Thursday, April 26, 2007

Parting Shot

A one-two punch of dad getting married on Sat and mom's old man friend having a massive stroke from which he is not expected to recover have rendered me speechless the past couple of days. Well, internet speechless. If you've seen me in real life you probably dream of the day when I'll be speechless on these (and other) subjects. In the past 2 days I have almost had my knee dislocated, paper cut one finger nearly to the musculature, worked toward dislocating a finger with a leash and just now tripped on a metal bucket and stubbed my toe so hard tears came to my eyes. So, clearly concentration is not my forte. The dog wore herself out with the Bobster and she seems to be in a lot of pain now, too, and that's kind of wigging me out, I have to admit.

I didn't want you, the internet, to think I'd abandoned you, though.

Tomorrow I head north for all things wedding and illness related. I'm also dropping my computer off with the incomparable Mr. Chili. He is planning to perform some memory enhancing surgery that he may or may not ever have done before and hopefully hand me back a system that does everything it's supposed to do, at least until I try to save too much of the internet to my hard drive again.

The upshot is that I don't know when I'll be back here since the return trip for the computer is up in the air timing-wise. I'm sure you'll be fine here without me. Talk amonst yourselves and I'll be back as soon as I can.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I Can Quit Any Time I Want

I just don't want to.

Here's some fun pictures to look at for anyone who can't bear to read more about my dogventures today. If nothing else today is fair warning to anyone who feels an urge to invite me over to look at a slide show of their vacation or their baby or their coin collection, the conversation will not be one sided so think carefully before you wade in.

For those of you soldiering on I don't have another 10, maybe not even 5. As I type the dogs are beside me, licking out the insides of each other's mouths. I think my endless need to tell dog stories is an agent against the one bad thing about this week of dogitude. Anxiety dreams. I had them for the first 3 nights of our sleepover. I'd dream that I was walking around the neighborhood and Bobby or Emily would wander by, just out of my reach or I'd be actively looking for them and not able to find them. The third night it escalated to include Teddy and I'm not even taking care of Teddy. Just dogs I love wandering slowly by me with leashes trailing and I can't stop them. Apparently part of my brain realized that Kath & Alex left for Ireland with nothing but an infrequently checked e-mail address for contact. I guess they trust me to make the right decisions. Bastards. The dreams went away so I figured I was all set but then on the train home tonight (speaking of bastards) I fell asleep just enough to have a dream where Emily, on a leash that I was holding, walked in front of a minivan in slow motion and got hit with such force she was lifted off the ground and crumpled to the pavement. Then I woke up.

Consider my frequent dog posts a vaccine.

The Sundance Kid is a semi-permanent fixture at our beloved local pet food store, Who's Your Doggy. She's about 6 years old, very verbal and friendly, her mom helps run the place and she loves to give all the dogs treats when they come in. So we went in yesterday and she followed all the right protocol by asking if it was OK to give them treats. I taught her to hold the treat for Bobby like he was a horse, on the palm of her hand, since he's eager in his eating. She was so polite she didn't even mention the fact that she retracted a limb literally dripping with slobber. Emily wouldn't take the treat she was offered so I told Sundance to give it to Bobby. She held it high over his frantically swinging head and out toward me with a superior, "He should have it after supper." Well, yes ma'am.

We had a dust up with a big (100lb maybe?) German Shepherd in the park this evening. His name is Cole and he and Bobby are friends. Since Emily tends to be OK with GSD's (German Shepherd Dogs) and with boys I tried it out after warning Cole's guy that she was unpredictable. And she bore me out. She joined in the sniffing while the leashes braided but declined to participate in the slightest measure when Cole suddenly decided to give Bobby the supreme smackdown. GSD's are apparently somewhat racist. They will favor other GSD's over any other kind of dog, even going so far as to favor a GSD mix over any non GSD's if no pure bred is available. So it's likely that Cole wanted to know what this upstart mutt was doing with a good German girl. Or maybe it was just testosteroney posturing since there was a girl around. Or maybe it was because Cole and Bobby usually play off leash and everyone was leashed and in close proximity. We may never know. No damage done, though.

I swear to you that earlier tonight I was sitting on the couch and the dogs were wrestling and smashing about and aqueaking toys. I went to the bathroom. I can still see all of their preferred play area from the throne, mind you. No, the dogs took a break. They lay down, panting, and rested until I was done. When I got back to the couch the festivities resumed. It was like a TV time out in hockey.

OK, I'm winding down. I've got a million other stories to tell but they'd bore even me in the retelling.

On another note can you tell me why someone I haven't spoken to in ages is stopping by here about once a week but only viewing one page for 0 seconds? What's the point there? Either read or don't read, I don't get this driveby sort of thing. Are they reading at work, somewhere that I can't identify, and only swinging by from home to see if there are updates? I'm tempted to start telling stories on them to smoke them out. We'll see. Maybe later. Right now I have dogs to obsess over.

Twenty Things Twosday

In the shower after I posted my 10 Things I thought, "I think I've got 10 more in me" ('That's what she said.' 'That's what you wish she said, man.')

Then I thought I wouldn't subject the intarweb to all that.

Then I found this picture and I decided, screw it, the intarweb doesn't have to read it if they don't want, they can just look at the picture and pee themselves laughing.


1. Actually it is my dog barking. It's just that she usually doesn't have anyone to bark at.

2. 2 toys have been destroyed. The blame is equally distributed between both dogs.

