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Posts Tagged ‘Pets’

This meme … so accurate.

Dear Friends and Family:

It’s Day 16 of captivity. I’m finding ways to amuse myself.

For example, I created a pandemic playlist. Y’all know I love a good playlist, and there’s something for everyone here.

I watched Tiger King, along with most of America, it seems.

Yes, it’s really the batshit crazy train wreck everyone says it is.

Someone posted a genius Bingo card for it.

This is what my card looked like after 30 minutes into JUST ONE EPISODE.

I had a virtual happy hour with Goat Yoga Lisa. And 36-hour Tina has planned one for Wednesday. During our chat, Lisa mentioned that her photos from St. Patrick’s Day 2019 showed up in her Facebook feed.

Lisa: There I was, in crowds! Standing close to people! Drinking other peoples drinks!
Me: Those halcyon days.

The family has laughed plenty playing board games.

I wish I could remember what the answer was for this Sensosketch.

I’ve done my spring (and summer and fall) cleaning plus all the laundry. I’ve been cooking nonstop. I even made egg salad — something I don’t often make because I hate peeling eggs.

The pollen has given me a headache and sore throat, but I’m still obsessively taking my temperature just to be sure.

Weird times, friends. Weird times.

Stay safe. Keep busy. Watch Joe Exotic.

Love,
Beth

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Warning: This post contains graphic images of a dead animal.

Dear Eddie, Dominic and Gideon,

Thank you so much for giving me the best Christmas gift ever: a taxidermy class at Rainy Day Revival down the street. It is the gift that keeps on giving, as I learned two things:

  1. I really like practicing the art of taxidermy and not just admiring it.
  2. It appears I’m good at it.

You know I’ve been trying to take a taxidermy class for years — since before we moved to Atlanta. The ones at Graveface kept getting cancelled as they didn’t fill up.

Not so with the RDR one: It sold out quickly.

Revell, the man in charge of my hair, and I have similar interests. His boyfriend bought him a seat in the class for Christmas too!

We practically rushed into the room as soon as it opened. Revell chose a fluffy black bunny, so I picked the one across for convenience.

The instructor, Nina, had us start with painting or staining our plaques. Then we had to massage our still-partially frozen yet “ethically sourced” rabbit. (No, I don’t know what that means. Various websites say various things. I didn’t ask. Ignorance is bliss.)

Here’s my rabbit, Roger (of course), lying in state — massaged and thawed.

Next we had to turn our rabbits inside out to remove the skull.

You would think this would be gross, but all the Borax we put on them helped dry things out. Plus, you know I watch plenty of medical and forensic reality shows.

Nina came by to check on progress and gave me props for not popping the eyes and keeping my lids intact.

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See! I’m a natural!

Nina then announced this, which is something I never thought I’d hear:

Once you take your face off, stop: We’re going to take a break.

So we took a break.

Revell and I had fun with our gross puppets.

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After the break, we made a new skull out of the kind of foam stuff that goes in the bottom of funeral arrangements. Apropos, no?

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Roger starts to look more like himself again.

But see how his nose is a little mushed in? I got the bright idea to plump it up with some clay. Nina’s mom, who helps with the classes, was skeptical. Then she saw the end result.

Oh! You were totally right! That looks much better.

I’m an artist, I tell you.

Once we were done, we lingered in the shop waiting for Nina to mount them on our plaques. (Power tools + expertise = much quicker to get through all 30)

I had plenty of time to admire the wares — and dream of bigger projects.

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Finally, Roger and I were reunited.

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It will be two weeks until he “cures” completely and his bandages come off.

And you three will be forced to look at enjoy him in a place of pride at home.

So thank you for this gift. I had a great time, and I’m proud of myself.

Love,
The Novice Taxidermist

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Dear McKinnons,

Every time we stay with you, we have something to laugh about. From Petra trying to fatten us up like Thanksgiving turkeys to Patrick disappearing in the middle of the conversation to go to Home Depot, it’s always an adventure.

On Thursday, I walked into your house with the family. Patrick took one look at me.

Him: What’s on your pants?
Me: Serial killers.
Him: Is that a band?
Me: No. Real serial killers. You know. Like Charles Manson.

(The leggings I mentioned in this post.)

This time, even Ryder and Mia gave us a laugh.

After I tagged along on the guys’ outing to see “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” Friday (the bros and a bra), we discussed the finer points of some key deaths. (No spoilers.)

