the waiting game

I’m sitting in the Graduate Admissions office at another university (don’t worry, this university and Lake Forest College do NOT compete with each other, so there is no real conflict of interest).  I’m trying to troubleshoot an error in a batch process file that runs daily – importing data from one database to another.  As it is running I have to “tick” each process as it completes so that I’ll know what part of the 36 processes is failing.  But some of the processes take at least 8 minutes each to run.  That’s 8 minutes of staring at a screen watching stuff fly by that is nonsense.  Ugh.  The ONLY consolation in all of this is that my tuition will be reduced (albeit slightly).  But the reduction is better than nothing.

In the meantime, I thought I would tell you a story about my grandmother.  Meme had a stroke about 15 years ago that left her with the inability to quickly recall what things are called.  Example – she knows what a fork is, how to use it and where it is stored, but she might not remember what it is called – at least not quickly.  This, as you can guess, has led to some very interesting conversations because sometimes she’ll substitute a word that has no relation to the one she is trying to say.

One evening my Mom, Dad, Meme and I were sitting at the table for dinner.  I used to have a cat named Fergus, a black, male, tom cat that was really smart.  As we were finishing up dinner Meme said, “I think I’m going to go outside and *rape* the cat.”  (Now, for the record, she actually said “rake”, but my mom and I heard “rape”.) 

The three of us (Mom, Dad and I) sort of pause and look at each other a little strangely.  So I said, “Um, Meme, I don’t think he’ll like that very much.” 

To which she said, “Oh, he loves to be raked.”  (We were relieved at this point that she clarified “rake” instead of “rape”, but “raking the cat” still didn’t seem like a good idea to me.)  The three of us still had a slightly quizzical and dumbfounded look on our face, but Meme was unaware of any discrepancy in what she had just said. 

Still not convinced that we were understanding her properly, one of us said something like, “so, when was the last time you raked the cat?” to which Meme said, “oh, I do it all the time.” 

About a minute later she opened the back door, Fergus followed her out, she picked up his hairbrush and proceeded to brush him.  She was right about one thing: Fergus loved to be brushed!

My process is about to finish, so I gotta run.  Toodles!

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