Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Adieu 2010

aw, really? leaving?  so soon?

There are some years that defy believability and deserve special-special recognition as they depart.  Without letting the door slam on its posterior just in case it has some magic juju left in its reincarnation as 2011, let’s wish 2010 adieu and a safe trip into the black hole of old links.

There was something about 2010 that reminded me of fish sitting in the refrigerator.  It has to do with getting ready to serve it up all fancy with sauce and herbs on a gorgeous platter. 
But when you reach into the refrigerator you realize that you put the platter in there and the fish in the cupboard. 

And so goes this past year.  Upside down, inside out and unusually smelly.   

There's always the contingency of the chicken in the freezer.  However, when you open the freezer you realize the thing is enthusiastically in a thaw cycle and the chicken is quite past ice cold to sweating uncomfortably.  It gets dumped right along with the fish.

Ever optimistic, the next choice is to grab some pasta and give it a quick toss with diced tomatoes and a bit of garlic with cheese shaved on top.  Fresh basil waits in the herb garden.  All is well until you realize the can of diced tomatoes you are about to open is bulging.  Something like a fire alarm clangs in your head as you recall the watchword of botulism and realize there will spring forth tons of bacteria that might in fact kill you if you release the pressure from the can with the opener.  Carefully, the opener is returned to the drawer and the poisoned unopened dinner ingredient goes into the garbage, ever so gently, accompanying the smelly fish and chicken. 

Never mind.  A little garlic and olive oil with cheese and fresh basil will do.  Sadly, the basil has had a very unfortunate event.  It seems there are squatters living on the leaves and they are big enough for you to see not only the traffic pattern, but their giant rear ends scurrying about. 

Fine.  Pasta and garlic with oil.  A sprinkle of cheese.  Of course you know where this is going, don’t you? 

The hunk of cheese is green.  By now, the pasta has drowned in the water and there it goes into the wasteland that is the garbage now quite full of all too many smelly things.

Time to order pizza, if only there were any gluten free pizza shops.
Fine.  Yogurt will do.  If only the expiration date wasn’t two and half weeks past.

Waking up the next day, a new dawn brings hope and cheer.  Until you realize that there is no coffee left in the canister and the water filter cracked overnight.

Reheating yesterday's  morning coffee sounds good if only the coffee pot had not been washed the night before. 

And there you have our 2010.

Perhaps Murphy, its cousin Unfortunate Events and those squatty little bugs could leave our abode and relocate to say, Sarah's Alaska reality show this next year?  

I’d be glad to help them pack.

So long 2010.  Please do don’t trip on those icy steps on your way out. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Letting Sleeping Dogs Lie, Even if Squished

Sometimes a pile is a good thing on a chilly morning.   L&P shared a love bucket on a chair next to my desk and fell into a deep sleep.  Phoebe's fleece always manages to slide off her shoulders making her looked like she's a pink burrito. 

Fast friends. 

This morning, at least.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lulu's Mystery Ear Ailment

You call this a meatball sub?  Got some spare thumbs?

Lulu's ears make up half her overall size if measured end to end.  Ok.  Almost half her size.  Lately they've been giving her problems.  She has had more ear gunk problems since last spring than any one puppy should.  We've treated it with the standard stuff, with antibiotics, with cleaning, with goop (an official word in the ear cleaning world) and by making sure Phoebe doesn't help and try to lick everything off.

She's visited the vet to the tune of a small college fund and we are still no closer to solving the mystery.  She is not flaking, scabbing or having other skin or hair issues anywhere else and she seems to be having relatively minor outdoor allergy issues this year.

It's a mystery.  And now her ears are peeling on the outside, on the back of the ear.  She seems to relish having it peeled.  Think sunburn and pesky skin (ok, somewhat gross).  Scared me the first time.  I thought it was gunk (another official term) that she had gotten into and wasn't I shocked to find I was peeling off her ear, skin and hair included.  The interesting part - if you are still with me here - is that she loved it.  Go figure.  If I look at her funny, she pouts or whines, but peel the skin, and hey, she rolls around in happiness.

You'd think she would have bald spots, but not.  The space where it peeled looks normal and has hair.  Almost like she had a double layer of ear back there? 

Today, she squealed an unhappy chorus when we rubbed her left ear so we investigated and it is scabbing and peeling on the inside.  No odor.  No dark gunk.  

Mystery.   I'll update when we talk to the vet/or visit the vet again.  Perhaps it is time for another donation to her kid's college fund?  But whatever.  It's for a good cause.

