Friday, February 24, 2006 


I'm running away.

For the weekend.

And not even the entire weekend, just Saturday morning through Sunday afternoon.

Heading out to lovely Santa Barbara, home of ring-tailed lemurs, a Jerry Seinfeld sighting*, cast-off cardigans and Spiderman boxer-wearing English Bulldogs.

I'm taking lots of pix so hopefully I'll have enough fun fodder for next week!

I hope you all have a nice weekend too. Tah tah for now.

* One of several brushes with famous folks I plan to blog about in the future!

Thursday, February 23, 2006 

Melancholy and the infinite sadness

Tomorrow will mark the first anniversary of my Grandfather's passing.

It's hard to comprehend that so many days have gone by since I last heard his voice calling me. He'd say, "Missy! Are you givin' 'em Hell? Don't let em get you down, Tiger!" He always told me I had more going for me in my little finger than most people had in their whole lives. What can you say to a biased Grandparent?

It's been a tough year for all of us, especially my Mom and her two sisters. I know sometimes when the phone rings, she hopes to hear either his voice or my Grandmother's on the other end.

Both of my Grandmothers passed away three and a half years ago. My Dad's Mother in late summer and my Mom's Mother in late November.

I never really knew my Dad's Father. He was always kind of a family mystery to me until a few years ago. My Dad never really talked about him much, but as he gets older he starts retelling past experiences and memories, which I appreciate.

I love thinking about my Grandparents. The memories I have of them comfort me...particular things each of them would say, like my Grandma M calling me "Sugarplum" or Grandma N loving to indulge in crushed saltine crackers and milk. Somtimes these memories leave me smiling and other times, well...they leave my eyes red and puffy from welled-up tears flowing down my cheeks because I know all I have of them now are memories.

Loss is an overwhelming feeling to deal with. I don't care how stabile your emotions are, loss is heartbreaking. I really hope family members, pets and friends who have left this Earth have gone on to somewhere wonderful. I don't know that I care to label that place specifically, but imagining them happy and healthy is much easier to handle than thinking that their spirits ended with their last breaths. When I cry, it's because I'm feeling selfish that they aren't here for me anymore.

And I miss them more than I have tears to shed.

When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
- Kahlil Gibran

Wednesday, February 15, 2006 

Lips like sugar, sugar kisses

Yes, my lips like sugar. Hey, my entire body likes it! I guess it would be safe to say that I LOVE sugar. And with yesterday being Valentine's Day, it was just one more excuse to ingest MORE SUGAR!

I thought it might be difficult to attempt a sugarless day. I thought I might get a cookie or 2, or a box of conversation hearts. I had hoped that no one would forget that I cannot consume chocolate because of my affliction condition.

Yeah, let's just say it was all pretty much over when my boss brought in a huge red heart box BRIMMING with QUALITY chocolates that his pregnant wife received. She's experiencing extreme morning sickness and told him to get the vile thing out of the house.

And it really didn't help when my Mom called to tell me she had made fudge for STILTS.

C'est la vie!

In other news: I need a new pillow.

I don't know if ANYONE else in the world has as much trouble with pillows as I do, but DAMN IT! I can NEVER find a pillow that stays lofty without murdering the outer cartilage of my ears. For a long time now, I've been accustomed to sleeping with 2 pillows so that I wouldn't have an aching neck. Being a side sleeper, my ears end up being pressure points and need to be cushioned.

The kind of pillow arrangement that suits me best is to have a not-too-thick but moderately firm pillow on the bottom, and a lofty and super soft pillow on the top. That way, I have the height for my neck but my ears don't feel like burning embers either! My problems isn't usually with the bottom pillow as much as it is with the top. If the pillow is soft enough, it's either far too thick or far too thin, and I've even tried making my own from the innards of those hard to find softies. It's a cumbersome task that winds up with the looking like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man just blew up all over the windows and the floors.

I realize this is probably a very lame rant. I know you're probably thinking that pillows are the least of ANYONE's worries. I agree. It should be that way. Lord how I WISH it were that way.

And as long as I'm wishing, I wish that I didn't have an entire mouth full of sweet teeth either!!

Monday, February 13, 2006 

It's logical to me

Once a weekend, STILTS and I wind up praying to our gods of commerce at our favorite holy shrine, Target.

