Dating and Dog Chews

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Gentle Reader,

As continued proof that I have absolutely no shame, and wanting only to entertain and amuse you, my reader:

1.  Yesterday I went into town to have lunch with a darling friend from college, and met her hubby.  It was awesome, he is delightful (she is, too, but I’ve always known she was delightful and hadn’t met him and now I’m starting to overthink this one, aren’t I?), and we had so much fun talking about kids and dogs and college.  Thanks for lunch A and N!  (Next time, it’s on me, and provided there are no buns in ovens, we drink.  I mean it.)

Anyway, while I was in town, I went to various SuperTargets to try to find the rawhide that the dogs prefer because the Target we have here in East Texas is tiny and doesn’t have nearly the selection that bigger Targets do…(let’s not even examine how much First World there is in the preceding statement…)  Sadly the preferred rawhide appears to have been discontinued at some point recently and we cannot find any.  The puppies are really ramping up the chewing, so we need really durable and lasting (and preferably cheap) things for them to chew on, otherwise they start eating furniture and load-bearing walls.  So I started looking around and found something new for the puppies–I’d never heard of it, but it promised to be long lasting and that dogs LOVE it.  (The Holy Grail of power-chewer chewing objects.)  I got it home and found it to be thus:

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And I turned the package over and apparently we’ve become “those” people…

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Not only are we still grain- and gluten-free, we are also now buying our dogs chews made from only the finest HIMALAYAN YAK MILK.  (And lime juice and salt.  Pass the tequila.)

Meanwhile, Backus is still confused by the concept of glass doors.  Pearls before swine or something like that…

And also:

2.  Many of y’all know that I’ve been doing the “onl*ne d*ting” (I hate internet searches) thing recently.  It has gone as you might expect.  Until yesterday, when the particular website I had been using determined that Cletus (*not his real name) and I would be a suitable match.  Apparently we are both animal lovers.  Reading Cletus’ profile, I see that he listed bears as his pets and that his job was listed as “circus performer”.  I immediately start laughing and begin to think that this website might actually know what they’re doing because they understand that I very much appreciate and need the sarcasm.  Because who would think to ironically list THAT as a career?  So I peruse Cletus’ pictures.

First pic:  Him with two bears.  (I would mention that they weren’t on leashes but I somehow don’t think leash laws matter all that much in controlling pet bears.)

Second pic:  Him in a tank top and a brightly-festooned pair of what appear to be bike shorts.  (WHAT IS IT WITH THE MENFOLK AND THE TANK TOPS IN THESE PICTURES?????  Just.  Say.  No.)

Third pic:  Him in what I initially thought was a matching tank top to the bike shorts.  But then slowly the realization rolled over me:

“Wait.  That’s a tight tank top.

“Maybe it’s some kind of charity bike ride sort of outfit-how fun

“That’s a unitard

“He is wearing a unitard and has pet…

“OHMYGOD HE IS ACTUAL CIRCUSFOLK.

“IT WASN’T IRONY, LAUREN, HE WAS SERIOUS.”

(And if any of you are in the traveling entertainment industry, please know I do not mean this as a personal attack on you, your choices, or your life.  You do you.  You’re awesome.)

What, in any CONCEIVABLE profile that I might write (realizing we all choose to highlight different aspects of ourselves at different times for different reasons) about ANY facet of my life, makes what has been a highly-profitable algorithm come to the conclusion that my true love?  IS A CARNIE?????

That’s it-I’m checking out.  If you need me, I’ll be at The Little Sisters of the Poor Convent.  (They don’t have men in tank tops, do they?)

Married friends, friends in deeply committed relationships?  Go, right now, and buy your SO a thoughtful gift and go hug them very tightly and never let them go.  It’s a jungle out here.

Complete with damn pet bears.

Goodnight,

Lauren

Insert “Rocky” Theme Music Here

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Gentle Reader,

So we’ve come to the point in the summer when It.  Is.  Too.  Hot.  Too hot to eat (even the puppies are ambivalent about eating).  Too hot to do the dang laundry (we are ALL ABOUT the sartorial creativity around here lately…) (luckily it’s so hot that “pants optional” is a TOTALLY LEGIT choice right now).  I have plans of cooking (I have some random craving for spaghetti sauce, because sure.  July in Texas.) but they evaporate by about 9:30 AM and once again I determine that sliced tomato makes a balanced dinner and if we need protein we can scramble an egg.  It’s all about trying to keep the puppies from going totally crazy, moving as little as possible, and maintaining close proximity to the air conditioning at all times.  So the preceding whinge is why I’ve been blogging nada lately.  I like y’all too much to make you read that every day.

