Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Can't Fight This Feeling

Here I am begging for advice again.

I did something stupid at work. It's not really important what but I made one relatively big (but resolved) mistake in scheduling and it's possible that I made another one as well. I apologized for the for-sure one and we're better but it's a recurring (though infrequent) problem for me with this boss. I won't find out until tomorrow if I made the second mistake and it's killing me. I'm embarrassed and afraid and having all this panic/fight or flight response of the kind where you need to pinch yourself to get your brain out of it and that is making it hard for me to do anything here at home since I'm expending all this energy kicking myself.

I'm having some success with looking at the worst case scenarios like being yelled at or being sanctioned or even being fired (all pretty unlikely). I mean, none of those things is the end of the world. Some are scary as all get out but not world ending. It also helps to remember that there are other people with far worse challenges today than being an idiot. And yet, I fear I'm going to have trouble sleeping, despite being so tired I could sleep for 3 days, and I can't escape the dread over finding out whether I made 2 mistakes or just the one.

How do you guys deal with that? If you're a boss how do you deal with employees who make multiple mistakes like this? Is it completely unrealistic for me to be thinking of running away to join the circus?

In other news I called the vet to check on Pickles and she's doing OK. A tech took her home to watch over her last night and she did well. There was some vomiting but that could be simply because she was starving and probably gorged herself when she was finally fed. She's too young to be tested for FIV and FELV so that's a wait and see thing. Kath is looking into adopting her but there are still some hoops to be jumped before that's decided. We have the OK to visit her, though, so no matter what happens I can probably go take some pics of her.

When I got home last night I found that my cats had broken a glass and somehow sprayed the tiniest bits over the entire living room. I have spent hours on my hands and knees trying to get the shards policed but I know I'll be finding that shit for months. I tell you, they're pretty good at justifying my decision not to keep a third cat, huh?

Re: the second bullet point here should I shoot the guy an e-mail? I'm nerdy and bookish and I have on occasion been classified as cute.

I'm feeling a little beaten tonight. Too much emotion, too much of that which is fucked up, too little space for transitioning and I need space.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

This Is Why I Should Have a Point & Shoot Camera

How to explain my evening...

I wanted to start the Sustainability series with a story about Auntie Blanche but I was having trouble writing about it. Then I wrote other sustainability stuff anyway and other stuff about her and then tonight happened and it's the quintessential sustainability story and it cannot wait to be told.

I was heading home, as I usually do, crossing Flatbush Avenue (4 lanes, very crowded and lots of people going in lots of directions) and having to navigate stopped cars since the traffic cops weren't acknowledging the walk light. Approaching the other side of the street I saw 2 older ladies scolding some young men in a large truck. Since I'm not made of stone I looked back to see what the deal was.

My powers of description are OK but I don't know that I'm going to do this justice. Just work with me. You know how there are steps to get you into the cab of a semi? Lying lengthwise on the top step of this truck was a tank like an oxygen tank or a large fire extinguisher canister. It was attached to the rest of the truck with hoses so maybe it had to do with hydraulics, I don't know. Wedged underneath one of the short ends of the tank with only her face, one ear and a paw showing was a kitten. She was screaming bloody murder so it seemed like there was some urgency to getting her out.

I love living in Brooklyn where old school Brooklyn ladies make the world turn on their time schedule. They made those guys get out of the truck, they stopped 2 lanes of traffic and the forced a rescue effort. I went in and tried to coax the kitten out but she was super stuck. It looked like she had gone up underneath the steps then tried to get out between the step and the tank and gotten herself well and truly stuck. This all points to a litter of kittens born outside somewhere near where the truck was parked for a while. After a cursory try (with gloves! big work gloves the guy got specially out of the truck because kittens are scary) the guy turns to one lady and says, "It's stuck. We'll have to leave it."

Apparently he hasn't been in Brooklyn very long because that was so not an option. Yay Brooklyn Ladies!!!!!! I told them that if they just got the cat out I would take it but they had to get it out. So there we stood, gathering onlookers and traffic cops and a certain amount of panicked bile in my throat while the guys tried to figure out the problem. Finally they were able to pull the tank away from the step enough for the kitten to make a break for the 4 lanes of rush hour traffic. Its possible that I strained something screaming for them to stop the kitten right now! Fortunately one of the guys responded to my high pitched screeching and threw a sturdy work glove over it so it couldn't get away. (Yes she is small enough that did stop her.) I fairly snatched the kitten away from him, thanked them politely and speed walked in the opposite direction.

