very well at the animal hospital, but still, it worries me. Tomorrow, they're going to do some surgery and try to biopsy her liver. I've been forewarned that there are always dangers when there's surgery, but I think it's a risk that we have to take, and I'm confident that she'll pull through just fine.

Thank you all again for your kind thoughts and prayers for her, and for us. They've helped tremendously.