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Posts Tagged ‘Pets’

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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Convicted serial killer accused of fifth slaying

From Staff Reports

BLOOMINGDALE, Ga. — Convicted serial killer Maggie The Dog is the only suspect in the murder of Shelly The Chicken. Shelly’s father, Eddie Concepción, found the bird’s body Sunday night in the back yard of the family home. Maggie’s younger sister, Mona The Dog is listed as an accomplice.

“I knew the dogs were a little too anxious to go outside,” he said. “Mona was not returning to the house, so I got the flashlight and started shining it around. I saw the two legs and knew.”

Warning: Graphic image

Concepción reported that Shelly must have left the side yard while the family was at a birthday party at Monkey Joe’s. When the family came home, it was dark. According to Concepción, they did not know of Shelly’s escape when they let Maggie and Mona outside.

Shelly’s mother, Beth Concepción, was clearly distressed. “We had a breakthrough yesterday,” she said. “She finally came up to me and wanted to be petted. We were making such progress on her socialization!”

According to the family, neither Shelly nor her sister Jeanne had ever left the side yard. However, sources close to the investigation reveal that Beth had said both chickens were about due for a wing clipping.

Beth reports that Jeanne, who shared a coop with Shelly, is holding up well under the circumstances.

“She just seems really sad and lonely,” she said. “I’m afraid this tragedy also will push back egg production.” Neither chicken had produced an egg yet.

Maggie had been convicted of the March 2010 murder of Trish La Gallina and the April 2009 murders of Trish’s three sisters. She had done time inside the house and outside on a leash before being released on parole.

On behalf of his delinquent dogs, Eddie is asking for understanding and forgiveness.

“I don’t think we should have chickens. Either train them to be guard chickens or get rid of the dogs. Chickens and dogs cannot coexist,” he said. “Apparently, there is some kind of code we don’t know about that Maggie is forced to enforce.”

Eddie’s son Dominic took additional steps to ensure peace in the Concepción household.

“Dominic had a talk with Maggie and he said that she’s not going to [kill] again,” Eddie said.

The family held a private service in conjunction with trash pickup.

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Dominic and Gideon wake up before Eddie and I do. We’ve been strongly encouraging them to stay in their rooms and play quietly.

This morning, Eddie left very early to open the gym. Usually, the kids are up when he leaves at 6:30. Not this morning. I was pleased, thinking they were playing quietly or still sleeping.

I should have been worried.

About an hour later, I woke up again — this time to Dominic yelling, “Mama! I made Gideon look like Aang!”

Aang is the main character in “Avatar: The Last Airbender.”

And here is Gideon as Aang.

Yes, that is Sharpie permanent marker all over him (it was in Gideon’s room to mark his height chart). Here is the back view for your enjoyment:

(I promise we feed him. He’s going through a massive growth spurt.)

So cute. So awful.

The "artiste," "Aang" and Mona (who doesn't care what kind of crap anyone has on his face)

Dominic realized he had made a mistake when he saw the look on my face. He started saying he was sorry, but what could I do? I laughed. I laughed to keep from crying.

I guess I should be happy he has artistic talent.

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I haven’t posted about the chickens, Shelly and Jeanne, for a while.

It’s because I hate them.

They started it. They hated me first.

It doesn’t help that they are so much stinkier and messier than Trish was.

But they do seem more interested in me lately. They haven’t run quite as fast when I come out to give them food and water. And they’ve been peering in the window of the playroom, almost as if they are interested in what’s going on inside the house.

Jeanne and Shelly, Peeping Hens

But as they are looking in, certain someones are looking out.

Dinner!

This does not bode well.

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