Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Who needs Alli?

Who knew that being momentarily unhealthy when you've just passed 100 days of healthy could have a similarly "explosive" effect on your body as the "take a change of clothes to work" pill?

But I've gotten ahead of myself.

How was the Cheesetravaganza Friday, you ask?

Well, I did buy some lovely smoked Swiss to eat for lunch with the tomatoes and basil and yummy bread I picked up at the Farmers Market Thursday night. (Along with some mushrooms. Some far-out, funky mushrooms, the likes of which I'd never seen before. Sorry, Stef.) But I also decided to go whole-hog Friday night, and drive across town to my old neighborhood for a take-out order of the greasiest, cheesiest cheese fries in town, loaded with chives and jalapenos. I figured I'd toss down some fries, watch the new episode of "Monk," and then do my workout later.

Well, I made a game effort, but I couldn't get down even a fraction of the huge pile of decadence. I stuck the remainder in the fridge, and got comfortable on the couch in anticipation of Tony Shalhoub. Some time later, I was awakened by a knock on the door--my across-the-street neighbor, carrying the tale of a mysterious man in a dark green car, spotted a couple of times in the 'hood, and possibly up to no good. We chatted for a moment, and then I went back inside.

"Rumble, rumble."

Was that my stomach? Oh, this can't be good.


Well, I made it to the bathroom. And again, a few minutes later. Yowza! I don't really think it was the cheese, so much as it was the grease. I've really cut back on fried foods lately, and I just don't think my system knew how to process it. So it simply expelled it in the most efficient way possible. Thanks, colon!

At any rate, I staggered back to the couch, sweating, and realized...I still have to do my workout. It's Day 100! I can't skip the workout on Day 100! So I did it. The dance workout. Which, though vigorous, is several minutes shorter than the regular workout. And let's talk about some sweat. Lord have mercy. But I made it through, and I must admit, I was quite impressed with my devotion to my cause!

The next day I decided to further prove my devotion by purchasing (or having my mother purchase for me, as an early birthday present, as the case may be) some actual athletic shoes. What have I been using? Well, nothing. I've been working out barefoot. I know "they" will tell you that's bad for you, but I think that's largely because "they" are the manufacturers of athletic shoes. Plenty of physical activity takes place barefoot--modern dance, gymnastics, etc. However, while I maintain that working out barefoot isn't necessarily bad for you, I was building some pretty serious calluses on the soles of my feet, and I thought perhaps a good pair of shoes would be a smart thing to have. And maybe I'll actually want to go down to the Riverparks and walk the path some lovely weekend afternoon, and since I generally try to be smarter in all things than Britney Spears, I'll need some shoes to walk in questionably hygienic public areas.

It seemed a simple enough task. My mother has a department store credit card, the department store's having a big sale--let's buy some shoes. But I won't buy leather shoes, and I won't buy Nike shoes, and I want some actual "meant for exercise" shoes, not ones that just look like athletic shoes. And that proved to be a somewhat more difficult task. There ended up being one, and only one, pair of shoes that met my criteria, and fit my feet.

So what's the problem? They're so aggressively shiny and bright. There is PINK. There are metallic silvery strips. They're LOUD. I kept searching the shelves, convinced I'd missed the nice, tasteful pair lurking there, but no. I hadn't. It was pink and silver or nothing. So we bought them. And my mother and I giggled all the way to the cash register. I am NOT, for those who don't know me in real life, a pink and shiny shoe person. I am a black shoe person, mostly, with occasional forays into tastefully-colored sandals. I told my mother I'd be sure to dim the lights before I worked out in them--wouldn't want to go blind from the reflections of the metallic strips. We giggled some more. We've been giggling about them for three days now.

We are obviously easily amused.

Okay, that's enough for today. It's way past time for me to go do something klutzy and/or embarrassing. I have used my Tide-to-Go pen FOUR times today, and it's only 3:00. I have also attempted to exit the building where I have worked on and off for ELEVEN YEARS, only to be stopped in my tracks because I was pushing on the wrong side of the door. ELEVEN YEARS, folks.

Pure genius.

Friday, July 27, 2007

I knew those were sharks circling

Well, it appears that I won't be having a date this week, after all. WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?

I'm not going to go off on a rant against men. I know plenty of perfectly nice men. Sure, most of them are married or otherwise attached, and therefore unavailable to me as actual dates, but they're nice. So I KNOW there are nice guys out there. Why then, do I only get the assholes?