This kitten is maybe 5 weeks old at the outside. She's super cute, though covered in dust, and
she has a healthy set of lungs on her. She snuggled into my neck too so I didn't think she was injured but I couldn't take her home since I have fragile-healthed animals and I couldn't just bring her home without getting her checked out. My vet was a few blocks away so I went there as fast as I could walk with a screeching kitten and asked for help.

Helping is expensive.

Anyway, I told them my story and they said they were backed up and could I wait. Yes. They couldn't really take the cat. Did they know anyone who could? Blah blah blah. A few clients asked what was up so I told the story. One woman who was there with her daughter and their 2 cats who looked exactly like this kitten, (Pickles, I'm calling her Pickles since she got herself in suck a pickle) asked me if I would mind if she donated $25 toward the Pickles' care. Did I mind? Um, no, exactly how stupid do I look? The more I waited the more they tried to convince me to take Pickles home but I stuck to my guns. I also called a bunch of no kill shelters and got no help there either. So after calling a friend and ranting to her answering machine and asking if she wanted another cat I called Alex, who had offered me a ride, and decided to take my ride and my $25 to the emergency vet for a clean bill of health and figure out how to integrate Pickles' adventurous butt into my apartment when I got there.

Interestingly enough when I went back in and asked for my $25 I started to get some actual help. So she was looked at and deemed basically healthy though hugely stressed (shocker), so stressed that they couldn't test her for FIV or anything because they couldn't get any samples from her. They fed her, gave her water and I was then allowed to make the decision whether or not to surrender her ($150) or keep her. I made the, supposedly, smart decision and surrendered her, paying $125 to go along with the money donated by the awesome lady and signing away all my rights to Miss Pickles. Even though I knew it was the right thing to do I felt like a total heel.

Alex took me home and I walked my dog about 2 hours after her usual time, poor girl. As we walked Kath called and wanted to hear the story from the horse's mouth and (huzzah!) she's calling the vet and trying to adopt Pickles tomorrow. I hope she does because I didn't even have my camera with me and I have no pictures of the Pickle to show you and I hate that. Dude, she is cute as the proverbial button. I hope there'll be another chapter to this story and in the mean time please repeat the mantra with me: Please spay & neuter your pets, please spay and neuter your pets, please spay and neuter your pets...

Monday, April 28, 2008

More of the Loyal

OK, so I'm back in the city.

The part I prefer only to give the overview of is that Joe the Barber has had a massive stroke and isn't expected to live long. I was up north spending time with him and the family. If you ever find yourself in a similar situation I suggest you hire Joe's girls to help you because no one does this sort of thing with a better mix of compassion, practicality, humor and love.

Serendipitously I found out when I got up there that a. Auntie Blanche was the last person left in her nursing home, which is going out of business, and b. that she was moving on Friday. I was able to eat supper with her on her last night in the old place and visit her on her first two evenings in the new joint. She had a private room and a lot of autonomy in the old home, which was close to where she'd lived for about 40 years. She is on the list for an independent living spot in the new establishment (about a 20 minute drive from our home town) but has to wait until one becomes available. In the mean time she is in a semi-private room in the no independence at all section which is a huge step down for her. At 97 she still walks over half a mile a day, teaches piano and gallivants about the area wherever we will take her. The move was really hard and I was so glad I was able to be there.

It was, however, crushingly difficult to leave her there especially on the first night when she was so unhappy. At the door I started to cry and so did she but when she saw me she rallied and said, "Oh, I'll be OK." I'm sure she will, she can do anything, but she deserves so much better than OK.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Chasing The Merry-Go-Round

This beauty was waiting for his boy to get off the carousel on the mall in DC. When the father brought the boy back he hung the kid upside down in front of the lab so there could be some sort of confirmation that this was the right kid. Since the lab licked the whole face squeaky clean I'm guessing he brought back the right one.

