Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Here are some of my painfully achievable New Year's Resolutions for 2006:

1. Get my hair back to my natural hair color (dark brown) because I can't handle the upkeep involved with red hair. It's just too much.

2. Go on 3 or 4 fad diets and purchase at least one more piece of As-Seen-On-TV exercise equipment as I try to slim down and tone up for the wedding.

3. Knit something--anything--bigger than a skinny scarf and in more than one color.

4. Get my Scrabble high score over 412.

5. Have more dog pictures framed and hang them on the walls.

Sigh. It's a little misshapen, kind of wobbly, often temperamental and quite possibly emotionally unbalanced. I think it may be growing some sort of green fuzz on the lower right hand side. But it's my life, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

OK, I just want to clear something up from yesterday's post. I listen to the Alice Morning Show, not the actual music that they play on Alice. That music sucks.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Cheechoo's Hat Trick

In honor of Jonathan Cheechoo's first NHL hat trick, I was going to wear my chicken hat all day. But I forgot it at home, so I'm wearing my Davy Crockett coon skin cap from EuroDisney instead. Ooh la la!

I listen to a certain radio station's morning show when I drive to work each day. This is a fairly new thing for me; I've never been much of a morning DJ type of person, but the news--and by "news" I mean NPR--finally got so painful that I could no longer stand to listen to it. At all. This happened sometime around August or September. These cast of this morning show is on vacation this week and next, so the station is re-playing old shows, and they're picking the real cream of the crop. In the 45 minutes that I was in the car this morning (I love holiday week commutes!) I heard terrific interviews with Bob Barker and Parker Posey. We all know that morning shows aren't the most intellectual displays of media, but they sure can be funny and the cast of this particular show have personality to spare. Plus, since they're part of a fairly major station, they get to interview cool people--like Bob Barker and Parker Posey.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Teacher's Pet

Since June 14, 2005, my dog Ozzy has not been alone. Not once. That was the last time he was left in his kennel while the people went out, and that was the last time he broke his tooth while chewing the metal bars off the door on his kennel. It was not the first time, but it was the last. This time, the doggie dentist had to remove his canine tooth, and became overwhelmingly clear that no metal or plastic or space age polymer enclosure was going to keep Ozzy from escaping. Years earlier, Ozzy had already proven that no large enclosure made of lumber, metal, and dry wall would hold him, either--he chewed his way through the wooden front door of our rental duplex in Davis. He jumped through the screen window in the bedroom of that same duplex. In the past 4 years, he has chewed through four front doors (with varying degrees of success), one garage door, one window, and one ridiculously small air vent. He has, with his mouth and paws (remember, he has no thumbs), removed approximately 6 metal bars from 3 different kennels of various styles. The poor guy just doesn't like being alone.

Since June 14, 2005, he hasn't been alone. If he's not with me, he's with L. Unless L is out of the country for, say, 6 or 7 months, in which case he's with my folks. My patient, helpful, loving, caring, dog friendly folks. At the office, if I leave, he's with Dorienne. Or Arthur. Or Rhonda. The point is, he's NEVER ALONE. But I want to be clear about this: I love that dog, and I would do just about anything for him. However, I also love my sanity, and committing oneself to spending 24 hours a day with a creature who can't go to movie theaters or restaurants or bars or grocery stores would make anyone go nuts. So as soon as it became clear that Ozzy values the company of people over his teeth, I started looking for a solution: a doggie behaviorist.

This whole situation probably sounds worse than it is. I tend to be a bit of a fatalist when it comes to dealing with situations that I would simply rather not deal with. All this is really is a case of separation anxiety, albeit a severe case. I talked with my super wonderful vet, and started calling behaviorists who specialize in separation anxiety. I told Ozzy's story to 6 different behaviorists and got responses ranging from "There's nothing else you can do. Find a bunch of good dog sitters and prepare to never leave your house again," to "You're worried about his teeth? If I were you, I'd be worried he'd have a heart attack!" But one behaviorist, Gina, was happy to meet with us. She learned all about Ozzy's background (abandoned shelter dog), his relationship with his pack (Nanna, L, me, my folks), and what we wanted to achieve (Just teach him that it's OK to be alone for a couple of hours. Just long enough for me to go to a movie. Do some grocery shopping.). We started training with Gina in July, and now, 5 months later, Ozzy can be alone in our house for nearly 10 minutes without freaking out. Amazing! My homework for the next week: I should be able to leave Ozzy and Nanna home while I walk to the burrito shop 2 blocks away, order a burrito, and bring it home. All without Ozzy flipping out.

