Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Good ol' nature

This may very well be the strangest post I ever write. But OK, sometimes when I have trouble falling asleep at night, I try to mentally sweep myself away to someplace impossible. I imagine what neat things I might see, what strange discoveries I would make, and it stops my mind from racing with real-life stress or the next day's to-do list. Before I know it, I'm fast sleep. Like maybe I escape to the tippy-top of snow-capped Mount Everest, beneath a black and starry sky. It's barely cold at all, and in the moonlight I can see the pointy tops of neighboring mountains. Or maybe I zoom up to the Golden Gate Bridge, to a perch atop one of those towers, where I watch waves and fog swirl around below. Or perhaps I plunge to the most murky depths of the deepest part of the deep, dark ocean. I especially love this one because of the sheer mystery of it. I mean, what the hell is down there? It could be anything. Anything! And today I find out, it could even be this giant elbowed squid!

I am so enchanted by that video that I've watched it at least six times. It's just the most magnificent thing I've ever seen! I do hope this doesn't backfire and give me nightmares. Perhaps in my meditation-dream I'll have him fix me a cup of chamomile and hum a lullaby.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Birthday boy

The dry-erase board on our fridge is normally reserved for things like bills and grocery lists, but this morning we made room for a guilt trip. Look close to see the stream of tears.

See, today is Chickenbone's birthday. He is the big three. Last year we actually threw him a party. Invited my mother-in-law's three chihuahuas, Chief, Macho and Buster. Served them doggy cupcakes from a "bakery." Killed a pony keg. It was a kick.

This year? Nada. Maybe we're over it. OR MORE LIKELY, maybe we are tapped out after recently spending $60 on a padded booster seat so Chickens won't have to live in his crate of misery when we drive to New Mexico next month. Or perhaps we're still wincing at the $200 we're about to spend on four hours with a private trainer, who will hopefully help Chickens stop turning into a slobbering, snarling werewolf at the mere sight of another dog. But that's a story for another day, because I can't ruin Chickens' birthday with tales about how he is a bad boy. AND forgetting to buy a present.

OMG AN UPDATE! Sal just called. He was on his way out of PetSmart with a pig's ear, a cow's hoof, a frisbee, a can of doggy "cherries jubilee" and one of those long yellow dogs from the PetSmart commercials. I'm so relieved. Except for a sneaking suspicion that we'll be seeing that jubilee twice tonight, if you catch my drift.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Today a friend of mine was telling me comical stories from my old workplace about computer woes and the fits of rage that follow. And it reminded me of one of my favorite stories of all time, the first time I can remember laughing until I cried.

I was sitting in seventh-grade algebra class, and our teacher was handing back tests. One of my classmates was Pat Boyle, a pale boy who tried very hard to be the brooding, artistic type. Well, when Pat got his test back, he looked down at his grade and exploded. And I mean EXPLODED. He leaped out of his desk and tore his test in two. Threw his head back and howled "goddamn shit fuck" or something like that. Grabbed his desk and shoved it across the room. Threw a book. Kicked a chair. It went ON and ON and ON, while all of us, including the teacher, sat there watching, too stunned to even react. Finally, Pat slumps down in a chair, chest heaving, and stares down at the floor. And the awkward silence wasn't broken until my friend John Fritz leans over and asks cheerfully, "So, Pat, how'd you do?"

I fell in love with John Fritz immediately, a love that lasted well into high school. And I am fairly certain that today he must work in a newsroom.

Monday, November 10, 2008


This is what I saw when I opened my eyes on Sunday morning. I even reached over for my phone camera without moving my head, and I held it right up to my eye, so you can experience this EXACTLY as I did (though you'll just have to imagine the hot doggy breath blowing against your cheek). That's actually my pillow under that dog's head, and though you can't see it, the blankets are pulled up neatly over his shoulders.

After spending the whole night trying to wake me by poking his tongue into my nostrils, Chickens seems to know that only lethal levels of adorableness will save his life.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Cheering up

I was feeling blue today, so in an attempt to shake it off, I went for a run. Here is what I saw:

- A display of autumn leaves so spectacular it took my breath away. In the middle of a green grove of trees stood one that had dropped a blanket of impossibly bright yellow leaves. It was as though a 100-gallon drum of yellow paint had spilled all over the ground. I stopped running to stare, and it was hard to believe my eyes.

- A man with a toddler in his arms, spinning around and around in a tire swing, their heads thrown back in laughter. He stopped when he heard someone coming. I wish he wouldn't have.

- A new skate facility with boys on tiny bikes and skateboards doing crazy circus tricks in the air.

- A surprise addition to a nearby park: an almost-finished fenced-in dog park with a separate area for small dogs, doggy drinking fountains, benches and trees.

- A rainbow across the stormy sky, the giant half-circle kind where you can see all seven colors.

I feel better now.