3. I'm OK with that. These are toys I've had forever that no one was playing with so I feel like they were finally put to good use. However, I never thought you could destroy a Wiggly Giggly Ball. Apparently if you have enormous paws you can step on it with all your weight to open up a crack and then start chewing. It'll still giggle right up to the end, though.

4. I'm slightly disturbed that between my thinking, "That toy isn't safe anymore when they're unsupervised." and my thinking, "OK, I've got to go, I'll hide the toy now." the Wiggly Giggly ball has completely disappeared. Lag time was approximately 5 minutes and I never left the room where the ball and the dogs were. No idea where it is.

5. For the first few days Bobby wasn't checking on me in the shower. I felt kind of rejected. He's started again but he only looks in once and he doesn't wait for me on the bathmat, he waits out in the hall. It's very When Harry Met Sally and why you should never take a girl to the airport.

6. Most of the dogs I hang out with are oldsters. I keep thinking, "We'll get together with some dogs that Em likes so Bob can hang out with other dogs." but it's like taking a toddler to the old folks' home, it's nice for the old folks but it's not doing a lot for the toddler.

7. Because of Emily' management issues and my crippling guilt over taking Bobby out without her I've favored indoor fetch and wrestling and long walks over taking him for off leash on his own. If he were mine for keeps this wouldn't be a good long term plan but for this week I think it's worked well. I don't think he's been too bored and I do think he's getting enough attention and exercise.

8. I hope K&A are OK with this and I'm not stricken from the Bobbysitting list.

9. The dogs like to wrestle and run around and play with the toys. How come they'll only do it when I'm in the room? I spend 15 minutes in the shower and another 20 getting dressed and dried and whatnot, why do they wait until I'm trying to actually navigate the living room or, god forbid, sit on the sofa to start the shenanigans?

10. In response to Chili's comment from below, I'd like to think that kids and dogs act like yabos around us because they really love us so much they cannot contain themselves. In reality I think it's that, once they get used to us, our requests are no more than background noise, a comforting accompaniment to everyday life. When someone new shows up they actually start listening to content.

I'm exhausted but, hey, I kind of can't wait to get home.

10 Pieces of Dog Related Minutae

In keeping with the theme of my week you get 10 dog things.

1. I've been getting up at 6 and going straight out in my sweats with the dogs and walking the neighborhood for an hour.

2. Weirdly I like #1. It's quiet and the dogs are mostly well-behaved and we usually don't run across other dogs so it's pretty tame and nice. Too bad 6am has to come so freaking early.

3. Why is it always the exception that proves the rule? Why can't it just be here's a rule, boom, done? It being 6 I wasn't thinking all clear and whatnot. I saw a woman with a dog on our side of the street about a block away. I saw her turn and we were far enough back so I thought we had leeway. As we came to the corner where she turned I saw a woman cross in front of us with coffee from the deli across the street. She looked really familiar but I couldn't make a connection. We hit the corner and it's all "Release the Hounds!" She'd tied her dog just around that corner so she could get a cup of coffee at the deli. Oops.

4. There was a lot of snapping and growling but I was able to hold everyone in check and get us across the street. Emily came away with a limp and the woman waited to be sure we were OK, which was very nice of her and doesn't always happen.

5. Not surprisingly the limp went away with a quick rub and about a thousand repetitions of, "Good Girl, you're OK, you're totally fine." Bobby? Blissfully oblivious throughout.

6. I don't think I've ever talked to this many of my neighbors before. "Hey, that's not your dog." "New dog?" "What kind of dog is that?" "Oh, I thought so! 'Cause I heard barking and your dog doesn't bark so I wondered." "That's a puppy!" "Are you babysitting?" "Lady! Hold. Those. Dogs!"

7. Not totally sure that the neighbors are appreciating the sound of a dog sliding full speed into my front door at 7am. Over and over again.

8. I am simultaneously relieved and annoyed that when I come home the Bobster jumps all over me but when the dog walker comes he's totally fine. It's both, "Whew, I don't have to worry while I'm at work." and "Dude, what the fuck? Stop flinging your 70 pound self at my delicate body for the love of kibble!"

9. I've been teaching Bobby to sit. OK, he came with the ability but I'm trying to teach him to use it as the all purpose command. Intersection? Sit first. Time to go out? Sit for the leash to go on. Back from out? Sit to get your shirt off. It's going pretty well. He's even sitting when I snap my fingers instead of having to verbally command. Weirdly, though, he's better at following instructions at the beginning of the walk than at the end. Aren't you usually supposed to have to get the ya yas out before the dog listens to you?

10. Too bad I didn't decide to teach him not to jump, isn't it?

Monday, April 23, 2007

Guess Who's Having A Birthday Today?


Boldness comes to me now, and brings me heart.
Prince Troilus, I have loved you night and day
For many weary months.


Why was my Cressid then so hard to win?