I don't know what it is about that place. Why I do not feel complete without visiting at least ONCE a week, why I cannot go there and buy the true necessities ONLY, and leave those red tagged clearance items ALONE! If you read any number of blogs, you'll almost always find others with the addiction.

Anyway, we were there yesterday afternoon because a few of STILT'S relatives gave him Target gift cards for his birthday last week. He was raring to use them on music, PSP or PS2 games, or those clever tshirts with annoyingly witty phrases. So we're cruising the aisles, me trying to help him shop and ignore the India marketplace items that have gone on clearance, and him trying to decide what he wanted.

Thirty minutes, two complete sweeps of the store and an empty shopping cart later - I ask, "So. Are you going to - you know - buy anything?"

He skewered his mouth over to the side and wrinkled his nose and let out a deep sigh. " I don't know. Nothing looks worth it."

"You mean now that you have gift cards to spend instead of MY money, nothing looks 'worth it'?"

My I'm-getting-perturbed eyebrow raise kicks in.

"When you're broke you manage to find lots of stuff you just HAVE to HAVE! You're totally sure, there's nothing at all you want now?"

"Nuh uh, sorry."

"Fine, let's grab some Desani and go."

We get through the small market section and head over to the check out lines and end up right next to the boxes of sports, Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh and other trading cards.

"Oooh, wait a minute Mom! Let me look at these," he declares. I pull the cart out of line to avoid a mass pile-up and wait. some. more.

A few moments later, it looks as though he's found something worthy of purchasing. It's a box of NFL trading cards, something like 64 of them for $19.99. He's really happy and pleased and as he starts walking over, his brow furrows and his mouth gets that scrunched look again.

"Awww MAN!"

"What is it, what's wrong?"

"The box says you can't open it."

"What?" I'm not sure I heard him correctly.

"It says on the box, DO NOT OPEN!" he groaned, completely flabbergasted.

"Let me see it," I say as I take the box from him. And sure enough in black letters with a bright yellow sunburst to grab your attention, it reads: 'Bonus trading card box. Do not open or separate.'

"Oh. It just means they don't want people in the stores opening the box and selling the packs individually - the packs are supposed to be kept together. It's fine, you can buy it."

Complete relief washed over him and he said, "I thought if I bought the box, I'd never be able to open it to see the cards!"

Sunday, February 12, 2006 

Zing went the strings of my heart - Part 2

My boss asked if there was any dog food left in the breakroom. I told him that when Piper (my Pug) doesn't like a particular dry food, I've brought it in for the strays. So we took him to the copy room where he could be closed in for the time being.

He did not like that. at. all.

The 'giggles' quickly turned into high pitched yelps of "Oh no! No wait! Come back!!" So I stayed with him so he would relax and eat.

I knew I couldn't leave him, his yelps would ultimately disturb the other tenants in the building. He followed me back to my work space and laid down -- ON MY LAP! Do you know that old song, "the daring young man on the flying trapeze?" My boy didn't need a trapeze! With one graceful grande jete, he was off the floor and in my face in the blink of an eye.

And I was beginning to think he had a former life as a yoga instructor, because when he wasn't jumping, he was bowing down low to the floor and stretching his hind legs out with cat-like fluidity...not in the flicky - kicky manner like a lot of small dogs do. I put him back on the floor and told him I had to get a little work done. He laid right by my feet, happy as could be.

By lunchtime, the other tenants had come to see him. One of them said, "My, what a wooly doggie."

Which made me start thinking....Wooley....Woggey....Woogey. That's a fun name!

"HEY!! (I began having a conversation with myself.) You've already got a dog with a superior princessa attitude. This guy isn't going to go over with her very well. And he's going to have to have shots and get neutered and CERTAINLY groomed, not to mention who knows what else."

"I know, but I can't bring myself to turn him over to a shelter. You know the crappy conditions at the county one, and the other two non-kill places are going to be filled to capacity. I'm sure there's something I can do for him, someone who will want him."

"Uh huh."

"Besides, look at him! He's so cute, AND talented. He's not just any dog."


One month later:

Woogey is successfully making the transition from abandoned stray to full-fledged member of my household. Piper out weighs him by a long shot, but she hasn't inflicted her patent wrestling moves that the cats have to endure. He'll stick his nose right under her hind legs and lift them up.

