Friday, April 30, 2010

April 2010 Book Review

Hush, Hush- Becca Fitzpatrick- Urban fantasy about a high school girl with an absentee mother. She (the girl, not the mother) meets her supernatural lover (this time a fallen angel who must kill her in order to become human) in biology class. What is it about high school biology? This wasn’t a fantastic book but a pretty good read. There’s a sequel coming out at some point and I look forward to reading it when it does.

Gorgeous As Sin- Susan Johnson- The frivolous bodice ripping trashy romance novel that takes place before the one I read last month. I didn’t like it as much as its follow up, but it was still a fun frivolous read.

The Burning Land- Bernard Cornwell- The latest installment of the Saxon Chronicles. The only thing about these books is that they never end well because it’s not the end of the series. I like them though, I like them a lot, as evidenced by my willingness to read each and every one of them. I think no one writes battle scenes like Bernard Cornwell.

Plain Truth- Jodi Picoult- I haven’t read one of her book for a while but I really enjoyed this one. Often times, I find her novels to have a lot that rings untrue, that just feels like too easy too slick or something and I didn’t get that feeling much with this story. I had it some of the time, especially when the lawyer discovered she was pregnant. I also had no idea about the big mystery until the very last page.

Fallen- Lauren Kate- Another young adult urban fantasy novel about a high school girl who falls in love with an angel. I was a little worried she was going to meet him in biology class but this book veered away from that. They met in a past life. So it had a good premise but I was still left disappointed by it. I thought Hush, Hush was better executed. Maybe it’s because the main setting of this novel was a so called reform school with an alarmingly minimal amount of adult supervision. I don’t know. That said, I’ll still read the next book.

Hot Property- Susan Johnson- Should I be at all embarrassed by the number of frivolous romance novels I've read of late? So yeah. Another trashy romance novel. The first novel by this author that I’ve read that wasn’t a historical romance. I vastly prefer her historical romances. They seem less frivolous than this one did.

Split Image- Robert B. Parker- A Jesse Stone novel. Perhaps the last Jesse Stone novel. I’ve really come to love Jesse Stone. He took a couple of books for me to decide on love and not indifference but he made it. Unfortunately, both Sunny Randall and Susan Silverman were in this novel, Sunny in it a rather lot, so I enjoyed those parts less. So, see you later, Jesse. It’s been nice.

Animal Farm- George Orwell- I don't know what made me pick up this book to read but I did. What happens to Boxer always makes me sad.

The Quickie- James Patterson- Wow. What a crappy book.

So that makes....9 books for the month for a grand total of 38 books for the year. Which means I still have 62 books left to read by year's end if I'm going to make my goal. Go me.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I just read that Legend of the Seeker, one of my favorite television shows, has been...CANCELED.

You can't cancel this show; I LOVE this show.

Please, please, please, someone (SyFy, I'm talking to you!) pick up this show and save it from cancellation. It's been such a good freaking show this season; you can't cancel it now!

SAVE MY SHOW, SyFy! You saved Merlin (thank you, by the way, for doing that) and now I need you to save Legend of the Seeker. I shall be ever so grateful.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go pout and maybe even cry a little.

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Little Of This, A Little Of That...

It's a lovely Monday afternoon in the Mount Washington Valley and I am surrounded by peaceful, sleeping puppies who have, thankfully, gotten their gastronomical issues straightened out. The girls were gearing up to play a little while ago so I built a preemptive barricade around and on the couch to protect it (singing certain selections from Les Miserables while doing so) which apparently made the girls lose interest in playing. Nothing fun about playing if you can't destroy the furniture in the process, I guess.

Oh well.

So yeah, they're all sleeping. I'm looking down at Bru right now and thinking about how badly she could use a bath. When she arrived, she was a reddish brown and white dog. Now she's just kind of a brown dog. All that romping through the woods. Makes 'em dirty. Also makes 'em tired.

I am taking advantage of the sleeping to work. A little housework (man, did we need laundry. We also need clean dishes. I had some but then I was stupid enough to try and empty the dishwasher while Bru was drinking water. She ended up dumping a good amount of water and saliva on my nice clean dishes. The bright side? Didn't take me very long to empty the dishwasher.) and a little actual work. I had been hoping to hit the 100,000 word mark in my WIP by the end of this week but that's just not going to happen. It's not all the dogs' fault either, although they are a rather convenient scapegoat, aren't they? It's much more my fault. I'm just not feeling the story right now. Not like how I was before. My Incredible Shrinking Word Count is dwindling even further now. I'm still ahead but the margin is very, very small now. It's good that there's an another dog in the household because otherwise I'd have more time to sit around, looking at my dwindling word count and feeling frustrated I haven't figured out how to reverse this alarming trend.

