Thursday, January 17, 2013

In Which I Find A Possibly Hazardous New Hobby

Things have been settling down a wee bit over here; I'm finally getting used to the routine of things and not wanting to go to sleep at seven at night.  So that's nice.  The kids are both in full-day school five days a week, the Christmas decorations are put away and the house is more or less (mostly less) in order.  This means I'm ready to start finding a bit of a personal outlet again.

Derby is not in the cards right now, I am sad to say.  If roller derby practices were some time between ten and two on week days I'd be golden, but since unfortunately most of the derby gals have this crazy thing called work that they do in the daytime and for some absurd reason won't reschedule everything for my convenience, that's not really an option.  Currently evening time and weekends are Family Time.  So I need something I can do during the day sometime between Monday-Friday.  I have sewing and crafting and whatnot of course, which I will continue to do, but I also need something that involves other people.  And by other people, I mean Adult People. 

Anyway, first I looked into continuing education classes at the local college.  I loved college.  I am the kind of person who, if I hadn't gotten married and had children and stuff, would probably still be in college.  I would be eight gabillion dollars in debt since that would mean I would have been in college for thirteen consecutive years, and probably have extremely poor personal hygiene and be living on ramen and dryer lint, but I would be learning, dang it.  But unfortunately all the continuing education classes seem to be targeted at those aforementioned working people, and so are on evenings and weekends. 

Next I thought maybe I could find a creative writing or literature class that I might be allowed to audit, but apparently if you want to do that they make you pay full tuition and fees unless you are over sixty or you, you know, actually work for the university or something.  Or possibly if you know the professor who is teaching the class, and sadly I seem to be fresh out of English professor contacts-- probably since the last college class I took was over nine years ago and on the complete other side of the country. 

There are online classes of course, but they would leave me once again sitting in front of a computer writing and talking to my cats, which is pretty much what I do all day right now for free so there's no point in paying for it.

So then I thought about volunteering at one of the kid's schools.  I always enjoy teaching, and mentoring or helping out kids might be fun.  But then I realized that right now pretty much all I do is mentoring or helping out my kids, and I don't really want to spend my free time right now doing it with anyone else's offspring.  This kind of makes me sound like a jerk, but oh well: them's the facts.

After a bit of floundering around on various volunteering websites, I finally drove down to the local animal shelter and put in an application to help out one or two days a week.  If I volunteer there I'll still be spending most of my time talking to cats, but at least I'll be getting some exercise in the process; those huge bags of cat food are heavy.  And also I might have the occasional interaction with an actual adult human being.  I find this idea to be very exciting.

Now of course, this plan could potentially backfire in a major way.  I have done a lot of volunteering or working in various animal shelters and veterinary centers in the past during my pre-children years, and absolutely adored it.  Except for that one time when I worked for a person with ninety cats and obsessive compulsive disorder.  Really.  That was not fun.

But otherwise I enjoyed it, and even though I desperately wanted to on several occasions, I never took any cats home because I was not in a situation to do so.  I either lived with my parents, in a dorm, or in an apartment that did not allow pets.  Though I did convince my parents to adopt a gigantic gorgeous fluffy marshmallow of a tabby that snored, drooled when she was petted and shed copious amounts of orange fur on every available surface, so I guess that statement about not ever taking any cats home isn't completely true. 

All that has changed, though.  Now I am a Big Grownup Person and I have a house and everything, and if I want to adopt eight cats there's nothing to stop me.  Except Jer threatening to divorce me of course, which is probably what would happen if I came home with eight cats.  And I don't need any more cats; not to mention Loki and Cricket would probably be Slightly Put Out about it.  I suppose I might foster the occasional kitten though, which I know the cats are okay with due to the time I bottle fed those four kittens I found abandoned in my carport one year which I then foisted off on friends and relatives-- including my long-suffering parents.  They got the one with poor personal hygiene and a tendency to bite ankles at random moments.    No doubt they are still thanking me for that one.

The major advantage of fostering, though, is that once the kittens get old enough they actually leave your house instead of staying and growing into larger sized cats with correspondingly larger intake and, um, output.  Yes.  In my case they left for my friends and relative's houses, but I'm pretty sure if you foster in an official capacity the animal shelter has some people other than my parents who I can foist them off on.  

Anyway, while I might foster on occasion I in no way need permanent additions to the household.  So your job, gentle readers, is to whack me over the head if I look like I'm in imminent danger of doing something like adopting eight cats.  I probably won't listen to you, but then after the divorce papers are served you can at least say "I told you so."  


1 comment:

xraevision said...

Great post. And here I thought it was going to be about baking desserts that involve a blow torch - a hazardous hobby on more than one level.

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