Saturday, March 26, 2011

And...I'll see you guys Friday.

Just so you guys know, I probably won't be back in the Blogosphere until Friday. If you could all promise not to post anything until then, I would love you forever. But I know that my wish is in vain. Which means I will be spending most of Friday trying desperately to catch up on everybody's posts and leave comments.

It's okay.

Am I tell you why I'm going away? No. Padawan and I are just going...away...for a few days.

I'll be back to my bright and bubbly updates after I return, I expect.

It is not a vacation. That's not until June. Or maybe July. Or September. I don't know when our vacation is. We haven't really discussed it.

I'll leave you with a story.

My mother and father desperately wanted a son. My sisters and I are the result of four pregnancies, only three of which were successful. The fourth pregnancy wound up being her last. It ended in a miscarriage that left her unable to have more children. They were stuck with four blond haired daughters and no hope of ever having a son.

Daddy tried to make the best of it. All the things he wanted a son for he tried to do with the four of us. Learning to play baseball was the first thing he tried when the twins were four, I was five, and Relly was six. Let's just say his dreams of putting us on a Little League team turned to ashes in front of him when he realized none of us could pitch, I was too afraid to catch the ball, Relly couldn't swing a bat to save her life, and the Twinkies preferred to try to catch bugs than to actually pay attention to what he was trying to teach us.

When he tried to teach us how to ride bikes he met with better success. The Twinkies and Relly took to it with ease. I was...a disappointment and a failure. Family bike rides would never be possible because I could only go forward in a straight line, and my breaking ability was...not great. However, I could put a slipped bike chain back on with no trouble.

That inspired him to teach us about cars. Relly and I learned basics like changing tires and the difference between the transmission and the engine but the Twinkies refused to go into the garage to learn anything because it smelled bad and "cars are dirty." 

Then he moved his attention to building an Olympic Swim Team. (Yes. That was seriously his goal.) It broke his heart that none of his daughters were strong swimmers. We were slow, awkward, and complained of being too cold within an hour of getting into the water, no matter how hot it was on those Florida days. But he moved from Swim Team to Diving Team.

Huge problem.

  1. I was afraid of heights and refused to jump off of even the low dive board.
  2. Relly would jump off of the high dive, but she wouldn't do it head first in a dive.
  3. The Twinkies would not consider jumping head first off of anything. 
Next Daddy tried basketball, though it was becoming very clear that none of his beautiful children were athletically inclined. Amazingly, though, all four of us took to basketball with surprising ease. We found it interesting, fun, and despite our height challenges (we were all small and undersized for our ages) we played well.

That was that. Daddy was going to train us to be in the WNBA. We would play in middle school, high school, and get full ride scholarships to whatever colleges we wanted because we would be that awesome. It had taken him five years, but he had finally found something he could do with his daughters that he would have done with sons. 

The only obstacles to his dreams were our weekly asthma attacks in which one or all four of us would be rushed to the hospital for breathing treatments, which were held in what I would always call "The Metal Room." (For years I thought The Metal Room was a dream, a horrible nightmare created by my young mind in my childhood. It wasn't until recently that I asked my mother about it, and she explained that The Metal Room had been a real place, and that I had always fought the doctors when they tried to put the ugly green mask on my face.)

To Daddy's excitement, though, the four of us grew out of our asthma, and I really think he would have kept going with it if he and Mom hadn't started having really awful marital issues. When he finally left and we didn't follow, Mom sent us to Texas with Memaw and Papaw, and only the Twinkies stuck with basketball. I migrated towards track in middle school. Somehow I had inherited Daddy's running ability, but that was a short lived glory. My heart problems will forever bar me from any sports. Relly played volleyball for a while, then tried cheerleading, (we'd both done peewee cheerleading for Mom's sake when we were five and six, but it hadn't stuck because I hated standing outside in the hot sun cheering them to GO! FIGHT! WIN! Beat to the win! WHOO!) and finally settled on Band and gave up Athletics altogether. 

Brat and Wheat stuck with Basketball through the end of their Freshman year of high school before giving it up because, let's face it, it was really hard to be an Emo Kid and a sporty blond. Also, the other girls on the team were pretty bitchy and kind of stupid. 

Daddy was disappointed that we all left the world of sports, but he was mollified when Relly and I took an interest in music, which was something we could share with him. Wheat and I also showed a talent for drawing and water colors, which we also got from him. Brat...well, she didn't really stick with anything. No interest in music, art, or sports she was his biggest let down until Wheat eloped and married a man Daddy hates. 

I think over the years he got over not having any sons. If it had been that important to him he would not have remarried a woman who had three daughters and was also incapable of having children. I think he's pretty satisfied.

Friday, March 25, 2011

At the Vet

TuesdayBrat was supposed to get married, but she changed her mind (because of me, I have confirmed) and so all I had to do was take Choo Choo to the vet for her shots and check up. The appointment was scheduled for ten in the morning, so I told work I'd be in by noon instead of taking the whole day off.

Well, it's a good thing I set that up. I didn't expect to be in that late. But I hadn't really expected on having to go home to wash myself off and change my clothes. I assumed I'd be in by eleven at the latest. And if Choo Choo's vet wasn't in Cedar Park, I could have been in by ten thirty regardless.

Back to the story...Choo Choo and I waited for twenty minutes in Exam Room 1 because we were early. (Padawan waited in the car because he doesn't like going inside.) When the technician came in (sort of like a medical assistant at a doctor's office, she comes in to ask questions before the vet comes in) she asked me the usual questions: has she been eating, sleeping, drinking, playing like normal? Coughing, sneezing? 

"She's been fine."

"Have you noticed anything unusual?"

"Actually, yes. I checked her teeth a few days ago and I think her Greenies aren't cleaning her teeth properly because of her overbite. Do I need to schedule her for a cleaning? Also, she's been chewing at the base of her tail obsessively. She's actually gnawed a bald spot on the side. I was wondering if there was something wrong?"

"Does she have allergies?"


"Do you treat her for them?"

"1/4 a Benadryl  a day."

"Does it help?" 

"Yeah. Takes care of the sneezing and watery eyes."

"Does she drag herself across the carpet?"

"Well, little dogs often have trouble with their anal sacs building up fluid. We can take care of that and she'll stop biting her tail."

So they took Choo Choo into the back and did what they needed to do, plus clipped her nails because she won't let me do that. When they brought her back in she immediately jumped in my lap as the vet came in (it wasn't Dr. Spacey because he doesn't work on Tuesdays, it was a new one) and he said, "Her sacs were extremely full." At that, I felt something warm and wet on my leg.

I moved Choo Choo. 

Huge wet spot on my jeans where she'd been sitting. Anal sac fluid. On my jeans. Oh god.

It took a lot of self control to not jump up and freak out. But I held it in.

Oh, God. Anal fluid on my jeans! Will this come out? How many times will I have to wash these before it's safe again? Should I throw them away? No! These are my favorite skinny jeans! I can't just toss them out!

Then the Vet asked, "You're concerned about her teeth?" and started examining her mouth. Well that distracted me. "On a scale of 1 to 4, 1 being the best and 4 being the worst, Choo Choo's teeth are a 1. It's surprising. She's almost three?"