I'll figure it out.

In other news, after a discussion about smart phones, I made a comment about getting an iPhone to which Joe responded, "If you had an iPhone, I'd have to divorce you." Joe is not an Apple fan. His response made me laugh and say in return, "You'd have to marry me first and good luck with that."

Joe's hemming and hawing on the smart phone decision. He really, really wants a smart phone. He just doesn't want to have to pay for the data plan. I could go either way. I can get through a day without a smart phone so I don't need it but it could be kind of cool.

What is not cool is something I've been meaning to mention for a while now. My friend, Heather, has been working toward her accounting degree. This semester, she has a corporate tax class that's been giving her a hard time so, at one point, she emailed her professor to ask for help. His response? Google it. Yep, that's right. Thousands and thousands of dollars and that's what she gets for help. Google it.

Great teaching, dude. Really.

So, now it's Monday night and Bru and I have just returned from our nightly jaunt to the river. Bru didn't do any cliff diving or swimming. She ran off the trail and back on the trail, always coming when I called her. Except for once. This is always a sign that a dog has found something they're not supposed to have. When I broke out my super stern You'd Better Get Your Ass Over Here Now voice, she came, bringing her contraband with her.

It was a pair of men's underwear. Soiled men's underwear.

I then had to wrestle the untidy whities out of Bru's mouth.

Remember yesterday when I said at the end of my blog that nobody owed me any baked goods? That I was just trying to be to be funny? Well, I take it back. I want giant cake like brownies and I want them now.

But first, if you'll excuse me, I have to go wash my hands. For about the twentieth time.

There is not enough soap in the world.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Adventures In Brewster Sitting

What a wild and crazy weekend it's been here at the ranch. Wild and crazy in a mostly good way, I mean. Here's a little teaser for you: the couch broke. Again. But Bru wasn't the sole culprit. See what I mean? Crazy.

It started Friday with the trio of barking, puking and farting dogs. Bru was the only one doing all three but both Big and the Gator Girl were doing more than their fair share of barking and farting. Thank goodness the weather's been nice so I've been able to open the windows and air out the house a little. But if you're coming over, just be forewarned. I took Bru with me on my errand run because I told the girls at work that if Bru was still with us at the end of the week, I'd bring her by. This is when I discovered that Bru is in the midst of a fear period.

I'd noticed earlier in the week when Heather and her boyfriend came over that Bru was a little more timid about meeting new people than I remembered her being but I wasn't really prepared for Bru's aggressive (as in strong...not like viciousness or anything) flight reflex that kicked in as soon as she was approached by anyone. And there were a lot of people at the outlet mall that day because we're nearing the end of April vacation around here which generally brings a lot of people to the Mount Washington Valley.

So yeah, Bru tried to run away. A lot. And I spent a lot of time on my heels, trying not to get dragged through the mall's courtyard on my face. I was a little embarrassed. I was a real live Marmaduke or Beethoven movie trailer. I was like this:

Okay, so I wasn't quite that bad. Still, it's a funny video.

Saturday, I brought the girls down to obedience class. My original plan (you know, the one I had before Max had a blockage in his stomach) for Saturday involved going to Boston and, more importantly, Mike's Pastry where I would buy and eat giant cake like brownies and an assortment of cookies (sugar, M&M and chocolate chip, oh my!) larger than my head. But I didn't think Joe would want to be left home alone all day long with the three dogs, so I canceled the Boston trip. Then, Saturday morning, Joe said something along the lines of "Oh...I thought you were just going to leave them with me."

Someone owes me giant cake like brownies and an assortment of cookies larger than my head.

So instead of gorging myself on delicious baked goods, I brought the girls down to obedience class. Which is just as good. I think. Maybe. Whatever.

The fun started when I tried to put Bru in the car. The Gator Girl was already in the car, strapped down in the front seat to prevent her from doing anything other than turning around in a circle. Bru stood at the opened backseat door and wouldn't move. I tried every trick of which I could think to get her to get in the car but she wasn't having any of it so finally I was forced to pick up her front end and put it on the backseat and then go ahead and pick up her back end and try to cram her in the car. It worked. Eventually.

The fun continued when Bru decided to shake her head. This always sets the Gator Girl off when Big does it and, apparently, when any dog in the backseat does it. This would be one of the reasons why the Gator Girl gets strapped to the front seat. So yeah, Bru shook her head and the Gator Girl tried to go after her, but didn't get anywhere because of her seat belt. Still, I was irritated so I grabbed the Gator Girl with one hand and said, very lovingly, of course, "You don't have to worry about her. You don't have to worry about anything except maybe my foot up your ass. Knock it off and lay down. Now."

