Monthly Archives: May 2011

And over to your right you will see a lazy blogger, est. 1981

Well, kiddies, sorry its been so long. But Momma was off playing tourist.

Yes, my mother-in-law was in Boston all last week (which, trust me, I would love to add some hilarious “how much I hate my mother-in-law” jokes in here but that damn woman makes it impossible not to love her…she’s totally cramping my style). So, along with the husband, the three of us fastened our fanny packs, slung our ostentatious Nikons around our necks and hit this city up right (meaning cocktails at 2 p.m. and lunch at 4:30).

It’s safe to say that after seven days, we left no tourist attraction un-photographed. We hit up the Public Garden, the Boston Common, hopped on the Duck Tour, walked around that one really old church on that one really old road, did the Cheers to Cheers walk (well, some of us did the Cheers to Cheers stumble…not that I’m naming any particular mother-in-law of mine in particular…Kathy).

But perhaps my favorite was the aquarium. One, because I got to touch a stingray (OK, it was more like “poked” a stingray, but in my defense, they were refusing to come close to the surface and skim my hand so I took matters into my own index finger) and two, it made me really glad I wasn’t there as a chaperone on a field trip with 85 loud and surprisingly aggressive fifth-graders (one of whom almost told on me for poking the stingray…the brat).

But a picture is worth a thousand words, eh? So, please to enjoy, my boring photo slideshow below (just click on them for a bigger view):

 
 
 
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Adventures in puppysitting

It is 2:30 on Thursday afternoon. I am sitting at the computer, attempting to type this around my almost 40-pound dog, who is struggling to sit on my not-nearly-big-enough lap. I am still in the sweatpants I slept in, hair in the same messy bun I went to bed in and my face still has the remnants of yesterday’s eyeliner. To my left is an 11-pound puppy who is desperately and energetically trying to also jump on my lap. And to my immediate right is the giant screwdriver I just made with a generous dose of really cheap vodka.

Maybe I should start at the beginning.

Last week, a friend asked my husband and me if we would watch her dog for a couple of days while she went out of town. Considering my schedule consisted mostly of plans to write this column (but really use the time to Facebook bomb as many people as I could … you’re welcome, Grandma), I said “Eh, why not?”

Now Leelou (full name: Leelou Dallas Multipass Mulligan) is an absolutely adorable puppy of that breed of small dogs that look concerned all the time. She is also besties with my dog Buffy (full name: Buffy Anne Summers Brandon Huddle the First), or at least as close to besties as two creatures – who think sniffing each other’s rears for three hours is an appropriate greeting – can be.

So, naturally, I figured this little adventure in puppysitting would be a breeze.

HA! Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!! (Snort) Hahahahahahahahahaha!!! (Semi-sob)

Alas, I forgot one crucial thing. Taking care of one dog? Easy-peasy. Taking care of two dogs? A good start if you want to kick-off that descent into madness with a bang.

See, while both Leelou and Buffy are essentially good dogs at heart, it was their combination that was the problem. For instance, if Leelou woke up at 2 a.m., Buffy would wake up at 2:03 a.m. and then both of them would have to spend the next 20 minutes repositioning themselves on the bed (such as whichever one was sleeping directly on my face would move to my feet and vice versa).

If Leelou wanted to play with a toy, Buffy also wanted to play with a toy. In fact, he wanted to play with the exact same one that … SURPRISE! … Leelou had. If Leelou heard someone three houses down sneezing and decided it was a threat to all our well-beings, she would start barking as though the house was on fire. This barking would alert Buffy that he, too, needed to bark, only much louder and at an urgency that is usually reserved for when Vikings are invading your apartment.

If Leelou wanted to play the canine version of Fight Club, Buffy would make sure it got elevated to Thunderdome status. If Leelou had an accident in the house, Buffy felt compelled to … ahem … “clean it up” before I got there with paper towels in hand.

It finally got so bad that I decided to put both of them in their cages so I could have just a few moments of peace. Sadly, even that backfired. Now, I’ve never given birth. But I’m pretty sure the opposite of it is an apt comparison of trying to shove an unwilling dog into its cage. And I’m pretty sure the opposite of giving birth to a full-sized gorilla is an apt comparison of trying to do that twice.

So, by 2:30 on Thursday, I hadn’t had time to shower. I had spent most of the morning trying to prevent Leelou from eating something inedible and the rest of my day trying to prevent Buffy from eating whatever Leelou left behind. There was a never-ending game of “jump on Aprill’s lap and delete whatever she just spent the last 30 minutes typing” (although they did stop occasionally to bark at yet something else that wasn’t actually there) and my house was littered with dog toys of every type imaginable.

