Saturday, November 21, 2009

Resisting temptation

With an early deadline for my test drive next week, I decided to work on it over the weekend. That way next week will be open to just relax and fix the big meal.

I thought it would be easier to get out of the house. So I headed to Barnes & Noble, where there is free WiFi and (of course) Starbucks. The holidays are coming, and Starbucks has its signature holiday lattes on offer -- sticky sweet coffee drinks with a ton of whipped cream on top, like gingerbread latte, peppermint mocha and caramel brulee latte. They all sound and look delicious -- and full of really unnecessary calories. So I resisted and got tea. yum.

No. I love tea. But gingerbread latte? Come on!

UPDATE: I have to add that Starbucks is packed and noisy and not doing much for motivating me to work on this test drive. Also, is it so unusual to see someone typing on a laptop that you have to stare at me?

Friday, November 20, 2009

It Takes a Village

The neighbor's gate malfunctioned yesterday, and her dog was wandering the street in front of my house. Knowing the dog's name, I went out and called to her. When I started toward her, she decided Chase is the funnest game in the whole world and ran from me -- right into the street, with cars coming from both directions. Thankfully, they saw her and stopped. I finally caught her and walked her to the neighbor's house. She wasn't home, so I brought the dog back to my house.

I put her in the back yard, then opened the back door and let her come inside. Ripley and she have met -- the neighbor's daughter has watched Ripley when we go out of town -- but dogs have short memories. So much sniffing and circling ensued. Finally, the neighbor dog decided things were cool and went into the classic Let's-Play stance. Let me pause here to mention the neighbor's dog is a full-grown Black Lab. Ripley, lacking social graces and being endowed with little dog syndrome, mistook Let's-Play for Let's-Fight and got all barky and snappy. It is her house after all.

Back outside went the neighbor's dog, none to happy about it. I spent the next few hours looking out the back window to make sure she didn't pull a Houdini on me and looking out the front window to see if the neighbor had come home. I left messages on her answering machine and a note in the door but I worried she'd see the open gate and panic.

About 4 p.m. the neighbor's next-door neighbor got home, so I talked to her about taking the dog. The S.O. was gone and I had to leave shortly. I just didn't feel comfortable leaving the dog in the back yard alone. This neighbor had watched the dog before so she took her to her house. Later in the evening, I got a phone call from the dog owner:
I understand you found my wayward dog. Thank you for finding her and keeping her. Like I told K, it takes a village. We're working on that gate.
I know I have a prejudice against Labs. They're sweet, beautiful dogs but they also have to be the goofiest creatures on God's green earth. I think it really does take a village with a dog like that.

My dog -- a rat terrier, you know -- is anti-social when it comes to other dogs. She's content to hang out in the sun and soak up the attention of one or two people. Huh. Maybe dogs and their owners really do come to resemble one another.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Culprit, Part II: Attack of the Inanimate Objects

A while back, I broke my good vegetable peeler. (I was trying to peel thin pieces of cheese for a recipe. It was a tip from a cookbook, so don't judge me.) It was guaranteed, so I knew I could get a new one. In the meantime, I bought a cheap one to use.

Big mistake. This one is like a weapon. Its serrated (!) blade grabs anything that comes near -- peels, dish towels, human skin. I managed to slice a chunk out of my index finger without even trying. I can't even blame slippery turnips for it.

It has a cover on the blade for storage, but even putting the cover on is a dangerous endeavor. It grabbed my thumb like a thistle and took a painful, tiny bite.

I have since received a replacement for the good one, so this vicious thing is going in the trash -- or possibly, hazardous waste.

The culprit

I was all set to write a post about the scary vegetable peeler I bought a few weeks ago -- and will get to that in a minute -- then my dog created a new post for me with the same title. Somehow, she got into the bag of candy I have for my kids at tutoring. As I passed from the bedroom toward my office, I saw her holding something in her front paws and setting to work chewing on it. My first thought was that the S.O. had given her a rawhide bone to chew on so he could sleep in. But we never give her that bone in the morning. So my second thought was that the killer had caught a bird and brought it into the house to devour. Ew. Then I realized it was a Tootsie Pop miniature. She was holding it by the stick and trying to chew the wrapper off. And she'd chosen chocolate. It was pretty cute and I would have gotten a picture if I weren't more concerned about her health and safety.

Bad dog.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Six Words

DOVE Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate PROMISES

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mandatory Pet Pics

Ripley crashed out on a pillow in the sunshine, wearing her little doggy sweatshirt.

I obviously disturbed her by taking her picture, so she changed positions. Still cute.

She actually enjoys wearing the little sweatshirt when it's really cold out. And don't worry, she still looks tough in it.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I can't stop thinking about this

Colorado Springs has a shop called Vacuums and Dragons. They don't have a Web site, so I can't share that with you. They sell and service vacuum cleaners AND they have "historical medieval replicas and gifts." If you want proof, you can look at a picture at this blogger's site.

There's a commercial on TV for this shop, with the focus on the vacuum sales and services. It's just such a strange combination, I think I really need to go in there. I've gotten kind of obsessed with the idea of a shop that sells vacuums and dragons. I even dreamed of it last night.

I have a test drive this morning, maybe I should take the car up to this shop, just to ease my curiosity. I'm picture dragons actually using the vacuums.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Contemplating a career change

Today, I'm thinking about a career change. Or maybe I should say, I'm thinking about a career embarkation, because I don't really have a career now, per se.

Having spent the past several months working with a personal trainer, I'm wondering if it's something I could do, if it's something I'd want to do and if I'm really in good enough shape to motivate someone else.

I feel like my part-time job as a site coordinator for the Children's Literacy Center is really important. I feel like I'm making a difference. But it's just a few hours a week and doesn't pay much. Not that I think I'd make much money as a personal trainer either.

I think my high school guidance counselor failed me. I still don't know what to be when I "grow up." As long as I can remember, I wanted to be a writer. Unfortunately, in today's world, with "citizen journalists," bloggers and the like, there doesn't seem to be as much call for actual writers. Unless I can figure out the next big thing -- as a colleague and I once discussed, "Mary Kotter" seems a bit obvious -- and write a huge best seller and option the movie rights, I don't think my writing career is going to rake in the big bucks.

With the snow coming down in fits and spurts today, and the sky alternating between partial sun and slate gray, I'm contemplating what to do next -- with my career and my life. These are pretty deep thoughts for a Sunday afternoon -- thoughts driven by another Monday looming, another aimless week, another a test drive of a car I've driven before, another winter that seems to be shaping up to be dreary and cold.

So I definitely need some kind of change, right? This doesn't feel like a buy-some-new-shoes kind of funk or a red-wine-and-chocolate-can-fix-anything sort of mood. Then again, maybe it is the cloudy sky, and I'll feel better when the sun shines again.