Monday, November 30, 2009


So, that's it then. NaBloPoMo is done. Have we learned anything people? Anyone? Anyone?

I have not been completely forthcoming this month - I have a lot of stuff going on right now, but not the time nor the energy to get into it. Some big things, some little things. Not the least of which is the health of our wee one, Osha, who periodically becomes congested and gets kitty boogers but who tonight was feeling so rotten that he wouldn't even partake in Cookie Time, which has me quite quite concerned. Luckily he has a vet appointment tomorrow evening, so I'm just hoping he can not die until then. Ok, thanks, bye.

Obviously there is more on my mind then that, but sometimes we hold onto the little things to make the big things seem not quite so bad.

NaBloPoMo has been a nice diversion - trying to think of some kind of tidbit to share each day, and putting at least a little thought and effort into trying to make it even a little funny or witty. Some days are easier than others, but thus is life, I guess.

This week I am covering for one of our vacationing employees - I thought it would be a fun week, but after the first day I'm already exhausted. I remember when we first took over this business I had a conversation with the owner of another, similar company to ours. At one point she said to me "do you ever feel if you ever saw another dog you might just kick it?". I remember being a little shocked, and thinking that I couldn't imagine ever feeling that way. And even though I don't feel like kicking anything, I now think I know what she meant by it.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday mish-mash - only one day to go!

Big big week coming up.

1. The last day of NaBloPoMo is TOMORROW!!! Gaaack - I know you'll miss me!

2. doing a lot of walking this week since one of our girls is on vacation. I had been kinda looking forward to it, and then Friday was my first day of it and it did NOT go well. It wasn't a disaster or anything, but it was just really exhausting and I'm over it.

3. taking Osha to the vet on Tuesday - he periodically gets congested and sneezy, and we usually give him some baby Benedryl and it clears up in a couple of days, but this time there appears to be no end in sight. Not to gross you out, but tonight he sneezed out a booger/snot mass bigger than I've ever seen come out of a human. So, we'll head to the vet and see what she can do for us.

4. Countdown to vacation is at 50 days!

5. Tonight is Amazing Race and Dexter. When did Sunday become my favorite TV night? I'm not sure, but it is! Dexter was so friggin' good last week I can't wait to see what happens tonight.

I'm glad NaBloPoMo is done tomorrow - not because I haven't enjoyed writing. It's actually been much easier and more enjoyable than the last time I did it. But this week is going to busy and exhausting and I know odds are I would have forgotten to post at some point. That would suck, so I'm glad tomorrow is my last official posting day. But I think I will be around a lot more than I used to be.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Death by exercise

SB tried to kill me today. It was a kindhearted kind of murder plot, though, in which all he really wanted to do was spend time with me doing something that is good for us. We went for a run.

This is itself would not be unusual. I have been known to run a few times a week pretty regularly. Sure for the last month or so I have been concentrating less on running and more on not throwing myself off the Champlain bridge, but before that I was getting out there pretty regularly.

SB wanted to go for a run, and I didn't really want to, but I did want to spend time with him, so thought it would be a good thing that we should do. Then he said "let's go run on the mountain". Which made me even less excited because when I run, I'm pretty particular about The Conditions, and The Conditions do not include severe inclines. Nope. The Conditions also don't include 5 degree temperature, but this is something I've been wanting to conquer, so that was less of an issue.

So, he corrals me into the car and we drive to the mountain. Stretching is required as part of The Conditions and I'm really glad that I stuck to my guns on that one. So, we got going.

The incline was not fun. Not as bad as I had imagined, but not fun.

The Conditions also mandate that I run between 20-30 minutes, depending on my pace. Running slower, I'll stretch it out to 30. Running at "race pace" (who am I kidding, I have never been in a race, but I know what pace I would like to run if I were in one) then I stick to less time, especially since I haven't been running at all lately. We were running well below race pace, so at around the 15 minute mark I started asking when SB expected we would turn this boat around and hightail it back to the bottom.

SB seemed to be in denial of The Conditions. He said "we'll just go to the top". Then when we got to the top, he wanted to keep going, probably to frolic around the lake that's up there. I had to put my foot down. I said "No, I'm turning around." "Oh, are you tired?" "I was ready to turn around ten minutes ago when I clearly said 'let's turn around.'"

So, we turned around.

We ran 6km in 45 minutes - not a great pace, but good for a long slow run. My hips are killing me. My lungs did not fail me at all, which I'm pretty pleased about. And even better, SB did not succeed in killing me off.

This time.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Phoning it in slightly today because I'm exhausted and can barely keep my eyes open. I spent the day in the rain with puppies, and it was pretty miserable for everyone. Especially when I got a parking ticket while dropping some of the dogs off. Grrrr.

SB helped brighten my day by bringing home beer and Frites Alors, so we're tucking in to watch Benjamin Button. I'm not excited that next week one of our employees is on vacation, so I will be walking all day every day. I will be spending my weekend mentally preparing for that, so tonight I need to just rest up.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Woodge avoids The Badness

When I got up this morning it was evident that Woodgie's camel hump probably wouldn't make it the weekend without exploding. I called our vet's office, and they couldn't take us today, then I called their associated vet's office - the conversation:

"I would like an appointment today for my dog"

"sorry we don't have any openings today, is it an emergency?"