Meantime, Lulu is fat and happy, sleeping it off.  Tim thinks she has selective hearing these days.  I think her hearing is at issue with all this.  Let's hope we get the mystery solved.  Soon.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

When Dogs Smile

There is something about a dog's sleeping smile that either means he/she is passing lots of gas or loves that you are scratching them while they slumber.  I've never been able to actually determine which, but I can tell you that it still warms the human soul.

Lulu rarely smiles, but when she does, her lips flop a little to the side and then roll up into a grin.  But Phoebe smiles a great deal and when she does her whole face goes with it.  Her muzzle is so wide that when her lips start to turn up, inevitably her teeth will show a little which makes her look all the more adorable.  Or scary, depending on your dog world experience.

This afternoon, while reading on the sofa, surrounded by both dogs who were snoring away, I absently reached over to scratch Phoebe's hip.  I glanced up from my iPhone book and was stunned to see the evolution of the smile as I was touching her.  She seemed to know, deep in that nap, that someone was caring for her and she rewarded them with a huge grin.  It remained there long after I removed my hand from her hip.  She stretched a little bit and moved more toward my leg and gave a great big sigh.

Love.  In that one little moment, the love of a dog for a human was made quite clear.  That made my day.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Art of Never Quitting or Go! Dog! Go!

PhotobucketWhile Mr. Slater (of Jet Blue fame) was sliding down that chute to unemployment and jail, Lulu and Phoebe were busy doing the opposite.  They dramatically reenact what might be in store for Mr. Slater (r).  But in the meantime, they also demonstrate the rewards of pushing through when the going gets tough.
These cleverly designed puzzles are the mental equivalent of taking the dog on a five mile hike or playing Frisbee until everyone collapses and needs a beer. 

Like humans, learning for dogs is as individual as it comes.  Watching two different dogs work through the puzzle is exactly the same as watching two human siblings play poker.  One will always be a shark and the other will never be able to manage a poker face.

Lulu, while working that little tiny apricot sized brain, will delicately and deliberately work the puzzle until every last morsel is obtained and then she is sure we've hidden more.

Phoebe, with a head twice the size of Lulu, but a brain the size of a purple grape, will use the kill instinct to get through the puzzle; like a tiny gentle giant, she tries to slam the thing around to see what falls out.  Eventually she wins, but you can see that she has not one clue why.  Doesn't matter to her, because she will never ever give up.

You might say, in fact, that these guys are the anti-Slater-ites.  As a human who can find many excuses to quit, give up, or walk away, these two have been an oasis in why giving up is most times stupid.  The best rewards are often the very ones that seem unobtainable; in fact, the interminable unemployment is finally over.

My new motto; Go! Dog! Go! applies to more than just a dog with a silly hat.

Lucy does Twister

Phoebe kills Twister

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Happy Birthday Lulu: The 3.1M Minute Photo Essay

hello. my name is lulu and my human is embarrassing me again
two pound Lulu at 12 weeks meets the boy

at age 2, Lulu enjoying her Annie Leibovitz moment

paparazzi following Lulu ( age 3) to Eiffel 
hiding from the paparazzi deep in the 8th arrondissement
the princess uses her sister's head as a pillow
halloween fairy age 3 ("I will bite you, woman" was overheard)
midlife identity crisis at 4 
lulu's first electric vehicle age 5 cures midlife crisis
and lulu with phoebe does San Francisco

please explain humans to me again...
really?  I'm turning 6?  seriously? old....

Friday, January 29, 2010

Separated at Birth? Doppelganger Week on Facebook

The latest Facebook silliness is to post an avatar photo of the celebrity people most mistake as your doppelganger.  Lots of airbrushed very young celebrities have been popping up everywhere.  I am way too old to even guess at half the names. 
However, the whole thing got me thinking.  Who in our house has a doppelganger?  Certainly not me, although when I was young people assumed I was the Jolly Green Giant's cousin.   The Geek on occasion gets mistaken for Mark Harmon, but that's only if we are in Los Angeles (where tourists want his autograph).  The rest of the time, he gets mistaken (correctly) for a geek.  
But as luck would have it, there is one little member of our family who does have a doppelganger.  Phoebe is Sister Bertrille's long lost separated-at-birth twin.  No one said the species had to be the same.  
See for yourself.   Phoebe, just in case you might wonder, is not the first photo.   Wondering if Phoebe can fly?  Why, yes.  Yes, she can.  Stay tuned.
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