Archive | June, 2003

Grrrr

24 Jun

One sure fire way to piss me off is to not acknowledge me when I say something nice. For instance, if I say, ‘Good Morning’, please, give some type of response. If I say ‘I’m sorry I had to bother you with that request, I was getting a lot of pressure to get it done’, don’t ignore me. I work with a woman who is constantly ignoring my efforts of congeniality.

Yesterday, there was a situation in the gym locker room that really peeved me. I was changing, and didn’t see a woman come up behind me and open the locker next to me. I went to turn around, and I bumped into her locker, which, by the way, hurt. I smiled at her and said ‘I’m sorry, I didn’t see you there’, and she didn’t even look at me. That made me mad, so I blatently said to the woman ‘I SAID I was sorry’, thinking that I shouldn’t have to apologize for her not giving me verbal notice that she had opened a locker right next to me. She didn’t acknowledge me again. Bah! One way to ruin any semblance of a good mood I had going at 7 am.

If I’m trying to be nice to you, please, give me some sign that you’re alive!!!

40 Years of Cookin’

24 Jun

This weekend, my family and I will be celebrating my parents’ 40th anniversary. I am so proud that my parents have been married this long that I have been telling everyone I see about it. I manage to sneak it into my excuses for why I can’t meet with someone on Friday or the following Monday, since I’ll be on vacation with my family. I say ‘Sorry, can’t meet… I’m celebrating my parents’ 40th anniversary’.

I have told my office that I will be completely out of pocket (unlike every other time I’ve taken vacation), and I’m counting the hours down until my parnets’ plane arrives tomorrow night.

Us kids, meaning my brothers, sister-in-laws, and my nephew will be treating the parents to a weekend at a cabin on Donner Lake. Donner Lake is this beautiful dark blue lake that is surrounded by mountains and pine trees. (Here is a picture of it.)

We have a packed itenerary for the long weekend, including boating/water skiing, hiking, biking, and golf for the three golfers in our group. (Not me, I suck too bad to play 18 holes!) As a present to the parents, we’ve hired a photographer to come take pictures of all of us for an hour session, and we’re doing the shoot on the beach of Donner Lake. (Still can’t decide what the heck to wear for that!)

I really can’t wait. A four day weekend in a beautiful setting celebrating a truly monumental occasion.

Popeye Would Be Ashamed

23 Jun

Last Tuesday, I met with a physical trainer (for the third time), and she suggested a few dietary changes. Namely, I am supposed to eat more vegetables, and a serving of spinach every day.

That night, I went to the store and bought everything she had recommended. When I got home, I realized that I was billed for the spinach, but didn’t make it home with it. Irritated, I went back to the store, and asked for the spinach they neglected to give me. They obliged, though they said they hadn’t seen any extra spinach lying around.

Later in the week, something in my Trans Am didn’t smell right. It got progressively worse every day. I kept looking under my seats, thinking something had fallen out of my lunch sack and rolled under the seat. But there wasn’t anything there.

On Saturday, when I opened the door to the Trans Am, I was greeted by a nasty, rotting odor. I decided it was time to get to the root of the problem. After searching the passenger compartment, I opened the trunk. Underneath my golf clubs, I found a grocery sack. In it were two packages of previously frozen, now rotten, spinach, as well as a container of cottage cheese.

The spinach was leaking everywhere, with a nasty green juice leaking out of the bag — all over my trunk.

Now I’m not sure how to get this smell out of my car. For starters, I left the windows down, and went out and bought an air freshener with ‘new car smell’, in the hopes of returning my car to its previously scrumptious new car smell.

I doubt it will work. Popeye would be ashamed of me for wasting some perfectly good spinach. I’m hoping I won’t smell rotten spinach every time I get in my car, and am dreading leaving it out in the hot sun…

Poor Martha, or should we say Poor Marsha

19 Jun

My mother is REALLY into Martha Stewart. She watches her show regularly, buys some of her publications, and went through a phase when she would quote Ms. Sewart by starting a sentence with ‘Martha says…’

Mom even called the local TV station to complain a while back when they stopped airing Martha’s show. Luckily, the show is back on now.

But Martha is in trouble. When the stock trading stories first aired, I was amazed at how Martha Stewart fans, including my own Mother, were almost MORE endeared to Martha.