What happened? Well, nothing. After HIS request to open communication, HIS request to "Fast Track," HIS "call me sometime," HIS "let's meet in person next week," HIS "Wednesday would be good for me, call me and let's work out details," he has been completely incommunicado since Monday night. Arrrgh! He has not returned my (requested) phone call of Tuesday evening. He has not responded to a follow-up "hi, what's up?" email. Nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

I'm miffed. I'm not devastated or heartbroken--after all, I had no real emotional stake in this. I don't even know the guy. He doesn't know me. I'm not taking this personally. I'm not even really disappointed (low expectations bring low disappointment). I'm just...peeved. On behalf of people everywhere who do what they're going to do when they say they're going to do it, on behalf of people who have actual manners--I'm peeved. For cryin' out loud, grow a pair and return a phone call with a quick "something suddenly came up." (Thank you, Marcia Brady! Hee.) I would also accept an email blow-off, and I don't even care what it says. "I'm too busy with work right now to date." "I'm just not feeling this." "I am too intimidated by how incredible you seem to be." Just something so that I don't feel like I've been left hanging. Have some modicum of respect for others--be a MAN.

Oh, well. I guess Dr. Meil Mlark Marren forgot, when he was plunging the depths of our 29 levels of compatibility, to check for that. Thanks, Doc. You're doin' great so far!


On the brighter side--today is Day 100!!!! Yay, me! I can't believe I've stuck it out this long, and I can't believe I'm actually sort of enjoying incorporating exercise into my daily life. I am a little worried about what's going to happen when I next decide to do a show--how will I fit it all in? But I'll cross that bridge when I come to it, and enjoy the ride for now. It's strange--I feel so much better now, and yet I didn't think I really felt bad before. I wasn't having any specific health problems in relation to being overweight--my blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol were all okay, if not optimal. But I have more spring in my step now. I feel...kinda bouncy. Hee. And while I haven't checked my blood sugar or cholesterol levels, I've been checking my blood pressure at the free machine at the drugstore across the street, and it's just dropping right on down. It's great to see tangible health results, in addition to the looser clothes!

I am also pleased to report that I did the "Dance Party" video again last night, and I was MUCH better with the moves. Am I still a dork? Well, yeah...but so is everyone else on the video. They're dorky moves. We're "raising the roof." We're doing the John Travolta disco finger pointing. We're "hitchhiking" with our thumbs. It's dorky. But it's fun.

The best news of all today is that Dolly, after a mysterious absence of two days, has returned home. I don't know where she was. McBeady didn't seem to know, either. He hung around the house like a lost soul the whole time she was MIA. My theory is that they had a fight, and she needed some time alone to cool off. Either that or she caught him with some young pussy. Pussy cat! Pussy CAT! Hee. Or maybe I've got it backward. Maybe she was off spending time with that handsome orange boy who's been hanging around lately. You go, Dolly! Only, if you please, do you philandering a little closer to home--I worry about you. Thanks.

Have a great weekend, everyone. Think of me tonight when I can't get off the couch, too stuffed with celebratory cheese to move!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Dance Party

Well, I know you're dying to know...did I dance like a dork in my living room last night?

Yes. Yes, I did.

I'm pleased to report that I made it all the way through the video, and never once stopped or fell down. (It helps to have low expectations for yourself, doesn't it? Makes it so much easier to succeed.) Did I sweat? Like a pig. Oh, wait...pigs don't really sweat. Like...my toilet tank in the winter! Was it fun? Yeah, it kinda was. And did I look like a dork? Oh, absolutely...three ways to Sunday! I was a "salsa" dork, a "funk" dork, and, most fun of all, a "retro" dork. I wasn't too terribly bad about picking up the steps. I never had to pause and rewind. I wasn't too terribly GOOD either, of course, but since there is fortunately no videographic evidence to the contrary, I will continue to avow that I was dorky, but not hideously so.

I don't think I'll do it every night, though. I could feel a little strain on my knees that my regular workout doesn't cause, so I'll probably just feel the funk a couple of times a week. Heh.

Would it make me an uber-dork if, during the "salsa" segment, I shouted out "God wouldn't have given you maracas if he didn't want you to shaaaaaake 'emmmmm!"! Yeah, that's what I thought.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I'm not the person I used to be.

I'm a somewhat smaller person, for one thing.

For another, I'm a person who is actually excited to go home and check out the new workout videos that came in the mail today. One of them is a more intense version of the one I've been doing; the other is more "dance" oriented. I ordered it primarily because several of the Amazon customer reviews said, essentially, "if you don't mind looking like a dork, this is a lot of fun!"

I don't mind looking like a dork! "So You Think You Can Dance Like a Dork in Your Living Room," here I come!