This is HUGE. It's a whole new world opening up for me, for my folks, for all of us who have given so much to this dog. We may--someday soon--be able to love him as much as we ever have, and still have lives--brief, but existent lives outside of him. We've all worked really hard with this training, the core of which teaches him to be a happier, more comfortable dog. We're trying to help him feel more calm, relaxed, happy, and stress-free. Yeah, I know this sounds like a bunch of hooey, like left overs from when I worked at the holistic vet's office in college. But I don't care, because it's working. He's happier. And I couldn't be happier.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

She's One in a Million Girls

Today's post is officially dedicated to the Deborah's World of Awesome Stuff player of the week: Weasel! Congratulations Weasel, this week's competition was stiff. You were up against players from all walks of life, from a 6'4" 223 lb. center to a super cuddly Aussie Shepherd mix. But Weasel surpassed even the cuddliest of Aussie mixes with her generosity, and her skills shadowed the hands of Big Joe Thornton. Let us now join together and bask in the glory of Weasel's greatness:

Thanks for the chicken hat, Weasel! Enjoy your POTW status.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Go Sharks Go

I don't want to talk about it because I'm afraid I will jinx it, but the Sharks have won 4 games in a row. They have scored 5 or more goals in all 4 games, and team captain Patrick Marleau has gotten 3 points in all 4 games--both are franchise records! OK, yes, I realize I just talked about it and that it was totally jinx-worthy, but what's the point of winning if you can't brag about it? It has been so much fun to watch them score goals and win for a change! Winning streaks are why TiVo was invented. You can watch Mark Smith score, from one leg, on a short-handed breakaway over and over and over and over and over...

Thursday, December 08, 2005

A victim of the insane

I had this whole post planned for today about how I remembered all this stuff from 1980--all of which are things that happened while I was in first grade--but I don't remember John Lennon being shot and what that means to me. Except that it turns out that in 1980 I was in kindergarten, not first grade, and I don't remember crap from kindergarten. It's as if I spent kindergarten on some sort of graham cracker-induced bender. I remember pre-school (I had corduroy Sesame Street pants and sneakers with rainbows on them) and I remember first grade (I was the narrator for our class production of Peter Pan because I was the only one who could read well enough--and I got to wear a pretty lavender dress with lots of frilly things and bows on it), but the year between the two is pretty much a wash. Except for one thing: I know I was black cat for Halloween in kindergarten, and I had a kick ass tail that my mom had made. I remember this because the next year I was Alice in Wonderland (I got to wear a long blonde wig for that one), but the year after that was when the teachers of the Montessori school I attended decided that Halloween wasn't educational enough. For the next 4 years, we had to dress up as historical figures for Halloween--AND write reports on them. That was one way in which Montessori school totally sucked the fun out of an event that would have been just fine if left alone. From a kid's perspective, anyway. Now, as an adult, the whole historical Halloween costume idea is cool if not a bit too eccentric, but back then it meant dressing as Deborah (the character from the Torah, the military leader and sage--very nice, Mom.) or Albert Einstein. Hardly a black cat or Alice in Wonderland. Montessori school did everything else pretty well as far as I'm concerned, but one could argue that they dropped the ball on Halloween.

But I digress. John Lennon was shot 25 years ago today, when I was far too young to imagine the sort of impact his words and music would have on me in my most socially formative years. The Beatles in particular shaped my adolescence and fostered my inner urge to question authority and look for meaning in seemingly meaning places. Still I wonder, had John Lennon not died that cold December day in New York City, would he have continued producing music? And if he had, would it suck as much as Paul McCartney's stuff? If the answer is yes, or even half as much, then perhaps his death is not entirely tragic. Just a thought.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Surrender to the fur

It's been really cold around here the past few days. We're talking mid-fifties during the day and low-thirties at night. It's cold--the kind of cold that even wearing socks to bed can't fix. (I realize that my dear friends in Minneapolis can't decide whether to laugh at me or kill me right now. And I accept that.) The only think that can fix this kind of cold is curling up on the couch with one of these:

I had mine custom made. Nothing keeps you comfy and cozy like a little purring heat generator attached to your lap. Or chest. Or back. Or hip. Depending on how you sleep. Cats can balance on any part of your body, and they can move with you as you turn over. Like those lumberjack log-rollers.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

He followed me home...can I keep him?

It's so much fun to play tourist in your own town. Most cities have super fun attractions that us locals avoid at all costs. Let's do the math:

(super fun attractions) = (free time) = (weekends)

And also

(super fun attractions) + (weekends) = (traffic) X (massive crowds of annoying people) X (crying and/or whining children) X (really, really expensive parking)

So when I was lucky enough to have a meeting on Monday afternoon at Pier 39 in San Francisco, I took full photographic advantage of the weekday lack of touristy throngs. (Yes, technically my meeting was at the Pier 39 arcade. But it was still a meeting. Technically.)

