Friday, 31 July 2009

I'm On The Karma Payment Plan

So I have strep throat again.

It's been a whopping five weeks since the last time I had strep throat.

Today the doctor said I have to start thinking about getting my tonsils removed. Right. I'm sure my boss will be really enthusiastic about me requesting six weeks off work. Have any of you had your tonsils removed? Did it really take six weeks to recover? That seems a bit ... extensive.

So clearly this is karma. I blame everyone who commented on yesterday's post and told me to forget helping my sister move and make better plans. Just kidding. (About the blaming part; I'm totally serious about the karma part.) Though now I have a really good excuse for not helping with the move.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

The Heatwave Humming In The House Of Cards

We are experiencing a heatwave here in BC. I'm trying to embrace the heat - I'm a summer person! I hate the cold! - but it's getting a bit ridiculous. Last night Shawn and I put a block of ice in front of the fan to make a DIY air-conditioner and in 40 minutes the ice had melted. Melted! In 40 minutes! It is hot.

For the last three days we have gorged ourselves on watermelon and frozen blueberries because it's too hot to cook. The puppies have been too hot to be mischievous; they just lie on the cool tile of the kitchen floor and pant. Sleeping has become difficult; we toss and turn and wake each other up to complain about the heat. I have looked forward to going to work to revel in the artificially frosty air. You know times are drastic when I say that I'm looking forward to going to work.

I went grocery shopping yesterday to spend some time in the freezer section. An announcement was made over the PA, reprimanding the asshat (the store employee didn't actually use the word asshat but it was implied) who left a puppy in a car in the parking lot. When I left, my car read 38 degrees Celsius (just over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.) I hope that poor puppy was rescued. I have many things to say about people who leave animals in hot cars but I don't have the energy to rant. We'll just file this under stabity stab stab and leave it at that.

The heat is going to last all week. Hold me (but actually don't hold me; it's too hot for contact.)

I want someone to remind me of this post in November when I'm complaining about the rain.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Sweet Thing Sipping On A Blueberry Wine

My favourite kind of Sunday starts with blueberry pancakes topped with blueberry-raspberry sauce, whipped cream, and a few (redundant) fresh blueberries.

My favourite kind of Sunday is easily downgraded to a stabity stab stab Sunday by going condo-shopping. That is all.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Like A Tomato In The Rain I've Got That Feeling Again

Tuesday Randomness

I made a cake with the raspberries and blueberries.

Two cakes, really. They turned out really well but I think I'll use more berries next time.

* * * * *
I left my pyjama top on Wolfgang's (wire) crate. Later, I saw that he had pulled it into his crate. I thought it was adorable that my puppy wanted to cuddle something that smelled like me.

Please note the gaping hole. He did not just chew my top, he ate it. Like, tried to digest it. AND FAILED. Meaning, he later pooped my top.

* * * * *

If you haven't already, head on over to Hair Thursday and vote. It's pretty even right now (45% - 55%) so I'm still torn. Come on peeps, make my important decisions for me!

* * * * *

I think I'm going crazy.

Shawn and I have started looking online for potential condos. I have all of a sudden developed a fear of heights. I've never been great with heights. I have never loved heights. But I've never feared them to this degree.

I have refused to consider anything above the ninth floor. I am almost to the point of refusing to look at lofts because the thought of having a railing that I could potentially fall over is making it hard to breathe. It's bizarre. I don't know where this is coming from. Shawn showed me a 26th floor condo yesterday and I got this horrible, itchy feeling all over. It had a balcony! A 26th floor balcony! Madness!

Also, I have developed a severe hatred of tomatoes.

I have always loved tomatoes. My list of hated vegetables has always been short and unchanging: beets and mushrooms. That's it. I like a wide variety of vegetables and can fake it with most others. But lately I have been repulsed by tomatoes. If I could think of a stronger word than repulsed, I would use it. That is how much I dislike tomatoes now.

It doesn't make sense. I have not had a bad experience with a tomato. I didn't bite into a bad tomato. I did not find any worms in a tomato. I did not read an article stating that tomatoes cause cancer. And yet ... the thought of eating a tomato makes my heart beat really fast and my mind race. "How can I get out of eating this tomato? Why the fuck do I want to avoid tomatoes?"

You see? Crazy.

* * * * *

Because I need to end this post with something other than my insanity ... puppies!

This blanket is usually draped over Wolfgang's crate because he doesn't sleep unless it's pitch black. It has been much too hot for that lately (I woke up one morning and his crate was like a little sauna) so the blanket has been moved to a chair. The puppies? LOVE IT.