And Friday is Day 100. What type of cheese shall I celebrate with? I'm torn--do I go to the "Fancy Foods" shop and get a hunk of something pricy and fabulous? Or do I go with a big pile of super greasy and fattening cheese fries, with chives and jalapenos, and a side of ranch? Hmm....

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Dating Game

My life has been really boring of late. Nothing but work, exercise and the care and feeding of myriads of stray and formerly stray animals. Yawn.

But maybe that's all about to change. Cue mood change music. (Okay, I would like for this to be sunny, positive music, with lots of swelling strings and flutes. But this is MY life, so it will probably turn out to be something more along the lines of the "Jaws" theme. BA-dum. BA-dum.)

I might have a date this week.

I know! (Wait--are those sharks circling?)

A couple of weeks ago, lured by the earnest exhortations of one "Dr. Meil Mlark Marren," founder of "MeMarmony," I decided to "check out my matches for free." There was one fairly interesting one, and when, soon after, he requested "open communication," I decided what the heck. I'll check with Stefanie, the "MeMarmony" queen, and see if she had any problems with them (other than failing to find her perfect match, of course). 'Cause we all know that no weighty (or frivolous, for that matter) personal decisions should be made without input from the blogosphere. She gave me the green light, so I signed up for a short-term membership.

Before I even had time to check out his profile, Mr. Potentially Interesting was asking to "Fast Track." Oh, my! What's the etiquette on this? Does agreeing to "Fast Track" before we've even answered each other's initial questions, not to mention shared our "Must Haves" and "Can't Stands," make me a MeMarmony slut? Ah, who cares! "Fast Track" it is. After a couple of brief emails, he gave me his phone number with a "call me sometime," and after a few days of playing phone tag, we finally spoke on the phone this weekend.


Well, it was a pleasant enough conversation. Not earth-shattering, by any means, but lively enough that we decided we should probably meet in person for a drink or something soon. I'll keep you posted.

I don't think I'm in any real danger of being disappointed, because I currently have no real expectation that any guy will ever meet my stringent list of qualifications (intelligent, witty, honest, single, and in possession of one and ONLY one Y chromosome), and still somehow be interested in me. Isn't that sad?

It wasn't always that way. I used to go into every early date thinking "this is going to be great." And sometimes it was. Sometimes it wasn't. And sometimes it was, and then things still went south for reasons both understandable and unfathomable.

I was thinking of one of those "unfathomable" guys this weekend. I happened to see him on TV--his church runs a weekly half-hour on a cable channel, and he sings in their praise and worship band. Anyway, I channel surfed past him and laughed, remembering his reason for dumping me after a couple of dates, years ago. We met at a theatre-related function, and there was instantly undeniable chemistry. He was a bit younger than me, and very handsome and talented. We went out a couple of times, and on the second date he said, basically, that he was interested in a serious, longterm relationship leading to marriage, and since he "didn't sense" that I was interested in the same, he needed to move on and not waste any more time. WTF? It was our second date. And our first date was a movie date, with very little actual conversation. (It was "JFK," so it was a very LONG movie date, with even more time without actual conversation.) I responded that I wasn't UN-interested in those same things, but since I didn't feel like we really knew each other very well yet, I wasn't prepared to declare one way or the other. And that was the end of that.

Not long after, I heard he had traded in his single-guy car for a minivan, to be ready for that impending wife and children. That was 15 years ago, and he's still single. I wonder why?

Seriously, guys (I'm going to go ahead and pretend I have actual male readers, though that is rarely the case), it's not in any way romantic to be so desperate to be married that you bring it up on a second date...unless it's in the form of "you are so incredibly fantastic that I believe I might have to marry you someday." When you leave out the "you are so incredibly fantastic" part, it makes it feel really impersonal. I'm not against marriage, by any means, but I want to marry a guy who wants to marry ME, not a guy who wants to marry, period. See the difference?

That wasn't the only time I had a "marriage discussion" on a second date. Another time, I got a semi-proposal on the second date, phrased something like this: "You're tall, I like the way you look, and I think you would make a good mother for my children. Would you perhaps consider thinking about marriage in about six months time?" That one came from a Nigerian, and I did take into consideration cultural differences before I said "Well, that was incredibly romantic, but I think I'm going to pass. Thanks, anyway."

Anyone still wondering why I have remained single?

At any rate, while I am looking forward to meeting Mr. Potentially Interesting, I won't be at all surprised if it doesn't lead anywhere. Though maybe the universe will remember that 2007 is the Year of Liz, and it will be wonderful. Anything can happen, right?

