Monday, December 18, 2006

I'll take 'bloated brains' for $200

Me. no. have. brain. cells. no. more.


I hit the windshield again.

Headed all directions, but still traveling the direction of the car.


Ah, nothing like retard poetry to get the juices flowing. At the end of the semester I always find myself a bit lost. One more semester. You can do it.

I miss getting to knit. I miss writing. I miss computer noodling and learning new nerdy stuff. I miss having more time to felt, spin, dye, paint and create. And yet, I know things will eventually come together because, even though I'm a blob of crusty, smashed bug guts at the moment, I'm sure the car is headed the right direction. Give it some gas.

I hope to share some puppy pictures over Christmas. Pepper turned out to be a pretty big dog! They are both great and get along fabulously with our little old lady Pickles.

Today at the vet school I got to see a barn owl and a Cooper's Hawk in exotics...pretty cool. And a Macaw was squawking so loudly in one of the treatment rooms that I couldn't hear over the telephone. Funny...they are really, really loud when they're getting poked upon!

I am so scatterbrained these days...I'll be glad when I get my old wrinkled ass out of school...I know, all I do is whine anymore.

Posting has been so sporadic here that I doubt anyone still stops by, but I reckon' I talk to myself a lot anyway! ;-)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

neither here nor there...

Does that equal nowhere? Dunno.

I have about five paintings up on Ebay right now and one tiny bid. It looks like everyone is getting some used mulch from the neighbor's yard in their stockings this year...that's all I'll be able to afford. ;-)

If you so choose, click on the Ebay link on the right sidebar --> that-a-way.

Leaving my former profession behind cold turkey has been really hard. I entered into a life of no comfort zones and no safety nets. Doing the art show on top of all that nearly sizzled my last few synapses.

My internship at the vet school has highlighted a lot of my personal weaknesses (oh, I mean learning opportunities) related to being assertive. It's a very chaotic atmosphere with constantly changing schedules and you are swimming in a sea of left-brainers. No, I mean REALLY left-brainers.

When I am fairly confident of what I know, I have a much better time being assertive, but being a brand-spanking-new social worker I find it hard to be as assertive as I need to be. I think some of that is a perfectionism problem--and I need to get over that if I am going to stay in this field. The internship is also very isolating in that you are not allowed to make friends per se. Being that everyone is a potentional client (vets, vet students and owners) you have to maintain a professional distance at all times. I don't have a problem with that, not being the social butterfly sort, but it gets isolating and lonely. I have to be careful to not let that feeling perpetuate into other areas.

And the holidays are tugging at my heart. Last year I was distracted from Daddy's absence by major surgery. This year it's just me, the holidays, and one less family member. Grief can come in waves. Right now I'm caught in the undertow.

Last Thanksgiving I put a piece of pumpkin pie on Daddy's grave. I decided to not do that this year. For some reason it's just too painful this time.

My job working with older people is going fine, but slow. The folks I am working with mostly live alone...and many of them will not have family around during the holidays. You can hear the intense loneliness in their voices when they talk to you about it. If you have an older family member, please take time to include them in some way...even if it's just a phone call to tell them you are thinking about them.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Thanks for the support!

Thanks to everyone who supported my work at Artsclamation!
Here's a slideshow of some of the work that was there if you missed it. :0)


One of the funnier, smaller pieces is on Ebay right now. Go check it out. I'm being brave and starting it at $10.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

too much is not a good thing...

I need to clone myself. My part-time job is quickly spilling over into a more-than-part-time-experience, my internship requires time outside of internship, my classes are very time-consuming, getting ready for the art show is nerve-wracking, even though I'm painting as fast as I can, Pepper has decided to be scary-dog-aggressive to the neighbor's dog (great.), and I am, quite frankly, losing my mind I'm so overwhelmed with work of various kinds.

It's too bad I don't have any time to talk about some of the neat things going on, like seeing up close a pet raccoon, tiger, lion, feather-plucking macaw, eagle, red-tailed hawk, alpaca, llama, miniature donkey, etc., at the vet school. I missed the leopard (she was in to be spayed). There have been plenty of heartbreaking moments there, too.

But I have to get back to work. Gosh, I wish I had a giant-sized beer.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

If you knit...

My sweet hubby sent me this off You Tube. Knitters will LOVE it!

I noticed that on my computer, the video doesn't play past about, if that happens to you, click on the You Tube logo in the lower right-hand corner and you'll be taken to the video on the You Tube site.

honestly, this gives some credence to "LOL"...

and this is cute...

Monday, September 25, 2006

your roots are showing...

What could be more fun than sitting around in the dark hoping to not have a tree land on your house? Saturday was a full day of torrential rains and that night I was working on a small painting when I heard it...crack, crack, crack, crack, whoooooooooosh, thud!--then off went the lights. A huge white oak in our neighbor's yard across the street came hurtling down, blocking the road, taking down all the powerlines on our side of the street and eventually landing in the front yard of the house to our right. Hubby is standing next to the roots of the tree in the pic.

About an hour later, we heard the same sounds again, then car alarms going off. Three houses down another larger oak fell, crushing the end of a house and the three cars parked behind the home. The fire department came and axed down the front door to find that, luckily, no one was there. I'm sure they got a big surprise when they returned!

All night...chainsaws and car alarms and flashing work truck lights. It was like trying to sleep under the "Eat at Joe's" sign. The car alarm was still going off at lunch the next day. Unbelievably, the portion of the tree blocking the road was sawed up and hauled off by the next morning, but we didn't have power until the afternoon.

Fun and games. Fun and games.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

be glad (read: drink lots of beer as quickly as possible...)

Having homebase all of the place is a bit of a bitch. Twenty-five passwords, six office and file keys, four email accounts, two databases and three cellphones later, I've got a bit of an ache in my brain and a little cross in my eyes.

So many paths have been a pulp.

Which brings me to the Almighty Cure.


I plan to drink some. Maybe a lot. But not now because I have class/work/intership/etcetera until 12:30 pm Saturday.

Then I shall partake and pass out in an alley somewhere. Anywhere.

No, wait. I have a paper due at the beginning of next week.

Scratch that (the copious amounts of beer, that is).

I shall moderate the desire with moderation.

Tomorrow is my 10th wedding anniversary. And both of us are too tired to do anything more than plan to pick up heartworm medicine and get a deli sandwich. Make mine a beer sandwich, please.

Monday, September 11, 2006

three little mourners...

Up on Ebay until next Monday...

I painted this a few months ago when the first anniversary of my father's passing was coming up. I think I can let it go now. I don't know if anyone wants a little painting with such a sad theme, but, there you go...

Work has been less than stellar; mainly because I am left to fend for myself with absolutely no direction. I'm self-starter, but jeez... Internship, however, has been quite stellar and I'm learning a lot and have very interesting people to work with...well, except for when I was putting up my frozen entree and found a dead bird in a freezer bag. But, I guess that might be expected given the internship is at the vet school.

My brain stays a little on the tired side going to school full-time and working at a job that is, at best, nebulous. I am trying so hard to keep my mouth shut on this subject.

There are paintings all over my studio in various stages of completion. I think I'm progressing okay in volume, but there are a few pieces I'm not so happy with. What else is new?

I got to meet a Great Dane the other day that weighed more than 160 lbs. He was a beauty...and gentle as a mouse.

I was going to post on Sept. 11, but realized everything I had to say sounded trite or fatalistic, so I just remained thoughtful of the day.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

meet little Emily...

Little Emily,
a small 4 x 4 in. painting on Ebay. It will be up for seven days. Meow.

Monday, September 04, 2006

hey mate, the world is a little dingier without ya...

What are the chances that you'd get a stingray bard straight into the heart after wrestling hundreds of deadly gators without losing so much as a finger? He seemed to have a truly kind soul...I, and the world, will miss his endless joie de vivre.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

time keeps flying...

I haven't read the news.

I don't know what's going on in the world.

I don't have time to blog.

I haven't adjusted to this new life of new job, new internship and new classes and painting in overdrive in all other waking moments.

I have lots to tell.

I'm too tired to tell.

I haven't adjusted to this new life...

Eventually. Eventually. Eventually.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

nutshells in paradise, etc...

Where have I been? Hubby and I took a 10th anniversary trip to Cancun, where I spent approximately 67 percent of the time vomiting and pooping vile substances thanks to food poisoning I got BEFORE leaving the country. However, I did feel good enough to swim with the dolphins (highly recommended!!!) and take a horseback ride on the beach.

I no longer work in marketing. I am a social worker. Weird.

I started my new job with the geriatric outreach program and also my internship with the veterinary social work program. It made for a stressful change, beginning classes and beginning a new internship.

The vet hospital is a maze with every hallway looking exactly the same. At least I can follow my nose to the large animal section (hay and poop!). Within all those halls, interns, residents, vet techs and veterinarians are flitting around like bees in a hive. Better watch those swinging doors...and don't look inside the necropsy (autopsies for critters) room unless you want to see a kitty in several parts like I did today before I headed out of the building...ugh.

