Saturday, December 30, 2006

Dead Dog

We had to put Mabel to sleep yesterday, or, as Boy prefers to tell it, we killed our dog yesterday. Either way you phrase it the dog is dead.

There is something profoundly disturbing about watching the life leave a body, even if it is a dog's life. One minute it's your dog, the next minute it's just a body and the dog isn't in it any more... If you've been lucky enough to not have to witness this yet, maybe you can't understand it. I don't know how else to put it. All I know is that there comes a moment when you're petting the body and you realize there's no one in it any more and you feel like the rug's been pulled out from under you.

Boy was in the vet's office and he wanted to be there for Mabel, but I wouldn't let him stay. I told him I didn't think anything good would come of it. It is very, very sad to have a dog one minute and not have one the next, but it's a whole nuther world of hurt to watch it happen. As it was he spent two whole days crying- the first because she was sick and likely to die, the second because she did. I can't see telling him to buck up and not be sad. He should be sad. Then again, I can't see making it worse. Hopefully he won't end up in therapy because I wouldn't let him stay when I had them kill the dog.

Guilt is rather narcissistic, I think. Indulge me this once, please. I feel guilty because when Mabel passed a bladder stone two years ago I took her to the cheap vet. Because he was cheap. I told the cheap vet to manage things cheaply. He didn't do an xray, but he did determine the stones were struvite stones. I asked if we should change her diet, and he said to feed her a vegetarian diet, which he would be happy to sell to me.

A vegetarian diet.

For a Dog.

I looked it up and found that although the vegetarian diet can actually be a good thing for some conditions, this was not one of them, so I kept Mabel on her current diet. What I should have done was more research. I should have googled "struvite medical treatment canine" like I did last night, and I would have learned that her treatment was grossly inadequate. Of course, another option would have been to take her to a real vet and spend some real money on her, but I didn't do that either. The net result is that two years later my dog suffered and died from a treatable condition.

So now we're down to one dog. One sad little Lucy, who is strangely clingy and follows me everywhere, not just to the kitchen. I still say the wrong things, like "Take the dogs out". I still expect to hear two dogs barking.

Mostly I miss Mabel's intelligence. Mabel had intention. She had moods, most of them good ones. She could be silly, or hyper, or giddy. She could be cuddly (rare) or calm or lovey. If you wanted to know the meaning or sheer joy, you could set her loose in my Aunt's yard to chase the birds. She'd tear off, go into that "Bunny Run" where both the front legs go out at the same time- now That was a happy dog.

Lucy isn't the same. She's more like a very smart guinea pig. She doesn't have moods so much as modes- food seeking, in which she follows you into the kitchen and hoovers the floor. Heat seeking, in which she stealthily works her way into your lap with out you noticing. And comfort seeking, in which she finds the softest thing in the room to curl up on, and if it isn't soft enough she'll fluff it with her paws. Frankly she's cold comfort right now. I almost want to go get another dog.

Alright. I'm done playing Captain Buzzkill and the Bring Downs,

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Crazy Making, or How To Make The Perfect Purchase

Step 1: Google reviews for the type of item you had in mind, say, for instance, "Camcorders". Discover that you need to be looking at how many chips the camera uses to record light, how good it is in low light, and of course, price.

Step 2: Try to find a camera that has those features. Read fifty million "10 Best Camcorder" reviews on fifty million sites, frequently discovering that the review is two years old.

Step 3: Thinking you have THE camcorder, Google the specific model and read some more Expert reviews. Discover that a Key quality is lacking in the model you've chosen. Go back to Step 2.

Step 4: Having found a camera with the qualities you desire, begin to read customer reviews. This will undoubtedly lead you to discover that your camera is HATED by the masses. Go back to step 2.

Step 5: Decide you don't care what the reviewers think, you can live with a certain Camcorder because someone on one website said it didn't suck, and it's cheap. Now focus on finding the cheapest price. Google the product name and model number along with the word "Buy". Google will return a million websites listing the same three prices.

