May 30, 2007
Gus, the dog formerly known as Alex, has found his forever home. He's living in The Colony, Texas (yes, that's actually the name of the town--weird) with one volunteer fire fighter, his lovely wife and two 11ish year old boys. He has a big back yard and a basset hound brother. I couldn't be happier.
In a moment of sheer genius, I posted Gus on TexasHuntingForum.com. He was snapped up in an instant based on the fact that his breed of dog is supposedly able to singlehandedly take down a 1,000 wild boar. Sounds like a good time to me!
The fire fighter read the post at 3pm, talked to his wife, and Gus was picked up and gone by 7. Considering the fact the The Colonly is 45 minutes away, these people really, really wanted Gus. That's good. He's a good boy. He deserves to be wanted. We were able to meet the whole family. Their Texas accents and won me over instantly--so I'll say it again. I couldn't be happier.
I will admit that I cried like my middle section was being run over by a VW Mini Bus when he left, but now I'm feeling relieved. Gracie has opened her eyes for a total of 16 minutes today, and that's they way I like it. She's like a speed bump that breaths, poops, and requires veterinary care--perfecto.
Back to normal. Phew.
May 28, 2007
I'm not a responsible person...at least not with the small things. When it comes to child rearing, financial planning, and deadlines I'm you're girl. But for everything else in the universe, I suggest you go elsewhere.
- I'm the girl who always has at least one carton of expired milk in the fridge.
- I just cleaned 547 old, read messages out of my email inbox.
- I'm the one who borrows my parents' Jetta and returns it without a bumper--honestly not knowing how or where it came off.
- And I'm the one who sends my husband to school with a lunch consisting of an unopened can of Campbell's soup and mini-package of peanuts from our most recent flight.
Let me just sum it up by letting you all know that the phrase "attention to detail" can not be found anywhere on my resume. You can, however, find the phrase "Own and operate a Recreational Vehicle" prominently listed under my goals and objectives section.Sidenote: I haven't landed an interview in almost three years.
Anywho, I had quite the lapse in responsibility this evening, and my husband is insisting that I write about it in detail (really, he just wants the attention taken off of the previous post). So here goes....
My friend Beth is in El Paso for the long weekend. When I dropped her off at the airport last week, she tossed me a set of keys and said, "Here. This is the spare key to the X-Terra and my front door. I want you to take the milk from my fridge. It's organic, and I want it to get used."
I casually replied, "Oh, cool. Thanks."
But in my head I thought, "Oh my crap. Why are you doing this? Saving the milk is not worth it. You will never see these keys again...and from past experience, I know that these little automatic door unlockers are very expensive. I better cut back on groceries this week, because I will most definitely have to replace this thing."
Well, Beth comes back tomorrow and I'm proud to say that I still have the keys--barely. They're actually sitting safely on my kitchen counter as I type--barely. But seriously, who cares where those keys have been? The important things is that I'm able to return them to my friend.
I don't think Beth ever needs to know that her keys were sitting on the roof of my car as I drove all over East Dallas this evening. The important thing is that they stayed on the roof of my car when I slammed on the brakes to spare the life of a toad, parked and ate a leisurely dinner at the Dixie House, and passed a city bus on the right to save a couple of seconds.
So, in conclusion, I have no idea how or why Beth's keys ever ended up on the roof of my Toyota, I now have one extra gallon of expired (organic) milk in my refrigerator, and you should never, never, never trust me with the minor details of your life.
I mean it.
Can you believe that nothing funny has happened to me today? Me neither. Consequently, this is loooong and thoughtful post...so don't say I didn't warn you.
May 25, 2007
If you know me well, then you know how I feel about my local YMCA. I wouldn't describe myself as your stereotypical 'gym rat'-- but I do love my Y membership like it's my third grandma. And if it were my grandma, I'd be making out like a bandit in the estate-planning department, since I visit her so often.
I joined the YMCA about a year ago. I decided to take the plunge and spend the money for three reasons. First, we qualified for a reduced rate through the financial assistance program. Second, I heard that James could hang out in the kid care room while I exercised. And third, I wanted to tone up a little bit and maybe even start running again.