I nodded. 

"Very surprising. A lot of small dogs have teeth problems early on. You've been doing really well. You use Greenies?"

Another nod.

"Well, if you're concerned they're not as effective as they could be, you could try these. They're raw hide with the same enzymes in them as the Greenies, but they're harder to chew. They last longer, and they scrape away buildup better. It might help, or you could try brushing her teeth with a brush and toothpaste."

" We've tried that. She broke three toothbrushes. We'll try the rawhide chews."

Then he started examining her legs and knees. She just sat there and let him do his thing. She licked his hands every time she got the chance. "You know, she's a remarkably well behaved Chihuahua. Have you had her since she was a puppy?"

"Yes, I got her when she was six weeks old."

"Did you send her to a trainer?"


"You've done a good job socializing her. She's friendly and calm. She's not even growling."

Ah, I glowed with motherly pride. I love to hear people comment on what a good dog I've raised. "Well, I've got a really big family. She's used to people. Her problem isn't loving people. It's barking to get their attention when she sees them in the distance."

"Does she bark a lot inside?"

"Only when someone comes to the door."

A cat meowed outside the Exam Room. Choo Choo turned to face the door, wagged her tail and whined desperately. Vet looked at me. "She wants to play with the cat."

"She likes cats?"

"Yes. I think she thinks she is one."

"Very interesting. Do you have a cat?"

"No. I used to, but not anymore."

"Other dogs?" 

"We used to have a Sheltie, but someone stole him a couple of weeks after we got her."

"She's an only child then. Happy girl, aren't you, Choo Choo?" She licked his hand and wagged her tail and rolled over so he could scratch her belly. My dog is a glutton for petting. "She's so unusual for a Chihuahua. She's not even shaking."

"She's a good dog."
"Where did you get her?"

"From a breeder in Manor."

"She registered?"

"Yup. CKC." 

"Well, I guess she's so well adjusted because she's well loved, then. It proves anything with possible with a dog if the right person raises them." 

I smiled and said thank you. Then he had to give her the shots and nose spray she desperately needed. Choo Choo doesn't particularly enjoy shots, but she knows to hold still for them. She absolutely does not, however, like the nose spray being shoved up her nose. She fought that one (no barking, growling, or biting, though) and snorted when it was done. Then she looked at him like, "What the hell was that for? I thought we were friends!"

"You're a good girl, Choo Choo. We'll see you in April for your surgery."  He gave her treat and a pat on the head and then we went to pay our bill. For the record, Choo Choo was negative for worms, heart worms,  and other parasites. Also she doesn't have diabetes. Her knees and back are healthy. She has no hip problems. She still has a ridiculous overbite, but it's part of her charm.

I've washed my jeans three times. I'm almost sure I can wear them again. I think maybe one more trip in the washer might be enough to overcome my desire to not touch them..

Right when I got home my boss called. He'd forgotten I was taking Choo Choo to the Vet so he was checking to see why I was late. When I called back he was busy so I left a message with the receptionist to tell him that Choo Choo's appointment had run late because they had to do an anal sac cleanse and it had gotten on my jeans and I needed to change and clean up before coming to work.

When I walked in the door the guys were like, "Jazz said you were running late because of something about anal sex?"

Men are such pigs.

Monday, March 21, 2011


I've recently developed an appreciation affinity addiction to The Big Bang Theory.

I know that a lot of people don't like it, but then again most people don't have any real life people who bear a striking resemblance, personality wise, to the characters. When I watch The Big Bang Theory I'm not just watching a show. I'm taken back to my college days and the time I spent with the Computer Science Freshman Interest Group, or the CS-FIG, as we were called.

Yeah. I wasn't actually a Computer Science major but they adopted me as their "honorary member." My name was on the roster and everything. Not just because I was a pretty girl that liked to hang out with and talk to them without needing their help, but because I am a fairly awesome person. That's not narcissistic. That's just true. I'm fun and funny and charming when I'm comfortable and not feeling awkward.

When I first went off to college I decided the best thing to do would be to get what I called "filler friends", or people who would fill up my time during the week to keep me entertained until I could see my real friends, the ones I'd grown up with, on weekends. I decided after some thought that my filler friends should be nothing like my real friends. I wasn't looking for replacements.

I really tried to find people who fit the "filler" requirements. Average people who hadn't graduated in the top fifteen percent of their classes who majored in Psychology (the most common major on campus because it's an easy ride) were my main target. But I hated them. The girls were shallow, stupid, and catty. They only liked to talk about other girls and couples and trying to explain to them why they found me in my room curled up with Tolstoy was pointless.

I tried hanging out with guys who were "filler" material. That was even worse than the girls. The guys were either entirely too interested in getting in my pants to make me comfortable enough to hang out, or they were only nice until they thought they had a shot, at which point I would turn them down and move on. I was absolutely not interested in picking up a new boyfriend.

I even tried a few frat parties during Rush with my roommate, who I actually got along with, to see if that would be a tolerable way to pass my time. Since I didn't drink all I could do was watch other people act like morons while getting drunk while trying to keep drunk frat boys and not yet frat boys from hitting on me or touching me.

Needless to say, finding "filler friends" failed and I had resigned myself to only hanging out with Cookie, the one friend who actually made the transfer from high school to college with  me, and when he was busy I decided I would just go to the library and make use of my time or hang out with my roommate.

I actually met the CS-FIG through Cookie, who lived in the same building as them, just three floors under. Cookie himself was a Computer Science Major, and he received an invitation to blow up a bottle of Big Red one night while we were hanging out. When he explained that he was hanging out with a friend, Neutron told him to "go ahead and bring him along."

Maybe Cookie should have warned them that "him" was actually a "her" because when I walked into the CS-FIG lounge with him and he introduced me there was a stunned silence. And then everybody came over and we all introduced ourself and I shook lots of hands and answered a lot of questions before we all finally went down to the park on campus and put shock tarts in a 2 liter of big red and watched it explode with a big BANG!

I found myself with a set of real friends instead of "filler friends" who happily called me every night to remind me of whatever was planned for the evening, or on the few nights that I didn't go to them, they came to me and either hung out in my room with me (my roommate never hung those nights: she said they made her feel stupid) or took me away to wherever they had planned to go anyway.

My favorite two members of the CS-FIG (aside from Cookie, obviously) were Adamantium and Neutron. If they were in the Big Bang Theory and were physicists, Adamantium would be Sheldon (albeit, a much more friendly, less condescending version of Sheldon) and Neutron would have been Leonard.

Adamantium and Neutron took it upon themselves to teach me some things about computers. My typing abilities easily outstripped their own: they weighed in at a paltry 85 and 90 WPM respectively, but that was pretty much my limit with computers aside from knowing how to use Power Point, Word, and Excel.  Everything I know about HTML coding I learned from the two of them, and two prouder teachers there never were as when they gave me the chance to show the other guys what I had learned. They also taught me how to design a webpage, though why they thought I would ever need to know that, I have no idea.

There was one painful two week period in which they decided to try to teach me how to code with Java. To their utter disappointment (Adamantium's more than Neutron's) I failed completely. I couldn't grasp the concept, and I wasn't interested in it enough to push past the difficulties involved. They finally had to admit defeat when they left me a note on the white board on my dorm while I was out one day in what they thought was fairly basic Java.