So much more fun than giant cake like brownies and cookies larger than my head.

When we finally made it down to class, we went to the local high school to work on one of the athletic fields (right next to the big signs that say "no dogs allowed on athletic fields", naturally.). I was the only attendee with two dogs. Usually, there's more than one of us. I got Brewster out first and tied her to the back of my car before getting the Gator Girl out of the car. The Gator Girl is always a little excited to be at class and is generally very mouthy and anxious. You know, more so than she is the rest of the time. She tagged Bru once, not very aggressively or anything, so I had to give her a little correction.

Then we went up to the field. I had Bru on my left side and the Gator Girl on my right. (Yes, I am insane. Joe will testify to this.) We were standing along the fence while I tried to decide which dog to tie off first and which dog to work in class first. While I contemplated my options, Bru discovered a pair of wood chips in the grass and decided to snack on them as though they were really potato chips.

This required me to reach into her mouth and pull them out. The first one came out easily. The second one, not so much. Bru decided she didn't like me reaching down her throat to remove the wood chip (not that I was really enjoying myself either, but whatever) and made the decision to protect my actions. This set the Gator Girl off and before I knew it, I was in the midst of a Gator Girl/Saint Bernard battle royale. Fortunately, I do not hold with such things and have had much experience breaking up battles between the Gator Girl and an even bigger than the Saint Bernard (who is only ten months old so she still has some growing to do) German Shepherd, so this, I could handle. The others in the class all went "OOOOH!" oh so helpfully while I made a Herculean effort to separate the two dogs. When I managed it, I held the Gator Girl by the collar and said, "I will kill you. Don't you think I won't because I'll do it. I will."

Carl, the class instructor, had made it over to me by this time and said, "Good correction. The threat might have been a tad exorbitant but the correction itself was good."

All things considered, class went smoothly. The Gator Girl was tied off first and spent an hour pacing back and forth, all the while never taking her eyes off me. When it was time to switch pups, I had to pick a spot along the fence that was free of wood chips so that Bru wouldn't eat anything she shouldn't. She didn't like being left by the fence. For a while, she just stood and looked at me like "What the hell is this?" Then she got tangled in her leash which required me to go over and untangle her from the leash. Once it happened a couple of times, I think Bru figured out that if she got tangled, I'd come to her rescue. Then she just stood there and barked at me. Finally, I put her in the car. She stopped barking then.

After class, we went over to visit my parents which was a fairly uneventful visit. All right, so the Gator Girl did manage to pop the screen door off its tracks but at least the screen itself was left in tact which is more than we can say for the last time the Gator Girl encountered the screen. By the time we left, Bru passed out in the backseat almost immediately because she was so tired. She slept all the way home (which took almost an hour and a half because there was so much traffic). The Gator Girl, however, did not.

That evening, I took Bru for our now nightly stroll down to the river. You remember before how I said it took Bru a little while to realize that the river was a big water dish? Well, Saturday night, she decided to go for a little swim.

The way the trail runs, it heads right to the river, where there's a bit of a drop off, like a fifteen foot drop or so, and then you turn left and walk alongside the river until the trail slopes down a bit and leads to the beach. Well, Bru ran right over the edge of the drop off and disappeared out of sight. Once I was able to breathe again, I went after her. She'd run right down the slope and into the water. I went down the slope after her, thinking how I was going to have to get in water too and how unhappy that idea made me because the water was so freaking cold and then I'd have to walk back to the house in soaking wet ice cold jeans and socks and shoes. But Bru surprised me and fought her way against the current to get back on land. We scaled the slope once more and all was well in the world.

Can I just tell you how much skinner Bru looks when wet? It's kind of funny.

So this brings us to Sunday. Everyone slept late. In fact, I was the first one up and only because my bladder wouldn't allow me to sleep any later. But when mom gets up, the kids get up too. I took Bru on a walk to the river because this seems to be the best (and sometimes only) way to get the dog to have a bowel movement. When we got to the end of the trail (right before you have to turn left), we came upon a couple of my neighbors and their yellow lab, Kindle or Kendall or whatever. I'm just going to call her Annoying because that's what she was.

Annoying saw us coming and ran right at us. She didn't come to be aggressive or anything; she just wanted to play. But that doesn't really matter. If I had been walking Big instead of Bru, the neighborhood would be short one yellow lab right now. Bru, as it was, just wanted to get away. And she couldn't get away because Annoying wouldn't back the hell off.

So I stood there, trying to get some traction on a ground covered with pine needles and tried to keep Bru from bolting because bolting would not only nicely dislocate my shoulders but also wouldn't solve our problem because Annoying would just keep on following us.

