Thursday, November 6, 2008

Caught Cat Handed

So its been approximately 10,000 years since I posted anything, sorry. Since I changed jobs (back in December of last year), its been exceedingly hard to gather the mental energy to put together a coherent blog entry that I am satisfied with.

I actually have a slew of half written entries saved as email drafts. At my old place of employment, I could comfortably compose and post at work directly onto blogger. At my new job that is not the case, due to the fact that I actually work now, and that work is done on a government monitored computer. I'm forced to draft blog entries masquerading as "emails" that will inevitably never get posted, either because I don't have the time to finish them, or because after reading them a second time through in the evening or over my lunch break, I decide they are crap, and am too ashamed to post something I'm not satisfied with.

Anyways, a small incident this morning prompted me to write something. It actually started as an email to Hurricane, but then I thought "whoa, wait, why not share with my starved blogging fans." (if there are any of you left).

There are three websites I visit all. the. time. Not a day passes when I do not grace the pages of these websites with my presence. Whenever I'm in between tasks, I rifle through these sites, checking for updates. They are: (British tabloid offers a certain uncensored trashy twist on celebrity news) (Harry Potter fansite...yes I'm a huge nerd) (cats, cats, and more cats...and some hilarious captions...and probably the site I visit most often)

After a personal analysis of the websites I visit most often, you can safely say that I'm obviously a huge nerdy creep that likes cats and British smut.

Of course, I am mortified to have shared all this information with you, but its crucial to the story. Also, please do not assume that those are the ONLY websites I visit. I'm a fairly normal, intelligent girl. I do read the regular news websites, among other things.


From where I sit near the end of my cube line, there is only one person that walks by my desk on a regular basis with a clear shot of my computer screen. This gentleman is on a different team than I, so I've never shared more than a passing "hello" with him, let alone my affinity for felines. I can usually hear him coming before he walks by (he carries a pocket full of jangly-ass keys), so I always make sure to Alt+Tab to another window before he gets within eyesight of my computer screen.

Therefore, I was shocked this morning when he stopped at my desk and said "I saw this cartoon this morning in the paper and thought of you" and promptly slapped a cartoon about a cat on my desk. My jaw dropped and he continued walking back to his own cube.

I have never once told this man that I like cats. He must see me staring at pictures of cats all day long whenever he walks by, and thinks I'm a cat loving freak. Obviously I need to reposition the angle of my computer screen.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Weekend Review

This weekend I fully took advantage of a smattering of DC metro area delights.  I stumbled into a variety of events without really making plans, and it turned out to be a great weekend.

It started off with a Friday night of live music at the State Theater in Falls Church.  A variety of bands performed, including 
NUMA, Everyone but Pete, and Blind Rhetoric, but the real highlight of the evening was the headlining band, Sematic.  With a sound similar to the early nineties era of rock (think modern day version of Alice in Chains meets Sound Garden meets Stone Temple Pilots) Sematic lit up the stage and set the crowd wild...including myself.  The lead singer Tim Gilbert (who is new to the group), did a phenomenal job.  He worked the crowd like a seasoned pro.  I'm not one to get caught up in the local music scene, but Sematic is a band I will be trying to see again.

Moving on to Saturday, I had the chance to see some of the US trials for the Homeless World Cup.  I saw teams from all over the country competing for the chance to participate in the 2008 Homeless World Cup taking place in Melbourne, Australia.  It was absolutely fascinating to me, and actually inspired me to go see the documentary, Kicking It, at the E Street Cinemas.  The documentary follows players from around the wor
ld, and their struggles as homeless people in their own countries, and the motivation and hope that soccer gives them.  It made me want to go out and buy a soccer ball...and also understand homelessness a little better.

And Saturday evening, I enjoyed my first taste of Ethiopian cuisine at Dukem.  It was delicious.  I had been trying to convince StuD to go to an Ethiopian restaurant with me for about a year now.  Finally, once he moved to the U St. neighborhood, he says "Let's go to this Ethiopian place and try it out!" as if it had been his idea all along.  Whatever, I was just happy to go.  Since it was our first time, the waitress was extremely helpful and explained the menu, and gave us some "beginner" suggestions.  Top notch, top notch.

Ok, enough raving about my good, deep, and insightful weekend and back to being bitter and salty for a Monday morning at work.  Gross.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of 2003

eff you.

Everyone else, listen to this load of poop...

This year marks my fifth year since graduating from high school.  As is tradition, the leaders of my graduating class decided to set a date for our 5-year reunion.  Being the considerate folks that they are (yeah, I'm talking about you, Pretty), the set the date approximately three months out, giving our 112-person graduating class PLENTY of time to clear their calendars and make arrangements.  The reunion was set to take place at Put-In-Bay, a two by four mile island in the sparkling waters of Lake Erie.

"Oh, what fun this will be!  I'm sure everyone is just DYING to get together for our reunion!  Gee whiz, I can't wait!"  I thought naively to myself when I cleared my own calendar and requested a half-day off work.

I then proceeded to book a three-bedroom hotel suite on the island and shot out an email letting EVERYONE know that "I've booked some rooms, who wants in?!" assuming that my fellow classmates would just be FLOCKING to get a spot in my set of rooms.

I'm a total naive moron.

The grand total of people attending my high school reunion:  4

And that's including myself.  Way to go graduating class of 2003.  I'm canceling my friggin' hotel suite first thing tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Old Man and the Sea

And by "Old Man" I mean "Drunk people." And by "Sea" I mean "Chesapeake Bay." More on that in a hot second...

After various threats from friends, I am finally posting again.

Hurricane: my apologies for not giving you something to read while you sit at your desk and fart at work.

Kirk: the fact that you have even started to try and read my blog has given me motivation to keep posting…and the motivation to come up with better one-liners that I’m “not even that good at.”