When I called Neutron he answered, "Hey! You understood it! You're getting better!"

And I said, "No, that's why I'm calling you! What the hell did you write on my board? I only understood my name!"

Apparently it had been instructions to call one of them. That was probably not a good idea. I felt bad for disappointing them. Adamantium was extremely disappointed and decided my lessons in Java should be postponed indefinitely. I heartily seconded the motion, and Neutron had to give in since I was no longer a will pupil.

After a while I developed a crush on Neutron, who was easiest to talk to and also my most frequent companion. Unfortunately, he was so into his computers and talking about the great game he was programming that he didn't really have an interest in women. That or he just didn't realize it and kept his own attraction hidden because he didn't know I liked him. You know what? I like the second option better.

We all went to Ren Fest together. We went to gaming tournaments together. (I occasionally dressed up with them, but I never played. I prefer watching other's play video games to joining in myself.) We went to movies together, had Star Wars Marathons. They did try to talk me into going to a Star Trek Marathon but I put my foot down on that one because I am not a Trekkie and I can't stand being around people when they're speaking Klingon. Yeah. They all spoke Klingon. (I'm not even sure if Klingon is a real thought out language or if they just learned different phrases from watching the show) And two of them spoke Elvish. As in the language that  Tolkien invented when he was writing Lord of the Rings. I didn't even realize it was a real language and not just a bunch of gibberish he wrote for the sake of his novels until I met the guys. I was interested enough to ask about that one and they even taught me a greeting.

I even got to impress them all once when I quoted the poem from the book. "Three Rings for the  Elven Kings under the sky, seven for the dwarf lords in their halls of stone, nine for mortal men doomed to die, one for the Dark Lord on his dark throne in the land of Mordor where the Shadows lie. One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them, one ring to bring them all and in  the darkness bind them in the land of Mordor where teh Shadows lie."

So...alright, it was pretty nerdy that I actually knew the poem. But I had read LOTR and I remembered that poem specifically because it had been chopped down for the movie and I thought it was so much more powerful with all of the words. Hollywood changes whatever it wants to with no actual consideration for the literary integrity of the work they are representing. So sad.

Anyway, I even played D&D with them, though I had played D&D in high school. That really amused them.

"No offense, but you don't look like the kind of girl who knows how to play D&D."

"Pshaw. Haven't you heard of me? I roll twenties."

Some of my fondest memories in my life happened in the company of those awesome, sweet tempered, lovable, respectful gentlemen. And they only reaffirmed my belief that as far as friends and boyfriends go, Nerds are the best to have.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

It's our anniversary! My longest relationship ever.

Today is our three year anniversary.

It's both of our longest relationships. My shortest relationship was...oh, a week? Yeah, I think so. And then there are the guys I dated before I got with Padawan. None of them made it to Third Date status. And everybody knows what happens on the Third Date. The first kiss.

I think the worst one was the guy with the horrendous Canadian accent that said "oot" and "aboot" instead of "out" and "about", which I thought was kind of cute when I first met him and agreed to a date. But it was pretty obnoxious by the end of the second date and so I ended that.

My next longest relationship was one year and a month, and that was back in high school. Does that even count? Well, it did carry on into college.

I believe the last time I mentioned a three year anniversary it was on February 7th and I said it was my three year anniversary working for the company. Three wonderful years on both counts.

Padawan and I have had a mostly good three years. There were hard times. We lived with one of my friends as a roommate (someone who I am no longer friends with because he's a total douche bag) and that only caused problems and we had to take a break for a month before we realized the problem wasn't between us. It was the asshole roommate. 

So we moved in with Jerkface as a roommate in a better apartment and that went well for the next year until things started going badly because Jerkface was an asshole who told me point blank that he could find a new woman for Padawan who was just as beautiful but a lot simpler emotionally, and the only reason he hadn't done it was because he found me amusing. Yeah. After that things started to get tense. And I guess he missed his opportunity because by the time I stopped amusing him it was too late. Padawan was madly in love.

Oh, one of my favorite memories of Padawan was when I had gone down to visit Relly in Corpus for a couple of weeks and then she decided to go on a cruise with her ex-boyfriend the weekend we were supposed to go back home so I was going to be stranded in Corpus another week. He drove down in his M3 (which had been vandalized that day by teenagers with explosives and needed to go to the body shop) that night, picked me up, and immediately brought me back home. That's a ten hour drive he did for me.

The drive back was awesome.

For my 21st birthday Padawan got me front row, dead center tickets to Wicked. Best night ever. I got all teary eyed when the curtains first went up because I was so excited.

And one time I was really sick with this awful stress rash that had gotten so bad it had started to bleed and so I couldn't go to work. He put ointment on my arms and legs before bandaging them up and then giving me a sleeping pill to keep me from itching all day. When I woke up he had Olive Garden ready for me on a tray for eating in bed and he took care of me. It was so sweet.

Anyway, I gave Padawan his present last night because I have an insane inability to wait after I have the gift. It's really hard for me.

He loved it.

I will get mine today. I have no idea what it is. But I will love it.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Nothin'. Just life stuffs.

Brat cancelled her wedding.

I don't care why. I'm just happy she did.

Lydia has been subpoenaed to testify at the preliminary hearing of her attacker. And then she'll have to testify again if they go to trial. I have no idea how any of this works, but I'm going to the stupid proceedings for two reasons: to support my sister and to watch the bastard who had the nerve to put a knife to her throat get what's his. It doesn't help that I knew the bastard through my middle school and high school years. And yes, he was always a violent jerk. It's unfortunate for him that he chose to attack my sister and her fiancée, now her husband. 

T-Man is being sent to Iraq on June 6th, and Relly was initially upset but is now calm about it. He lied and told her he would be very unlikely to see any action since his job is to escort P.O.W.s from location to location. And my sister was dumb enough to believe it. Let me just say that American convoys are frequently attacked on the roads in Iraq, especially the ones carrying Prisoners of War. My sister is naive and gullible, but if it makes her calmer then I'm not pointing out that it's not true.

I have told Padawan his best friend is no longer welcome in our home, on the off chance he decides to ever come back to the States. Padawan thought I was over reacting, but I do not think I am. An apology is owed to me, and I don't care how emotionally hurt he is by the information he received from me, it's not my fault and blaming the messenger (when he should have called the source) is completely stupid. I was OK with his reaction the first week because when you get angry you say stupid things. But his insistence that he "isn't ready to say sorry yet" is ridiculous. I did not give him an STD that he stupidly passed onto his fiancée because he doesn't believe in condoms or testing. Just because my friend did doesn't make me guilty. This is why you wear condoms until you get tested. Common. Fucking. Sense. HPV is running rampant in 2/3 of the American Population. It's irresponsible to have unprotected sex without being tested first. Also, AIDS is still a fairly large problem. So what he got is just what he deserved, though if his fiancée can't have children because of this I feel very sorry for her. Not him, though. 

