Sep 20 2006

Programming Notes

Sorry, folks. I had to turn on stupid password verification because I’m being smacked in the head with comment spam. Feckers. (Yeah, I really mean feckers. It’s a family joke.) (Or maybe just a me joke.) (At any rate, it makes me laugh.)

So now you must do a little more typie-typing before you can post your lovely and illuminating comments for which I yearn.

Thanks for sticking with me.

Sep 19 2006

Blog of the Dog

On Saturday we received from Netflix a much anticipated selection. I had been hearing about this show for some time and waiting for it to become available. On Sunday I watched 9 episodes. That’s right, I have fallen into the authoritative grasp (make your hand theese way- like teeth!) of the Dog Whisperer.

You see, we have a rescue dog, Yoko, who came into our life at a time when we thought we couldn’t have children. The fact that I got pregnant a month later made her a fertility dog. She is a very smart, loving, good dog but she has “issues.”

Among some:
- Total and absurd fear of water. So bad that she is almost afraid of her water bowl. She hates baths, rain, hoses (she even hates hoses that aren’t turned on), squirt bottles, etc.

- Fear of having her nails clipped. She even sort of tries to bite us.

- Complete fear of dogs, no matter what their size.

And it is the last item that makes life very difficult for all of us. She is a fear aggressor, meaning, when she is afraid of a dog she goes into flight/fight mode and her mind chooses fight. She goes CRAZY when she sees other dogs. It’s nearly impossible to even take a walk with her. When we first got her we tried going for walks every day. We started trying to work with her to help her get over her fears. Then came winter (in Pennsylvania) and we didn’t like going outside so much. Then I got pregnant and, after a while, I was very nervous about taking her for walks by myself because I didn’t feel very stable and I was afraid of falling or getting jerked around like I knew she was capable of doing. John didn’t want to take her because he just hated her behavior so much. It was like she punished us for taking her out.

Then we moved back to California. We tried going for walks again but we were so busy/tired/sick of her dog-hating attitude that it didn’t happen often. We tried to take her on walks with a friendly dog to show her that other dogs could be nice. She was so scared that when the other dog was behind her at one point, she walked BACKWARDS to keep him in sight. Have you ever seen a dog walk backwards? For about the equivalent of a few city blocks? She’s nuts.

Anyway, in short, we became pretty bad dog-parents. We want to be better.

But, because we’re cheap, we rented the episodes instead of taking her to, y’know, an ACTUAL dog trainer. Whatever. Everything I need to know I can learn from tv, right?

So, the Dog Whisperer, Cesar, seems to recommend about the same thing for every dog. I thought “Hmm. Okay. We can try that.” and went out and bought a choke chain, which I had said previously that I would never do (side note- try not to say “never” about things like this. It could potentially save you from looking like too much of an ass. Like me.). We had tried other collars and harnesses up the wing-wang (we didn’t put them up her wing-wang, I just mean that we tried many varieties of collars and harnesses, which is probably what I should have said in the first place. Moving on.) but never a choke or pinch. When I bought the collar I felt like a hard-ass. Except that I had to ask how it worked…

So we tried it. Working? Yeah? Uh…not so much. I thought that these collars were supposed to teach a dog not to pull, but she pulled just as much as usual. She pulled so much that I could feel the vibrations of her trying to swallow through the leash. Ick.

I don’t get it. Are we doing something wrong? Did I not get some special move that Mr. Dog Whisperer uses? Or is my dog trying to commit suicide because life with us is so horrible?

Dammit! I just want to walk my effing dog!!!

Sep 18 2006

Worms Ate My Computer!

Or so we thought. Turns out…well…we’re not sure exactly what std my computer picked up, be we was a-sufferin’ for a few days there. I thought all was back to normal for a while on Friday, but then realized that someone had installed a really old version of Firefox and it was complete shit. So, my computer was not really feeling like itself until this morning. We are now back to normal, or what passes for such around here.