Pretty much I was like every other mom in America--broke, flabby, and desperately needing an occasional break from her child. And based on the remarks of Oprah's guests, I felt like every other mom in America, too. I wasn't unhappy with my weight and body, but I certainly wasn't satisfied with it either. I felt confident as a mother, but wasn't convinced that I was any sort of great mom. And I had 1,000 blessings to be grateful for, but still managed to find 1,001 details to complain about. I wasn't sad, but I wasn't thrilled. I was alive, and that seemed pretty good.
Not surprisingly, my YMCA routine mirrored my overall attitude at that time. I'd think about what a pain it could be to cart a kid around as I pulled James out from his carseat. I'd feel an overwhelming sense of embarrassment as the front desk person scanned my membership card and learned that I qualified for financial aid. I felt an enormous sense of relief as I left James with the sitters at the kid care center. I was pissed off when the scale told me that I still weighed 153 with my shoes off. I resented any woman who had a better physique than me, and felt unbelievably superior to the ones who didn't. And of course, I was frustrated by how damn slow I was on that freaking treadmill.
And then, one day, it all came to a screeching halt. I had an attitude adjustment. Thank goodness.
I was plodding along on the treadmill at a ten minute mile pace, firmly concentrated on my lack of speed. So concentrated, in fact, that I didn't notice when a middle aged Hispanic man climbed onto the treadmill to my right. In fact, I actually felt his stride long before I ever caught sight of him. From the vibrations on the floor and the pounding that I heard under the hum of my mp3 player, I could tell that this runner to my right had a pretty serious limp.
I always used to size up my 'competition' on the treadmill. In other words, I looked at their speed, their gender and their age, and then used my ridiculous reasoning skills to decide who was better--me, or the competition. After a split second assessment of this 'competition,' there was no disputing the better man--it was him.
This middle-aged man had obviously suffered a stroke. The left side of his body, from his face to his leg, was almost completely limp. His treadmill was only set to 2.4 miles an hour--slow enough for him to step forward with his right foot and slowly drag his left leg to the front. His knuckles were pale as he grasped the handrails for every ounce of support that they could possibly provide. He walked that way for two miles--almost an entire hour.
And me? I prayed hard for 6 miles--almost an entire hour. I asked God for forgiveness that day, and I asked God to bless me with a grateful heart. I also prayed for that man--for his recovery, for his strength, and for his stamina. And I prayed for the desire to make a conscious change. I was tired of being the average American woman...I wanted to enjoy my life.
And now I do.
Today as we walked into the Y, James and I stopped and counted every single fish in the large, crusty tank. I felt an overwhelming sense of love as I watched James play trucks by himself and with his favorite kid care worker, Christina. I felt relieved when I decided that I'd rather walk on the treadmill than run, and didn't allow the woman to my left to be a factor in my decision. I laughed to myself as I watched an old man flip the tape in his cassette walkman, and gawked in wonder as a tiny woman bench pressed one hundred pounds. And of course, I was purely grateful when the man with the stroke stepped onto his treadmill and began to walk. His left leg doesn't seem to be dragging quite so much, his speech seems to be a bit better, and I could be mistaken, but I think his treadmill was set to 3 miles per hour.
Life is good.
May 25, 2007
It looks like Alex the dog will be staying for a while...at least through the weekend. Jared doesn't like the name Alex, but has yet to suggest anything better, so we're leaving it up to you, our loyal readers.
Here are the vital statistics...
Age: about six months
Color: black, grey and gold
Hobbies and Interests: running, jumping, baseball, following people home, sleeping, eating, playing, eating board books, eating bones, soap operas, tail wagging, Asian cuisine, herding, pooping, blinking, scratching, and staring.