In fact, I've made up my mind that if he ever does get around to apologizing I will accept the apology, but I will not forgive him. The apology is my due. Forgiveness is not his. Despite his character flaws (racist, conservative to the point of fanaticism, being a brainwashed Jarhead spouting the Army ideal like a robot) I liked him. He was rather amusing because of his inappropriate behaviors and beliefs. Also, he was Padawan's friend and I like to be accepting of his friends. I tolerated Jerkface for years. However, now that he's personally attacked me because he slept with my friend, who I told him he shouldn't get with because she has some serious relationship issues, and she gave him a disease he couldn't be tested for that he unknowingly passed on to his future wife, I'm no longer in the mood to be tolerant of his racist, redneck, Army heavy, brainwashed bullshit. 

Moving on, kudos to the little girl who lives next door. One day she came around the corner as Choo Choo and I were coming around the same corner from the opposite direction. Not having time to react, Choo Choo  put her paws on her legs and started licking her and begging for attention. She seemed startled, but then hesitantly bent down to pet her. Now, every time I take Choo Choo out for her evening walks, which are always at seven fifteen, the girl is there to meet us. 

One day I expect she will probably ask if she can walk Choo Choo.

Either way, Choo Choo absolutely does not like the mother. Her hackles go up every time she sees her. And I don't have it in my heart to curb her behavior. If I had hackles, they'd go up, too.

In other news, last night Padawan made dinner for a change, and when I went into the kitchen to get myself a plate I noticed a problem. He had apparently done some rearranging in my kitchen.

Padawan had placed the dinner plates on the highest shelf in the cabinet, the salad/dessert plates on the center shelf, and the bowls on the lowest shelf. The bowls, at least, were in the right place. The plates were a disaster. I intentionally put the salad/dessert plates on the highest shelf because we very rarely use them, and so it doesn't usually become a problem that I can barely reach them. I have to stand on tip toe and stretch as hard as I can just to barely reach the third shelf. Sticking dinner plates, which are used daily, up there is inconvenient and annoying.

I pointed this out to Padawan who commented, "Is it just me or are you getting more obsessive compulsive?" 

To which I replied, "The reason I unpacked and arranged the apartment when we moved in was so we wouldn't have this problem, remember? I got to decide where everything went so that these conversations would not happen."

"Well I'm not rearranging it."

"I already did. I'm just saying that next time you should remember that I can't reach the third shelf. And unless you want to buy me a step stool for the kitchen, you'll keep that fact in mind before you go and mess up the way I have my kitchen organized."

"Your kitchen?"

"Yes. My kitchen."

"Whatever makes you happy, dear."

Game. Set. Match. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Business in General

I hate Apple Customer Service.

If I ever have to deal with them again after this, I will be very, very angry.

I sent them an e-mail suggesting how they could fix their website. It is not user friendly. Their online chat techs are worthless, and they are robots. Their appointment making system is completely useless. All in all, I'm very dissatisfied with the level of care I received.

And my iPod is still fucking broken. Damn it. 

I'm going to call them and make an appointment at their Genius Bar. But I'm not going to be very pleasant if their phone service proves to be as useless as their online service.

In other news...

I got my business cards!

I'm back at work today. Good thing, too. I was here when my business cards arrived! Yay! 

Oh, don't judge me. You guys know you got excited the first time you got business cards with your name on them. I'd show you guys a picture but then you would know the name of the business I work for and even though I'm pretty sure you guys could figure it out based on the information I've already given in my posts, it's probably best to just not say it out right. I don't want my blog coming up in Google searches when someone is looking for the store.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

In case you were wondering why I haven't been posting...

I have been ill. 

I am feeling better today. And I Googled my symptoms. Apparently I have just recovered from Typhoid Fever.


Every time I Google my symptoms I wind up with something horrifying. Ebola. Lung Cancer. Stomach Cancer. Skin Cancer. Brain Cancer. Scarlet Fever. Google is big on diagnosing cancer, I guess.

This is the first time I've ever been told I have Typhoid Fever, though. That's an interesting development since Typhoid is, I thought, contracted through dirty water or contact with Typhoid Mary, who I'm pretty sure died many years ago. Not of Typhoid. Apparently she was a healthy carrier or something.

Either way, I'm pretty sure I did not actually have Typhoid Fever.

I think it was just Viral Plague.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

I'm not dead.

I went home yesterday convinced I was in the process of dying. I felt awful. Throbbing head. Nausea. Chills. Aching body. Fever. Everything I felt seemed fairly indicative of impending doom. But...I stayed the whole day. Miserable as I was, I knew that they wouldn't be able to handle the day if I left and somebody from behind the already short staffed counter had to take my place.

So I suffered silently at my desk.

And then I went home, the blissful haven of peace and quiet that would give me hours of dark, silent rest. I would be able to rejuvenate myself and get better.

I have never been more disappointed by anything in my entire life.

Home was not a haven of quiet, calm repose. Home had Padawan and Master Plo Koon and Choo Choo and Toby and Rascal and Upstairs Assholes and Dog Kicking Bitch who was slamming doors...and basically everything conspired against me.

I wanted to sleep in the bedroom. But Master Plo Koon wanted to play Minecraft on Padawan's computer, which is no longer a laptop since Master Plo Koon destroyed that way back when he spilled water in it and fried everything. The bright screen bled through my closed eyes and seared through my brain like a knife through room temperature butter. Every click of the mouse and tap of the keyboard rebounded on the walls of my skull until it struck the right temporal lobe and stuck there, leaving me with the distinct impression the he was stabbing my head with a screwdriver. The sound effects? Even worse. 

Then, of course, there was the couple above us who decided that nine o'clock at night was the best time to make noise. I don't know if they were building furniture or moving it or maybe just dropping bowling balls on the damn floor above the bedroom, but I was hating them more and more with every passing second that felt like a million years. These are the same assholes who keep throwing their cigarette butts over their balcony and into the yard of the neighbor below us and then every time the neighbor below us complains about the cigarette butts in the yard he pays for, the office calls Padawan or me. And they say, "Stop throwing your cigarette butts into his yard," and then I say, "We don't smoke and we don't have friends that smoke! It's not us!" and then they say, "Well the people above you say that they have ash trays they use."

And then I say, "Well, they are really stupid liars because we don't smoke and you know we don't smoke and  it can only be them." 

And then the office employee always sighs and says, "Yes, I know, but we were trying to give them the benefit of the doubt before fining them..."

"Well, it's not us. They are lying. Can you tack on an extra charge for lying? Because I don't appreciate them blaming it on us when it's clearly them." 

Wow. How did I get there? The point is that I already hated those stupid sons of bitches above us, and this was just making me hate them more. If I thought I could have made it up entirely conscious I would have climbed the stairs and gave them what for. Except that Padawan insisted it wasn't loud at all and it would be silly to complain to them. I thought he might be right. Plus I didn't want to die on the stairs if I was going to die.

Speaking of Padawan...Padawan was in the living room watching Top Gear and I could hear the engines and car doors and laughter and noises and taunting that go with the show and it was like it was all happening right there in my ear, which was also where Choo Choo was sitting as she licked her paws obsessively. The sound of a dog licking her paws non-stop right next to your ear on the side it really hurts is just torture. 

Finally I just decided my brain was going to explode and I was going to die a very painful death if I didn't get away from the noise so I gathered two blankets and went outside on the balcony to enjoy the peace and quiet of the great outdoors on the patio furniture. And sat down, got all comfortable, and was about to drift off into a nice sleep when...