Well me mateys, I’m just going to start out with an update with what has been going on, and give you a little story to nibble on.

My List of Updates:

1) I have NOT bought a scooter. I actually had written an entire post about how much I still wanted one and how I was going to buy one, but then on the way to the DMV to get the Motorcycle designation on my driver’s license my air conditioning broke. Go figure. Some of you might say that this is the perfect excuse to get rid of a car and go scooter, but really, I need a car…and now I might need a new one. So, I am saving my money for a down payment on that…eventually.

2) In an attempt to expand my transportation horizons, I have started biking to work. Yes, I’m one of those freaks on a bicycle schlepping to work at 6:30AM. But I can’t complain too’s only 3.5 miles from my house to my place of employment. I tested out the whole bicycle commuting deal on Bike to Work Day. In the rain.

3) I have started playing softball with a group of friends in a DC softball league. I initially wanted to get in on the kickball madness that all the young trendy DC professionals rave about, but Kirk forgot to tell me about the sign-up…and by “Kirk forgot to tell me about the sign-up” I mean “I’m obviously not trendy enough for kickball.”

4) I went charter fishing on the Chesapeake this past weekend…which brings me to my story…

I was fortunate enough to be invited to go charter fishing with Hurricane and some other friends this past weekend. There was a group of about 12 of us on the boat. We all brought plenty of food, beer, sangria, and Hurricane's sister and her hubby even made special t-shirts to commemorate the trip. We were set to have an amazing time.

Now, when you go charter fishing, you rent out a big fishing boat. It usually comes equipped with a captain and a first mate, and giant fishing poles that are attached to the boat and made for hauling in huge fish. It’s pretty friggin’ sweet.

This is how it works: You and your friends stand around, shoot the shit, eat food, and drink liquor drinks and beer while the captain and first mate watch the fishing lines. If something chomps on a line, the captain will yell out “FISH ON!” As soon as those two words are called out, chaos ensues. Everyone immediately starts yelling and cheering, beer and chips fly everywhere, and the first mate will rush over to the pole, grab it, and thrust it into the hands of whatever unsuspecting drunkard happens to be standing nearby. I happened to be one of those unsuspecting drunkards.

Sunglasses askew, slopping sangria all over myself, I grasped the pole and prepared to reel in a fish, while everyone started screaming at me and cheering me on. Unfortunately, the pole that was thrust in my hands had a fishing line that was a quarter of a mile out. I heard the first mate talking about it earlier while he was smoking his one-thousandth Doral Menthol cig, saying “Now that line right thur is ‘bout quarter mile out…may God help yeh.”

After the first fifteen seconds of reeling, I realized I was going to need some help. Now, I’ve been working out, but when you’ve been guzzling sangria all day and you’re teetering on a boat in the Chesapeake, there is nothing wrong with asking for a little help to reel in your fish. I shouted out to one of my new friends nearby “Lady! Help me reel this in! I need a spotter!” She very kindly obliged. I think I screamed and hollered like a crazy person the entire time I was reeling in the fish. At one point I even said, “This is just like giving birth!”

For chrissakes, how would I know what giving birth is like?! At the time, I imagined it was EXACTLY like reeling in a 23-inch Rockfish from the Chesapeake Bay. I reeled in my catch, and proudly held it up for the obligatory photo-op.

About 20 minutes later, we heard the words “FISH ON!” again, and a fellow boat mate started reeling in another fish. We all started clapping and cheering her on. She happened to be Hurricane’s older sister, who has two beautiful children. Right in the middle of reeling in the fish, she looked at me and yelled, “This is NOTHING like giving birth!”

Ha, well, point taken, my friend.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Trunk Full O' Surprises

So let's talk about the 30 cans of beer that have been strewn about the trunk of my car for the past 8 months. Oh yeah, and an entire box of powdered laundry detergent that exploded everywhere...which has probably been there for 2 years. And the big portfolio of art work from sophomore year of college...I graduated a year ago.

Obviously, I need to clean out my trunk. But I refuse to do so. It's never been a problem...I usually just lay my groceries or whatever on top of the charcoal drawings of a naked man with a stick, the Natural Light, and the thin layer of laundry detergent.

It never was a problem, that is, until today. My father gave me his bicycle over Christmas, and I finally decided to take it in to get a tune-up this morning. I pulled my back seat forward to make room for the bike. As I was shoving the bicycle in the trunk, the sharp edge of one of the pedals punctured a can of warm Nattie Light. Skunked, crappy beer sprayed everywhere, mixing with the powdered laundry detergent. It began to form a hybrid beer-detergent paste, or "beer-tergent" if you will.

I muttered some profanity under my breath, and grabbed the leaking beer can out of the trunk. After disposing of the mostly empty beer can, I came back to continue shoving my bike into my trunk. Once it was properly crammed into my car, I sped off to the bike repair shop, the haunting scent of beer and detergent wafting through the car.

Once at the bike shop, I yanked out my bike and wheeled it into the bike shop.

"I'm here for a tune-up," I said to the guy behind the counter.

"Ok, cool," he said as he started to inspect the bike. "What is this white pasty stuff all over the side?"

"Um, yeah, I don't know what that is...don't know at all. But the tune-up includes a cleaning, right? I'm sure it will come right off," I smiled back sweetly.

He leaned in to smell the bike (which is weird, I mean, that's taking a risk, leaning in to smell something). He stood up quick, with a sour look on his face, "Yes, this will definitely need cleaning."

I considered for a moment asking him to come and clean out my trunk as well, but I thought that might be pushing it too far...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Star Wars Sunday: The Best Thing to Happen to Television

Thank you Spike Television, for this glorious gift you hath bestowed upon me.

At least today, anyway...

