Thursday, March 24, 2011

- Overheard

I was walking through the RDU terminal tonight thinking about what it means to come "home" when two gentleman to my right pretty much summed it up:

Man #1: "Nothing like sleeping in your own bed"
Man #2: "Or taking a shit in your own toilet"

Damn straight.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

- Sneaky Hate Spiral

I stumbled upon Hyperbole and a Half when I really needed to laugh.  Because laughter is the best medicine and good Lord did I need some medicine.  I needed the kind of laughter that can shake your soul and give you some healing.  Let's just say it was back in December.

Anyways, one of my favorite posts of hers is the "Sneaky Hate Spiral".  If you haven't read it yet, you have to right now, or none of this will make sense.

Today I came home.  That might sound predictable, but usually Emma seems to think that this not possible so it is pretty monumental that it happens all the time.  As in: every time I leave, I come home.  Magic!  So I come inside and I expect to see my dog jumping up and down just absolutely over the moon that I actually came home because she missed me a ridiculous amount.  But she isn't there.  For a split second I thought, "GOOD GOD, She's finally learned and she's passed out in my bed, taking it easy, living without anxiety" Except when I call her there is no response: I can't hear her little feet pitter pattering, or her ears flopping as she shakes her head after she gets up...I don't hear anything.  My next logical emotion is panic.  I drop all of my bags and go running into my room only to find nothing.  By this point (which is only like 10 seconds in) I have convinced myself that her bark collar has malfunctioned and she's lying dead somewhere and I'm the worst dog owner in the world - which I am, but not because my dog is dead.  Finally, I hear all this scratching and thumping and realize it's coming from the bathroom.  But when I run in there's still no dog in sight - because she has gotten herself trapped in the bath tub, without disturbing the shower curtain whatsoever.

I'm all WTF mate? Because Emma hasn't shown much interest in the bathroom...unless I'm in there.  So I rescue her and nearly cry from relief and she acts like she hasn't seen me in days and I try to ignore it.  Wondering what led her to the bathtub I start doing a "check" of my apartment - searching for pee, poop, vomit, anything that could explain this bizarre behavior.  In the laundry room I find her food and water bowl far from their original places and I realize her water bowl is empty so I go to fill it.  And she flips out. When I put down the full water bowl she immediately is ALL over it and drinks the whole thing, right there, practically without breathing.  That morning I didn't re-fill her water because I thought I had just done it late the night before and so there would be plenty, but apparently I was WRONG.  The best I can tell is that my dog got in the bathtub because she is smart (contrary to popular belief) and knows that's where water comes from.  For all I know she licked my loofah to try to hydrate herself.

The fact that my dog was that desperate means that I'm the worst dog owner in the world.

On top of all this I realized that my stomach is killing me.  Probably for two reasons: 1. I'm wearing pants that actually fit and my stomach isn't used to feeling pressure from a waistband and 2. Because most of what I eat at work gives me gas and I end up every day super bloated.  I mean seriously, every day I go home feeling like in my 8 hour workday I got knocked up and progressed to about 4 months preggers.  This is hugely annoying, despite the fact that I'll totally be cute pregnant:
Exhibit A.  
All I need is a popped belly button.  Oh and an ACTUAL baby, instead of gas.

Then I was walking Emma, and that's when I had my very own turning point.  Because Minneapolis is apparently having an identity crisis and going through a Chicago phase.  For as many days as I can remember, it's been windy.  I've never really liked wind, probably because I have bangs and wind + bangs = a no go.  Then it has this uncanny ability to make things colder.  Stupid wind.  As an added bonus, today is also rainy, so walking Emma is like the most super fun activity ever...especially after a near panic attack with a stomach full of air.

So the wind is blowing and the raindrops are hitting me in the face and Emma is taking her dear sweet time to do her bidness and I'm having to hold my hood to keep it from blowing off my head and I forgot to wear gloves and my hand is getting all cold and wind is blowing so hard that I feel like I'm going to be swept off my feet and I'm just left thinking "OMG WIND - STOP PUSHING ON ME".

