"Oh." I said as I rolled over and heard thunder. Tempted to snuggle in and sleep through the stormy morning, I realized Chienne was already very concerned. I lifted my head and she scurried up to rest on the pillows next to my head while I tried to soothe her. Then she went to the bathtub to hide.
"Hey, pretty girl." I told her when I sat on the edge of the tub. "You need to go outside for me. Please?" After much coaxing, she followed hesitantly as I moved out through the garage and to the front yard.
"Yay!" I congratulated her after she finished. "Such a good, brave girl!" She seemed pleased and followed me happily back inside. I went to get coffee and returned to frown at my precious pup.
"That's OK. You're still a good girl." I told her softly, wrinkling my nose at the small pile of vomit on the floor. I patted her and went to get paper towels and a plastic bag.
Then I saw a bigger mess in the hall.
Here, ducky, ducky...
I unlocked the office, flipped on the light and woke the computer. I took a breath and paged Dr. Icing. I haven't read that paper in about a month. It wouldn't kill me to throw it away, but it would hurt.
"So I can still submit it?" I confirmed after he spoke for a moment. I sighed with relief and agreed that he'd call me after he was out of surgery to discuss a few changes to my document.
Several hours later, we went over many, many, many changes in my "ready-to-submit" manuscript. Then he asked for another copy and tracked changes on it. Many changes. So I'm spending the evening fixing figures and reading text on a paper I thought was done. Which is better than trashing it, of course. But a blow to my "look what a good writer I'm becoming!" ego.
Greater than 92%
"Oooh, wraps." I cooed mentally at seeing the trays set up in the back of the room. I picked out a small turkey and a small roast beef, grabbed a can of soda and sat down. I soon went to fetch more napkins when my mostly-frozen soda exploded all over me, the table and floor.
"At least I was wearing black." I said, embarrassed, and began to mop up the mess.
"There are three people speaking." Joe said several minutes later. He named the two men, then frowned in thought. I was sitting one seat away from him, Dawn between us. I had earlier asked him how he was feeling since he'd recently been sick.
"I'm about 92%." He said and I thought that was about how much I disliked him. I rolled my eyes when he couldn't remember I was the third speaker - far too many scheduled for his stupid lunch meeting. He continued to talk about how weird it was he couldn't remember.
"It's me." I offered and he blinked at me for a moment, then laughed very loudly. I looked away from him until he was quiet.
"It's impressive, actually." I said to Dawn, facing Joe as he took his turn at looking away. "Did you know I was invisible to Joe? Like a superhero."
But I hate him more than 92%. Every time I see him, I find something else I abhor. I know this makes me a bad person, but I really don't care.
I'm aggressive. And persistent. I feel badly about it.
I mentioned I'd been snippy in an email with the no-credit project. Drug Person wrote again today with a spreadsheet she had done to track progress. She asked me to view it and let her know what was missing.
I got angry.
I opened it, muttering all the while about how she wouldn't even do her own job, and glanced over it while looking at the records we sent her last month. The document wasn't even up to date.
To: Drug Person
From: Angry Katie
Is this an old version? I don't see any of the work we sent last time - enclosed with the note from VIMD that requested I be an author on future papers - reflected on the document.
Then I muttered some more. I was alone in the office so it was less weird than it could have been. But I have taken every opportunity to remind Drug Person that I'm not being given anything for doing this work. Which is unfair and ridiculous and only the hope that VIMD will win out over Drug Person keeps me trying because I want that authorship so badly!
So I've been borderline obnoxious because there's only so much I can tolerate. The last email today from Drug Person advised patience. But assured me that I would be a co-author on any eventual papers.
So why does it disappoint me that it was such a hard battle to win? That I behaved in a way that brings me shame and it actually worked. Being abrupt and rude, refusing to work unless it was at my convenience, demanding what I wanted - it was effective. And I fear those things make me too uncomfortable to do longterm.
"You'll have to pick a new favorite." Friend said as I petted the prettiest of her cats. I had loved the one that's now gone. She was very small and incredibly smart. She would stay with me when I visited Friend, finding a spot on the back of the couch or sometimes on my chest when I would lie down. She would stare at me like she knew everything there was to know. And she would curl up with me and offer comfort when I desperately needed it.
I loved her. She was my favorite. And I miss her - very, very much. It's hard to lose someone important and this cat was quite important.
Since I was sad, I called home on my drive back to my house. Mom is sick now. She thinks the bladder infection - her latest of a seemingly endless stream - is causing problems. So she's been throwing up all day. Which worries me a good deal. I see my doctor tomorrow to ask why I don't ever seem to feel very well. I need to get the oil in my car changed. Walk the dog. Fix those figures. Try to focus on all three papers I have in mind.
But I told Chienne that she could throw up whenever she wants. She's important. And while it's difficult to see the bright side when I feel like I've taken some hits today, I'm ending the day much as I started it. A warm dog is sleeping at my side. So there's hope that tomorrow will be better. And maybe today wasn't as bad as it could have been. One step forward is, perhaps, better than no steps at all.