So posting will resume on its semi-regular basis.

I don’t know if it’s the lack of sleep (coughing+absurdly hungry and attachment-deprived baby) or the cough/cold thing I’ve been rockin’ the past week or what, but I am feeling really old and wiped out today. I’m also in a surprisingly negative mood. I’ve been wondering if a job opportunity that was sort of offered to me has now gone to someone else( it doesn’t help that I really don’t like this someone else). I was using that chance for some change to keep me going in my current job. With it gone (I’m not sure it is, it just hasn’t been mentioned in a while) I’m once again entertaining the idea of just quitting and getting some stupid part time job. I mean, minimum wage in California is now going to be $8! That’s not a whole lot less than what I make now. Just the idea of being stuck in this job for the next (insert huge amount of time) makes me nauseous. I want to scream and cry and rip my hair out. I want to go home and sleep for a really long time. I’m frustrated.

But quitting would be dumb. I need to work for our family to survive and my job is not as bad as a lot of them out there.

I’ve written about this all before, I know. Sorry. It sometimes helps me get through the funky-mood days to write (and hear from all of you!).

Sep 13 2006

Oh Crap.

Standing.

For real.

Sometimes without holding on (until he realizes).

He’s just getting so big.

I love you peanut. You’re my favorite.

(PS: WAH!!!)

Sep 13 2006

Just Plain Sucky

I went out on a limb and asked my supervisor for a change in my schedule. I asked to work only 4 days a week, having weekends and Wednesdays off. She was actually encouraging, but had to ask one of the leads in the department for which I work. He shot it down completely, saying that we are drowning in work and need a full-time, everyday person in this position. But it’s a lie. On average, I have only about 2 real hours of work to do every day, and most of it isn’t necessary to be done immediately. They can’t even give me enough work to keep me 50% billable, so why do they need me here every day?

It has made me bitter and depressed. Irrational, selfish behavior always does that to me. I’m fighting the urge to just not do any work for this particular person in retaliation, but I guess I’ll just suck it up. This morning I was seconds away from quitting. In fact, I even said “I quit” to my supervisor, who then said ” No. That doesn’t work for me. And I don’t think it really works for you, either.” I love her.

Does anybody have any ideas? Here are the limitations: I work 8-5. I can’t have Mondays off because another Assistant already does. I can’t have Fridays because, of course, they always wait until the last minute to get shit to me. I can’t come in late because my husband and I only own one car and we drive in to work together. I can’t leave early because, again, they wait until the last minute, goddammit. I can’t quit because we can’t afford it and I wouldn’t have health insurance.

I’m stuck, aren’t I?

Sep 12 2006

Paparazzi

Don’t worry baby, I’ll keep my eyes open enough for both of us.

Stop taking my picture. The flash is killing me!
I SAID knock it off!
**SMASH**
Sep 12 2006

I tried to post these yesterday, but I couldn’t get them up on the site for some reason. Anyway… We were at a fun gathering this past weekend. We didn’t get to stay quite as long as I would have liked but we had a great time while we were there.

Evidence:

Ooooo- FIRE!!

Cole and I are in on the joke. Are you?

What a cute kid. And also, BOOBS!

Good times…

Sep 11 2006

Back Then.

I was in my car and happened to switch on the radio, which I normally didn’t do at that time. I had just pulled into the college parking lot (next to the Psychology building) and I was staring quizzically at the dashboard, trying to figure out if the coverage was a joke like War of the Worlds. Then I realized that it wasn’t. I was instantly hit with panic, sure that John would be enlisted in a draft and have to go to war. Classes were cancelled. Absent- minded professors were informed. I went home and watched the coverage on tv with tears and snot rolling down my face because I was sure I would lose John. I still have nightmares sometimes that the military will take him away.

The rest of the week found me really hating people. If you had been in classes with the people I was you would have hated people too. Or maybe not, because I have misanthropic tendencies to begin with.