I'm heading back to the city today. Think good weather and good driving thoughts.

Oh, and have a lovely Sunday.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Fuzzy Wuzzy Wuz a Bear

Haven't done one of these in a while. Do I look thinner in the ceiling of the elevator?

I think I look like I have big long spidery fingers but I like that.

It's chilly up here. Only 38 when I walked the dog before 7 this morning. Still pretty, though. Pictures to come but not for a while I think.

What are you up to this weekend?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Reaching Higher and Higher

Don't worry, y'all, I'm OK. It's just really not my story to tell so I'm not going to go into it here. Just tired, working hard up here for a good, good cause. A couple of them actually.

In the mean time here's a lovely picture of some cool dads in Fort Greene Park. The day is just as pretty here now as it was in this picture a couple of weeks ago.

Hope you're enjoying your Friday to the fullest.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

After Balzac

The trip to DC last week was a delight. It was a real breath of fresh air and it was so much easier on mind, body and wallet to do it by bus. In some ways I wish we'd had more time but in others it was plenty. By the time 4:45 rolled around and we needed to be heading back toward the bus our dogs were tired. And our feet too! (And the funny just keeps on coming.)

Our second stop on this hit parade was the sculpture garden. Much of it was blocked off for construction but this was our first view as we descended into the garden and probably my favorite piece of art the entire day.

There are more pictures and stories to come but I thought we could just do a little at a time.

Hope you're having a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Anniversary of the Birth

Here's what you were going to get at noon, before plans changed:

Today marks the anniversary of the birth of a famous and well-known writer.

My cousin, Mike.

By chance it's also the birthday of another famous writer. Bill Something or other. So, I should probably put out some fancy words, right? I'll give you some of Cole Porter's. They're safe for work and all but dude, Cole was kind of racy.

From "Kiss Me Kate"

The girls today in society go for classical poetry
So to win their hearts one must quote with ease
Aeschylus and Euripides
One must know Homer, and believe me, Beau
Sophocles, also Sappho-ho
Unless you know Shelley and Keats and Pope
Dainty Debbies will call you a dope

But the poet of them all
Who will start 'em simply ravin'
Is the poet people call
The Bard of Stratford on Avon

Brush up your Shakespeare
Start quoting him now
Brush up your Shakespeare
And the women you will wow

Just declaim a few lines from Othella
And they'll think you're a hell of a fella
If your blonde won't respond when you flatter 'er
Tell her what Tony told Cleopatterer

If she fights when her clothes you are mussing
What are clothes? Much ado about nussing
Brush up your Shakespeare
And they'll all kow-tow


With the wife of the British ambassida
Try a crack out of Troilus and Cressida
If she says she won't buy it or like it
Make her tike it, what's more As You Like It

If she says your behavior is heinous
Kick her right in the Coriolanus
Brush up your Shakespeare
And they'll all kow-tow


If you can't be a ham and do Hamlet
They will not give a damn or a damlet
Just recite an occasional sonnet
And your lap'll have honey upon it

When your baby is pleading for pleasure
Let her sample your Measure for Measure
Brush up your Shakespeare
And they'll all kow-tow - Forsooth
And they'll all kow-tow
And they'll all kow-tow


Better mention "The Merchant Of Venice"
When her sweet pound o' flesh you would menace
If her virtue, at first, she defends---well
Just remind her that "All's Well That Ends Well"

And if still she won't give you a bonus
You know what Venus got from Adonis
Brush up your Shakespeare
And they'll all kow-tow - Thinkst thou?
And they'll all kow-tow - Odds bodkins
And they'll all kow-tow


If your goil is a Washington Heights dream
Treat the kid to "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
If she then wants an all-by-herself night
Let her rest ev'ry 'leventh or "Twelfth Night"

If because of your heat she gets huffy
Simply play on and "Lay on, Macduffy!"
Brush up your Shakespeare
And they'll all kow-tow - Forsooth
And they'll all kow-tow - Thinkst thou?
And they'll all kow-tow - We trou'
And they'll all kow-tow

Photo Credit

Driving Home

I'm driving north for a few days. Posts will likely be sporadic at best. Be well.

Oh The Face

What I said: Hey, could you please pass me my purple sweatshirt?

