Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Excitement for the Day

Today is the day, I am doing it. I am purchasing a new lawn mower. This will actually be the first lawn mower I have ever purchased on my own, the first one I had came with the house. I am going to Home Depot, which has it on sale, which ends today, and am going to utilize the zero percent credit card. I will not, however, be putting Workaholic’s name on my new credit card. His work credit card has been looking ill for a while now, but he says that adults don’t get sick. I feel sorry for who has to pay that bill! Isn't my new mower going to be beautiful???

So my friend Jennifer is always sending me stories of rescue dogs that need new homes, and she always is looking for whatever I’ve said I want my next dog to look like. So this morning, when I got an e-mail from her, I went, “Uh-oh, let’s see what we have here.” The e-mail was from a woman who is working very hard in Marion, IN to get a new animal shelter. The one they currently have is closing at the end of June, and any animals there at that time will be euthanized. Here is the one that Jennifer has in mind for me…

Isn’t he adorable??? His eyes, his teeth, his feathers!!!

They have soo many dogs and cats that need new homes, and she has taken wonderful pictures of them. Here is the link…

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I'm a quitter...

Today on the radio they had people call in and talk about things that they quit. Several women quit child birthing class; one quit tutoring kids after school (poor kids will never learn how to read!!); another applied for college, got accepted, and never went. So I started thinking about all the things I’ve quit in my lifetime…

High school: After junior year, I quit volleyball and softball. My official reasoning was that I wanted more time to party and didn’t want to have to worry about getting kicked off of a team if I got caught. (besides, it’s really hard to go to practice on a Friday night and be ready to go out by 6:30 or 7) My unofficial reason is that I sucked at volleyball and barely got to play, (even though I was a really good server, my coach didn’t believe me and thought all my good serves in practice were a fluke) and I developed a fear of the ball in softball. It was terrible, one day I did really good in a game, my coach told me that if I kept up the good play, I would be starting my senior year. The next day I couldn’t field a ground ball. Every time I missed, everyone had to run a lap. Finally, I gave up and started crying and told my coach that my stomach hurt and I got to go home. I finished the season, but there was no way I was playing my senior year.

College: After taking MGMT 200 & 201, I quit accounting. What?? you say? I thought that was your degree? Yes…because I went back after a couple of years and did the 6 classes required to get the accounting degree. But when I was in college, I thought the major was too hard and thought that I could get a good job with just a management major. NO ONE told me that with a management major, you can either go into sales or work at McDonalds. Subway if you are lucky. Not my cup o tea. Besides, I liked to party and didn’t want class or homework to get in the way.

Post-College: I quit my first job at Enterprise Rent-a-Car. Granted, this was a terrible job, and I did stay for one year of hell. But I quit after one year and 10 days. Without another job lined up. Still paying off debts from that time to this day.

Recently: The latest thing that I quit was agility with The Fonz. Now, to be fair, the damn dog did lick his foot to oblivion and several kinds of infections. Then, he had a cyst removed and his incision popped open, so that took about a month to heal. But we never went back like I planned. He’ll be 9 in September, and while I would love to go back, I am almost afraid of triggering terrible arthritis and having him be in unnecessary pain. That, and summer is here, and if I plan on cutting my own grass and getting the house ready to sell, Tuesday nights are out. Besides, I always have that fear of us sucking and not doing well. And everyone else laughing at me.

Others: I don’t know if this counts, but I own a karaoke machine. I tried to use it a couple of times, but I couldn’t hear myself, so what was the point in practicing to get better, if you can’t hear yourself? It is in a closet. I also own a pair of golf clubs. The deal was that Workaholic and I take dancing classes for our wedding, and I would learn how to golf. He works too much to golf more then three times a summer, and I don’t have much of a desire to shell out the money to learn how. They are hanging in the garage. I also have a relatively unused bike and pair of rollerblades and elliptical machine…are we seeing a pattern here?? I wonder if any of this has to do with my back pain and the terrible shape that I am in…

So what are things that you have quit? You can leave in comments section, and be totally anonymous....Come on people, make me feel better about my lifetime of quittiness...

Monday, April 28, 2008


On Friday night, my dad flew up and had some time to kill before he had to fly back home. He does this a lot, fly places and sits around waiting for his passengers to take care of their business so he can take them home. This time, he took the president of the university and some African price to a dinner cruise on Lake Michigan for an alumni event. My question is, Why couldn’t he go?? It’s not fair he just has to sit in some abandoned airport in ghetto town, risking his life by sitting next to Hillary’s plane. He should be allowed to eat dinner on a boat in the middle of a lake with 40 mph winds.