Step 6: Google the item and a low-ball price. Google will return a list of cheapskate forums where everyone is talking about how they paid $100 less than anything you've seen the camcorder for, and how they're all jealous of the dude who's bragging that he bought it for $50 less than that.

Step 7: Begin to try to get the camera at the uber-cheap price. This involves skinning a chicken at midnight on the full moon, but you're hard core! It is important to spend several hours on this step, especially if your goal is to make yourself crazy. After pursuing many, many strategies for getting The Super Deal, discover the camcorder is All Sold Out. Everywhere within driving distance. Since the final step in all the strategies is usually taking advantage of the brick and mortar store's price matching policy, this means you're screwed.

Step 8: Repeat step 5, but scroll to the bottom of the page and click the last "o" in Google. On this page will be a little known store that still has the camcorder and is offering it for almost $100 less than the worst prices you've seen.

If you aren't already crazy, go back to step 2 and repeat until you are. That is, of course, unless your goal was to buy a camcorder. If you meant to buy a damn camcorder DO IT NOW! DO NOT SPEND ONE MORE SECOND OVERTHINKING THIS STUPID PURCHASE THAT YOU'VE ALREADY SPENT HOURS, HOURS, DIDDLING YOURSELF OVER!!!

Going to buy a futhermucking camcorder, tra-la, tra-la,

Thursday, December 21, 2006

More Randomness

1) At age thirty something I am finally beginning to appreciate "Round Mouth" singing. That is, opera, some choral music, etc... I can tolerate the women, and sometimes I even enjoy hearing a choir. There's no helping the men though, they just sound silly. The vibrato sounds like the fakest laughing ever. Give me another 30 ears and I might warm up to it.
2) Even though it's only 20 minutes long, you should bother to rent Harvey Krumpet. It is amusing. I am especially fond of the crazy mother's burbles.
3)We just watched Mysterious Object at Noon. This is a movie that proves that a degree from film school doesn't mean you really know how to make a movie. The premise is that the film makers travel through Thailand and get locals to complete a story "Exquisite Corpse" style. They don't do much of that though. They enjoy taking tiny peeks into the local's lives, but don't much with that either. It had lovely bits and pieces in it, enough to keep you watching, but not enough to satisfy.
My favorite person met was an older lady who starts telling the story of a dream her father had. Then she tries to get the film maker to have a beer. Then she can't remember when she got the beer, she'd traded some oranges for it, got it from the village elder, but was it yesterday evening or afternoon? She finally realizes she's forgotten what story she was telling. She laughs with complete abandon. Both Simon and Boy say she reminds them of me; I'm flattered.
4)The Peanut crawls. This, combined with her compulsion to eat all things fuzzy/dirty on the floor, promises to keep me busy this week. It is a huge relief, as we were worried she might not crawl for a month or more, if ever. She is also pulling up on things, yet another normal thing that normal babies do in their normalness. Oh yeah, she's normal and a bag of chips.
5) JK Rowling has announced the title of book seven. This brings home the fact that it is nearing completion. My family loves the series. It started out as a fling, but after the third re-read it got serious. It's gone past that now. We know all the flaws intimately. In couple-stages, we're at the point we're planning retirement together and have given up on the seat up or down argument.
6) My son put the decorations on the tree all by himself. He was briefly injured by a dried puffer fish that my mom gave us several years ago. And now you gain a little insight into who I am and how I got to be that way; I was raised by a woman who hangs dead fish on her xmas tree. Now I am that woman. Go figure.
7)I loathe the Boy Scouts more with every passing meeting. They just had a Christmas party that everyone, even the lone Jew, was welcome to attend. I pointed out to Boy that maybe this was a bit icky, and he went off. The Boy Scouts can't do anything right in my eyes and he should just quit.
Seriously, I had used the word "Icky". We ended up having a huge family discussion, complete with intervention by Simon, because of it. Super-Bitchy-Mom strikes again.
I can't let it go, but apparently I shouldn't have brought it up.
Fucking Boy Scouts.
8)I apologize about the quality of the writing in this post. I am tired. The Peanut sleeps pretty well, but she wakes up three or four times a night just for fun. I get lots of sleep, I just don't get it all in a row, and I suffer for it. I'm constantly word hunting. I get the suckers cornered pretty good (the canine quadruped thingy there) but I have a hard time actually spearing it (dog).
Hey! I made a whole entry without bitching about Christmas!
You'll have to do it yourself,