But then that reminded me of Hyperbole and a Half and I smiled and my sneaky hate spiral was thwarted and then I wrote the most interesting blog post in the world about my experience.  Lucky you.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

- Lazy Sunday

Sometimes when I have a lot that I'd like to accomplish - I like to rebel against it all and instead do NOTHING.  Especially when it's Sunday...it's like against my religion to be anything other than lazy.  SNL, per usual, captured it best:

"We're about to get taken to a dream world of magic"

This weekend I wanted to prime all of my furniture that needs to be painted and clean out the laundry room/guest bathroom which is holding a ton of crap I need to get rid of.  I also had plans to finally get myself some new clothes.  But instead I mostly camped out on the couch and caught up on a bunch of TV because I purchased a Hulu plus subscription.  I rounded out my weekend activities with some sleeping and a lot of eating.

Because you know what I love about weekends?  Breakfast.  I mean, and I am being completely honest, few things bring me more happiness than evaluating all of the breakfast options and picking the one I want the most.  In heavy rotation are biscuits and gravy, stuffed french toast and a breakfast sandwich with maple bacon, a fried egg, and tomatoes on wheat.  So I'm really incapable of doing anything after sleeping in until I eat.  And then after a big breakfast I feel the need to lay around and watch TV.  Things like Bones, That 70's show, or like 10 episode of Glee.

And then it's 7pm and it's time to eat again.  Something healthier like a salad since I had that big breakfast...I mean I would never go for something like a gigantic burrito from Qdoba and then eat it all in one sitting.  With chips and queso.

But I don't want to sell myself short here, I did manage to run again with Emma on Saturday because I was serious about going shopping at the Gap and she has to be tired before I leave.  And I did find myself some clothes, but I mean I had to fight tooth and nail for the ones I ended up with, and I may not even keep them.  I don't want to sound pathetic like "Oh poor me I lost weight and none of my clothes fit" but I am kind of pathetic.  I thought that being thinner would open up a whole new world of fashion potential - but instead it's just a whole new world of frustration.  Because I spent years and years learning how to dress my old self and finding what worked best, and now none of it works anymore.  And the things that didn't work then, still don't work now.  It's like I have this weird in between body that nothing really looks right on so I usually just throw a dress over it with some tights and call it a day.  The situation is getting pretty dire so I was determined to leave the Gap with something anything because I only have two pairs of pants that fit and even fewer tops that aren't tee shirts and it's getting ridiculous.  Should someone really have 15 pairs of tights in all different colors and only 2 pairs of pants?  I didn't think so.

Being a girl is hard, with all of the constantly hating your body...sometimes it gets exhausting.  So is 5 hours of shopping, so afterwards I was hungry, sleepy and dejected.  I mean I didn't even have the energy to drink wine.  And that is just wrong.  A whole new box of wine and I was so busy being lazy I didn't even have time to open it this weekend.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

- Heartbroken

Emma has some pretty serious separation anxiety.  Somewhere in all the fuss of her living with my parents while I finished my Ph.D. and us moving to Minneapolis she got it in her head that she is NOT okay being alone.  And in order to deal with these feelings she started barking...non-stop.  I don't think it lasted all day, but it definitely went on for hours at a time and as I've mentioned - she's gotten two noise complaints now.  So, I started devoting a lot of time, energy and MONEY to try to get her settled when I'm not here.  First I bought a device that makes a high pitched noise that only dogs can hear when it picks up barking.  I gave it about a week and since the battery started to die I'm pretty sure that she barked and that noise made no difference to her and I took it back.  I got a dog appeasement pheromone diffuser.  To my knowledge this has no effect on her whatsoever, but it is also not hurting so I still plug it in.  I bought a citronella bark collar.  I'm not sure it ever worked because I never smelled citronella - I returned that today.  At this point I was frustrated.  I'd spent about 2 weeks and saw absolutely no improvement.  On top of all these devices I started making sure she got at least 30 minutes of exercise and would make her fetch inside until she no longer wanted to.  She was handling the leash well and had learned to be more responsive to the sit/stay command plus I taught her to sit outside the kitchen so she would stay out of my way, and to sit outside the laundry room and wait until I invited her in to eat her meals.  I would leave carrots hidden in her crate, and give her a chew toy with a treat inside that she had to work at to get out.  And she was still barking a ridiculously long time every day.