So I took him and his co-pilot to a nice Italian restaurant in a town near us that has lots of money and a landfill. (we were lucky enough to have a “mountain view” from our table) Dad’s co-pilot was a student from the same small town in Southern Indiana that one of my best friends is from. He was just amazed that he knew her sister. I guess he’s never heard of six degrees of separation, although this time it was more like four. Anyway, he had also never heard of Gary, IN, and how you shouldn’t drive there after dark, and how for years it was the Murder Capital of the World. He also had never heard of Cabela’s…fortunately Workaholic was able to expose him to that, and he really loved it. But the best was dinner. His eyes got bigger and bigger throughout the meal. First, it was the $9 pizza that had cheese hanging off of it like he’d “only seen in commercials.” Then it was the waiters that were so diligent about filling our water glasses and his Diet Coke, even though it was from a can, that the glass never got less than half full…and they weren’t large glasses by any means. (and yes, they charge $2 per can, no free refills…so you pay for that service of them putting the pop in the glass). The best was when he came back from the bathroom…”That was the shiniest bathroom I have ever seen!” This is a pretty small town that he comes from. It was so fun to expose him to the finer aspects of life. I also loved how he ordered the cheapest thing on the menu because he just had a feeling that this meal would eventually contribute to a tuition increase. Smart guy.

This kid was genuinely a really nice kid, I think that he really got a kick out of watching Dad greet The Fonz after dinner…Workaholic had gone home and gotten him and brought him to the restaurant, as I was headed north straight after dinner. This is Dad…”Oh, Fonz-dog, you are getting fat! Yes you are! Fat dog! One fat dog! Get over here, you fat dog!” And of course, I defended The Fonz, because he really is just fluffy. But the kid asked lot of questions about getting a job after college and the “real world”, and I told him all about my most successful friends. His girlfriend has the same major that I had…good luck to her!! He mentioned several times about “family time”, so it was obvious that it was important to him that a job be a job, and not affect his relationships too much, and not have to work 80 hours a week. It occurred to me only later that the 3 friends I talked about most were all divorced. Oops. Such is life.

Oh the exhaustion

I’m exhausted. My back hurts, I could barely get out of bed, and I was almost late to work. Yes, it’s only Monday. The reason is I spent the weekend with my in-laws and their friends. These people have more stamina than I did when I was in college. We went out Friday night, to the same pub that we always do, I sang my one karaoke song (for those of you who don’t know, it’s the Devil Went Down to Georgia by Charlie Daniels) (and yes, I was inebriated enough to scream into the microphone, “And I told you once you son of a bitch I’m the best that ever been!!") and we left once Joe the karaoke guy was finished. We have done this for several years, but over the past year or so, the evening after we leave the bar has changed. We used to go home, maybe sit in the hot tub for a little while, or eat a snack, drink a bottle of water and fall into bed. Now, everyone that we were with at the bar joins us for the hot tub and snacks, a Wii bowling tournament may commence, and I am lucky if a bottle of water is involved. The evening is extended by at least 2 hours, so going to bed before 3am is rare. Saturday, I have learned not to rise before noon. There is just no point. We lazed around all day, (watched Little Miss Sunshine…so cute)and decided to go to dinner with the same people from the night before.

When you go out to dinner with 10 people, it takes a while. So there is drinking while you wait for your table, drinking while you peruse the menu and eat your appetizers and wait for your dinner. There is drinking while you eat, and more while you wait for you bill and pay. If you are lucky, you make it home without your take-out box breaking and spilling food all over the back of the car. Once you get home, no matter how tired you are from the night before, inevitably your friends walk through the door with a case of Coors Light, and the laughing starts. A mean game of Left Right Center begins, and after a few games, I sigh and say “I wish I could win a game.” Everyone agrees, but once again, I lose. At which point I have to quit because I am broke and now have some gambling debts to pay off next week.

I did decide on one thing though. I think that I need to actually start taking care of my own yard. I am not quite sure how to go about this, as we do not own a lawn mower. But I am fairly certain that I can get one for 2 months worth of lawn care. It’s ridiculous to pay other people to do it when I am bored to tears during the week after work. Might as well get a little exercise, although don’t think for one minute I would buy something that wasn’t self-propelled. So thank you, my friends in Michigan, for motivating me to think about getting off my ass and mowing my own grass. You are such an inspiration!! (although I have to admit that my dad has been doing it for years, except for the years that he forced my sisters and I do mow the lawn. Let me also say that I can remember mowing the lawn exactly 3 times in my life at my parent’s house, and it took all day because I kept taking lemonade breaks because I chose the hottest day of the year to do it) (also let me say that I used to cut the grass at my first house, but it doesn’t count because it was a riding lawn mower, and also because I was too lazy to get off and move important things like wire cables, and then there was permanent damage done to the lawn mower that to this day I believe is still being used…bent blades and all)

So I’ll keep you updated on the lawn mower search. If anyone has any good suggestions, just leave them in the comments section. I want a push mower, self-propelled, and I don’t want to have to pick up grass when I am done. Pushing the mower is going to be enough work!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Yes, I am fat, but you don't have to remind me!!