Not quite like sitting at a desk all day. My feet hurt and I'm laden with cell phones for both jobs--not to mention my personal one. I hope I can remember to keep them all charged. Sheesh.

I rarely even have time to check email, much less blog. But, I'm guessing I'll find a way to do it...maybe as a bedtime ritual or something.

I also have a Saturday morning class, which sucks, but I can take it from home via the Internet, which is pretty cool. We'll be logging in and viewing a presentation as well as participating via microphone and speakers. It will be interesting to see how the first meeting goes this Saturday.

And that's all the nutshells I can crack for now.

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Garbage Men Cometh!

This is a 10 x 20 acrylic painting called "The Garbage Men Cometh!" I am gathering up paintings for the show in November and this one will be on display at our local paper as a preview to the show. I'm pretty excited about being in a fine arts show.

Sorry the picture is so crappy (especially washed out on the right side), but I just varnished it this morning and they're picking it up this afternoon, so I literally took the photo as I was running out the door.

On a sad-happy-confused-angst-ridden-note, I have four hours left as a marketing professional. Today is my last day. It's been a nice last week though, with many heartfelt good-byes and nice exchanges. I will miss so many people. I didn't realize how attached I was! My good blog buddy, Barry will keep everyone under control. Thanks for everything B! :-)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Blankets R Good, mmmm-K?

Part One:

Part Two:

Part Three:


Today was my "farewell" lunch at work. I am so sad to leave my old marketing family, even if I don't want to be in marketing anymore. I got a great card, packed with sweet good luck messages and a surprise gift certificate to my favorite art supply store. :-)

I am in the process of cleaning out my office, which is a real bitch, emotionally and physically. That's the price of being a pack-rat. Wah.

I am leaving for Mexico on Sunday for a 10th anniversary trip and everything is all set--a friend to live at the house and take care of the cats, boarding for the dogs... Great!

I am coming down with a cold. Not so great.

Those last two items need to NOT happen at the same time.

But I'm afraid they are going to. Echinacea and zinc here I come.

My husband just called me and said his car broke down and it has to be towed to the garage ($$$ we don't have).

I broke a crown chewing on ice and had to have it fixed yesterday (more $$$ I don't have).

Life is never dull.

Friday, August 04, 2006

I knew I liked that ole' Carl...

"Humans - who enslave, castrate, experiment on, and fillet other animals - have had an understandable penchant for pretending animals do not feel pain. A sharp distinction between humans and 'animals' is essential if we are to bend them to our will, wear them, eat them - without any disquieting tinges of guilt or regret."

--Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

what the hell?!!!

Bizarre that I had dream last night my boss had decided to become a nurse practitioner and had to give me rabies shots... This article was brought to my attention through an animal studies list-serv. Nauseating and unnerving to say the least...

Published: August 1, 2006
SHANGHAI, China (AP) -- A county in southwestern China has killed as many as 50,000 dogs in a government campaign ordered after three people died from rabies, official media reported Tuesday.

The five-day massacre in Yunnan province's Mouding county spared only military guard dogs and police canine units, the Shanghai Daily reported, citing local media.

Dogs being walked were taken from their owners and beaten on the spot, the newspaper said. Other killing teams entered villages at night, creating noise to get dogs barking, then honing in and beating them to death.

Owners were offered 63 cents per animal to kill their dogs before the teams were sent in, the report said.

The massacre was widely discussed on the Internet, with both legal scholars and animal rights activists criticizing it as crude and cold-blooded. The World Health Organization said more emphasis needed to be placed on prevention.

''Wiping out the dogs shows these government officials didn't do their jobs right in protecting people from rabies in the first place,'' Legal Daily, a newspaper run by the central government's Politics and Law Committee, said in an editorial in its online edition.

Dr. Francette Dusan, a WHO expert on diseases passed from animals to people, said effective rabies control required coordinated efforts between human and animal health agencies and authorities.

''This has not been pursued adequately to date in China with most control efforts consisting of purely reactive dog culls,'' Dusan said.

The Shanghai Daily said 360 of Mouding county's 200,000 residents suffered dog bites this year. The three rabies victims included a 4-year-old girl, the report said.

''With the aim to keep this horrible disease from people, we decided to kill the dogs,'' Li Haibo, a spokesman for the county government was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua News Agency.

Calls to county government offices rang unanswered on Tuesday.

China has seen a major rise in the number of rabies cases in recent years,
with 2,651 reported deaths from the disease in 2004, the last year for which
data was available, according to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and

Experts have tied the rise in part to an increase in dog ownership,
particularly in rural areas where about 70 percent of households keep dogs.
Only about 3 percent of Chinese dogs are vaccinated against rabies, according
to the center. Access to appropriate treatment is highly limited, especially
in the countryside.

Friday, July 28, 2006

oh deer...

The times I despise most in my life are those times when I balk and get the dreaded deer-in-the-headlights syndrome.

I am a deer.

Maybe I am a tick on a deer.

I need to clean out 17 years of files before I leave this job. What do I do with them? I am such a bad filer, I should probably just throw them all away. It's all on my computer anyway. I am replete with junk as old as 1989, along with about 10 years of photos that need to be sorted.

This transition is causing me far more heartache than I expected. I nearly cried when I said goodbye to the graphic artist who does the newsletter I work on. He's a little man who works for a local printer part-time in semi-retirement and teaches calligraphy on the side. He probably doesn't weigh more than 110 pounds and lost his wife a couple of years ago. I didn't realize how much I would miss his old bony butt. I am going take him a dozen doughnuts one last time in a vain attempt to fatten him up. ;-)

The department I'm going to work in part-time while finishing out my last year of school is pretty volatile in terms of relationships. I will be going from a department that was too toned-down and uptight (but had 0% backstabbing) to one that might be way too high-strung, passive-aggressive and full of conflict. They are having a retreat partly to work out their personal differences. THAT scares me.

And it should.

I feel totally neurotic and am worried about everything. I'm not too good at worrying about the unknown. The anticipatory angst is driving me nuts.

That's the problem with working with one department or having one job for too long. You get worried you can't do anything else, or that leaving the safe place you're in is going to be a huge mistake.

In 10 working days we're going to find out.

Hopefully I won't implode from all the self-imposed pressure.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Poo-fargle and yippity-gargle...

I have been feeling really down lately, so blogging has slowed down. These are the times I wish my blog was anonymous so I could chat about less superficial things, but alas, this blog is only semi-anonymous, so I must be semi-cautious. I don't want get bitten in the ass by my own blog (unless of course it bites me in such a way as to give me a butt-lift to make me look like I did when I was 20 years old).

I miss knitting, but I don't have time to do it anymore. When I do have time after work, study, internship and puppy maintenance, I need to paint for the show in November. Someday I will be out of school and I will only have ONE job. Someday.

Which does bring me to the point that I will be selling a significant portion of my yarn stash on Ebay. There's no reason to keep it around at this point. By the time I get to use it, I won't be interested in all those previous selections.

I shall give proper notice to you knitters out there who might want to partake of such a wooly purge.

For a more interesting post, click here

Friday, July 21, 2006

plastic pants...

I have printed out calendars before, marking off the months, weeks and days before I quit my dead-end marketing job, but now that it's LESS than a month away, I am, as the children like to say, "pooing my pants."

Perhaps my first accident came when I figured out on paper that I would be taking a $29,000 pay cut. Yes, that was a big one; requiring an ongoing change of the undergarments. I would have had to put my plastic play pants on had I decided to go to the pool...

The next stinky accident came to pass because I couldn't transfer on the day I wanted, wreaking all kinds of havoc in my finally-got-this-schedule-squared-away mindset I had finally achieved. No, nothing is easy. I had to massage, finagle, and rebuild all of that--all over again. This morning it is mostly settled thankfully.

More smelly events are in the future, as when I walk out the door on Aug. 11 and effectively end my 18-year marketing career. I won't be an editor in the professional sense anymore. I won't get to play with the company's intranet, or blow ridiculous amounts of film trying to make boring events look exciting.

I won't get to be our online "Dear Abbeee" anymore (I managed an online Q&A for our company). I will really miss that. Before I started that forum I was a stern defender of the stance, "There are NO stupid questions." I was wrong. Dead wrong. Terribly, terribly wrong. There ARE stupid questions. Really, really, really stupid questions. It was fun to read them and even more fun to try to answer them.

I won't get to play with my graphics program anymore to correct all the hideous photographs other marketing folks send me for the company-wide newsletter. But I won't miss that newsletter. Good riddance. I wash my hands of thee...blech. Pooey.

More on all that ongoing crap later. I suddenly ran out of blog-steam.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Biiig Diiiig Regular Shin-dig

In my opinion of course. I have a relative who is a geologist who is quite particular about his job. Several years ago he used to inspect materials and areas where major construction was to occur. If he identified substandard concrete or other materials he reported them to his company. Unfortunately those warnings were usually ignored and actually got him labeled as a "trouble-maker."