Ah, Toby. The dulcet tones of his Basset Hound howl rocketed straight to the sensitive spot on my head and my vision went black for a few seconds, and then I realized that I'd progressed from simple horrifying headache to full on Migraine. And as I was standing up, unsteadily, to go back inside the other neighbor's dog came out and started barking madly.


Ah, Rascal. Always following Toby's direction.

A round of zigzagging, wavy vision followed and I crawled back inside.

Padawan looked at me. "What are you doing?"

"It's like nobody fucking cares that I'm dying!" I snapped at him. I couldn't help it. He was contributing to the noise that was going to result in my death.

"Master Plo Koon, come in here. Chanel doesn't want you to play games anymore."

Angry Chanel. "It's not that I don't want him to play games! I just want him out of the damn bedroom so I can rest! My head is going to explode brain matter all over the apartment and you're going to be pissed when it happens because I'll be dead and you'll have to clean it up yourself!" 

"Why can't I play games?"

"Chanel doesn't feel good. Come play X-Box with me."


I shut the door, snuggled down into bed...

And jerked awake about an hour later when some asshole on a motorcycle stopped on the road outside of my window and revved his engine obnoxiously for no reason. And he did it again. And again. And again. And I was seriously considering picking up a coffee mug and going outside and throwing it at his head when he finally decided to drive off. 

And I went to check on Padawan and Master Plo Koon, but he was already gone so it was just Padawan and I asked him to please turn down the noise of Top Gear and he just turned it off looking very pouty and I climbed into his lap and curled up and said, "Please don't be mad! You don't have to turn it off! Just turn it down!"

"Chanel, I couldn't even hear half of what it was saying, it's turned down so low! Your ears are just sensitive right now!"

And then the neighbors slammed a door so loud I just couldn't help it and I burst into sobs and tears and wails, which just aggravated my sensitive head further and made me cry harder, which hurt more and more, until Padawan couldn't take my anguish anymore and turned off all the lights and sound makers, even the dishwasher, and took me to bed where I cried myself to sleep.

I woke up late this morning with the Migraine gone but a dull headache still in place, my nausea still present, and my fever still burning away. But a dose of ibuprofen brought the temperature down to a tolerable 97.8 degrees, which is only .8 degrees above my average temperature. And I thought, well I don't feel better, but I don't feel worse so I can make it to work. 

And it's a damn good thing I did because Miss Call In called in, Dizzy took off for South By (and I fucking hate South By, just so you know) for the next week and a half, and if I had been missing they would have had to pull someone else from behind the counter which would have been a whopping four employees short since my absence takes someone else away.

So I am here. No hungry. Nauseous. Short tempered. But I am here.

Doing my job.

I deserve a Medal of Honor or something. 

Friday, March 11, 2011


A couple of things first:

For those of you who don't know follow the blog "Why?", "How?", and other abstract questions you should because it's really funny. But his recent post isn't funny. It's about his dog Nellie, who isn't in the best of health. You guys should go over if you haven't already and leave Organic Meatbag some good thoughts. 

Second, congratulations for ten years of happy married life to Candice and Tyler. I hope you two have many more happy years together, and I hope you enjoy your anniversary vacation.

Speaking of Candice, though, before she went on her merry way to blissful vacation status, she left me something. 

An award!!!!

And I received this award from Jenna as well.  That means I got TWO awards this week! Whee!

Isn't it pretty? 

The rules have changed since the last time I received this award, but I still have to list seven things about myself and then pass it on to someone else. Just one person instead of fifteen this time.  

Seven things about know, it gets harder and harder to think of these things each and every time I do it. And why is it always seven? Why can't it be ONE awesome thing about you? That would be easier. When I finally release my own made up award, it will have better rules.

Alright. Here we go. 

Seriously getting started now. 

Seven things.


1) Last night I actually met, in person, a person from Utah. And here I thought that all of you Utahians (Utahans? Yup. Utahans. Spell check recognizes that one as a real word) stayed up there with your desert and rocks and camping things and skunks. Apparently not. So I met and shook the hand of my first live Utahan. And it was a first for him, too. Though he's lived in Austin for a few years now, I am the first Texan, born and bred, that he's ever met. Everyone else he knows migrated from some other state. I proudly proclaimed (while trying to keep Choo Choo from becoming entangled with his dog, Maddie) that I am from several generations of fine Texas blood (which before Texan was Irish and German and French.) Apparently he had to ask because my accent is not an accent. It is, in fact, non-regional. His guess was California.

2) Um...Oh! Choo Choo has already started to work out the new muzzle rule. She barks, she gets the muzzle. She's quiet, it comes off. Already we are making progress! This is how she was able to make friends with Maddie (of course I know Mr. Utah's name but it's unethical for me to say it! But I DID learn his name, for the record): she didn't bark. Yay for Choo Choo! This proves, of course, that she is not nearly as dumb as she looks. According to Padawan, her ridiculous overbite makes her look like she has less than average intelligence. 

3) Candice gave me a picture of a really awesome DVD player that is pink and I want it really bad. Seriously, I'm already plotting a trip to Target after I get off tonight to see if it exists in Texas as well as Utah. And if it doesn't...I'm totally going online and ordering that sucker. Because I want it. I'd show you the picture but I have ethics about taking pictures from other blogs that aren't you have to go see it there. But you probably have already. (I realize that it's silly for me to have no compunction about stealing pictures from online magazines, but those pictures weren't copy righted, anyway.)

4) I'm going to learn to ride a bike. Seriously. Padawan and I are going to go bike shopping and I am going to find a bike that is pink and it has to have a basket for Choo Choo to ride in, and then Padawan is going to teach me how to do more than just go straight. This is for exercise purposes. We are looking for ways to expand our work out horizons because I can't use the gym at our apartment complex.

5) I can't use the gym at my apartment complex. Why? I can't work out in front of people. I just can't do it. I feel fat, or ugly, or conspicuous, or stupid or any number of things I shouldn't feel, and so I can't work out if people are there. And there are ALWAYS people there. People are working out in there at three in the morning, for crying out loud! There is literally NO TIME where there is no one in there. I've never seen less than three people in there. And it's freaking annoying. So bikes are necessary.

6) My thumbs are different sizes and shapes. It's a family trait that my older sister and I share, and one that we inherited from out mother, who shares the trait with her brother and her father and down and down through the family line. They call them the Ingram Thumbs, and it's not a problem unless I'm getting my nails done. The manicurist always looks at me like I'm a freak when they realize that my thumbs do not, in fact, take the same size tip for a French manicure. Nope. Different sizes. 

I wasn't kidding. Seriously. Different thumbs.

7)  I want a glow in the dark kitten. Seriously. I want one. Even more than I want a pink bike, external hard drive, and DVD player. I want a glow in the dark kitty to love and to care for and to play with Choo Choo, who I think would like to make friends with a kitten that glows. Plus I think that would be a killer ice breaker at parties. "Hi. I'm Chanel. I have a glow in the dark cat!" BAM! Ice broken, and pictures come out and OMG! I'm telling the truth. So if one of you wants to get me one...I'd love it forever and ever!