About a year ago, my dear friend Nadene graduated from vet school. Vet school…as in, she is a doctor. So my other friend Jennifer threw her a party, since her family didn’t seem to think that it was really that big a deal that she was now a doctor. (in my infinite laziness, I did not help to throw the party, choosing instead to show my affection for her with money, in the form of a new Coach purse, because really…if you are a doctor, you should carry a purse with a label on it, even if it did come from the outlet mall) I had heard about Nadene’s mother, and knew how they didn’t get along, and the poor new doctor was in a state of quiet desperation. If she threw up, she was very sly about it, although I am pretty sure there were some nice prescription drugs involved, at the very least a bottle of wine. Anyway, I digress. So her mother opts to skip the ceremony (they actually said Nadene’s name when she crossed the stage and her mom missed it!!). I met her mother for the first time in the kitchen, by the island. I remember it like it was yesterday. I am just standing there, eating, of course, the delicious appetizers that Jennifer had made and she is like, “Oh, it’s so nice to meet you! So, are you pregnant?” And I said the only thing that came to mind. “No, I’m just fat.” Both of my friends burst out laughing and Nadene thanked me later for making her mother feel like a jackass.

Fast forward one year. Nadene’s grandma died. Her mother’s mother. We go to the visitation, and there she is, standing in front of her mother’s casket. Since it’s been a year, we get introduced again. And she says, “Oh, I remember you! I thought you were pregnant!” OK, if you were sooo embarrassed the first time it happened, why on earth would you bring it up again?? I am even fatter than I was a year ago! Even more pregnant looking! I understand that she was very upset about her mother’s passing and probably had been making small talk for a couple of hours, but moral lesson? Sometimes it is better to not say anything at all…awkward silence is expected and more than welcome.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A look back at Henry...

A little history lesson…

Someone commented to me that they didn’t know that I knew so much about puppy mills, and since I wrote the letter and have a link on the side of this page, I thought I would tell the story of how my eyes were truly opened to the horrors of puppy mills.

I volunteered with a rescue organization called Adopt A Lab, which, at that time, handled rescue of Labs or Lab mixes, mostly from shelter settings. I had mostly had puppies that I would keep for 2-3 weeks at a time, along with a couple of adult dogs, one of whom I had to housebreak. Talk about intact male peeing on your leather couch. And a female who would drink an entire bowl of water at a time, unbeknownst to me, and I couldn’t understand why I was tripping over her all the time! Until she squatted and peed a gallon onto my bedroom carpet.

So one day, I receive a call from the president and founder of AAL, describing to me the horrors of the puppy mill dogs that she had just rescued. I was asked to take a little chocolate boy, who was in pretty good shape, just needed a place to live until we could beef him up and find him a new home. Then I got to the meeting place to meet him. Patty takes out of her minivan this bag of skin and bones, which was yellow. He stood shivering on the grass, leaning against her, until he walks a couple of steps forward to greet me with wagging tail. She explains that after getting everyone home, she realized that “Henry” needed more one-on-one care than she could give. The chocolate boy would stay with her, and could I take Henry? He was 6 months old, weighed only 16.2 lbs, and had infections everywhere. We are talking skin, ears, eyes, and to top it off, he had intestinal parasites. In short, he was a mess.

The details of where he came from were soon revealed to me. A “breeder” (puppy mill) in Missouri had over 300 dogs, and was shut down by the state. They were kept in small, mud-filled runs, since they were big dogs. The little dogs were kept in tiny cages barely able to turn around, stacked one on top of the other, never taken out, receiving barely enough food to survive, and no medical care. The breeder knew that he was in trouble, and tried to cover up his sins by overfeeding the dogs the last few days that he had them. This caused them to have massive cases of diarrhea. Almost all of his dogs were sold at auction, and AAL took the 12 that did not sell. They weren’t all Labs, but there was no way that Patty was leaving anyone behind. The trip back to Indiana from Missouri was horrendous. The dogs had almost constant diarrhea, and Patty almost got arrested when she stopped at a hotel for the night…people were convinced that she was an animal hoarder or abuser, and she left before the police got there. When they first started bathing the Lab puppies, they didn’t know what color they were; layers upon layers of poo covered them. Henry had probably had 3-4 baths by the time I got him, but he still stunk to high heaven, and got another bath once we got him home.