Or maybe the universe (like Cute Church Guy, most likely), is under the impression that I'm a lesbian, and is taking steps to introduce me to some great gals. It would be an easy mistake to make, I guess, considering that I am now on the guest list for the upcoming marriage of my church lesbian buddies. Yes, I was hand-delivered a lovely invitation yesterday. I'm planning to go, of course--it was very nice of them to think of me. And who knows--maybe one of them has a brother.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Dave Carter, 8/13/1952 - 7/19/2002

Photo by Jason Reiser

My favorite songwriter died suddenly and tragically, five years ago today. I didn't "know" Dave, really...I met him only once, but he was the kind of person who made you instantly feel like you'd been friends forever. There was something magical about him, and his music. His partner Tracy Grammer has done her best to keep his music and memory alive, bless her, but five years later it still makes me sad to know there won't be any more new Dave Carter songs to love. I cried when I heard the news of his death, as hard as I cried when I lost two "real" friends later that same summer, and then I listened over and over again to the following song, which seemed somehow to be an instruction manual for coping with his loss (and those later ones, as well): "do not worry for my comfort, do not sorrow for me so, all your diamond tears will rise up and adorn the skies beside me when I go."

When I Go
© 1998 Dave Carter / Dave Carter Music (BMI)

come, lonely hunter, chieftain and king, i will fly like the falcon when i go

bear me my brother under your wing, i will strike fell like lightning when i go

i will bellow like the thunder drum, invoke the storm of war

a twisting pillar spun of dust and blood up from the prairie floor

i will sweep the foe before me like a gale out on the snow

and the wind will long recount the story, reverence and glory, when i go

spring, spirit dancer, nimble and thin, i will leap like coyote when i go

tireless entrancer, lend me your skin, i will run like the gray wolf when i go

i will climb the rise at daybreak, i will kiss the sky at noon

raise my yearning voice at midnight to my mother in the moon

i will make the lay of long defeat and draw the chorus slow

i'll send this message down the wire and hope that someone wise is listening when i go

and when the sun comes trumpets from his red house in the east

he will find a standing stone where long i chanted my release

he will send his morning messenger to strike the hammer blow

and i will crumble down uncountable in showers of crimson rubies when i go

sigh, mournful sister, whisper and turn, i will rattle like dry leaves when i go

stand in the mist where my fire used to burn, i will camp on the night breeze when i go

and should you glimpse my wandering form out on the borderline

between death and resurrection and the council of the pines

do not worry for my comfort, do not sorrow for me so

all your diamond tears will rise up and adorn the sky beside me when i go

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

If I only had the noive

I wish I was just a little bit braver.

Why? Well, there's a good old-fashioned "salvation and healing" tent revival going on in a field down the street from my house, and I must confess, I'm very curious to take a peek at the action. I was a Methodist before I was an Episcopalian, and neither of those denominations is exactly known for...physical exuberance in worship, let's just say. I imagine this tent revival is rife with hands in the air, whooping and hollering, and probably a little Benny Hinn-style "healing." I KNOW the gospel music is raising the rafters (do tents have rafters?) because I can hear it, wafting through the air for almost a mile. And, since I live in the historically African-American part of town, I'm guessing that music is wafting with a lot of soul!

So I'm curious. But I'm also Episcopalian for a reason. I love some good soulful gospel music, but the rest of it makes me a bit uncomfortable. No offense to any of you pew jumpers out there--it just ain't my thang. So I'll probably stay away. I wouldn't want to end up like a friend of mine, who visited a more charismatic church than he was used to years ago, and ended up trapped in a room with a couple of fellows who were determined that he would speak in tongues before they'd let him out. Seriously--WTF? Is that any way to bring people to God? Intimidation? I guess the "hellfire and brimstone" preachers have been using that technique for years, but it sure doesn't jibe with what I know of Jesus, who was one peace-loving, liberal, righteous dude!

Okay, moving on.

I still have the stray dog, if anyone was wondering. No miraculous adoption story. Dolly and McBeady suddenly decided to move their base of operations to the front yard and porch--out of concern for me, I'm sure. (Yeah, right.) I've been able to let Wiley have more use of the backyard, which means less early morning and late night dog-walking for me, so that's good. He still spends most of his time crated, though, which makes me sad, but doesn't really seem to bother him. I suppose anything is a step up from wandering around hungry, eating dried worms in the street. Which he still does, actually--I guess some habits are hard to break. Either that or dried worms are yummier than they look. Blech. If they make his story into an animated feature, the title can be "How to Eat Dried Worms." Hee.