Hard to seem won: but I was won, my lord,
With the first glance that ever--pardon me--
If I confess much, you will play the tyrant.
I love you now; but not, till now, so much
But I might master it: in faith, I lie;
My thoughts were like unbridled children, grown
Too headstrong for their mother. See, we fools!
Why have I blabb'd? who shall be true to us,
When we are so unsecret to ourselves?
But, though I loved you well, I woo'd you not;
And yet, good faith, I wish'd myself a man,
Or that we women had men's privilege
Of speaking first. Sweet, bid me hold my tongue,
For in this rapture I shall surely speak
The thing I shall repent. See, see, your silence,
Cunning in dumbness, from my weakness draws
My very soul of counsel! stop my mouth.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Here's My Sign

If you know Bill Engvall and his Here's Your Sign routine you can skip this paragraph. Engvall is a stand up comedian, one of the 4 Head Rednecks of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. He's pretty much the guy who's always telling everyone else that mom always said, "Don't play ball in the house." His most famous routine is one where he advocates outfitting people who ask really stupid questions about obvious things with a sign that says, "I'm Stupid." You know, just so everyone else they run into is warned in advance. For instance one day Bill was in the mall parking lot and he locked his keys in his car. So he got a hanger and he's trying to jimmy the lock when a guy walks by and says, "Locked your keys in your car?" So Bill wishes he'd said, "Nope, just washed it, hanging it up to dry!...Here's your sign."

I had a perfect "Here's Your Sign" moment this morning and I came up blank.

I was walking the dogs* and I saw 2 dapper, well dressed gentlemen coming across our path so I halted the dogs. They were dapper, well dressed messengers of God and I like to use my dog to keep messengers of God at bay. But being an active messenger of God one of them felt obligated to say something. He smiled charmingly and said, "Walking the dogs?"

I came up blank. Totally blank! What the hell? I still can't think of a good comeback. So, please, let me know what I should have said.


*Still no pictures but I feel obligated to keep you posted about the progress. Apparently the divine Mr. Chili has gotten more memory and it has arrived at the Chili compound. Next week I hand over the laptop and the magic begins.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Who's Leading This Pack?

Bobby is staying here for the week. Bobby is a dog, a Brooklyn Chow Hound if you must know the breed. He weighs between 60 and 70 pounds and he's lanky and has the biggest paws allowed by law on a dog of his height. Age-wise he's somewhere over a year but under two...physically. Mentally and emotionally and energetically he's a puppy, a really big, really strong, really motivated puppy.

This all puts him in Emily's weight class and pretty much makes him a behavioral clone of her. So, of course, I love him. Also, he has floppy hound lips and it's just so damn cute I can hardly stand it.

Back in the day when Pony Express found Em we had some first hand experience with herding young dogs. We lived with one young dog. Then we found Emily. That branded us suckers so we tended to have doggie guests. The final results of the research is that one dog is one dog. You have one dog, you deal with one dog, you have some handle on the situation. Two dogs might as well be ten dogs. The difference between walking and feeding and training and disciplining and just plain navigating around two dogs as opposed to one is the difference between walking around the block and running a marathon. Add a third dog? Or a fourth? You just walked to the subway after your marathon. The difference is negligible to the point of being difficult to notice. There are some leash issues and you need more poop bags and you definitely have to remember to fill the water dish more often but it's really nothing if you've already done the switch from one to two.

So I've got 2 dogs right now. I know I just made it sound like a bad thing but really, while it's a hard thing it's good too. (Quick, name one other thing with those attributes.)

A little while ago I was curled up on the couch checking my e-mail and the dogs were sort of half assedly sharing Bobby's dog bed (dude, this dog travels with more stuff than I do, my dog is so deprived, comparitively she's living a spartan life) and the cats were chilling around me and everyone was just digesting. Then I guess Emily had had enough of the digesting so she popped up and started poking Bobby in the neck with her nose until her responded. He, of course, responded by finding the only toy in the house with a squeaker and retreated to the couch, pressed up as close to me as possible, squeaking at regular intervals. Emily moved her attack to the living room and has been alternately licking out Bob's jowls (ewe!) and hauling him off the couch by his collar.

Who is getting the bad end of this? Nobody with 4 legs, that's for sure.

The thing is, I'm kind of loving it. I love that the girl is playing. I'm hoping that all this interaction will keep Bobby properly exercised so I won't have to take him to off leash and leave Em behind (feels like cheating on her). I love to hear dogs in the house. After the initial shock the squeaking and growling doesn't really get to me.

If we're walking with beings (people, dogs, she's not picky) that Em knows she gets a little fretful if someone peels off the group, breaking up the pack. It's a dog thing, lots of dogs do it. I know how they feel. It's nice to have the pack around me, doing their thing.


This post would be better with pictures. But because I'm a hoarder of information and have filled my computer all the way up to the tippy top I don't have the room to download any. Fortunately somewhere in my youth or childhood I must have done something good because the Chili Family is going to fix that for me. That's not going to do anything for this particular post, though. After that maybe I'll post some belated pictures.

Civic Pride

I found this quote about New Yorkers that I love. It felt a little arrogant, though. I was afraid it would sound mean if I posted it so I waited.

Then I had the following two conversations and I figured I probably had a little leeway.

I was having a conversation about home buying with a friend. She started to talk about where she would live next, as in which other city.

Me: You're going to leave New York?
Her: Oh yeah. I figure New York has about a 10 year shelf life and we've been here 8 already.
Me: ...
Her: You're going to stay here?
Me: Yeah, all my life.

Later a friend was visiting from [Big Southern City].

Him: How you mind if I ask how much your apartment cost?
Me: $150,000
Him: You could get a whole house in [Big Southern City] for that. (Raises eyebrow as if I should jump at this hypothetical opportunity.)
Me: ...

So, you know, I love New York, it's no secret and here's a quote that makes me feel enormously proud and just a little evil.