"He has a sebaceous cyst that I'm pretty sure is fixing to explode.."

"oh dear, hold on one second"

So they fit us in, and when the vet initially felt the lump, he was sure it wasn't a cyst, but a mass, because a cyst is liquidy, not hard. But he poked it with a needle to check what was in there exactly and all I have to say is ew. Ew ew ew ew ew. Ew a million times. It was a cyst, but just really really really full.

Woodgie was a VERY good boy, barely noticed the guy poking FIVE needles into him to drain out all the fluid. We had the vet check out a bunch of other stuff, obviously, since we were there and Woodgie isn't exactly what you would call a late model. He has a heart murmur, and also a cyst in his eye that partially covers his pupil - this was, in fact, so interesting that the vet had to pull out a textbook to compare it to, and had another vet come in and take a look just for kicks.

Since Woodgie is about 800 years old, there isn't much we can do about all these problems. Or, rather, there aren't many things we are willing to do. Surgeries and weird medications and weird therapies, that's not us, especially not at this age. But we'll keep an eye on him for some of the symptoms the vet has mentioned to us. He's calling it a palliative approach. Knowing Woodgie he'll be fine for another 6 years.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Late night excitement (not what you are thinking)

Last night, right after I posted my blog post and made a cup of tea, we started hearing a bunch of sirens outside. Whatever. But after about ten minutes and a few more intervals of sirens, we were getting a little annoyed. SB got ready to walk the Woodge and said he would investigate. As they were leaving out the front door I peeked out our back patio and could see over the top of the buildings a glow, and also drifting ash from a fire.

A FIRE!!! In our very own little neighborhood!

It was crazy! As soon as I saw this I threw on my coat and went out too to check out the action. There were a whole bunch of fire trucks, and also police cars "controlling traffic" (major fail there, for some reason they would park their cars to block the road, but people would still drive right up to them thinking they could get around, and for some other reason they wouldn't get out of the cop cars to direct the traffic so it was getting a bit nuts).

The fire was the equivalent of 3-4 blocks away, and in a building that is the newest part of the development, and which isn't finished being built yet (fishy!).

My timeline of thought:
1) that sucks for the people who have bought units in that building! Now they will have to wait for them to start almost all over when they were almost done building!

2) Maybe they didn't sell enough units so the building "accidentally" caught on fire.

3) Holy heck we have a client that lives in the building that backs onto this one - I hope she was home and got her cat out.

So as we walk along to see if we can check out what's going on (couldn't get a good view since obviously you couldn't get too close and the location of the building didn't allow good viewing angles) I am calling our client to see if she was home (she had been!) if she got her cat out (she had him with her!) and if she needed a cat carrier to bring him wherever she had to go for the night (she had one!). Their building wasn't damaged at all though, but they were evacuated as a precaution.

No one was hurt in the fire, but apparently someone heard an explosion and then the fire flared up. SKETCHY!!! I'm glad that everyone was safe, and I can't wait to hear the whole story about what happened. It was a very exciting pre-bedtime!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I almost forgot to post! Because I'm exhausted! And I'm watching Hoarders!

There are two shows on A&E that terrify me. Hoarders and Obsessed. They don't terrify me because they are showing crazy depictions of extreme behaviors. They terrify me because I see some of those tendencies in myself. Since I'm watching Hoarders right now, we'll go with that one.

I am not sure when I started to "save" and "collect" things, but I know I did it throughout my childhood and adolescence. Not to the point of not being able to walk through my room due to 8 foot tall piles of newspapers, but my mother can attest to the fact that she and my grandfather have been dealing with the aftermath of my hoarding for the almost 13 years since I moved away from home. There are boxes upon boxes of toys, books, collectibles, etc etc etc. I have no idea what is even in there. And looking back I'm pretty much 85% sure that about 90% of the stuff in there can be tossed. But I won't allow it to be thrown away until I get time to go through it. And I still think, even knowing that most of it is trash, if anyone threw it all away one day that it would hurt my heart.

Luckily I have SB - he keeps me in check where we live now. And in my old age I have become much, much, much less sentimental, and so I don't tend to keep all the weird things I used to (for about a year I made a "scrapbook" of my favorite hockey teams wherein I cut out the standings, game highlights, and any articles about them and pasted them in a hilroy. I am 99% sure those are in some of those boxes at Papa's house). And the only thing I collect now are first edition books - there could be far worse things than that!

I still have this insatiable need for stuff. Shopping, buying things, getting free things - all kinds of stuff. But I am better at realizing when all the stuff that is around me isn't useful and needs to go. It doesn't stop me from surrounding myself with different stuff, but at least it doesn't build up.

And I know for effin' sure that if SB wasn't around I would DEFINITELY have 20 cats. And a baby Bernese Mountain Dog.

Monday, November 23, 2009


I'm exhausted and out of ideas for today. I had a fantastic dinner out with friends, and after a pretty busy work day I'm out of ideas.