I really couldn't catch a break, today. Sure, my Sunday started out pretty good. Slept in. Perused the internet for a bit. Had a small cookout.

And then I decided I wanted to do a little shopping. You know, I had the urge to buy something. I really felt the need to go to the mall. I was a little concerned about my timing, because it was getting later in the evening, but after a brief counsel with my friend, we came to the conclusion that the mall would definitely be open at 6:30PM on Sunday.


No, my friends, it would NOT be open at 6:30PM on Sunday. After wasting a bit of gas and about 15 minutes of my time driving all the way to the friggin' mall that turned out to be CLOSED, I decided that T.J. Max might fulfill my need to shop. It had been a while since I had the opportunity to rifle through discount racks. I mean, of course T.J. Max would be open at 6:45PM on Sunday.


No, no, they weren't. Well, to their credit they were technically open until 7PM, but as soon as I strolled in, some wretched women in skin tight stretch khakis told me "We're closing! You only have 5 minutes!". Rather than point out to her that "No lady, I actually have 15 minutes to buy a cheap pair of shoes I will probably only wear once," I decided it wasn't worth the time or effort and turned right back around and left. The khaki nightmare totally ruined my shopping vibe. As I trudged back to my car in the rain (can't a girl catch a break?!), I decided McDonalds was my next stop. Woof, you might say, but after two failed attempts at shopping, I felt like a $1 fudge sundae would do the trick. And McDonalds is reliable...they will have what I want.


No. Friggin. Ice cream. "What?!" I shouted into the speaker at the drive-thru. "You don't have any ice cream?! This is McDonalds! What is your deal?!" After catching a wary stare from the soccer mom in the minivan full of kids behind me, I shouted "Well then I will have NOTHING! THANK YOU!" and drove away. Pissed off, dreams of shopping and ice cream crushed, I came home and decided to get into my pajamas, get ready for bed, and hunker down on the couch for the evening. I slipped on my sexiest pair of sweatpants and went into the bathroom to brush my teeth. There is nothing like a refreshing teeth brushing session before bedtime.


The toothpaste I've been using for the past friggin' month has been expired since March...of 2007. I slammed my stale toothpaste in the mini bathroom trashcan, pissed off that I didn't even notice, or bother to check when I dug the tube out of the bottom of my bathroom drawer. I got out a fresh tube of travel paste, did the deed, then went downstairs to watch television.

And then I got my one break of the day. Star Wars Sunday on Spike TV.

May the force be with you.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Why you should never trust acronyms


So, um, yeah. Who friggin knew that ATA stands for American Trans Air and NOT Air Tran Airways. Not me. Which is why I now have TWO friggin flights to Atlanta for next weekend. I mean, hey its cool if you totally knew that, but I didn't.

I was actually in the airport when I heard that ATA went bankrupt. I was on my way to a conference in Kansas City for work. My colleagues and I were waiting for our flight when someone brought up the news about ATA and how they unexpectedly cancled all their flights. Panicking, I said, "Wait, ATA went bankrupt? Air Tran went bankrupt?! I have a flight on AirTran in the weekend after next! Is ATA Air Tran?!"

My co-workers looked concerned, and all nodded, and commented "oh what are you going to do?"

At that moment our flight was being called to board, so the conversation ended and we hopped on our plane. I figured I'd have to book another flight as soon as we landed and I could whip out my laptop. I had also discovered that to get your money back from ATA, you had to call the credit card company of the card with which you booked your flight. Armed with this arsenal of information (however incomplete), I booked a flight on Delta on, and then promptly called my credit card company to see about getting my money back from ATA.

So I get through to customer service, tell them I have to cancel my "ATA flight" and get pushed through to someone to file a claim.

The customer service agent asked me, "You need to get money back for a flight you booked through ATA?"

"Yes, yes!" I said, "I booked the flight about a month ago, and they are bankrupt...all flights are cancled. The website said to call my credit card company."

"Are you referring to the Air Tran flight you booked on March 18th?" the lady asked.

"Yes, thats the one! I need my money back for that one!" I cried.

"Ma'am, I'm sorry, but Air Tran did not go bankrupt. ATA went bankrupt," she responded.

"Yes! ATA! Air Tran Airways!" I was not going to let go easily.

"No ma'am. I'm sorry, but it was American Trans Air."

"What......" I trailed off.

**Long pause in conversation whilst I processed this information**

"Are you sure?" I asked mildy, finally realizing what this meant.

"Yes, ma'am. Are you ok?"

The customer service agent asked me if I was ok, because at this point I was laughing hysterically. I had realized my stupidity in never actually paying attention to the fact that ATA was NOT Air Tran. I had gone to the website, thinking it was Air Tran. Ugh. It pisses me off just thinking about it.


Now I have two friggin flights to Atlanta. There is a fee to cancel either one. Damn it.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

To Scoot or Not to Scoot, that is the question

I. Want. A. Scooter.

Or Moped…or “ped”…or whatever you kids are calling them these days. I have been entertaining the idea of purchasing a scooter for some time now. I dream about scooting around Old Town, swinging by Le Pain Quotidien for a sourdough loaf, hitting Grape + Bean for a full-bodied red, and then making my way to Knit Happens to quite literally pick up some new threads. My insides always do a tiny lurch when I spot someone zooming through Old Town on a scooter. I resist the urge to stop my car, jump out, and flag them down to ask them a zillion questions regarding scoot laws, scooting in Old Town, commuting scooting, etc. etc. etc.

To quench the thirst I have for scooter knowledge, I am posting my questions into the blogosphere, hoping that someone will be kind enough to drop by and leave an insightful comment, or just hoping that writing my concerns down will help me answer some questions for myself. And just so you know, I’m not a blithering idiot. I have done research online and have found answers to many of my queries, but it just helps to use a variety of resources, n’est-ce pas?