His thoughtchoosaid: Hey, could you please pass me my pitbull sweatshirt?

Yes, I'm a modern-day, urban, extremely casual Cruella DeVille. I like all the warmth and cuddliness of a dog without any of the mess and fuss.

*Don't worry, this sweet girl is well cared for by one of the local dog walkers. He doesn't seem to let her come inside Who's Your Doggy, though. She was just waiting for him to return (in full view of the store's window).

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


This is a building near my office. If the rumors are true, by July 1st we won't be so near since we're supposed to be moving. The people who run this office are all about the moving. I hate moving.

Moving on.


I believe this building is called The Lipstick Building. It doesn't look all that much like a tube of lipstick to me. What do you think? Kitty is our resident architect, I'm hoping she'll have some expert insight for us.

It's kind of cool looking, whatever it is.

Close The Heck Up

I'm not feeling the 10 Things Tuesday inspiration today. You know what I sometimes like to do when I'm not feeling something? I do it anyway. I'm from New England, it's sort of how we roll. When you're done you're either finally feeling it or at least your done.

Yeah, it's not a perfect system.

I'm also not feeling these photos because I accidentally uploaded them uncentered and they're weird but I'm not going to go back and redo it so I think it goes with my non-theme.

Just 10 Things on a Tuesday

1. Embiggen that photo of Elvis cleaning himself to check out the damage he's done to his legs. What the camera can't capture are the scabs and bumps from the constant licking and biting. I am trying everything and we've yet to hit the magic combo.

2. If you're every ready to try anything holistic to help a pet go to this place and talk to Phil. Phil is nuts in an awesome way.

3. For the past couple of days it's looked really nice out but been sort of chilly. I hate it when the weather does an Eddie Murphy routine on you. (Wanna lick? Psyche!)

4. Oh, this is important and I keep forgetting to say it. Yes, Auntie and Chili and whoever else, you can absolutely get the ProfDoc treatment for your birthday but you must give me direction and you must be willing to sacrifice. Keep in mind that she got that treatment because she STILL hasn't received a tangible gift for her birthday that was a week ago and that she and I have a friendship built on a firm foundation of pop culture. We talk about who we find hot in a celeb context nearly every day and we've known each other about a decade so I had a lot to work with. For instance Auntie, I only know Tina Cervasio and I don't think I can do a whole day on her, as attractive and intriguing as she is, so give me a few more ideas or even a general "type" (Audio Girl for instance would get a whole day of dark-skinned, dark-haired beauties) to work with. I am more than happy to accommodate specific requests.

5. I found my birthday book last night (A 1996 Vermont day planner with everyone's birthdays in it.) and have entered everyone's birthdays into my calendar which I now know how to sync with my iPod (whoopee!). Well, everyone with whose birthday I was familiar as of 1999 at least. If you came on the scene after that you might be better off updating me. Now I've found the book I can update it when you do.

6. I'm only on six. This could be because I'm not doing much lately.

7. This weight maintenance thing is hard. At least as hard as advertised.

8. I'm getting a kick out of filling in all the squares for daily essentials like water and dairy and veggies, though. Yesterday I got the smiley face for eating enough fruits and veggies. I am awesome.

9. I finished my book on the way to work this morning. It turns out that Virginia Woolf is kind of freaking awesome. I need to rent the movie version of Orlando ASAP.

10. I downgraded my Netflix membership (2 @ a time unlimited instead of 3 @ a time) and it took effect today. I am finding this traumatic. My queue is down to 229 discs, though.

Alexander's Steed

I would like to introduce you to Bucephalus. He's less than a year old and he's spent almost all of that time in a pet store (liars! when was the last time you saw a pit bull in a pet store?) and then a shelter. He chews stuff. Kind of a lot. But other than that he seems like basically the perfect dog. At 9 months old he walks on the leash like a dream and doesn't freak out when someone comes to the door and he listens when other dogs tell him to quit whatever sweet submissive behavior he's engaging in. When he oh-so-gently licked my hand I think I fell in love.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Sock It To Me

There is a pick up game of soccer in the park near my house almost every day. As you can see it draws quite the crowd of spectators. Do you like the new police scooters the city gave our precinct? I think it's to make up for the fact that they've tasked the majority of the officers to the mall instead of, you know, everywhere else where the actual crime is.
I say almost because this Sunday the cricketers got to the field before the soccer players. You should have seen the bewildered soccer players standing on the edge of the pitch wondering what to do. I've always wanted to take action shots of sports and I'm really lucky to have so many free options just waiting down the block for me.

