Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Zero to sixty

We have realtors coming for interviews the next two evenings... and then my long-estranged Aunt Lea is coming for dinner the next night along with her husband, my Mom and stepdad, and Grandpa. Nothing like taking a running jump eh?

So am taking five min or so from cleaning basement. Really just organizing but what a dump this place is... Crap everywhere, cat vomit all over the place (note to self: cat must go to vet asap), dust, laundry, piles of junk we don't know what to do with. It's obscene.

At least the upstairs isn't too horrible. We have been working on it in a general way lately.

Getting our Christmas tree this weekend. Bit earlyish for us but we may have to take it down very soon after the holiday instead of keeping it up past New Year so I feel justified. Or at least can rationalize. :) We usually walk a block to the parking lot of Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church and buy one from the Men's Club or whatever -- they sell them there -- very fresh, lovely trees, for a decent price, and no tromping around in the rain/mud and having to saw it down yourself and get pitch all over your coat and then drag it to the car and it's heavier than it looked and have they always been this heavy? I don't remember them being this heavy. I think they are heavier now. They grow 'em heavy so you think you're getting a good deal.

At least we have the cool swivel-stand thing. We call it the MarriageSaver 9000. You slap the cap on the end of the trunk, stuff the end into the stand, step on the pedal and swivel the tree around until it's straight, and let up on the pedal. Presto! Like magic! No stuffing shims into the stand and trying to tighten the horrible eyebolt screws and the damn thing tilts anyway. It was worth the thirty bucks or whatever it cost.

Okay, time to go beat the dogs. Hope has been yapping all night. What the hell?! Baby miraculously has not woke up. Lucky for Hope. We call her that because we Hope she will be a good dog. Hasn't happened yet.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Whoa Nelly

Okay, so my one remaining grandmother has made two very interesting comments to us. The first was that she said something about she "could have gone either way," that was a year or two ago, and the other was that she "should have been born a man." That was Friday.

So, that's a little odd to hear from your Grandma, in particular one who hails from a huge German farming family -- not the most liberal folk to be found.

She also told my cousin, when she heard that we were expecting a baby, "Well, I see how that Rosie O'Donnell adopted a baby and that seems to be going okay, so I guess it'll be all right." I, for one, had no idea that Grandma even knew who Rosie O'Donnell was... or that she was a lesbian...

She dotes on the baby pretty well so I guess it really is all right. :)

In other news:

We have a new dog. He's of course from J's sister Amy (the veterinarian) who needed to find a new home for him. She had to whittle down her dog population because they had too many and if you get too many in one place, you get a pack. Then they start doing dog pack things, in this case one of her dogs killed one of her cats. A cat she'd had for a long time. And it was a dog she'd had for a long time too. That dog had previously killed a cat but she wasn't sure it was him til this time. Now she's pretty sure. So the dog had to be put down... It was all very sad.

So we ended up with Petey. He's a black pug, sort of a hairy little meatloaf on stubby little legs, with a curly pigtail and a lower jaw that just won't quit. His lower teeth stick out 24/7 which is pretty charming. He's young, only 5 months old, and spent much of his time outside so "potty training" is a newish concept. Yeah, great... But he's pretty adorable and very energetic and the fat dog seems to like him, though the nervous second-in-command isn't so sure. The one thing he needs to learn (aside from Don't Pee on the Rug) is that We Don't Chase Cats.

Petey has tattoos... He had to have surgery on his nose (occupational hazard of being a pug) and while he was unconscious, Amy practiced her tattooing skills. She has to know how in order to tattoo animals for ID purposes, mostly horses and the like I imagine but some dogs too. He has Pete tattooed on one side of his belly and a smiley face on the other, in sort of turquoise blue. So we don't get to change his name. Actually I don't mind the name Pete, and what's even funnier is that Jim, Amy's burly flannel-wearin' John Deere tractor gimme cap sportin' truck-drivin' son of a gun husband, calls him Peter Pan!