So here are some factors I need to take into consideration:

First of all, I have no scooter knowledge, and wouldn’t even know what particularly to look for when attempting to purchase a scooter.

Second of all, is it a death wish to try and ride a scooter to work every day from Old Town to Crystal City on Rt. 1 in rush hour traffic?

Lastly, will I actually end up saving money by purchasing a scooter? Will I really ride it?

Ok, so, many things to contemplate.

Let’s start with my lack of scooter knowledge. I have been doing some research online and have found some great websites and articles (Is a motor scooter in your future?). I feel somewhat educated on the topic, but I definitely want to hear a first hand opinion of what a good commuter scooter would be for the D.C. area. SO, I am going to go to a scooter store and when I see a scooter perched on a sidewalk in Old Town, I will stalk out the owner to ask questions. For example, should I get something larger than a 50cc? (If I do that, the scooter will technically be considered a motorcycle by Virginia law, which means rules/regulations/fees etc….but that’s probably a whole new post.)

Ok, so, what about my daily commute? Every morning and every evening I take Rt. 1 to work (the most daunting of the roads I am on during my travel). It is the stretch between Old Town and Crystal City, you know, where they are doing construction on that overpass thing. Would I be safe during my commute? I will obviously be wearing a helmet, but should I consider taking an alternate route to work (Mt. Vernon Ave, for example) if I do purchase a scooter? Also, inclement weather. I sure as hell am not going to schlep through the rain on my scooter…but that is what having my car is for.

Which brings us to the financial impact of purchasing a scooter. I have yet to figure out the exact calculations, but I know I will be saving money on gas by scooting every day to work. Also, purchasing a scooter will allow me to put off buying a new car (an idea which I have also been entertaining). But let’s be honest…gas prices aren’t exactly going down, my car is paid off, and I don’t know if I want to deal with a car payment. Sure, I could afford it, but I don’t really need a new car right now. So I will spend the majority of my travel time scooting, with a car to back me up for highway travel (riding a scooter on the beltway is just as bad as riding a bike on the beltway), inclement weather, and big shopping trips.

SO, it seems that I have a lot to consider. Your remarks, comments, and helpful tips are greatly appreciated.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Asking for Food: The New Pick-up Line

Its been a while since I’ve had the opportunity to write something down for my beloved blog, and I apologize (to any of you who actually care).

ANYWAYS…something interesting happened to me a few weekends ago, and I’ve been DYING to write about it.


What is the friggin’ deal with all the hungry bitches in DC metro area bars?

I was at the lovely E.J.’s Landing in College Park the other weekend. A friend of StuD’s and mine was performing there, and we had promised to go listen to him play. I managed to drag C-Dubs along, because well, ya know, I was going to a bar in College Park and needed someone to be bitter with.

We got there early enough to score a sweet spot at the bar. It was obviously prime real estate, because all the local townies were perched right next to us. They had clearly been drinking since they left work (if not before). We ordered a few drinks and waited for our friend to take the stage (and by stage I mean small section of floor in the corner).

By the time we had ordered a second round and a few plates of food, the place had become quite crowded with your typical College-Park-Bar horde: drunken underage girls who had pre-gamed just in case they couldn’t get a drink, surly looking guys trying to look tough, the random nerd crew who seemed thrilled just to be in a bar, the normal people (i.e. me, StuD, and C-dubs), and the random townies, including the obligatory 70-year old man who has some sort of nickname like “Old Whiskers” and will regale you with stories of his youth and how he used to bang beautiful young women, even though you are clearly looking the other way and trying to finagle another bar stool to put some distance between you and the old man.

Anyways, bar was getting crowded. Normally I don’t mind a bit of a crowded bar, but that night, I was just not in the mood. Which is probably why I got super pissed when a rando drunken sloot-bag wobbled over to my boyfriend and breathily asked “Ohhhh my gosh! Those french fries sssmell sooooo gooooooooood! Can I pleeeaaaasssse have one?”

My head snapped in her direction so fasted and I swear lightening literally flashed out of my eyeballs.

She hadn’t noticed me (well, at least she was pretending not to), so I spoke up, “No! You can’t have any f*cking french fries. Who walks up to someone in the bar and just asks them for french fries?!”

“Oh well I was just reallllllly hungry and they ssssmellled sooooo gooooooood!” she said playfully to my boyfriend, answering my question but not looking at me. Another bolt of lightening flashed out of my eyes.

“Um, huh?” StuD asked her.

“Oh well your fries just ssssmellled ssssoooooo delissssscious and I was just wondering if I could have one, pleasssse?!” the witch crooned again to my boyfriend.

I snatched up the menu sitting in front of me. “Here!” I said, waving it in her face. “Order your own friggin’ fries!”

StuD cut me off, “Yeah sure, have a fry.” And proceeded to hand the girl a french fry.

What. The. Frick. I thought to myself.

I shot another bolt of lightening from my eyes his way, and then stormed outside, dragging C-Dubs with me to recap the situation. After a few minutes of me fuming about the “French Fry Bitch” and my boyfriend, StuD came outside, holding my plate of fries.

“She started eating all of them!” he exclaimed to me. “All my fries, and then she started eating YOUR fries!”

What the hell did he THINK she was gonna do? Eat a fry then leave him alone? Yeah right. This girl was on a mission…a mission for fries and my boyfriend. I told him that, and to this day (two weeks later) he just thinks she was a drunk girl who was hungry.

But forget about StuD for a sec, and let’s talk about French Fry Bitch. What has the world come to when girls are just walking up to men, asking for food? Since when did that become acceptable? I obviously missed the memo that asking for food is the new pick up line.

