Thursday, July 28, 2005

Blog Business Summit

Today on Blogger's dashboard, there's a blurb about the 2005 Blog Business Summit. Technically, I blog for my business. Technically. In theory, this blog will accomplish 2 things:

    1. Allow me to blow off steam, express my personality, etc. therefore making me a happier, more productive person and employee.

    2. Give our readers and instructors a peek into the day-to-day life of The Planning Shop, and show them that underneath our crunchy, entrepreneurial publishing shell, our company has a creamy human center.
In practice, this blog is a place where I can talk about my dogs, my vacations and random things that make me feel less crazy. So I don't feel compelled to attend the Blog Business Summit, nor should I. Still when I checked out the site and list of speakers, I found that out of 17 speakers, all but 3 of them were Caucasian males. Which is disturbing because most of the successful business people I know, as well as the best bloggers, are women. Chicks. I'm not sure why I'm not as indignant about the lack of ethnic diversity among the speakers, but I can always take time out of my busy day to whine about feminist issues. The funny part is that I don't even believe in many feminist concepts, rather I believe in peoples' rights to be upset about them. Concepts like the glass ceiling, women's equality in the military, the stay at home mom vs. the career mom, gender identities and sexual orientation in the media--all that stuff. It's a person's right to get pissy about the way women tend to be objectified, victimized, pigeon-holed and what not. Yet in my everyday existence most of this stuff just doesn't bother me. Much of the treatment that many feminists would consider misogynistic or controlling I find to be desirable and welcomed. I'm not saying that I'd like to be kept barefoot and pregnant, or banned from the boardroom. And goodness knows that I'd damn well better get equal pay for equal work, but I also like to have doors opened for me, meals paid for, spiders squashed, light bulbs changed--not because I can't do these things, but because I don't have to. Or something. I like to think of it as post-post-feminism. I also like to think of it as having my cake and eating it too. And who doesn't like cake?

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Why I Can Never Carpool With Johnny Cash

About 2 1/2 years ago, I got this really nice new Subaru Outback. It's a station wagon, complete with a little barrier-gate thing to keep the dogs in the way back. For 2 1/2 years, I got out of the car without dog hair on my clothes. For 2 1/2 years, I drank coffee without dog hair in while I drove to work. For 2 1/2 years, I had room for my purse, sweaters, accoutrements etc. in my car in addition to myself.

Two weeks ago, that all changed.

After I was rear-ended last Fall, Nanna grew increasingly terrified of my car (just my car, as opposed to cars in general). Thusly, she grew increasingly mopey and depressed, each day becoming more and more like a teenaged girl. But I was steadfast in my conviction to keep the front of the car fur-free.

I am steadfast in my convictions no longer.

Sure, I fastened a nice blue flannel sheet over the interior of the back two-thirds of the car to act as a fur magnet. But Ozzy is the kind of dog who protects his car by sitting upright in the driver's seat, as if to say, "No, potential car thief, you cannot steal this car, for I am a human and I am about to drive my car off to safety. Any minute now." Fur magnet, schmur magnet.

Yet, am I thrilled to be reunited with joys of a car open to dogs. Like catching glimpses of dog head and dog tongue in my rear mirrors as they hang their heads out the back windows. Or like this morning when Ozzy decided he wanted to sit up front with me. He can make himself just as small as he needs to if it means fitting on various types of furniture.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Misty Water Colored Memories

Ah, good times. The great DediFest of 2005 continues this September with a mini-roadtrip from Portland to Missoula (also known as, "Wow, the sky really IS big!"). We'll be visiting our old college roommate who used to go on and on about this really tasty sandwich place in Missoula called the Staggering Ox. Strange the things we remember about people when we haven't talked in 6 years.

Other things that fit into this category:

    Scuba diving

    Crazy knick knacks sent by her grandma at each and every holiday (like the miniature Easter Egg Tree)

    The eucalyptus branch we collected on a road trip that she dried and hung on her wall and weeks later it ended up housing a bunch of bugs (I may be partially imagining this one)

    An awful lot of giggling and cooking tasty things

Frankendog update: Nanna is doing really well. I would, however, like to get my hands on a constant supply of these doggie painkillers. It really takes the edge off of her normally mopey tendencies.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Gotta Get A New Behavior

This weekend marked the beginning of a new chapter in The Life of Oswald. We had our first meeting with his new behaviorist/trainer, and learned lots of reasons why the kennel is a gooooood place. Most of these reasons involved food. Our first assignment for the week is to eat all meals in the kennel (this part does not apply to humans or cats) and spend lots of quality down time in there. This resulted in me napping in the kennel while the dogs went zen on a couple of peanut butter and kibble-filled kongs. Another part of this assignment is to make Ozzy's meals more fun and activity-related, causing him to spend more time in the kennel and to expend more mental energy while doing so. Eventually, we'll buy some fancy food dispensing puzzle balls, but for now, Ozzy is eating his dinner out of a sock.