But a few developments on the puppy front that bear GREAT EXCITEMENT!!!!

1.  They swim.  Most of you saw the photographic evidence, but I don’t have it on this computer so I can’t repost.  But Brix has become QUITE the water dog-she hops in, swims around, and then when she gets tired (usually about one lap around the pool) she GETS UP ONTO THE POOL FLOAT AND LOUNGES.  BECAUSE OF COURSE.

Monsters.  I have created monsters and now the circus won’t take them from me.

Our (exceedingly awesome and generous) neighbors let us use their salt-water pool, and it has really brought out the curl in Brix’ fur and makes it so soft and shiny.  It’s adorable.  Her daddy has the curly hair and supposedly it will blend into her fur as she gets bigger, but I love it so I’m hoping it kind of stays.

Backus, on the other hand, is a tougher sell on swimming.  He’s our thinker (and believe me, I use that term loosely), usually doing stuff a week or two behind his sister.  Right now, he will swim to the steps when he “accidentally” falls into the pool, but as my cousin Laura points out, it’s less swimming and more “flailing wildly toward shore”.  But when the rest of us are in the pool, he hangs out at the edge and whines and thinks about getting in (you can totally tell that he WANTS to get in, he just can’t quite muster the brave yet) and howls about the injustice in his life.  Or, his friends Willie and Cooper (our neighbors’ dogs, who also care not for swimming) and he play in the yard under the deck getting nice and muddy.

(Honestly, the boy will PUT HIS HEAD UNDER THE WATER in his water pan.  Why he won’t swim is beyond me.)

2.  They are doing MUCH better on house-training.  This has been the big surprise in raising two puppies together, all the time.  (The Boys were together on the weekends, but separate during the week.)  Training is much harder with the two of them at once.  It’s a slower process, and a much more intense process.  Totally worth it and awesome, but it’s worth noting should you, too, LOSE YOUR EVER-LOVIN’ MIND and want to get two big dog puppies at the same time.  But they are becoming better citizens and members of the family now, and this is a relief.

Crazy, often violent, family members WHO NEVER GO AWAY, but family nonetheless.  (The Fella sat outside my bathroom door the other night and HOWLED while I was inside.  I may never be alone again.  Ever.  For anything.)

And 3.  And this is the one about which I am most proud.  Leash training.  We started that late last week.  I take them out separately (Because I tried taking them out together and that was wildly unsuccessful, other than proving physics wrong by showing that, indeed, two puppies CAN travel in seven different directions all at once.) and we go short distances.  Backus performs absolutely just as well as you can imagine a beginning Lab would.  He is totally on-grade level.  I took video, but I like y’all, and some of you might have inner-ear issues or be prone to motion-sickness.  Rest assured, no aspect of Backus’ route remains unexplored.  And when we see animals, all bets are off.  Except our thinker doesn’t quite know what he’s supposed to do.  He knows he is supposed to do SOMETHING, and he knows he DOESN’T LIKE THESE THINGS, but beyond that he gets a little confused, evolutionarily speaking.  So he sits and howls.  Which is kind of becoming his default setting…  Obviously the deer and zebras are terrified and stand there observing this scene without so much as flicking an ear.

But The Girl.  The Girl is a CHAMPION ON THE LEASH.  Trots along, at heel, never pulling, doesn’t stop to explore (even zebra poop!), just looks up at me to see what she’s supposed to be doing.  Smiling, happy, tongue hanging out to the side.  I’d have captured this on film already but I foolishly assumed her video would look a lot like her brother’s video and didn’t see the point. Sigh.  Anyway-Brix?  Aces.  She rocks the leash.  We walked way down to the other end of the street, saw friends two- and four-legged, the aforementioned zebra recycling, birds, deer, everything.  Homegirl is fantastic on the leash.

When we got home from that first session, I was tempted to run around, Rocky-style, convinced of my own awesomeness as a dog trainer, but then someone tinkled on the floor so I figured that might be a bit premature…

Have a great week!

Goodnight,

Lauren

Another Clip Show

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Gentle Reader,

After a weekend spent in bed with television (for a variety of reasons, interesting to no one) and a Monday morning spent in the doctor’s office, I figured it would be nice for some funny here on the blog.