Meanwhile, Annoying's people were laughing, yes laughing (stupid frakking bitches), at the scene in front of them. At least they were until I looked at them, gave them the look of death and said, "It's not funny."

"Oh sorry," one of the women said. "But Annoying just loves other dogs."

Okay. Here's the thing about that: I don't give a shit if your dog just loves other dogs. There's always a possibility you're going to meet a dog who doesn't love other dogs. Again, if I'd been walking Big, as I would have been well within my rights to do, Annoying would be short a face. But hey, if you like faceless yellow labs, bring her on by.

So I explained that Bru is in the midst of a fear period and her flight reflex is sensitive and not done any favors by dogs like Annoying. I tried to be nice because the women are my neighbors and it seemed like something I should do but I was so frakking irritated with them. The rest of the walk went without incident or impromptu cliff diving/swimming session (I told Bru I'd bring her swimming later in the week if she's still here.) and we went back to the house.

Then I took a shower. While I did, something happened. I know something happened because it sounded like the goddamn house was collapsing in on itself. I figured if Joe needed help, he'd come get me or start screaming or something. He didn't. So when I got out of the shower, I came back to the living room. Joe was standing in the dining room, reading a magazine. Bru was lying at his feet. The Gator Girl was standing at my side and Big was nowhere to be seen.

"Something happen while I was in the shower?" I asked.

"What makes you say that?" Joe asked.

"The house sounded like it was going to come down," I said.

"Did it?" Joe asked. "I didn't notice."

So I looked around. The couch was broken and about two feet further back than it had been when I had gotten into the shower. The coffee table and the Gator Girl's favorite chair had also been relocated.

"We have some face chewing going on?" I asked.

"Mutual face chewing," Joe said.

Here's what happened: the Gator Girl and Bru played. And played hard. They growled at each other, chewed on each other, chased each other and had a grand ole time. All consensual. All destructive. But they had had a blast doing it and were now lying down. Of their own accord. Big immediately went upstairs to escape the madness. He's a little sore today. Joe took him for a walk yesterday while the girls and I were at class. Joe said he was embarrassed by it because Big dragged behind him the entire walk, whining as if saying, "But drives me everywhere!"

He's still upstairs now, passed out in the bedroom. The girls have been pretty mellow today too although I think Bru is starting to mount an assault against the kitchen cupboards. I hear the Gator Girl milling around in there too. That can't be a good thing. I should probably go and investigate what mischief the dynamic duo are plotting.

Until next time...'s now 5:40pm and Joe and I just finished repairing the couch for the second time today as it did not survive the girls' second play date. The couch really is now on the critical list. We need a fenced in yard. Like now.

P.S.S...nobody, by the way, owes me any baked goods of any kind. I was just trying to be funny.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Schnauzer Saga

So Monday, I was all geared up to write about my latest writing goals (now shot to hell) or my day at the store (which, as it turns out, really wasn't all that interesting) but then I checked my voicemail and listened to a message from my sister-in-law.

She and my brother were supposed to be in Boston for the Red Sox's Patriots Day game. They were supposed to be taking pictures of Jacoby Ellsbury for me. Turns out they didn't make it.

Their weekend started to go wrong at midnight on Saturday night or Sunday morning, whichever you prefer. Max the Wonder Schnauzer had been feeling off and was unable to keep anything down. He wasn't himself so at midnight, they bundled him up and brought him to the emergency room vet who, after four hours, basically sent them home with "wait and see what happens" advice.

Well, what happened is that they had to bring poor Max back to the emergency room vet at 4am on Monday morning. From there, they were sent to Max's regular vet, now considered a transfer patient because he'd started out at the pet emergency room. They did x-rays and gave the dog barium and concluded that there was a blockage in the little guy's stomach and that surgery was the next step.

So, Alison called me to ask if Bru could come and stay with us while Max recuperated from his ordeal. Since I was at work, I texted back with an answer because, technically, at work, we are not allowed to have our cell phones even on, nevertheless, checking our voicemail and texting responses. But II make exceptions for dog emergencies and fortunately, so does Head Honcho Julie.

I know I bitch about the Store a lot and, with it, the managers, but they are really very good about dog emergencies. It makes it easier when you have to say something to them like, "I know this is my first shift in a month and a half but there's a chance I may not be able to work all four hours of it."

It turns out I was (unfortunately) able to work my entire shift and was even allowed one phone call where I was able to touch base with my brother and sister-in-law to get an update on the situation. At that time, Max was in surgery. They weren't sure what the blockage was but the thought was that it was perhaps a part of one of Bru's rawhide bones. I told them I'd drive up after work and pick up Bru so they didn't have to worry about getting her to me because they were going to have enough to worry about because after Max was through with surgery, he and his IV were going to have to be transported to the overnight care place.