I don't think I've talked about our official honeymoon, which is coming up very very soon. Because our wedding was in September, and we really really really wanted a beach relax honeymoon, which isn't really a good idea in September because of hurricanes, we booked our honeymoon for January. Little did I know that the waiting time of FOUR MONTHS in between would be tortuous, but it makes me even more glad that we headed to Vegas for our Mini Moon because holy heck can you imagine if we hadn't?

So, we're going to St. Lucia, and staying at a Sandals. I'm pretty stoked to check out an all-inclusive that has a great menu, beautiful rooms, and 24 hour room service. And I'm also super excited about the fact that I'm pretty sure our Blackberries won't work there, so we won't have a choice but to turn them off. For the first time in....4 years. Oh, yes, it will be fantastic.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Maybe some gangster dialogue will spice things up

Another super quiet Sunday. I had done most of my bills and schedules yesterday while SB was at an alumni event, so today I tried to relax. I finished up my knitting project, then washed it out. Once it's dry I'll steam block it. So exciting, I know, but when you finish a project it kind just looks like a weird thing all the wrong size - the edges roll up and it always looks too short. I can't wait to see it all done, yo.

Busy week coming up - I have two days of relative quiet on Wednesday and Thursday which I am already looking forward to. I had meant to get the Woodgie to the vet before our holiday crunch time began - he has a weird lypoma or cyst-type thing on his back that he's had for a while, but it suddenly tripled in size. I'm not too worried about it being harmful or deadly or anything, but if it's anything like the one on his neck, I wouldn't mind getting it drained and have him on some antibiotics before The Badness happens again. But now it looks like we won't get a chance until the new year. Fingers crossed it stays contained until then dawg.

Just watched the Curb Your Enthusiasm finale, and gearing up for Dexter at 10. Woohoo, our Sundays are off the chain.


Saturday, November 21, 2009


I spent the day at home today doing work and knitting. I haven't done very much knitting since the spring - I don't find I really feel like it when the weather is nice. It just feels wrong. But now I'm finishing up a project I had been working on to give as a Christmas gift.

I am slightly torn about the giving of a handmade gift. I know that I love it, and I know that to me it's definitely a better gift than if we went out and bought a similar item in a store and gave that. But I'm not sure if everyone values a handmade thing the same way. And that doesn't even begin to address the issue of taste, because no matter how much someone appreciates the effort and the thought, all of that may not matter if they think the item is the fugliest thing they have ever seen. So we will see if the gift will come with an accompanying small item. Or maybe I just worry too much about pleasing people. Which is probably the case, but whatever.

Anyway, only one other item to discuss today - I just caught Charlie trying to make friends with Simon. I am not even kidding. He was all raised tail and elephant ears, while Simon had a look on his face like WTF? Why are you not trying to fit my whole head in your mouth right now? I think this is a sign that Charlie needs a puppy to.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Fast food "literature"

It's the weekend!!!!

Aren't you glad you only have one more week that you have to endure of this??? (actually 10 days, but I was trying to make you feel better).

Last Friday, Oprah featured an interview with Stephanie Meyer. I was excited to see the interview. I do not read those books, I do not watch those movies, I am not a fan of vampires in any way shape or form. BUT I am a fan of writers who are making a living at writing, and I want to hear what they have to say about it.

So, I tuned in. And then I barfed. And then I promptly jumped off my balcony and died.

I have been letting it settle for a week, because I was feeling physical hatred towards this woman last week, and I figured that was probably a bit strong.

I was hoping to hear about how she had always wanted to write, always written short stories, poems, the like, always wished she had the time to just do it. Kind of a la JK Rowling (whom I also do not read nor particularly like, but whose story I find fascinating and inspiring). But no, this is not what I heard at all. Not even a little bit. No, she had a dream, and then she wrote it down, and then she sold it. The end.

I realize that talent is something you have or don't have, and all that jazz. But speaking as someone trying to get myself going into this field, and having gone to school to learn how to hone my skills, to think critically not just creatively, and to beat a dead horse until it's fresh, this is extremely counter-intuitive, and also feels like she's telling anyone who is struggling at this, working at this, and putting in a great deal of effort that it's all been a waste of time.

Again, having NEVER read her work (nor am I planning to) I have had several people tell me it's the concept, not the writing, that has sold, and, to quote my friend Sarah "she doesn't know her ass from her elbow and writes on a level basically equivalent to a sixth grader" (paraphrased a bit at the end there). It is very discouraging that this is the kind of writing that makes millions of dollars for the author. This is the kind of writing that sells.

Then the question becomes, do you stay true to the artist in you who knows what they want to create, or do you sell out and write the easy crap that people appear to want to read so you can cash in?

Obviously I know the answer, but I'm also thinking that I could probably think of a clever pen name to fill out some financing in the meantime.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

NaBloPoMo Random part II

I saw a baby Bernese Mountain Dog today, walking down the sidewalk with his owner. He was so fuzzy and roly-poly that when she got him to sit at the curb he almost fell right over. ~sigh~

In other news, man yesterday really kicked my ass. Every muscle in my body is killing me. I don't know what I was doing wrong, but I better figure it out because our employee is going on vacation starting next Friday, and she will be gone for a week. If I can't make it through one day without feeling like an 80 year old, how will I last a week? Yikes!

