29 May 2008

It's been...one week...

Not really, it's actually only been three days since I last posted, but I somehow have that BNL song in my head this morning. Perhaps it's because in one week I will be living out of boxes and ready to move down the street.

I don't like chaos. I don't like flux. I don't even like spontaneity, truth be told. I know why...I moved a lot when I was growing up and I never really felt like I belonged anywhere. Once you started to sprout and sink roots they were yanked up and moved to the next patch of soil. Some people compensate for that by learning to love adventure. Me? I learned to yearn for the "after the move" time.

Like now. I can't wait until this time next year in some respects. This time next year I will wake up every morning and see Simon in person, not in 2-D on my laptop screen. This time next year I will be married and moved and hopefully planning visits from my American friends. We will have a house that I won't have to leave in 6-9 months. I will be settled.

But you know, you can't ever really say that, can you? What is settled, but saving up energy for the next change in your life? The one thing I can say for sure is that this time next year I will be spending a lot of time in front of the laptop screen again...but this time I will be talking to my new niece or nephew...because I can finally say here at the Lettuce that my sister is pregnant! And I, for one, can't wait to meet the newest Allen Grady.

Got my wedding dress on Monday so that's one thing ticked off the list. Oh, two things actually, because the electricity will be transfered to the new house next Friday. Now to take care of the water, gas, and mail delivery...notify my bank...notify all my two credit cards...and hope I haven't forgotten anything.

Leap...and the net will appear. I just hope it doesn't have a hole in it.

25 May 2008

Faith 0, Humanity 2

So the dogs and I went out for a meet and greet at a local pet store yesterday, right? While we were there, Hunky had an appointment to get groomed in the hopes that a professional could get the extra hair out of his coat that is currently covering my furniture and kicking up my allergies.

Our appointment was at 1:45. I brought his rabies certificate in as requested, discussed with the groomer what I needed done and what I didn't need done, and left him in their care. I was concerned, as I always am when I leave my animals with people I don't know...and to make it worse, they were adamant that if he was on the grooming table I should make sure he couldn't see me. They seemed concerned that he would get very excited when he saw me and try to jump off the table. I mentioned that he couldn't see that far or through a glass window anymore anyway, but I don't think she believed me.

Back to the meet and greet...Daisy was anxiously waiting for me and Jeany looked like she was miserable. Status Quo. We met and we greeted (how tempted was I just now to type "gret?") and all was well until a strange little man with a little too much bling on his hands and an aversion to looking any of us in the eye approached the table. It seems that he was a representative of an invisible fence company, and wanted to try and convince us that an invisible fence was the only way to go if you love your animals.

I'm going to take a second, dear readers, and mention that if you (or someone you love) has an invisible fence and you (or that special someone) can sleep at night knowing that you've strapped an electrode to your dog that would make you almost wet your pants were you to hold it in your hand and approach the perimeter, or that while your dog can't leave the yard without a zap the other neighborhood dogs who are irresponsibly left to run loose can enter your yard and harass your dog at will, or, even better, that if your dog is a greyhound that can be at full speed in three strides so you're basically playing Russian roulette with his or her life that he or she will be moving so fast through the perimeter that the only pain he or she will feel is when he or she is struck by a car outside of the perimeter of that bloody stupid invisible fence...then have at it. But never, ever let it be said that someone doesn't know my opinion on invisible fences...and that my opinion on the fence colors how I feel about someone who would leave their "beloved" pet behind one, waiting to get shocked.

Whew! Okay, so back to yesterday. Fence Man tries everything that he can to convince us that as a group we are mistreating our hounds because our group does not adopt to people that use invisible fences for containing their animals.

Let me say that again...we do not support invisible fences. I'm sure we all said it numerous times yesterday...so one wonders why Fence Man continued to try to sell it to us?

Fence Man made outrageous claims, our favorite being that he could personally guarantee that the fence would work for each of our hounds. Is that right? You can guarantee that my dog, who, by the way, can be at 40 mph in three strides from a standing position, will be contained in your fence? Is that because you ramp up the voltage to get my dog's attention? Is that really a selling point? Oh no, he assured us, it's because he personally trains the dogs and the owners on the proper use of the fence. It's a week long training.

Seems to me it would take about five minutes. Put electrode on dog. Take dog to perimeter. Watch dog writhe in agony. Take dog away from perimeter. Watch dog go back in house and never ever leave again. All done! Dog contained.

My argument about the dog being at 40mph in three strides was the only one that he didn't have an answer for, by the way. We told him they will ignore it if their prey drive kicks in and they take off after something. He countered that his training would break them of that habit. Habit? Um, sorry Fence Man, that's actually thousands of years of instinct. We told him about the other animals being free to wander in and out of the yard. He countered that under controlled situations that was never a problem. I'm sorry, isn't the reason for this torture device so that it will control the situation and I don't have to lift a finger?