I headed out at about quarter of four. At about five o'clock, as I was closing in on their house, I received a call from them. Bad just went to worse. After picking up Max, the poor little understandably grumpy boy, bit Alison badly enough to warrant a trip to the emergency room so the new plan was for me to meet them there.

"Sounds great," I said, "but I have no idea how to get there."

"Well, from our house," my brother started, "you just go to the bottom of the hill and turn-"

Other directions followed. However, I was lost after "bottom of the hill."

Just before they hung up, I heard Alison mention a parking garage at the hospital as the place where I should park. This required me to find an ATM as I didn't have any cash on me and parking garages, in my experience, require cash. This required me to call my sister, Wendy, to ask her where I would find an ATM. I knew there would be one somewhere. I just didn't know where.

But she didn't answer. She had left her phone in the car. So I drove further into the city, looking for a bank sign. I had a passing thought that if I had my smart phone (a Droid phone more specifically), I wouldn't have this problem because the damn phone could tell me where I needed to go. But I didn't have a phone, so I was stuck looking for an ATM the old fashioned way.

While I drove, I called Joe to give him the latest update.

"And now I'm driving around blinding looking for a bank," I finished. "After which, I have to try and find the emergency room because I was lost after Jacob said to go to the bottom of the hill."

"Hey," Joe said. "If you had a Droid phone, the phone could tell you where to go."

"Yeah. I had that thought," I said. "But I don't have a Droid phone, do I?"

"Do you want me to look it up online?" Joe asked.

"That would be useful," I said. "Yes."

So Joe booted up his computer and proceeded to do a search for banks in the area. While he was searching, I saw a little green bank sign. On the other side of the road. So I glanced in my rear view mirror and crossed three lanes of traffic and cut off a state trooper (who nicely did not pull me over. Guess my out of state plates bought me the benefit of the doubt. Not drunk...just lost, officer!) but I made it to the bank.

Joe then helped me get to the emergency room with the help of Google maps. Thanks, Google maps! I managed to drive by the big red "EMERGENCY ROOM" sign the first time and had to turn around in the parking lot of a 7-11 (which Joe could see on the map. This made him very gleeful). I found the parking garage (which turned out to be free for the patients and visitors to the hospital) and pulled into a space just before Jacob and Alison did the same.

That's when I got to see what exactly the vet pulled out of Max's stomach because the vet was thoughtful enough to send it home with Jake and Alison in a zip lock bag. You know, in case they wanted to have the blockage bronzed or something. In case you wanted a souvenir (apart from your sure to be fun bankruptcy from vet bills!) from your Schnauzer's first (and hopefully last) emergency exploratory stomach surgery experience.

But whatever it was (my personal thought is that it was several remnants of a frayed rope bone but who the hell knows), it was kind of gross. And by 'kind of' I mean spectacularly gross. I have no idea how the in world a blockage that size was in the stomach of a miniature Schnauzer. Seriously, I think it was the size of his head. Poor, poor baby boy.

And poor, poor Alison who was holding a bloody bit of gauze against her left hand. We went inside and Alison went to sign in and check in and all the other hoops she had to jump through in order to be seen. I sat in the waiting room and fielding a very nasty call from my local library informing me that a book I had placed a hold on had come in and I had to pick it up right away because it was a new book and people, other than myself, were waiting for read it. I was curious what sort of lecture the person who had checked out the book before me and had returned it three days late had received if I was receiving a lecture for doing absolutely nothing wrong.

Anyway, I digress.

So, while I was waiting, I was imagining Alison explaining that she had been bitten by her dog, a miniature Schnauzer and then imagining the conversation becoming a Monty Python routine. This one, as a matter of fact:

The emergency room sent Alison to the First Care Clinic where she disappeared into an exam room and Jacob and I sat out in the waiting room and talked about the dark cloud of gloom and doom that had been following the pair of them around. If bad things come in threes, they should be covered for a while.

Anyway, I think Jake and I were getting a little silly by the time Alison came out of the exam room. Alison was not in a silly mood. She was irritated by the entire health care community and their antiseptic solution and their band aid stinginess. She had quite a rant going about the torturous nature of the antiseptic solution which spurred Jacob and I to pull out our very best torture humor (our stage show will soon be coming to a theatre near you!). We received a faceful of dirt when the med-evac helicopter arrived on the helicopter pad near the parking garage and then went to the grocery store to fill Alison's antibiotic prescription. We also had to stock up on first aid supplies. The pharmacy clerk ringing up Alison's sale managed to join her shit list when she asked Alison if she was planning an accident. Or did she say boo-boo? Or owie? I don't remember exactly what she said. Whatever it was, it annoyed Alison.

