You're my favorite.

No, really - you are.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

What I Learned Tonight

1. Low-fat crustless quiche is not really quiche at all. More, it is gross scrambled eggs that are the wrong texture. Quiche requires flaky, buttery, delicious pastry before it can truly be called quiche.

2. If one is sauteing green beans, and one decides to go check one's email, and one then decides to look at Salon, and one gets caught up in reading an article on fat camp for teens, one should not be surprised when the bottom layer of said green beans burns to black.

3. One should also not be surprised when the charcoal flavor permeates all non-burned green beans.

4. Take-out pizza can cleanse a multitude of unpleasant flavors from one's mouth.

5. If, after scraping carbonized green beans and gross scrambled eggs into the trash, one's boyfriend says, “thanks for making dinner,” and clearly MEANS IT, said boyfriend is a keeper.

6. Tomorrow's dinner must almost certainly be better. Because if it's worse, one may be justified in never cooking again.

It's illegal in New York State, and right now I'm really fucking glad I don't live there anymore.

When I first started working at the CSO, I parked in a lot about half a mile from the office. Parking is expensive in downtown Denver, and this place was only $25 a month. Couldn't be beat, but it was far enough from the office buildings that not too many other people walked that way, especially at night, so I got a thing of pepper spray to keep on my keychain, just in case. Eventually I took it off; I'd never been accosted or even felt threatened by someone walking just a little too close, and it made my keychain awfully heavy and bulky.

Saturday night, I really wished I had that pepper spray with me.

Wilbert and I were out for a quick evening walk before we all went to my mother's house for dinner. We walked south on Logan to Arkansas, turned east to Pennsylvania, north to Louisiana, and west back toward Logan. We were just about at the alley between the two streets when I saw a large white dog, not on a leash and not with a person. I pulled Wilbert into the alley quickly, hoping the dog wouldn't see us, but it was too late. He came trotting over to investigate.

He was a big dog, somewhere around 70 pounds, with longish dirty white fur. Wilbert's only 40 pounds and he likes bigger dogs a lot, but this one seemed different – when he ran up to us, Wilbert sat down suddenly, something I've never seen him do with another dog before. I don't know if it was intentional or because he felt threatened or because he'd been under the weather for a few days or what, but it weirded me out a little. He and the white dog sniffed each other's noses for a moment then Wilbert stood back up and they did some minor jumping like they were considering wrestling for a minute. I pulled the leash and tried to get Wilbert to walk back out of the alley so we could head home. That's when the white dog bared his teeth, growled and started snapping toward me.

I panicked. I was wearing a tank top, jeans and flip flops. I had no keys, no cell phone, nothing – we'd only been going out for a 10 minute jaunt around the block and I hadn't thought I would need anything, and so I had nothing – NOTHING – with which to defend myself. I couldn't even kick the damn thing effectively if it came to that. I started screaming for help and backing away. The dog seemed surprised by the noise, and stopped snarling. I backed into the street, still screaming at the dog to stay the fuck away from me, and got across just before a car drove by. I looked back and saw the white dog standing on the other side still. He took a few steps forward, then hesitated, turned around and ran off down the alley the other direction. Wilbert and I walked quickly for home. Every few steps, I glanced back to see if the white dog had come back. After about half a block, the adrenaline rush died and I burst into tears, completely freaking out Wilbert. He kept whining and looking at me and whining more.

When we got home, I sobbed out the whole story to Ben. We called Animal Control and after I calmed down a little, we went to my mom's for dinner as planned.

The last few times I've taken Wilbert out I've taken spray cans with me – Lysol, hairspray, whatever I think would cause pain to the eyes of anything trying to attack me. I really wish that when I stopped carrying the pepper spray, I'd put it someplace sensible and memorable. No idea where it is now.

I haven't seen that dog again. I think he might live at the house on the corner where we ran into him; I know they have a large white dog that barks furiously and throws his body against the fence every time I walk by, and their gate is not in good shape, but I've never seen the actual dog, just glimpsed his fur through cracks in their privacy fence. I need to go by and find out if he does live there, and if so, tell them what happened. I was lucky not to have anything actually occur. But this neighborhood has a lot of little kids who ride bikes up and down their blocks while their parents chat with neighbors. This neighborhood has a lot of older people who walk to the senior center a few blocks away. If someone were to get attacked and it was the same dog, I'd feel responsible.