I know, because I videotaped her for the first hour every day.  And every day I watched the footage feeling more and more hopeless.  Having tried everything else, I moved up to a static correction bark collar.  I didn't think that it would fix the problem since her barking is caused by anxiety, but I hoped that it would perhaps make her quieter, stop her barking sooner, or keep her from barking so continually.  It did all of those things because she no longer barks - since she has learned to howl.
It is the most forlorn, heart-wrenching sound.  That's how sad my dog is when I leave.  It absolutely kills me and it pretty much makes me feel like the worst dog owner in the world.  Feeling like I have tried everything I can think of, I hired a trainer for an in home consultation.  I picked the one from the place where I board Emma when I go out of town, but I'm not sure she's the best "fit" for us.  Let's just say she didn't really impress me with her ideas.  But, I'm going to try some of the things she suggested and give it three weeks (the time she said to really see if a new routine works) before calling someone else.

When I was growing up our family had a black dog named Sam.  Mom didn't like Sam because she dug holes.  One day a guy working on the hard wood floors for our addition just kept going on and on about how great Sam was and Mom went "Do you want her" and a few hours later that man left with our dog. We were upset about it, and couldn't believe that she could do such a thing.  But today, I seriously considered giving Emma away.  It was this gorgeous day here - sunshine and 50 degrees - so on my way home from work I decide that it's a perfect day to take Emma on a nice long walk.  I get home to find that she peed on my bed, our walk was terrible because I was still so mad and it had turned windy, and because all the snow is melting it's really wet so she was all muddy and needed a bath.  Which was fine, I mean I give her a bath for her skin once a week anyways, but then she kept jumping up and pouring water on me.  THEN when I was drying her off she was flipping out and rubbing her body on everything leaving behind a ton of black hair all over everything and I just. lost. IT.  I started yelling all kinds of things and sent her into the hallway so I could shut the door to my bedroom and just be alone.

This probably wouldn't have been nearly as dramatic if I wasn't having my monthly "lady parts" thing.

I know that Emma doesn't care how much money I spend on her.  Or how much I worry about her during the day.  How sometimes I'm so sick to my stomach knowing that she's unhappy while I'm at work that I skip meals because I can't eat.  It isn't even a blip on her radar the amount I have sacrificed in the past year to make sure that she gets her $90 allergy meds.  I know that she doesn't care, because she's a DOG.  But I just wish she could give me a little credit because I am really trying here.  And I'm tired of feeling like a bad dog owner.  And it takes a really long time to wash and dry your mattress pad and down comforter.  And thank GOD for red wine because it is giving me the strength to get through tonight and do this all over again tomorrow.  Or it's getting me drunk so I don't care.  PotAto, potAHto.

Edited to add: If I had a religion, engaging in running would be against it. I loathe running and realized a long time ago that there were several other forms of "exercise" I preferred to running and that I really had no use for it.  I have created a life that doesn't involve running because I'm happier that way.  But this morning I ran - for Emma - to wear her little howling butt out so that maybe, just maybe, she reaches a point where she'd much rather take a nap than run around the house all anxious and forlorn.  Or maybe she'll decide she'd rather sleep in my bed, than pee on it. 

My legs hurt.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

- Get Bent

I have recently been completely addicted to watching That '70's show since I found the entire series on Netflix "watch it now".  I've seen most of the episodes before so I already knew that it was awesome, but watched in it's entirity it is overwhelmingly obvious that the writers are complete geniuses.  I definitely consider all of the laughing an ab work out and I think Eric is the most funny - I have such a thing for skinny nerds with impeccible comedic timing.  Hyde is a close second.  Anyways, here I was composing a sonnet that captured how I love this show as much as Fez loves candy when I realized: every episode in Season 5 is named after a Led Zeppelin song.  Season 6 is the Who.  The Rolling Stones are featured in Season 7 while Queen finishes things up in Season 8.  I can't even explain to you how something so simple can make me so happy, but it does.  It's like a little secret that most would have never discovered...except that I would have never NOT noticed.  I have spent too much time with these artists, reading their life stories, watching documentaries on how certain music events changed the world, pouring over their lyrics and listening to some songs every day for years.  In a lot of ways I grew up with this music just like these characters do.  I might not have been there, but I scoured eBay for old band tee shirts and belt buckles and tried to wrap my head around what is was like.  I wore bell bottoms.  I watched The Song Remains the Same and all of the Beatles movies sober and still "got it".  I pondered what it means "to be a rock and not to roll" so many times I lost count.