He reported it because it was IMPORTANT.

I'm sure this wasn't exactly the same situation, but this kind of slop goes on all the time. Some of the things he told me really made me mad...that the stuff they were using wouldn't stand up to pressure, etc. But HE was a "trouble-maker."

Why doesn't it matter until someone dies, or even more feared by them, sues.

Which brings me to another sore spot...

...The slow death of small business thanks to white-collar thieves. When I am late on a payment for something, I get a call from some slob in upper New York with personal anger management issues. And I find a way to get caught up. When a small business provides a service and the client doesn't pay on time, they get a call from the company. And then they ignore it. And then they NEVER PAY.

This is otherwise known as stealing.

And it happens all the time at my husband's company. They purchase services. They receive the services. They don't pay--for months and sometimes not at all.

Why? Because they know a small business won't have the money to sue.

Personally, I think these fuckers need to go to jail. It's one of the reasons why we struggled so hard financially while hubby was in training. In a 100 percent commission job, you have to get paid to eat. And they weren't paying. Fortunately, there are some other clients in the mix right now that get the cash flow going.

And that's what I'm worried about as I look "forward" to going part-time next month. A couple more good paychecks and my income drops by about 60 percent and my benefit cost triples (part-timers get screwed on benefits at our company). So, small-business-thieves can make our lives miserable.

Pay small businesses on-time, please! (Or I'll strangle you with yarn from my obscenely large stash that just-sits-there-because-I-don't-have-time-to-knit-anymore.)

But that's another post.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

the dumbest neighbor EVER...

That would be me.

We've been working with our dogs on socialization and leash-walking lately, so while my husband was working out a couple of nights ago I took each dog around the block separately. First Petey and I made the trek and then I came back and got Pepper, who is the dog we most need to socialize because of her shyness.


So, I'm walking around the block and my neighbor comes out with his girlfriend and their three fairly large dogs. Pepper gets a little bent out of shape over the excited dogs, but not too bad. We say "hi" and then he asks me if I am a "professional dog-walker" now.

This is where I get stupid. No, make that stoopid.

I say, "No, I'm your neighbor." I point at my house and add, "I live right there."

No shit.

Apparently Pepper ate my brains and shat them out on the backside of the city block. Because they weren't with me with I said that.

They took pity on me and didn't laugh out loud or let their jaws drop least not right then, because perhaps they knew my rancid brains were around the corner steaming in the Tennessee humidity.

A few steps later and after thinking, well, I have lived here 10 years, I came to the high-powered conclusion that he probably DID RECOGNIZE ME AFTER ALL. And, just perhaps, he was utilizing that humor thing. Just PERHAPS.

I thought I heard Pepper whine, "duh, really?"

But it's too late. It's all gone down in the annals of unexplainable, STOOPID behavior. I probably elicited a block-long conversation on the finer points of being STOOPID.


Dat's me. Somebody get me the pooper scooper. I'm going back to get my brains.

Friday, July 07, 2006

mowing down the pounds...

Too bad THIS GUY doesn't live in my neighborhood. I would have been the first taker.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

You disgust me...

All you people who park in handcapped designated spots because you are LAZY and SELFISH.

I went to the grocery store at lunch to pick up some goodies and when I drove in I stopped for two ladies to cross from the door into the parking lot. One lady had a grocery cart totally full of items. She pushed her cart on to her car somewhere in the bowels of the lot. The other lady had nothing, was jabbering on a cell phone, casually walked in front of me and got into a van in the very first handicapped spot in front of the door. Then she just sat there yacking on the phone. No hangtag, no plate, no anything--just a big beeyotch with an over-sprayed blonde bob and a cellphone jammed in her ear. I tried to give her a dirty look as I parked and walked into the store, but she was so absorbed in her conversation and rearranging the contents of her purse that she was oblivious to all that was around her.

She was well-dressed, in her late 40's and didn't limp, cough, or lurch. In fact she seemed extremely relaxed and not in a hurry at all.

I see so many really old and slightly handicapped people purposely NOT park in these spaces because they want to give those spaces to people who have wheelchairs or crutches--and because they want to function as normally as possible.

I suppose not having a brain or a heart would be considered a handicap...

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Dear Mystery Philanthropist,

First, thank you for getting this far into the letter. I would like to ask for a few things that would make my life sooooo much easier. Yes, they are rather mundane and ordinary, but gosh, if you are throwing money into the fireplace for fun, well, please reconsider and buy me the following items:

  • A cleaning person, because...I relapse into major depression when I look at how much hair and dirt is produced by two slobbering puppies who ingest large items of furniture and constantly wrestle; thereby coating everything within a 10-foot radius with skidmarks, hair, eye boogers and drool; a 14 year-old cat who won't stay out of the garbage, steals dog food and chews through plastic bread, cracker and coffee bags; a 13 year-old cat whose periodontal disease causes a constant drip of vicious-smelling spit; a 12 year-old cat who has recently decided to lose control of his bowels for no medically discernable reason; and two 2 year-old cats who attack one another atop the armoire, sending hair clods into the air like furry scud missles falling to Earth. And dear God, bless little Pickles, our 14 year-old dog, who mostly sleeps and couldn't care less about making a mess of anything.
  • A new mailbox (pictured for your viewing pleasure), because...some asshole keeps hitting a homer on ours. Sometime last night the entire top half and door underwent a decapitation process. (I wonder what the mailman will do with our mail today? I can't believe he just laid it in there!)
  • A real garage, because...ours is a giant storage closet. And being built in 1930, the doors are hardly automatic as well being just wide enough for a Model T.
  • One year's salary, because...I would just like to go to school and fulfill my internship for my last year.
  • New throw rugs, because...the 12-year old cat ruined my favorite two rugs, not to mention the hardwood floor underneath (throw in hardwood floor refinishing, also, please).
  • Someone to come in and wash all of my underwear, because...the pair I have on today has a big hole in them.

    That should do it for today. Tomorrow I'll probably have more items for you. This week would be good. Have your people call

  • Tuesday, June 27, 2006

    watch out for dangerous port-a-potties...

    Monday, June 26, 2006

    I don't do the limbo very well...

    It's not that I'm not flexible. For a 41 year-old, I dare say I am quite flexible, but I ain't talking about dancin'. Way too many things are up in the air for me right now.

    One thing that did land squarely on the ground was my internship for next year. I did get the veterinary social work position I was wanting so much. I am very excited about that. I will work there three days a week fall and spring semesters. It's a large university vet clinic so I'll see everything from puppies to alpacas and tigers. There are lots of components to the program, including the obvious counseling for folks who have a tough time with the grief process. It's a very unique opportunity that will probably never come my way again.

    I'll also be in class and work 20 more hours part-time (I hope). Our company's benefits are three times more costly when you go part-time, so I will basically be working to provide benefits. That sucks. Hubby is 100 percent commission, so I'm just praying for promptly paying customers. I'll be playing the part of "Guido with the baseball bat" if they don't!

    I deal with change okay, but not necessarily instability plus change. Ever since Daddy died I seem to be oversensitive to stress of any kind, which has really frustrated me. I've been moving at a snail's pace ever since.

    I am finally starting to paint again, thank God. I couldn't get into the studio until I put some of Daddy's things away in a closet. Now it doesn't hurt so much to go in there. I need to build an inventory of about 40 paintings for a show in November, so I need to get going! I'm still going to have some smaller "warm-ups" for Ebay soon, but for the most part I'll be saving all my work for November. After the show I'll have a bunch up on Ebay (well, hopefully not as many as I took to the show!). I've not been really pleased with the "warm-ups," but part of it is a negative attitude I think. I have a hard time believing I deserve to be in this show, but I reckon' I need to get over that and get busy!

    Hope your Monday goes like a Friday today!

    Sunday, June 25, 2006

    ants in his pants, or...

    Go see MATT, courtesy of Barry

    so much for that...

    So much for getting out and having fun. So much for bringing in the pups to work. So much for...hoark...we interrupted that message for a stomach virus. A really, really ugly one...a porcelain-hugging one. And I don't do porcelain-hugging unless forced against my will. 'Nuff said.

    Now I'll be stuck with working on Sunday to meet Monday's deadlines. Yippee. Not to mention doing about eight hours of studying for class. Actually, five or six of those hours have been done thankfully, but I still have a chapter and four essay questions to write up. Bleh.

    I'm using vacation time at work to cover the rest of my internship hours, which sucks, but I have a finite amount of energy at the moment. Work is sad, unproductive and stressful right now. I worry about going part-time and I worry that the part-time job I'm waiting for won't be approved and I'll be screwed. More importantly, someone I've worked with for many years is about to lose a parent to illness and the office has become a place of unrest, tears and frustration. I feel for this person who isn't sleeping at all, and who is still trying to fulfill many obligations that, in my opinion, just oughta wait. I really felt bad for missing a day of work when this person could have used my help. I worked as much as I could from home, but I know it would have been better if I had been there. Nothin' I can do about it now.