Side note:  I’m fine, it was a pre-procedure appointment for some work I’m having done this week.  It was only SUPREMELY awkward for, like, 95% of the appointment, so WHEW!  And next time I see the doc, I’ll be legit stoned with the Good Drugs, so any residual awkwardness will be both hilarious to me, and quickly forgotten.  Expect the blog post for that day to be extra special.  And, in advance, any rugby-related stories I tell are COMPLETELY FALSE.

Side-Side note:  Nashville Navel Piercing Professionals?  Your work still garners praise after [redacted] years.  This doctor was so impressed, I kid you not, HE WENT AND GOT ANOTHER DOCTOR TO ADMIRE MY NAVEL.  (See?  Only awkward for 95% of the appointment.)

Anyway, where was I?  Oh!  The clips:

First off, I still don’t know what talent this is, but I could watch it a thousand times and never be disappointed in that fringe:

An oldie, but a goodie:

The newest generation of One Ls should sleep well knowing that finally, five years later, the sight of this man no longer triggers flashbacks (Thanks, Pete!):

(The memory of seeing him in his racquetball shorts, however, keeps me from sleeping at night, still.  So.  Much.  Hair.)

The grace, the majesty, the quiet nobility:

And, because OBVIOUSLY…

(The comments here are priceless.  I take no stance on the whole “1983/1989” controversy.  Also-PERSPECTIVE, people.  It’s a beauty pageant scholarship competition, not brain surgery.)

(I have clearly embraced fringe.)

Say what you will about the South.  This is one thing we get very, VERY right:

I watch some really HIGH QUALITY Youtube stuff.

Goodnight,

Lauren

PS-Apologies for the wacky spacing.  WordPress is baffling, at times.

Well, It’s Monday

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Gentle Reader,

I hope your Fourth of July was relaxing, warm, and filled with grilled meat products!  Friday night, I made a ramen noodle salad (the one with the cabbage and the seasoning packet and vinegar and oil–WHERE HAS THIS BEEN ALL MY LIFE???) in preparation for the ranch Fourth of July festivities.  P came over and he and mom and our friend Suzy filled approximately 7,295 water balloons for the same event.  After I got done using the mandoline, I opened wine because you know what four adults outside in the heat, armed with tiny balloons and a hose, are?  GRUMPY.  And I think we all can understand that the razor-sharp exposed blades I was using to shred cabbage needed to be safely stowed before we introduced any alcohol into the mix.  Deep cuts and blood transfusions are the opposite of freedom.

Saturday morning dawned bright and early except a little bit too late with two puppies oversleeping on the very one morning we didn’t need them to.  After I fed them and got dressed, it was time to decorate the golf cart for our annual Fourth of July Parade.  My concept sketch:

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So as you can see, a) If you want truly detailed planning, you should always hire a history major to do your concept sketches, b) my fool-proof plans relied heavily on two creatures who are still tackling the “where to put the tinkle” question, and c) the Golf Cart Parade is a truly regal and noble affair.  Sedate, even.

So P and I pulled out my bags full of only the most understated glitter, tinsel, and garland and prepared to get to work.   (Side note:  Did you know they sold glitter glue in bulk????)  Except somebody who shall remain nameless except it wasn’t me, mom, or the puppies, opened the back door and Cody ran out of there like a shot.  A half-hour, four-man search and rescue ensued and Cody was located across the street at our neighbor’s, visiting with his BFFs, Willie and Cooper.  (Not that Cooper, another Cooper.)

In his defense, Willie and Cooper haven’t been over to our house to play since Brix and Backus came home because they were on New Puppy Quarantine until the week before last.  Cody has been MUY patient with these two noisy and bite-y things, standing still while they were each biting on one of his ears, quietly expressing his disgust when Brix raids the litter box, and only trying to steal their kibble 20 or 25 times a day.  But the boy misses friends his own age, so we’re happy to be able to reunite them.

Except when said reunion makes me miss my valuable float-decorating time.

Anyway, Cody was located, stowed back inside the house, and revised plans hatched.  Specifically, we decided to scrap most of the decorations and hit the high notes.  Observe:

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At least I got their bandanas on them.

And the puppies had a BLAST at the event.  They proved astonishingly popular with everybody, especially the kiddos.