"I already had the accident," Alison said with the smallest hint of annoyance in her tone. Really, it was so minuscule you would've have noticed it...if you were, you know, dead or sleeping or something. Barely noticeable.

After the grocery store, we went to eat at Denny's. They must have seen us coming and had our picture up somewhere because we were seated at a corner table in an empty dining area. I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize to our waiter as while we are sometimes bratty and trying, thinking we're funnier than we really are, we're usually not that bad.

It took us a while to order. And by us, I mean Alison. She couldn't decide what to get and couldn't focus long enough to make a decision. She'd had a very long and trying day so it was understandable (and highly amusing if you weren't our waiter).

"Why don't you call Joe and ask him what he's having?" Jacob said as Joe and Alison usually end up ordering the same thing and can sometimes help each other expedite the ordering process. Jacob and I never take very long to decide what we want. The bonus of being an exceptionally picky eater.

Jacob made the suggestion as a joke but, before you knew it, Alison had her phone out and was calling Joe. Joe was having tomato soup and saltines because it was the only thing we had in our house so Alison asked him what he would order if he was at Denny's.

The waiter came by during the call. I think it was his third stop to see if we were ready to order. We weren't. Jacob explained how Alison couldn't poll the audience (as we were the only people in the entire section) so she'd been forced to phone a friend to help her decide. The waiter left. Joe and Alison discussed the menu and settled on a burger.

The waiter came back and took our order. He noticed Alison's hand and asked what happened so she told him (The Cliff Notes version). He followed up with a story about how he dislocated his shoulder and had to have a friend help him put on his pants. I was mostly left confused by what had happened and how it happened. I think he was holding on to a car door that went from zero to whatever in thirty seconds and he wasn't able to keep up? Or maybe it was a dog that took off on him? I'm not sure. Somehow he dislocated his shoulder and was at least half naked at the time. Great story. Thanks for sharing.

When the food arrived, Alison really started to get punchy (you know, more so than before) and I mean that literally. She punched Jacob in the arm. She also threw a french fry at him. Jacob and I were laughing so hard, we could have used some oxygen. Our waiter didn't come around again until it was time for the check. Wonder why. I paid and gave the man a very generous tip.

We went to Jacob and Alison's house next so I could get Bru and her belongings and head for home. Waiting for me on the table in the foyer was a pretty bunch of flowers (they're yellow...apart from that, I'm not sure what kind they are) and a note sticking out of them that had originally been for my sister, Wendy.

I knew it had originally been for Wendy because her name was on the card. It was crossed out and my name had been written above it. Wendy works near their house and she was going to stop in on her way home from work to let the dogs out while Jake and Alison were in Boston for the Red Sox game but since they never actually made it to Boston (good thing too...Boston lost. Again. Do NOT get me started on that.), they were regifting their thank you gift to Wendy. Here's what the note said inside:

Hi Wendy (Crossed out) Melissa,

Thank you for taking care of the pups (crossed out) Brewster while we're in Boston (crossed out) Hell. It's much appreciated!

Well, kids, you're welcome.

Anyway, so that was Monday. Bru and I made it home around 10:30 that night. My dogs were already in their crates but the cats were out and BOY, you should have seen the looks of death both Bru and I received from them. I imagine they'll be pissing on something I don't want them to piss on at some point. That'll be fun too.

And, in case you were wondering, the Schnauzer is still with us. He went from surgery to the overnight care facility and spent the following day at his regular vet. He went home Tuesday evening where he continues his recovery. Alison reports that he is quickly getting back to his old self.

Bru's doing well too. She's only been tagged by the Gator Girl once (for trying to climb over the back of the couch to get to me. Sorry, Bru, but that is NOT allowed.) and has steered clear of both her cousins ever since. I've taken her for a couple of walks down to the river (It took her a while to realize that the river was a really big water dish) and came back without having been dragged on my face. I do have to report that Bru has some fear of my neighbor's mailbox. She's run away from it twice now. But, you know, bravely so. She and Big are having a "let's see who can shed the most" contest. Big is, surprisingly enough, most definitely winning. There have been no accidents involving bodily functions better tended to outdoors and my couch is still in the same number of pieces it was in the last time Hurricane Bru blew through.

But now it's time for another walk. Enjoy your day.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Not So Fast...

So, some of you might be tuning in this morning to read about the most woeful tale of Max the Most Unluckiest Schnauzer On The Planet (and his parents) and you will read that saga. Just not right now. It's 5am and I am working off of an approximate two hours worth of sleep. Here's how the night went:

11pm: I went to bed. I was tired.

1am: I'm still lying in bed, wide awake, staring at the ceiling. I was tired, but wired. When you read about yesterday, you'll understand.