That's Alcatraz off in the distance. However, I was technically working from home yesterday so I didn't go all out and take the ferry over for a tour of the Rock. I still haven't been there (excluding the time I did go there. I was only 18 months old, so it doesn't count. I wasn't yet collecting snow globes and the pictures I took came out all fuzzy.). Maybe I'll make it over there the next time I "work from home."

I did spend a good 10 minutes watching the sea lions. I love those suckers. I wish I could take them all home with me. They remind me so much of Nanna--I always thought she was part river otter, but it may turn out that her great great aunt on her father's side was a sea lion.

Speaking of marine life, I'll be at the Shark Tank tonight to help welcome Super Joe to his new home town. So far, so good--let's see if he can keep it up. That'll show the entire NHL for laughing at us.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

SJ comes to SJ

I'd like to take this opportunity to officially welcome Super Joe Thornton to San Jose and the greater San Francisco Bay Area. You'll love it here--we don't talk as funny here as they do in Boston, and you can actually leave your house in the winter. And if you could turn the Sharks into a team that wins games, I mean, like, ever, that would be great.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Tears for Fears

So far this week, I have cried while watching the following TV shows:
    1. Cold Case
    2. Medium
    3. House
Each time, the waterworks were brought on by the idea of a happy young family being torn apart by tragedy in the form of untimely death. Cold Case was the real kicker, the only show that made me all-out sob. This has always been one of my two biggest fears, that I would have a happy, young family and that it would be the victim of a tragic death. I think I started having this fear when I was about 11 or 12 years old (the same time I started having my fear of being thrown in a Mexican prison and neither my family nor my government could ever find me or get me out.). I blame this fear on Ashley Judd; I think this basic premise befell her in some movie that took place in Florida, except that it involved drug lords. For some reason, my early-to-mid-week crime dramas this week all touched on this very real fear, and it totally effected me. I don't usually mind watching shows about people dying or being victims of violent crime (remember last week's Law & Order post?), but the devastation of a young couple and their young children, especially when it's due to the tragic death of one of the parents, really frightens the crap out of me.

I'm sure the level to which these scenarios messed with me this week are due to a number of circumstances in my life right now. For instance, a good friend of mine is dealing with a family member who is going through a potentially life-threatening illness--that family member is a very happy parent of a young child. Another factor is a friend of mine who died earlier this year, leaving behind his wife of nine months. Nothing could be more tragic. And it's all about tragedy and what earns something the identifier of "tragic" for me. I'm pretty sure that this is my psyche's way of addressing the fact that I am now one step closer to being that happy young family with happy young children, not to mention that more and more of my friends are becoming the same--these potential victims of tragedy are becoming less faceless to me; the vague feeling of impending tragedy is perhaps being replaced by real--but still vague--concern for actual people in my life.

I don't walk around crying, nor do I view my friends and family as victims-to-be. This was simply a look at what must be an outward expression of internal emotions, brought on by an external trigger--not unlike a dream. The chemicals in my brain just prompted me to cry while watching Hugh Laurie this time, instead of making me toss and turn all night while trying to re-attach my dog's dismembered feet in some horrible anxiety dream.

Maybe I should lay off the crime dramas for a few days. Go back to something safe and comforting like Sopranos reruns on HBO.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Alpha Dog Diaries

I had to fight Nanna "Jaws of Death" Dog for the dark meat. It's no easy task--she means business. Especially when it comes to tasty poultry. I'm still recovering from my devastating loss. Look at her! She's ruthless!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Turkey Lurkey

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Whether you're going to be traveling to get there, or you wake up and immediately start cooking for anywhere between 1 and 15 of your closest friends, I hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday--even the vegetarians.

I will be helping my mom cook all of the standards. By "helping," you know I mean "tasting the pies." And watching hockey. Because I love disappointment.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Story of How I Won 9 Tiny Plastic Ninjas

H&M was a bust. Everyone either overslept or decided just not to go. How lucky were we! One report from the field said that those who got in line at 7 am were already hitting the 500 mark. Holy crap!

MEH and I decided to amuse ourselves by going to the miniature golf course.

I learned two things from our 18 holes:
1. One needs a great deal of patience in order to be around more than one twelve-year-old at a time. Try 50.
2. MEH is very, very good at miniature golf. I, in turn, am very bad at said sporting activity.