So now the blanket has to stay on the chair because it's the only place the puppies will chill out and be nice to each other.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Let Me Churn In Your Furnace Of Whirl

First things first: I've been Whoorled! Check it out and vote for your favourite hairstyle, if you please.

Moving on...

I had big plans for this past weekend. I was going to make raspberry jelly and raspberry pie and blueberry jam and blueberry buckle. I was going to organize the kitchen and teach the dogs the "drop it" command and wash all my "hand wash only" clothes. I was going to figure out Skype (no really, I am completely intimidated by Skype. I refuse to even look into it, which is silly, I know. So silly. And yet.)

I accomplished nothing.

And I'm not sorry.

I had a rough day at work on Friday. Patio-time was much needed. Shawn and I headed to a nearby restaurant and sat in the sun and ate and drank and chilled the eff out. It was awesome. He's had a crazy work schedule lately and his spare time has been eaten up by the studio, so it's been a long time since we had a chunk of time to spend together doing nothing.

The rest of the weekend was spent outside with the pups, taking advantage of the gorgeous weather; eating copious amounts of cheese and cupcakes at Cat's ladies' night; drinking far too much Saturday night and wanting to die Sunday morning; and driving around different areas of Vancouver with Shawn, deciding where our dream condo will be.

It was a great weekend but today is a bit ... grim. I'm not complaining about the weather, because I love summer and the sunshine we've been getting lately is fantastic, but it's almost too hot right now. I had a really bad sleep last night because the air was so stagnant. I refuse to admit that this a two-day hangover because that just makes me feel old.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

I Woke Up In A Strange Place Music So Loud That I Spilled All My Beer

Gastown has never been a place we considered moving to. It's too far from my friends in the West End and Shawn's friends in Yaletown. It's right on the edge of where downtown becomes very seedy and not particularly safe.

Shawn spent the weekend in a studio in Gastown and came home raving about the heritage buildings and cobblestone streets. His enthusiasm is infectious and my dreams of gardens and space for the puppies have turned to dreams of brick walls and converted lofts and exposed beams. Yes, in two days my dreams have changed.

Lisa commented on Monday's post, calling my volte-face "caprice." I like that. It sounds so much better than "fickle" or "flighty" or "fucking impossible to please, Hillary, make up your damn mind already."


There is a quote by Horace that resonates with me. "Romae rus optas, absentem rusticus urbem tollis ad astra levis" loosely translated as: In Rome you long for the country, in the country you laud the distant city to the stars.

I grew up in the suburbs and couldn't wait to move to the city. I lived in the city and craved the countryside. I lived in England and ached for Vancouver. I live in BC and I long for England. It's frustrating for those who have to put up with me, yes, but it is even more frustrating to be the one who feels this way. It's not about wanting more or never being satisfied. It's about wanting to feel settled. Wanting to feel like I am home.

Which is a bit silly, right? I know that a perfect location does not equal a perfect home or a settled home or settled mind. But there is still a small part of me that hopes it does.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Just Beat It Beat It Beat It Beat It No One Wants To Be Defeated - Take 7

July beets! Mid-month! I am inordinately proud of myself for not leaving my July beets until the last day of the month. I don't need to eat beets again for ages.

I had a beet epiphany this month. Roasting vegetables brings out the natural sweetness and intensifies their flavours. The thing I hate most about beets is that they have this cloying sweetness to them. And I hate the flavour. So roasting beets enhances the two things I hate most about beets. And yet I continue to roast them. I'm actually a little ashamed that it took me this long to figure it out but hey, I never claimed to be a beet expert.

This month I boiled my beets with garlic and fresh ginger. When I drained the beets the water was dark purple. I obviously lost a lot of nutrients by cooking them this way but I also lost a lot of beet flavour, so I'd call that a win. After I drained the beets, I peeled them, chopped them, and tossed them with a little olive oil and lemon juice. We made giant salads with lots of other vegetables and fruits to mask the flavour of the beets.

Verdict: these are my favourite beets. I do not love them but I do not hate them. I could see myself eating these beets again. Not voluntarily, obviously.

I almost bought pickled beets last week but when I got up to the checkout the jar had opened and my basket was filled with lovely purple vinegar (and everything in my basket was covered in it.) I took it as a sign that I wasn't meant to eat pickled beets.