Yesterday was Day 91 of the diet and exercise initiative. I can't believe it's been that long. Time flies when you're not eating cheese, I guess! Really, though, it's going well. The weight's coming off very gradually, a couple of pounds a week, which seems frustratingly slow, but is probably a pretty healthy pace. I ordered a couple of new workout videos which should be a little more demanding, and maybe that will bump things up a bit, but slow and steady wins the race, right?

Is anyone but me watching "Big Medicine" and "Inside Brookhaven Obesity Clinic" on TLC? We are just really fucked up in regards to weight in this country, aren't we? I've struggled with my weight all my life, so I have sympathy for others who suffer, believe me, but I also think we've become way too eager for a magic bullet. Nobody wants to work at it. They all just want gastric bypass, like that's the answer to all their problems. I know a couple of people who've had the surgery, and I think sometimes it can be a big help, but it shouldn't be done lightly, and it seems like we're heading in that direction.

All it does is make your stomach smaller, limiting your caloric intake. It doesn't do anything to your brain. And come on, someone who weighs 400 pounds or more isn't JUST dealing with a bad draw in the metabolism lottery--let's get real. And yes, they still do psychological counseling pre-surgery, but so far, the only time I've seen the doctors on "Big Medicine" turn a patient away was when the patient's insurance company refused to cover it. They're doing this risky surgery on people who weigh 700 pounds, which makes the surgery even riskier, and are bedbound--people who can't possibly be overeating without some help. Look--you've got them in the hospital, you're controlling their caloric intake already--shouldn't you do everything possible to reduce their weight and work on their addictions before you cut them open?

Then at the other end of the spectrum, you've got "Brookhaven," where they regularly discourage people from leaping into surgery, and counsel instead a "strict" diet and exercise program. Laudable--but they let people cheat. They let their morbidly obese clients call local restaurants and have incredibly fattening food delivered TO THE CLINIC. They know they're cheating, but they don't do anything about it, because they want them to realize on their own what they need to do to change. Okay, I know addiction always comes down to the addict wanting to change, but I'm pretty sure that in drug rehabs, they don't just look the other way when someone calls for a heroin delivery!

Okay, I don't even know where I'm going with all this. It's a complex issue. We, as a society, obviously have some issues. Many of us are way too fat, others of us are way too thin. I just know that I'm not letting anyone cut open my stomach until I have done my darndest to suck it up and lose weight the old-fashioned way. I'm not letting them cut me open, I'm not taking a drug that makes me stain my pants--I'm going to keep plugging away with my little workouts, I'm not going to drive when I can walk, I'm going to take the stairs whenever I can, I'm going to keep working on building a healthier relationship with food, and I'm going to see what happens. Day 100 is just around the corner!

Okay, now let's get completely frivolous--how fabulous is "Scott Baio is 45...and Single"? Aww...poor tormented Chachi. And his little posse of friends. Here's a tip, Scott--forget about your emotional baggage, you need to lose that skeevy little hanger-on, Johnny V. (And, yay, it seems like his life coach addresses that very issue in future episodes!)

Seriously, Scott Baio will always have a special place in my heart. No, not because of Chachi or Charles, in charge or not. No, because of the Bob Loblaw Law Blog. Oh, Arrested Development, how I miss you. Sniff.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Happy Friday the 13th!

I've always kind of liked Friday the 13th. I used to make it a point to throw a party (back when I regularly threw parties) on Friday the 13th, specifically...kind of a "laugh in the face of fate" thing.

Yeah, fate's sittin' back all, "Who's laughing now, huh?"

At any rate, I will be joining friends for drinks and snacks tonight, and while that is a far cry from the kind of parties I used to throw, back in the day, I am very much looking forward to it. And really, the kind of parties I used to throw, back in the day...definitely too much "fun" for my current 40-something self to handle.

Let's just say at one party there were 65 (I counted) people shoulder to shoulder in my tiny living room alone, all dancing and yelling to be heard over the music. Then there was that time I invited an entire graduating class of optometrists to come over for an after-party when the bar closed. And most of them came. (My friends were there, too...it wasn't just me and the optometrists. I never threw THAT kind of party!) One party turned tragic when people smoked (and not just cigarettes) in my bedroom with the door closed, which was strictly against house rules, and killed my parakeet. I threw everyone out that night. Another night, a birthday party for someone, one of my friends freaked out and started grabbing handfuls of birthday cake and throwing it. There was cake on every inch of the kitchen walls and floor, I think. Have you ever tried to mop up smashed birthday cake? It's slippery. You fall down a lot in the process, especially if you're drunk. Yeah, those were the days. Heh.