That concludes seven things about me.

Now the time has come to pass on the award...

Who shall it be?

Well I can't give it to Candice because she just got it. And I can't give it to Nicki because SHE just got it. I was going to give it to Jenna...but then I found out that SHE just got it! So who to give it to? *sigh* Decisions...decisions...

Behold! I hereby pass this award Brent of  Building Castles on the Beach

But...wait, Jenna's version says I have to pass it on to seven blogs. Now I need six more...or am I supposed to add them together and pass it on to eight? Well now I'm confused! You know what? We'll split the difference! I'm passing it on to three more! 

Just. Three.

And just to keep it from getting all complicated I am not even checking their past pages to see if they got it recently because I only follow so many blogs and I have to pass it to SOMEONE.

Yes. I just passed it on to the members of the Cool Kids Time Travel Club because they are fine examples of Versatile Blogging. Of course, I know that Scott hates getting awards. I'm pretty sure Bryan is neutral about them. And Doug...well, Doug loves getting awards.

So you guys better just say, "Thank you," and pretend to be all excited in the comments and then you can deal with owning it as you choose. 

Alright. I'm giving out more.

That's seven, right? So I did exactly what I was supposed to do in the Jenna version. Yay! I have conquered the task! Now, spread the love around and stuff and I'm going to go curl up in the fetal position and beg to go home because I can't take it anymore.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

If I had an Internet Dating Profile....

Padawan and are are having a date night sans Master Plo Koon. We're going to a screening of Four Lions or something like that. A British comedy, I'm told, that is insanely popular here in Austin, according to the ad. It's hitting DVD and Blu-Ray today, so that's why the Village (yet another fabulous location of the Alamo Drafthouse) is having this screening. I'm not sure what to expect from this movie. I'm a fan of British humor most of the time, but sometimes it isn't amusing. I'm hoping this is one of those times that I can't stop laughing.

Yesterday a friend wrote about internet dating sites and the frustrations that may or may not result from using them. And it got me thinking...

What would I say in my profile if I joined an Internet Dating Site?

Name: Chanel

Age: 22

Orientation: Straight

Likes: Animals, Nerds, reading

Dislikes: stupidity

Looking for: Stable environment

About me: For starters, I am not entirely sane. I like to wear motorcycle helmets around for fun even though I do not actually own a motorcycle. I think they are just pretty accessories, like shoes. I am neurotic. I do not understand myself, and you will only frustrate yourself and possibly go crazy if you try to figure me out. Don't bother. 

Some days you will irritate me when you whistle, and some days I won't even notice. I never think the same thing twice, except my pet peeves. But I will not tell you what my pet peeves are. You will only know when you have done something completely intolerable after you've already done it. And you will know you've done something wrong because I will have one or more of the following reactions: I will snap at you, yell at you, throw something soft at you, call you an idiot, and/or give you the silent treatment. The only way to pacify me is to offer an immediate apology, even if you don't think you've done anything wrong. "Yes, dear. You're right," is always the best solution.

But it will make me even angrier if you sound like you don't mean it. 

I don't like to wear matching socks, mostly because I don't like to take the time to mate socks. And I don't like taking the time to search through a pile of socks to find two that look kind of a like. I grab the first two socks that come to hand, and if one is pink and one is green, that's fine with me. It's not like you can see them when I'm wearing shoes, anyway.

I like Twilight. 

I also like blogging. I will refer to fellow bloggers  and things they say like they are people who I hang out with every single day. I will talk about them in the same way I talk about friends I meet for drinks and movies. I will expect you to keep it straight in your head which people are Bloggers and which are  Reality, and I will be very hurt if you fail to remember these things.

Also, I will refer to any characters in books like they are real people. Pretend to be interested.

As far as dating goes, I'm looking for a nerd who likes to play video games, knows his way around computers, and is willing to let me cook but will do the dishes because I hate messing with that shit. Also, if you like to mate socks, that would probably be good. You must also love animals because I have a five pound chihuahua and I have been known to take in random stray cats without warning. You can't have children because I don't like most children and I won't pretend to like yours just to make you happy. It just doesn't work that way. If you have been previously married that is OK. I don't care about ex-wives. Just furnish proof of your divorce or I will believe you are a lying, cheating scumbag.  

You must also have dark brown/black hair, blue eyes, must be five foot eleven or taller with an athletic build, a nice nose, and a sparkling nerdy personality. You must also drive well. Driving terrifies me and you will never talk me into driving, so be prepared to pick me up for any and all dates, or walk. I do not ride bicycles, either, because I can only go straight on them at present. I am open to learning. 

There are many more things but I can't fit them in this page so if you aren't running away and screaming madly, feel free to answer. Be warned: if your message is not typed in proper English with correct spelling and punctuation my only response will be to correct your mistakes and send your message back to you, with an added post script indicating that you can go jump off a bridge. Also, if your first thought is to say something about "you're hot" or any variation of that, you will get a scathing reply that will leave you feeling like I robbed you of your manhood. 

PS. I might be a little high maintenance. 

I think I'd be a hit! Don't you? 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Proper Alamo Drafthouse Etiquette

Last night Padawan, Master Plo Koon, and I went to see Rango, starring Johnny Depp, at our local favorite movie theater, the Alamo Drafthouse.  For those of you who don't live in Texas, you are missing a fine experience for movie going.

The Alamo is a fine establishment dedicated to superior customer service. They make it extremely clear with sarcastic, biting, clever advertisements that you do not ruin someone else's movie experience. They have several rules which make it very difficult for you to ruin someone else's experience. My favorite one being absolutely no children under the age of six allowed, and anyone under eighteen must be with a parent or guardian. 

Nothing ruins a trip to the movies faster than a child screaming and throwing a tantrum, or getting up to run around the theater because they don't want to sit still, and the parents are too lazy and/or stupid to teach their children how to behave in public.  And giggly teenagers who do nothing but talk through the movie? No. You don't have to worry about that.

As for cell phone users? Not an issue at the Drafthouse.

"From this moment on, this auditorium is officially a NO TALKING ZONE. Keep your mouth shut and your cell phones silent, dark, and in your pockets. We don't want to be rude about this, but we will if we have to. NO TALKING. And for the record, texting and tweeting totally count as talking. If there's a table near you that is loud or disruptive, raise a flag and a manager will take care of the problem."

Or occasionally they'll use bits from movies.

Some people find these ads offensive or over kill or unnecessary. Some people even say it's like movie theater Nazi-ism. Those people, however, are stupid. I always love these bits, because it makes the point really obvious. Respect everyone else in the theater and don't be an ass because everybody paid for their experience.

I've been going to the Alamo with my family for years, and I've been going without them since I turned eighteen and became old enough to go without a parent or guardian. And in all of those years I had never seen anyone blatantly flout the rules of the Alamo Drafthouse during a movie.

Not until last night.

I had the unfortunate bad luck to be seated next to the only true asshole in the entire theater. This man was in the movie with his wife and three children. His well behaved children, I might point out. And while his wife was a snorter, that wasn't bothersome.

What bothered me was ten minutes into the movie I was distracted by a glowing cell phone screen suddenly appearing next to me. To my utter amazement, irritation, and horror the man pulled out his cell phone and started texting. And again. And again. And again and a-fucking-gain. 