Friday, December 15, 2006

Things that Confuse me:

1) Syriana. Does this stuff really happen? Is this supposed to be a warning? Is the take away message that you can get electrocuted in a pool? If you aren't touching land, then doesn't that mean you aren't grounded and you're ok until you try to get out of the pool? I know, I know, that's exactly how the movie confused you too.

2) If you design a bottle brush, shouldn't the brush handle fit inside the opening of the bottle?

Maybe it's a "No Scratch Brush" because you can't reach the inside of the bottle, much less scratch it.

3) If someone suggested that you take an entire paycheck, buy gifts for everyone you know all at the same time, wrap the gifts in paper that's a huge waste of natural resources, get your house in tip top shape, redecorate it, stock it with homemade goodies at random intervals throughout the month, then top it off with a day spent cooking in the kitchen, all during the season when your family is most likely to be fighting colds would you say "That sounds like the most wonderful time of the year!", or would you say "What a stoopid idea! It'll never catch on."
"Christmas leads to stress, stress leads to beer, beer leads to pissing. Celebrate Christmas and piss away your month you will. "
Maybe I'll leave the dark side and try Channakuh. Hannaka. Channukah.
Maybe I better make it Kwanzaa, because I can spell that.

Spreading my usual Christmas cheer,

Sunday, December 10, 2006

In which I admit I'm crazy.

A while back I began having dizzy spells. And shortness of breath. And sometimes chest pains or headaches, but most worryingly, a general wooziness that made me think I might pass out cold. After one rather long lasting spell, I decided to go to the Doctor, and since there were no appts available I was sent to the urgent care.

Here's a confession: I was scared to go, because I was afraid they wouldn't find anything wrong, and they'd think I was crazy. I waited until the symptoms were so bad that I was just sure they'd find something. How could I feel this bad, and they not find anything?

They did an EKG. They took x-rays. They took blood. They listened to my heart and lungs. They didn't find anything wrong.

The Doctor was so kind. He didn't say I was crazy. He didn't say I should relax and forget it. He said I should see my regular Doctor so we could get to the bottom of it.

I did not make an appt. I did not want to go through more tests so they could tell me nothing was wrong. I figured at some point it would get worse. I would actually pass out, or some symptom would become visible and then I would have something tangible to show a Dr.

But the good Dr was thorough, and my Doctor's office called me and told me I really should come in. So I did. And my Doctor looked at my tests, and he looked at me, and then he had me hyperventilate on purpose. Did that feel like my woozy spells? Yep. Then he had a diagnosis- I was having anxiety attacks. But, says I, I didn't feel anxious and panicky when they happened, just woozy. He said that's why it's a disorder.

Recap for the ironically impaired: So I delayed going to the Doctor because I thought they'd think I was crazy, then I went to the Doctor and found out I was crazy.

I have been exploring this notion carefully. I would prefer not to go on meds, seeing as how I'm a walking milk bar right now. Can I control my crazies just by thinking different thoughts? I'm apparently so stressed that my body is having unhealthy reactions to it, but my conscious mind is unaware. Would I feel better if I got my conscious mind to recognize the stress I was apparently under?

I have been trying this for about a week now. I have discovered that I am mainly worried that I just can't get everything done that I need/want done. Therefore I have been trying to get help when I need it. I have also been trying to be my own cheerleader, reminding myself that I can do whatever I set my mind to. I'm getting into new helpful housekeeping habits, and am trying to sucker the guys into some too. It appears to be helping.