Let me explain.

As a dog who likes to, as the behaviorist put it, "deconstruct" and "explore" his belongings, also referred to as eating the stuffing out of toys and chewing their eyes/noses/what-have-yous off, and tearing his blankets to shreds, it was suggested that he would benefit from being able to "deconstruct" his supper. Watching a dog rip apart a sock full of kibble, wet food and a tiny bit of bacon fat is undeniably enjoyable. And he does it with such conviction and dedication, it's really quite amazing. Luckily, he didn't actually ingest too much of the sock. And what normally takes 2.5 minutes to accomplish took closer to 10 minutes. Well done, Oz!

Friday, July 22, 2005

Aw Jeez

Harkening back to an older comment regarding Wicked, and my need to post more things about it, I have the following to offer (thanks to Copy, Right?): prepare to be shocked, and quite possibly awed.

The connection? Rue McClanahan played the headmistress at Shiz in the Broadway production of Wicked that we saw.

(Here's a little something extra to get ready for your weekend.)

Nanna: 5 Lumps: 0

For those of you keeping score, Nanna's fatty tumor is no more than that--a fatty tumor. No cancer, no mast cells, nothing to be worried about.


Thursday, July 21, 2005

Who knew Peter O'Toole was ever so young!

Not me, that's for sure. I have to be honest, I've only made it through the first half of Lawrence of Arabia. The. First. Long. Half. Part two will be enjoyed over 3 or four bottles of wine and a pizza. I'm not sure why, but that's the feeling I get.

My permanent image of Peter O'Toole is from My Favorite Year, which I saw when I was about 6 and didn't understand the concept of a lush. I just thought O'Toole's character didn't speak well and fell down a lot. This was also my introduction to Cousin Larry.

Thrilling post, I know. Once I get my music situation sorted out, I'll post the mash-up of Baby Got Back and Silly Love Songs.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


Poor thing. Poor, poor girl. Who would have thought a little fatty tumor attached to her rib would cause this:

Yeah, I know, that wasn't gross enough. Try this:

That's a six-inch incision held together with more than 2 dozen staples. She is such a trooper. She's had something like 7 surgeries, including getting various gashes stitched up, and she always heals up 100%.

Ozzy has been very concerned since we picked Nanna up from the vet. Since Nanna can't play, Ozzy seems to be taking his frustration out on Milhouse (he wouldn't dare try that crap with Miru.). There was a lot of high-pitched whining and angry-kitty yowling going in my house last night.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Loopy Loo's Lurid Lump, Part II

This time, it is almost definitely a fatty tumor.

Totally harmless.

Totally harmless, except that they can grow to weigh 5 pounds, irreversibly stretching and deforming the muscle around them. Imagine a fatty tumor, 12% of your total body weight, just chillin' on your body. Now, imagine it attached to your rib.

Say it with me now: eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew.

Poor little Nanna went through surgery this morning, and the vet says she did very well. I'll pick her up this afternoon and spend the evening holding a cold compress to her armpit, singing Beach Boys songs to her and thanking my lucky stars that I have such a good dog. I am so in love with her.

Monday, July 18, 2005

You're my best friend...I'm sorry I put you in that wheelchair, eh

I had the best weekend. Full of guilty (and not so guilty) pleasures. At the top of the list, my newest and most ridiculous obsession: Degrassi: The Next Generation. Canadian teenaged drama. What more do I need to say? Those of you who, like me, watched the original series Degrassi Junior Highin the late 80's on their local PBS station will be shocked to see those crazy Canadian kids all grown up with crazy Canadian kids of their own. And in keeping with the rich Degrassi tradition of having real-life problems that American teenage dramas and sit-coms didn't dare discuss, Degrassi: TNG's tagline is "Degrassi. It goes there." And boy does it ever. Paige is dating a teacher. Jimmy's best friend Skinner told a lie that got Jimmy shot in the spine and landing him in a wheelchair (so much for that basketball scholarship, eh). Word is that Emma has gonnorhea. Marco's gay, hockey-playing boyfriend is cheating on him. And Ellie and Alex are skipping class to play euchre for money.

God bless Canada.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Overheard in Palo Alto

I love it when Rhonda reads my blog. It goes something like this: I'll be sitting at my desk, hard at work on something very important, and Rhonda will start the following conversation:

Rhonda: "This is a great picture of Portland."
Me, confused: "What?" (absolutely no manners)
Rhonda: "On your blog!"
Me: "Rhonda, that was like 8 months ago."
Rhonda: "I know. I should read your blog more often."
Me: "Seriously."


Rhonda: "Did you really hear this on the bus?"
Me: "Huh?" (note to self: learn to say things like "I beg your pardon?" and "Excuse me?")
Rhonda: "This sarcastic thing on the bus."
Me: "Rhonda, did you read the rest of the post? It's from Overheard in New York."
Rhonda: "Oh..."


