Monday, March 31, 2008

Go Cubbies!

Entering season two of fandom, I'm sorry to say I won't be home planted in front of the TV at 1:20 this afternoon. Alas, I'll be at school getting last-minute stuff ready for C's. S. wants a souvenir from the Marie Laveau store. Until Friday I had no idea who she was.

Ah, the things S. is teaching me. The things the Cubbies are teaching me: how to relax, that it's a lot of fun to root for the underdog, that a TV on the deck is not such a bad idea, that there's nothing like being there in the stands. Except you can't pause it like you can at home.

One of my dog park friends, in response to something I said about the season opener, said that's the biggest change she's seen in me since I met S. And S. doesn't even mind that I have crushes on a whole bunch of the players.

Century Schmentury.


Friday, March 28, 2008

how our doggies got their Deutsch names

Last weekend it was time to cut Wrigley's toenails and since she's not Annabelle, well, we do that here at home. S. holds her down while I cut them. It was kinda nice out, so we went out on the deck to do it. Belly watched from afar.

Wrigley has both black and white toenails and the one I cut too short was white, for crying out loud. The blood, it was red and it was gushing. We bandaged her foot up a few times that day. When it was time for our evening walk, I suggested we put a boot over the bandage to make sure it stayed on. She thus became the one-booted wonder.

S.: She could be a kicker. And with her little white beard, she needs a German name. Like Horst.

A.: How about Helmut? I've always loved that German name.

S.: Helmut works.

Then we realized, probably at the same time, that the name is indeed perfect because we could make it into Hellmutt. Two l's, two t's and we got a whole new meaning. She is the mutt from hell. Julia used to call Annabelle Hell's Bells. Now we've got Hell's Bells and Hellmutt.

On the way to the park, both girls stick their heads out the windows of the car, Belly barking the whole way. Lately we've noticed that her voice is getting pretty hoarse. With the trips to the park and the daily scolding of her little sister, it takes a lot out of her. Thus was she christened Horst.
Hellmutt and Horst. Two beautiful girls.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008


Here's my favorite pic of S. and his dad, taken last May at a Durham Bulls game.

S. was supposed to fly home to Bloomington on Friday afternoon. His flight from Raleigh to Detroit was cancelled. He was not happy, not one bit. His stepmom picked him up, and on their way back to the house, they got a call from the hospital telling them they needed to come right away.

His dad died Friday evening, ending a month of struggle spent in the hospital, first in the critical care unit and then in a regular room. He knew he was going to die, and he was at peace with it. S. and I got to spend a lot of quality time with him, and for that we are forever grateful. I told him what his son said about him: that he was the best person he's ever known. How many people can say that about a parent? And mean it?

I'm proud to have known him, to have had such an incredible person call me family.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

fail fail fail

Words fail. Blogs fail. Inaction. There's not a goddamn thing we can do.

So S.'s dad lies in a hospital bed in North Carolina, struggling to breathe, ready to leave this world, and there's nothing we can do but wait.

I'm back in IL, S. comes home tomorrow, and we will both be waiting for a phone call in the middle of the night or the wee hours of the morning.

That trip to NC was the hardest experience of my life. Words fail and cliches get in the way and I'm too tired to tell stories, so let's just say that I will have a whole boatload more sympathy for students whose grandparents are dying.

Aside from my own father, who died when I was just 4, I've never had to deal with the death of a loved one. Remember all those times I wondered what it meant to be a grown-up? I think I know now.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008


We're only three months in, and already I'm done with it.

S. and I are traveling to North Carolina tomorrow to see his dad. Things aren't looking good. If you pray, pray. If not, think positive thoughts. If all else fails, please see to it that we get ourselves out of this year in one piece.

And today's Wrigley's birthday. Happy birthday, baby girl.

Monday, March 10, 2008

on pots

There comes a time in a coffee drinker's life when she must finally say goodbye to the glass coffee pot, what with all its warnings about hurting others and its utter fragility. In the last year, I've broken at least three coffee pots. I didn't even realize this last one was cracked. I was in the shower when the coffee was brewing. When I got out, S. said there'd been an incident with the coffee. I immediately ask him what he did (and was scolded for doing so). He was innocently making his breakfast when he noticed that coffee was spilling all over the counter. There was a massive crack on the bottom of the pot. So, after walking the dogs for an hour at a new park, it was off to Target we went. I could've gotten a stainless steel pot, but my experience with those tells me they're impossible to clean. So we got this:

Plus, it's so cool to push the button to pour the coffee. And there's no spillage, as there sometimes is with a regular pot. And nobody can hold this one over my head. It cost a little more, but in the long run, probably worth it.

Yesterday afternoon I had some fun taking short videos of the dogs chomping away on their Nylabones. At one point when I was filming Belly, S. called out to me to ask if I was ready for Wrigley to come back in the room. He was cleaning my bathroom and didn't realize I was taping Belly. I said no, and you hear him in the background saying to Wrigley, "Cleaning a toilet one-handed--it ain't easy." And I can't help but laugh out loud.

Both videos came out too dark to post, but I did ask S. to take a pic of me and the baby girl before she turns one. Her birthday is Wednesday, exactly 2 months after we brought her home.

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

night and day

Belly: smart

Wrigley: not so much

Belly: anxious at times

Wrigley: not so much

Belly: thinker

Wrigley: not so much

Belly has always been my sweet, sometimes anxious, pooper stinkbutt with a big ol' smart bump on her head. She's very sensitive, and every time she's ever been hurt or sick, she's been very expressive about it. She communicates. And she does the pathetic look like no other. She's been working very hard to perfect it.

Wrigley, on the other hand--if she were fat, I'd be able to say she's fat, dumb, and happy. She has what could be a smart bump on her head but I'm thinking we might soon be able to confirm that it's really a shrunken dunce hat. She's just a happy, happy girl with not a care in the world. The day we brought her home she jumped up on the couch and wanted to wrestle. There was no adjustment period. There's also no pathetic look. It's just kind of a dumb, huh?

We have a trainer coming over tonight to help us train the Wiggles. I wish it were Cesar. I'm starting to get a bit of a crush on him. He's so no-nonsense. He'd have a field day with my relationship with Belly, but I know he'd straighten out the WiggleButt pretty quickly.

I mean, I knew our new doggie would be different from Belly (how could she not?), but I guess I wasn't prepared for such a happy-go-lucky doggie. A dog who really does get up each morning excited about all the possibilities for a new day. New sniffs! Toys! Walks! Food! Opportunities to steal food! Oh BOY!

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