Is anybody watching Survivor this year? It's freaking insane, first of all because of Russell being ridiculously devious and awesome, but mostly because of Shambo's hair. Are you kidding me?

And it just gets bigger and bigger by the week. Maybe instead of cutting my hair off I should get a perm and a bandana....Hmmmm.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Today was a rotten day. For many many many reasons.

It was long. It was a long, long day and usually when I have a busy day of work like today it goes by quickly. Not so today.

The dogs were not nice. First off, my dog was not nice. I took a chance and brought him on a group walk even though I feared he may bite the face off another dog. He didn't, he had fun. He romped. And then when I dropped him at home so I could finish my day, he wouldn't stop barking. Usually when I leave the house he will bark for about 10 seconds, then stop, but today he would not. And I understand that he knew that he was missing something, but, Dude, you miss it every day. And today you got to partake in it for an hour. So shut it.

Then the afternoon group dogs were not nice. Actually, only one of them was not nice. But I expected it. He's a puller, which means he just basically tries to pull you all over. I already have a very sore arm from lord knows what, but I woke up last Thursday and felt like someone tried to pull my arm out of the socket. Then kicked it. Anyway, I used a cross-body leash since I knew this dog was a puller and it saved my arm for sure, but he did whip me a few times quite roughly and now I have a sore back. Not too sore, but just sore enough. The other dogs made me want to eat them up they are so adorable. And I forgot my camera, by the way.

Also, when I parked my car at the mountain I parked behind a car that had its keys hanging out of the trunk's lock. So I put a note and took the keys, and she happened to call when I was in the middle of my pickups and drop offs for the next group. Then my brain fell out of my head and I forgot to pick up one of the dogs on my way to the mountain to drop the keys to her, so I had to backtrack quite a way adding even more time to the day.

Then to top it all off I had my last visits with a diabetic cat that we have cared for many times over the last few years, but now his parents are moving. I wish that was the end of the story, but not only are they moving, but they have decided that the best thing to do would be to have the cat euthanized rather than moving him with them or finding him a new home. Yes, he's old, yes he's very, very sick, and yes it probably really makes sense. But my heart can't take visiting a kitty and cuddling him and loving him and knowing that in two weeks they are going to kill him. It sucks.

So, after my bath and half a bottle of wine, I was very happy that SB had brought home some Portuguese chicken. But after dinner, what does he pull out? (dirty minds, dirty...enough of that!)

A SNICKERS!!!! And since I didn't have time to eat lunch today, I ate it and I didn't care, and I was glad that there was one thing today that made me happy. And happy that it came from him.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

extremely random

I have a very very busy day tomorrow. Not looking forward to it at all. Well, kind of am, because I will see loads of dogs I haven't seen in a long time, but I'm also very very tired lately, so not too excited about a 9-10 hour day.

I gave The Woodge a sort-of bath today. He hated it. Was terrified. But he smelled bad so it was necessary. He was super happy after his bath, though, and I was too, seeing as how I didn't lose a limb in the process. He was, in fact, so happy that he kept looking at me adoringly, so then I would crouch down to pet him and then he would plant a giant smooch on his face. Apparently he couldn't stand the stink of himself either. Now if only I could figure out how to pressure wash his mouth.

Also, before the wedding, I had gel nails applied. They looked nice, and I have been semi-keeping them up (every 2-3 weeks is pretty excessive, so I was doing 3-4 weeks) but now I've decided I'll leave them to grow out. They aren't adding anything to my life. I need a haircut more than I need stupid nails. So, it's back to Hands that Appear to Have Been Mangled by a Woodchipper for me.

That's all for today. I think I will try to take some photos tomorrow one my walks because I have a feeling I won't be full of ideas when I get home tomorrow night.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Don't you want somebody to love?

It's late, and I haven't posted yet. And I'm craving a Snickers bar. Oh dear.

My mother emailed me this morning to let me know that the receptionist at her doctor's office (where I used to also visit until I moved away), who is also a breeder of Bernese Mountain dogs, has pups going out right now, and will have another litter available in the spring.


For anyone who is unaware, I am slightly obsessed with these dogs, and have long held that they would be the next breed of dog we had in our home. How could anyone resist this:

(as a side note even my friend Sam who hates all creatures can recognize these dogs in a crowd and actually thinks they are cute because they look like they're wearing legwarmers)

I think some people might be a bit surprised that I would go to a breeder rather than adopt a shelter dog, and to be honest I would love to do both. But I feel like for our lifestyle and home situation, it's very important to get the right dog and make it as easy as possible to mesh it with our lives. Our place is not big, and we don't have a yard. We also have three other pets who already live here, and a routine that we like. While a puppy would definitely be a big change to that routine, I want the puppy to feel happy and balanced with what we can offer her.

All that to say, we kind of have to have an idea of what we're going to get. And, yes, every single dog is different even within breeds, but when odds are if you choose a breed that is known for being lazy (as Berners are) you are going to get a quieter dog who doesn't need to run 5 miles every day. If we adopted a mutt rescue puppy, they generally come as "shepherd mixes" "lab mixes" or "border collie mixes" - regardless of what they are mixed with, those are all very active dogs, and you get a lab x shepherd, you could end up with a crazy 100 lb dog in a condo, and then no one ends up happy.