2am: I think I fell asleep because I wake up when Bru the Bruiser (Oh yeah...for those of you not aware of yesterday's super fun detour, Bru the Saint Bernard is back with us) starts crying in her crate.

2:30am: I think I feel asleep again because I wake up with Big The Grumpy German Shepherd howls in his crate. It is not unlike an air siren.

3:00am: Bru again.

4:00am: Bru again. This time, I am in the middle of a particularly hysterical dream involving smurfs (of which I was, huh?) and a knife fight (yes, a knife fight) concerning an unknown enemy, also throwing knives. Let's call him Ninja Gargamel because it's funny. I have to bury my face in my pillow to keep from bursting out into hysterical peals of laughter.

5:00am: Bru again. I'd really like her to wait until 6am.

5:30am: What the hell. It's past 6am somewhere, right? Besides, it's not like I'm doing any actual sleeping.

So yeah, that's what's happened since Bru and I arrived home last night. Later on today, I'll be posting the Schnauzer Saga. Be sure to check back.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Television Week In Review (Week Ending 4/17/10)


The Amazing Race: Love, love, love the cowboys. If they get booted, my desire to watch this show will disappear almost entirely. That said, that was quite a feud between Brent and Caite and Carol and Brandy (don't know which is which, sadly, but Joe thinks one of them looks like Gollum so he calls her that). The ugly American lesbians are angry. Joe and Heidi were much more zen about being u-turned. Yikes. And the undercover cops were behind it all. Speaking of the undercover cops, it annoys me to no end how they're forever calling each other 'baby'. But at least they're polite to the locals. Oh, and who knew there was such a thing as the Asian Amazing Race. Do they get to go to America all the time? Do they wander around saying things like "Why doesn't anyone here speak Mandarin?" Now I really want to see that show.

Legend of the Seeker: When will the characters on these shows learn not to celebrate anyone's birthday? It never goes well. Tonight's episode featured a birthday party thrown in Richard's honor which turns into a life threatening affair, of course. The creature of the week was a magical mummy and Kahlan and Cara had a chick fight while trapped in a tomb. A high school pal of mine is irritated with this show for changing so many facts (facts in a series of fantasy genre books, mind you). I don't mind it so much. I just want to be entertained. And this show never disappoints. It's always as bad as you think it's gonna be.


How I Met Your Mother: I forget how much I love this show and then they do something like tonight's episode where Marshall claims to have been mugged by a monkey in the central park zoo in order to keep Lily from buying a gun. Too freaking funny, really. And of course Barney was hysterical as well.

Dancing With The Stars: The judges were cranky and gave away two sets of crappy scores (one for technique and one for performance) to each couple. I missed the first half hour of the show as I was watching How I Met Your Mother but I did tune in in time to see Kate Gosselin's so called performance. I agree with the judges that it was her best yet but it still...sucked. As in big time. Did anyone see Jimmy Fallon's spoof of Kate's last dance? So. Damn. Funny. In fact, here it is (if you can't see it because you're at work, go to and search for it there):

House: Cameron's back! I've seriously been bothered for weeks about Jennifer Morrison's name remaining in the opening credits of the show because I had been under the impression that she was gone for good. After tonight's episode, it certainly feels like she's gone for good but I guess we'll wait and see. Anyway, it was an interesting episode. There was no patient of the week, which was a nice change of pace, and was packed full of a lot of funny moments. I think Taub and Foreman in the records room stoned on vicadin was probably my favorite, although Thirteen daring Wilson to steal a dollar from the cafeteria cashier was pretty funny too. Of course, Thirteen flashing Taub at the very end of the episode was classic. There was some serious stuff too, what with House being trapped with the introspective dying man and Cuddy searching high and low for the missing baby (totally thought the older brother had done it). Hugh Laurie directed this episode. Job well done, Hugh.

The Big Bang Theory: Wil Wheaton's back! And unfortunately, he used his evil genius to break up Leonard and Penny. Of course, I think Leonard and Penny might have already been on their way to that same place but still, Wil gave them the shove into it and all just so he could win a bowling bet. As always, Sheldon is my favorite.

Castle: Tom Bergeron guest starred as a murdered late night talk show host. I wish he had been given more to do because I love Tom Bergeron. I also think Fred Willard was wasted. Still, the episode was pretty good.