I feel ashamed though. Simon gets stressed, but he doesn't have anxiety attacks. Lots of people are stressed and they aren't freaking. I feel weak and lame. Broken.

Perhaps if I can get my act together without medicine then I can call my brokenness fixed? Instead of thinking of myself as weak, I can call it a momentary weakness?

Of course, when I think of other people who have problems with anxiety or panic attacks, I know their troubles are much worse than mine. Their problems are valid, and chemically/genetically based. And totally not about weakness. Their problems are real. Their problems are nothing for them to feel guilty about, only I can do that.

Hey, I don't have to be rational, because I'm crazy - remember?

Doing just fine, really,

Friday, December 08, 2006

Is it really that difficult?

So Weds I was expecting my period, and when it didn't arrive I looked at the calendar and realized that Simon had his surgery during the "danger zone" and was out of commission, so there was no reason to worry.

Today being Friday, I began to worry.

I peed on a stick. The stick said "No worries".

So I looked at the calendar again, and realized I was off by a week. I've been off by a week for a week. Which means we thought we were out of the danger zone when we technically weren't.

So now we worry.

Actually, we don't worry much. Looking at the actual days that things actually happened we figure we're ok, but Simon was distressed that I could mix up a thing like that. He said "Don't you women know how to keep track of these things from birth? At any point shouldn't I be able to ask and have you answer 'Two weeks and one day ago'?"

If I were that person, I wouldn't have two kids right now.

Seriously. I can not be trusted with my own fertility. I can't count and I can't remember crap and if we don't end up with another surprise baby it will be Such a miracle.

Tell me you believe in miracles,

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Well shit.

I've been following the whole James Kim thing pretty closely. I was rooting for him hard, and when I heard he had died I was just, I don't know what I was. I've been telling Simon for two days that if it's us, he has to stay in the car. Tonight I added "It's just so sad" to the litany. I was sure James was going to make it, because the whole thing seemed like a made for TV story. How could it not end happily?

There's something reassuring when you hear about something like this and it turns out well. Like maybe there really is a God, or at least some kind of rationality to the universe. And there's something especially devastating about this kind of tragedy happening to such a lovely family, something along the lines of "it could happen to you" I suppose.

Some dear friends of ours, who we always thought of as the loveliest couple, split up just before we moved out here, and for weeks after we heard about it we'd exclaim "I just can't believe it" at random intervals. It wasn't our divorce, but it was truly upsetting for us. Same Cool-Hand-Luke effect I guess. We want somebody to succeed because it would mean that we could too.

It's just so sad.

If it happens to any of you, stay in the car, k?

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Another Installment of TMI

Since I've moved here to bloggerland I haven't posted a wild and woolly TMI entry.

By which I don't mean "Trainably Mentally Impaired" or "Tolerably Messy Igloo". Usually, when I use it, it means I'm about to discuss my girlie bits. You have been warned.

I recently did something to my nethers, and even as I was doing it I thought "I have to blog about this, because, really, this is funny". Or at least, one day I'll look back at this and laugh. Even so, I was scared to write about it for three reasons.

Reason the first: I wrote an entry about Peanut not wanting to breastfeed, and got hit by a perv off of Google who was looking up "Gumdrop nipples". Shudder. I want to avoid that sort of thing, really, but if I write up a whole entry about my nethers it would seem that I'm inviting it. To this end, I will rely on informal names for my girlie bits, or else I'll use the * for all the vowels in the word. K?

Reason the second: This blog is being written with my grandchildren in mind, and I cannot imagine there will ever ever be a point in their lives when they'll want to hear about Gramma's snatch. That said, there are lessons to be learned from what I've done. I'm just going to have to hope they'll read it if they're ready and skip it if they aren't. Hi Grandkids! Love Ya!