We capped off our golf game with everyone's favorite:

Skee Ball! Not only did I wipe the skee ball ramp with MEH, I also won enough tickets to redeem them for nine little plastic ninjas. I couldn't have asked for a better Saturday.

The remainder of my weekend was spent with the visiting IJR family from Minneapolis! Baby Lil is now 7 months old, and she's got an insatiable taste for human flesh. This is when she latched onto my glasses and decided to eat them. You know how when you drive your car through the car wash, and the big, wet mop-thingies swish over windshiled? That's what this was like; I could see her little wet baby tongue going to work on my lenses. "My super human baby saliva will dissolve these glasses right off your face! Victory will be mine!"

By the way, I realize I haven't been blogging much. Unless I've got something I feel is worth blogging about (um, sure), I don't bother. But I've done some brainstorming, and here's a sneak peak at some upcoming blog topics: Michael Jackson, Davy Jones, my friend Jim and his collection skills, and various thoughts on color blending and shades of blue. Stay tuned!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Meat Head for Governor

I often forget that living in the San Francisco Bay Area is not unlike living in a social, political, economic bubble. I don;t mean "bubble" like we're in a "housing bubble," I mean like "boy in the bubble," where I'm constantly looking through a clear plastic film at the rest of the country thinking, "Huh, so that's how normal people do things."

A certain healthy person in my office has convinced me that going to yoga during our lunch hour on Fridays is a good thing. (Hint: it's not Arthur, Rhonda, or Dorienne. And she comes from Canada. And her name is Mireille.) As we were walking--well, it was more like a cross between shuffling and limping--from class to Pluto's to get our daily low-carb steak salads, we were discussing the following things: Rob Reiner's push for all Californians to have access to free pre-school, the two women who walked past us who looked like movie stars (no, really, they could totally have been movie stars), the quantity of lesbians in Santa Cruz, and my Saturday morning plans to get up early and go to the grand opening of H&M at Union Square. Now, think about those last few sentences. What are the main subjects:

    1. Yoga.
    2. Low-carb steak salads.
    3. Actors running the government of California.
    4. Movie stars (or people who look like them).
    5. Lesbians.
    6. Calculated shopping.
When taken like this, as a set of normal, every-day, yet descriptive conversational topics, the whole concept makes me feel rather alienated as a citizen. I like my city and my state, and I like our defining characteristics and I believe we have them for a reason (Please don't read that as support for Gov. Schwarzenegger. It's not.). But we really aren't like the rest of the country. We're kind of like a little kid whose parents and teachers constantly told us how special we are, and how there's no one else in the whole world like us, and now we've grown into a young adult who believes that we're different and special and, yes, better. Not that we're entitled to preferential treatment, or should get more respect or more friends or more invitations to better parties, but it wouldn't surprise us if we did. We put up with more abnormal and uncharacteristic behavior from our friends than most people, we encourage "diversity" and "uniqueness" but we're silently judging everyone almost all of the time. We have some serious issues.

But it's not like we're in trouble. We're going to come out this OK. Sooner or later, someone will knock us off of our emotional and spiritual high horse, and we'll pick ourself up and dust ourself off and get back on our slightly less high horse. Giddyup!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Detective Green got shot in the gut for this?

In a few short days, Rent will open in theaters across the country. I couldn't be happier, and do you know why? Because every time I fall asleep watching Law & Order on my reclining, heating, massaging sofa, all combo cozy, that damn loud commercial wakes me up. Are you asking how I measure a year? Because I would say that a year starts on New Year's Day and ends on New Year's Eve. But that's just me. Perhaps one does measure a year in minute-long increments, and yes, I believe that would make a year 525,600 minutes long. Either way, must you sing about it so very loudly? It's Sunday afternoon, and I'm trying to nap.

Of course, I plan on seeing the movie. For two reasons:

1. Elphaba is in it.

2. Detective Green is in it. That automatically makes it part of the Law & Order franchise. I love Law & Order. I love Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. I love Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Heck, I even mildly enjoyed the short-lived Law & Order: Trial By Jury with Bebe Neuwirth, and that sucked eggs. In Hebrew, it's Hok v'Seder. If Law & Order ran for president, I would vote for it.

I'll go see Rent, but not until it's been running for a while and they've stopped playing that damn commercial.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Langosta y Bacon Bocadillo

Some of my long-time readers will remember that glorious day last December when I happened upon the world's most perfect food. Well, lightning does strike twice, my friends, albeit not in the same place.

In celebration of many things, including but not limited to JW's triumphant return from Ireland, APV & Sully's triumphant return from Cabo San Lucas, Dana's triumphant return from shopping for wedding dresses (it's all about the veil, people), and my triumphant return from the post office, we had dinner at Habana, a super nice Cuban restaurant on Van Ness.