Here are a few names that we are considering [please note: Jared or his brother Daniel thought up the dumb-ish ones]:
Texas related names: Tex, Dallas, Ranger, Cowboy
Baseball related names: Yaz, Ortiz, Fenway, Sinker, Slider, Slugger or Dice-K
Classic Dog-type names: Spot, Scooter, Pal, Scruffy
People names: Rusty, Gus, Peter, Henry, Charlie, Ed, JD, Max, Pablo, Juan or Itchy
Other random names: Speedy, Pre, Snicker, Buba, Strider, Tooter, Six Pack, Plunger, Paycheck, Pickmeup, Pick-up-truck, Stinky, Weenie or Whoopass
Cast your vote...or better yet, make up your own!
The winning name will be chosen whenever we feel like it (probably after the holiday weekend), and the lucky winner will recieve one catahoula dog shipped via UPS ground.
Now get to it!
May 23, 2007
As of this afternoon he'll be dewormed, up to date on his shots, and he'll have had a fabulous flea bath. He also comes with an attractive collar, leash and choke chain. He already knows how to sit.
Contact info is in the third post down titled "Free Dog for Sale."
On Second Thought...
May 23, 2007
On second thought, maybe someone would like to adopt my greyhound pictured on the left. Her name is Gracie, and I'm not gonna lie...she's a bad dog.
Yesterday afternoon, I ran to the post office. The entire trip took about 20 minutes. When I got back, Alex (the stray dog on the right) was sprawled out, sleeping quietly on the balcony. Everything was just as I'd left it. Gracie, on the other hand, was lying on her back on her overstuffed, very expensive dog pillow. She was moaning and groaning like an old person who had some kind of horrible, chronic stomach issues.
As she reluctantly stood up to greet me, I became 100% certain that she indeed had a stomach ache. After all, that's what happens when you eat an entire cake and half of its attractive plastic housing in one sitting.
Stupid dog. She ate my angel food cake. I was supposed to be the one to eat that whole cake in one sitting, not Gracie.
And there went my day, right down the old proverbial pisser.
So if you're interested in a dog with a ridiculous farting problem (especially today), who can get food off the top of the fridge, will help you stay within your allotted weight watchers points, and will probably develop type 2 diabetes in the near future, then Gracie the greyhound is your girl.
May 22, 2007
May 21, 2007
I run. It's what I do for fun, it's my hobby--I put one foot in front the the other for as fast and as long as I possibly can. I subscribe to running magazines, chat about running on internet forums, and buy running things from running stores.
Most people tend to shy away from running. They'll only do it when they absolutely have to--like if they're being chased by a rabid bunny at the park, or a pre-menstrual wife with a flat iron, or the cops. Not me, I do it 100% voluntarily.
Maybe I need a new hobby. I would probably like to try speed-eating, or homemade handicrafting, or dating. There could never be any question as to why I participated in those hobbies. They are indisputably fun--for all people.
The straight-up weirdness of my hobby hit me yesterday morning, the day of the North Trail Half Marathon. Let me just sum it up in a few sentences:
I paid $50 to wake up at 5:30 am on a Sunday to run 13.1 miles
I paid $50 to poop in the stank-nastiest port-a-potty of all time--twice.
I paid $5o to get passed by a 75 year old man who had a limp in each leg.
I paid $50 to hope that a road biker would run over at least 3 of my toes at mile 8.
And I paid $50 to hope that a different road biker would run over my torso at mile 11.8.
But as I rounded the turn to the finish at mile 13 and spotted my little boy, all of the effort suddenly seemed worth it. After six months of dedicated practice, James has finally learned how to get a little bit of air when he jumps. And there he was--working so very hard to jump up and down as he cheered for his beloved running mommy. His little voice was straining, too. "Yay Mommy! Mommy wunnin' a wace! MOM MA!"
As I ran that last .1 mile I pondered the blessings of motherhood, and large tears welled up in my eyes. Upon crossing the finish line, I veered to the left, sat on the ground, rested my face on the raised sidewalk curb and began to gasp and heave--I even had some tears. A giant, sweaty, shirtless good samaritan came over and helped me off the ground. The moment we made eye contact, my pseudo-crying ceased.
Good Samaritan: Are you okay?
Me: Yeah, I'm fine. Thanks.
Good Samaritan: Are you sure? You were crying for a second.