Monday, 13 July 2009

And The Village Was Great Now It's A Suburb

Saturday was one of those idyllic days. I spent hours lounging on my parents' patio, sipping coffee, devouring wholewheat pancakes topped with raspberries freshly picked from my mom's garden, and watching the puppies run, tumble, and finally collapse in the shade. It was a day where I thought that yes, I could do this. I could move to the suburbs. I wouldn't miss the noise of the traffic or the police sirens (note to self: living two blocks away from the police station does not mean you will be extra safe, it means that you will be very annoyed - daily - by sirens.) I wouldn't miss the tiny square footage of our shoebox in the sky. I certainly wouldn't miss living in a building with so many asshats (like the one who smeared a cheeseburger all over the floor of one of the elevators early Saturday morning. The cheeseburger was not just dropped - it was smeared. All over. Oh, and our building isn't cleaned on the weekend, so the cheeseburger was there until this morning.)

I guess I've swung over from wanting to move back downtown to wanting to move out to the suburbs. I have dreams, people. Big dreams. Dreams of window boxes filled with fresh herbs; dreams of a puppy run in the backyard; dreams of a huge garden with lettuce and zucchini and tomatoes and sunflowers and maybe even a pumpkin patch if there is room. It's entirely possible that this is just a summer dream (I'm all about the sitting on the patio in the sun, I'm not so much about the shovelling snow) but for now it is what is filling my head.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

The Butterflies Are Passive Aggressive And Put Their Problems On The Shelf But They're Beautiful

So how did the puppies do with day one of our new, stricter regime?

I was in the bedroom with Stella last night when Shawn came storming in holding Wolfgang. Shawn threw him into his crate and slammed the door and it wasn't until he turned around that I saw the giant pee mark on his jeans.

Shawn was sitting on the couch and Wolfgang came over for what Shawn thought was a cuddle. Oh no, it was no cuddle. Wolfgang urinated all over Shawn. Shawn jumped up and Wolfgang continued to pee all over the couch and floor. 

So, uhh .... anyone want a free puppy?

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

These Blue Shoes Seem To Suit Me Well

My parents came over for dinner last night to celebrate their 37th wedding anniversary (37? In a row?) (Bonus points to anyone who can identify the movie that quote came from.)

We were sitting at the table while the puppies played on the couch. I thought they were chewing their bones until I heard a very distinctive ripping sound. I jumped up, convinced they had just destroyed the couch. My heart sank even lower when I realized they weren't chewing the couch, they were chewing one of my mom's shoes. The shoe was still identifiable as a shoe but there was no way to salvage it. They mutilated the shoe.

Stella has always been a fan of shoes. We constantly find her trying to get into the closet. If we accidentally leave the door open, she will instantly stick her head in and grab a few shoes. She doesn't chew them, though. She gums them a bit but mainly just likes to cuddle them. We think she likes the smell (because she usually goes for Shawn's workout runners or my ballerina flats or other shoes we wear while sockless.)

It looks like we have become a little too complacent when it comes to training the puppies. That changes today. Today the puppies will start boot camp. Today the puppies will embark on their journey to become less horrid. No longer will Stella's wrinkly brow or Wolfgang's old-man eyebrows get them out of trouble.

I am officially immune to this:

and this:

and these:
I won't lie; I am likely not immune to this:

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Well Its A Broken Smile Breaking Their Hearts And Breaking Their Minds Bite Hard

Stella is a serious chewer. We have gone through numerous dog toys, trying to find one that lasts longer than a day with Stella and her monster jaws. Stella has one dog toy. It's not even a toy; it's a bone. The Nylabone Galileo Bone "the world's strongest dog bone for powerful chewers", to be exact. Remember when I gave the puppies the Flappy? I had high hopes for the Flappy. The Flappy lasted a week. The Flappy is now dead.

She killed the Flappy. She's not sorry.

So. Stella = powerful chewer. Keep that in mind.

See! Look at her technique! Those are some powerful jaws!

On Saturday I was walking both pups when Wolfgang needed to stop for a bathroom break. I was fussing about with him when I realized that Stella was chewing a bone of some sort. A bone that she was easily crunching through and consuming. I managed to get most of it out of her mouth but not before she swallowed some. So of course I freaked out and called the vet, who told me not to bring her in because there was "nothing they could do for her." Um yes, not the most reassuring thing to hear. The vet told me to monitor Stella and to bring her in if she showed any signs of blockage or internal tears.

So I was feeling a bit fragile.

Fast forward to Sunday night. I took Stella for a walk, completely avoiding the area where Saturday's bone-incident took place, and what happens? Stella finds another bone (there is a SPECIAL PLACE IN HELL for people who throw bones on the street for innocent animals to find and choke on, in my opinion.)

I panicked.

