Thursday, April 22, 2010

Son of a Beach. Now, with extra gross!

Moo and I went for a walk today and ended up at the beach, because yesterday when I was walking on our usual path I think I heard a gunshot. Maybe. It was loud. In any case it was loud and foreboding and my mind went places and saw things and holy crap, Moo, what say we turn around and cut this walk a little short? So I found a new route which, yes, technically goes as far north as I was walking yesterday but is on the other side of the highway and a park and therefore safer somehow? But no gunshots or other loud noises today, so maybe all the hooligans were using silencers today. But based on my extensive tv knowledge of guns, silencers still make a pshhht sound, and I didn't hear anything like that. So, safe.

But remember how I was talking about the beach? Technically I don't think dogs are allowed on the people beach, but since it's April and 46 degrees and other people were doing it, that made it okay. I let Moo off her leash and we walked towards the water, one of us realizing that sneakers are not the best sand footwear and the other of us maniacally chasing after seagull shadows. We investigated the water (cold, alternately scary then interesting then scary then interesting), a golden retriever (only interested in stealing our tennis ball) and a dead fish (dried out, its final resting place a bed of wood chips and its own intestines).

I am boss of this beach. Fear my big, puffy 
body and my leetle tiny wet paws.

We played fetch for a while and chased more seagulls. She's really improving; I only had to yell, "Moo! MOO! LEAVE IT! MOO! GET BACK HERE!" two or three times before she'd come tearing back. Thank you, puppy classes.

Yeah, yeah. Hang on. I found some tracks.

Moo is very fond of her tennis ball. Fond bordering on obsessive. I bought a Chuckit! because it looked fun and also because I am a terrible, terrible thrower. Throwist. Person who throws. I'm not a good one. As soon as the ball is in the launcher, Moo is rapt. On the return trip, though, she's a little more lax, so I get distracted. I was staring at the water or texting or something. Moo frequently drops the ball to sniff around or tear the hell out of tissues she finds on the ground, which I find to be one of her more distasteful habits. Not the most distasteful, however. She has a new most distasteful habit because when I looked up from whatever I was distracted by, I saw her rolling - with gusto - on the dead fish. The world slowed. "NoOOOOoooOOO!" I waved my arms and ran at her, stopping her mid-dive. "LEAVE IT! LEAVE!!! IT!!!!!" But it was too late. What I had thought was a dried husk of a fish was actually a dried husk of fish filled, Gusher-style, with rotting, pinkish fish goo. Moo's exuberant rolls had caused this foul liquid to ooze out of some weak point in the fish's anatomy - somewhere near where the intestines had been torn out, if I had to guess. And she had been rolling in it.

All the pillowed beds in the world are apparently not as
appealing as this rotting, stinking carcass.

She stared up at me, smiling her idiotic puppy smile and wagging her sandy tail, as if to say, "Look! Look what I found? Isn't this GREAT? All this time we were playing with a ball and THIS was here!" Damage assessment: dirty and wet paws, belly tangled with a variety of dried beach fauna, and oh, yes, reeking smears of pinkish death goo on her otherwise white back.

Fan. Tastic.

Panic mode. I am miles from home. I have a goo-smeared dog and a four foot leash. Assets? I am on a beach, surrounded by water. Unfortunately it's too cold and gross to wade in, dunk the dog and rinse the fish goo back to its natural habitat. Also, I remember when I was at Valpo and we'd go to the Dunes and the water would be closed because it was contaminated. So, that's out. But, hey, we're on a beach! There's showers on the beach so people can wash the sand and guts off of themselves before they leave for home. We headed back inland, playing fetch all the way. As she ran, the goo-smeared fur flopped wetly back and forth. Disgusting, but not as disgusting as how she smelled when I had to get closer to hook her leash on her collar. Like... the diapers of a monkey that is fed exclusively on a diet supplied by Starkist. Please let the showers be on. I don't want to bring this mess home. I tapped the touch plate to turn on the foot spray. Nothing. Tapped on the shower plate. Nothing. I tapped on every damn plate on that shower pole. Nothing, nothing, nothing, all while Moo sniffed around looking for more dead flesh to roll in. Drinking fountains! Shut up, I was desperate. That's the kind of stuff you should imagine happens in drinking fountains anyway, as they are gross. They're also not on in April, dammit.

