Wednesday, May 17, 2006

These Aren't the Gods You're Looking For


Let's see. On the Arthur front. He's started to sign for things, mostly food. He'll knock his knuckles together, the sign for "more" [food]. He'll bring his index finger and thumb together in a circle for "Ohs" (Cheerios). He made up his own sign, bringing his hand up by his ears and opening and closing his fist for "Stop fooling around with that spoon and give it to me!" He can also wave good-bye. He hasn't learned the sign for cat, yet.

Arthur occasionally wants to feed us. I used to think this was because he wanted to share his food. Now I think it's an excuse for him to get his hands inside our mouths so he can pull on our tongues and teeth.

Last week we gave into our pediatrician and filled a subscription for amoxilian to treat an infected ear Arthur keeps having whenever he's sick. We gave him a dose last Wednesday night and Thursday morning. By Thursday afternoon his back was covered with little tiny red dots. It was like he had chicken pox. "Hey, wait a minute," I thought, and read the little fact sheet the pharmacist gave me with the antibiotic. There, rash was listed as one of the symptoms where you should seek immediate medical attention. Of course it was 4:30PM when I made this discovery. I managed to make an emergency visit with another doctor in our pediatrician's practice (we'd visited her before) and it was off to the other side of town. There's nothing like a child with a rash to focus one's aggressive driving skills.

Of course the City of Eugene responded. There were the two stupid college girls riding their bikes down 13th street -- a really busy street -- with no safety helmets, dragging a dog on a leash behind them as they rode against traffic lights. There were the really slow drivers in the lanes I needed. There was the idiot salesman in a jacked-up truck, obviously lost and spreading his attention between a cell phone and a map. And we mustn't forget the city busses.

With a judicious use of The Force, I managed to get to the doctor's office with about five minutes to spare. In the ten minutes it had taken to get Arthur to the doctor's the rash had spread from his back to his front. It turns out this sort of rash is a reaction to amoxilin, but not an allergic reaction to amoxilin. The rash went away a day later. They really need to make a distinction on those list of symptoms and distinguish between "seek immediate medical attention because this could be a problem" and "seek immediate medical attention because you could die."

Oh yes... during all this driving, I managed to rush out of the house without my wallet, which includes my driver's license. By some miracle, I had the joint credit card in my pocket. I suppose if I had been pulled over I could have explained to the nice officer that (exhibit A) my child did have a rash and (exhibit B) it was caused by an antibiotic prescription. Then I would have said, "These aren't the 'droids you're looking for. I can go about my business."

The weather I hate is here. I hope it goes away. Monday it was in the low nineties. Tuesday (yesterday) and today it's been in the high eighties. I want it to rain and go back to being in the sixties and seventies. I suppose I did have a kind of hiatus, though; there's a gastrointestinal bug going around Eugene (Mark had it first) and the accompanying fever had me feeling cold Monday.

A new god has entered Arthur's pantheon. The Big Red Kitchen Aid Mixer. It came out of its corner when we made a chocolate cake with chocolate icing and chocolate mouse filling for Mother's Day. It (the mixer) elicited a look of awe and an "ooh" from Arthur. With all this love of household appliances (and the toilet), maybe Arthur will be a domestic mantis.

And speaking of new gods on Mother's day, my Mom has been telling all her friends that I've returned to regular church service. I'm pretty sure that she's been leaving out that it's a Unitarian Church that has the last half of Doreen Valantie's Charge of the Goddess in its hymnal. Mom (and Mom's friends): I'll be leading a service on Wicca at the Unitarian Church this June 25 -- we'll use the hymnal to chant pagan chants, and we'll be celebrating the first new moon of Summer. Sooner or later, someone will probably want to talk about Asherah and bake cakes for the Queen of Heaven. Don't tell the Pope, he already doesn't approve.

On other fronts -- I've got two stories in the mail. I expect to hear about one around the end of June. I'm not sure when I'll hear about the other one, although it's made at least the first cut. Before everyone got sick I was writing about two hours a night for a while.

I've also discovered a cute little Macintosh Application called Voodoo Pad. It allows you to make your own little Wikipedia on your Macintosh. I intend to use it to make author and subject cards for my library and cross index some of my essays. What I really want is something like the Star Trek holodeck; I'd display pages of a book in a column, and arrange the book columns on a timeline and then put glowing links between references in the books. Then I'd add things like "The Sorcerer of Trois-Frères," a Paleolithic cave drawing that bares only vague resemblance to its original reproduction by Abbé Henri Breuil. Then I'd make all the glowing links to "bad" or "suspect" research red. This would do some bad things to Margaret Murry's God of the Witches and the effect would cascade downwards. At this point, one of my writer friends, Grá, will intrude on my research fantasy to accuse me of shouting, "Hah! Where is your Goddess now?" next.

"Where is Your Goddess Now" will probably be the title of the service at the Unitarian Church once the atheists get organized.
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