30 September 2006

Well, THAT was fun

I had an assignment covering an Oktoberfest over in Mr. Stapler's neck of the woods today. He wanted to go with me so I thought we would pass a pleasant day: festival, snackies, write the story, walk the dogs, have a little dinner, maybe a DVD. Nice.

Instead, I ended up soaking wet with my back wrenched, covered in spit and hair, trembling from a bad case of adrenaline overload.

What about Mr. Stapler? Did he fare better? Sprained wrist, two deep puncture wounds, wet, covered in spit and hair. So, no, not better.

Mrs. Chicky might want to sit down for this one.

My dear dog Goldie and Mr. Stapler's dog Kelly have had a rough relationship. Two alpha females. Kelly now lives in the house where Goldie lived for 4 years, so both dogs think they own the place. Not a recipe for true dog happiness.

They have had a couple scuffles before, but in my Pollyanna mind, I thought they would get over it as time went by.

Today they proved me wrong. They were ok at first, but Goldie jealously began hoarding all the toys and bones. Finally Kelly got a bone and trotted off with it. Goldie waited until Kelly was in a vulnerable position and attacked her.

Not a "growl snap" kind of attack. An "I'm going to kill you, you little bitch, if it is the last thing I do, I really mean it" attack. They were a sudden blur of fur and screaming.

I went to grab the dogs and haul them out of the kitchen doorway where they were fighting (never let it be said that I am not an idiot). Kelly got free from Goldie's grip and attacked Goldie, latching onto her scruff.

I pounded on Kelly's head as hard as I could with my hand, screaming. I was hitting her HARD. She wouldn't stop.

Mr. Stapler grabbed them. In the frenzy, Goldie bit him as hard as she could on the wrist. "OW!!!" he yelled. He dropped the dogs and grabbed his wrist.

"The water! Spray them with the f***ing water!!" Mr. Stapler yelled.

"I DON'T HAVE ANY WATER!!" I screamed, looking around, thinking he was insane.

He came over and turned the kitchen sprayer on the dogs, which had the effect of soaking all of us and making the kitchen floor super slippery.

Kelly still had a death grip on Goldie's scruff all this time. I slid across the floor, trying to pry her mouth off, no luck. Mr. Stapler pulled on Kelly - she would not let go and Goldie's scruff was stretching further and further.

We finally wrestled them outside and hosed them down with the big hose, getting us even wetter. One piece of advice: the water thing on fighting dogs? Doesn't really work.

Somehow we finally parted them and put them on opposite sides of the pool fence. Mr. Stapler lay on his back with his wrist in the pool. I bumbled around, dripping, drying off dogs and myself, mopping the floor with Mr Stapler helping me.

I loaded Goldie in the car and we limped home, stinking of spit.

My inventory shows she has two puncture wounds in her head and a gash by her ear. I am pondering the hundreds of dollars the emergency vet would vacuum out of my wallet and whether neosporin would fix everything and how guilty I'm going to feel if it doesn't.

The moral of the story: don't think two mean bitches will work it out between themselves.

Night at the Museum

The other night Mr. Stapler and I went to be part of another test screening audience for a movie. It's not so much the savings of $19 bucks that draws us in, because you more than pay for it in inconvenience (line up! fill out this form! Answer our probing questions! Line up some more! Get searched! Show us your cell phone! Sit in the theater for 45 minutes! Fill out another form!) but the chance to see movies before everyone else so we can gloat around all our co-workers the next day.

We saw "Night at the Museum," Ben Stiller's new comedy, which I suspect will be a December release if they get the special effects done in time.

The premise is that Ben is kind of a loser, a dreamer, divorced dad with a kid. He takes a desperation job as a night watchman at a Natural History museum. At night, all of the exhibits (lions, monkeys, Sacajawea) come alive. Comedy ensues.

Dick Van Dyke and Mickey Rooney have hilarious small parts as retiring night guards. Rooney is tiny and red-faced and fierce, yelling things like "Outa my way, buttercup" at Stiller.

Owen Wilson plays a tiny (4 inch tall) cowboy from a diorama with his usual dry, surfer-dude persona. Robin Williams plays Teddy Roosevelt and hands out wise advice to the perpetually-confused Stiller.