So at this point I would like the odds to be with us. My top dog choices are the Berners and the dachshund - at completely separate ends of the size scale. But my heart is with the Berner. We'll see how long it is before I can finally convince SB. I mentioned that to my mom this morning, and said she would have been better off letting him know about the pups that are available than torturing me with them.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Contributing to my social phobia

So, here we are, halfway through November! Can you believe I've been married almost two months? Can you believe I'm going on vacation in almost two months? Can you believe you're still reading the mundane details of my life daily???

But, I actually have a quasi-interesting topic today, so that's kind of exciting, right?

Last night we went for dinner at our friends' place. It was us, them, and one other couple who we have never met before.

Now, I'm all for meeting new people (not really, right?) so I put on my big girl pants, and was ready to be social and pleasant while in the company of strangers. The hosts are great friends, we don't see them nearly often enough, and they are moving away in January so I really wanted to have a nice evening and not make them regret inviting us.

I am stressing the point here that I was in the complete right frame of mind for meeting strangers. I hadn't had a horrible day, I wasn't mad at SB or any of our employees for anything. I was happy, and ready to keep it up.

But, it was too bad because the guy portion of this couple was one of those Overbearing Argumentative Chatty Cathy people. Now, any one of these three traits generally gets my back up. Overbearing: please stop interrupting me with your loud voice. I have things to say, and talking over me is not nice. Chatty Cathy: once everyone has yielded the "conversation" to you, please do the same for us at some point. Anytime now. Maybe you need a second to breathe.

But the absolute worst thing is Argumentative. Especially when you're with strangers. And I don't mean opinionated, that's different. Everyone should have opinions. But you shouldn't follow those up with a ten minute monologue about why everyone else's opinion is wrong. Because that's just rude.

There are certain things I believe can be debated in polite company, sure. But taste is not one of these things. For example, I happen to like Russell Brand and think he's funny. That is a matter of taste. If you didn't agree with me, the correct response would be "huh, really? I don't really get him." The wrong response would be "You've got to be kidding me! He's terrible. The worst! He has to be the worst comedian on the planet.." etc etc etc, effectively trying to convince me that I must be wrong, I must NOT like him.

And what was even more annoying was that his wife was a very very sweet woman, and I feel like I barely got to know anything about her because he just wouldn't SHUT UP. I think she's probably very interesting.

Anyway, I'm pretty proud of myself for keeping a pretty positive attitude. I do have my limits though, like at one point when that guy said something about why having a pet is a ridiculous concept, and this was after we had talked about a) the cat who belonged to the host, who was wandering around the whole night, b) our pets, and c) our pet sitting business. But as I looked past him, I saw SB giving me The Jim, so I DID NOT reach across and slam that guy's face into his salmon.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Christmas is dead. Part IV

So, another year, another holiday season is looming before us.

This is the time of year when everyone else gathers with their families to celebrate the holidays, doing whatever they all do each year. At first I resented missing out on those things. But now I realize I just miss the option of choosing those activities. Whether I want to drive 10 hours or not, hauling dogs and cats and too much luggage and too many gifts, we don't have the choice. Would I be just as happy to choose, say, travelling over the holidays to a beach, or spending Christmas in Rome? Probably. But I can't choose those things either. And maybe I would be even happier just hanging out in our condo with our own dog and cats, holed up for three days drinking hot chocolate, opening gifts, eating too much, sitting in front of the fire place. Yup, that would probably make me happy too.

But we don't have those choices anymore. For the last three years (this year will be our fourth), we get up on Christmas morning, usually before the sun comes up. We visit about a kabillion cats during the day, usually taking a break for a meal (one year my mom visited and made us a turkey while we were out scooping poop and shoving pills down cats' throats. It was awesome. But usually we stop at one of the delis and either have a club sandwich or smoked meat.) We get home after dark. The end.

I would complain more, and hate it more, except for one thing. I know that every Christmas that we own this business I get to spend the whole day with SB, just the two of us. And we usually have a great time. So as much as I hate it, I really do love it.

Friday, November 13, 2009


One of my favorite blogs is FAIL Blog, cousin to LOL Cats. Generally at least once a day they post either photos, videos, news articles featuring various FAILS that are going on in the world. Here are some of my faves:

Local news weather:

Man on the street:

They've been doing a lot of this type of thing lately, and I love it:

My personal favorite of the week:

If you use an RSS reader, I would highly recommend subscribing to this feed - I usually read it while I'm having my coffee, and have, more than once, found myself almost spitting all over the laptop. I also love sending the link to SB to brighten his day a bit. And if you do read it, what have your faves been?

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Not a whole lot going on today, but I DID make spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. I've just recently started making this dish, and neither SB nor myself can figure out why the heck it's taken so long for me to try this.

Anyway, my second favorite thing about spaghetti and meatballs, aside from how yummy they are, is that every time I make them SB makes about 400 jokes about how much he loves BALLS. He loves BALLS in his MOUTH. MMMMMMM BALLS.