I had resigned myself to walking home with stink-dog when I saw a bathroom building. Oh yes, this is happening. The whole place smelled like pee, which honestly was a welcome change from the pink ooze. I scooped up the dog and put her in... well, on the sink.

OM taught me to be resourceful.

Yeah, they were a little shallow. And small. And that one on the left may have been the source of the pee smell. Whatever. This had to happen. Using the push-and-get-two-seconds-of-water faucets, I splashed her with ice cold water, then grabbed a paper towel and a few hundred pumps of hand soap and went for it. I scrubbed til it was no longer pink then went back to splashing water on the offending area. Then I put her on the floor, washed my own hands and continued our walk. A full bath would happen, but this would do for now.

Moo, your ass looks huge.

She got significantly fewer compliments on the way home, but we made it. And then it was turbo bath time, with three shampooings.

Unclean! Unclean! 

*And oh holy shit, I was just looking at the pictures again thinking about adding some writing and realized that the fish? That looked so dry and fishy? WAS ACTUALLY A DEAD RAT. The intestines were its tail. Oh, God. This dog sleeps in my BED. I have to rethink our entire relationship. And also go throw up. Forever.

**It was rat goo, you guys. Rat goo.  (whimper.)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Some things that have been falling out of my dog's face lately

Friday, November 6, 2009

More Spidermobile

So where did we leave off? Ah yes, the spider in the purse. A few days passed, and the spider was forgotten. I don't know what ended up happening to the purse. I drove back to Chicago thinking there was just three of us in the car. It wasn't until a week later when I was driving somewhere - the trauma of the experience has erased my destination from my mind - that it revealed itself. Hanging onto the ceiling by the shotgun oh shit handle. Jackass. And of course, once I noticed it I was totally able to focus completely on driving and not watching that little asshole to make sure it wasn't going to launch an attack on my face. It could happen.

Everything was fine until it started crawling along sunroof towards the backseat. "Oh, hell no." I thought and grabbed the only smoosh weapon I had on hand: a granola bar wrapper. I went to smoosh and missed. On my second attempt, the little bastard fell between the seats. Great. Now I knew there was a spider in the car but couldn't see it, and it was most likely angry since I had tried to smoosh him with a granola bar wrapper. Fantastic. Abandoning my car on the side of the road seemed a very real and appealing option at this point.

Spider has made one more appearance since, in the dark on Halloween night. Fell on a friend, which is appropriate for the holiday I guess but still awful. He may be dead now, but I have no proof. I won't feel safe in there again until I see his crispy, dead body. Until then, have you any idea how many spider-sized holes and crevices are in your average Corolla? A LOT. I know this because I now notice them all. Small holes in the console, seams in the light above my head, the entire damn lining of the sunroof... the little bastard has so many options he could live in a new home every day.

My plan now is to carry a dustbuster to the car each time I use it, only entering after I ensure that the ceiling doesn't harbor any hitchhikers. Ugh, this whole post is just making me paranoid about spiders - I just thought I saw one on the wall behind my screen. Otherwise I guess it will starve to death eventually but I don't know exactly how long that will take. Anyone have any data on spider starvation? I removed the granola bar wrapper and all its invisible spider-sized nutrients if that helps your calculations. The only other food in there is another granola bar that expired in 2007. Good friggin' luck, Spider. Your days are numbered.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Birth of Spidermobile

There is a spider loose in my car. I know this, because when I was driving with one of my sisters, she suddenly spazzed out and screeched "SPIDER!!!!" while flapping her arms and slapping at herself. You're an elegant lady, Jenna. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Anyway, I managed to keep the car on the road as she threw her purse to the floor. "It's in my purse. No, no. It's in there. It was on my neck and now it's in my purse." I saw this as moderate containment of the spider situation; she saw it as the complete and utter ruin of her purse and all the items it contained. Potato, potatoh.