Now, it looks like Martha is in more trouble. I guess Mom is going to have to get used Martha’s shows concentrating on how to decorate small spaces, such as the examples shown here.

Harry Potter Mania

18 Jun

I confess that I have read every Harry Potter book published, and I am one of the masses that has ordered the next installment on Amazon.com. It is scheduled for delivery next week.

I was first turned on to Harry Potter by a DVD copy of the first book that was given to [The Man Now Known as The Ex] as a gift. I listened to the entire book during my commute late last summer, and after I was finished, I headed straight to the library for the second book. Then, two weeks later, I was back for the third, and I had a continuous stream of Harry Potter books until I walked up to the librarian and said “I just finished reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire — I’d like to check out the next book.”

The librarian kind of chuckled, and said “Wouldn’t everyone.” That’s when I discovered that it wasn’t even published yet.

So I now await delivery of the 900+ page Order of Phoenix, and am completely unashamed of being all wrapped up in childrens’ books. J.K. Rowling is an amazing author, and I could only dream of writing like her one day.

In the mean time, I have this to tide me over.

Gone to the Dogs

16 Jun

Well, I had another weekend full of dog stories. I really never intended for this blog to be devoted to our pooch, but he does serve as my source of entertainment.

So this weekend, we were invited to go ‘cliff jumping’ about 45 miles West of Reno in the Yuba River. My friend said that it would be a good place to take Tucker. I obliged.

When we parked up there in the mountains, we began our 1 mile hike to the swimming hole. At the entrance to the trail, there was a sign saying ‘Warning: People have died recently in this river. The water is so cold that hypothermia or shock can happen immediately.’

We all looked at each other, and then said ‘Let’s go swimming!’ This morning when I got into the office, I found a few articles (article 1, article 2) talking about people that died the week before at the exact spot that we ended up at.

Well, the trail turned out to be really rocky, and it was more of a rock climbing decent than a hike. I really felt sorry for the girls with us that had chosen to wear flip-flops for the hike. A few minutes into our hike, a few hippy looking guys yelled up at us saying that there was poison oak all over around the trail. Since none of us were exactly sure what poison oak looks like, we then became very wary to touch any green plant on the hike.

We arrived at the swimming hole, called Emerald Pool. It’s called that because the water is a bright green. It was really a beautiful place. Well, to get to the beach area, we had to cross over some rapids that were about two feet deep. [The Man Now Known as The Ex] and Tucker went first in the group, without any problems. We then formed a human chain to make sure we all got across safely.

Now wading in the water was almost painful because it was so cold. Hence, I decided I wouldn’t be jumping off of any rocks into the pool, because that would just not be a pleasant experience. Several people in our group did a jump from a rock that was about 30 feet high, and they did the jump several times each.

Now Tucker was VERY upset when they started jumping off of the rocks. I didn’t know he had a lifeguard instinct, but he actually lept into the water to and swam in circles barking at them.

We hung out on the beach for a while, enjoying the sun, the sounds of the river, and the mountain breeze. The views were truly breath taking.

When it came time to leave, [The Man Now Known as The Ex] decided that he and Tucker should be the last two to cross the rapids. We formed another human chain, and all made it safely. [The Man Now Known as The Ex] began to wade out with Tucker, and passed the leash to the next person in the human chain. That’s when Tucker got swept up by the current.

I looked just in time to see my friend holding on to Tucker’s leash, and Tucker frantically trying to swim against the current. Then my friend let go.

I freaked out. My dog was getting pulled down the river, heading to a series of rapids that would be difficult to survive. I scrambled over a few huge boulders and ran down the bank of the river, screaming his name. He could see me, and I kept encouraging him to swim towards me. Luckily, he was able to make it to shore right before the next set of rapids. I grabbed him by the scruff to help him out of the water, and hugged the dog I almost lost forever.

That’s when I looked up to see a completely soaked [The Man Now Known as The Ex]. I didn’t even know that he had jumped in the river after Tucker, and had gone through the rapids himself in an effort to save our pooch. I was in shock. I had flashbacks to news reports from the week before, where a local man died trying to save his dog in a river.

I was pretty much in shock, having realized that I almost lost both [The Man Now Known as The Ex] and Tucker in a split second. God was looking out for all of us that day, because only He knows what would have happened if they would have been dragged through the next set of rapids.