Me: I know. I started crying because my two year old was cheering for me and it was pretty touching. Then I really started crying because I realized that I could have crouched down behind that bread truck for two hours, popped out, run the the last quarter mile and he would have been just as excited. And I think I'm a little dehydrated.
So that's the new plan. From now on, I'm going to start the race, find a comfortable hiding place, watch a few shows on my pocket TV, and then finish strong. In my opinion, that is a much, much wiser way to spend fifty bucks on a Sunday morning.
- First, I will eat a 1,000 calorie super-value meal from Wendy's for dinner tonight.
- Then, I will follow it up with a 1,000 calorie extra large frozen Blizzard treat from Dairy Queen.
- I will put $1,000 worth of airline tickets on our credit card for my cousin's wedding in June.
- I will watch Jared wash, dry, fold and put away 1,000 pieces of laundry that we dirtied while he was fishing with his buddies this week.
- And finally, I will nag Jared 1,000 times to take the garbage to the dumpster while I watch 1,000 consecutive minutes of cut-rate reruns on TV.
May 18, 2007
This is a picture of my sister, Katy. More specifically, this is a picuture of her new headband from the Gap. She probably spotted the accessory as she pushed her stoller past the store window during her "Moving Mamas" class this morning. She bought it on sale, took a picture of herself wearing it, and then emailed it to me so I could supply her with my opinion.
Looks good, Kate! I like it a lot.
Can you guess what Katy does for work? She's a stay-at-home mom, just like me! We are very busy ladies. According to a recent article by the Associated Press, stay-at-home-moms should be getting paid almost $140,000 a year for the work that we do. I couldn't agree more. Our days are busy, stressful and important. We deserve lots and lots of money.
Hey Katy, I've been working out. Let me snap a quick picture of my butt and email it to you. I want to know if you think it's gotten any smaller.
See? This is hard work. I seriously need a raise and a vacation.
May 18, 2007
***If you have not yet read the previous post entitled "1-800-no-flowers" please read it now. It will help you avoid a significant amount of unnecassary confussion.***
Just as I pressed publish, there was a knock on the door. Sure enough it was a beautiful bouquet of flowers for Amy Loooson (yes, with 3 Os).
I'll post a picutre of them just as soon as I find my camera.
May 16, 2007
My husband Jared is the self proclaimed 'King of Recreation.' Subsequently, I am the self proclaimed 'Queen of Walking the Dog and Taking Care of James All By Myself While My Husband Takes Fishing Trips.' Jared is actually taking a trip this week. To Oklahoma. For four days.
I don't mind these fishing trips so much--after all, I like a little bit of time to myself. I eat chocolate at every meal, spend money from the secret account that Jared will never know about, and watch way more TV than I would ever, ever admit. What I don't like this time is the length of the trip--four days. That's like 8 trips up and down the stairs with a dog and a stroller, by myself; 85 binky meltdowns, by myself; 20 zillion diaper changes, by myself; and 3 night of sleeping, by myself.
I tried to talk him down on the length of this trip last night before we went to bed, but the man simply wouldn't budge. I tried logic, I tried a guilt trip, I tried empty threats. He wouldn't have any of it, all he wanted to talk about was his camping menu--and just how anxious he was to consume the array of brand new condiments that was so lovinging displayed on our kitchen table. In a last ditch moment of desperation, I began to rattle of my list of hopes and wishes.
I was like, "Well, I see that you're not going to compromise on this one, Jared. In that case..."
- I hope you get attacked by a wicked angry mob of mosquitoes.
- I hope a raccoon pees in your cooler--two times.
- I hope you forget to pack toilet paper and get a roaring case of the squirts.
- I hope a bird poops on your bottom lip while you are deep in thought.
- I hope you pee in your waders.
- I hope you get so sweaty that you have to peel your schnuts off your thigh each night.
- I hope you catch every genus and species of marine animal except a fish.
- I hope all of your eyelashes fall out at the same time.
- I hope one of your fishing buddies makes an unexpected pass at you.
- And I hope the people at the campsite next to you have an unyielding passion for loud, gangsta rap music.