Reason the third: It is weird to discuss this on the net for anyone of any gender to read. I usually pretend that it's just us girls reading this, because mostly it is, but there's nothing that says it has to be. And even if it is just us girls, ummm, it still isn't the kind of thing that I'd normally bring up in polite company. Good company over pinot grigio, totally. With that in mind, maybe you should go get a drinky before continuing, no matter what gender you are.

But this entry isn't supposed to be about whether or not to write an entry, it's supposed to be a story.

So, once upon a time there was a witch. She wasn't too good, and she wasn't too bad. Sometimes she wasn't too bright, either. Actually, the problem wasn't that she was stoopid, it was that she wasn't scared to try new things, even if she should be.
The witch-who-wasn't-too-good-and-wasn't-too-bad felt a little hairy and itchy in her nethers, and suddenly an idea occurred to her. Why shouldn't she just shave the damn hairs off? The more she thought about it, the better the idea seemed- it would be a nice surprise for her husband.
So the witch-who-wasn't-too-good-and-wasn't-too-bad got into the shower armed with only a razor. She thought she could just, well, sort of shave at the bush thingy a little here, or well, maybe if she came at it from another angle it would...

Here's what it would do. First, it would clog up the razor. Duh. At every stroke. Also, maybe not un-surprisingly, it would hurt.

The witch-who-wasn't-too-good-and-wasn't-too-bad decided a new tool was called for, so she dripped water all over the bathroom floor as she hunted down some scissors. She hacked off most of the hair as short as she dared and tossed it into the toilet, which looked nasty. Nasty! And she thought what a shock the next toilet user would have if she forgot to flush, which is when the first reason not to shave your p*bes occurred to her: What if her son came into the bathroom right at that moment and noticed? How would she answer that question? How would it be asked? Could a more awkward situation be imagined? She decided that since her son tried to give her more privacy than she had ever asked for she would probably be ok. She'd just have to cover herself strategically if there was ever a need, because this shaving was going to happen. Wasn't it going to be such fun to show her husband her naked tw*t?

So she returned to the shower, liberally applied shaving cream and tried again. This is when the second reason not to shave occurred to her. It hurt. It still hurt even with shorter lubed up hairs, and it hurt a lot. It hurt like trying to hump sand paper. And yet, this was going to be worth it, she was pretty sure, so she kept at it.

She imagined her skin would be silky smooth. In practise, she was finding her skin felt like it could be mistaken for shark hide. The problem was that region involved is not flat. It was, at best, curved, and at worst, folded. Picturing men pulling the skin tight over their jaw, she attempted similar maneuvers. If she slipped there would be a nick. She really didn't want a nick. She imagined the hijinks that would ensue when her husband came home and braved the worst.

Oh, if you could have seen her. The little mangled hairs were flying left and right. The shower floor looked like it was made of wooky fur. The hairs ended up on her cheek, her shoulders, her boobs, everywhere but her nethers. Even funnier, when ever she tried to brush them off, she simply planted three more. They weren't hairs, they were hydras. Eventually she reached a state of complete hair entropy- the little buggers were evenly distributed, like a p*be fur coat. The witch-who-wasn't-too-good-and-wasn't-too-bad discovered that if you suds up enough that the hairs were floating in the bubbles, you could, in fact, rinse them away.

After much effort the hairs were razed, the shower cleaned, the toilet flushed and the work beheld. She decided the effect was, ummm, cute. There was a dimple and a freckle that she didn't know she had. It blew her mind that there were aspects of her very own body that she didn't recognise. She decided the whole adventure had been worth it just for that reason alone.

And then she remembered the last reason not to shave the beaver bald. She had a gyno visit scheduled within the month. Either she'd have to keep this up for a month (the razor rash was already blushing whilst she toweled dry) or she'd have to go with the missus looking like G.I. Jane.

So, in the end, the witch-who-wasn't-too-good-and-wasn't-too-bad showed her loving, patient husband what she'd done. He was surprised. Impressed even. And they played with the box the children came in and lived happily ever after.

The end,

Simon the wise says sharp razors don't hurt.

Would I do it again? Nope. Was it worth doing once? Sure.