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And they slept like ANGELS for most of the afternoon.  That evening, we sat on the porch and had happy hour (the 2012 Thomas pinot noir?  SIGH…NEED MOAR.) just like our Founding Fathers did.

Sunday dawned and I went into town to get more kibble (AGAIN…) and more rawhides.  Cody is very particular about his rawhides (and we are very indulgent in his particularities) and the puppies are hitting teething age and we like to have a variety of acceptable items for them to chew stashed conveniently around the house, car, and yard, at every moment of the day.  I was INSANELY excited to find out that our brand of dog food (Merrick Back Country Raw Infused Hipster No Gluten Puppy Formula) is on sale until August!  We will be stocking up, believe me.

After that, I spent some quality time with Television.  I started watching last season’s “Downton Abbey” (I had to table it during the regular season because I’m not good enough to be able to watch two televisions at once, which is what it would have required.) and I have to say that this season looks to be a complete snooze.  Edith?  Go out and be the bad girl you have always wanted to be!  Your hubby was a dud, move on.  He is CERTAINLY not worth burning down your bedroom over.  Cousin Rose?  Distributing prizes at the local school?  I’m deeply disappointed in you.  You need to go back to sneaking off with jazz singers.  Tom?  Miss Local Schoolmarm is AWFUL.  And I’m not even talking about the class issue.  She’s just as awful at a local pub as she is at an anniversary dinner party.  But her hair is way cute so this could cut either way.  And Mary?  You have already married this guy before!  Except he was blonde and had blue eyes and was named Matthew.  Mr. Generic Brunette With Crazy Teeth is SO BORING.  Please, study crop rotation more and become the independent woman that your character was created to be.

The only plot that I’m loving is the whole Maggie Smith (forget her character name)/Lady Crawley love triangle/jealousy/”She can’t marry into the peerage!” thing.  This has much potential.

Someone please tell me that this season gets better-and quickly!  Otherwise, I may be kinda over it.

And then today, because this post isn’t long enough, I started out my day by sending what is quite possibly the best possible Monday text message ever.  “What do you know about septic tanks?”

Since I’m presently eating a chicken salad sandwich for lunch, I’ll just state that the Septic Dude has been here for several hours and shows no sign of leaving soon.  Ordinarily I’d be curious but this seems to be one time, like eye surgery and gynecological instruments, that less knowledge is SO MUCH MORE.

Goodnight,

Lauren

Footage At Eleven, Perd (WITH A LOT OF ALL CAPS!)

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Gentle Reader,

So today I did a little bit of retail therapy essential errand-running.  I realized I hadn’t been out of the house since Saturday and I am trying REALLY hard to keep from becoming one of “those” people.  Anyway, I started out at the Tyler mall where I’m SURE you will be shocked to note that I didn’t find much that I HAD to have.  (Side note:  I miss you, Nordstrom.)  (You, too, Anthropologie.)  (And you, Apple Store?  Well I miss you most of all.)  I found acceptable versions of what I was looking for at JC Penney and got out of there.

After that, I went to the local Chinese food spot and had some hot and sour soup with a side of evangelism.  The hot and sour was more of an almost-lukewarm and sour but it did the job.  The preachin’, however, was ENLIGHTENING.  This man was blessed with gifts, y’all.  He possessed not only a proselytizing spirit but also a serious case of the hearing loss, so the Spirit was upon us all today.  And the dialogue was almost Gilmore Girls-esque in snap and speed.  It started out with Genesis–apparently God needed Adam to sin so he could be given Eve and then a family, though he wasn’t sure how long Adam was by himself there in Eden without Eve or family, as he wasn’t there–and SWIFTLY moved (naturally) into a pointed discussion about how women’s lib has seriously MESSED US ALL UP.  I’d have found this funnier, but it was accompanied by a myopic stare at my naked left-hand ring finger.  Not being too sure about his particular theology, I was concerned.  I wasn’t sure if I was about to be married off or what.  Fortunately, I now know that all sin is all my fault because woman and whew!  I’m certain this will make me a better gal in the long run, uncomfortable lunch aside.  Anyway, he also had thoughts on the drought in California but I’m not sure whose fault that ultimately was (y’all, I was worried they were going to catch on to the fact that this was the most fascinating conversation I had heard in a few days, and so I had to eat a few bites every once in awhile so they wouldn’t think I was eavesdropping…) (I’m not entirely certain why I was concerned about this considering the man had spent ten minutes examining my ring finger from his table, but old habits and whatnot) though I do know he was MOST unhappy with LA, so-IDK.  Maybe them?  And then he and his wife began a discussion about the thirteen disciples (and yes, sure, technically, there were thirteen…I think you’re giving them a LOT of credit if you assume they are counting replacements instead of just adding to the count at-will…).  Anyway-given the fact that I am sitting here in puppy-chewed flip flops, yoga pants and a neighborhood HOA tee shirt, I’m not sure how it came to be that I was in any way emblematic of the Womens’ Liberation Movement, but I hope I did you proud.  And I really hope I’m not secretly married to the guy.