But you know? When I really stop to think about it, I mostly hope that he catches the biggest trout of his entire life, I hope he laughs with his buddies until he pees himself [sidenote: I still wouldn't mind if this happened in his waders], and I hope he misses me the entire time. Oh, but don't tell him I said that, ok?
- Are you there God? It's me, Margaret.
- The Babysitter's Club, #1-#25
- Go Dog, Go!
- Rachel Ray's Lower Carb Cookbook
- Guide to Getting it On! 5th addition
- Anything by Paris or Nicole
- The Adventures of Captain Underpants Series
Does anyone want to be in my book club? I think it will be way more fun.
May 15, 2007
Due to some recent events, the dreaded day has arrived--it's time to get rid of the minget. At this point, you're probably wondering what a minget is. Jared and I generally refer to it as a paci, a pacifier, or a binky. James, on the other hand, refers to the ingenious little contraption as his minky or his banky, but mostly his minget.
I'm afraid that I've come to love and rely on the minget just as much as James does. It instantaneously stops screaming, crying, and puts my son to sleep faster than an elephant tranquilizer. I even tried to thank the minget (along with Elmo and Barney) on the acknowledgements page of my thesis. Unfortunately my advisor wouldn't allow me such freedom--and he later learned that I was 100% serious when I told him that he was much less helpful than the minget, so if I couldn't thank it, then I couldn't thank him either. Consequently, there is no acknowledgements page in my thesis.
I know what you're wondering. Why on earth would I force James to abandon such an integral and meaningful piece of his little life? Two reasons:
First, I was at the park a few weeks ago when a 8 year old know-it-all-little-neighbor-girl gave me too much information about the dental problems that can occur as a result of pacifier use. It wasn't the idea of hefty dental bills that caused me to reconsider James' binky use. Quite simply, that little girl is unbelievably annoying and I'd like to avoid as much neighborly interaction with her as possible. The lack of a paci leaves her with a lack of ammunition. Ha.
That same day, a different little girl came up to me to ask a few concerned questions about the plug in my kid's mouth. She, on the other hand, was heart-meltingly cute. She kindly asked me, "what's in his mouth?" as her little 5 year old finger pointed at the pacifier. I replied, "That's his binky. He never likes to take it out." Suddenly her face dropped and a look of terror consumed that little angel. Next thing I knew, she was grasping onto my leg and pleading with me in a desperate, screaming sort of way. She was all:
"YOU HAVE TO TAKE THAT OUT OF HIS MOUTH!!!!!!!!!! How will he ever EAT? And how will he ever TALK? PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE TAKE IT OUT!!!!!"
The little girl's mother ran over, peeled her from my leg, and apologized for the drama. As we walked hom that day, I decided it was time to cut back on the binky, at least in public. So we have.
Starting last Sunday, James is only allowed to use his minget at nap time and bed time. He's doing surprisingly well with the transition. He's more confused than he is grumpy or upset. For example, every time he wants to eat or talk, he reaches up to his mouth and seems to remove some sort of ghost binky and lovingly places it on the nearest table. He always puts "it" back into his mouth when he's finished with whatever he was doing.
- I give him a big hug.
- We sing a happy song.
- We do a happy dance.
- I sit him in front of the TV and put his Bob the Builder DVD on repeat.
- I give him some potato chips.
- I give him some ice cream.
- I let him flop around the on the floor like a bass out of its lake.
- I tell him that our greyhound has the minget, and watch him yell at her in angry frustration.
Here is a picture of M-Law wearing a bathrobe that she forgot to return to the store.
And here is an equally unflattering picture of my father-in-law in his bathrobe. I like to catch them for some candid shots first thing in the morning. I don't think they mind at all.
May 10, 2007
I have a special person in my life, whom I lovingly refer to as M-Law. She has picked up this fun, yet functional nick-name for two reasons. First she is my Mother-in-Law, and second, her name is Meredith Lawson.