American Idol: Oh goody. It's Elvis night. Adam Lambert is tonight's mentor which is kind of cool. I also did like Adam Lambert. I was a little sad that Crystal Bowersox had to go first tonight because she's really the only contestant I'm excited to see every week. I can never remember Casey James's name at all. Sorry, Casey. Tim Urban (Joe calls him Zac Efron) didn't suck tonight. I groaned when I heard what song he was going to perform. I thought it would be an absolute train wreck but he really did sing it well. Aaron Kelly should go home. Ryan (who I think had a Red Bull too many tonight) made an uncharitable joke about Brian Dunkleman during a plug for the Idol episode which is all about giving to charity. Here's my rankings for the remaining contestants from worst to best: Aaron Kelly, Katie Stevens, Tim Urban (just barely squeaking ahead of Katie), Andrew Garcia, Michael Lynch, Casey James, Siobhan Magnus, Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox.

Glee: Yea!!! Glee is back!!! Sue Sylvester was snarky and the cheerleaders were both stupid and slutty and all is right in the world...except Teri Shuester is still on the show. I'm hoping Idina Menzel gets to sing in a future episode because I was disappointed that she didn't get to do any singing tonight. My favorite number of the night was the "Hello Goodbye" song at the end and the Sue Sylvester "Vogue" video. My favorite line of the night not coming from Sue Sylvester's mouth was courtesy of Brittany the Blond Cheerleader when she said, "Did you know dolphins are just gay sharks?" Oh god, I love this show.


The Middle: I don't know if you're watching this show but I really think you should. It's really quite funny. The kid who plays the eldest son, Axl, is beyond hysterical and I think his character is probably what Joe was like as a teenager.

Modern Family: Another very funny episode. If you're not watching this show, you have no idea what you're missing. I think my favorite part was when Mitchell confessed his secret desire to kill Dora the Explorer (put bricks in her backpack and throw her in the river). That or when the blond mom (I can never remember her character's name in this show. I always think of her as Carol Vessy from that show Ed a while back...the one with the lawyer who owned a bowling alley?) yelled out the mini van window to his middle daughter, Alex (in front of her friends), to remember to get her training bra while she was out shopping.

American Idol Results: I heart Adam Lambert. He's never dull. And boy, can he sing. Also of note (and possible concern): I don't know what's going on with Ryan Seacrest lately but he's either off his meds or over self medicating with something he shouldn't because he's been weird. I mean, really, really weird this entire season. Andrew Garcia and Katie Stevens are out. I was a little sad that it wasn't Katie and Aaron. Maybe Aaron will be gone next week but I doubt it because it's Idol Gives Back or whatever and I think everyone has to sing inspirational power ballads or whatever and Aaron could easily sing an inspirational power ballad.

In Plain Sight: I recorded it but I haven't watched it yet. I really enjoyed last week's episode. I think it might be my favorite episode yet. I run hot and cold on this show. I like Mary's character and I like Marshall but I don't much care for the rest of the cast. Anyway, I'll probably watch this one eventually, especially since Allison Janney is a guest star again and I've loved Allison Janney since The West Wing.


Bones: Bones and Booth attend her high school reunion. Talk about the creepiest thing ever. See, this is why I didn't bother going to any of mine.

Supernatural: So, the 100th episode. Gotta say, I was slightly disappointed. I thought the build up was great and then it just kind of...ended. The pay off wasn't what I thought it would be and I am left underwhelmed. Apart from the scene where Dean tells Sam that he thinks Lucifer will end up wearing Sam to the prom, I thought it was lackluster. This is a series that has done some exceptional heavy, deep serious episodes and this should have been one of them but it just wasn't. I'll probably irritate some people by saying this (well, if any of those people happen to stumble across this blog) but it's the way I feel. And I do not think I like the preview for next week's episode at all. Motel Hell? Really? Whatever. Let me know when Sam becomes Lucifer's prom dress.

Project Runway: I can't believe the judges picked Milla over Jay. That decision totally sucked. Maybe they figured it wouldn't matter because neither of them stand a chance against Seth Aaron or Emilio and so it would maybe be better to have a woman amongst the final three, but I thought Jay's mini collection was vastly superior and waaaaaaaaay more interesting than Milla's. This coming from a girl whose closet is full of jeans and sweatshirts, sure, but I would have been much happier being able to see Jay's entire collection rather than the 60's retro black and white stylings of Milla Hermanovski. But that's just my opinion.


Merlin: The show's second season. The first season showed last summer on NBC and now is on the SyFy channel. They changed a lot of things from the King Arthur legend. Notable changed include Arthur and Morgana no longer being siblings and Mordred no longer being their child. Guinevere is Morgana's servant and magic is forbidden in the kingdom of Camelot because it's feared and misunderstood by King Uther (played by BtVS's Anthony Stewart Head). Last week, Guinevere and Arthur kissed and this week, Morgana started to come into her powers. It involved another appearance by the uber creepy Mordred and some even creepier giant scorpions. Next week, Guinevere has another run-in with Lancelot. Woo Hoo!