It never gets old.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Wedding Gown, Part II

There is a lot of stress about choosing the correct dress. My priorities before trying on anything:
  • comfortable - not necessarily sweatpants comfy, but enough that you feel yourself, and not self-conscious the whole day.
  • budget - I was a wedding budget Nazi - it is one of the things I am the most proud of, so it was really important to me to stick to it. We will say budget was X going into the process.
  • different - I really didn't want something that looked same-old same-old. I also didn't want something totally out there. I wanted classic, but with details people would remember.
Things I knew I DID NOT WANT -
  • lace.
  • a tulle skirt that looked like a tutu
  • pick-ups on the skirt
You would think this left things pretty wide open, but we learned quickly in the first store that I was very discerning - looking at the dresses on the hangers the consultant would say "what about this?" and I could no or yes within seconds. She loved my decisiveness, I think, and when I told her how long we'd been engaged she understood it too.

After trying on the first round of gowns I had discovered:
  • sweetheart necklines look great on me but I wasn't going to feel comfortable in strapless
  • I wanted a long train
  • had to have buttons up the back - no lace-ups
  • had to have beading
  • ideally wanted a v-neck front and a v-back.
We found my dress by accident. It was hanging, and the first thing we saw was the pleating of the train. I thought it was interesting, but was a bit afraid of it too. Too much pleating could be bad. It also didn't have a pricetag on it since it had just arrived in the store. I agreed to try it on. Some photos of what it would have looked like on the hanger:
When I put it on, I instantly loved how it felt - even though it was two sizes too small. The train was just long enough, and when we pulled up the back to see what it would look like bustled, I almost started to cry. I knew it was it, and then I had to ask the price.

Because it had no tag, the consultant had to call the owner to find out where to find the price. She came back with X + 50%. Great. One and a half times my budget. I asked her if she thought they would be able to work out a better price, and she said she thought so, probably at least to X + 35%. Still not great for me.

As I said yesterday, we visited some other salons after this, and at one I saw The Dress and asked what their price would be. They came back with X + 30%. When I returned to the original shop, I tried on The Dress and two others, just to be sure, and there was no question. But budget-wise I was crying on the inside. There was no way I could justify it. No.

When I had the dress on again, we started talking about the price - the consultant could tell I was serious, and called up the owner of the salon to facilitate the negotiations. She started off with the first price she had quoted, and I told her the other shop had offered better, but still not great. After a few back and forths, we settled on X + 6% taxes in, plus they included a loaner crinolin, veil, and headpiece if I so chose.

This made me happy enough, but then 6 months later when it came time for a fitting I checked out the sample while they brought up my gown. The price tag: X x 2. Two times my original budget!!! If it had had a tag the day I tried them on, I wouldn't even have pulled it off the hanger. I'm so glad I did.

But probably the best part about my gown was SB's reaction. When I stepped into the room, and started walking towards him, I could see he had tears in his eyes. And after he shook my grandfathers hand, and we stood waiting for the music to stop, he leaned to me and said "You look so beautiful - I would have paid twice the price." And I knew I had picked a winner.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Wedding Gown, Part I

Because SB turned out to be a hyper-conventional groom, I wasn't allowed to tell him anything about The Dress before the wedding. Except the price, of course, since we only have communal cash here at our house. He was actually so serious about knowing NO details about it that when I once had a nightmare that it arrived in champagne he plugged his fingers in his ears and said "la la la la la" because he didn't even want to know what color it WASN'T. So, I wasn't allowed to write about The Dress either. Because he might read about it, and then we would have to light it on fire and start from scratch.

My dress shopping experience can be summed up in 3 words - efficient, efficient, efficient. Wedding dresses are tricky things, because in most cases it is the first time you have ever shopped for one, so how can you know what it will look like on you? But it helps to know the vocabulary to be able to describe the ideas you have of what you may like. Plus, I had been looking at photos of designer dresses in magazines for so long, that I knew a lot of details that I absolutely did not want.

I worked on vibe a lot. My first time out, we visited three places. First one was great, but none of the dresses were IT. Second one (which is one of the most popular in town) had a weird smell, was extremely cramped, and there were no consultants to help us. I put one dress over my head, and before we even stepped out of the dressing room I said "I hate this place, and there is no way I'm buying a dress here" so we left. The third place was beautiful, the consultant was friendly, helpful, but not a busybody hovering over us. I found the dress there. But couldn't accept that within two hours it was done.

The second time out I visited a high-end salon - it was nice, but the consultant seemed extremely condescending, and the dresses were just alright. I tried on two, but only to humor her. The second place had a website that said they were open until nine that night, but when we arrived at 7 the lady was closing up. I saw "My Dress" on a mannequin in the front, and asked her how much it would be. She gave me a price, and we left. We went back to the original store where I had seen it, I tried it on for my friends, they all loved it, and then the price negotiating began.

Tomorrow, The Dress itself!!!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Ellen on Oprah

Today on Oprah her guest was Ellen Degeneres. Usually I can take her or leave her - I don't watch her talk show anymore as the novelty has kinda worn off, but I do think I would like her on American Idol so may give that a go when it comes back on.

The thing that made the biggest impression on me was the portion of the show where they interviewed Ellen and her wife, Portia de Rossi.

On the one hand, they are adorable. They gush over each other. They almost went so far as to say they complete each other. They showed film from their wedding, and I was tearing up because it was so beautiful, and they both had the stupid silly grin that I know I had on my wedding day.