Ryder went back into the vault to describe Obi Wan’s death like this:

His towel dropped.

I laughed so hard, I was wheezing.

(Ryder then asked if he was going to make it into my blog finally. Yes, my young padawan.)

Mia, who has a competitive streak like her father, did not want said father to win the Uno game Friday.

She turned to me, sitting next to Pat as I always do.

Her: You got something for him?
Me: I do.

She plays a color she knows I have. I throw down a reverse. She wins the game. We high five, because she won and not Pat.

Evil. I love it.

Saturday, Petra and I were having a serious conversation about the deaths of our fathers and subsequent guilt.

Here comes Pat to vacuum right behind her.

Petra and I looked at each other. Shocked. Then started laughing because OF COURSE HE HAD TO DO THAT RIGHT THEN.

Then last night, we all played a Pictionary-like game called “Buzz Draw.”

Naturally, someone yells out “penis” if anything is remotely phallic. (Like there is ever going to be a penis prompt on a family game card.)

Gideon drew “winter.” He thought at first that no one got it.

Mia: I said ‘winter’ a long time ago!
Pat: But I yelled ‘penis’ at the same time.

Speaking of penis, your dog Angus took an unusual interest in me.

I feel like I need a restraining order. Counseling at the very least.

Here he is rubbing his slobbery toy all over me under the table.

It’s better than what he usually rubs on me. (Hint: See theme of the game above.)

Perv.

Anyway, thanks for letting us stay with you this weekend. And thanks especially for the laughs.

Love,
Beth

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Dear Elek,

I didn’t know I needed you in my life until you showed up.

I have a predilection for hairy males, but you are a little furrier than most.

And even though your breath smells like fish and ass, I let you into my bed.

I woke up spooning you.

I’m sorry if I moved too fast.

But it’s been a long time since I’ve had a new fella in my bed.

My hairy bedmate, post-spoon

You are so handsome when you sun yourself.

Yes, I know you have a lady already. And yes, I know you and Gideon are supposed to be bro-ing it up this week. But it’s clear whom you love best.

So if you want to leave Sherry for me, you beautiful creature, I would be more than fine with that.

Love and wet kisses,
Beth

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Jesse’s Divide plays Smith’s Olde Bar

Dear Close Family and Friends:

Have I mentioned how much I appreciate you? You put up with my — how shall I put this — “projects.”

You know my motto as a writer: Bad decisions make good stories.

Take, for example, one of my most notorious adventures: The now-defunct Redneck Games in Dublin, Georgia. My posts about that event still get plenty of hits.

And then there were the chickens. Trish was the best pet, though, and I was very sad when she met her untimely end.

So when I said I was trying to plan a Southeast tour for a U.K. band, Jesse’s Divide, that I had seen and loved, all of you did your thing: a shrug, an eye roll, a sigh — whatever fit your usual shtick. But because you love me, you came out to support these chaps at one of their shows. 

And every one of you said, “Beth! They’re really good.”

YES.

I KNOW.

Why else would I do something so crazy, so outside my comfort zone?

Don’t answer that.

Anyway, thanks to the JD guys and all of you for believing in me. I still can’t believe it really happened.

Here are Nick, Simon and Rob in my house playing Uno with my family and me. Surreal.

Now go listen to all their stuff on Spotify, iTunes, etc.

And just wait for my next adventure.

Your weird friend/relative,
Beth

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Dear People Who Don’t Understand My Love of Bad Taxidermy:

First, you don’t have to understand. You don’t live with me. (Unless you are Eddie, who does have to live with me and spends most of his time rolling his eyes and sighing.)

Second, what’s there to understand? I think it’s funny. Maybe you don’t. Fine. I don’t judge your love of period dramas and pumpkin spice brisket. (That’s a thing, right?)

Third, if you must know, I can trace it back to early 2014. Eddie and I were chaperones for one of the boys’ field trips, and we were waiting for the school bus to arrive. BuzzFeed put out a listicle of top 10 examples of bad taxidermy. Eddie and I laughed ourselves to tears recreating the poor creatures that made the list. Like this:

It still makes me laugh.

And so I started posting other examples of bad taxidermy on people’s Facebook pages as birthday greetings. Totally normal behavior. Right? Right?!

Then I got my first piece of bad taxidermy: a squirrel tail in the shape of a question mark.