Yeah, I got nothing much else tonight. Still filled with rage. Still deciding what to do about it. Working on posting the nearly 200 photos I took in DC! Stay tuned, there'll either be pretty pictures or a great story about how hard I punched someone. Hey, maybe both!

Happy Monday y'all.

Fire Break

Last week sometime, or maybe the week before, I can't remember, there was hoopla at my house. I walked in after work and all was quiet. There was a woman in the lobby with her kids and she was on her phone but not speaking. She opened the door for me but didn't speak to me either. Five minutes later when I walked out with the dog the entire street was lined with fire trucks and the courtyard was jam packed with more firefighters than you could shake a flaming stick at. A few of them were talking to the woman who hadn't spoken to me but I couldn't hear what they were saying. On the sidewalk, which was filled with even more of NY's Bravest, a handsome young man called the dog over. Since I was on the other end of her leash I went with her.

Me: Should I go back in and get the cats?

Him: No.

So I didn't.

All For A Little Baldsug

I had no idea that Baldsug was reading over here until a whole season of Blackadder showed up from Amazon for me. What a guy, huh? He sees a gap in my knowledge and he sets about to fix it right away.

In honor of Passover and funny (2 things that Baldsug likes) I scrambled to take a picture of this Mitzvah tank on Flatbush Avenue last week. What I'm really sorry I missed was a shot of the little boy eating cookies and staring out the screen window in the side.

If you've never seen a Mitzvah tank before they're huge RVs that play loud (klezmer?) music from speakers on their tops and go around...ok I'm not totally sure. I think they're helping Jewish people to be more observant by suggesting where they can go to services and things like that. Sometimes you'll be walking along and see a whole fleet of them speeding down the avenue, it's very cool.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sesame Street Dogs

While I was out gallivanting in our nation's capital Miss Emily was hanging out with the Sesame Street dogs (BIG, little, BIG, little). That's Portia on the top, she is completely blind now after a congenital problem took her corneas, I think it was. My beloved Tallulah Belle (I'm not into the smaller breeds but Tulie is a dog of my heart, she speaks to me) is coming at us below and her more sedate (but much more dangerous) sister, Katie.

Our friend who rescued these three (SUSTAINABILITY y'all! Newf rescue for one and rescues direct from two neglectful homes for the cockers) recently got married. Emily knows the hubs, sure, but he hasn't been around too long so my friend wasn't sure that she'd give a crap about him yet. Well, yesterday, both adults and all four dogs were out. Mr. left them on one side of the street so he could run an errand across the way and Emily wigged, ears down, tail tucked and brow furrowed. She does not like it when you break up the damn pack! Why do we people never learn this? She knows he belongs and she doesn't know why he has the audacity to leave the safety of the group.

She's a good egg, my dog. We could all learn a thing or two about love and loyalty from her.

Me At 125

I had the courage to weigh in again this morning and I'm still at 125. So, I did all the changes on the web site (pushed one button) and I'm officially on the maintenance plan. None too soon, either, because when I recorded my weight the last time I didn't notice that it is in fact possible to have fewer than 20 points per day allotted to you and I had been knocked down to 18. (NOOOOOOOOOO!) I feel better than ever about choosing this particular goal weight because 18 points a day is no way to live.

So, anyway, here I am at my goal, still paying for the service while I see if I can make this stick. How long until I'm going to feel it's safe to buy new pants I wonder. 'Cause at some point it's probably going to make sense to have clothes that fit.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Of Passover and Gentrification

The day was delightful. More on that later.

As you may remember, last summer was another exciting chapter in the saga of living right above the benches in our courtyard. The group of spirited young men who uses those benches as their clubhouse had an active season of...debate and I had to cut salt entirely out of my diet so that blood wouldn't geyser out of my eyeballs every time I tried to go to sleep just as they were gaveling in a new session.