On the other hand I remember what seems like not so long ago when Ellen had a similar relationship with Anne Heche, and I wonder if she really learned anything from that experience. They gushed, they swooned, and that ended so, so, so badly. And the whole thing in the public eye with lots of scrutiny and disdainful messiness.

And then on a third hand (or foot, or other appendage) you have to applaud them for taking the opportunity to flaunt their beautiful, beautiful marriage in the faces of the hateful, hateful people of California who voted against legalizing gay marriage permanently.

So, basically, the episode left me smiling like a fool, cringing anxiously, and shaking my fist at California. Did you see it?

Sunday, November 08, 2009


I almost forgot about NaBloPoMo today! Not that I spent the day in a fury of activity or anything, but for some reason lounging on the sofa in my pj's until 3pm just didn't say to my brain "hey, it's time to write a blog post!"

Last night I kicked three boys' asses at Guitar Hero, even after several glasses of wine. Then this morning SB made me a fantastic omelet breakfast. I'm not sure a weekend at home could get much better than that!

Now I've settled in for Amazing Race and Dexter night - I probably should have run this weekend at some point, but meh.

Sorry so boring - I guess that's Sundays for ya!

Saturday, November 07, 2009


So, wow, that movie killed us. For the last half hour I was a mess. If you haven't seen the movie, then you may not want to read this post.

The first point where I lost it was when Marley had trouble on the stairs. For the last probably two years of Gabby's life mobility was an on-again/off-again struggle. Some days it was no problem, other days she required a lot of help. I didn't mind, but I could tell she did.

After that, when he took her on the trail through the field, and they sat sitting at the sun - reminded me of bringing Gabby on the mountain trail with the group. She would trudge along at her own pace, sometimes falling out of view behind us, and I can't remember if I ever just sat with her at the top. I can't remember if I ever congratulated her for making it up there.

One part of the movie that outraged me was when he left Marley alone overnight at the vet for observation. I never could have left Gabby alone, sick, in a strange place. Never. Maybe I'm strange. But it wouldn't have happened. I also never could have just said goodbye to her in the back of a car, then let someone else take her away. Never.

So, overall it was just cry, cry, cry. But it also made me want a puppy really badly. I know we have The Woodge, but he is not mine. He doesn't love me the way Gabby did. He doesn't seem to need me, or want to please me. I miss that.

Friday, November 06, 2009


it's a grey, grey day. No rain, just greyness. Fall is the only season where this is acceptable, for some reason.

I picked up some movies at Blockbuster - it's cheaper to buy their pre-owned DVDs than to rent new ones, and since SB and I are horribly behind in our movie watching it doesn't really matter to us.

I grabbed Ghost Town - lately I have been obsessed with Ricky Gervais, and I had heard great things about this movie. Hopefully it's at least a little bit good, and Tea Leoni is in it so SB will be happy.

I also picked up Marley and Me. We've been avoiding this movie. It came out on DVD right around the time we lost Gabby, and we just weren't ready. I'm still not sure we are, but what better day than a chilly, grey day in fall to let some of that out?

Thursday, November 05, 2009


Simon is ridiculously cuddly today. He has been following me everywhere and meowing/chatting at me, and whenever I am on the sofa he snuggles up beside me. It was hard to get motivated to go do my walks today, and even harder to get going to meet a friend for dinner since it was soooo cold outside and Simon is so warm and squishy. But, I got up and at 'em and am glad. I don't see my friends enough.

Since we don't get to see each other often, and our group of friends isn't all together nearly enough, we got to talking about the value of our friendships. Each of us has had down times, and grumpy times, and problems and then everyone has there happiness and celebrations too. I feel so so lucky to have such a great group of girls in my life who listen to me when I'm having a tough go of it, who offer their advice when they can, their hands when I need help, their hearts when mine feels disconnected. And I feel lucky to be able to return the favor for them, because I love them like my family.

So, that's all, tonight my heart is full and I feel very grateful. For my friends and my squishy kitty cat.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Viva Las Vegas!

For our mini-honeymoon, SB and I jetted off to Las Vegas for 4 days of mayhem in Sin City. Every single person that we spoke to before heading off said "Vegas is fun - for about 3-4 days, after that it gets to be a bit much." We were please, then, since we had only booked for 4 days, really just a getaway to relax after wedding craziness.

I don't know how other people "do" Vegas, but obviously not the right way because holy heck if I don't want to move there. We had such a fantastic time, I would go back in a heartbeat. So, my mini travelguide to Vegas.

- Don't spend a ton on your hotel - just make sure you stay somewhere on the strip. We stayed at the MGM Grand - one of the older hotels, rooms are slightly dated but clean. You don't spend a ton of time in your room, so you just want to be sure it's somewhere you won't catch bedbugs and that doesn't stink of mold.

- Do research the pool - we spent the WHOLE DAY by the pool, as we are wont to do, and we were very please that our hotel had a fantastic pool area, with sunshine all day long. In contrast, right across the street at New York New York the pool area was tiny and shaded all day. Boooo. You need to be a guest at the hotel to get into the pool area for free, so be sure you are staying at a hotel with a pool you will want to hang out at.