So, yeah.  It's like happiness in a 22 minute installment everytime I watch an episode.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

- Subtlety

As I mentioned before, the orange paint I chose for my living room lamps was...wrong.  Citrus Blast is just too, well like orange peel.  It's a completely accurate paint color name.
A subtle shift was necessary.  Marmalade Glaze is much more up my alley.  
Except I didn't want a whole quart of orange paint since lamps don't exactly need a lot of paint.  So I just got the sample size which is only in flat.  But don't worry, I bought some lacquer...because I think things  look better glossy.

I also bought paint in these colors: Velvet Slipper, Peaceful Night, and Coral Expression.  If I ever get around to it you'll see where they end up.

These pieces have been painted, and hung in their new homes.
These colors are not photographing well, and the brush strokes don't show up like that in person.
But then again, I'm a total amateur, so brush strokes happen and I don't do much to remedy it.  Or anything really, other to slap another coat of paint on.  But sometimes I kind of like for things to not be so opaque.

I would love to show you full on room pictures and things that are finished.  But there's a mattress in the hallway, an air mattress on my bed (which is more comfy than the one in the hallway, go figure) a missing fabric in the guest room, lots of things to paint, missing art in the living room, and pictures for the hallway that have yet to be chosen, printed or framed.  The thing about to-do lists is that they never seem to get shorter.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

- My Blo-jo

Here's the thing...every day I think of several things that I can write about for this blog thing.  But most topics actually suck when I get down to writing them and you never see them, because I mean, they really suck.  I hit the publish button much less than the delete one.  This past week has been one of those times where everything that I think sounds good in theory, is actually the lamest thing I've ever written.  Jaclyn asked me today if I lost my blog mojo or "blo-jo".  1: I don't know that I ever had blo-jo, and 2: If I did, I totally have.  So, instead of an actual well thought out post which I couldn't write if my life depended on it, I'm going to throw together some random thoughts.  Yay!  Aren't you so excited?

Barky McBarkerson
I call Emma a lot of different things: Emma, Em's, M&M's, Eminem (when she's all hood rat), Emma Grace, Emma Grace Steed (when she's in trouble, like when she pulled my leftover lunch from my bag which I was saving for dinner, and ate it), Emma Bear(s), Bear, Little Bear, Fuzzy Bear (when she needs to be groomed), Foofie, Foofie Head, Foofs, and Ho Bag (when she decides to curl up on my pillow while I'm washing my face and won't move when I get in bed).  But most recently I've been calling her Barky McBarkerson because she can't seem to shut her trap when I leave and has received 2 noise complaints now.  She's always had separation anxiety but I guess it's just gotten out of hand with the whole move and I haven't done anything to correct it.  Until now.  She's showed a ton of improvement this week and this morning I waited for 10 minutes in the hallway and only heard her whine a few times.  Plus, she is listening to commands a lot better and I think we might be able to actually teach her "lay down", "high five" and "shake"...and maybe I can even get her to dance on her back legs like a circus dog on command, for fun.

Laziness
My toe hurts.  I'm not sure why, but it's bothering me.  I could check it out but it's so flippin cold here that I am wearing tights + leggings + knee high socks and I'm too lazy to go through all those layers to look at it and see if I can figure out why.

I had this thought 2 days ago and still haven't checked my toe.  EDIT: I checked my toe.  It looks like a toe and there is not obvious reason for discomfort.

Conundrum (a post I actually started to write)

Conundrum is a fun word to say.