Yet more news: We're movin' on up... we are buying the house in Vancouver, across the street from J's sister, contingent on the sale of this house. I have spread the word amongst my friends and associates just in case one of them is in the market or knows someone who is -- that's how we got lined up with the new house. We will probably involve a realtor but I don't know for sure. I at least want J to talk to my brother's wife's mom who is a realtor. She would help us decide if we really need one -- and if we do, we could use her and she'd give us a good deal, and everyone benefits. She's got a lot of experience.

The house needs new siding, it was part of that LP siding thing, so I will contact my cousin Cindy. She and her husband run a business doing siding and decks, so why wouldn't we give them our business? They are licensed, bonded, etc, have lots of experience, and would give us a fair shake. We'd rather give our business to family if we can (provided they are professionals, like I don't want Uncle So-and-So to slap any old thing up on the walls of my home...). And we aren't going to ask for any favors, just a fair deal. Simon's time is valuable.

So it's a ten year old house, the owner is the only owner the house has had and in fact had it built. She opted for some extras like vaulted ceilings in the family room and master bedroom, and these really goofy shaped windows in the family room, and an extra gas fireplace so it has two. We may replace one with a woodstove. Eventually.

It has a black and white motif in the kitchen which I am dying to get rid of -- replace the linoleum (which luckily needs it as it was damaged by a leak in the fridge when she was on vacation one summer) and also replace all the black knobs on the white cabinets with metal -- brushed nickel or whatever.

I'm so excited about having an attached garage -- no more lugging groceries from the curb! No more parking on the street because our garage is in a dark, gravelly, overgrown alley -- we have room for BOTH cars, although we really won't park them both in there as we want some workshop space, plus we have two motorcycles to store (which I want to sell but J does not).

Plus we will have some other things like a coat closet and a linen closet -- which this house does not have -- and TWO bathrooms.

And, truth be told, I sort of like to move. I've done it enough -- I once counted up how many times I'd moved since I had my cat. Let's just have a look:

1. Lived on Belmont when he came along as a stray.
2. Moved to Madison.
3. Moved to Main.
4. Woodward.
5. Davis.
6. Hancock.
7. 11th Avenue.
8. 19th and Killingsworth.
9. Broadway Drive.
10. That place over by the University which I can't remember the street.
11. Silverton.
12. West Linn.
13. Here.

For the record, my cat is 15 and a half years old. The longest I've lived anywhere was here, about 4 years now. Davis was 3 years. Most of the others, a year max, in some cases less than six months. Evidently there is some nomadic blood somewhere in the family... I don't love the whole moving experience or anything, but I do like unpacking and putting things in a new space. I want to have an organized home... and an organized garage... with space for J and for me to have our hobbies, and rooms for the kid(s). So we may have to move again if we have another kid, once that kid is old enough to want its own room. Or we could add on.

Once when we were in the market for this house we toured a place out sort of on the edges of the sticks -- a weird shaped lot -- with a derelict, half-finished barn on it. The woman showing it was all sad she had to give up her "secret garden" (which looked like a motley assortment of trees and such, even to my untrained eye) and other "amenities." Her daughters insisted they move, she said, because they were teens and wanted their own rooms. They were sharing a bedroom that I swear is not even as big as my bathroom, which isn't that large even by bathroom standards, and sleeping on these bizarre built-in homemade bunkbeds. That looked like they were constructed by chimps. (No offense to chimps.) The parents' room was the attic, accessed by a ladder in the middle of the hallway directly in front of the bathroom door. The kitchen was primitive at best. There was a very strange, and very scarily unsafe looking, "solarium." Really it defied description...


Hm, have been informed that not allowing anonymous comments may be causing my heightened blog anxiety. Have changed settings to test this theory. (Thanks Cate!)

It's funny how obnoxious people can be if you let them remain anonymous. I have even fallen prey to it. Once I was looking at a really ridiculous website some guy wrote about his Miata and I commented that everyone knows Miatas are for chicks anyway... Of course I was being funny but I probably wouldn't have said that if I had had to identify myself.

Argh. Baby girl just won't nap. WHY?!!!! She was so good about it yesterday, and today is just screamy and whiny and in a terrible mood.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Vidiot (Warning: slight grossness)

Have spent majority of free time (i.e. time not spent watching/feeding/changing/playing with baby) honing my skills at a PS2 game... third in a series. Ratchet & Clank, then R&C: Going Commando, and now R&C: Up your Arsenal.