The true New Yorker secretly believes that people living anywhere else have to be, in some sense, kidding.
- John Updike

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Alternate 10 Things

Unfortunately I don't think it's going to be that hard to get to 10 on this one.

10 Man Made Disasters I remember

10. VA Tech. So much to say about this so I'll go with the trivial. It is the school shooting incident with the most fatalities to date. Do you know when the previous record holding incident occurred? 1966 in Texas.

9. The Pan Am flight that crashed over Locherbie, Scotland.

8. The Challenger Space Shuttle explosion. I was in school in NH at the time and I remember seeing it on a TV set up in the classroom so we could all see the launch live and not understanding what we were seeing. The "civilian" astronaut was from NH.

7. The Oklahoma City bombing.

6. The Estonia sinking. I had only recently gotten to London to live for a year and a ferry carrying, among others, a large group of senior citizens who became trapped below decks sank in Estonia.

5. Columbine.

4. The 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, my first New York City disaster.

3. The Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta.

2. The TWA flight that crashed 11/11/2001.

1. 9/11, natch.

Not hard to come up with 10. Hard to choose 10 to make the list.

Can I get to 10?

First topic that came to mind was 10 great kisses. I'm not sure I can do it, but what sort of person would I be if I didn't even try?

1. I was so in love with this boy when I was in 5th grade. We would hang out in the park across the street from my house and swing on the swings and talk and stuff. Finally (finally!) he kissed me on the cheek one night when we said goodnight. So awesome and sweet and the perfect first kiss I think.

2. Later, around age 16, I'd had a little more experience with being "so in love" and sadly more experience with not getting that shit requited. Crash and I were friends and we were hanging out more and more but just as friends, don't you know. I dropped him off at home one night after we'd been to see Nothing in Common at the movies and he leaned back into the car and kissed me on the cheek before he bolted. I was freaking giddy, I actually screamed once I'd gotten out onto the road again. It was worthy of a road trip chick flick.

3. Not long after that one I spent a partially lit evening in Crash's kitchen. We'd been making out and talking. He was always a big talker. I was having so much fun and I'd taken it as a sign that he actually liked me so I was getting overeager. I leaned in for a kiss and he pulled back just far enough away that I couldn't get one. Much banter and torture ensued and I was made to wait impatiently for my next, brain searing kiss. Totally worth it. I paid him back in full for the torture many years later but since that didn't involve kissing exactly it doesn't belong on this list.

4. Let's make it a list of memorable kisses. If I expand the definition I can make it to 10. My first French kiss was when I was about 14, with a 16 year old, outside the local library. Frankly, it's a good thing I didn't assume that kiss was representative of the form. Ever been stabbed with a gooey blunt object? Then you get the idea. Also, standing outside, waiting for your mom in 40 degree weather not the ideal setting.

5. When JAM and I split up we ended up having to spend the next day together. OK, we ended up living together for 4 months after that but for the purposes of this story the next day is what's important. I remember standing out on the street somewhere in Manhattan and again it was chilly, Izz was maybe buying something at a flea market or for her party that night, not sure, and JAM put his hands on either side of my face and kissed my forehead. At the time it was all very emotional and sad and had that air of finality but now, now that I know about the whole having to live together and then traveling together for years afterwards and...well that's a whole other story, it just seems melodramatic and nuts, but I still remember it.

6. Oh for the love of all that is holy I'm only at 6. Oh! Awesome one. I was a freshman at NYU and had been invited to my first important opening night party for an Off Broadway theatre. A bunch of friends from my studio had gone together for safety since we were coming back late from 42nd Street: Old School Edition. We were tipsy and laughing and running around when we got back to the Village. Someone's roommate, Jim, from Kansas was with us. Jim and I had been having blast and all of a sudden one of us pulled the other into a doorway and we made out all hot and reckless and ridiculous like you can when you're 18. It was awesome and I so wanted it to happen again and it never did.

7. After I got back from London, wow, a while after because I was living in this neighborhood by then, I'd been to dinner with...a player who shall remain nameless. We got back to my house and walked the dog and just ended up kissing outside my apartment on the street. It was really good, plus I hadn't exactly been kissed lately. At one point he leaned back from me a little and said, "I could keep kissing you like this for hours." Well, thank you very much.

8. Crash had this ridiculously endearing habit of kissing during the first bite of food. We'd set the food out or be served at a restaurant and when we each took our first bite he'd get this stupid grin on and lean over and smack me on the lips. He gets a kick out of the domestic, what can you do?

9. Two to go, two two two. Erm...Hee, Ok, this is so bad but it does qualify as memorable. I had never before met a guy, hell, a human of any gender, who kissed with open mouth and no tongue. What is that about? It's like being a pair of magnets when you have the poles reversed so they slide around all bouncing off each other. So bad. What exactly did I expect from dating within the whole Born Again Pool?

10. Let's go out on the cute factor, shall we? On a very rainy winter day I went to brunch with Alita's family. She was about 1, able to walk but not super steady. Her parents did some errands and I walked in the downpour with the toddler to try and get her wound down enough that we could eat simply. Even then she was pretty evenly keeled but she was still a toddler so an ounce of prevention and all that. She and I got to the restaurant first and there was a long line. Way too long for toddler wrangling. I started throwing around a few line-standing appropriate toddler distractions and found the sweet spot. She hadn't learned how to kiss yet. So we stood in line for probably 20 minutes while I kissed her eyes and her temples and her cheeks and she slobbered all over my face. Before we got seated, though, she learned how to kiss. Nothing whets the appetite like a little triumph. Very memorable.