Finally Fence Man was reduced to lying. Outright lying. He told us that he worked with "that big group in Greensboro, NC" and that he had personally trained lots of their greyhounds with the fencing and that "they totally support me and what I do." He then wanted to know what was wrong with our group. Now there are two fairly large adoption groups in Greensboro and I am about 95% sure that neither of them would support this kind of "fencing" for their hounds they adopt out. When we confronted him with his lie, he resorted back to insulting us. "I can't believe you don't really love these dogs." "It's just ridiculous that your group wouldn't take advantage of a free offer to show you how well this fencing will work for your dogs." He finally left after saying the bit about the free offer again and being told that our group did not support his fencing, but if he wanted to talk to the group's director that he was welcome to do so.

Oh, and on the way out, we saw him with a nice 40lb bag of total crap dog food that he was taking home to feed his beloved dog that was probably bald around the neck from being zapped when it tried to escape.

Well, okay, but it was Beneful dog food. That part is true.

After all that ruckus things settled down and I waited for them to bring my handsome and no longer shedding boy out to finish him up so that I could show him off to everyone and not drop enough fur to make a new dog in the process. No Hunky. Dropped off at 1:45 and it was now past 3pm. She had told me it would take about 3 hours to do a groom on him which I thought was suspicious because it doesn't take me that long when I'm chasing him around the yard with a hose trying to wash off the soap! But I digress. One of the other ladies went in and asked after him, to be told that he was in the back drying off and then he'd be done.

What? In the back drying off? Isn't that why they have those drying machines, so that my dog doesn't have to drip dry? Unless they put him under a dryer like my mother used to sit under when I'd go to the beauty shop with her, they let my dog drip dry because I watched the girls that were working...working on other dogs. I ran to the toilet and when I came back, one of the ladies at the table was holding my Hunky, my gorgeous...fluffy...slighly damp Hunky. Hunky was fluffy with visible loose fur in his coat and still damp in spots almost three hours after I left him with these people.

Oh, and let's talk about the "fragrance" they left on my dog. On second thought, let's not, it made my head pound just riding in the car with him on the way home yesterday. Thank goodness he loves his dog bed that has cedar in it.

Apparently when I didn't want them to do his teeth or toenails (teeth don't need it and he hates them to be brushed and his toenails are always potentially ready to shatter) I also excluded him from a certain package of service that includes de-shedding treatment of some sort. Hunky got brushed (I'm still not certain of that), bathed, "fragranced" (he smelled like a man on the pull, all he needed was a gold chain and some Colt 45) and was so happy to see me I thought my heart would break.

I have to admit here, dear readers, that I might have done something I shouldn't have. I went in to get Hunky's rabies certificate back because without that we don't get into England in January and there was no one at the desk. I'm sure that they have to keep it on file, so I hope they had already xeroxed it because I snatched it and headed back out the door.

My poor boy. My poor nerves. I was literally (Susan? LITERALLY!) shaking by the time I got home. And I will never, EVER subject any of my dogs to that again unless the groomer is someone I know personally that I know will not make my Hunky into Leon Phelps. Seriously. That is disgusting.

22 May 2008

I'm moving to England


Allies
Originally uploaded by Two Thumbs
I know, you guys all know that already. I know that already. My family, bless them, know that already.

So why is it that just this week, this month, it seems so real? Maybe because I'm starting to get ready to move down the street for my last six months in the US? Maybe because I'm thinking about what I can go on and ship over to Simon now? Maybe because I've gotten the animals microchipped and vaccinated and started that process in motion?

Maybe because I've finally let myself admit that it is happening, and I'm trying to make the most of my six months that are left...eat lots of Chick-Fil-A, drive (as much as the insane gas prices will allow) on the right side of the road, hang out with my deaf friends/co-workers and use ASL...things that I have taken for granted for my first almost 37 years that I won't be able to enjoy more than a few times a year after I move.

Or maybe it's because I'm finally able to admit that I'm excited, I'm even looking forward to the adventure of moving, with all the scary bits and new experiences and everything that would normally scare me into just staying put.

Six months. That's about 24 more Mondays. 182.621099 more sleeps...plus two days in January to lose my mind and then I'm Mrs. Dunne and on my way. I just hope I'm ready.

18 May 2008

13 May 2008

What to do when you can't sleep...

Make lists.

1. Sleep.

2. If number one doesn't work, play Everquest.

3. Still awake? Cruise iTunes and discover that your new favorite band, Bitter:Sweet has a new album out. If you caught the first season of Lipstick Jungle, then you heard Bitter:Sweet in the theme song, The Bomb. I've been waiting for the album to come out and just happened to log into iTunes on the very day. Fate, I tell ya.