At any rate, it won't be THAT kind of party. I don't think. Though I do remember a couple of years ago, this same seemingly sedate group of adult women thought it a good idea to open a few bottles of wine after polishing off several bottles of champagne and at least one of us (okay, it was me) had to spend a little time worshipping the porcelain god before she could go home. (In my defense, one of my cats had just died, I was very, very upset and I forgot to eat. Oops.)

The hostess of the party did promise to send us all home with black cats. I assume she was talking party favors of some sort (she's big into that), or maybe Black Cat firecrackers, and not ACTUAL black cats. I would have to shoot her.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Sweating is good for you!*

Today is day 85 of the New Order. 85 days of daily exercise. 85 days of very little cheese consumption. I think if I make it to day 100 I may celebrate by shoving fist-sized chunks of extra-sharp cheddar down my throat. Of course, then I will probably follow that celebration by spending the rest of the evening feeling like someone punched me in the stomach (which is what happened a few weeks ago when I decided to be daring and have some cheese nachos), but it might be worth it.

I've noticed the last few days that I'm not sweating nearly as much as I have been during my workout. I'm doing the same workout, the temperature in the house is the same, so I figure one of two things must be happening.

1. The workout is no longer challenging enough, and I need to step it up to something more intense, work out longer or add more weights.

2. My sweat glands are malfunctioning, and have spontaneously begun to emit less sweat.

Yeah, you're right...it's obvious what the answer is. Sigh. Guess I'll just have to live with malfunctioning sweat glands!


I guess it could also be due to the decreased humidity, given that it hasn't rained all day every day in, oh...3 or 4 days, UNTIL TODAY, so I guess we'll find out tonight whether that's a factor.

I'll give that longer workout some thought, though...that will give me something to mull over as I walk Wiley the stray around and around the front yard, since he can't always go into the backyard, as he's an EVIL CAT CHASER.

Dolly got herself chased last night, but it was at least partially her own fault. I made double-sure that she and McBeady were out of danger range, then I took Wiley out, and after a few minutes took him off the leash. Well, foolhardy little Dolly decided to creep ever closer to the fence (she was in the side yard), staring at Wiley intently, as if daring him to do something about it. He didn't notice her for a while, and then BAM! He threw himself up against the fence she had her nose pressed against, and she FLEW away. It was almost funny. Except not, as I then had to scold him, and drag him away from the fence, and spend the next couple of hours wondering if she was going to come back or not.

She did, of course. And she and McBeady stubbornly refused to leave the backyard for the rest of the night, and all day so far, hence the extra time available for front yard walking and mulling. Sigh.

My life is wearing me down this week. It's stray cat and kitten rescue ONLY for me from now on (and please God, let's take a little break from that, too, 'kay?). As God is my witness (arm outstretched, fist clutching a dog bone a la Scarlett O'Hara and her radishes), I'LL NEVER FOSTER A DOG AGAIN.

Right now I can't wait for tomorrow night, when I will be drinking mojitos with some fabulous friends, while the evil cat chaser is tucked securely in his cage. Who'll be laughing then, cat chaser?

Okay, I'm mentally taunting a stray dog. I have got to get a grip. Heh.

*So insists the cheerful woman on my workout video

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

It may be true that the squeaky wheel gets the grease, but it's also true that it's not what you know, but who you know that matters.

I went to "Spiffy Tube" this weekend, for an oil change and and A/C recharge. I go to "Spiffy Tube" specifically because one of my former longtime co-workers is the general manager of every "Spiffy Tube" in town (his father now being the owner of every "Spiffy Tube" in town), and he set it up so that all employees of Where I Work (plus our family and friends) get a nice discount. It's been easy enough in the past: tell them I work for Where I Work, throw in former co-worker's name, get treated like royalty. (Once he even paid me to be a mole, and go to a certain location and try to get them to do something they weren't supposed to do. They passed the test, though. And I discovered I wouldn't make a very good spy--it made me nervous.)

This time I went to their most recently acquired store, and apparently they'd never gotten the memo that they're supposed to treat me like royalty. DON'T THEY KNOW WHO I AM? (Okay, I'm a nobody, really, but I'm a nobody with a DISCOUNT, by god.) I had to tell them several times to make sure and use the Where I Work account, so I get my 20% discount. Finally the young fellow seemed to understand, and the oil change and recharge commenced. When it came time to check out, the total seemed a bit high, but I knew I needed a lot of freon, so I didn't question it--just handed over my debit card. I took my receipt, got in my car, noticed they'd skipped a couple of the little customer service steps former co-worker had added to the routine, but decided I really wanted to get home, so I didn't mention it.

