In case you were wondering
October 30, 2008, 12:00 pm
Filed under: daily, Dogs | Tags: , , ,

We went to Beaver County.

Mostly to exercise the dog, because nothing beats an exhausted puppy.

It was only a 40 minute drive west to Raccoon Creek State Park.

We wanted a last jaunt in the fall foliage, wandering around the woods, and generally airing the stink off of us.

But actually, we went there to pose in the middle of a field, next to a dead log with a nice red tree over us for the nicest picture of both of us that will ever be taken of us again.

It’s a damn shame that we couldn’t have reserved that picture for our wedding day, but whatever.

(Roommate! took all of these)



Yummy!
October 23, 2008, 10:14 am
Filed under: daily | Tags: , , ,

Here’s your ew for the day.

Black residue and pink slime found in the ice machine? Everyone infected with norovirus?

My guess is that the sick bartender puked in the ice machine and then continued to serve drinks using that ice, assuming that the alcohol would kill the bacteria. A poor choice, sir. Wikipedia says: “Norovirus is rapidly killed by chlorine-based disinfectants, but because the virus particle does not have a lipid envelope, it is less susceptible to alcohols and detergents.[9]

Yuck.



Morning Digest
October 15, 2008, 8:19 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Early this morning, the dear sweet animal woke me up at 4 AM and 5 AM, on the dot. She licked my face, wanted to snuggle. Bear took her out at 4 to pee, but I suspect she just wanted to make out. At 5 AM, when I got another wet swipe on the lips, we hollered at her to LAY DOWN and GO TO SLEEP.

She did.

Unfortunately, she chose to not continue the hourly wake up kiss at 6 AM, the normal and appropriate hour for wakefulness. Bear forgot to set his alarm clock, so we three blissfully slept straight through till 7:35 AM, when my mama called for an early morning chitchat.

The phone rang, blasting me out of sleep, and I thought “WHO THE HELL IS CALLING BEFORE 6AM! MY MOM. OH CRAP, GRANDMA DIED. GOOD THING I DON’T HAVE HOMEWORK THIS WEEKEND.”

I can only think in ALL CAPS while still half (three quarters) asleep. Also, I base my reaction to the impending news of my Grandma’s death on my amount of homework.

I am a terrible granddaughter.

She’s still alive, as far as I know. Mom just wanted someone to entertain her on her way to work. I managed to get dressed, eat breakfast, pack my things, feed the dog and caffeinate myself ALL WHILE ON THE PHONE with her, without letting her in on the dirty little secret that she’s the one who jump-started the household this morning.

Wouldn’t want her to think we’re lazy, or irresponsible or anything.



Swirls
October 13, 2008, 8:21 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,

I am frustrated.

I am not comfortable with using this site as a way to vent about family. I have found it too many different ways using my full name, which means any family member can stumble upon it, without even using StumbleUpon.

I have read too many other, more experienced bloggers too long. I have read their allusions to why there are entire swaths of their blogs missing, in an attempt to patch and darn the rents their words tore into their families. I don’t want to have to make the same apologies to my family. I don’t want to hurt anyone with my frustrations.

I don’t want to hurt them in such a public and painful forum. They might hurt me with their words, their pregnant pauses and their judgments, but I don’t want to add names to those accusations.

This is the internet equivalent of me screaming in a pillow in frustration. My hands are tied: I cannot type what I want to spill out onto the webpage. I want to vomit it all up, but that’s a stain Resolve can’t lift.

I am so frustrated.

I just wish they could know that the world does not revolve around them. The actions other people take in their own lives? They are not an elaborate attempt to hurt or upset anyone else; they are not personal attacks.

I really think we all spend so much time obsessing over ourselves, but not in the way that sounds. We carefully dab coverup on that blemish, convinced that everyone we pass is thinking, “ew! What a disgusting pimple!” We pick out our clothes in an attempt to prevent our classmates from passing judgment on our wealth, our status and our taste. We buy the fancy car and the big house, and a lot of debt,¬†all for the momentary thrill of seeing other people’s faces and imagining what they are thinking about us.

I’ll tell you what I’m thinking: “You must be up to your eyeballs in debt!”

We want the perfect body, the perfect life, the perfect everything, just so we can imagine what other people are saying about us. We worry when we don’t have the perfect body, the perfect life, the perfect everything, that they are thinking derogatory things about us.

The funny thing is: if we are all so occupied about these things, who has time to actually think anything about anyone else?

The only world that revolves around us is the world in each of our respective heads. And it’s entirely imaginary.