Tonight as I strolled in from my day of fun and frolicking I found a new club was having their inaugural session. Instead of jeans and sports paraphernalia they're wearing baby doll dresses and izods. Instead of Colt 45 in the bottle, they're serving merlot (or perhaps a nice shirazz) in glasses the size of mixing bowls.

What hasn't changed is the boisterous conversation and the clouds of smoke wafting up toward my window.

Oh it's going to be a good summer, don't you think?

Good Passover to y'all. I hope you're eating good food and hanging out with good people.

Friday, April 18, 2008


In the immortal words of Tina Fey, "Goodnight and have a pleasant tomorrow."
May visions of off the cuff jazz concerts attended by chubbins dance in your head.

Fucking Floral Friday 2: Electric Boogaloo

Gratitude to Chili for reminding me to keep up with the new theme for Fridays. Taken in Fort Greene Park last week sometime.

As for the shit I need to get done today, I've already been to class, done some writing, bought snacks for tomorrow and I'm about to go do some laundry then take the dog for a nice park walk since this gorgeous day should not be wasted and then come home and do some more writing, empty out my camera's memory card and get showered for tomorrow. We have settled on indulging in a car service for a 6:45 departure in the am.

I'm tired just thinking about it. Time to stop thinking and just do.

Bring on the Heat

Guess where I'm going tomorrow.

It's going to be almost 80 even here today and, while I'm now petrified of the sun, I can't wait. A day trip, by bus so pretty relaxed once I get up at the crack of dawn and make sure they let me on the bus.

I can't stop saying this, forgive me if it's a repeat, 2 people, round trip $16.50. That's $8.25 each. Totally serious. On Sunday I'll tell you if it was worth it.

Prepare yourself for a zillion pictures!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Nothing Says Goal Like Free Fro Yo

I decided to treat myself to a Tasti D at lunch today. It was a glorious nearly summery day and I deserved a little something. I had two of those Buy 10 Get 1 Free punch cards from 2 different franchises but I couldn't figure out which one corresponded to the location I was in. I handed them both to the guy and tried to explain that I didn't know which one he should punch. I said they were from last year (totally true, by the way) so I knew they looked different than their new ones. He took both the cards and handed me a new one. Then I tried to pay, I thought they'd expired or something. When the cashier looked at me the server dude was all, "She's free! She's free! She's free!!!!"

Oh, cool. Thanks!

What Are Your Legs? Springs!

This is the pooch all hyped up on adrenaline. She still insists on stalking other dogs and pretending she's hiding in the tall grass waiting to spring on them. I wish I knew how to stop it. But, these are just funny pictures to look at while I ask a question.
If, for instance, hypothetically, I were planning to donate one of my photographs (printed and matted suitably for framing) to a silent auction for my beloved BAX, would that seem like a half decent idea to you? Would people bid on something I'd snapped? Follow up question: Which one? (Please, I beg you, browse the Flickr stream a bit and throw out some options if you think this is a good idea.)

You could donate something to the silent auction, too, if you're so inclined (kids' party entertainment, art, craft, extra limb...). Ask me how.

On the Scales of a Dilemma

I need some advice here. I thought I would ask just the Weight Watchers enthusiasts but really I'd love to have everyone weigh to speak.

Keep in mind that my regular weigh-in day is Monday. I had a bad day on Monday and I didn't record my weight. Abusing the privileges of the online only membership? Why yes I am!

Today I did a cheater weigh-in and I HIT THE GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 125 baby. Long. Time. Coming.

Do I record this now since I didn't record anything on Monday (127, btw, couldn't fricking face it)? Or do I have to carefully maintain this until next Monday before I record it? Seems like the latter is more honest and smart and safe. But man, I'm so freaking happy to see that number I want to tell the whole fracking world.

Hey, look at that, I just did.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Watch Where You're Headed

I am full of anger and resentment and sadness and I'd planned to vent a lot of that here tonight but then I had a change of heart. Make no mistake, I still have all of those feelings right up to my brim but three things happened to me, small things, that made me feel good so I decided to use this space for those instead. Just call me Miss Mary Sunshine.