It'll be one of those pleasant holiday-time diversions that the whole family can see and chuckle at and go home happy. I will venture to say that 9-year-old boys will fall on the floor laughing at it.

What did I think of it? That's hard to say. I'm not a big germ-phobe when it comes to bathrooms or door handles or food, but I hate to be around people who are actively spewing cold germs.

A woman in the row behind me and about three seats over in a PACKED theater (not one empty seat) was in the middle of a full-blown cold or flu. She coughed, sneezed, and blew her nose for the 3 hours we were locked down in this place.

I was so tense I could feel the cords of my neck muscles standing out. I wanted to rip her face off, but I settled with giving her my nastiest looks every now and then. What on earth would possess someone to go to a crowded movie while sick? I'll cut sick people slack if they are standing in a grocery store line clutching Nyquil, tea bags and canned soup, but THE MOVIES? Please.

So I don't feel like I really saw the movie, since I was so busy being paranoid and angry. Maybe I will catch it on DVD.

29 September 2006

Wake me when it is over

Am I having a bad dream, or did congress just vote to say torture is ok? And that people don't need the right to a fair trial, or to even know why they are being held?

Um, if we are fighting for freedom...WTF is freedom? I mean, once you start the torture, the incommunicado detention, and the tribunals, what kind of freedom do we have? How are we different from the bad guys now?

I want my constitution back. Help.

28 September 2006

Treat me like a dog

Goldie is half greyhound. Greyhounds are notorious for being emotionally sensitive (when they aren't running down rabbits and tearing them limb from limb, that is).

My dog pays attention to every mood, and while she doesn't care so much if I am happy, but if I am upset, SHE gets upset.

I can't swear around her. If I drop something and yell "G*dd*mn it!" she cowers as if someone is going to be killed. (I know, you're thinking "Suebob drops things and swears? And I thought she was the Perfect Picture of Grace and Composure!")

So I generally speak to her in calm, soothing tones. The sentence I say to her over and over is "You're a good girl." I alternate that with "You're a pretty girl," and "You're a GOOD dog."

Compare that with what goes on in my own head:
"You are SUCH a freak."
"I can't stand myself."
"I'm an idiot."
"I'm so stupid."

It's like I have an abusive committee of mean high school girls in my head, making horrible comments all day long. I don't know why I do it, either. It really does become wearysome. When someone else criticizes me, I think "Really, you don't have to -" because I have undoubtedly told myself worse things than they can ever think of.

Here is my new plan for the week: try to talk to myself as kindly as I talk to Goldie. Just for one week, I'm going to treat myself like a dog, because I'm a GOOD girl.

27 September 2006

A short quiz

1. Name four musical artists or groups that make you want to tear off your ears and stomp on them.
a. Ani Difranco
b. Aimee Mann
c. Yes
d. Britney Spears (is that too easy? It's the duck voice)

2. Name four musical artists or groups that make you happy to be alive every single time you hear them
a. Emma Kirkby
b. A.R. Rahman
c. Wolfgang Amadeus Muthaf***ing Mozart
d. Los Lobos

26 September 2006

In which I swear that I really do like kids

One of my absolutely favorite bloggers, Jess of Drowning in Kids, wrote a heart-wrenching post today about an incident where her son bit her and she pushed him away, which left a piece of his tooth in her leg.

In the comments section, I said:
I can't imagine anyone standing there and letting someone imbed a tooth in him [I meant me] without reacting.

Me, I know I would have smacked him hard. That is one of the 4,000 reasons I don't have kids.
Part of my new honesty-is-the-best-policy policy.

Here's my logic: I like kids; I don't want to hit kids; I can be violent when I am angry or hurt; therefor I don't want to have kids (plus 3,999 other reasons).

I had a feeling this might provoke a response from the "I can't understand why someone doesn't love EVERYTHING about children" crowd, but I didn't expect THIS:
(Why is she reading a Mom's blog if she doesn't want kids?!)
Wow. I had never imagined that I shouldn't read mom blogs. I like to read blogs by women and even in modern America, more than 80 percent of women have children.