"Well how big was it?" I asked. I have a very specific formula I use to calculate how much I hate/respect/fear spiders. Size factors very heavily into this formula as do hairiness, leg thickness, color and whether or not I have just walked into its web. Ugh. It's a pretty simple formula to use, as no matter what you input the answer is always 100% of possible spider hatred. Still, it's good to know one's enemy.

"I don't know."
"Well, it was on your neck, you have to have some idea. Dime? Fingernail? Quarter? WAS IT QUARTER SIZED?!?"
"I don't know! It was smaller than a tarantula."
"Okay, well thank you for narrowing it down."

Jenna spent the rest of the drive staring fearfully at her purse while I spent the rest of the drive looking for skittery movement out of my peripheral vision. Once we hit the driveway, she leapt from the car holding her purse at arm's length. She then found a clear spot and then dumped out the bag and began kicking through her belongings. When an item was found to be spider-free, it was transferred to her jacket pocket. My job was to hold the purse upside down, its lining all barfed out, while watching Jenna kick epipens and tampons around the front yard. Pretty effective strategy, really. I kept an eye on the purse I was holding in case the crafty spider was hanging in it. It was at this point that I noticed that the lining was torn in several places.

"You know, Jenn- there's holes in this lining. He could have crawled in there and be setting up shop right now. He could live happily for quite some time in your purse and you'd never even know it."

"No!" she wailed. "I love that purse!"

I forget what happened next because I got bored holding the purse and went inside. The next time I saw the purse it was on the kitchen table, which in my opinion is a crappy place for a potential spider house. Jenna was planning on making my mom sew up the lining of the purse, sealing the spider within a satiny, faux-leather grave like some kind of tiny, postmodern twist on The Cask of Amontillado or however you spell it. We both assumed that the spider was in the purse.

But you know what they say happens when you assume. You end up with a damn rogue spider in your car, and do you even KNOW how many hiding places for a spider there are in your average car? Way more than in a stupid purse, that's for sure. Ugh. We'll have to get into that tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Well according to Christine (I didn't verify this with other sources, so this may just be a trick) November is NAtional BLOg POsting MOnth. So basically an acronym with training wheels is cajoling me into writing. I'm okay with that. I'm a little late to the party, which is pretty typical, but if I feel really inspired maybe I'll backdate a few of these. Yeah, I'm not above lying. Lots has happened since I posted last, and I don't feel like doing a formal update. So... I'll give you little pieces as background is required for these daily posts and you can take them as given. Tidbit #1: I now have a puppy, her name is Moo.

She has about a billion toys, but a few are her obvious favorites, like these squeaky balls.

Alas, the squeaky balls are rapidly reaching their own individual fates. I thought I'd use this post to commemorate their passing. (Note: this might not be a good idea for a post. I can't tell. It seemed funny when I was thinking about it earlier. It's been so long since I posted that until thirty seconds ago I was writing in the HTML window thinking hmmm, when did blogger get so complicated? Maybe NaBloPoMo will be good for me. You damn kids and your HTML.)

Red Ball

They say that only the good die young, and although I have no way to measure your goodness versus other mini squeaky tennis balls, you certainly bit it first. I guess you can take that as a compliment. You accompanied us to the dog park for some fetch, an overly ambitious idea on my part for at that time Moo's idea of a "fun time" at the dog park was avoiding all dog contact and sitting on my feet. An insane Jack Russell terrier (but I repeat myself) overheard your squeaky attempts to engage Ms. Moo and extended you an invitation to play. I hesitated, as you were small and cute and I had no guarantees of this dog's retrieval abilities. Eventually, I relented and the dog proved to have impressive fetch and drop-it skills. I'm sorry. This was the beginning of the end. Your end.