Monday, March 3, 2008

One more for the road

Ok, so I know I said I was going to be done with pet stories, but I saw this in the news the other day and thought it was appropriate for the pet series:

Snake eats family dog as kids watch

Its terrifyingly hilarious. And just in case you are too lazy to click on the link, here are the story highlights, as outlined by

Story Highlights
· 16-foot scrub python stalked family's pet for days, expert says
· Kids, ages 5 and 7, see their dog eaten by snake
· Snake digesting dog in zoo, will be released into wild

Can you imagine strolling out into your backyard to play a game of fetch with your favorite pooch, only to find a GIANT SNAKE EATING YOUR DOG. Those kids are scarred for life.


On Friday something absolutely amazing happened. I got my very own desk.

That’s right, I’ve been working at this new job for over two months now, and I JUST got a desk. Never mind the fact that I still need to go through a metal detector and be escorted into the building every day. Someday, some new, glorious day, I will get a badge that will allow me to walk in without an escort and will exempt me from the metal detector. Now THAT will be reason for celebration.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Good day to you all. This will be the last entry in the series of my freakish pet posts. It was a good run, but really I just need to get some new material. Enjoy...

Champ was the most recent and goofiest dog we had. He was the happiest dog I knew, and loved jumping on people and chasing things. He always seemed to have a grin on his face, if you can imagine a grinning dog.

Like I said, Champ liked to jump on people and chase things. He was also fond of riding in our golf cart, which we had at our house for yard work purposes. His love of people, chasing things, and golf carts did not mix well with the golf course that was near our house.

We received numerous angry phone calls thoughout the years from the golf course management. Champ was chasing down golf balls and jumping onto people's golf carts as they zoomed by.

Apparently, the golfers were pissed. They were losing track of their golf balls and acquiring unexpected guests in their carts. In my opinion, it just made their golf game more interesting.

Champ also loved to swim in our pool…especially with people. We tried to keep him away from the pool, because dog hair isn’t good for pool filters, but he always managed to wiggle in the pool gate when some poor unsuspecting fool walked in. I had several pool party incidents that involved him jumping on top of my friends while they were swimming. Champ thought it was the bomb. I think we stuck him on a raft one time, which he enjoyed immensely.

My favorite story about Champ involves one of my high school band practices (yeah, I was a band nerd, represent). My mother was in the process of having a new house built very close to my high school. While it was being built, she would visit it periodically to make sure everything was going ok.

One evening, while I was at band practice on the football field next to our high school, a dog came tearing through the fence barking like mad at all the glorious music we were making and our flashing instruments. “Hm,” I thought to myself. “That kind of looks like my dog. But we haven’t moved yet, so that couldn’t be him.”

The dog continued to bark and run through the marching band. Everyone had stopped playing and marching mid-song, laughing hysterically at the silly dog chasing everyone around. Our director was furious. Suddenly, I looked across the field to see my mother, running toward the band, clutching Champ’s leash, calling out "Champ! Champ!"

“Oh my gosh!” I cried out. “That’s MY dog!!!”

Apparently my mother decided to bring Champ along with her that day to visit the house. He heard the band playing and ran to see what was going on. That was the best band practice ever.

Pet series: fin.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Inbred Cats and Rabbits, Oh My!

So yeah its been a while. Get over it.

Also, let me preface this post by saying that our family took very good care of our pets. They were all given enormous amounts of love and attention, regular veterinarian visits, shots, good food, and good times. I mean, sometimes you just forget to spay and neuter, no big deal.

Circa 1994, Sistah girl and I happened to get two baby kittens, who we immediately dubbed Simba and Nala. At the time we thought the Lion King was the most incredible movie ever made. Unfortunately we did not realize that Simba and Nala would eventually live up to their movie character names and “do the dirty”. Even more unfortunate, we never took Bob Barker’s advice. That’s right. Simba and Nala – spaying/neutering = kittens.

All the kittens in the litter were healthy and happy…except one, who we named Alfalfa. Alfalfa was developmentally challenged. His head was too large for his body, he was unable to walk straight, and always had a look of panic on his face, like the world was just too much for a little kitten like him. Alfalfa’s favorite haunt was our laundry room. He rarely emerged from the laundry room, but when he did, he did it with gusto. He would launch himself at top speed through the hallway into the kitchen, at which point he would be amazed by his bravery, panic, then sprint at top speed back into the laundry room, inevitably slamming into the wall because, well, he was an inbred kitten and had coordination problems.

And then, good lord, the rabbits. I honestly couldn’t even tell you how many friggin’ rabbits and baby rabbits we had. I truly understand the term “doing it like rabbits” because you know what? I lived it.

It all started with a cute Easter idea our parents had. “Oh let’s get the girls bunnies and shove them in Easter baskets for them to find on Easter morning!” Which is exactly what they did. Sistah girl and I were beside ourselves with excitement. Real live white bunnies! It was a dream come true!

More like a friggin’ inbred rabbit nightmare.

Now, its really hard to tell the sex of a rabbit when it is a baby. Which is what happened to us. We thought we had two same sex rabbits who were sister and sister. But no. We actually had two opposite sex rabbits who were sister and brother.

Unfortunately this information did not come to light until one day when my mother went out to feed the rabbits. What did she find? Sister and “Sister” rabbit had “did it like rabbits” and now we had A WHOLE FRIGGIN’ LITTER OF RABBITS. We panicked a bit and tried to get rid of them to friends and family. They seemed healthy, so we assumed all was well and separated the leftovers into separate areas…one area for the boy rabbits, and one area for the girl rabbits…OR SO WE THOUGHT.

A little while later, my older sister goes out to feed the rabbits, and what does she find. ANOTHER FRIGGIN’ LITTER OF RABBITS. So now we were dealing with super inbred rabbits, and something had to be done. These rabbits were not so lucky in the health department. Some of them passed away, and the others, well, the others had teeth and eye issues. And by teeth and eye issues I mean their teeth were jacked up and grew weirdly out of their mouth and their eyes were crossed.