It was enough to make even this die-hard dog lover question whether having pets was worth it.

But then, just when I couldn’t take it anymore, both of them finally got tired and laid down. And eventually fell asleep. Cuddled together. Looking so sweet I’m pretty sure I got a cavity just by glancing at them.

And I realized, it was those moments that made all the craziness worth it.

Then again, it could have just been the really cheap vodka kicking in.

I’d like to apologize to my mom for the following…

So, it was Mother’s Day this past weekend. Which means that all of us (minus the majority of reality TV stars, whom I’m praying were the result of some government cloning experiment gone terribly wrong and thus don’t have mothers) spent the day sucking up to our moms and giving her useless gifts like cards covered in three tons of glitter and stuffed bears that sing annoying songs.

But considering everything my mom had to put up with (and all the toxic fumes from the constant hairspray cloud hanging around my teenage head she had to breath in), I’d like to take this holiday a step farther and give my own mother something she really wants:

Validation that she was pretty much always right and overdue apologies for a wide variety of infractions.

And so, Mom, first and foremost I’d like to apologize for my birth. Because I am a mom now. And I now know you weren’t exaggerating when you compared the pain to pulling your lower lip over your entire head.

Then there was the Great Tomato Standoff of 1986. That’s three hours of waiting for me to eat a vegetable you’ll never get back.

Oh, remember when you signed me up for that second year of ballet and it was only after you had paid for the entire year and bought me three new tutus that I announced I no longer wanted to do ballet? That was fun, huh? Oof. Again. So sorry.

Let us also not forget The Great Brownie Lie of 1990, when I blamed the missing brownie piece (of the pan of brownies you SPECIFICALLY told me NOT to eat) on the dog. Oh, and that time when I was 14 and called you a very bad word under my breath (which didn’t stop you from hearing it) on the phone because you wouldn’t let me pierce my eyeball and tattoo my tongue.

Actually, now that I think about it, I apologize in general for 1996.

For every time I made you listen to the New Kids on the Block “Hangin’ Tough” album over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again, I am deeply, deeply sorry. For every track meet you had to sit through in the volatile Ohio spring weather, but specifically that time it hailed and you toughed it out only to watch me get seventh place in the 300 hurdles, I apologize even more.

All those times I told my brother he was actually an alien baby from Uranus (heh) that was dropped off on our doorstep and they would be coming back for him any day now, I…well, I’m not exactly sorry for that because I still find it HILARIOUS, but I do own my part for his current crippling phobia of UFO’s.

That time I got busted for drinking a Zima when I was 17? So dumb. And again, so sorry. And yes, you were right. If I was going to get busted for underage drinking, it should have been for a less embarrassing drink.

And lastly, for all those birthdays I got you a “coupon book” (Good for one free hug!) because I was too cheap to buy you an actual gift. Which is why you are getting a semi-fancy retirement home that is only occasionally accused of elderly abuse.

There’s so many more I could add (but let’s leave the majority of my juvenile record out of this now that most of it has been expunged).

I love you, Mom. Thanks for letting me be me (even when being me included talking on the phone with my BFF for, like, three full hours about how amazing Brad Pitt’s hair was “Legends of the Fall”).

 

 

What a difference a decade makes

Ten years ago, I was woken up by my college roommate just in time to see the second plane hit the Twin Towers.

Today, I was woken up by my husband with the phrase “Good morning, babe…oh, and by the way, Osama is dead.”

Both of those moments in my life were completely surreal, one, because they were simply too big to process and two, more importantly, I was trying to process them without coffee in my system.

And, just like I did 10 years ago, I watched as it all unfolded on TV (the only difference being I was also obsessively checking Facebook and Twitter on my phone at the same time…whereas 10 years ago, my cell phone looked like the one Zack Morris had on “Saved by the Bell” and Mark Zuckerberg was too busy picking his nose and giving girls cooties to become a social networking guru).

And just like 10 years ago, my emotions are all over the place…only this time, that horrible ball of dread and terror in the pit of my stomach is only a memory now.

And it will probably end the same way, by drinking on the porch with loved ones as we try to come to terms with what just happened…only this time, there will be less tears, and more smiles.

And that is all I will say about today. Memorializing this historic day is for writers far more talented than I.

And so I will simply post this link to my latest column, a humorous little rant on the mundane topic of losing your wedding ring, which, yes, I realize seems superfluous in light of today’s events. But that was my original intent before I heard the news this morning. And just like how Americans didn’t let that bastard stop us from living our lives 10 years ago, I’m not about to let him do it today.