A surprisingly far throw sent the terrier running, but the ball was intercepted by a boxer. A dog, not the guys who hit each other. The boxer soon realized that what he had caught was truly a prized possession, as the Jack Russell chased him to get it back and then his owner followed suit, realizing the dog had stolen a toy. Also, the ball was the perfect size to lodge in a boxer esophagus, making it that much more attractive. The chase went on for hours, or at least twenty minutes. By the time you were returned to me you were no longer the bright cheery Red I had come to know. Your time in that dog's mouth had changed you, transformed you into a matted, muddy, dented shadow of your former self. Seriously. It was friggin' gross. There was no way you were coming home with me looking like that. It was your time for you to start living your own life as a designated dog park ball. I discreetly rolled you away and headed home. Is that bad dog park etiquette? Hmm. I'm not sure, but if it is, then disregard that and know that I threw Red away like a responsible dog owner.

Either way, I never saw Red again. Hope everything worked out for you, buddy.

Green Ball

You were the next to be drafted for dog park duty. Don't thank me, thank your fluorescent color that stands out so well against the grass. I'm not sure what colors dogs see but half the time she gets distracted and I end up going to get the ball anyway. As for your fate, I'm honestly only including you because you were included in the ball family picture up there. You just kind of disappeared. I think you might be in my dog park bag but I'm too lazy to get up to look. Hey, I just said all the balls had stories. I didn't say they were all interesting.

Blue Ball

This was a walk related incident that was entirely Moo's fault, as she has no blog and cannot refute this. We were walking along the lake on those giant steps which I'm sure have a name but if they do, I don't know it. The edge looks like the top of the castles that I draw. I'm sure you have a very clear mental picture based on that terrible description, but here's a picture just in case.

I let Moo run free to drain the last of her crazy puppy energy. To facilitate this, I rolled you, Blue, and you performed admirably. In my defense, I was careful to roll you towards the step and away from the water. This strategy worked out quite well for some time until you bounced off Moo's paws and headed for the lake. Ugh. What the hell were you thinking, Blue?

At this point I'd like to say that I'm sorry if I seemed more concerned that Moo turned and bolted to follow you to the edge than the fact that you were clearly already going over. You're an $.80 toy and she's a puppy whose swimming skills are limited and certainly wouldn't be helped by a 10-foot fall into cold water. Luckily Moo stopped and we both crept to the edge to see you floating helplessly in Lake Michigan. Not even near one of those ladder things, which to be honest I totally wouldn't have used to rescue you. They look slimy.

I did have the presence of mind to say a few words on your behalf. If those words sounded a lot like me saying, "Whoops, sorry Moo! It's gone. We've got more at home" well then I can only say that you were half submerged and clearly in shock. I said some lovely things and I'm sorry if you missed them. If it makes you feel better, it took Moo a good forty-five seconds to stop looking for you in my hands. Sigh. Good-bye, Blue.

Orange Ball

Hmm, Orange... you might be under the couch. Again, I really only had stories for Red and Blue but you and Green are part of the package. Don't get all full of yourself, based on the early demises of your brethren you don't have long to live. Come to think of it, I recently I saw Moo holding you between her paws and tearing off your orange fuzz coating. So even if you do make it to old age it will likely be a patchy, balding and miserable existence. So quit it with the smugness, Orange. I don't like your attitude.