Rhonda: "These shoes are great, but they may be too small for a baby."
Me: "What are you talking about?"
Rhonda: "These red shoes. They're adorable."
Me: "Rhonda, I'm wearing them right now. They're not for a baby, they're for me."
Rhonda: "Oh. I thought you got baby shoes for your friend in Portland with the baby."
Me: "My friend with a baby is in Minneapolis. Dedi is my friend in Portland."
Rhonda: "Let me come see the shoes."

By the time Rhonda had finished complimenting my shoes, I had decided that I was going to start sending Rhonda a Cliff's Notes version of my blog every day.

One day after lunch, about six months from now, Rhonda's going to say something like, "Hey! I always read your blog! Why did you write this?"

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

You mean there's a lake at Tahoe?

Mmmmmmmmm, gambling! As I am want to do every 3 years or so, I spent the weekend at playing blackjack. It was my first trip to real honest to goodness Lake Tahoe, and we spent the night at Harrah's in Stateline, NV on the south shore of the Lake.

At least they tell me there's a lake. Supposed to be pretty spectacular, too.

The weekend went like this: drive in the convertible with the top down. Nice and sunny and warm. Stop to reapply sunblock, buy stuff at the Vacaville Premium Outlet Mall. Drive more. Get to Tahoe and lose money. Make some of that money back, and learn the difference between "doubling down" and "splitting." Sort of. Repeat many times. Put $5 on 33 black as you walk out of the casino, and win $20, which allows you to feel as though you not leaving as a loser. Drive in the convertible with the top down. Nice and sunny and warm. Stop to reapply sunblock, buy stuff at the Folsom Premium Outlet Mall. Drive more. Get home and feed the angry cats.

Good times were had by all.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Feline Friends

I know that, to many of you, it seems like I do not give my cats equal representation on this blog. To you, I say: you're right. My cats, who spend their days home alone and their nights hunting for postcards and underwear, do not get the name time that my dogs get, the face time, none of it. Not when it comes to the blog.

And it sucks because they are such awesome cats. I guess it has a lot to do with whether I want to be known as a cat lady or dog lady. Preferably, I'd be known as neither. But if I had to choose one, I'd go for dog lady. Dog ladies are typically athletic, tanned, fun-loving gals who do admirable things like go for jogs and volunteer for worthy organizations. They have nicely decorated apartments, and can both knit and use powertools. Well. Cat ladies, while sensitive, poetic, and excellent cooks, tend to wear billowy skirts and gem stone pendants. They drink soy lattes and use all-natural hair products.

Ok, I can think of at least three friends whom I've just pissed off.

I'm lucky, however, that even though I'm not a cat lady, my cats are Deborah cats. They love me even if I rarely blog about how fuzzy their bellies are, or how we call Milhouse "Minxy" when he lies across my lap with his head down, all flat and still, like a fur coat. My cats understand, and they forgive. They love. And sometimes, they let me hug them.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Are you ready to ROCK????

Guess who's opening for Devo at Scott & Dana's wedding? Blood, Sweat & Tears!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

A Gal of My Word

The band is starting rehearsals for Dana and Scott's wedding...

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Sit, Too Much Tongue. Good dog.

The USA network captured pretty much my undivided attention this weekend with their epic (series? mini-series?) show, Into the West. Basically, a bunch of pioneers and a bunch of Lakota are born, fall in love, kill, and die. And lots of stuff happens along the way. It's sort of like Deadwood if it were rated G. Or at least PG. And it's directed by Steven Spielberg, so there are lots of emotional gazes, lots of big sweeping movements with the cameras and the music. And the Lakota have really fun names, such as "Loved by the Buffalo," "Thunder Heart Woman," and "Runs with Foxes." Of course, when a Virginian marries a Lakota woman and they have a daughter, her names is "My Great Light," which becomes "Margaret" around the white folk. Clever!

As the series moved along (3 two-hour episodes over the holiday weekend), my human, feline and canine roommates all got much more interesting names. Over the course of 72 hours, Ozzy was known as "Rolls in Grass," "Barks at Air," "Hogs the Bed," and "Trembles with Fear" (this last name was due to the fireworks, which, to him, apparently signify the end of days.).

Nanna was mostly "Runs with Toy," where "toy" was substituted with "ball," "duck," "moose," etc. At times, however, she became "Lover of No One," "Knee Licker," and "One Who Begs Incessantly."

Miru was known as "Sleeps on Laundry" and "Hunter of Postcards" (he's taken to carrying around pieces of mail at night, and screaming about it as if he'd just caught Osama bin Laden.).

Milhouse is now "Dances with Flies" and "Makes Great Stink." We'll leave that one alone.

Luckily for me, I referred to Max most of the weekend as "Brings me Beer" and "Friend of BBQ."

The whole situation was dangerously similar to that time that I kept referring to President Bush as President Bartlett. So much wishful thinking.