While flip flopping between the halibut and the salmon (I tend to take food-ordering very seriously), my caught a glimpse of the special paella--a paella that contained not only scallops, prawns, calimari, and mussels, but lobster and chorizo as well. Lobster and chorizo.

I'm not the kind of Jew who keeps kosher. What kind of god wouldn't want us to eat bacon? And lobster? And very, very spiteful god, that's what kind. Bacon is by far my all time favorite food, and lobster is a close second on principle (although a good, rare filet mignon will beat out the lobster almost every time). So when I read the paella description on the menu, it was like a flashback from Minneapolis. This was the Cuban version of the lobster and bacon sandwich.

Kev-o was smart, like me. We both went for the paella.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

This kiss is itchy

When I was in Israel, I got stung by a jellyfish. It didn't really do anything other than leave a red mark on my thigh and allow me to tell everyone, "Guess what! I got stung by a jellyfish!" But now it itches. A LOT. I've become that girl in the office who constantly scratches her thigh. People avoid me. Small children run from me. Heck, I can barely get UPS guy to take my packages.

Ok so I'm exaggerating. I doubt anyone would have noticed my thigh-scratching had I not mentioned it. But how could I not mention getting stung by a jellyfish? It makes me sound very rugged, like Chuck Norris. And I can't mention the jellyfish attack without getting itchy. Such is life.

Monday, November 07, 2005

See it all, small!

I'm home, back in good 'ol San Francisco. But I still have to post these fabulous pictures from fabulous Mini Israel. For those of you who don't know, Mini Israel is a miniature recreation of the country of Israel, built at a 1:25 ratio, and not entirely done to scale (for instance, the skyscrapers of Tel Aviv are much taller than Mount Hermon or Massada.). It's so great: in barely 2 hours, you can stroll through mini Haifa, mini Jerusalem, mini Eilat, see the mini Knesset and the mini Western Wall.

And then you get to pretend you're Godzilla and crush some little people doing little dances.

It's fun to see tiny replicas of places you've been, as well as places you'd like to go. The whole thing is quite ingenious, and a real treat. I especially liked this life-sized, fuzzy, animatronic rock band, although I have no idea what they had to do with Mini Israel. At all.

Thanks Israel, both regular and small sized! I had a great time, and I will miss your 24-hour falafel stands and infatuation with liter-sized bottles of Diet Coke.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Angry Sky

It rained for a day, and now the beach is deserted. The sky has turned dramatic, and the sea is now churning rather than lapping gently. It's beautiful! And crepuscular. And the lack of lying on the beach and swimming allows for an abundance of Ladette to Lady on BBC Prime. So far this morning, there are many fewer clouds and the sun (and heat) appear to be returning, so I'm sure I'll find my way back to the sea sooner or later, and knowing that I'm only here for a few more days makes feel a little frantic--I still haven't gone to Mini Israel or the Elvis Inn, which means I'm sorely lacking in tacky souvenirs. Rest assured this shall be remedied.

Monday, October 31, 2005

I know it's been far too long without a post, and I've probably lost my 5 loyal readers. If this is the price I must pay for day after day of lying on the beach and being continuously awed by the beauty of the Mediterranean, that's fine by me. I mean seriously, check this out:

This particular stretch of beach is about 2 miles long, and I can easily entertain myself by walking up and down the beach, collecting shells and pebbles and taking pictures. It's a very touristy area, but I out-tourist them all by far.

Happy Halloween to all of you ghosts, goblins, and fairy princesses! We celebrated Halloween on Friday night with a party at B7's and lots of food, but only one costumed guest: Trick or Treat!

The rest of the evening involved zombies, gummi worms, and champagne, and resulted in a joining of forces so powerful, the world may never be the same again.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Day of the Dead (Sea)

So apparently "Dead" is Hebrew for "Salt." We went to the Dead Sea today, and I may never get all of this salt off of me. But it was really super fantastic, and not just because it's the lowest place on earth (-401 meters!). We spent a fun-filled evening in En Bokek, a resort town on the Dead Sea. Funny thing about resorts in Israel; they seem to have been mostly decorated in the 1980's, and the ambiance was never thought of again. Don't get me wrong, I love eighties decor for its kitsch value alone--and I'm not just talking about giant Swatch watch wall clocks. But hotel was not unlike the classrooms in my old synagogue where we used to have Hebrew School classes.

Except in my classroom, she would have been picking oranges instead of apples. As a young child, the posters on the walls of my Hebrew School classrooms lead me to believe that all Israelis lived on Kibbutzes, and that the entire country was one big orange grove. And also that Israelis dance around in circles to traditional Israeli folk music, and they all wear white.