Why don't you tell me about a kiss you remember? Can you think of 10 even if you don't want to list them?

Monday, April 16, 2007


It's not uncommon to find people on the internet that you have no connection to in real life. Sometimes they don't even know you've found them.

What does Miss Manners say about telling some guy you found through his photography on the internet that you think he's smoking hot?


This morning I RSVP'd for my 20th High School Renuion.

What have you done this morning?

And what are you doing July 21st because I, quite optimistically, RSVP'd for 2 despite not having a regular plus 1.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Birthday girl

I'm getting right in under the wire with a birthday post for ProfDoc. (See her as JKR in comments.) In case she doesn't want to read about herself she should go here and see what MKAEP put up.

I mentioned when I hurt myself that ProfDoc had sent chocolate and made the chocolate funny. I also mentioned it was a whole post in itself. Here's that post.

ProfDoc is a fan of the homemade gift. I don't mean a crocheted afghan or an embroidered slipcover or even a scrapbook. She's got a real flair for the personalizing. Years ago, back in the dark ages, before Joey went to Worthington ProfDoc and I watched Dawson's Creek together. She was down south and I was here and it was Season 3 with the brown cord coat of lust and it was good. Every Wednesday night there was squealing through the phone and unceremonious hangups when the commercials were over.

In daylight hours I was working the cube farm and she was researching in a small cement box and we e-mailed. Back and forth and back and forth devising shorthand and abbreviations and nicknames and a really specific style of e-mail reply which apparently no one else on earth can get the hang of, no matter how many times I explain. It's more efficient people, get with the program! At one point we were counting down to a much desired episode of the Creek and we turned the subject line into a countdown clock. She's a math teacher, she'd get it down to the minutes and once, I think, even to the seconds. After the season finale our countdown clock became infinitely more complicated and I let her keep it up. About a week and half or 2 weeks before the season 4 premiere (Did Pacey & Joey sleep together on the boat? Would Dawson forgive them? Is it possible to have the titular character disappear from a series altogether? Please?) I got a package from ProfDoc. Inside was a gift. She had cut out a picture of Joshua Jackson from a magazine. He was leather pants clad in wife beater and panty wetting grin and she'd pasted him to a piece of cardboard and covered him in post-it notes. Each post-it had a number on it. She made me a Joshua Jackson advent calendar! Of sorts. So every day for a week I peeled back the office supplies and got another tiny tantalizing glimpse of our boy.

So I shouldn't be surprised at her ingenuity.

She knows whereof she speaks when someone complains about having to think about food too much or worrying about their weight. She was one among many who assured me that falling on one's face, being helped up by old ladies and spending your morning in the ER gets you activity points and that chocolate ingested in the name of healing is also calorie free. However, she heard the "Yeah, yeah, I know but..." in my voice when I acknowledged everyone who said that.

About a week after I fell I got a package in the mail from her. About 2 hours later when I freed the contents from its prison of origamied envelopes and packing tape I found inside a fun card and one of my favorite high end organic chocolate bars. As she knew I would, I flipped the bar over immediately to put it into the schmancy calculator and see how much I could allow myself. Across the nutrition information was a mailing label and written on it in ProfDoc's loopy handwriting it said "-50 Weight Watchers Points".

Homemade is always the best gift.

Happy Birthday, Young Lady, and many more! Thanks again.

Success Message

Brownie summer 05
Originally uploaded by kizzzbeth.

OK, Chili, maybe getting a free Flickr account and uploading pics from there might solve your picture sizing problem.

OK, Maybe this will be better

Full body Harry 062005
Originally uploaded by kizzzbeth.

Taught to do it RIGHT, is another matter entirely.

She can be taught

harry looks up, originally uploaded by kizzzbeth.

Teaching myself how to post photos from Flickr. If you can see this it's too late to cross your fingers for me.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

If You Give a Panda a Pashmina

Does everybody have those days when your synapses are just firing...differently? I do sometimes. ("Sometimes?" the crowd screams.) It's been happening the past couple of days over here.

1. I don't leave my keys in the door. Not never, 'cause never say never, but like maybe 5 times in my whole life. Fewer if you remove alcohol and sex from the equation. Tonight I come in, drop the mail, give the dog a biscuit, take off my backpack, check that my Netflix are all intact then turn around to go back out the door and walk the dog. No keys. I've moved a grand total of like 5 square feet and my keys are nowhere. I do not look in the door because I don't leave my keys in the door...much.

2. Sometimes it's good stuff, though. Yesterday I was wicked frustrated with this story I wanted to work on. I was all inspired by the Sara Ruhl stuff and I had all this information in my head but it was like I could see it in there all inside this seamless, transparent sphere but I couldn't get in to pull the strings of words out. Tonight on the way home on the train I found the melty part of the bubble and I got in there. Felt sweet, too.