"But I don't WANT to practice yoga!" I imagine her saying as her eyes bug out indignantly.

Between the money I've spent at Petsmart and the vet's office, I think I've qualified myself as a shareholder AT LEAST in one of the companies! Still, I can't think of anywhere else this Lhasa Poo mix could have wound up. He jumps and stretches and kisses me with gratitude every single day. He giggles all the time.

Last week, I was writing on our calendar that Woogey joined us January 13th. STILTS came up behind me and said, "Hey, that was 113. Just like our house number."

How about that. Woogey really was waiting for me!

Friday, February 10, 2006 

Zing went the strings of my heart - Part 1

Friday, January 13, 2006: It started out like most of my days: up extremely early, bleary-eyed by 9 am.

I have a ‘bad’ habit of reading all of my favorite blogs when I first get to work. Yes, I know I also have a ‘bad’ habit of reading them all through the day, but nevermind.

Anyway, I had just finished reading Secret Agent Josephine’s post about her friend, Lori, who works with a truly amazing organization that helps abandoned dogs. SAJ posted a link to Lori’s blog, and there I read about heartbreakers like Georgie and Jazz.

ASIDE: Please take a moment and click through those links, even if you're not in the position to donate, there just might be some other way to be a part of a terrific organization!

I was practically sobbing by the end of the story and knew I had to help in some way. While a huge donation was fiscally impossible for me, I managed to wring out enough dough to provide a little bit to one of these lost babies. I hoped it had made a tiny difference.

No sooner had I wiped my nose and out of the corner of my eye, I see a little black ‘something’ go darting past one of the glass doors that lead into our lobby. I wasn’t too surprised because my office is located just to the south of the county animal shelter. Unfortunately, heartless monsters drop off dogs and cats out here all the time. These fucktards believe that even though the shelter is closed, leaving the animal in the parking lot is just as good. (I try my best to refrain from cursing, but there really isn’t any other word to describe these ‘people’. I’ve had a hand in helping two abandoned dogs find really good homes in the last year alone!)

Mornings in this area are prone to heavy traffic. There’s a school bus maintenance yard less than half a mile away and I didn’t want whatever it was to get hit. So I took a shortcut through the breakroom and opened the backdoor. The ‘thing’ was a little black dog who had turned the corner of the building and was sitting on the doormat, waiting.

Yes, waiting. Most likely for me.

LEAPING! Lizards! As soon as the ‘thing’ saw me, it jumped straight up off of the mat in fluid motion. Just as soon as it hit the ground, UP it sprang again – this time adding a little wiggle. So I grabbed it up and brought it in, all the while it was making noises that reminded me of giggles....if such a creature COULD giggle. The poor dear was dirty, and was covered in small thorn-like stickers, probably picked up from being in the vacant, tumbleweed-infested field nearby.

I was surprised at how light it was, since the black, matted dreadlocks underneath the stickers made it look heavier. I brought it into the area where my desk is. I’m surrounded by a counter with a little door that can be opened and shut. So once we were closed in, I decided to have a closer look.

Two big, brown eyes. One small, wet nose. Two black and tan, floppy ears. One tail that had not stopped wagging. Four black legs with tan colored fur beginning just about where an ankle would be. Okay.

One very sweet and happy dog was again doing his yo-yo impersonation for me. I couldn’t stop laughing. Actually, it took me another 15 minutes to get him to settle down long enough for me to conclude that he IS male. I wasn’t too worried what my boss would say. He’s just as much an animal lover as I am and he’s even helped me get dogs into the building before.

He had come downstairs after hearing me laughing and said, “Oh boy. Who’s your new friend?”

I smiled at him and answered, “I don’t know, but here we go again.”

Wednesday, February 08, 2006 

Where have all the cowboys gone**


I haven't stopped to realize how terribly LONG it's been since posting! Time flies when you've been absorbed with work-related projects, stomach misshaps, training a new canine addition to the household, and really trying to come to terms with being the mother of a teenager!

Alas, this entry is short and not too informational, but if you give me just a little more time, I will be back! All brand new and shiney too.

**NO, I have not seen Brokeback Mountain.