All right, that's all I got. See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

More Tales from Hollywood

On the sidewalk in front of the Chinese Theater, a shifting cast of wannabe actors mill around dressed as movie characters. Passersby can have their pictures taken with the character of their choice, most likely for a small fee. A trick I will not be falling for again, after some stupid FAKE gladiators outside the Colosseum in Rome got me to take a picture with them and then bilked me out of whatever the lira-equivalent of five dollars is, which, yeah, five dollars but it was one picture with costumed idiots and I can’t even look at it and enjoy the memory without getting pissed and wishing I had castrated that idiot with his stupid plastic sword for tricking me. So I scoffed at the tourists partaking in these photo sessions. One woman we saw, though, took it to a whole new level.

As we were walking around, we kept seeing a reasonable facsimile of Captain Jack Sparrow foppishly running to and fro in front of the theater. With a woman following him with a camcorder. All while shouting at him to keep running. Um, what? On and on they ran, weaving through the crowds, and were quickly out of sight. An hour later, this craziness mostly forgotten, we were confronted with it again, head-on. While walking down the sidewalk, we heard the voice of the amateur director behind us.

Sparrow, in front of blue polo shirt guy; Camerawoman in red hat; Zorro, obvious.

“Keep running! Run through those girls! Run through the middle of them!” Oh, hell no. I was not going to be a part of this foolishness. I stepped to the side and glared as Captain Sparrow flounced by, carefully followed by the camerawoman. And let me tell you, a half hour of running around Los Angeles mid-day did not do anything for their aromas. Phew. Also, there had been some casting additions since the portion of the storyline we had seen earlier.

The story now also involved Zorro sauntering behind Sparrow, absently hitting on people he passed. Now, I was only seeing some chase scene segment of the movie, but I am really getting the sense that this is a movie I would not like to be forced to watch. Because you know she’s going home to splice her hours of footage together on her iMac with her collection of instrumental soundtrack MP3s, burn off some DVDs and then lure her unsuspecting friends over to force them to watch her cinematic catastrophe. Those poor fools.

Someone please tell Zorro that he has to be IN FRONT of the camera to be in the movie?

I never did find out what Sparrow was running from or how Zorro factored in. Maybe she was reshooting the end of Pirates of the Caribbean: People Are Still Paying to See This Nonsense So Let’s Make a Third Movie, because that was one suck-tastically terrible ending. Seven years of single motherhood punctuated with one day of barnacle encrusted visitation rights? Bullshit. I agree: let the Z-man pick up some of the slack. Sure, he may step out on Keira Knightley’s anorexic ass for Catherine Zeta Jones every once in a while, but at least he’s bringing in some income by slashing Zs into stuff. My knowledge of Zorro comes pretty much exclusively from a trailer I saw ten years ago, but I think that’s a pretty accurate assessment of his persona. But for serious, the end of that Pirates movie sucked hard. They should have had the whole trilogy end and then cut away to Robin and Spongebob discussing the ethics of piracy. That would have been more satisfying ending. Or, I just had this picture I wanted to use again because it cracks me up.

Robin and Spongebob offer unique perspectives on piracy. Unfortunately, no one listens.

To whom it may concern: If you are secretly in love with Jack Sparrow, Zorro, Keira Knightley, Catherine Zeta Jones, gladiators, barnacles, Robin or Spongebob and feel that I have slighted them, been flippant with their good names or offended you, please know that I don’t care. Please also know that these people are fictional, not people at all and/or not interested in you. K thanks bye.

Mysteries from the Past

At one point, I knew what everything on this list meant. I wrote down each word for a reason and then carefully tucked it away in a hidden pocket of an old wallet, where I found it this past weekend.

Alcohol transform slutty… rapping. It’s just cryptic enough to sound vaguely profound. Like something that would be needle pointed on a pillow in the sitting room of a drug-addled poet to curb his homicidal tendencies. Or encourage them. I’m not sure.

And then there’s the question of the Target shopping list. C sub 1 W sub 1? I’ve been thinking about this since I found the note, and… apparently I needed to purchase a Star Wars robot. I don’t have any robots, so I must never have made it to Target.

PS - YOU'RE WELCOME for the free advertising, Bonar Group.