The Time My Mutt Became a Breed
October 9, 2008, 12:39 pm
Filed under: Dogs | Tags: , ,

Katie is almost a year old. We got her from the animal rescue league when she was about 8 months old. She had originally come in as a stray found on the side of the road at only a few weeks old, and then was subsequently adopted and returned twice before we got her. The rescue said that she was maybe part lab, part collie, and we heard whisperings of Newfoundland.

Everybody who meets her has a different idea. Border collie, lab, irish setter, we heard it all. I just threw my hands up at every suggestion and laughed, “your guess is as good as mine!”

Does she look like any of those to you?

The only thing that kept me from just assuming “oh, she’s a total mutt: every breed is mixed in her somehow” is that she seemed SO much like a breed. She was just too well put-together, too much of a water/hunting dog in her behavior, too smart, and too pretty to be a Heinz 57 varieties breed.

Last week, we took her to the dog run, where she scampers about rough and tumbling with the other dogs there. I was talking to the owner of the two beautiful, pure Springer Spaniels, and she suggested that she might be a Flat Coated Retriever. “She must be. She looks just like them, but a little small. She’s not pure, but probably mostly Flat Coat.”

Oh, ok. I had never heard of this breed before. I forgot about the exchange until yesterday, and I decided to ask the Internet about it.

Lo, and behold! It is my dog, on the Internet!

(Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Suddenly, my dog makes sense. She’s super friendly, bouncy and exuberant, with lots of playful energy. Just like this breed. She has the same stubborn willfulness. She has the same fur, same eyes, and same weird brown colored fur puffing out from between her toes. She has a similar facial expression. She loves water, and tends to point at small rodents and birds that she sees. She loves to run and be outdoors and play in the mud. She loves playing with other dogs and with people. She is smart as a whip. She has a weird habit of greeting other dogs by licking them on the lips.

So! She’s not a weirdo! SHE’S JUST A FLAT COATED RETRIEVER!

There are differences. She’s 20 lbs lighter than the lightest FCR female. She has a shorter, squarer head. These are probably from whatever she is mixed with, but the FCR is totally dominant. This is probably a good thing, because FCR’s are prone to cancers at an early age. Hopefully that will be weeded out in the mix.

If she stays true to the breed, she will remain happy, playful and puppy-like well into old age. She s trainable as long as she’s not trained harshly or repetitively. She is a much better dog if she is exercised appropriately.

I am excited about all of this. Of course, I keep saying that she’s a “flat footed retriever” by accident.

Hell, that will keep her out of the draft!



Update
October 7, 2008, 10:25 am
Filed under: Current Events, daily | Tags:

I am kind of shying away from the Internet at the moment. The news, the blogs, everyone is focusing entirely on the election.

Like I said last time: I’m tired of the election. Obama is going to win. It is a Democratic year. The fact that he is only just now pulling ahead of McCain is truly startling. The banter and the pundits and the bullshit are simply nauseating.

I wish I lived in a state that was entirely blue or entire red. I don’t care which. It’s the purple I hate. I’ve never been a fan of purple: just ask Roommate! about the time I crocheted a candle cozy for a “Lavender Lemon” candle. I love lavender. Unfortunately, lavender is also purple. I don’t like looking at purple, even if I like smelling it.

In a purple state, you are bombarded with ad after ad after goddamn ad. All of them are filled with expansions on the truth, convenient drops of inconvenient truths, and general lack of logic. The ads from both sides make me want to vote ‘other, please!’

I guess that’s my big issue with this election. I am such an ‘other’ voter, despite all evidence to the contrary that I am a staunch Republican. I am not a Republican. In fact, I am registered Democrat, and have been since I turned 18. When I registered in Allegheny County this year, I registered Democrat. Neither candidate really pleases me, it’s question of which is the lesser evil. I disagree with many things both parties stand for, it’s merely a question of which side supports the important things.

And you know what? In some ways, I really don’t know. I am going to have to hold my nose and vote McCain, even though he and I disagree on so many things. His plan for health care reform? Dear God! When that came out, it solidified the need to get totally soused before heading to the polls. And yet, despite voting for McCain, I’m kind of hoping that Obama will win. I just can’t bear to vote for him myself because I don’t want him to misread my vote as a ‘mandate’.

Hence, I avoid the internet. I will still go the polls on Election Day. I will still vote for McCain, but I’m more interested in voting for local politicians. Specifically, voting AGAINST them. There is no greater joy while in a voting booth to be voting against incumbents.

Oh, but I’ll probably still be soused. They might limit what I wear to the polls, but they can’t limit what I drink before hand!