I'm interested in the whole vast spectrum of human life, not just my own little corner of it. How boring would my life be - and how short my blogroll - if I only chose to read blogs by people exactly like me?

I should abandon reading 80 percent of women's blogs, DQed by the fact that I have chosen not to be a mom? Ridiculous.


I was 10 minutes late waking up today. Normally this wouldn't be a big deal, but I have my morning routine down to a minute-splitting science. You see, I still have to answer to my parents about being on time. They watch Goldie during the day (bless them) and so I drop her off over there on my way to work. If I am five minutes late, I hear about it (they worry! they worry!).

I was sleeping late because I was dreaming that I was watching a new episode of Star Trek with Liz of Mom 101, whose Dad was the production designer. We were watching the show with Roo of Roo the Day, Tammie of Soul Gardening and Danielle of Foodmomiac.

During the course of the dream, I found out that Liz and all the other women had gone to Harvard together. What a class that must have been! Of course Liz said she did her undergrad at Cal State Chico, which is a funny contrast to Harvard, since it is known as a kind of backwoods major party school.

It was fun hanging out with other bloggers, even if it was only in my dreams.

25 September 2006

An open letter to Yoplait yogurt

Dear Yoplait,

I appreciate the fact that you want to help in the fight against breast cancer. The pink yogurt lids are very cute.

I will not, however, be saving the lids, rinsing them, collecting them, and sending them to you so you can donate a dime apiece to fighting cancer.

I figure I eat about 5 Yoplait yogurts a month. That's $6 per year if I collect lids for a whole year.

I know you're trying to be good corporate citizens, but can you just gimme a break and send the Susan G. Komen Foundation a check for $6 instead of waiting for my grubby, sour-milk-smelling lids?

I think you're just being petty if you can't agree to that.


PS (this p.s. is not to Yoplait. It is to everyone else. My dear dog Goldie's lovely photo is up over at Dog Gone Blog. Go take a look. She is so pretty!

24 September 2006


I didn't start drinking til late in life. I really never drank alcohol until after I was of legal drinking age - how odd is that?

My bar drink has always been gin and tonic. It seemed like a grown-up drink, wasn't too fussy, didn't involve a blender, and never caused bartenders to snarl at me when I ordered it.

(Unlike my friend Tom at an NYC bar. Tom is from California. Tom: "I'll have a strawberry daquiri." Bartender: "We ain't got no strawberries." Tom: "Then a plain daquiri will be fine." Bartender: "We ain't got none of that, neither.")

My dad drinks gin while out on the town, too. We go to Applebee's for lunch and he orders, in his subsonic growl, "Beefeater rocks." This inevitably puzzles the young server, who looks like a deer in the headlights.


"BEEFEATER ROCKS," he barks. I want to point out to him that saying "Beefeater ON THE rocks" might help with their comprehension, but for my dad to insert the extra two words would be for some reason tantamount to him saying he loves to have his nails done and owns Brokeback Mountain on DVD. Ain't gonna happen. Nev-ah.

After a 20 year flirtation with Pinot Noir, I have recently begun drinking gin and tonics as my adult beverage of choice at home. Tanqueray and tonic, specifically. With a lime. Yes.

A couple weeks back, Trader Joes ran out of Tanqueray, so I switched to Beefeater. Cheaper ($16.99 a liter instead of Tanqueray at $16.99 per 750 ml) but not nearly as tasty. Sorry, Pa.

The last time I went shopping, TJs had the highly-regarded Hendricks Gin ($24.99 per 750 ml - if I am ever to become a serious lush, I had better find a cheaper beverage), so I gave it a whirl. I am not a fan. It lacks Tanqueray's lively juniperness and is a bit of a disappointment.
Today I read the little tag on the bottle that tells you how wonderful it is. Its recipe for gin and tonic calls for serving it with a slice of cucumber instead of a lime.

CUCUMBER?? Heresy. While they're at it, why don't they tell me how great it would be to listen to some cover versions of Sinatra tunes? And that chocolate is something you can put in cheesecake. Feh. They have lost my vote. Gimme a Tanqueray and tonic. With lime.

Neglect not your Linkateria
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