But I digress. The Dead Sea is super cool. You can't really swim in it, you can only sort of float and bob around (and I happen to believe that floating and bobbing around are totally underrated, so I was thrilled.). Check it out: no one in this photo is actually swimming:

I know it's hard to tell from the photo, but it's a very strange thing to see. My good friend DRB loves to float around on her back in the water--I thought of her the whole time, and how much fun she would have being in such float-friendly water.

I think there may still be some salt in my brain, and it's sort of effecting my blogging abilities, so I'll end this post here.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Trick's a treat

I did finally get to spend some time on Friday night with my second favorite person in Israel: Trick. Trick is VVM's dog, and he is a sweetheart. He's some sort of Canaan Dog mix, and he's quite handsome.

Everything is better when there's a warm fuzzy someone lying on your feet. Sorry, Ozzy and Nanna, but you know what Crosby, Stills & Nash said:

"If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with." Woof.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Pictures from Herz'liyah

L's fancy new apartment building.

The view from L's fancy new balcony. This little square has everything a young, upwardly mobile professional could want: a Pizza Domino and a Hot Dog stand.

The Mediterranean Sea is directly behind L's fancy new apartment building. It seems like it's still warm enough for swimming. I intend to test this theory tomorrow.

Israel has a coffee culture, but it seems to be more of an afternoon-cafe-latte-sipping-let's-relax-with-a-cup-of=coffee coffee culture, as opposed to my preferred coffee culture: it take one cup to open my eyes in the morning, one cup to get to work without driving my car off of the road, and one cup to understand what my coworkers are saying to me. And perhaps another cup in the afternoon so that I don't drive my car off of the road on the way home from work. In accordance with this Israeli plot to deny me my god-given right to predetermined caffeine levels, the cafes don't have to-go cups. You mean I have to sit here and leisurely drink my coffee?? What is this, vacation??? And you can bet I won't find any drive-through coffee, either. Harumph.

Regardless, I'm having a terrific time. Tel Aviv and the surrounding area is gorgeous. It also fun to go to places I remember visiting the last 2 times I was here. Israel is the only foreign place I've been to more than once, so I get a great feeling when I start to recognize a street or restaurant or shopping mall. Even if I can't totally read the sign, I know what it's trying to tell me.

I've got a real hankering to see Trick, L's brother's dog. Hopefully he'll be at dinner tonight, and I can get me some dog belly. Beten shel kelev.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Would you like some honey with that milk?

Greetings from Israel! I arrived safely, and quite happily I might add, given the combined 15 hours of flight time. I'm not entirely un-jetlagged, even though I managed to stay awake until a decent hour last night and slept through the night like a baby. SO I'll keep this sort, announce my safe and happy arrival, and promise to post pictures later. Promise!

Friday, October 14, 2005

Leaving on a jet plane

My trip to Israel is right around the corner, folks! I'm at that point where I'm having a difficult time focusing on anything else--other than Degrassi. Last night we held the first bi-weekly Degrassi-n-Indian food extravaganza. At one point, there were four girls in my kitchen singing "Total Eclipse of the Heart" at the top of our lungs. And that was before the korma was delivered. Most of the time, AKG and I argued over who was prettier--Ashley or Paige (you know Paige is way prettier than that so-and-so Ash.). Ah, good times.

I found this on MEH's blog. Laughter was forthright.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

And boy are my arms tired!

Talk about an absence of blog! In my defense, I was at a conference in Las Vegas where they have lots of ways to take my money, but few ways to connect to the internet. The whole trip was great--as always, it's fantastic to meet face-to-face with people I usually only speak with via email and phone. Plus, the pilot on the flight out took a few minutes before take off for photo ops! What a great guy.

After booth setup, Rhonda and I took a nice side trip to the Hoover Dam. Of course, dam jokes ensued. ("Where's the dam parking?" "Where's the dam gift shop?" "I'm dam hungry." "What a great dam day!" and so forth.)

I know this is going to sound ridiculous, but somehow, I thought it would be bigger.

I'm back in the office for a few days, then I'm off to the Holy Land for a few weeks. Of course there will be blogging, albeit potentially infrequent. And I'm sure it will be 80% about how much I miss the dogs. The dam dogs.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Thursday, October 06, 2005

When the dog's away...

...the cat will sleep in the dog bed.

It's just common knowledge.