There are three things that make my M-Law unique: she loves to shop, she loves to return the items that she acquires while shopping, and she's very, very forgetful. Now any of these attributes in stand-alone form are not very interesting...but trust me, when they're presented as a combination they make for one whopper of a person.
Let me illustrate. M-Law took me shopping at TJ Maxx last week. After we selected our items, we pushed our cart over to a long, slow line. As we approached the register, M-Law spotted a light green top that struck her fancy. She walked over the sweater and held it up against her body to try and determine if it would fit. She decided that the sleeves were the appropriate length, but was concerned that the torso portion of the top was too short--so she asked the entire line for their opinions. There was an overwhelming, unanimous consensus among the shoppers that the fit of the shirt was perfect [sidenote: in all actuality, they just wanted the damn line to move along]. So M-Law purchased the shirt....with a store credit from a previously returned item of course.
And then we were off to Linens n' Things to return a literal trunk full of European style pillows that were purchased off of the clearance table. In a moment of excitement over an awesome bargain, M-Law had forgotten that she hates the shape of European pillows. At least that's what she told the poor man working at the customer service desk.
Later that night, after a long day of shopping and returning, we all sat down to watch American Idol. During one of the commercial sets, M-Law mutes the TV, turns to me, and says in her usual serious and exasperated tone:
Ugh. Amy. I should have tried on that shirt before I bought it today.
Me: Oh yeah, why?
M-Law: Because I bought that exact shirt last week, and it didn't fit then either.
Me: Hold on...what?! (now I'm interested...)
M-Law: I bought that shirt without trying it on last week. It didn't fit, so I returned it on Saturday. And then I bought it again. Ugh.
In conclusion and for clarity's sake, my mother-in-law rebought the same shirt that didn't fit her the week before. More specifically:
She bought the shirt on Friday.
She returned the shirt on Saturday.
She rebought the exact same shirt on Tuesday with the very store credit that was issued when she returned the shirt on Saturday.
Ay yi yi...what a woman!
May 7th, 2007
It's been a while since I've posted. The delay can be blamed on two factors. First, I'm totally finished with graduate school and I no longer have the motivation to procrastinate. And second, Jared and I are in Maine. We came to Maine on a 'business trip.' In other words, Jared had a few interviews.
For those of you who don't know us very well, Jared is in chiropractic school. He graduates in December. We've recently take to calling Jared an "oh-doctor" instead of a chiropractor. Let me explain...
Person 1: Your husband is going to be a doctor? Wow! What kind?
Me: He's going to be a chiropractor.
Person1: Oh? Ohhhh. Oh. How nice (as their voice trails off and they turn to walk away)...
Me: (shouting as Person 1 walks away) Well...we're in just as much student loan debt as a regular medical doctor!!!! I hope you never throw your back out!!!!
And there you have it, an oh-doctor. After a promising interview, and not-so-promising interview, and a few in-betweeners, we've sort of settled on a post-graduation plan. Jared is hoping to work part-time for another oh-doctor in Farmington, and we're planning on opening our own small-scale, low-overhead practice somewhere near Augusta.
We've never owned our own business before--I mean heck, only one guy has ever even trusted us to watch his dog and cat. Despite this lack of experince, we're convinced we can make a go of it. I'm so confident in our abilities, that I'm willing to share some of our highly effective business strategies with my loyal readers. Let's talk about scoping out some good locations. So far, we've narrowed it down to a very, very promising town. This is how we've done it:
We like the location because:
- Close proximity to the State capital.
- High percentage of residents with health insurance.
- One competitor who's only open part-time.
- The local bakery has the most kick-ass brownies we've ever tried.
- High concentration of hippies.
- The hippies tend to drive nice cars.
- Our waiter was really, really friendly.
And of course, we've had to knock some towns off of our "potential places" list. We've knocked them off for the following reasons:
- A low percentage of residents with health insurance
- Below average per capita income
- The car that was displayed on the rotating platform at the local dealership was a '96 Grand Am with a crazy door ding. It was $2,995.
- The only retail space available was a garage next to the tractor tire shop.
- The local chamber of commerce was located in the corner of the gas station/tatoo parlor/tanning salon/video store.