This morning, as sometimes happens, I ran into some friends and their dogs on my way to work. Their newer dog, a young buck, is...a handful. They're having trouble getting him to feel secure and calm enough to handle all the stimulation of the city. I luuuurve him, though. I love all the troublemakers. I desperately want to love on him so I want him to get all shaped up so he's allowed to interact with the general public. Lately when we all meet up they let me act as a test subject for whatever training lesson they're working on. This morning he was tied up to the fence and we waited for him to calm down before I was allowed to approach. I approached slowly so I could move out of his reach if his behavior ramped up before he could jump so we could avoid all unwanted behavior. He sniffed my hand and we backed and forthed maybe once before I could go right in to him and give him all over body scritches with no bad behavior and we could all love on him. Oh and love we did. The dog didn't know what to think. His ears went down in that confused but pleased way dogs have and he turned so I could get to a haunch then he gave me the full on lean. Almost tipped me right over and I loved it.

Audio Girl and I sit back to back in a very small office. We often start talking to the other person and get no response at all or begin responding to something being said only to find out it's being said to a third party who is on the phone. Headsets = useful but confusing. Today, out of nowhere, she piped up, "I've revised my view on heating things in plastic." Months ago, maybe as much as a year, my mother sent me an extremely alarmist e-mail to NEVER EVER EVER heat anything in a plastic container or I would keel over immediately from a very fast acting CANCER!!!! In cases like that I usually go in the opposite direction because I can't handle having all that emotion flung at me. This time I also asked Audio Girl for her opinion since she keeps up on stuff like this. At the time she didn't think it was so serious but now, a long while later, she'd kept it in her mind, she'd read things here and there and when she had a rethink she just shared it with me because she remembered and she wanted to keep me current. It made me feel heard in a really nice way.

On the way home from our evening walk Em and I intersected with a mother walk-running to keep up with her 4-5 year old daughter who was riding a 2 wheeler with training wheels well but with a high level of required supervision. They were also having a conversation:

Mother: We will get another rottweiler but there will never be another Ja.

Me: That is so sad. Very true but so sad.

M: (smiles at me apologetically)

Daughter: (unintelligible)

M: Ja is gone. Do you understand that? He's never coming back.

D: Will we call the new dog Ja?

M: No, we'll think of a new name.

D: What name?

M: I don't know, we'll have to see when we get the dog.

And right then, the mother looked ahead to check the field and the daughter was looking up at her to hear her response and her mother and I realized just a moment too late that she was headed straight for the fence.

In that moment it was hysterically funny. John Ritter would have been proud of this girl. She hit nearly head on, tipped the bike over and flopped like a fish with her bicycle to the cement.

The minute she hit the ground and started to wail it was not funny at all, not even a little. She wasn't hurt, not even a seriously skinned knee I don't think. She was rattled though and, if her furiously stomping feet were any indication she was mad, mad, mad as a hornet.

Despite the tragic ending the whole exchange warmed me up. I can't wait to meet the new (but absolutely not the same) Ja.

*Photo from this registry for rottweiler rescue if you're interested in getting one for yourself.

A Wonderful Time Was Had By All

Remember how, when last we spoke, I was sitting on a bench outside of a bar sneaking pictures of unsuspecting passersby? Well, a short time later the unsuspecting birthday girl approached my ambush point. As you can tell, wherever she goes, she brings the party with her.
Fort Greene Power Couple. They move, they shake, they make things happen. Trust me when I say that you want to be in their orbit.
I would like to blame the photos I took in the bar on my lack of facility with the camera. While that played a part in the issue I would be remiss if I didn't mention that, without ever realizing it, I ended up drinking 3 vodkas over which someone had gingerly waved a lightly squeezed cranberry. Frank's is all about the bang for your buck. They are not, however, all about the viewable photos. You'll have to take my word for it that Amy looked lovely.

We moved on. We had to. We needed protein and starch and light! (See how those things haven't entirely corrected my photography problem? Let's just say it was a good party.) (Oh, and let's also say that this is a picture of Baly and I hate that it's not clearer since she was an awesome unsuspecting portraiture subject.)

Mere minutes before our change of venue Kath leaned over to me and spoke a sentence that had the following words in it: go, smoke, joint. This led to a foolishly long conversation where I talked about how I'd only inhaled three times in my life (true story, actually) and whereas I thought it was all fine for other people it just wasn't for me, I'm not good at it, blah, blah, blah, fishcakes.

