A Clockwork Orange

So, I finally checked Sarah's blog and took the hint that I need to update.

Truthfully, I haven't updated partially because I didn't want to write about a certain event, but I feel I can't leave it out of my little experiment in digital exhibitionism. I still don't want to write about this, so forgive my short treatment of it here. It is not for lack of emotion.

My ferret, Puck, died. A few weeks ago, we started noticing some strange sores on his back. We took him to the vet, they thought it was allergies, we got medicine and moved on. Then, a few days later, he started having breathing problems. First, it was bad coughing, and then he would just sit and heave/wheeze. So we took him to the vet again, and this time they were more concerned. After a flurry of tests and procedures, the vet concluded it was probably cancer. Armed with a bunch of medications and food supplements, we took him home and hoped for the best. However, after about a week he had stopped eating and drinking, and was also having trouble walking. Plus, he was still really laboring to breathe. So last Friday (one week ago today), we took him to the vet again. The vet agreed he was indeed much worse, and probably wouldn't get any better. We both knew he was really suffering. We had him put to sleep. He was almost 6. He is dearly missed.

Later that day, friends from El Paso arrived for a visit that had been months in the works. We had lunch at The Loophole and made our way to Oktoberfest that evening, for our annual dose of German beer, polka music, and liederhosen. Unfortunately, I think our visitors were not terribly impressed with German beer (sacrelige!) and the festivities in general, no doubt preferring their own cultural parties, the infamous Fiesta! It's true, Mexicans do know how to have a good time. They don't even really need an excuse for it, whereas the stodgy Gerries seem to allow themselves only one really big shindig annually. I would point out, however, that both the German and Mexican traditional varieties of parties involve accordians and beer.

To be fair, our guests arrived quite sick, and I imagine that may have also impacted their "party-readiness". All in all, I had a great time, and I came very close to winning a "Best Beer Belly" contest with my awesome yoga abs! It was okay, though, because I lost to a guy who had clearly been "training" for this very event almost his whole life. He deserved to win, and I had no problem losing to him. Plus, I got a consolation prize! (A gift certificate to the food court in the Addison Civic Center? Oh well.)

While at Oktoberfest, we ran into a certain John Safranek, whom we had not seen in some time. He's got such ecclectic interests; apparently now he's a watchmaker. Amazingly, I don't doubt that he's very good at it. Evidently, he's been making a lot of money at it - so much in fact that he's planning to quit his job teaching at the university and do watch repairs full-time. He's gotten so much business, he's had to shut down his website several times. Safranek and I are both currently trying to convince a certain jewelry and metalsmithing hobbyist with a penchant for mechanisms, an eye for detail, and a supernatural ability to work on very small things that we have found his calling; he need look no further. Heck, he's even German! Becoming a watchmaker is like, his genetic destiny, the culmination of generations of Winters, toiling to produce the perfect horologist.

You must admit, it has the makings of a TV special.

The day after Oktoberfest, we all went sailing with my parents and had a good time. Then, our guests went back to El Paso (they left at 4 AM!) and the weekend was over before I'd realized it had even started!