    A couple of months ago I asked my mom, "When does it stop feeling like it was just yesterday?"

    She said, "a really long time."

    Thursday, June 22, 2006

    are you bringing your pup?

    Tomorrow is national Take Your Dog to Work Day

    Now, you don't even have to tempt me. It's just that I need to pick who to bring.

    Petey, who is more manageable because he's small...


    Pepper, who needs socialization.

    Pickles, our 14 year-old, would not be interested in the whole soiree for more than 35.2 seconds, so I'm going to let her get her rest on what is left of the couch (if you missed that post, Pepper ate the couch).

    Of course Petey did try to pee on a stack of dog food bags at Pet Supplize Pluz, but I yanked him away before the stream hit the I had to tell the cashier she had "a clean-up on aisle seven."

    Then, Pepper has decided she needs to drag us for walks. We have since tried the "Gentul Leadur"...and, let me just say, it works IMMEDIATELY. Pepper was practically digging up concrete and now she walks with a LOOSE LEASH after ONE WALK. So, if you have a persistent puller, get one of these things...they're worth every penny.

    Tonight, I'm off to my first MINI meeting with the Smoky Mountain MINI Club and then it's off to hear Rhett Miller play at Sundown in the City. It should be a fun night. :-)

    Toodles, all...and don't forget to contact your legislator about voting for HR 503--the bill that would end horse slaughter in this country.

    House of Representatives to Vote on a Permanent End to Horse Slaughter

    [from SAPL...]

    House of Representatives to Vote on a Permanent End to Horse Slaughter!
    The American public must be heard like never before!

    June 22, 2006

    Dear Humanitarian:

    Since the Society for Animal Protective Legislations national campaign against horse slaughter began in 2001, our ultimate goal has been passage of a permanent horse slaughter ban. We have just learned House of Representatives Leadership has assured the sponsors of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act that a vote on the measure will take place on the House floor before June 30.

    Sponsored in the House by Congressional Horse Caucus Co-chair John Sweeney (R-NY), Representative John Spratt, Jr. (D-SC) and Representative Ed Whitfield (R-KY), the Act will end the slaughter of horses for human consumption and the domestic and international transport of live horses or horseflesh for the same purpose. Just last year, over 90,000 horses were slaughtered in the three foreign-owned horse slaughter facilities located in Texas and Illinois.

    We have always believed that, if given a fair chance and an open vote, Congress would support this complete ban. Four separate times, it has demonstrated interest in stopping horse slaughter for wild and domestic horses by voting in favor of amendments. The upcoming vote is crucial, and it represents a culmination of five years of hard work by supporters from across the United States. It is vital for everyone you know to call their Representative immediately and urge a YES vote for the Act.


    Please call or fax your Representative TODAY, asking him or her to vote in favor of H.R. 503, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act. Keep checking your email every day for the latest news, and continue to contact your Representative until the vote has transpired.

    When talking with your Representative's office please include some of the additional facts about horse slaughter listed below.

    To locate your Representatives contact information and to learn more about horse slaughter and the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act please visit

    Please share our Dear Humanitarian eAlert with family, friends and co-workers, and encourage them to call or fax their Members of Congress, too. Thank you very much for your help!

    Cathy Liss
    Legislative Director

    Sign up for SAPL eAlerts to receive the latest legislative news on what you can do to help us protect all animals.

    Last year three foreign-owned slaughter plants cruelly slaughtered more than 90,000 horses for human consumption in Europe and Asia. Tens of thousands more of America's horses were exported from the U.S. and slaughtered in other countries.
    Slaughter is NOT humane euthanasia. Horses suffer horribly on the way to and during slaughter.

    Passage of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (AHSPA) will reduce animal suffering ­ hence its wide support throughout the equestrian and veterinary world, as well as the humane community.

    Americans overwhelmingly support an end to horse slaughter for human consumption (polls from Kentucky, Virginia, Texas and Utah respectively show that 82, 74, 72 and 69 percent of those questioned oppose the practice). In California, a 1998 ballot initiative (Prop. 6) banning horse slaughter for human consumption passed with 60 percent of the vote.

    Sick and old horses to slaughter

    Question: Is it true that slaughter is only a last resort for infirm, dangerous or no longer serviceable horses?

    Answer: 92.3 percent of horses arriving at slaughter plants in this country are in "good" condition, according to the US Department of Agriculture's Guidelines for Handling and Transporting Equines to Slaughter.

    Neglect and abuse

    Question: Will horse abuse and neglect cases rise significantly following a ban on slaughter?

    Answer: There has been no documented rise in abuse and neglect cases in California since the state banned horse slaughter for human consumption in 1998. There was no documented rise in Illinois following closure of the state's only horse slaughter plant in 2002 and its reopening in 2004.

    Cost of caring for unwanted horses

    Question: If there is a ban on horse slaughter, will horse rescue and retirement groups have the resources to take care of unwanted horses? Should the government have to pay for the care of horses voluntarily given up by their owners?

    Answer: Not every horse currently going to slaughter will need to be absorbed into the rescue community many will be sold to a new owner, others will be kept longer and a licensed veterinarian will humanely euthanize some. Opponents of this legislation admit passage of the bill will not necessarily lead to an increase in the number of horses sent to rescue facilities, precisely because humane euthanasia is so widely used. It is not the government's responsibility to provide for the care of horses voluntarily given up by their owners, as these animals are private property. Hundreds of horse rescue organizations operate around the country, and additional facilities are being established (a list is available).

    A safe and humane solution for sick, old and unwanted horses

    Question: If slaughter is not an option, what will we do with sick, old and unwanted horses?

    Answer: Approximately 900,000 horses die annually in this country (10 percent of an estimated population of 9 million) and the vast majority are not slaughtered, but euthanized and rendered or buried without any negative environmental impact instead. Humane euthanasia and carcass disposal is highly affordable and widely available. The average cost of having a horse humanely euthanized and safely disposing of the animal's carcass is approximately $225, while the average monthly cost of keeping a horse is approximately $200.

    Export of horses for slaughter abroad

    Question: If there is a ban on horse slaughter in the United States, will there be an increase in the export of horses for foreign slaughter? Will horses suffer from longer transport for slaughter in countries where there may be weaker welfare laws?

    Answer: Horse slaughter has declined dramatically in the United States over the past decade, but there has been no correlating increase in the number of American horses exported for slaughter abroad. Further, the AHSPA prohibits the export of horses for slaughter abroad, and contains clear enforcement and penalty provisions to prevent this from happening. Risk of federal prosecution and the high costs associated with illegally transporting horses long distances for slaughter abroad are strong deterrents.

    Standards of care at sanctuaries and rescue organizations

    Question: Is it true no standards exist for horse rescue facilities that take unwanted horses?

    Answer: The Doris Day Animal League and the Animal Welfare Institute published "Basic Guidelines for Operating an Equine Rescue or Retirement Facility" in 2004. Additionally, the Association of Sanctuaries and the American Sanctuaries Association provide accreditation programs, a code of ethics and guidelines for the operation of sanctuaries and rescue organizations. Horse rescue groups must also provide for the welfare of horses in their custody in compliance with state and local animal welfare laws.

    Use of horsemeat in pet food

    Question: If there is a ban on horse slaughter, will horsemeat no longer be available for pet food?

    Answer: There is no horsemeat in pet food. This practice stopped decades ago and has some connection to the enactment of protections for America's wild horses in 1971. The US public and Congress were outraged to learn federal agencies were rounding up and allowing the exploitation and slaughter of these national treasures for items such as pet food. Some by-products of the horse slaughter industry are used in various consumer items, but they are derived from the rendering (a different process than slaughter and not affected by the AHSPA) of dead horses and other animals.

    Monday, June 19, 2006

    countdown to chaos...

    It's a mere two months until I leave a communications career of 17 years. I had hoped to stay on part-time while I finished school, but they wouldn't arrange it for me...which, well...I'll be nice.

    So, I'm about to leave a group of people, some with whom I've worked since 1989.

    Nineteen-eighty-nine...When I had big hair and wore skirts so short it made my boss nervous. I was a freakin' kid. In a company that's grown to nearly 8,500 employees, there have been many departments and companies to provide change, and I've held many jobs while I've been here, albeit all in marketing/pr/communications.

    I actually used my degree.

    Fancy that.

    Now I'm 2 1/2 semesters away from getting another degree that will launch another career. I wonder if I'll work at the same place for 17 more years? Who knows? I seem to be one of those people who grow roots wherever they land. That's good. That's bad.

    Every once in a while I think of leaving this relatively safe job and I get a jolt of electricity in the old solar plexus - the reeling sort of feeling you get when you realize that, yes, you did in fact miss that nail with the hammer, and yes, you just smashed your finger into its fascimile three times the original size.

