A Classic: Philippine PEN Conference, Cebu 2010

Self would be hard put to identify each and every writer in this photo.  She’s in touch with some of them still  —  on Facebook, as well as  on e-mail.  Did she forget to mention that she had such a good time gabbing with old buddy Wendell Capili, and that Ferdie Lopez helped her out when she was lost and wandering around the Cebu terminal, looking for Gate 7 for her flight to Bacolod?

Self thinks she must have been dreaming:  Cebu, Montebello Villa, the judge who writes poetry about birds, the waiters handing out ensaimada with ube inside, hanging out with other writers, Bacolod, Dumaguete, Siquijor, Hinobo-an, Cubao X, the Balay Daku on Burgos Street, meeting with Francis and Zack in Greenbelt.  She was imagining all that, right?  And Gracie is not actually sick.  And son’s girlfriend Amanda did not just fall from a horse and receive a concussion, and self did not get the call from son, early this morning, in which he delivered the extremely terrible news that, for the first time ever, he will not be coming home for Christmas.

No, self never left;  she was here all the time in Redwood City.

Maligayang Pasko, everyone!

Stay tuned.

Gracie Update

She’s trembling, the poor li’l crit, under the broad leaves of a giant agapanthus.

Self stayed up with her last night, then fell asleep around dawn.  At some point during the night, Gracie was barking, barking, barking.  This is just the li’l crit’s way:  when she is frightened or nervous, she barks.  Last night, she kept it up for hours.  Hubby eventually got up.  Self heard him moving around the kitchen.  She must have fallen asleep.

When she came to, it was already past 10 a.m, and hubby was mopping up dog pee from the kitchen floor.  He declared that Gracie was completely blind.

We told the vet we’d start insulin treatment.  We went to the clinic so a nurse could show us how it should be done:  “Tent the skin,” the nurse told self.  “Here, you practice on one of our boarders.”  Another nurse came in, leading a gigantic and supremely gentle collie on a leash.  Self put her right hand on the ridge of the collie’s back, grabbed a pinch of skin, lifted, and jabbed in a slender needle with what she hoped was convincing assertiveness (Syringe was filled with saline solution only).  It didn’t go in all the way.

“It’s all right,” the nurse said.  “I know it’s different when it’s not your dog.”

Since Gracie became so weak, the other li’l crit, Bella, has been staying clear of her.  Funny how these things go, this animal instinct for self-preservation.  Whatever it is Gracie has, Bella must be thinking or feeling, she surely doesn’t want any of it.

Self bought cans of special prescription dog food, mixed some with warm water, and Gracie lapped it up.

Let’s see, what else today?  In spite of all the drama over Gracie, self managed to finish Jose Saramago’s The Cave, which she started reading on the plane to Manila (Last time self was in Manila, she managed to read four books.  This time, she couldn’t even get through one) She brought it back to the library, hoping to borrow another book.  She had just put money into the parking meter when a man said, “Library’s closed today.”  Self expressed surprise, dismay, disappointment.  She kept on walking until she reached the library’s front entrance and saw the posted holiday schedule.  The library re-opens on Sunday, the day after Christmas.

Self wishes the holidays were over already, real fast.

Just now, she made hubby help her bring Gracie back inside.  Hubby complained that her fur is matted with urine, which is true.  But, at this point, self doesn’t care that the li’l crit stinks to high heaven, only that she is still alive.

Son offered to take Gracie back with him to Claremont.  Self actually thought this was a pretty good idea, as Gracie loves son.  But how would he handle the blindness, the twice-daily insulin injections, his classes, as well as an assistantship?  Self wondered if perhaps Gracie might be happy with son’s girlfriend, whose parents have a farm in Nipomo.  Amanda has two other dogs, and she knows animals.  So many things to ponder, and self’s been back barely two days.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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