All fucking two hours. 

He never stopped texting.

I have no idea who he was texting. I don't care. If you have a life that is so fucking important you can't pause it for two hours while you watch a movie with your wife and children in a public movie theater, then you have no business being in the movie theater. He was ruining my time because every five seconds I would hear buzz, buzz, buzzzzzzzz. 

He didn't even have the damned decency to turn off the vibrate option. 

I had no choice. I wrote on a flag, "The man to my left has been texting the entire time and it's annoying me." I put it up like I was ordering more food, and I sat back to relax. It just so happened when our waiter came by and read my complaint, the moron next to me had his phone up and was responding to a text. So the waiter saw for himself the complete rudeness.

"Sir, turn your cell phone off or leave the theater, please. You are disturbing the other patrons. If you take it out again you will need to leave."

The man nodded, flipped the phone closed, and put it in his pocket. 

For all of five seconds. 

As soon as our waiter had gone, he pulled it right back out and carried on his conversation. 

What a fucking douche bag! 

Unfortunately the movie ended ten minutes later and he wasn't kicked out. But he SHOULD have been. 

I realize that there are a lot of people out there that go to average movie theaters and think, "Well, I'm paying to be here, so I can do what I want." This is precisely why I don't go to the mall to see a movie. Nobody enforces any kind of code of behavior. Talkers can talk, texters can text, tweeters can tweet and nobody will say anything. The thing is everybody paid to be there though, and everybody paid with the expectation of enjoying a movie. I didn't pay to be distracted by an asshole who wouldn't turn off his cell phone. 

Am I alone in this, or do you guys feel the same way?

PS. Though it was impossible to fully appreciate the movie because I was distracted by Mr. Asshole, the movie itself was still funny. Despite thick Southern accents, I want to see it again. I especially loved Jake Rattlesnake. He was awesome. Also, I loved the opening scene. Poor lonely little lizard...It has an interesting combination of kiddie and adult humor that makes it fun for everyone to watch. Master Plo Koon as expressed interest in seeing it again as well. Maybe we will. I know I missed a few things the first time through. 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A few things...

I don't really feel like writing a whole post today so I'm just going to put down random things that could not by themselves be a post.

1) Little Brother has decided he doesn't want to be called Little Brother in my blog. It's babyish and undignified, according to him. Not in those exact words, of course, but that was his general point. He decided since Padawan is Star Wars related, he wants a Star Wars name, too. He picked, "Master Plo Koon," who is a Jedi Master in the cartoon series he watches. Apparently he's the best Jedi Master ever. Maybe even better than Yoda. So...Little Brother is hereby now referred to as Master Plo Koon.

I personally think he's an ugly Jedi, but this is what he wants.

2) Last night Padawan, Master Plo Koon, Choo Choo and I took a trip to Petco to have Choo Choo fitted for a training muzzle. Not to be cruel. It's for barking purposes. Ever since she picked up the bad barking habit for attention from Brat's over-sized mutt, it's become increasingly difficult to take Choo Choo out for walkies if other people are around. Adults and other dogs, I mean. Not children. Choo Choo does not bark at children. I don't know why. Anyway, she went nuts in the store but calmed down long enough for us to discover that the smallest muzzles in stock were still too big for her. We tried PetSmart, too, but their smallest was even bigger. She made friends with a Beagle while she was there. I wound up special ordering a small one online, and to make up for the unnecessary trip I bought her some rawhide chews and a toy monkey.

3) On the way to taking Master Plo Koon home he mentioned that he was in a Taks prep group with two girls from his class. I asked if they were pretty girls. He thought about it for a second and then made a face. The face is kind of like a face I would give someone if they shoved raw eel under my nose. Absolute disgust. And he said, "What? I'm in third grade!" 

"So? When I was in third grade lots of boys had crushes on me."

"They have cooties!"

"No they don't. Don't you think your sister is pretty?"

"What? Yeah...I guess so." 

"So what's different about thinking other girls are pretty? Pretty is pretty."

"I'm just a regular third grader who happens to like the Beatles."

Do I know what the point of his last comment was? Absolutely not. But apparently liking the Beatles excuses him from answering questions about which girls in his class are pretty.  By the time that conversation ended, though, his face was bright red. My conclusion? He thinks at least one of those girls is pretty.

4) Master Plo Koon asked me if I wanted to play Simpson trivia. I said I didn't really care for the Simpsons, but he could ask me his questions.

"What was Lisa's first word?"


Padawan chimed in, "Da-da?"

"No! It was Bart!"

He seemed extremely pleased with his question so we praised his far superior knowledge of the show. It seemed really important to him and he basked in the glory of our compliments. 

I don't know how I forgot that. I saw this episode.

5) The more and more I think about sticking Charlie Sheen and Kanye West in a room together, the more I think it's a good idea. But if I really had to choose only one to come out alive I'd have to pick Kanye. He may have a serious alcohol addiction but at least he doesn't brag about how great his drug addictions (if he has any) might make him.

6) If the muzzle training fails to break her newly developed barking habit, I'm going to have to pay $209 to a trainer for four hours of one on one lessons. That might be the better route to go with anyway. The training is guaranteed or I get my money back, and I'm pretty sure they make their money because the training sticks. Of course, my dog may just be untrainable.

This concludes my rambling for now. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Neighbors kind of suck.

Choo Choo has destroyed a third bed, and she killed this one entirely by herself. Three beds destroyed meant that I had to rethink my strategy. Clearly buying her the round beds she is so very pleased with doesn't cut it. She loves to sleep in them...but she also likes to wrestle them like they're snakes and she's fighting for her life. Which results in stuffing being flung everywhere. This is a minor inconvenience to me, but Padawan hates coming home and picking up bits of cotton fluff off the carpets.

He's taller than me. I guess bending over to pick it up is harder on him than it is on me since I'm closer to the floor.

So I bought her a new bed. Bed number four.

The third bed in three months. Good lord, I hope this one makes it. This really adds up, you know.

I presented her with her new bed right when I brought it home. Her reaction to it?

She immediately put her dolly in it and climbed in. Cutest. Thing. Ever. I tried to take a picture while she was sleeping with her head on her doll, but I guess she was only resting her eyes because the second I stood up to get the camera she was up and watching me.

She's such a ham for the camera.

I hope this bed lasts longer than the other ones did. Otherwise I'm buying a basket and putting a blanket in it for her to sleep in. Good luck destroying that. But I don't think she can destroy this one. It's made of really durable material, not soft fleecy stuff that she can sink her little teeth into and maul into oblivion.

Speaking of mauling things into oblivion...

I wish Choo Choo could maul our new neighbors. Yes, Dog Kicking Bitch is actually our new neighbor. And she's got a daughter just like her. That little run in with Choo Choo went better than her mother's meeting did. She didn't kick or swing her arms around. But she acted like a scared little ninny when she saw Choo Choo.

I suppose it's a good thing Choo Choo loves children and doesn't feel the need to bark at them for attention. She just wagged her tail and whined at this girl. If Choo Choo had barked she might have kicked at her and then I would have had to set her straight in the same way that I set her mommy dearest straight. And no, I wouldn't feel bad for it. Choo Choo is my child and I take up for what is mine.