Let me just finish this blog by saying NEVER GET RABBITS. And, as Bob Barker always says “Please, spay and neuter your pets.”

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Hot Diggity Dogs

And now let’s break into some stories about a few of the dogs I grew up with. Throughout the years we had approximately six dogs…not all at the same time, of course. A few of them managed to contract strange diseases and ailments.

We’ll start with Diamond, a German Shorthair Pointer that went hunting with my dad. He was a playful dog, and always seemed to quiver with excitement. He got a disease called polyradiculoneuritis or “coonhound paralysis” that is contracted by a raccoon bite. The poor creature was paralyzed from the neck down for about 8 weeks and had to be fed and bathed on a daily basis by my mother. He couldn’t move to go to the bathroom so he went on himself, and he couldn’t lift his head enough to eat…poor dog. I was always embarrassed when my friends came over…

They would be like, “Why is your dog just laying there in that pen filled with hay.”

I would say, “Oh, um, he’s just tired. No big deal. Let’s go jump on the trampoline.”

Eventually they would ask more questions and I would have to explain about the coonhound paralysis. What a freak disease.

With proper care he made it through, though. He was just as quivery and excited as ever.

And then there was Molly, a black lab I had since she was a puppy. Molly contracted some sort of flesh eating disease, that is apparently common with labs. She was very, very old when she got it, but it just another embarrassing ailment I would have to explain to my friends…

“Why is there no skin on your dog’s leg?” they would ask.

I could think of no good cover-up, so I would just flat out tell them “Flesh eating disease…don’t worry, it’s not contagious.”

Unfortunately she had to have her leg amputated. She was still a positive, sweet dog.

[Side Note: This is not the only 3-legged pet we had…but we’ll get into that in another post.]

At one point we had a dog named Precious that we had rescued from the side of the road. That dog was friggin’ evil. She was a little miniature mix of poodle and something else, and would snap at everything and anyone. She was the kind of dog that would terrorize the mailman. Her only problem was that she was a real bitch.

Chunk, another black lab, ate something weird he rummaged up from the farm next door and passed away from food poisoning. My older sister was devastated, and demanded that he be given a proper burial on our property. We got a coffin and everything. Which started the trend of burying animals on our property.

Animals Buried on Our Property:

Approximately 4 hamsters
1 gerbil
3 dogs
Honeybee, our beloved first pony (yes, a horse is buried in our pasture)
A couple hermit crabs (damn Ocean City boardwalk shops)
The ashes of 1 cat

It’s a friggin’ pet cemetery. We never told the people who live there now. Oops.

Monday, February 4, 2008

The Trials and Tribulations of Champagne

So before I get into the main theme of my post, I am going to give a short account of my current situation.

I am traveling for work, and will be in the Boston area for the next week. Actually, its about an hour outside of Boston...a.k.a. Nowhere, Massachusettes. When you travel for work a lot, you get bored in the hotel rooms. I mean, there is literally nothing in this town...nothing to do. I've been trying to think of things to spice up my stay, so any suggestions are much appreciated. My initial thought was to rearrage all the furniture in the hotel room to freak out the cleaning ladies. I would really like to make a super elaborate fort out of all the furniture and bedding and put a little sign on it that says something like "Fort Awesome" or "Area 52...much more mysterious than Area 51".

In any case, on to the main theme of the cat Champagne, may he rest in peace.

Champagne was a quirky kind of cat. I would describe him as kind of a doofus. He was georgous, with fluffy fur the color of champagne, which is how he got his name. He always seemed to be somewhat confused and wandered about our house with no real agenda.

Champagne was both an indoor and outdoor cat, but he really preferred to be inside. Which is probably why he climbed into our boat.

Our boat, a 24-footer proudly named the "Horny Toad" by my father (if you are curious as him), was sitting out in the drive by our barn. We had just pulled it out of Lake Erie and were going to take it to be winterized at our local boat maintenance place. Champagne, left outside in the cold for the night, crawled into the boat for shelter. The next day my father went out to the boat, slapped on the cover, and hauled it to the boat repair place. The brave Champagne managed to survive in the bottom of that boat for several weeks while it sat at the maintenance place. The guys at the shop ripped open the cover to find a terrified Champagne, who had lived off the sitting water in the bottom of the boat. I'll never forget the phone call we received, "Um, we think we found your cat in your boat." We raced over to the boat place to retrieve our miserable looking cat. We always checked the boat after that.

Champagne lived a peaceful life for the next few years, until I got into high school and developed a weird sense of humor.

One day, I decided it would be the most FABULOUS idea to shave Champagne like a lion.

I mean, who doesn't want a cat that looks like a lion? With the help of a little dremamine to calm him down (we checked with a medical professional on this), a few friends, and an electric razor, we attempted to shave Champagne like a lion. Here is the result:

Obviously, he looks NOTHING like a lion. His hair was so friggin' thick that we couldn't shave him all the way, and we didn't want to hurt him. So he walked around like this for a few months. No big deal.