The hike back to the truck was very challenging, as it was all uphill rock climbing. There were several times where I had to push Tucker’s hind quarters up the rock while [The Man Now Known as The Ex] grabbed his scruff to pull him up. We both agreed that we’d never take Tucker there again.

Saturday night, we went to see Pat Benatar in concert. This was my fourth Pat concert, and I was really geeked. Imagine my reaction when I found out that the tickets a friend had given us were in the fourth row, dead center!

She put on an excellent show, despite being extremely fashionably challenged that night. She was wearing this strange hat, a jean jacket, and cargo pants. It was a different combination that didn’t really work… Right after Pat played my favorite song, “Hit me with your best shot”, her husband, Neil Giraldo, started throwing guitar pics out into the audience. I actually got one! I went really crazy when I picked it up!!!

So on Sunday morning, Tucker and I ventured to the ESPN Big Air Dog Classic, an event where dogs jump off of a dock to fetch an item, and they are judged based on how far they jump. I figured that Tucker loved to swim, and loved to fetch his ball in the water, so he’d be a natural at this sport.

Now imagine this scene: 135 dogs and their owners all lined up to take a shot at the dock. 90% labradors (majority were black labs), 5% Golden Retrievers, and 5% random dogs, including a few Yorkies and Cocker Spaniels. It was really mass chaos. Barking, growling, jumping, peeing, pooping, you name it. Now to set the scene even better, I’m carrying around Tucker’s tennis balls, and we’re at the place where he always fetches his balls in the water, but we have to wait around 3 hours before he can partake, and meanwhile, he has to watch other dogs playing in the water. This didn’t go over well. At all. He barked, pulled, and basically forgot all of the obedience we had ever taught him. He was so excited, and I had hopes that he would harness that enegy for his jumps.

Well, Tucker got Little Air. Each dog gets one practice jump, and three competition jumps. We were first up in the second heat, meaning there were a ton of people watching us because they weren’t yet bored. The announcer says ‘Next up is Tucker and Lynnette Cook from Reno. Tucker was the name of the 2002 Big Air champion in the Great Outdoor Games. Let’s see how this Tucker does’.

I walk Tucker up to the edge of the dock for his practice jump, show it to him, and then walk him back about 20 feet. I throw his ball into the water, and he runs full speed up to the edge, and comes to a screeching halt. He then looks back at me like ‘you’re crazy if you think I’m going off of this!’ I encouraged him to jump, and he eventually stuck his butt up in the air and flopped about 1 foot away from the dock, and landed with a big ‘ker-plunk’. He then forgot that the ball was out there, and swam back to shore. Meanwhile, an ESPN employee in a kayak had to go fetch his ball for us.

Competition Jump #1: (The announcer doesn’t even recognize us this time, and keeps babbling about how to train your dog in the sport) I walk him up to the edge, show it to him again, whispering ‘see, it’s not that scary’, and then I take him back about 10 feet. I throw the ball, he runs full speed, and screeches to another stop at the end of the dock. He looked back at me, and I said ‘go on!’, and he jumped. 6 feet. (Keep in mind that the pro dogs jump about 24 feet!) At least this time, he fetched his own ball.

Competition Jump #2: The announcer says ‘Let’s see if Tucker can beat his first jump of 6 feet.” We do the same routine, and this time he jumps 7 feet.

Competition Jump #3: Same situation, Tucker jumps 8 feet.

So we left. I think we were dead last in our heat. Beat by Rambo, a little cattle dog, and his owner, this huge guy named Jim. I whispered to Tucker ‘Even Rambo beat you!!!’

By the time he finished his jumps, I was tired, and very irritated with my dog, who was barking, grabbing for his tennis balls, and overall making a spectacle of himself. In his defense, it really was a bit of sensory overload for him there, but oh well.

My brother, Chuck, said that he saw our practice ‘jump’ on the 11:00 news last night. That was the one foot jump. I hope no one recognized me!!!

If you want to see some pictures of a Big Air Dog competition, DockDogs.com has all the details. Here is the article that was in the paper this morning about the event.

Hey, we walked away with an ESPN leash and our entry fee benefited the Nevada Humane Society, the place where I adopted my Little Air Dog.

Another weekend gone to the dogs.

Junk Mail Quote of the Day

13 Jun

I just got an e-mail from Saddam. He’s naked and alive.

Now that’s a funny mental image! Of course when you click through, it’s porn, but you have to give that spammer some credit for being creative!!!