4. Weird Electronica not your cuppa? Try Christine Kane. Folksy, uplifting, just pretty darned awesome is how I'd describe her. One hundred thousand thank you's, by the way, to Katy for introducing me to this wonderful singer/songwriter. My recommendation is one that seems to be mirroring my life at the moment, a song called Right Outta Nowhere from the album of the same name.
Some choices hold you down
Some chances set you free

Right outta nowhere
You open your heart
And let go of everything
You're going somewhere
And all you need to know
Is that you're free to go

Dream and the way will be clear
Pray and the angels will hear
Leap and the net will appear
5. Still no good? Well, it's probably again not your cup of tea, but I'm loving Say by John Mayer. I love John Mayer, there, I said it...and this song is just one more in a long line of songs that tend to get set on repeat when they come on the iPod.

Hmmm...I think I may have bored myself sleepy posting...

6. Post to the Lettuce...zzzzzz...

08 May 2008

From the files of I Can't Make This Stuff Up...


On the road again...
Originally uploaded by Nancy Allen
So I was playing Everquest tonight...yeah, I play, so? Anyway, it was getting close to this Bonzo's Bedtime when the game crashed on me. As I was waiting for it to load back in, I dozed off.

Oops, forgot something important. About 5 minutes before said crash I'd let the dogs out in the yard. Checked it for critters and stray cats and came back inside "just to check on the computer" before going back outside with the dogs until they were done and ready to come in.

Now then, we rejoin the blog where I fell asleep. I was out for only a few minutes, but came to because I heard furious barking from the yard. I was on my feet running for the door before I was fully awake.

I flew through the door and rounded the corner of the house to see a police car in my driveway. Never.Ever.Good. The police were leading my neighbor (who is mentally challenged) back into his house...apparently he was walking around the neighborhood inappropriately attired. I struck up a nice conversation with one of the policemen after he asked about the dogs. Simon, good foster that he is, even stood up on the railway sleeper that is at the base of the fence so that the man didn't have to reach far to get to greyhound ears.

All of this on the heels of one of the most stressful days I've had at work in quite some time. Literally, I was teetering on the brink a few times of emailing my resignation letter and running away to Montana or somewhere nice...where you don't have to drive two hours one way to get to work ever, nor do you have to fight with Columbia traffic or spend several hours thinking that even though you've already been down there once you're going to go again and not get home till very very late...but I digress.

I got the work issue mostly sorted (sadly not without resorting to sounding like a pissy teenager in emails, but still) and made my dinner. Handmade (seriously, no spoon, only my "paws," can you believe it?) salsa turkey burger on a whole wheat bun with sweet potato crisps. Lovely and more filling than I'd thought it would be!

Sat down to play EQ, was having a lovely time but getting sleepy, and that, beloveds, is when I let the dogs out...only to break a land-speed record getting out there when I heard that bark a few minutes later.

Silly doggies...they were rubbernecking worse than drivers on I-26 in rush hour on a Friday...I nearly had to drag them inside. And now? Now I'm putting Bonzo to Bed. I've been up WAY too long today and that little catnap here at the desk didn't even touch my tiredness.

Envy me, why don't you, and my never ever dull life...

05 May 2008

Back to the Grind...


Got my commuter face on...
Originally uploaded by Nancy Allen
But it's going to be a slow week and a short week, so maybe it won't be too awful. I swear, last week lasted about a month, and having a short weekend due to spending yesterday at the Georgia Renaissance Festival didn't help. The older I get, the more I need to spend lots and lots of time doing lots and lots of nothing to make up for the lots and lots I do.

Yesterday at GARF was lovely. The people down there are so nice to us and we love going to visit, even if it does get hotter than the surface of a dying star quickly in Georgia in the spring. I was amused yesterday to think of how many of the folks that work there (and at the Carolina festival) I can recognize by sight but have NO idea what their names are...sometimes not even their character names.

I've had my scotch egg fix now, though, and should be good until CRF in October. I did get a little misty on the ride home yesterday (in between blasts of cold air from the A/C in an attempt to stay awake) thinking that I had just finished my last performance with GARF.

There are going to be a lot of those this year...my last time going to CRF, my last Beach Bound Hounds...and it's so easy to get wrapped up in sadness and slide off my plateau that I've mentioned in other posts. But this morning I was doing a flickr surf and found some photos of an interpreting colleague of mine and his family...and that helped because I was looking at him and his wife and kids and thinking, "Now I can have that too...Simon and I can have kids and trips to the zoo and nursery school programs and field days and and and..." and somehow that made the melancholy lift a bit.

Off to get the house cleaned up...someone is coming to appraise it for the upcoming sale (yay for rental house living...you just never know...) and if I don't get it tidy then the poor man won't be able to reach the walls, let alone measure for square footage!

#metoo

#nofilter #goodhairday Yep, that hashtag in the title means what you think it means. But that's not what I want to talk about today....