3. Then sometimes it's just weird but really important. (Stay tuned for the part where I ask for your help.) Elvis, the lone boy pet in the house, has been "barbering" for probably almost 2 years by now. He licks the hair off his tummy and he chews on his legs, especially his hind ones, until they're bald and bumpy. I thought for a while that he was chewing sores into his legs but they don't look like bites. Well, not like cat bites, more like insect bites. I asked the vet who suggested that it was emotional/behavioral and I of course took umbrage with that because if my cat is eating himself out of boredom then I'm the bad host, right? Still, I bought him new toys (like getting him a freaking dog wasn't enough) and gave him catnip and "redirected" him when I saw him chewing. He still looks like the losing poodle at Westminster, which is really not a good look for a cat. Also, my apartment is hot. Very hot. The heating system isn't great and they need to crank it up so the lower floors are hotter in order to keep the upper floors out of meat locker/litigation territory. Plus we live above the laundry room driers. (Dryers?) I like to be hot and sometimes I'm too hot. Last night I was realizing that I felt a little warm, I noticed that the dog was panting and looked uncomfortable. I turned around and noticed Elvis. Suddenly the right synapses fired. I think he has heat rash. I think the poor cat has been trying to take his sweater off for 2 years. Either that or he had heat rash at some point and the chewing and licking became a habit. Whatever the case I feel bad for the dude and I want to make him feel less itchy. Have you ever had heat rash? It's maddening.

Here's the promised part where I ask for your help. How do I help him? What soothes heat rash on a cat? It has to be something non-toxic/ingestible because obviously he's going to ingest some of it. Hell, chances are he's going to ingest a lot of it. Anybody have any experience to share here?

Intelligent Design?

There seems to be a theme on the internet this week. At least in my little corner of it.

Maggie tells her story (Teaser: "Are you doing the dishes?"). Jason gets his started (Teaser: "It was a scene worthy of ER."). And Flea tells a story that's both funny and petrifying (Teaser: the US Army instructs women on childbirth. You know I'm right now, don't you?).

Can you tell which hot people I'm watching now?

How can they act so geeky and still be so hot?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Where did I grow up?

I read an article the other day about playwright Sara Ruhl. I can't stop thinking about her and want to read everything she's written, especially Eurydice. Finally I went to amazon and searched for her. She's got one volume of plays out and it's got the 2 plays I really want to read. So I put it on my wish list. Then I added something else to my wish list. Then I went through my wish list and reprioritized everything on it to reflect what I want/need right now.

It's like retail therapy for the cheapskate.

Just 10 Random Things

1. Actually 300 does talk about the Phalanx and they even talk about people holding the pass (referred to as a goat path) that funnels the Persians toward the Hot Gates. They even demonstrate the phalanx fighting thing and it's cool. They just don't talk about either one much. This is probably because a whole long movie of phalanx fighting might get monotonous and also both the Phalanx and cutting away to the "goat path" would steal precious screen time from the waxed and oiled bodies that are putting butts in theatre seats.

2. When I was a kid for a while there I thought that the whole world was just one sound stage sort of affair and that people changed the sets when I wasn't looking. Arrogant, huh? (Have I told you this before?)

3. Sometimes my anger is so all encompassing that I am amazed that the heads of people I am angry at don't just start exploding all Tarantino style.

4. Sometimes when you try to describe something it just comes off melodramatic.

5. My ankle is all fucked up from wearing good-for-me shoes yesterday.

6. If we ever have this conversation:

Phone rings
A: Hello I.P. Freely's office.
B: Who is this?

where I am A and you are B I will cut you. I promise.

7. I have only once in all my life cut off friends with my own free will and with premeditation. It felt really good. I was relieved and proud of myself and felt righteous despite the act being largely misunderstood.

8. How good that felt was a little scary because I could have done it over and over until I grew up like my parents and was standing in the middle of the causeway of my life with no clear connection to my past and no one to count on.

9. Today I do not want to help you. I don't care if you sign my paycheck or if you're my friend or if you really need the help I just don't feel like it. I'm sick of being helpful right now, it feels stupid and not rewarding.

10. I'm probably going to help you anyway because you do sign my paycheck or are my friend or really need it so don't worry we just won't discuss it and everything will go on as usual.

Are we sprung yet?

Forsythia says "Spring" to me. It makes me hopeful and happy. I love to see it start popping up all over the neighborhood and when it does I start thinking to myself, Soon, it'll be warm and I'll be walking along here without my coat all happy and stuff.

Then as the cold persisted and the rain turned to snow flurries and the forsythia continued to bloom and grow I thought to myself, Wow, I had no idea Forsythia was so hardy. I wonder if it's related to Edelweiss.

After 4 days of snow and hearing small, shivering children cry, "But mommy when can we have some Global Warming, why does Mr. Gore want us to freeze?" while putting on my long johns again I thought, Shut up Forsythia you lying bastard!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Ethical Crisis

I want to buy every kid I know these T-shirts (link via Daddytypes). However, I'm morally opposed to paying $35 for something that someone will outgrow in 10.2 seconds.

If they had one with a giraffe, though? I'd be e-mailing about a bulk discount.

Friday, April 06, 2007

The radio talks to me

I've heard this Colin Hay song on a couple of TV shows now. It's called Waiting for My Real Life to Begin. I love the lyrics and it seemed so hopeful that I immediately went out and bought it. By went out I totally mean, logged in and hit "Buy Now".

Any minute now, my ship is coming in
I'll keep checking the horizon
I'll stand on the bow, feel the waves come crashing
Come crashing down down down, on me

And you say, be still my love
Open up your heart
Let the light shine in
But don't you understand
I already have a plan
I'm waiting for my real life to begin
In those shows, though, they don't sing the break, or they put dialogue over it. I listened to the song the whole way through the first time and my mood plummeted.