Here's a work related conundrum.  My job is awesome and I mostly love it.  I say mostly because lately I have been spending a lot of time in the pilot plant.  Making thousands and thousands of cans of el soupo. And by thousands I mean less than a hundred, but surprisingly a few cans take a lot of work and several hours to make - as long as you're in a completely un-automated small scale pilot plant.  Whatever, anyways...the point is, if you make food in the pilot plant you have to be all sanitary about it.  And safe.  So I have to wear a hairnet under my bump cap.  If you're not picturing me look insanely hot in that get up then your mental picture is wrong.  You should also know I wear a lab coat that has my name on it, for mental picture purposes.  I like to think that I'm totally big time since I have my name on my lab coat, but mostly I think they do that because people look completely different in hair nets and bump caps and it's hard to recognize your coworkers.

Anyways, I rock the heck out of a hairnet and a bump cap, but after I'm done making soup and it's time to switch back to my normal work wear, my hair does not bounce back so good.  In fact, it pretty much has no bounce and is plastered to my head.  On days that I'm in the pilot plant I essentially end up packing an overnight bag with my straightener, a few hair products, a head band, and lots of bobby pins plus some make up.  Then I have to "primp" which I totally feel weird doing in the locker room because NO ONE else ever seems to be in there doing what I'm doing.  There are plenty of other women that are in the pilot plant and yet I never can seem to tell who was there based on their appearance, while I feel like my hair just screams "I spent the whole morning in the pilot plant which is why I now look like crap.  And I look so bad you probably won't take me seriously when I say something intelligent because you can't get past my poor appearance".

I don't know what everyone else's secret is.  I don't know what I'm doing wrong.  I'm pretty sure it has something to do with the fact that I have bangs.  They really seem to revolt against soup making. 

I quit writing here because it was getting boring due to loss of Blo-jo.

A Case of the Mondays
This week Monday was really sucking more than necessary so I decided to make a Pandora radio station with Flight of the Conchords and it was probably one of my most genius moments ever.  I was instantly cured.  It's really hard not to laugh when someone is singing with their friend about how they both fell in love with the same girl, the girl they both met about 45 (or 48) seconds ago.  And Natalie Portman, who just won an Oscar, did an insanely inappropriate rap for Saturday Night Live that I was singing the whole time I was working on the guest room. 

The Guest Room
My apartment is almost finished!  Just kidding - I'm totally lying.  It's maybe 50% done.  I though I had everything I would need for the guest room and it would just fall into place, but I was wrong (surprise surprise).  I put stuff in place but it just isn't right and then I took a trip to Home Goods (never a good idea) and decided to try something different than what I was thinking.  So I'm still pretty much at square one.

I am sleeping on an air mattress now.  My mattress from Ikea is too soft and this morning my back just couldn't take it any more.  The whole reason I decided to try a mattress from there was because of the 90 day return policy, so yeah I'm returning that bad boy.  The plus side is the one I'm thinking of getting is cheaper.  The minus side is that...I'm sleeping on an air mattress.

I haven't updated a lot because I've been working on some pieces of art, and being an "artist" is time consuming.  One is for my bathroom because I'm changing the accessories in there because there just wasn't enough color.  The other piece is for the hallway and it has been much more time consuming - I'm still not quite sure it's done.  It was inspired by something I saw in High Gloss magazine from I Suwanee's guest bedroom and thought I would see if I could try something similar.  I've probably been working on it for about a week in bits and pieces every night.  I took some pics but I'm not going to post them because the colors look all wrong so I'm going to try to get them in daylight.  The suspense is probably killing you.

Shower Beer
If you did college right, then you have had a beer or fifty in the shower.  Usually because you've started drinking, and then you have to get ready and you don't want to stop drinking, so you just bring your drinks with you.  Anyways, I slept terribly last night, my back is all hurting, I'm exhausted, I spent the day listening to technical talks trying to feel smart (it didn't work) and now I have a headache, and I'm all complain-y about losing my blo-jo...so yeah, I'm drinking a beer in the shower.  Not right this minute as I type this.  Well I'm drinking a beer, but I'm not in the shower.  That would be weird.  After I finish this I'm going to shower.  And continue drinking my beer in there.  Because that just sounds relaxing.