Yes, yes, violent video games are of the devil, etc. This one is cartoony and there's no blood. Nobody screams in agony, and you're trying to save the cartoony universe from a crazed roboty thing. So you're good. Not evil.

I do not expose the baby to the video game -- in fact rarely even turn the tv on when she is awake -- so I may be a warmongering wannabe vidiot, but at least I'm not a bad parent.

Speaking of baby. When you put solids in one end... solids come out the other end. We went a little overboard (and here by "we" I mean "Julianna") with the iron-fortified rice cereal and the bananas, so she didn't go for two whole days. I was getting worried. Then, on day three, there it was: baby's first turd.

And no, I won't write about it in her baby book.

So far she likes nearly everything we've given her: sweet potatoes, apples, pears, rice cereal, carrots, and especially bananas. But not peas. And she was not so fond of the peaches. They were pretty tart so I don't blame her. But she liked them better if you put them with a little apple or something.

We are considering moving. Across the street from J's sister, in Vancouver (Washington), there's a house that may be up for sale, nice house, nice neighborhood, good price, etc. We'd have to sell this one, but may make enough off it to nearly trade straight across. We need more room. Though I'd miss the funky neighborhood we live in now.

Am having blog anxiety. I am not wicked smart or all that funny, don't write about inflammatory or serious subjects such as infertility (because I am fortunate enough not to be infertile, so far anyway) or politics (because it doesn't interest me though I do participate, and it stresses me out besides). So I feel kind of boring.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004


Bosco died today around 1pm.

Amy doesn't know for sure what it was he died from, maybe a ruptured blood vessel, or a bleeding disorder that Dobermans sometimes get. She looked for evidence of rat bait as the symptoms are similar but she couldn't find evidence of anything like that. We don't leave our dogs out to bark constantly (though they do bark when they are out which has been a source of contention with one neighbor in particular) so we don't think he was poisoned. But I'm still going to tell the neighbors around here just in case, including the nasty one next door as I am not so heartless to wish harm on their dog even if he is a grouchy old bastard.

He was a good, good dog, and we are both filled with regret that we weren't nicer to him; he was constantly underfoot, generated some seriously bad smells, and liked to stick his nose in your face when you sat in the living room. But he was also sweet, affectionate, loving, and loyal. And he let the baby grab his fur with her little grippy fingers anytime she wanted. He had a hard life before we got him and we like to think that he was pretty happy here with his other dog friends. I have fond memories of taking him to the park and one time to the beach -- during a storm -- what fun! He ran like a racehorse chasing the gulls, miles and miles, deliriously happy.

We asked Amy to throw a few kibbles into his grave when she buries him on their property down there -- food was his reason for living.

RIP, big fella. Hope the squirrels in dog heaven are fat and lazy.

Okay, that's it. I can't take any more sadness and loss right now. No more, you hear me?!

Sad Days

A dark cloud is hanging over our household... We have a lot of pets: three dogs and three cats. Julianna's sister is a veterinarian... Anyway, we might only have two dogs pretty soon as the largest one, a brown Doberman named Bosco, is down at the clinic in pretty sad shape. He started this weird coughing and vomiting thing on Saturday, maybe Friday night, and we didn't take it that seriously because he is the King of Vomit. He likes to eat rotten walnuts (shell and all) out in the yard and then throw them up on the rug, for sport. But then Sunday evening he didn't eat all his dinner. Which is like the sun failing to rise. This is a dog for whom the bowl of kibble is the very point of living from day to day.

So Julianna took yesterday off and drove Bosco down to Amy, and he started coughing up blood. They x-rayed him but his chest is so full of fluid they couldn't even see his heart. They think it's either heart disease or a growth that ruptured. Either way it's bad, bad, bad. So he's on diuretics and all sorts of things to try to get the fluid out of him so they can get a good picture.

And here I thought he just had a bit of walnut shell lodged somewhere, or a stomach bug. The poor fella.

It's all about loss around here lately.