    Objects are (much) closer than they appear.

    It's sneaking up on me and I'm starting to miss people. People I've really enjoyed working with are actually sad. Hell, I didn't even know you liked me! I guess a few people do. They must not have been faking it.

    I worry about writing and editing - and stuff. Will I suddenly become illiterate when I leave this field where I work and play with words all day? Will I forget all the proofreader's marks? Will I actually attend the Writer's Guild I just joined so I can stay involved with my "writing side?" Or maybe I'll start using sentence fragments a lot? Or maybe all the time. Or maybe in addition to forgetting that "alot" is really two words. Oh, the worry, the angst, the adjectives of it all!

    Will I forget how to code simple webpages? I work with our intranet everyday; soon, not at all. Will I never close a tag again? Will I become isolated in a big ocean of non-gadgety information and never live up to my dream of being a wanna-be nerd?

    I didn't expect to be scared. I didn't expect to grieve the end of this career that has been on my nerves for so long. I didn't expect to whine this much.

    (I didn't expect anyone to read this!)

    Sunday, June 18, 2006

    hey, our humane society has balls...

    or rather they're trying to get rid of them.

    This June, lop 'em off. Click the logo to see the flier. My dad would have surely snickered at such a thing. Sure ain't no fun having Father's Day without him. Miss you, Pop.

    Wednesday, June 14, 2006

    is it just me, or...?

    Every time I log into Yah00! mail it drives me crazy that there's a picture and heading that are completely incongruent.

    For instance, there will be a picture of a crazy (and I do mean crazy) old guy screaming his brains out in a tent, and the cutline reads...

    "Find an old flame"

    Um, maybe you're better off if you don't. This dude has issues! He's screaming at a tent no less.

    Or today, there's two chicks in their early 20's running from the incoming surf, and the cutline reads...

    "You deserve the best."

    I'll let you come to your own conclusions; there are several.

    Granted, a few are relevant, but some of them just have me cocking my head to the side like a beagle.

    It all started with the crazy guy in the tent. That's the one that gets me.

    gimme some monkey lip...

    One of the funnier things I've gotten lately from my husband--Monk-e-mail.

    Tuesday, June 13, 2006

    today's quiz!

    Closely study the picture below.

    Now, is this a picture of:

    a) a crack house (minus the addicts)
    b) an attempt to find out how a couch is constructed
    c) the result of boozed up lunatic with a chainsaw
    d) the result of two puppies, who in three weeks destroyed a nice couch that used to be in our living room


    Ding! Ding! Ding! Even though I am fascinated with the construction of the couch (b), if you answered "d," you are correct!

    We used to have this couch in our living room. When we got some new furniture a couple of years ago, we put our old couch in the cellar where our laundry room is (I know it looks haunted down there--a la old house charm). Sadie and Pickles always had cool water, perfect 70 degree temps. year-round and a nice new couch to nap on while we were gone. There's also a doggie door that goes into a fenced in area outside.

    Now, in less than a month, Pepper, and to a lesser extent Petey, have completely...well... eaten that same couch.

    More pictures of the destruction. Click for BIG.

    Like I always say, "Oh well..."

    Monday, June 12, 2006

    mostly Pepper...with her toys...

    a few historical points...

    What do you think of this presentation?

    A friend of mine, who is also an avid historian, sent this to me.

    Sunday, June 11, 2006

    let's play...

    A very poor quality video I took with my digital camera...the puppies are GROWING!

    Petey and Pepper playing What's YOURS is MINE...and what's MINE...IS MINE, TOO!

    people who have more disposable income than moi...

    Way too cute. A lot of you have probably already seen it, but if not you'll enjoy (just try to not cringe at the potential waste of dollars)...

    Friday, June 09, 2006

    the real scoop on the origin of dogs...

    (If you've seen it before, well, sorry 'bout that...)

    HOW DOGS CAME TO BE: Where do pets come from?

    A newly discovered chapter in the Book of Genesis has provided the answer to "Where do pets come from?"

    Adam and Eve said, "Lord, when we were in the garden, you walked with us every day. Now we do not see you any more. We are lonesome here, and it is difficult for us to remember how much you love us."

    And God said, I will create a companion for you that will be with you and who will be a reflection of my love for you, so that you will love me even when you cannot see me. Regardless of how selfish or childish or unlovable you may be, this new companion will accept you as you are and will love you as I do, in spite of yourselves."

    And God created a new animal to be a companion for Adam and Eve.

    And it was a good animal.

    And God was pleased.

    And the new animal was pleased to be with Adam and Eve and he wagged his tail.

    And Adam said, "Lord, I have already named all the animals in the Kingdom and I cannot think of a name for this new animal."

    And God said, "I have created this new animal to be a reflection of my love for you, his name will be a reflection of my own name, and you will call him DOG."

    And Dog lived with Adam and Eve and was a companion to them and loved them.

    And they were comforted.

    And God was pleased.

    And Dog was content and wagged his tail.

    After a while, it came to pass that an angel came to the Lord and said, "Lord, Adam and Eve have become filled with pride. They strut and preen like peacocks and they believe they are worthy of adoration. Dog has indeed taught them that they are loved, but perhaps too well."

    And God said, I will create for them a companion who will be with them and who will see them as they are. The companion will remind them of their limitations, so they will know that they are not always worthy of adoration."

    And God created CAT to be a companion to Adam and Eve.

    And Cat would not obey them. And when Adam and Eve gazed into Cat's eyes, they were reminded that they were not the supreme beings.

    And Adam and Eve learned humility.

    And they were greatly improved.

    And God was pleased.

    And Dog was happy.

    And Cat didn't give a shit one way or the other.

    Thursday, June 08, 2006

    National Kitty Pimping Day...

    Okay, so I made that up, but I am pimping a kitty named Aldo. If you're in the area and you're looking for an adorable tuxedo-sort-of-guy, Aldo's your man. Aldo belongs to a friend of mine who took in a pregnant kitty and voila! kittens. (You do know to spay and neuter your animals, yes!?)

    Anyway, now that Aldo is here, he needs some lovin' as my friend can't keep all the babies. If you're a kitty-parent-in-waiting, give me a shout at

    Okay, so that's fake, too, but the link opens up to the right address.

    What do you expect from a freakin' pimp?!

    Wednesday, June 07, 2006

    every once in a while...

    you have to revisit Dooce. I really loved this post on her Alpha Mom site. Thanks to Britney at Nashville is Talking for pointing it out.

    On another animal-relationship-sort-of-note, I'm interviewing for next year's social work intern placement at University of Tennessee's vet school. They have one of the country's few formal veterinary social work programs. I've been wanting the internship ever since its formation a few years ago, and now I'm eligible for it.

    I'll share more about it later once I have the interview. :-) Woof, wish me luck.

    trouser chili...

    The words alone make it recent favorite My Cat Hates You posting.

    I send in my cats' photos, but the bastard never gives me the honor of a caption. Hey, mister, MY cats hate YOU! Um, so there.

    Trouser chili, heh.

    Tuesday, June 06, 2006

    Smidget to the Rescue!

    Smidget and I (and my mom) went on a cat rescue adventure June 4. We were part of a seven-cat rescue relay to Atlanta...all Persians! They are all stretched out, cleaned up and getting ready for new homes now! Smidget can put a lot of booty in her boot if she needs to! Oh, and the above pic was taken on the way home with the exposure set at 10 sec...warp speed!

    Friday, June 02, 2006

    this GERDle is too tight for me...

    Welcome to the GERD-le of mid-life, tightly laced with purple pills and the squeeze of "ha-ha-you-just-thought-I-was-a-heart-attack" esophageal spasms.

    Hilarity at its best. Comedy Channel funny.

    I have arrived, hand on the wheel and pill-in-hand, flux-capacitor over-fluxing; speeding down the super-highway of antacid-altered reality.

    Maybe that's what the eggs were trying to tell me.

    Leaving a career of nearly 20 years and looking at cutting my salary by 75 percent over the next year while I finish school has gotten me GERD-ishly green.

    Saturday night after dinner I started having significant chest discomfort and nausea. By the guidelines, fodder for the emergency room.

    Except I had recently had my heart checked, cathed, EP'd, everything-you-can-thing-of-grammed.

    So I didn't go, but I wasn't having any fun in the meantime.

    The next day I put new flowers on my father's grave to replace the old, faded ones. A year-and-a-half and still no grass will grow on his grave.

    I said, "Maybe he wasn't ready to go."

    Later that night, my chest discomfort turned into double-you-over-Sanford-and-Son chest pain--spasms that had me clutching my chest just like the old man.

    Still, I did not go, but I did get a quick EKG screening from a healthcare friend. No abnormalities.

    Instead of taking it easy that night, I ate hot spicy Thai food from my favorite restaurant.

