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.