It was a thank-you gift from a graduate student after she successfully defended her thesis. I was her chair. She gave it to me and said, “I saw this and thought of you because you like bad taxidermy and wrote question marks all over drafts of my thesis.”

True.

The tail led to a deer head from the 1950s, then a deer tail plaque with a thermometer (a furmometer!), then a blowfish ornament, then Hando.

Now, people see this and think of me:

And that’s fine by me. (I immediately thought, “Christmas gift!”)

You still don’t get it?

Well, I don’t know what to tell you. Many people do get it, and get me. Jenny Lawson (aka The Bloggess) would.

Maybe you can just scroll on past. Or look away. It really only matters that I think it’s hilarious. That’s my thing. You find yours. I support you.

Yours in foam forms and glass eyes,
Beth

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After posting my last update, I (not surprisingly) fell into a funk. All I wanted to do was read trashy fiction (Patricia Cornwell, I’m talking about you) and watch “Modern Family.”

Now I’m back.

Here are my top 10 observations about France:

1. French folks haven’t gotten the memo about cigarettes and cancer. Or, if they have, they don’t give a bleu, blanc, rouge crap. Even the mannequins smoke. (It gives new meaning to the sentence, “Check out his butt!”)

 

2. The French revere their produce in a way that Americans don’t. Even heirloom tomatoes, not conventionally pretty, earn places of distinction at weekly markets.

3. The French pay attention to details. Sure, people flock to the Eiffel Tower, but even a lowly door knocker can be a must-see. And then there is the variety and presentation of delightful treasures such as macarons.

4. Americans appreciate personal space. The French don’t. At all. They end up wearing each other like cheap suits. They don’t even give the Mona Lisa any room.

5. Sometimes the French don’t have a good grasp of English. At least they try. (And more French speak English in France than Americans speak French in America.)

6. Though images can often cross language barriers, sometimes they don’t. And some signs end up being unintentionally hilarious and/or weird. What do these signs mean?

It's OK to cross here with your large piece of lumber?

No coughing while wearing a Cleopatra costume? No feeling the bicep of a man made of tiles?

 

Don't let red people reach into your European Men's Carry-all?

7. France is pigeon heaven. They are portly and plentiful. One even roosts in the window above my bed, tapping on the glass occasionally to make sure I’m awake.

8. The French love dogs. They take them everywhere, and let them go everywhere.

9. There may be nothing better in this world than a warm crêpe from a street vendor.

10. Robert De Niro has a side job with a circus.

 

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Facebook is a fascinating petri dish. Where else can you find people from all aspects of your life hanging out, sharing information and ribbing each other?

Facebook makes it possible for people to have exchanges like this:

Granted, as evidenced above, typed words and computer protection can make people say things they might not say in person, but the positives outweigh the negatives, I think.

By having friends across the spectrum, it helps ward off news insulation where you are only exposed to that with which you agree. It only works, though, if you don’t censor your news feed.

Here’s a sample of the interesting and varied people I am friends with on Facebook:

  • The guy who punched me in the stomach in sixth grade
  • My maid of honor’s baby daddy (and the baby too)
  • An author I met at a book signing/reading
  • My husband’s main gay whom I have never met in person (neither has he*)
  • A woman who “met” me through this blog
  • A mascot for the local Single A baseball team
  • A friend’s pet bird
  • A former colleague on whom I had a girl crush
  • A former student who nearly drove me batshit crazy
  • A drag queen
  • A guy I met during jury duty selection
  • My boss from my first retail job
  • The girl who peed in the back of the truck on the way back from Camp Toccoa
  • A fake person created by students in my Writing for the Web class
  • The guy who sold me my car
  • The perpetually drunk roommate of my first college boyfriend
  • A woman I call “Eeyore” because of her depressing posts
  • My high school French teacher
  • The woman who regularly kicks my butt in Words with Friends
  • The late chicken pictured in this blog’s header
  • An actor friend starring in Golden Corral commercials (“Ten bucks? Bam!”)

I love these people. I love all my Facebook friends. I am constantly amused, amazed and informed by what they post.

Sure, there are a couple of people on there who also drive me crazy with their passive-aggressive or alarmist status updates. And though I try to be a little selective about the people I connect with on Facebook, there are a couple of people on my friends list whom I don’t think I actually know.