Sep 07 2006

Ignoramus

Recently, I’ve been around conversations that make me feel really dumb. I’ve never felt particualrly brilliant, but there have been times in my life when I’ve felt more informed than the average American. Most of those times were in college when I was taking especially interesting courses and listening to NPR a lot.

But now I just feel stupid and ignorant. My sister and husband talk about anthropology and biology and world events and I say “durrr- there’s this beetle? and it likes to mate with bottles? and it’s getting wiped out! Har-har-har!!.” Illluminating, isn’t it? And then they look at me with pity mingled with annoyance and go on talking about complex social theory which my comment had nothing to do with, obviously.

Or my husband talks to one of our co-workers and they laugh and joke about history and wars and politics and philosophy, and I say “Cole’s been swallowing pieces of corn whole and pooping them out! Har-har-har!!” Which neither has anything to do with their conversation about the history of Afganistan nor is at all appropriate at lunch. Especially lunch of Mexican food. With refried beans.

So what’s my problem? I think it’s multi-faceted. For one, I rarely listen to NPR anymore. I don’t really have time at home and I’d rather sing to Cole while in the car (he likes that better, too). I’m no longer in college and, therefore, not forced to read things that I most likely otherwise wouldn’t. It also doesn’t give me a chance to be a part of the kind of debates I used to get into. I don’t get much time to read, and when I do I usually choose to sleep instead. Or I fall asleep with the book still in my hand. Frequently. I also only really have patience for fiction anymore. I don’t watch the news. I think it is terrible coverage and I hate to listen to it. I also don’t like to expose Cole to more tv than necessary.

But I fear it’s more than just those things. I fear that… I just don’t care anymore. I’d rather hear about the lives of my friends and about good deals on diapers. I’d rather play with Cole or try a new recipe.

Somehow I’ve become a goddamn stereotypical housewife without actually getting to stay at home.

So tell me, has this happened to you? Am I being unfair to myself by comparing myself to people who 1)are still in college 2)have much older children 3) are insane and search out any speck of information and actually read difficult non-fiction for fun? Will I start caring again? Is this just super-extended baby-brain? Or am I doomed?

Sep 05 2006

Music

I am not a music reviewer. I just don’t have that in my list of skillz. Here’s who I liked/loved this past weekend.

That One Guy. So. Fucking. Awesome. If you ever liked Primus, you’d love him. I think you’d get a good kick out of him even if you thought Primus was foul.

Sam Bush. Sam? Why did you have to turn so country? I still love you, but can you please go back to the jazzier sound I fell in love with? Please? Thanks. You still rock.

Incendio. Creative. Interesting. One to watch for. And good dancing.

Grupo Fantasma. Ay-ay-AYE! I danced to every one!! They could have played for hours and I still would have danced to every one. The energy! The rythms! The horns!! A new favorite.

Wolfstone. Darling Wolfstone: I used to want to make out with you, I loved you so much. Now I want to puke on you. Except when you play the old stuff that makes me want to make out with you again. And then you play the new and I want to puke. So just play the old stuff, ’cause I hate puking. Love, D.

Way Out West. Way Out West is a band who only just re-joined in honor of the 25th anniversary of this festival. They are: Joe Craven, Coyote Bob, and Prairie Flower. They are smokin’ good fun and a great trip down sentimental lane for those of us who have been at this festival from the beginning. And Joe Craven is quite possibly one of the finest musicians alive today.

John Cowan, Darrell Scott, and Pat Flynn. These guys actually played together. Awesome.

Blame Sally. I missed half of Blame Sally and was distracted for the rest, but I think I really liked them. Good tight harmonies is about all I can recall right now. I’ll have to investigate further.

Now my gimpy hand is getting very tired and I’ve finally made up for missing three days of posts. We had a wonderful weekend and we plan to keep going for as long as they’ll have us! Maybe next time John won’t try to cool himself down with a spray bottle full of vodka and I won’t mistake my hand for a butcher’s block.