I believe in obedience school; however, I also believe that a dog is a dog. Stella is half beagle. She is completely motivated by smells and by food. If it's smelly food? Even better. She gets in the zone and nothing will prevent her from either eating or rolling in whatever she has found. I don't think that any amount of training will ever "cure" her of this. I usually take a bag of treats along with me when I walk her, to distract her. I had no treats with me Sunday night.

So I stuck my hand in her mouth. I tried to take the bone from her. The smelly bone she was intent on eating. And she bit me.

It wasn't a vicious bite; she wasn't maliciously biting me to prevent me from taking her bone. She was just chewing the bone and my hand got in the way.

I walked home - ten long minutes - while crying and dripping blood, trying to not scare my oblivious pup. By the time I got home, two of my fingers were swollen to the point where bending them was no longer an option so Shawn took me to the emergency room.

Four puncture wounds, one adorable doctor, one surly nurse (I am usually pro-nurse so please trust me when I say that this lady was extremely churlish (example: I told her that I am bad with needles because in my experience, the needle-giver usually wants to know in advance if you're going to hyperventilate and pass out. To which she replied, "well it's not like I'm a fan of them") (oh and then she was all "Okay. On three. One - two - " AND THEN SHE JABBED ME ON TWO! Dear Surly Nurse, that was the fucking highlight of your night, wasn't it?)), two x-rays to rule out bone damage (yes, she bit me that hard), one tetanus shot (note to future self: you had a tetanus shot on July 3rd, 2009. If you ever have to go to the emergency room again, look this info up. The nurses will look at you like a crazy lady if you don't know when your last tetanus shot was), one shot of antibiotics, and three hours later I was on my way home.

Interesting fact (courtesy of Adorable Doctor): 20 - 27% of dog bites become infected compared to 80% of cat bites. The infection rate is above 80% if a human bites you (you can just file that nugget of information under "why I do not - and will not - own cats or bitey humans.)

Here's the thing: I'm not mad at Stella. She's a dog. She was chewing a tasty bone. I put my hand in her mouth. Of course she bit me! Oh and she's fine, by the way. We need to monitor her for the next week or two, but so far everything has been normal. The biggest danger when your dog eats a bone comes from the actual swallowing part - the bones splinter and can easily choke your dog. So now we just wait and hope that the bone fragments don't cause any damage to her digestive system.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Carbon's Anniversary The Parting Of The Sensory - 10 & 11

Dear Shawn,

Happy 10th & 11th Monthiversary!

I skipped writing a 10th monthiversary post; not because I wanted to punch you in the ear but because things were going so well that I didn't want to jinx it.

I guess it's pretty easy to be married to someone when you're both in a tropical resort; there are no arguments over whose turn it is to cook or clean because it's all done for you; and someone leaves a chocolate on your pillow every night. (Note to future self: if times get tough, head to the Caribbean!)

While we were in Punta Cana, we kept hearing about the amazing sunrises. I really wanted to see one but we couldn't seem to pull ourselves out of our alcohol-induced sleep early enough. Until our last morning, when you set up a wake-up call for 5:30 and another for 5:45 and then forced me out of bed. Though it made me a bit stabby initially, I really appreciated the gesture. We sat on the deserted beach and watched the sun rise behind the shipwreck and my heart just about burst with shmoopiness.

And then we came home and returned to our daily routine. Less shmoopy, more normal (not that normal is a bad thing, it's just not as ... fun.)

We sold both of our cars and bought one to share. I was worried that sharing a car with you would be disastrous but in the last month having only one car has caused friction just once. We're doing a good job of compromising and I have to say, I'm proud of us. We're pulling off this whole grown-up thing quite well (or we're doing a good job of pretending to be grown-ups. Whatever.)

I can't believe I've been your wife for almost a year.

Love you, dude.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

What's Your Dirty Hassle

A few bits and bobs from my booze-addled brain.

* * * * *

Yesterday was Canada Day. It's pretty much mandatory that you barbecue copious amounts of meat and drink copious amounts of beer on Canada Day. Who am I to argue? I hurt today.

* * * * *

Thanks for all your suggestions re: getting the drops in Stella's ears. I've tried them all. Nothing works. It takes Shawn and I roughly fifteen minutes to get the drops in her ears. It involves a lot of swearing (on our part) and scratching (on Stella's part.) Shawn learned his lesson yesterday and put on a long-sleeved shirt this morning before we made our attempt. Stella hates us right now.

plotting our demise

ear envy

* * * * *
I promise this is the last time I hassle you to watch Goldie's videos ... but please watch Goldie's videos! She's now got a 1 in 5 chance of winning the money and the contest ends really soon. She's bonkers and I love her and if you knew her you'd love her. So watch! Enjoy!