That would be OK with one woman I know. This person is some kind of friend collector. Are you friends with both my husband and me? Expect a friend request. Have you breathed in her vicinity? Friend request. Breathing in general? A request is on the way.

That seems weird to me, but maybe I’m the weird one. Thoughts?

* This is an odd little story I’ll save for another time.

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I love this résumé on Craig’s List and I don’t care if it is real or not, or how old it is (2008). Warning: It is quite profane.

Here’s my less profane (and therefore less funny) non-work version of my résumé:

Résumé of Dubious Achievements

OBJECTIVE: Finish my freakin’ dissertation already and get my life back!

STUFF I HAVE DONE:

  • Commented on my boss’ crazy hair. (I don’t remember doing this, but he swears I did.)
  • Used “meh” to describe students’ work. Repeatedly.
  • Gone ballistic over mistakes in printed materials (much to the joy of most of the people reading this blog).
  • Chosen to watch “Jersey Shore” instead of getting much-needed sleep.
  • Cleaned my kids’ faces with my own saliva. (Vile, I know, but there it is.)
  • Watched “Tommy Boy,” Napoleon Dynamite,” “Grease” and “Pulp Fiction” many, many times (too many times to count).
  • Watched “Transformers” and “Iron Man” while pretending it was because the boys wanted to watch. (We all know how I feel about Shia LaBeouf and Robert Downey Jr.)
  • Fed my children peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner.
  • Laughed at “iCarly.”
  • Planned an outfit around a necklace or pair of shoes.

MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

  • Maintained this blog for more than a year.
  • Gotten out of bed on these recent frigid days.
  • Refrained from punching my mother-in-law.
  • Endured guest lectures that seemed interesting on paper, but were executed in the most boring, soul-sucking way possible.
  • Watched the George Clooney version of Batman. (Shudder.)
  • Pretended to be interested in Duke basketball.
  • Arranged a repair date for our recalled washer.
  • Created a brachiosaurus out of patterned paper. (Origami does not come naturally to me.)
  • Remembered to give Mona her heartworm pill this month.
  • Flossed regularly.

PROFICIENT IN:

  • Making lasagna, gyoza, potato and leek soup, and pumpkin pie.
  • Getting the boys dressed in five minutes.
  • Beating my hair into submission in about that same amount of time.
  • Butchering complex concepts in Spanish (fourth-grade level = fine).
  • Going to the gym even though I hate its guts.
  • Refusing to balance my checkbook.
  • Planning our next vacation.
  • Dreaming about winning the lottery.
  • Not wearing plaid.
  • Microsoft Office and Quark.

References available upon request.

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Behind the smiles

We all look so happy in the Halloween photos, but we were hiding some supreme sadness. I felt like Mr. Roarke from “Fantasy Island,” who used to command, “Smiles, Everyone. Smiles!”

Maggie the Dog, Beloved Boxer and Killer of Chickens, died peacefully on the operating table at the vet’s office Saturday afternoon.

It was very unexpected.

Over the past week, Eddie and I were finding little pee spots on the carpet. It wasn’t like either Mona or Maggie to pee in the house, and we weren’t sure who was the culprit. During a costume dress rehearsal, I found a new spot, leading to this Facebook post:

Later that day, we found another fresh spot, but Mona was outside. So we knew it was Maggie. I figured she had a bladder infection, so I made an appointment with the vet for Saturday morning.

During the exam, the vet noticed something off in Maggie’s abdomen, and recommended an X-ray. This is what she found:

See that football-shaped mass? Yeah, that’s not good. And whatever it was grew to that size over just four months — since June when Maggie got the cancer all-clear after the removal of  lumps she had on her leg and side.

The vet thought it was either a splenic hematoma or hemangiosarcoma and recommended emergency surgery. With the hematoma, the vet could remove it and the prognosis was good. With the other, she could remove it and the prognosis was not good — likely a few months to live. Either way, I thought I’d have time left with Maggie.

I got the call during the boys’ soccer game that afternoon. The mass was a cancerous lymph node. A lymph node had grown to that size! There was nothing the vet could do.

Maggie passed peacefully while under anesthesia. I hate that I didn’t say goodbye, but it probably would have stressed her out to see me so upset.

We buried her Sunday next to her friends Tommy and Stanley.

Rest in Peace, Mag-a-Pie.

2002 (?) - Oct. 30, 2010

 

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