About a year after the Lion adventure, our beloved Champagne went missing for a few days. Since he was an indoor and outdoor cat, we didn't worry much. Around the same time, my bedroom started to smell funny. I washed all my clothes and all my sheets, wondering how I could smell so bad and stink up my room. I finally complained to my mother. She immediately knew what must have happened. Very sadly, Champagne had decided to spend his last hours in his favorite napping spot, the corner of my room, behind my armoire. I was devastated. I did not sleep in my room for the next few months. Seriously. I slept on the couch downstairs.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


On my way to work last week (on the metro, pre-shiny happy people) I was perusing the Express, you know, just to make the morning metro commute a little more bearable. I came across an article that prompted me to write a short series of posts. The article reads:

TSA: All Cats Must Travel in 1-Quart Ziploc Baggies

Tabby Gracie Mae’s odyssey ended happily after she crawled into her owner’s suitcase, went through an airport X-ray machine, was loaded onto a plane, thrown onto a baggage belt and mistakenly picked up far from home. The pet was returned by a stranger who went home with the wrong bag. “I went to unpack and saw it wasn’t my suitcase,” said Rob Carter. “A kitten jumped out and ran under the bed. I screamed like a little girl.” (AP)

You can’t make this shit up folks. And that is why I am now going to tell you about the slew of weird pets (and the weird things that happened to them) I had throughout my childhood. I wish I could fit them all into one huge post, but I feel like most of you will stop reading halfway through…not because my posts are boring (please) but because you are probably busy and want a quick laugh. Hence, a short series of posts (that will probably be peppered with other posts, who knows).

Let me start at the beginning, with the very first pet I had: Sparky, the lovable, cuddly, furry gray cat my father brought home in his briefcase from work one day. His name came from his gray color, and the fact that he always looked like a giant ball of walking static.

[Ok, actually the first pet we had was a cat named Kitty Coke. He was named Kitty Coke because that’s how my younger sister, Sistah Girl, pronounced “Kitty Cat”. I’m just adding this in because I know I’ll get shit from her if I don’t make mention of Kitty Coke, who was mostly her cat. I just hardly remember the animal because we were so little when we had him. So yeah, Kitty Coke, then Sparky.]

Sparky was a dream cat…you know, the kind of animal who purrs while little girls dress him up in hats and dresses. Which is exactly what Sistah Girl and I did. I specifically remember a t-shirt with a carrot on it that came off a stuffed bunny that we would shove on Sparky and push him around in a baby doll stroller. Sparky liked to sleep in my bed, and every night I would tell Sparky how much I loved him before I went to sleep.

As you can tell, Sistah Girl and I obviously loved to play with Sparky. I really enjoyed placing Sparky IN things…for example, in the stroller, in a wagon, in a basket, in a box…whatever. I must have been on some sort of packing kick. Well, one day, I took playtime a little too far.

My mother had these giant plastic Tupperware containers that she kept under our couch. She would keep magazines and toys in them. They never were of much interest to me, until I got Sparky, and realized I could put Sparky INSIDE them.

Before I go further, I want to note that I was extremely young when I first got Sparky. I was so young, I only have a few flashbacks of playing with him. I’m going to estimate that I was 3 years old when my dad brought Sparky home. So, I still had a lot of things to learn, and all of my play was innocent, or so I thought.

So, anyways, one day I was playing with Sparky and thought it would be the most fabulous idea to put Sparky inside the plastic tubs that were under our couch. I gathered Sparky in my arms, shoved him in a giant Tupperware container, then slapped on the lid. In my mind, I’m sure I was thinking, “Oh, what fun Sparky will have inside this plastic container.” I then proceed to shove the plastic container containing my beloved cat under the couch and went to go have cookies or something. When a kid has cookies on her mind, she forgets about pets, and the fact that they are in plastic containers under the couch. Also, when a kid is 3 years old, she might not understand the concept of how important oxygen is for pets and people.

Fortunately, about an hour or so later (we estimate because no one is really sure how long it was), my mother started vacuuming the living room. She made her sweep around the room, and finally came to the couch. She lifted up the couch flaps, and pulled out the plastic Tupperware containers to vacuum underneath.

Surprise! There was Sparky, stuffed into one of the containers, which was fogged up with his breath. Gasping, she ripped off the lid and pulled out a sweating, panting Sparky. I didn’t really understand what I had done until I saw my cat, who looked miserable. To this day I still feel guilty about packing up Sparky in a plastic Tupperware container. I’m just glad my mother decided to vacuum that day.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Shiny Happy People

I think there might be something wrong with the parking attendant people at the parking garage in my building.

They are freakishly nice.

So far I've driven to work twice. Each time, they have waved and given me a huge smile. All of them. And there are like, 6, just milling about the parking garage entrance. I think there are so many of them due to security reasons...who knows. The first time they waved and smiled at me so big, I nervously checked myself in my rear-view mirror. Was there something on my face? Did I look weird? Were they laughing at my ancient Pontiac Sunfire? I mean, what was the deal with these people, grinning and waving at 7:30am? Do they make them do that to cheer us all up so we don't do anything crazy at work? It kind of freaks me out.

Today, as I was pulling in, the first attendant I passed gave a short, wave-like hand movement. As I am not yet accustomed to the plethora of niceness in the parking garage, I thought he was flagging me down. I stopped and rolled down my window, expecting to be in trouble or something.

"Yes?" I asked him as I slowly pulled forward, rolling down my pain-in-the-ass-non-automatic window.

"Oh, I was just saying hello!" he said back with a toothy grin.

"Um, yeah...hey," I said back with an uncertain smile, rolling back up my window.

I then slowly cruised past the 5 other parking attendants, who all smiled and ALSO gave a wave.

Prior to my personal parking garage experience, I've ridden with co-workers in and out of the parking garage for lunch. The attendants would always wave and smile to my co-workers in the drivers seat, and I would think to myself, "Damn, my co-workers must be super tight with the parking garage attendants."

No, no. The parking attendants are like the Super Garage Gang Welcoming Committee, who wave and smile at EVERYONE.

I'm tempted to go back to riding the metro, where everyone is bitter, no one waves, and a smile is a rare morning occurance. I just don't know if I can deal with these super friendly people at 7:30am.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Total Waste of Water

It's official. I am a bad person.

Today I watched a guy unknowingly dump an entire bottle of water all over his briefcase and office floor. I watched the whole thing without giving a word of warning.

Here is how it went down...