The bath itself was uneventful, Henry was very good because while he had been neglected, he had not been abused, so once he discovered the joys of human affection, he basked in the attention. After the bath, I wrapped him in a dry towel and sat with him in my lap on the couch. He was perfectly content, and lay quietly curled up in my arms. At some point though, I had to get up, and so I did, placing him gently on the couch where I had been sitting. That was it…I had christened his spot. And over time, he got more comfortable, as you can see below. For the remaining months that he stayed with us, he laid on that spot whenever we hung out in the living room, and The Fonz never once challenged him. This picture was taken after he had gained about 20 pounds...

I’ll write more about Henry’s trials and tribulations while he lived with us, mainly the miracle that Workaholic didn’t kill him, the fun we had, (think tailgating with Purdue Pete!!) and my struggle to give him up. He found the perfect family that he lived with for 3 years, but unfortunately, he ultimately could not overcome his genes…cancer took him from us on Christmas Eve, when he was only 3 years old. At least he got 2 good years with a wonderful family. Here he is below with his parent's granddaughter. What a handsome boy!!

Monday, April 21, 2008

A Little Sappiness...

I was reminded this weekend of how truly lucky I am…I got to see my friends. My best friends in the whole world. These are the girls who I met in the dorms in college…we rollerbladed down the hallway together, and almost killed ourselves and the dog while rollerblading with Dave the Golden Retriever. The girls who I partied with, pre-partied with, post-partied with (by which I mean they held my hair while I threw up). The girls I dyed my hair with, (much to the chagrin of my now ex-boyfriend), and the girls that yes, I studied with. I lived with them, or lived across the hall from them, or crashed on their couch when I didn’t want to go to class. Sometimes we made it out of our apartment building on our way to class only to stop and sit on the couch on the lawn and drink beer with the boys from apartment A1. We traded clothes and make-up, stories and opinions about our boyfriends, and laughed. We laughed a lot. Especially when talking about boys. We have been there for each other through weddings and divorces and kids. These girls now live no closer than 2 hours from me, and we are all busy, and just don’t make the time to visit each other. This was the first time in almost 2 years that we had been together. And it was great.

I also saw my other best friends in the whole world. These were the 2 girls that I met post-college. We tailgated together, worked together, talked dogs together, drank together, laughed together, ate together, e-mailed ridiculous amounts of nothingness to each other, and vented and gossiped relentlessly together. These are the girls who tell me that The Fonz is the best dog in the whole world, when I know they are just humoring me, because they think that Buck is…after all, he gives hugs. But they still humor me. We have been there for each other through weddings and divorces and college graduations and they live more than an hour from me. And we don’t see each other as much as we should, but we try. This weekend was not a happy occasion, but we damn-it, we took advantage of it, and laughed and cried and we’re better friends for it.

And as girls do, when we get together, we talk about boys. Whether we think Workaholic works too much, (the answer would be a unanimous yes), or what is the one flaw of our friend’s new boy-toy (there has to be one!!), or whether husbands should help out more around the house (ginormous unanimous yes!). We vent without worry about judgment. We laugh at each other when we cry. We can sleep in the same bed, snuggle on the couch together, and comment on each other’s boobs without concern of whether we’ve become lesbians. But even if were G, we would all still be best friends.

These girls, these 5 girls, get me. They don’t car if I get a “tone”, drop the F-bomb repeatedly in one sentence, or talk about how much I don’t like people. This isn’t to say that all the new friends I have made in the past 4 years aren’t just awesome. After all, they usually have to put up with me for 8 hours a day, listening to my endless dog talk, even though they hate dogs. Or don’t have a dog. Or are allergic to dogs. But these 5 girls are it. The friends that you know that you will be sitting in rocking chairs on your Florida vacation with when you are 65 years old. Or touring a winery in California, or gambling together in Vegas. Whatever we do together, it’ll be awesome.

So this is a message to all the boys in my dear friend’s lives…you hurt them…I’ll hurt you. Seriously. Because I was there before you, and if something happens, I’ll be there after you. But as of right now, I love you all!! And to my friends, all of my friends, I just want you to know that I appreciate you more than you will ever know. And as corny as it sounds, Pastor Steve said it best on Sunday, I am truly blessed to have you all in my life.