Maybe I'll just buy some new pepper spray. The aerosol hairspray is kind of awkward to carry.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

le cough, le sneeze, le awesome dog

These French germs are killer, man....yesterday, day 5 of being sick, I finally started to feel better. Until the evening, when I suddenly got a lot worse again. Ben's worse too - he got sick on Saturday, on our way back to Denver, and today he's also much worse. We've been lying around on the couch, watching tv and movies, feeling sorry for ourselves; it's really kind of pitiful. That'll teach me to travel to a country that hates Americans - they probably bred a supergerm that only attacks people from this side of the Atlantic. (Kidding. I'm kidding. The French are lovely people and most of them seem fine with Americans in general, just don't much like our foreign policy, which I absolutely sympathize with. But this cold sucks a whole lot of ass.)

Earlier, I was reading a blog that had been inspired by another blog, written by a vet, in which she challenged her readers to make a list of ten reasons their pet is the best. So, seeing as I think my dog kicks a whole lot of ass, I thought I'd do just that.

1. Wilbert is a big old snugglebutt. If you sit on the floor, he'll often come over and sit in your lap to snuggle with you. When we sit on the couch, he'll hop up, put his head on my leg and fall asleep.

2. He loves everyone he meets and has a hard time restraining himself from showing how neat he thinks they are. Really, he doesn't even try, though we're working on persuading him (via a squirt bottle) that he doesn't need to jump up repeatedly on guests to show how welcome they are.

3. The squirt bottle works because he's totally freaked out by water that comes in droplets and isn't rain - squirt bottles, sprinklers, water guns, he's not having any of it. On walks, he'll actually stop dead rather than walk through a sprinkler, so you either have to go out in the street to avoid it, pull him through it bodily or start to run a few yards before you get to it so that he's just excited about running and forgets about the Sprinkler of Doom.

4. He can't stand getting baths, but doesn't hold a grudge against us for giving him one - even during the bath, he'll lick my hand, as if to say that he knows it's not my fault and he doesn't blame me. And once we let him out of the bath, he's delighted to be free and wildly appreciative of us for rescuing him.

5. You know how cats will chase the red dots from laser pointers? Wilbert will do the same, except with a flashlight, and only if it's on the ground - on the fence or a wall, he loses interest.

6. He loves rawhides, but only to bury. He doesn't necessarily have to bury them in the dirt, however; if he's inside, he'll take the bone and find another place to "bury" it, like in a corner, between the couch cushions, once under me as I was lying on the bed. And then he covers it up with "dirt", pushing his nose toward it to hide it appropriately. Sometimes the dirt is sort of real, like a pillow, sometimes it's just the air. And once he finishes, he walks off with a look of complete satisfaction.

7. After staying with my mom for a few days while we were out of town, Wilbert decided that he should get to sleep on our bed with us. He'll start the night on his bed, and then after a few hours, sneak up onto ours. Once he managed to be so quiet and delicate about it that we woke up in the morning with him wedget between us, lying on his back with his paws in the air as if playing dead.

8. We keep a fence around the vegetable garden because Wilbert has a delightful habit of lying on plants and crushing the life out of them. One day he managed to worm his way through. All he did that was at all destructive was pick and eat half of a partially ripe roma tomato - I know, because we found the other half. No plants were harmed.

9. He feels an intense and undying hatred for all things rake and broom-like, and will bark at them unceasingly, until the offending implement has been returned to whence it came.

10. The dog park is one of his favorite places on earth. When we take him, he spends the entire time racing around with other dogs, wrestling, chasing, getting rolled, rolling other dogs. He is unequivocally delighted for the entire visit, and totally content when driving home.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Home again.

We're back from Europe. It was a great trip, but I'm so glad to be home - I got sick on Thursday and it's so not fun to be all sneezy and coughy and sore-throaty and sniffly when you're 8 timezones from home in a place that disapproves of herbal tea. I still need to finish my updates about the trip on my livejournal, but I'm not feeling all that motivated right now. So instead I'm sitting on the couch, reading random blogs, sort of watching football, with a dog curled up next to me and his head on my leg. Oh, Ii's nice to be home.

Friday, September 02, 2005

First update

First update about the trip over here. It's only the first four days, but I can't write everything now - there's just too much. So just keep checking back there and you'll eventually read it all.