The dogs are away because last night I went to see Amy Sedaris speak at a benefit for 826 Valencia. What a funny lady! Hilarious! The always lovely and talented, Emmy-award winning Manny Santos joined my for an evening of culture and cheeseburgers. Check out my creepy happy meal toy:

Strangely, I left craving cheese balls.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Yes, but can they harmonize?

Dolphins aren't just for dinner anymore. Apparently, they are also receptacles for scientific discovery. Researches have gotten off of their lazy behinds, stopped trying to cure cancer and AIDS or end hunger and poverty, and have put their talents to work for good instead of evil. They have taught dolphins to sing the theme to "Batman.".

Finally, we can think of dolphins as intelligent creatures, capable of learning and thinking. For far too long, dolphins have been the victims of maritime prejudice: always being picked last for kickball, being passed over for promotions while that snarky orca from accounting was invited to the boss's place for cocktails and euchre... Thank you, scientific community, for taking the time and resources to show us the error of our ways, for proving once and for all that dolphins love Adam West just as much as any other sea creature.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Hardly Strictly Monday

Shana tova, all you Rosh Hashanah lovers out there! May your year be filled with health and happiness, and your evening be filled with honey cake!

I know at least one of you (Manny--and we'll have to change this alias because Manny's new haircut is awful) is expecting to see a picture of Dolly Parton here today from the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival that was held in Golden Gate Park over the weekend. Well I didn't make it on Sunday so I missed Dolly, as well as Laura Cantrell. Boo! But I did go on Saturday so I got to see The Knitters and Jimmie Dale Gilmore. And it was amazing--just the fog and the trees and the music...amazing. Check it out:

My friends were out in force! They came from Burlingame, Brooklyn, Boulder, Redwood City...old friends, new friends, related friends. The good kind.

And did anyone notice the Sharks scores on my side bar?? That's 7-0-0-0 for the preseason, folks! Now let's all pray that this streak continues on Wednesday when the actual season starts.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

The daytime sniffling, sneezing, coughing, stuffy head, headache so you can get through your day medicine

Here I am in this state of severe congestion, and still I blog. Why? Because I don't need to be able to hear myself or anyone else in order to blog. My mucus levels have risen so high that my head officially weighs more than my body. My sinuses and ears are lousy with the stuff. These liquid-filled orange pills are my only friends.

But everything has an upside, right? I stayed home sick yesterday, and caught up Law and Order and all of it's various juicy spin-offs: Special Victims Unit, Criminal Intent, Special Elevator Unit... All that TNT and USA have to offer. I want to name my children "Dun Dun," after the drama-inducing noise played at each scene break. It really is the best series of shows ever. At least in the non-Canadian-teenage-drama category.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Dog Days of Summer

I had another footless dog dream last night. See, I don't have recurring dreams, but I have recurring dream themes. My generic anxiety dreams come in the form of missing the airplane: I'm late for my flight and don't make it to the airport in time, or I make it in time, but realize I left my suitcase somewhere. These are horrible, horrible dreams, characterized by increased sweating and a general feeling of discomfort the entire day following the dream, often in combination with unexplained bouts of crying.

The footless dog dreams are far less worrisome, as well as far less upsetting than they sound. There's never any gore or anything like that. It's usually more cartoon-ish, even claymation-ish. It started in 1997 when I was an exchange student in Sweden. Nanna was just about a year old, and I went to spend 4 months living in Uppsala to studying Swedish. Of course I felt guilty leaving my best friend and companion behind, and I had this dream where some random friend decided to make me feel better by mailing Nanna to me--only, to fit her into the box, they had to cut her feet off, kind of at the doggie elbow/knee joint. So my extreme joy and surprise that my puppy had been sent to me was instantly transformed into disappointment--not as in "Oh no! She's dead!" (the footless dogs of my dreams are never dead), but more like, "Aw, it's broken. I'll never get these legs back on right." A general sense of unpleasantness and mild anxiety.

In last night's footless dog dream, I was driving my Subaru with a friend, and Ozzy and Nanna were in the back like normal. We stopped at the top of a grassy hill where there was a field full of dogs for adoption. We decided to adopt 2 border collies and put them in the car. We drove to town (it was Eugene, OR where I attended college), and left all of the dogs in my car while we went for a walk. When we returned, one of the newly adopted dogs--which were now golden retrievers--had somehow gotten out of the car, but had cut (perhaps chewed) its foot off in the process. I called a few vets around town to see if anyone could sew it back on without an appointment, but nobody was able to help.

I don't know what kind of anxiety the footless dog dreams represent. I feel fine today, a little tired maybe. If anyone out there has any dream expertise, I love to know your interpretation of these footless dog dreams. For an illustration from last night's footless dog dream, click here.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Cesspool, part II

What a beautiful San Francisco weekend. The weather was perfect, and I spent Saturday doing perfect things with the perfect person. I went to the hairdresser to have those pesky roots taken care of. Then MEH and I strolled around Valencia and got pedicures. Perfect!