Friday, April 18, 2008

RUN FOR YOUR LIVES....oh wait, I slept through the damn thing

So there was an earthquake this morning!! The Fonz did not do his dogly duty and attempt to save us, as he slept through it as well. But the Chicago news must have nothing else to report on, because this was all they talked about. A lot of people up here didn’t even feel it, although the Gary Airport reported it at 4.9. But yet, they still talked about it for the entire hour that I was getting ready for work. Never mind the major expressway that was shut down because a joint popped up in the road due to the, not important. What is important is whether the chick walking her dog in Bucktown felt it. (spoiler alert-she didn't).

When I was a kid, there was an earthquake. It was very exciting, I remember it well. Which is to say not at all. I do know that it was summertime, and I had a softball game. I must have been batting or on base, because I did not feel a thing. But one of the parentals, I believe it was dad, told me that he turned around to yell at the kid who was shaking his chair, but there was no kid. And that was the Great Earthquake of my Youth.

But I know that many of you that are reading live about, what, 30 miles from the epicenter? It’s your stories that I want to hear…not some stupid story about people waking up because their bed was shaking…aaand that was it. Did things fall off the walls? Is there damage? Did your dog try to save your life by waking you up before the actual earthquake happened? And most importantly, is school cancelled today? (how cool would that be? Earthquake Day?) Leave your stories in the comments, or e-mail me, and I will post the good ones later. And any of you who feel free to share who may live a bit further away, I don't want to alienate you, so type away. Don't let the fact that you probably have work to do discourage you.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Yay for me again!!

My letter to the editor made it in the local paper!! Let me just start by saying that I wrote this letter a good week and a half ago, and I have no idea why it was so hard to get it in. Also just let me say that by 8:30 in the morning, someone had already commented that stopping abortions was more important. Ummm…not the topic of my letter, and really? Whoever wrote that probably could leave that same comment at the end of every letter to the editor. She (of course I assume that it was a she) just had to ruin my thunder. Anyway, you can read it here, because I am totally not past shameless self-promotion.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Well Hello There!!

So…hi!! If you are reading this, you are a friend or family of me. I’ve been reading blogs for a while now, and always have something to say or stories to share, so I figured I could start a blog, and then you all could keep up with what I am doing, or what my fam is doing, or just get a little insight into my crazy thought processes. Hopefully it’ll be mildly entertaining, and you’ll keep coming backJ

I promise not to be mean or spread bad stories, but I have to be entertaining at the same time! I’ll probably share lots of stories about work, because I work in an office, and there are stories to shareJ We often joke that they should make a reality show about our office, or at least our lunch hour, and it would be soo much better than The Hills. But probably not better than Rock of Love…we have no bandana-clad ex-rock stars in our midst.

So I guess since this is my first blog, I could share a little about me. Lest this gets to be a super popular blog, I don’t want any weirdos stalking me, because that would totally happen. So I’m not going to get real specific, and I will change all names of the innocent. I work in an office building, for a company that manages hotels. It’s really exciting. OK, not really. But I do have a cubicle!! I live in The Region, in a house of an ugly color that I love, am married and have a dog. The best dog in the world, and no one had better challenge me on that!

My husband is also the best in the world. His only downfall is that he is a workaholic. Now, I grew up with a dad who worked a lot, he often had to travel after 5pm, or on the weekends, and it wasn’t unusual for my mom to say, “Your father has to fly.” And that meant that we couldn’t go to the lake or do whatever it was that she (I mean us) wanted to do. And whatever, so we did something else. So when I started dating Workaholic, and he warned me about his dad, (Workaholic Senior), I didn’t think much of it. However, in the past year or so, it has gotten kind of ridiculous, like, 90-100 work week ridiculous. But he just. can’t. stop. He keeps saying, “It’ll slow down soon” and I find myself wondering what I’ll do when it does, because really? I like being able to watch whatever I want, whenever I want, and make plans to do whatever I want. Like this morning, for example. I got to work to an e-mail from my friend who lives a few hours away from me. She wants to get away, go to Florida, and immediately we both start looking up plane tickets, decide on a weekend, and I pick up the phone to call my in-laws to be sure that their condo is available. (yes, I am very lucky, but that is a subject for another day). It was as I was dialing that it occurred to me that I should tell my husband before I tell his mother. Workaholic immediately confirmed that he would probably work that weekend. Yay for me!

So I can guarantee that I will not be updating the blog some weekend in May, but hopefully will update it before then. Enjoy!