Even against children. 

Thankfully the little boy has common sense. He ran into Choo Choo shortly after his sister did. He was a little younger and not shy at all. He saw Choo Choo and rushed over to pet her. 

Which is exactly the reaction Choo Choo expects from children. She was very pleased with herself and with him and gave him lots of kisses to show her appreciation and approval. I'm going to have to start carrying my camera with me on walkies so that if this happens again I can take a picture. 

I'm pleased that I can say at least one person in that apartment has a brain. I haven't seen the husband yet, but perhaps he also has some common sense. Not that I expect him to run and pet my dog, but I hope he doesn't try to kick her like his wife did. Presumably, though, the boy learned his love of dogs from someone and since it clearly wasn't the mother it was probably the father. 

I really wish I didn't have neighbors at all.

It doesn't help that Blondy across from us also dislikes Choo Choo. She doesn't like me either, I'm sure. Of course, if she didn't live off of coffee and cigarettes and booze she wouldn't be so high strung and we wouldn't have this problem. 

Her dislike springs from an unfortunate incident of bad timing on her part a few weeks ago. 

Choo Choo and I were on our way in from walkies and we were passing her door when it suddenly flung open. It scared the hell out of me and Choo Choo. I screamed, Choo Choo went barking mad, and Blondy said, "Jesus Christ!" and dropped her glass of wine, which shattered on her floor and splashed the red wine on her boots. On her tan boots. Tan suede. 

Instant ruination.

And they were really cute boots, too. 

Some people might have apologized, but she was glaring at us like we had done it intentionally so I didn't say a damn word. It wasn't our fault she flung open her door like that and scared the living hell out of us! Granted, she was obviously throwing a party of some sort so she probably heard us and thought we were guests. But just the same it wasn't our fault and I wasn't going to apologize for my part in the accident when she was glaring at my dog and me like she wanted to kill us because she scared the hell out of everybody.

Our neighbor to our left is the only one I really like, actually. He's really nice and he has a very nice dog. I don't think his girlfriend likes me too much, but it's not my business to go out of my way to make people like me when they dislike me for no reason. 

I miss our old neighbors. Both of them like both of us, and their dog Beevo liked Choo Choo and the other way around and we all got along really well. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

She Kicked Choo Choo

Question: In what country is it acceptable to kick someone's dog?

Answer: In no country is it acceptable to kick someone's dog unless in self defense.

And by self defense I mean if the dog is attacking you.

Let me share a story with you guys.

In the last year, Choo Choo has picked up a rather bad habit. When she sees a person or a dog or both, she barks to get their attention. And she tries to run over and make friends. She will bark and bark and bark and bark until she either gets to meet them, or she can no longer see them. Most people are irritated by this behavior, and so am I, but I can't seem to break her of the habit. I'm going to look into a muzzle or something to use while out walking so I can keep her from making noise. (My mother suggested a shock collar, but I think that is cruel and unnecessary.) 

Well, it just so happens that five days a week I walk Choo Choo at 8:30 in the morning. It's always the same five days a week because my schedule is set in stone. It does not change. And generally Choo Choo and I don't meet anybody else on our walks. There is the occasional jogger that comes by from the hotel across the street, but more often than not, it's just the two of us.

Well in this particular story, which I am still seething over, Choo Choo and I were walking down the stairs at our normal 8:30 a.m. Unlike a normal morning, however, we met someone on the stairs. A small Asian woman dressed to workout, she wasn't a face I was familiar with. Either a friend of a neighbor or someone who lived on the third floor, we didn't know who she was.

And for the first time since Choo Choo learned her bad behavior, she did not rush forward to beg for a petting, and she didn't start barking for attention. Choo Choo just stopped on the stairs and stared at the woman. And the woman stopped on the stairs, too, at the bottom, completely blocking our way down. Since Choo Choo was being so polite, I didn't see any problem in waiting for her to pass us.

But she didn't.

Instead, this woman kind of huddled into herself, pushed her hand at us, and said, "Get dog away! Take beast away!"

This, I thought, was an unwarranted and unnecessary reaction. My dog, who weighs all of five pounds, was not threatening this woman or behaving aggressively towards her in any way. And yet there she stood, waving her hands frantically at us like we were coming at her with an intent to kill, which actually set off Choo Choo's barking. Can you blame her? This woman was acting like a fucking lunatic!

I knew, of course, that we couldn't just stand there all day. If I didn't move Choo Choo down the stairs she was going to pee on them. And while sometimes accidents happen, it's not really very nice to my neighbors to let my dog pee on paths often traveled. Since this woman was clearly not going to move back down the stairs,  I had no choice but to lead Choo Choo down towards her. My logic was easy enough to understand: she would move out of they way and let us by.

The following few seconds leave me with no doubt in my mind that this woman is a fucking idiotic bitch.

She did not move away from the bottom step as we came down. She didn't move to the left (which would have been her right) to let us pass. She didn't turn around and go back down the stairs. She didn't even make a move to keep going up.

She stood right in the same fucking place.

Have a picture to help you see:

Obviously this picture isn't from today, but it's the only picture of the stairs I had and I needed it.

She was just standing in the middle blocking us.

Choo Choo had stopped barking, but her hackles were up and she was growling. I've never seen her raise her hackles at anyone aside from Jerkface. And she loathed Jerkface. 

And as we got two steps away from her, this woman actually had the nerve to stick out her foot, move it in front of me, and kick Choo Choo into the metal rails on my right. You can see them in the picture.

It wasn't a hard kick. You might actually call it a nudge. But my point is she used her foot on my dog, and I consider it a kick anyway.

And I wanted to reach out and rip her thick black hair out and maybe scratch out her eyes. I wish Choo Choo had bitten her, but all she did was growl louder and bare her teeth.

Choo Choo couldn't say anything, but I certainly could.

"Don't kick my dog." I didn't yell it. It was the tone in my voice that said it all. It was clearly a "I'm barely controlling my desire to kill you where you stand" tone, and no language barrier in the world could keep her from understanding my meaning.

"Take beast away!"


Five pound

"I'm trying to go downstairs. Can you move, or do I have to kick you out of our way?"

"Take beast away!" 

And the foot swooped out again. But my foot came out faster and blocked her.

"Bitch, move."

I'm not a particularly threatening person. My coworkers have said repeatedly that I am adorable when I am angry. I am short and I am small and I am pale and frail looking. 

But the bitch moved.

I proceeded to walk Choo Choo and reported the incident to the Office. It's not that I have any idea who this woman was or where she lived. All I wanted was to have it on record in case the bitch herself went in and tried to claim that my dog attacked her and I threatened her.

And I did. 

I threatened to kick her in a roundabout way.

The point was she assaulted my dog, and if she goes in to complain her name will be provided to me and a nice little note goes on her apartment record that she has a habit of attacking dogs. Also, she will get an official warning from the Office explaining that her behavior is unacceptable and if it continues she will be asked to leave.

Not that I like to make trouble for people who live around me, but seriously?
She fucking kicked my five pound dog. 

And who could kick a cute little doggy like Choo Choo?

She's too cute to kick.

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