It was the end of a long work day. A group of me and my co-workers trudged into the elevator lobby on the 11th floor to wait for an elevator down. *Ding* An elevator opened up, and we all quickly shuffled in.

We went down a few floors and stopped at 9th. The elevator was a little stuffed, and I was standing near the front. Everyone behind me was engrossed in work conversation and, as I prefer to not discuss work as soon as I walk out of my cube, I was left to my own devices.

Now before I get into more details of the water incident, let me tell you a little bit about the elevators in my building. There are, um, about a MILLION of them. So basically, when you are waiting for an elevator, you kind of have to stand in the middle of of the lobby because you don't know which one will open up. And let me tell you, if you are standing at the end of the lobby, and an elevator on the other end opens up, you better be damn sure you are running to make that elevator, because its a big lobby and the doors don't stay open forever. Imagine 6 guys in suits milling about the center of an elevator lobby, poised, waiting for the *ding* signaling an opening, and then the mad dash to cram into the elevator. That's kind of what its like...most of the time.

So anyways, the doors open on 9, and the gentleman waiting for an elevator made a quick U-turn to head toward the waiting elevator. In one arm he was clutching a stack of papers. In his other arm, he was holding a giant bottle of know, one of those huge bottles that seem like a good idea at the time of purchase but always get in the way and will sadly never fit in your car cup holders. On the same arm that was carrying the bottle of water was the man's briefcase, dangling off the crook of his arm. As he swung around to dash towards the elevator, his briefcase slipped down his arm to his wrist. He obviously forgot he was lugging a giant opened bottle of water, because his hand tilted down to support the briefcase that had just slipped to his wrist and the water started to pour. Everywhere.

Now, here I am, standing in the front of the elevator crowd, watching this poor soul trying to successfully make it to the elevator. He had no idea that water was gushing all over his briefcase as he powerwalked toward the elevator, nor that it was splashing all over the lobby floor. No one else noticed either, as they were all engrossed in their own conversation. So this man is running toward the elevator, water splashing everywhere, leaving a potential lawsuit all over the elevator lobby. As he jumped lightly into the elevator, I gave him a big smile and said, "Great day, isn't it?"

He nodded, smiling back, slightly out of breath, and just then felt the water still streaming off his briefcase.

I laughed to myself the whole way home...if I passed you in the tunnels of Crystal City and I was smiling like a creep, I'm sorry...I just couldn't get over the man and his water. Hell, I was so distraught by it that I was looking for the SmarTrip pad at the top of the metro escalator...silly me.

Monday, January 7, 2008

My Mom was a Hitchhiker

Yes, it is true.

When I was home for Thanksgiving having a conversation with my friends and my mother, we stumbled upon the topic of hitchhiking. At my previous job, when I rode in one of the delivery trucks for a day (the one with a mouse living in it), the driver I was with said he hitchhiked a lot when he was younger. I asked him if he picked up a lot of hitchhikers now, seeing as he was a hitchhiker himself once. “No way!” he responded. I thought this was quite hypocritical, and brought it up in conversation when I was at home.

“Isn’t that interesting?” I commented. “A man who used to hitchhike a lot refusing to pick up hitchhikers.”

My friends all nod and comment, “Oh, yes.”

My mother chimes in, “I used to hitchhike.”

Our mouths drop, faces turn toward her.

She continues as if its no big deal, “Oh yeah, when I was about 15, I used to hitchhike to the local pool.”


Yes, my mother hitchhiked to the local pool, which was approximately 7 miles from her house. Yeah sure, she owned a bicycle, but that would have taken to long, according to her. Hitchhiking was apparently the fastest way to the pool on several occasions.

I mean, think about it. She must have wanted to go to the pool really friggin’ bad to HITCHHIKE to get there. I can just imagine her thinking to herself…

“Gee whiz, its super hot today. I really want to go to the pool. I could ride my bike…but that just isn’t fast enough for me. I need to get to the pool NOW. Let me just grab my towel, stick out my thumb, and be on my way.”

Badass, mom. Badass.

**Disclaimer: That woman in that picture is not my mother...just some random.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

My Last Meal

At work the other day someone was eating something for lunch with an aroma that was hauntingly similar to that of a school cafeteria lunch.

I friggin’ loved those high school lunches.

I don’t care if you think that is gross. They were so tasty, despite the fact that they were most likely saturated with sodium, processing chemicals, and god knows what else. And I loved how the trays had little sections for everything…the milk, dessert, buttered bread, veggie, main dish, and spork. I think they looked something like this:

This high-quality paint image that took me a super long time to make represents my most favorite school lunch of all time: Salisbury steak, fake mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, buttered bread, graham cracker with pink frosting, milk, and spork. Damn that sounds good.

I remember in school everyone was always like, “EEW! Its Salisbury steak day! Grosssss!” and I was like, “Yeah, Salisbury steak day, uh, totally sucks, yeah.” When I secretly was like, “Yes! I friggin’ LOVE Salisbury steak day! O man, will they be grossed out if I ask for an extra serving of fake mashed potatoes…do I even have the extra 35 cents on me?” You know, because it was extra for a double serving of something.

If I happened to pack my lunch that day, I would just leave it in my locker and be like, “Oh man, I forgot my lunch today. Now I HAVE to get Salisbury steak.” And all my friends would say, “Oh, that’s too bad. Salisbury steak is so gross.” I would sadly nod, when in my mind I was jumping for joy over Salisbury steak.

I used to eat it and be all like, “Ew, these mashed potatoes are so fake tasting.” (but secretly delicious) and “Salisbury steak, gross. What is it even made of?” (Who cares, its so good). I would even make accompanying faces of disgust. If only my friends knew I was twisting my grins of delight into scowls.

I bet all my friends secretly loved the Salisbury steak day too. You tricky bitches.

If I had to choose a last meal, THIS would be it.