    Drunken Noodle, spicy 3/5, please; coconut soup, no meat and Diet Coke

    It went down like razor blades. The true test of GERD. I ate every bite anyway--it was so good. I didn't care. I wasn't having a heart attack (I knew I wasn't, but confirmation is GERD when you need it).

    Still no grass on his grave and maybe I wasn't ready for him to go. I had a hard time getting the flowers there. I had a hard time ordering them. I had a hard time deciding what day to take them. I had a hard time driving up there to place them. I had a hard time controlling the urge to dig him up and ask him why, why now, that we were close for the very first time, why did you leave? Why did you leave just when I was on the verge of having the thing I longed for my whole life? To be close to my own father; to know he was finally proud; to know he thought I was really a good person.

    I can take a purple pill for the GERD, but it's going to take the slow, watered-down medicine of Time for the broken heart.

    Wednesday, May 31, 2006

    overheard and underscrutinized

    Overheard at a favorite restaurant:

    "Yeah, I'll have that, and you'd better make it good or I'll fuckin' kill you."

    Hubby and I were eating when one of the, shall-we-say tougher-looking, waitresses came in as a customer and ordered, or else. Funny thing is, she's the best waitress there.


    Following a dumptruck today that had only a tarp over its cargo but had a big RADIOACTIVE sticker on the back of it.

    I passed him fairly quickly.

    Tuesday, May 30, 2006

    you just gotta--izzle, that is...

    Maybe I'm the last person on Earth to hear about this, but, it's still funny...


    Verified by & BY GOOGLE

    (I got this from a circulating email; however, I had read this elsewhere in the past few days and it is worth sharing!)

    Yesterday one of our dog agility friends experienced a tragedy and wanted me to pass a special message along to all of my dog loving friends and family. Please tell the other dog owners you know.

    Over the weekend the doting owner of two young lab mixes purchased Cocoa Mulch from Ta rget to use in their garden. They loved the way it smelled and it was advertised to keep cats away from their garden. Their dog Calypso, decided that the mulch smelled good enough to eat and devoured a large helping. She vomited a few times which was typical when she eats something new but wasn't acting lethargic in any way. The next day, Mom woke up and took Calypso out for her morning walk. Half way through the walk, she had a seizure and died instantly.

    Although the mulch had NO warnings printed on the label, upon further investigation on the company's website, this product is HIGHLY toxic to dogs.

    Cocoa Mulch is manufactured by Hershey's, and they claim that "It is true that studies have shown that 50% of the dogs that eat Cocoa Mulch can suffer physical harm to a variety of degrees (depending on each individual dog). However, 98% of all dogs won't eat it."

    Cocoa Mulch, which is sold by Home Depot, Foreman's Garden Supply and other Garden supply stores, contains a lethal ingredient called "Theobromine."

    It is lethal to dogs and cats. It smells like chocolate and it really attracts dogs. They will ingest this stuff and die. Several deaths already occurred in the last 2-3 weeks. Just a word of caution, check what you are using in your gardens and be aware of what your gardeners are using in your gardens.

    Theobromine is the ingredient that is used to make all chocolate, especially dark or baker's chocolate, which is toxic to dogs.

    Cocoa bean shells contain potentially toxic quantities of theobromine, a xanthine compound similar in effects to caffeine and theophylline. A dog that ingested a lethal quantity of garden mulch made from cacao bean shells developed severe convulsions and died 17 hours later. Analysis of the stomach contents and the ingested cacao bean shells revealed the presence of lethal amounts of theobromine.

    Please email the manufacturer at and request that accurate information about this product be posted on the packaging to avoid further tragedy.

    No Dogs should be lost because of this mulch!

    Friday, May 26, 2006

    unbelievable horse sculptures...

    These sculptures nearly boggle my mind. Who would have thought to capture the majestic musculature of the horse in DRIFTWOOD? I just couldn't believe my eyes. Still can't. Amazing. By British artist Heather Jansch . Found at Bridlepath.

    Thursday, May 25, 2006

    Implants Can Save A Life...

    And I ain't talkin' about boobies, so all you pervs can log-off now.

    Anyway, I saw this article in the news today and it just so happens I recently attended a workshop on Vagus Nerve Stimulation therapy about a month ago.

    It sounds promising. And, as with most anti-depressant effects, they don't know the actual mechanism that causes relief. Yup, it changes chemicals--and in a good way. Well, they know a little more than that, but the proof is always in the pudding--which means the majority of folks who haven't received relief through traditional therapy have re-entered life for the first time after VNS.

    Originally used for epilepsy patients, the implant is like getting a small pacemaker implanted in the chest with a little flexible wire that travels under the skin to the vagus nerve in the neck. Little curly contacts are wrapped around the nerve and voila! the procedure is done. You cannot see any evidence of it unless you are looking for a tiny incision in the natural skin folds of the neck (or, I suppose, if you rip the person's shirt off and look for another small scar on the side chest wall). I remember the representative saying that surgeons who do this procedure really enjoy it because it's a no-brainer with, usually, spectacular results for the person.

    After implantation, the person's device is programmed by a trained staff member who has the patient hold a wand-type contraption over the implant while the stimulation frequency is adjusted via a small handheld computer.

    The patient can also turn the device on and off by holding a magnet over the area. The workshop I attended was partly run by a person who had reclaimed his life after getting the implant. He was really happy with it and noted that the only types of side-effects were voice changes while moments of stimulation were occurring, for which he suggested that if you are a singer to turn the device off until you're finished yodeling. Otherwise, precautions similar to a person with a pacemaker apply (e.g., don't go to a place called Magnet World without turning it off!).

    I'm not trying to sell the thing, but it looks pretty promising and the implants are getting smaller and smaller.

    The website-->

    Tuesday, May 23, 2006

    Happy Birthday, Daddy...

    Today would have been Daddy's 71st birthday. I miss you. I hope you know how much I love you got a beautiful day for your birthday. See?

    Amazingly, the lilies I transplanted from his yard bloomed for the first time today.

    Yuki, sits next to me contemplating the day as well. He didn't get to meet his Papaw.

    I tried to celebrate the beauty of the day despite the painful date.

    Saturday, May 20, 2006

    Preakness to sickness...

    I was in a sporting goods store again today and the big screen was showing the Preakness...and the end of Barbaro's career and Triple Crown bid.

    I watched and heard the announcers say something was terribly wrong...the horse yanked up his hind leg repeatedly in pain. Fortunately, as soon on the jockey heard the break he pulled him up and out of the race.

    The voices sounded as sick as I felt, because a break, and in Barbaro's case two breaks, is big trouble for this giant animal that balances on long, graceful toothpicks. Equine veterinarians are going to evaluate the colt for surgery and at best, he'll be put out to stud. I tried to not tear up in the store, but in one second this horse lost everything, including maybe a future. It seemed wrong to see such suffering in the name of gambling and entertainment.

    I like watching horseracing, but at times I'm quite disturbed by it. It hits you when one of God's most graceful creatures, like Barbaro, is stressed to fracture. It happens when a racer doesn't bring home the big purse. Despite all the love bestowed upon these creatures while they're winning, they are really just catalysts to build a bankroll. If Barbaro lives, lets just hope his retirement is similar to Seabiscuit's and not Ferdinand's.

    Friday, May 19, 2006

    I'm off...

    work, that is. I'm taking a couple of vacation days because of an event I'll talk more about next week.

    So, I had an appointment at the university to plan for next year and then I called up my mother to see if she wanted to go to my favorite restaurant, Taste of Thai. I found her and I got to snarf down my favorite dish of all time, "Drunken Noodle, Spicy 3, coconut soup"...that's how the order goes, and they have it memorized.

    ANYWAY, the whole reason I'm writing this post is because we went to Dick's Sports next door after scorching our innards. And apparently I am not the only one who thinks Dick's are a bunch of dicks. I caught an excerpt of this post at Nashville's Talking and I just had to say a little sumpin' having been there today.

    I, having been to Dick's before, know that when I enter, I am surrounded by good stuff and no service. AT ALL. EVER. It's as if they are trained to ignore you and they get commission on every person they ignore. Seriously.

    My mom and I were tooling around the store and another lady walked up to me and said, "Do you work here?"

    "No, I'm sorry I don't," I said with a sympathetic look.

    "What do you need to do to get a person to help you?" she asked, only half-jokingly.

    I replied, "Well, you need to pray."

    With that, she burst out laughing and I did, too. It's THAT bad. She went ahead and asked me about a certain brand of clothing and I was happy to direct her to it. She expressed her thanks and we went our separate ways.

    I helped her more than I've ever seen anyone helped in that store. REALLY. Other than the cashiers, I don't know what the employees are doing. I've seen them. I know they are there, but it's like a social experiment. How pissed off DO people get when they are utterly, completely ignored?

    I disgrace them with one caveat--the cashier was exceptionally friendly today, which has NEVER happened before. I had to wonder if it was her last day.