When I got home, I looked at my itemized receipt--it's listed under the Where I Work account, all right....but no discount. Damn it! That discount should have been over $30! So I called, and after a bit a manager got on the phone and told me there was nothing he could do about it--the transaction was final. "Okay then," I said, "I'll just call former co-worker and let him fix it." Oh no, no, NO! the manager said. I'll fix it. 10% discount, right? "20%." Are you sure? "Yes." Okay, he'd figure out what he needed to do and he'd call me. What's my number? I gave him my cell number and waited. No call that night. No call the next day (Saturday). I called and left my number again. No call back. Bright and early Monday morning I called former co-worker on HIS cell, and told him the whole story. The WHOLE story--including the part about where they skipped some of the steps. Yep, I ratted them out good, and I figured they deserved it. I mean really...if you're going to cut corners on your customer service, you damn sure shouldn't do it on a customer who has mentioned repeatedly that she's a longtime acquaintance of your boss. Fools. At any rate, he said it would be fixed, and fixed quickly, and that someone would call me. Sure enough, a few minutes later the manager called, apologizing and grovelling and promising to make it good with my bank account. And also, what was it exactly that they failed to do, so he could reprimand his employees? Hee. I'm also getting my next oil change free. The moral of the story? Don't come between a frugal girl and her discount! I've got [embarrassing number redacted] mouths to feed, after all.

Speaking of which...yep, still have the stray dog. I think he looks like a Wiley. I really like the name Ribsy, but he just doesn't have that Ribsy quality to me. Ribsy seems to me to require a certain scruffy cuteness he just doesn't have. Not that he's not scruffy, god knows, but...I don't know. I think he's a Wiley. And I think that as he gets over the starvation and resumes being a puppy, I'm going to have a load on my hands. I don't think, no....I'm SURE he's not getting enough exercise, being in that cage so much of the day, but I don't know what the hell I'm going to do about it. And I think he's going to need to learn some manners soon, and I do NOT have the time (or the desire, quite frankly) for that. This is why I don't like puppies. Sigh.

Okay, before I get all discouraged again thinking too much about the dog, let's think of some good things:

Stefanie gave me an award! It makes me want to go all Sally Field and say "She likes me! She really likes me!" But I'll maintain some semblance of dignity and simply say "Squeeeeee!!!!"

The air-conditioning in my car works again!

Dolly and McBeady have both decided their love for me (and my tasty, tasty food) outweighs their hatred of the new dog, so they're coming around again. They're smart, though. They look to make sure he's not around before they jump over the fence. This complicates my life, of course, since I have to do recon around the yard to make sure they're not already in it before I let the little beast out. But still, I'm glad the kitties have come back.

Have you tried the Cheddar and Sour Cream Baked Ruffles? My god, those things are good. I never liked the Baked Lays or Baked Tostitos, but the Ruffles? Yum. And I can kind of pretend I'm eating cheese, though I'm sure that bright orange powder they're covered with has only the vaguest of relationships to actual cheese.

The Lyle Lovett and k.d. lang concert was fabulous, as expected. I still want to marry Lyle. And I want to hang out with k.d., who started the evening by saying very seriously that she was thrilled to finally come to Tulsa, and HONORED to be performing on the stage that had also been graced by...dramatic pause, while we wonder which of the many truly legendary possibilities she's going to mention...CLAY AIKEN. Who was there the night before. (After a little tussle on his way, apparently.) Hee.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Feeling better today, thanks.

I'm not quite so cranky today. PMSing yesterday, perhaps?

One thing I'm very glad about is that Miss Dolly finally showed up for dinner last night AND returned for breakfast this morning, and I was very careful not to let the puppy anywhere near her, or even in her field of vision. I still haven't seen McBeady again since his chasing, but hopefully he'll show back up soon, too.

It's not raining today! I am very glad about that, too, even though it means it's swelteringly hot outside. Temperatures in the 90s after 40 days and 40 nights (or so it felt) of rain makes for a nice sauna-like feeling outside. Blech. But it's not raining. And so I am glad.

I'll be going to see Lyle Lovett and kd lang this weekend! So very, very, very glad! Woot!!!

Today is Friday. Finally, after what felt like TWO Mondays this week. SGIF! (So glad it's Friday.)

Next weekend I have plans for Friday night with one of my groups of fabulous women friends, and Saturday afternoon with the crazy cat ladies. I'm glad about my fabulous friends!