When I awoke today, suddenly nothing happened
But in my dreams, I slew the dragon
And down this beaten path, and up this cobbled lane
I'm walking in my old footsteps, once again
And you say, just be here now
Forget about the past, your mask is wearing thin
Let me throw one more dice
I know that I can win
I'm waiting for my real life to begin
My life has felt a lot like that break lately. I don't know that I'm doing enough, that I'm trying enough. Every time I try to do something I have to peel vegetables or walk the dog or bring juice to a friend or fix the printer first and I just don't have the energy to do it all. It seems like everyone else is doing so much more.

I dream big. So big. I don't tell anyone about it.

I live pretty small, though. I wish I didn't but it's hard to turn that around.

Any minute now, my ship is coming in
I'll keep checking the horizon
And I'll check my machine, there's sure to be that call
It's gonna happen soon, soon, soon
It's just that times are lean

And you say, be still my love
Open up your heart, let the light shine in
Don't you understand
I already have a plan
I'm waiting for my real life to begin
I keep listening to this song. I'm finding it simultaneously heart wrenching and strangely motivating. I think I might be starting to head to the docks at least. Perhaps I'll pick a ship on which to go out.

300 Hot People

Yes, it was gory. What do you expect from a movie whose title font is "Arterial Spray"? I didn't realize it was an adaptation of a graphic novel. I wouldn't have been so scared of it. They stylize everything so it's less upsetting.

I saw it in IMAX, too. Some movies will translate to smaller screens and I knew that this would not be one of them. Really glad I did it, too. It's an interesting piece of history which was clearly mangled at least slightly in the re-telling. I personally have some questions about the accuracy of the military strategy but I'm sure someone will help me out with that soon.

What I do know is that the Bill Gates of ancient Sparta had to be the Official Waxer to the Kind's Armed Forces. Perfectly groomed putting greens under each arm, appropriately scraggly facial hair but not enough of it to obscure mouths and the rest (oh, the rest, we saw so blessedly much of the rest) as smooth as the proverbial bairn's behind.

Thursday, April 05, 2007


I'm so bad at replying in comments. I write the answers in my head and never type them in. Hence the occasional comment reply posts like this one.

MKAEP, that's Miflohny and the Media Guy's brand new kid. I've talked briefly to dad and not at all to mom or baby so I'm going to wait and let them tell their stories before I say more. Also, yes, I do know I'm certifiable. I am one step ahead of the butterfly net but I'm doing my best to use my powers for good.
Chromeplated Girl, hee, sorry about the song. I totally did it to myself last night as we were getting punchy racing to finish the Crane Project and I had to pass it off to someone else.

Nobody asked but I'll tell you anyway that the dinner Kath made was glorious. Who knew that burgers made of nuts and legumes and curry would be so devastatingly yummy? The chocolate dessert to which she alluded in comments? FONDUE, BABY! She's a marvel that one. Love her.

Way back in the wayback machine JRH asked about my quote choices. I'd like to give you some clever response about how I crafted the entry to do very specific things to your memories and emotions but in fact I was trying to do the entry fairly quickly at work so I couldn't even look at my skimpy DVD collection for inspiration and I was just winging it. If I'd taken the time to read the whole memorable quotes page for each movie/show it would have taken me weeks. I have spent whole days at work perusing memorable quotes (don't tell on me) so I mostly just skimmed until I found one I liked. I'm sure that's true of the West Wing quote I chose. As for the double shot of Cusack I can only say that I like him a lot and I'm deeply connected to the Sure Thing, which came out my senior year of high school and by association to Grosse Point Blank since it came out the year my class had our 10th reunion. Since I was riffing anyway it was only logical I'd skip from one to the other. (A peek inside my brain, hope it doesn't melt your eyeballs.)

Thanks to everyone who shared their numbers. I've loved to hear them.

Also thanks for the offers to help me get to MA for the Red Molly show. I do appreciate them and wish I could take you up on them but there's a dog care issue and, after trying to drive for 10 minutes last night it's come to my attention that my arm isn't ready for that yet. I'm sure I'll be able to see other Red Molly shows in future and it's no skin off their noses if I don't go. I'll be at home rolling in dogs since Bobby will be staying with us for a week at that point.

While I'm thanking people, thanks for everyone who ever comments. I'm sure I'm not the first person to say that comments are like crack and they keep me coming back here but please know that you are appreciated.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


Were JAM and I still together this would be our anniversary. We had our first date on this day in 1988, almost 20 years ago. It was a Sunday. I wouldn't remember it except that for a couple of years we just knew that it was Easter so we celebrated then. ChemE wouldn't stand for that, though, so she hauled out an old calendar (it was before we used the internet for everything) and figured out the date and insisted we use it properly.

Years later on a day after the 4th of April, probably around the 8th, we were on the subway together and something in our conversation triggered our memories and we realized that we hadn't celebrated our anniversary. We hadn't thought about celebrating, we hadn't planned to celebrate, we hadn't said something to each other on the date, it passed by entirely unnoticed. Now, I don't want to tell you what to do or anything but let me give you one tiny piece of advice based on my experience - if such a thing happens to you it's a fair bet that the relationship is in the crapper and you would not be unwise if you chose that time to get the hell out of Dodge. No pressure, just something to think about.

Hopefully that memory will get pushed out by the fact that this happened today. Seems like a better use of those particular brain cells.