    DOGS HEADED FOR EUTHANASIA---Pit lovers take note--urgent

    I'm cross-posting an email I just got from a gal who does pitbull rescue just in case a future owner passes by. I have transported some of these dogs through her and all of them have been sweet and docile--actually the most well-behaved of any of the dogs I've transported. These dogs get a bad rap because of the people who train them to fight. Once again, irresponsible humans screw it up for everyone-including the dogs.


    Thursday, May 18, 2006

    so what if I'm nuts?

    I don't know who that woman was yesterday--that woman who got all worked up over everything. It's just another puzzle to keep working on...

    Hubby is on a business trip (to the beach--ahem), so instead of breaking up the duties for all eight critters, I was leader of the zoo this morning.

    20 min.--The puppies have to fed separately from our older dog because she won't eat if you don't stand over her and tell her to eat and praise her for each and every bite.

    5 min.--all doggie water stations cleaned and filled

    5 min.--found pee stain on blanket; threw into wash immediately

    5 min.--sprayed down area with odor eliminator

    5 min.--cleaned up all stuffings from "murdered" toys; placed all "survivors" in crates for later parade of removal

    5 min.--accounted for all five kitties, cleaned and refilled their three water bowls; refilled food bowls

    1 min.--extracted Atticus' head from empty dog food cans in garbage (mind you, it has a LID on it); repeated, repeated, gave up

    5 min.--had regular morning conversation with Rooney while putting on make-up, which goes like this:

    "Meow!" He stares at me.

    "What?!" I implore.

    "Meow!!" He stares at me and pads back and forth on this front paws.

    "What?!!" I exclaim.

    "Meeeeooooooooowwwwwwww!!!!!!!" He yowls.

    "What?! What do you want!?!" I hurry dragging the eyeliner across my eyelid.

    (rinse and repeat)

    Finally, when I am at a stopping place, say after lining and before mascara, I pick him up and hug and kiss him until he decides it wasn't such a good idea after all...

    Then he trots out of the bathroom satisfied that his request was filled; even if it wasn't done as promptly as he'd liked.

    10 min.--scooped five giant-sized litter boxes in garage and added new litter

    5 min.--waited for kitties to line up to crap and pee in the brand new litter

    3 min.--scooped fresh poo and pee

    2 min.--called dogs to fence to say goodbye and give them one Meaty Bone each

    all day--feel guilty about the forlorn look Petey gave me as I walked away

    Wednesday, May 17, 2006


    I hate it when that happens. That feeling. When you realize the rubber is really going to hit the road. That you're almost there. And the landing gear just lost a couple of bolts, and nuts, and maybe even some other unidentifiable metal things.

    Scary enough to write about it in incomplete sentences.

    To me, anyway. Scary, that is.

    I'm about to leave a job I have done since 1989. I've worked for the same company in the same cluster of departments since 1989. Granted I probably have had eight different job titles since I've been here, but it was basically switching seats in the same car. Backseat, frontseat, Britney-backward-installed carseat...still a Chevy, no matter where you sit (As an aside, I am appalled she is a MINI Cooper owner. She has peed in our gene pool.)

    Back to gnashing my teeth because teeth are meant to be gnashed...Did I say I have been here since 1989? That's...shit...a long time. Maybe I'm just gnoshing on gnashing here...

    But now I'm looking at my last year in graduate school, which will entail a heavier intern schedule, plus a full class load; plus a part-time job. I thought it was going to be a fairly planned-out kind of thing, except today I found out my current department can't keep me on a part-time basis. They can only work with me as a freelancer, which means sans benefits--which is why I needed to work part-time during the last year anyway.

    So, I have to regroup and get squared away with another plan by August. I will have to find another benefits-bearing part-time job flexible enough to allow me to intern.

    Oh. That. Will. Be. So. Easy.

    (I get so sick of being a prisoner of benefits programs.)

    Tuesday, May 16, 2006

    US House Moves to Stop Wild Horse Slaughter--URGENT ACTION NEEDED TODAY!

    (hot from the mailbox)

    May 16, 2006

    Dear Humanitarian:

    The US House of Representatives is again poised to vote on an amendment introduced by Representative Nick Rahall (D-WV) to stop the brutal slaughter of America's wild horses for human consumption in foreign countries. An identical measure sponsored by Mr. Rahall last year passed overwhelmingly in the House, but was blocked at the last minute in the Senate by Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT). More information about the House vote and the tragic plight of our wild horses is available at

    Please take a moment to contact your Representative TODAY, urging his or her strong support of the Rahall Amendment to the House Interior Appropriations Bill. The House will consider the measure during the week of May 15 (most likely on Thursday, May 18), so your immediate assistance is critical. If you would like additional facts or need to find the name of your Representative, visit our website at or call us at (703) 836-4300...[READ MORE]

    fidgety eyeballs and sympathy mange...

    My right eyelid has decided to become spastic--and stay that way. Every few seconds my eyelid has a muscular hiccup, leaving me feeling as though I were part of a life-long glaucoma test.

    I know, it's nothing.

    But it's irritating because it's been three weeks.

    (If your bored, please feel free to leave.)

    Pepper gets her spay surgery stitches out today at 5:45 pm. I guess we'll be Hyster-Sisters now. My little man Petey is about halfway through his mange treatment and is getting downright furry again (for a beagle that is). If you remember when I found out Petey had mange, my body decided it was feeling left out and produced some similar effects but without the hair loss. He's getting better, but my itchy and flaky scalp continues to be...well, itchy and flaky. I bought some delicious-smelling Aveda scalp treatment to make the whole thing a worthwhile aromatherapy experience, but so far I'm just minty and itchy. I'm wondering if the mystery ezcema in my ears has decided to attack my head in Petey's honor. Why waste a good thing in an out-of-the-way ear canal?

    Yes, I know I should go see the dermatologist or some similar specialist ad nauseum, but y'know, there's about 500 other things on my to-do list that rank higher than itching (twitching hasn't even made it to the list).

    Admittedly, I have been called a flake before, but I'm pretty sure they meant something else.

    I should have added these attractive, and hopefully transient, traits to yesterday's post so, while imagining my gagging and lurching, you could have added a twitching eye and intense itching from the neck up.

    Glorious. Sexy. The kind of womanhood all females hope for.

    Monday, May 15, 2006

    the incredible, re-edible egg...

    I'm on a diet of sorts, so I eat a nice little wad of protein in the morning--usually eggs.

    So, I'm munching on scrambled eggs on the way to work (don't ask me how I manage that in a MINI--it would produce another entry and I'm far too lazy today to do such a thing) and I get choked. in the egg went the wrong way, willfully ignoring all road-signs to the stomach, and lodged into some esophegeal rest stop with inadequate lighting.

    "Hoark! Gag! Cough! Snort! I sipped my Diet Coke in an effort to get the wayward chunk to dislodge, but no luck.

    MINI and I lurched down the street as my most primitive bodily functions went into a display worthy of never getting a second date had I been on a first.

    Unattractive, that is.

    Then it happened. I threw up. In my mouth.

    And I had to make a choice - the MINI or my stomach. Not yet bathed in bile, I made the split-second decision to get it back where it belonged.

    I gulped and I thought my heart would stop because I DO NOT THROW UP. And I most certainly don't swallow it back down when I do. But I did and I couldn't believe I was able to do it.

    After three more miles of lurching, missing gears, gagging and pulling off the road I finally regained some sense of composure; dried my face drenched by my watering eyes and hoped I didn't pass anyone I knew.

    And that's how I started out my day.

    Aren't you glad I shared? Me, too.


    Well, I reckon' he was pretty smart...

    "In every bit of honest writing in the world," he noted in a 1938 journal entry, " . . . there is a base theme. Try to understand men, if you understand each other you will be kind to each other. Knowing a man well never leads to hate and nearly always leads to love. . . always that base theme. Try to understand each other."

    -read at The Steinbeck Centennial Celebration

    Wednesday, May 10, 2006

    sans urine; sans feces...

    And I was beaming this morning like the mother of a newborn who had just learned to say "mommy" when I found out that both puppies had somehow summoned otherworldly powers to hold fast the dam of Grand Potty River.

    No potty.

    Is good potty.

    The only disappointment was that my husband was the early morning greeter today. Damn, my hard work enjoyed by the Treat-Sneaker! But I was still proud and pleased to show that the proof was in the absence of the pudding.


    I am driving my poor husband crazy constantly correcting him with dog behavior knowledge. I hover and monitor like a nag with OCD.

    Because I am on a mission this time.

    I can hear a treat being removed from a bag at 500 feet. It comes out of the bag and I hear a half-hearted "sit?" from the Treat-Sneaker, who gleefully starts handing over the treat before the puppies even think about lowering any extremity. Enter the dog-Nazi, "No! No! No! They have to sit before you give it to them!" After a sigh and eye-roll, the Treat-Sneaker waits. The moment dog butts hit the ground, the treat hits the mouth and "good dogs!" are all around.

    I hear the bag a lot. Enter the dog-Nazi, "Too many treats! They won't eat their puppy food which is specially formulated for their young growing bones!"