Sunday, on the other hand, was less perfect. There was pleasant strolling, and there was Swedish comfort food . But first, there was the cesspool in the park. Again.

cesspool n. 2. A filthy, disgusting, or morally corrupt place.

ozzy n. 2. A filthy, disgusting, or morally corrupt dog.

All in all, a fantastic weekend, despite Ozzy's best efforts.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Filthy, filthy boy

Behold my dog: he answers to nobody. Least of all me. For your enjoyment, I now present, "Ozzy: A Dog in Three Acts."

Act I: The Time: Late afternoon. The Place: Duboce Park. The sun in shining, dogs are running around and generally being dogs.
Ozzy: (Internal monologue) Look at that huge puddle full of unidentifiable, nasty smelling sludge! I will go roll vigorously in it. (Rolls vigorously in puddle)

Act II: The Time: Immediately after the events of Act I.
Deborah: Ozzy! Get out of there!! (Runs, as if in slow motion, toward the stinky puddle. Realizing that it is way too late to stop the process of dog stinkification, stops, shoulders slumped, and sighs. Ozzy continues vigorous rolling.)
Deborah: Damn you, Ozzy.

Act III: The Time: Immediately after the events of Act II.
(Ozzy trots over to where Deborah stands, and obediently sits down in front of her, blinks.)
Ozzy: (Internal monologue) That was the most fun I've had all week.


Seriously, that one made the top 3 of nasty Ozzy-rolling-in-something-gross smells. Worse than horse poop, not as bad as dead seal. These pictures don't do it justice, but try to imagine my horror and dismay anyway:

Still, every cloud has a silver lining, and now he smells like Aveda Rosemary Mint shampoo.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

The pursuit of happyness leads to a warehouse on the Embarcadero

By 10 o'clock last night, they had packed up every last retro car and every last taxi cab ad for Barney Miller and Life Savers candy (new!) and loaded them onto trucks. Then, as noisily an disturbingly as they had appeared, the movie folk were gone. (Not the fake BART station, though. That's still there.) And now there's a warehouse on the Embarcadero, and it's full of vintage cars from America's golden age of automotive design. And that warehouse happens to be right across from my friend Manny's office (no, that's not her real name).

Seriously! Look!

Now Manny is a part of movie history, too. What more could one want from a Thursday? Movie history ain't half bad.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I Heart the Eighties

By the time I woke up this morning, all of the cars on the street had been replaced by cars from the 70's and 80's. Totally surreal. Check out this taxi across the street:

With all of the extras in place, the fake BART station looks less, well, fake. Totally 1980. Except for the guy on the left with the Crate & Barrel Bag. Someone call security.

After reveling in my own little Hollywood, I took my minions to the Vet to get Microchipped. Yes, I am building bionic pets, one grain-of-rice-sized piece at a time. Ozzy was the first to get chipped, and the only one to cry about it.

Nanna, as always, was trusting--and simultaneously hiding under the exam table.

Neither cat is speaking to me right now.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Pursuit of Happyness

I swear, it feels like the President is coming to my neighborhood. Or at least the Governator. After much anticipation by local residents, Will Smith will be filming his new movie in the park across the street from my house tomorrow. It's super, especially the part where the production company pays me $50 to use my driveway. In preparation for the day of filming, the production company built a fake BART station in the park (right next to the real Muni station). Apparently, the day of filming involves Will Smith walking in and/or out of a BART station, and they decided to build a fake one for this sole purpose. Fake? You'd never know by looking at it!

Keep in mind that the "escalator" only goes about 4 feet down into the grass. Amazing!

So when you go to see Pursuit of Happyness, think of me. Think of my driveway. Think of my park being taken over by movie folk, and the four block radius around my house being taken over by "No Parking from 5 pm Tuesday 9/20 to 10 pm Wednesday 9/21" signs.

And think of the cool stuff I'll buy with my 50 bucks!

Friday, September 16, 2005

If I had a Nanna, I'd hug her in morning

Oh! Wait! I do have a Nanna!

Yup, this weekend's going to be chock full dog belly. CHOCK FULL.

Don't fret, I will involve Ozzy's belly as well. But girl belly is just so much nicer.

And all of this supposed cuddling and dog belly will take place assuming that there's room for me on the bed. which is questionable.

Other parts of the coming week will be spent with this lovely creature:

Mammas, don't let your best friends from high school grow up to be cowgirls!