- Do relax in the daytime. ie plan on hanging out by the pool, doing shopping, visiting spas...whatever you consider relaxing, fill your days with that. Don't try to pack the daytime with too much shuffling about because it gets wicked hot, so you will tire yourself out pretty quickly if you are outside in it too long.

- Do explore at night - the Strip is pretty amazing, and night time is the time to really take it all in, all lit up and flashy. We checked out most of the casinos from the outside, and a couple from the inside, just by wandering up and down the Strip. The sidewalks are much, much more narrow than I thought though, so as much as I was up for seeing the sights I did find the crowds very annoying.

- Do hit some buffets. We read a lot about the Bellagio buffet, so we had to check it out. It was amazing - Under $30 per person and dudes, there was Kobe beef prime rib. And a sushi bar. And duck a l'orange. And quail. It was ridiculous. The buffet at our hotel wasn't half bad, either, and we were able to pay a "whole day" price, which gave us a discount for eating our breakfast, lunch, and dinner there. And it was yummy, not bland or gross like I expected.

I could go on and on about all the activities we did, but these are the best tips I came away with. We were there at the end of September, and the weather was absolutely amazing. Hot and sunny all day, relatively cool at night. And there is something about the low humidity that just made me sooooo happy all the time. Except when it cause our bodies to shrink and SB's wedding ring fell off in the casino, but that's a whole other story.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


Lately I have been feeling guilty about all the things that I want.

I realize that I am a very very lucky person. I have someone I love, I have a fantastic home that I love, I have three little furry babies who I love and who make me smile every single day. But every day I find something else that I want. I become convinced that it will add value to our lives, that we need it. But lately I have been trying to evaluate where this sense of need comes from.

I think it's natural to want things, and I think it's healthy to have goals, and to want to surround yourself with things you love. But what is excessive? And what is normal? And is normal really normal, or is it just us imitating what seems "average" and has "average" become out of control?

In my case, I think I am trying to find a balance. There are so many things in my life that make me very very happy, but there is one giant thing that makes me seriously unhappy. I think I'm trying to drown it. I'm trying to say, "well, I can live with it, but only if I have...." Like I'm trying to fill up all the time I spend unhappy with things. In the past two months, I have felt so much happiness, and I want to keep it going, because I really loved feeling full from happiness instead of half-full from buying stuff.

I don't want to talk too much about the Giant Happiness Sucker, but I will say that now I am focusing on how to change it. It's much slower than I'd hoped - what I had dreamed would be done by November is now looking more like February or March. And while I can't possibly express how that saddens and disappoints me, I can say that I am trying to think only about how happy I will be if it happens.

Monday, November 02, 2009

The Questions

Obviously after we graduated from University The Questions started about when we would be getting hitched.

Then when we finally got engaged, The Questions became incessant (admittedly we asked for those ones), and we deferred them by saying we would get married after we bought a place.

Then The Questions became "did you find a place yet?". When we finally bought our condo, The Questions reverted to "so when is the big day going to be?"

Well, the Big Day has come and gone. We are officially hitched, and it's great. But now The Questions have become "so when are you going to have kids?"

I realize this is the conventional order of things. But in keeping with my attitude of resenting questions about my life, please stop asking this question. Because, if you know me at all, you know:

  1. babies terrify the bejeesus out of me - I can feel it deep in my soul that if left to my own devices I would break a baby. And probably not just in two, but I would probably shatter it.
  2. I don't like things that talk back, and I do like quiet. I like to share my space with dogs, cats, and SB because they are all relatively complacent to my particularities.
  3. Babies are so self-centered.
  4. TLC's a Baby Story. 'Nuff said about that one.
  5. My life is messed up enough, so I don't think it's fair to force that upon more humans than necessary, especially helpless ones that can't exactly run away until they are like 15, which is way too late. ****

So, please, please stop asking when we're going to have a baby. We have a lot of things to do in this life already, like working, and traveling, and spoiling Simon and Gang. We are certainly not in the mindset to add more chaos to all that.

****when my mother asked me The Question, this was my response. She said I was too cynical. Maybe. But this isn't something I'm willing to talk myself into.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

NaBloPoMo Day 1

Today is my favorite day of the year. Not because it's the first day of NaBloPoMo. Not because it's the first day of November. No, it's my favorite day because it's the day the clocks roll back, and we magically get an extra hour. There are not a whole lot of things that I love more than waking up at 10:30 only to realize it's only 9:30.

How do I spend this day?

First I finished up my schedules and work crapola. I will still have to get the stuff together for the girls later, but the bulk is finished.

Then, I watched a whole lot of detective TV on the Mystery channel, until SB had had enough and changed it to football.

THEN I hunkered in and watched some streaming tv shows on the internet (more detective shows, and then some Mad Men)

The best longest day ever.

This week I have been fighting off some sort of illness - not the dreaded flu, I don't think, but my sinuses have been full and I had a little bit of a fever for two days. So, it's nice to have the day to relax, get a little rest in, and hopefully fight this thing away.

Sorry this is so boring. Boring days = boring posts. This may be a VERY long month for anyone who decides to read each day. Sorry.