Pony Express and I had a Cranetastic evening executing the Super Secret Crane Project. As a matter of fact we're a bit Craneglorious about the whole thing. I know that ChromePlatedGirl at least wants to know what the hell this incraning project is all about. Unfortunately the veil of Cranecy must stay down for a few more days. Soon, though, very soon I'll come crane about the whole thing.

In the meantime I dare you not to get this song stuck in your head:

"Send in the Cranes
There ought to be Cranes
Don't bother, they're here."

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

10 Things Tuesday Boring Edition

Enticing title, eh?

10 Things I'm Going to Do This Week

1. Go to brunch at a crazy French country sort of place

2. See 300 in IMAX

3. Visit 2 private schools to sell them my show.

4. Have dinner with my new Southern Girls dinner group. I was somehow made an honorary southern girl.

5. Send a packet for my show to someone who has expressed interest in buying it.

6. Drop off a picture to be framed.

7. Get the stupid lock for my stupid door fixed by the stupid maintenance office.

8. Probably finish my super secret Origami Crane project.

9. Internet research on some community colleges in neighboring states.

10. Lie abed for hours and hours doing nothing of substance or import, occasionally hiding my head under the covers when the world seems too close.

What are you up to this week?

Monday, April 02, 2007

Numbers Game

I thought it as really interesting that, despite there being a fair number of comments on the post about sharing money information, no one actually did share the specific numbers. Of course it's my blog so it only makes sense that I should start. However, since no one else would share I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out why and I feel like "Well, what do they know that I don't? Am I not supposed to share for a reason?" So I think I'll start off slow.

Here are some other numbers no one ever wants to share. Even people who have urged me to join Weight Watchers don't tell most of their numbers. They'll tell you if they've had a loss and they'll tell you total loss but they won't tell you where they started or where they're headed. Some people won't even tell you their losses. So, I'm gonna come clean on everything I know right now.

I started 3 weeks ago at 153 lbs., essentially the heaviest I've ever been. I think I clocked in at 155 at the doctor's office at some point but allowing for differences in scales we'll say this 153 is the worst it's been.

I lost 3lbs the first weigh-in, 2 the next, none the next and 1 today. Total of 6 lost.

I weigh 147 lbs.

It doesn't feel fast enough and I hate the program. I've been trying to stay positive but this is the place for honesty, right? Yeah, hate. I don't feel like it's going fast enough and I hate having to think about what I'm eating and what I'm going to eat and what I have eaten and why and where and how to budget and do the math and walking everywhere to gain precious activity points so I can actually have a piece of cheese once in a while.

I'm headed to about 138lbs, in theory. That's the top end of what Weight Watchers calls healthy for me. The bottom end is 115 which, sure, I'd love to get to but I just can't keep this up for that long, I will kill someone and then I will slather myself in carbonara sauce and lick it off my extremities until I'm dead, too. Realistically I think I could/should get down to around 128. We'll see.

I spent $65 to sign on for 3 months. At the end of that I'll re-assess and if I haven't stuck a pate-laden fork through my eye I may sign up month to month to the tune of around $17 per month until I hit somewhere in the 120s. I think it'd also be smart for me to stay on an extra month after I hit the goal, to get used to the maintenance program.

Do you do anything with numbers that aren't financial? What are your numbers?

First sign of failure - 107 in 2007

So, it looks like it's only just April and I won't be able to complete the 107 in 2007.

I have done #4 and finished the DVD. Even ready to distribute it to schools. Someone requested one yesterday!

I've had to discontinue #7, the floor barre class, since I messed up my arm.

#9, teaching in MA, got canceled for reasons beyond my control.

Here's the rub, #10, going to see Red Molly in MA. Not going to happen. I really wanted to go to this. There was an element of satisfaction to it. Years ago C-ann was doing me a huge favor and playing a gig at this church up there and the guy who ran the program was talking to her about her then-band, CC Railroad, and he was really arrogant and dismissive since she was playing folk that was too "modern" in his estimation. Here we are a few years later and her band has taken off so hard that he's had her booked for over a year. I had to sit through the intensely uncomfortable conversation and I was looking forward to watching this dude enjoy them in all his arrogant, dismissive, asshole glory. But I can't go. I have to go up for the wedding the next weekend and I just can't drive up 2 weekends in a row - arm, money, sanity, company, etc. So I'm bummed.

#16 is a work in progress. Again I'm citing arm injury as a non-posting excuse.

#17. Hey, check that out, I forgot I had that on the list! I saw Avenue Q last night, thanks to Baldsug. It was fun! I kind of love the dude who does Trekkie Monster.

#19. 2 bibs down and one to go!

#75! Again, totally forgot I put that on there. One of the accomplishments of hanging out with Ulserad and Crash was that I gave him back his Stargate DVD. I've had that thing for like 5 years!

OK, so that's the long and the short of it.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Missing Girl

The other day I was on the phone with Carmencita and she told me that earlier in the day Alita had looked up at her and said, "I want Kizzy."

I miss her too. I miss the days when she lived right around the corner and she fit in the crook of my arm and when we ate dinner together (sometimes 5 nights out of every 7) she would sit on my lap. She's going to be 6 in a couple of months. The time is woefully short between now and when she'll be too cool for me or anything else, frankly. I don't know what her school looks like and I don't know who her teacher is or how her room is decorated or what pajamas she prefers anymore and she'll probably have grown an inch by the time I see her next. I'm going to have to take some vaca this summer and wriggle her out of school and we'll have to eat ice cream and take pictures and look at animals and stuff. 'Cause I miss her and that's just not cool.