See all the gladness?

I'm not glad, but I am amused (or perhaps bemused) that my blog is now found most often through google searches for "blood in poop," and variations thereof. I didn't realize I'd mentioned those two things quite that often, but I guess I have. I also had maybe the most disturbing google search ever: "brother and sister pee in each other's mouth." WTF?!!!! How disgusting is THAT? I don't even want to know what they thought they'd find. Shudder.

Okay, I was going to post a picture of the puppy, along with pictures of the inspirations for the two names I'm considering, but Blogger won't let me post the puppy pictures. (I don't know why not. It keeps insisting they're not jpeg files, but they ARE. I give up.)

I'll just show you the inspirations, instead, since they are apparently satisfactory to the Great and Mighty Wizard of Blog.

The first possible name? Wiley. Because he kind of looks like a coyote. And who doesn't love Wile E. Coyote?

The second possibility? Ribsy. Because his ribs were the most salient feature of his anatomy when I found him (or he found me, more accurately), and besides, who doesn't love Beverly Cleary?

Any thoughts? I have to confess I'm leaning toward Wiley, for some reason. Not that it really matters, since whoever adopts him may well change his name, anyway. And he will be adopted soon, right? Right? (I know I'm being delusional here--just go with me. Thanks.)

I wish you all weekends of gladness, even if you're not lucky enough to be seeing my future husband in concert. (Hee.)

Thursday, July 05, 2007

How's it goin'?

Oh, it's...goin', I guess. I've kind of been in an "I hate the world" mood the last few days. You know, one of those "why do these things only happen to me and why am I the only one who cares" kind of moods.

So yes, the stray dog is still with me. I sent out a desperate email plea for help to most of my address book, and, typically, got only one response, but it was from one of my cat lady friends who ALWAYS responds, God bless her, and while she couldn't provide a home or foster home, she did arrange to have the animal rescue group she currently works with provide a few days of boarding and his initial medical care. And it looks like we'll be able to "advertise" him on their website, and maybe show him at petstores on the weekends, once he's up to it. And all I have to do is find a foster home for him. So he's living in a cage in my garage for the time being. My un-air-conditioned garage. I put a fan out there, and at the moment it's tolerable, but I really will have to make other plans if true summer temperatures ever arrive.

He had sarcoptic mange and hookworms, in addition to being malnourished, but he seems to be recovering nicely. He's really a very good dog, not too barky, very calm in his cage, but, as I feared, all has not gone well with him and Dolly and McBeady. Dolly has just made herself scarce, sensing his presence, I guess. Poor McBeady, who had just arrived back home from a four-day adventure somewhere, managed to get himself chased out of the yard, despite my best efforts to only let the puppy out after checking the yard for cats. Poor McBeady. I feel terrible. I did manage to get him to come into the side yard to eat after, but knowing how easily his trust is damaged, I'm worried that this has set our relationship back once again. Sigh. (Food has been disappearing under cover of darkness, so hopefully the kitties aren't suffering too much physically while we all adjust.)

And, of course, my plans to eventually try to introduce him to the inside cats may now never come to fruition. Can't have a cat chaser inside. Just can't. Sigh again. On the plus side, he does get along with Pudge, and they've even begun to play a little. We'll just take one day at a time, I guess. What else can I do? I'm just irritated that out of all the "animal lovers" I know, there doesn't seem to be one person willing to help. (Actually, there may be one, but she's got some things to figure out first, and, knowing what she's dealing with, she totally gets a pass if she can't.) I know--I'm the one who found him, and I could have just taken him to the shelter, but he wouldn't have lasted past the obligatory three days in his current state. I hate to see a sweet dog condemned so quickly. And, damn it! I currently have more rescued pets than most people will have in a lifetime--somebody else step up!

Okay, I'll stop whining. I'm just tired, and a little discouraged. (Adding to my worries is the fact that my cat Rover seems to not be well again. No diarrhea this time. No, now he's throwing up occasionally, and he seems to have lost the half-pound he just put back on. So I have to figure out a time to get him back to the vet.) I guess I just need to turn the "it's always something" despair into "it will all work out" optimism. I'll get to work on that. In the meantime, though, you might not want to be the next person to tell me how rewarded I'll be for all this in my next life. Phooey! I want some reward in THIS life. Aside from the puppy and kitty kisses, that is. Which are sweet, and all, but come on, universe...how 'bout a little something extra for your girl here?

Tomorrow---maybe a "name the stray" contest. We have to do better than "Stinky."