By the way, the restaurant across the street from the bar is a BBQ place called The Smoke Joint. Poor girl wanted some food and I was giving her my damn life story!

Fortunately she forgave me and with the help of my new best friend, Chris, the manager of The Smoke Joint, we ended up with their auxiliary dining room all to ourselves, delicious food and free dessert. If I'd been a little drunker (I did say, "Chris, we have a birthday girl here and she needs protein, STAT!" so I was not at my smoothest.) I might have kissed him on the mouth. You know, if I could have taken time out from shoving things into my pie hole. (Actually it was a brownie he gave us but...brownie hole just doesn't sound right.)

The birthday girl was the picture of propriety and I think I wouldn't be out of line to speak for everyone and say we had a glorious time from start to finish. I think we should celebrate her birthday every week! This week I'm getting the mac and cheese!

Answering the Door

Kath had a birthday last week and thank goodness she did!
We all gathered at a seriously old school joint for cocktails and conversation but for some reason, despite a pretty busy day, I arrived strangely early.
I sat down on a bench outside the bar, which happens to be on a busy intersection, and got out my book. About a sentence in I realized that I was completely missing an opportunity.
I've been bellyaching and whining and waiting on pins and needles for the time to be able to just sit inconspicuously at busy intersections and take some photos. Here I was, sitting at a busy intersection and my first impulse was to read my book?

So I put my book away and got out my camera and this is what I saw.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Giving Direction

Due to some new commenters and the regular hoopla round and about the portion of internet that I frequent and my general feeling about my writing lately I have to give the speech again. If you've heard (really heard) the speech before you can just look at the pretty pictures. My favorite is this second one. It's got attitude.
Speech: The magic of the internet is that if you don't like what you read here (or anywhere) you can go elsewhere. If you disagree or you aren't interested or it makes you feel uncomfortable then you should absolutely not be here. In fact I respectfully ask that you go [redacted] away.

Moving on...

10 Allergic Things

1. I already take meds for my allergies, it's a nose spray. The effects are cumulative or something so you have to take it every day no matter what. I do.

2. I don't take a pill or anything systemic because my apartment is extremely dry and I already have health consequences from that so using a systemic decongestant just ramps up all those other problems. If you don't believe me search the archives for some combination of "blood," "nose" and "late to work."

3. This morning I was spurred out of bed by sinus pain and pressure. Yesterday I was spurred out of bed by the infernal itching of my flaking and peeling shins (See above re: dryness and consequences).

4. Apparently the last 48 hours have brought the tree pollen to a new level that triggers my bad reactions.

5. I've taken action on my/realized that I had allergies for about three years.

6. I'm pretty sure I had allergies for about a decade before that but didn't realize what the symptoms indicated.

7. I had my eyes checked because I thought I had glaucoma. Turns out it was just all that sinus pressure from the allergies.

8. Are there any homeopathic decongestants?

9. Well, besides alcohol?

10. What are you allergic to?

10 Things Taxes

1. I'm getting money back from the feds.

2. I have to pay the state.

3. I could have sent that payment in on Friday had the postal worker not delivered it to an old lady in the building around the corner.

4. A big thank you to the old lady around the corner for getting her friend/my next door neighbor to bring my tax packet to me.

5. Too bad she delivered it after 9:30 last night.

6. Yes, I had a back up plan.

7. My federal economic stimulus check (should it be in the full amount) will just about cover the state payment and the payment to the state (stupid state). The above is probably not what the government wants me to do with that check. Not very economically stimulating.

8. I'm trying to get out of the house early this morning in the hopes that I can find an accommodating PO.

9. I am following the annual plan of carefully filing all my receipts for the month after getting my taxes done. I give it to perhaps mid-May.

10. How many of you are going to comment that I should have done my taxes earlier? Don't do that. It's not polite.

Monday, April 14, 2008

One (Or So) For the Road

ProfDoc is probably asleep by now since she's teaching tomorrow.

But I thought.... would be a good idea to send her off into the new year on a....

hot note.
What do you think?
Are you warming up yet?
I thought so.