    This time it's no scraps from people plates, ever. No begging. No eating the cat food or the tootsie roll feast in the garage. No sneaking through the cat door that leads to the tootsie rolls. Petey can fit; Pepper cannot.

    The Treat-Sneaker tells the puppies to go "pee-pee." The dog-Nazi corrects him, "No, it's 'GO POTTY.'" Consistency is the only way, the overbearing officer of excrement exclaims.

    The puppies "go potty" and the Treat-Sneaker says, "good girl! good dog! good boy!" The dog-Nazi grimmaces and corrects, "No, it's only 'GOOD POTTY!' with physical praise and even a treat. You don't want them to think they need to go potty every time you say 'good dog!'" And then she adds, "And go to the dog without him or her coming to you so they don't think they're being praised for coming to you. They have to be clear about what the praise is for..."

    A dismal existence for Treat-Sneaker, who has not scoured the literature for such gems of behavioral information.

    But the dog-Nazi is merely a desperate parent seeking some form of order in puppy chaos, and has broken several of her own rules already.

  • No dogs on the furniture or beds? Broken in less than one hour after adoption.
  • No jumping up? Oops, we haven't worked on that yet (they're so cute when they stretch up onto you!).
  • Barking? After some half-hearted claps punctuated with "no! no!"--well, they're just puppies.
  • Face licking? Oh, come on! Everyone likes to be kissed!
  • Pouncing on your chest? That's so funny!

    So, dog-Nazi and her push-over family are getting boot camp*--right after Pepper stops licking my face and Petey wakes up from his nap on the new overstuffed chair...

    *You know, obedience school.

  • Tuesday, May 09, 2006

    lilies to remember him by...

    Every time I think I'm lost in this ridiculous quest to earn a degree and change my life from spinner to do-gooder, someone inadvertently reminds me I am not wasting my time or talents. It always happens unexpectedly--offered neither directly nor purposely, but through their behavior; usually by showing a side of themselves that is emotionally defunct or dead.

    Then, I remember, why I wanted to help people in trouble.

    Then, I remember, just how many people do not care what happens to others.

    Then, I remember, just how many people are unable to see beyond themselves.

    Then, I remember, just how important it is to see beyond myself.


    This past weekend I made what was probably my final "gathering" trip to my father's home. I wanted to transplant his Stella D'Oro lilies to my yard and bring home two gigantic aloe plants he'd nursed for years.

    The new owners met me there and we dug them up and placed them in the bed of my mother's truck. They have been kind to allow us access to the property any time we felt the need to visit. My father's house is now rented to a young man. It made me sad to see the giant blackberry and raspberry thickets mowed to the ground. It's hard to accept the fact the property he worked so hard on is no longer in our family.

    I planted the lilies as soon as I got home and didn't wear my gardening gloves--it felt good to put my hands in the earth. It seemed important for this particular gardening task.

    It rained several hours the next day after planting so they look wonderfully plump and settled in their new home. I hope the move didn't shock them into forgoing their blooms. I wanted to do the transplant in the fall, but I didn't have time.

    I never had a green thumb, but Daddy could make anything grow. I hope he'll help me watch over this little patch of cheerful lilies. I enjoy seeing them when I pull out of the driveway in the mornings.

    Monday, May 08, 2006

    X marks the spot...

    I am right where the X is, but I don't where the X is related to anything else in the universe. I am riding along on a magic consonant carpet, going somewhere in a really big hurry.


    All those places I've been listing for years? Probably, but we'll see.

    But I feel spent. And I have spent X amount. In this case X is a variable that represents a considerable sum. A price I was not prepared to pay.

    I don't believe in IOUs anymore. Vowels are for wimps. I need X. I would like to have X in full view, so I can stare into it and study it for the consonant that it is.

    And was.

    And could be.

    I need to do more than stand on the X. I need to be the X.

    Tip it to the side and you are in the crosshairs again.

    X is dangerous.

    X is the place where everyone is headed, but most will vowel-out and say they never wanted to go.

    They lie about X because X can't be controlled.

    X is a variable. Positive or negative, neither captured nor validated.



    Sunday, May 07, 2006

    farewell to the Crazy Chicken...

    ...the chicken that screeched, screeches no more. The scene of the crime where the guts have been strewn looks like the bird put up a real struggle...

    And, why not throw in a couple of photos of the convicts...Petey, the beagle; Pepper, the ever-expanding shepherd...

    Wednesday, May 03, 2006

    erratic, not erotic, errata...

  • This guy makes his art from chewed gum...amazing-->GUM BLONDES

    Which is completely unrelated to the last two weeks...

  • Pepper broke some small bones in her neck racing into, and not around, the deck stairs. Off to the animal ER in the middle of the night. Nearly $700 later she has recovered. She was supposed to be spayed yesterday but the vet's sterilization equipment broke. I brought home a drunk dog (they had already sedated her for the procedure). Back on Friday for the the Big Snipperoo.

  • When I took Pepper to the ER she peed a gallon in my brand new MINI, which I just had customized. I had to get my car steam-cleaned because I didn't know she had peed until the next morning, at which time everything had been thoroughly marinated. Before I could get that service done it rained for two solid days, by which time I was also marinated in dog urine. I swear I still have olfactory flashbacks.

  • When I had my MINI customized in Nashville (the checkerboard stuff, an iPOD interface and driving lights), they forgot to replace my antenna hook-up. I have no radio stations and until I go back to the dealership in Nashville, which I don't have time to do, I'm stuck.

  • Petey doesn't have dermatitis after all. He has MANGE. Three months of Ivermectin...the nastiest-tasting medicine in the world. He has bald elbows and a nice crusty strip down his back that is slowly growing back hair. It's really fun to take him out in public: "Oh, that poor dog...what did they do to him...?!"

  • Since Petey was diagnosed with mange, I have been itching like crazy with a rashy scalp. I'm trying to ignore it.

  • Pepper was supposed to be nearly grown when we got her. She's gained nearly 15 pounds in the last three weeks. Her paws continue to grow at an even rate faster than her body-a foreboding sign of many more pounds to come. We check her collar daily. She also ate the couch in our laundry room, daily scarfs down the other dogs' food, and today part of the large dog bed in the sunroom.

  • And the cherry on top...the very sweet lady we paid for Petey and Pepper has lost
    the checks we wrote for them.

    And still, we are as happy as we can be with both pups and I'll get back to Nashville when I get back to Nashville...

  • Monday, April 03, 2006

    ah, the joy of puppies...

    Pepper, our new little shepherd mix is so, well, a puppy. She grunts and groans when she's laying down, stretching every few seconds, bored but not bored, sleeping, but not wanting to sleep...she still has those little needle-sharp puppy teeth.

    One day last week I had gotten them up in the morning and there was puppy poo on the newspaper, which was no big deal. As I reached down to wad up the paper, Pepper stepped in the poo and immediately jumped up and put her paws in my hair.

    I took a shower.

    Wednesday, March 29, 2006

    Pickles, Petey and Pepper

    Thank you all for all the kind comments about Sadie. I miss her so bad I can't stand it. We decided to give her a place in a local pet cemetery. She thought she was a person, so I had to bury her like one. Gah, I can't talk about it...anyway, thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I wanted to send back a note to each one of you, but I've just not been myself and swamped with work, internship, and stuff at on about that...

    Without the drama queen in the house, it was too quiet, too depressing... We knew we were going to get another dog, but it took two to fill emptiness Sadie left behind. Meet 10 month-old Petey (beagle mix) and four month-old Pepper (shepherd mix?). They are our two new lovebugs and our 13 year old gal, Pickles, just loves them. She was awfully despondent after Sadie passed...I think we all she is running and playing.

    Petey and Pepper are real characters. Pepper has never been on a leash before and apparently has never been out of a cage much...she is afraid of doorways, stairs and leashes. Petey, who was pulled from the shelter by a rescue just one day before euthanasia, just made himself at home immediately and climbs everything in site like a mountain goat. He'll go to sleep next to you on his back with all fours sticking up in the air and snore like an old man. He's hilarious. They are keeping us very busy--Petey is housetrained, but Pepper isn't yet. Pepper le Pew...

    Click on either picture to go to the full collection of photos from their first day with us (except for the last pic which is when I brought Petey to work with me over the weekend--that would be his second day with us...looks pretty comfortable, huh?).


    Ah, puppies...smooch

    Tuesday, March 21, 2006

    Goodbye, my sweet, sweet friend...

    We had to say goodbye to our beloved Sadie yesterday afternoon. They couldn't remove any fluid so we couldn't relieve the pressure on her chest. She couldn't breathe and fluid was beginning to collect in her lungs. So, so, sad. At least she was able to pass peacefully--something for which I had prayed very hard. Our other dog is just lost; eating exactly half of her food last night and not touching it this morning. She is searching everywhere for her buddy. We miss her so terribly.

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