Anyway, after I dawdled over a bowl of soup and Preacher Sketchy, I went to Walmart because East Texas.  I got my allergy medicine, and some bulk sausage (seriously, you’re still reading this???) and some more Minute Maid Tropical Punch (mix it with rum, and you have the ultimate lazy girly-summer drink) and got into line.  Where time stood still.  And the person in line, AT THE REGISTER, realized they had forgotten something.  And in proof that I had descended into the little-publicized eleventh circle of H*ll (if we are counting Limbo, and I am…), the person left the line and WENT TO GET IT.  At this point, since we were in a time warp, it made no sense to jump ship so I stayed.  And unloaded my items onto the conveyor belt where I realized that the fates were having GREAT FUN AT MY EXPENSE, and that I had forgotten THE ONE THING I had gone into the Walmart for.  So I loaded the items back into my cart (because even though I was living in a level of H*ll from which there was obviously no escape, I figured it wouldn’t be nice to make everybody else live there, too…) and went back and got the buttermilk.  I trotted back to the line, and IT HAD NOT MOVED.  Except that I was now at the end of the line, rather than at the conveyor belt part.  The Tyler Walmart, y’all.  On the cutting edge of theoretical physics…

After I finally escaped the clutches of the Evil Empire (not before forgetting YET ANOTHER THING ENTIRELY but not going back for it because I literally might have died a lot) I made my way to the car and opened the trunk.

WHERE THERE WAS A GIANT BLACK WIDOW SPIDER!!!!!  Seriously, it was poisonous, approximately between 1 centimeter and 50 yards big, alive, and I am pretty sure it hissed and clicked at me.  (Also, it had the hourglass thing on its body.  SO I KNOW THESE THINGS.)  And in this situation, I relied on my vast 37 years of Nature Training (including 3 whole months of Girl Scouts) to scream, begin to itch all over my body (it’s well-known that black widow spiders lay eggs that aerosolize upon trunk opening and therefore I was covered in a thin film of spider eggs, I HAD TO SCRATCH THE EGGS OFF OF ME), and consider my options.  Sacrificing my car on an altar of fire seemed like a reasonable yet terrible option, since I couldn’t get home without a vehicle (this is the problem with living in the middle of nowhere).  Having already accompanied Virgil on a tour of the afterlife in order to buy some groceries, I felt like abandoning my cart in the parking lot, slamming the trunk, and driving home while screaming and then dumping the car in the lake would be short-sighted, so it became clear I was going to have to somehow get the spider-THE DEADLY, GIANT, HUGE SPIDER-out of the trunk.

And since for now I am still higher up on the food chain than said VENOMOUS SPIDER, I opted to remove it from my trunk after swiftly dispatching the thing.  So I looked around for A Thing with which to kill the spider from as great a distance as possible.  And y’all?  HERE IS A FANTASTIC REASON FOR CONCEALED CARRY IN YOUR TRUNK.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have any weapons in mine, so I had to use an old towel.  It may or may not have been old (or monogrammed really nicely) to start with, but it CERTAINLY WAS AFTER I WAS DONE WITH IT.  After wrestling the towel-clad arachnid to the ground, stomping on him, stopping, picking up the towel lump, and then deciding it MIGHT NOT BE DEAD YET, and then stomping for a few more minutes to be sure (look, those haters who were looking at me like I was nuts were a) strangers and b) wrong), I threw it away and drove home.  Where I realized this was one of those things of which I should have taken a picture, because that would have been a more entertaining blog post.  But then some literalist out there would have measured the thing and dared to contradict my findings, and that wouldn’t have ended well for you or for the spider.  Anyway-there was a spider.  I killed it.  WITHOUT A BOY.

Maybe I really AM the poster child for the Womens’ Liberation Movement.

Goodnight,

Lauren