Monthly Archives: September 2007

prettier than the vincas

ava-flowers-head-cocked-sept-07.jpg

Only 2 and a half years old and all that hair.   If she was dirtier in the next shot would totally be perfect (as she’s only wearing a t-shirt and a pullup) for one of those “feed the children” commercials.

wistful

not looking

laughing

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Big Mac 1999 – 2007

good doggie

The family dog, Mac, was put down this week due to Stage IV cancer. Mackie was a horse-sized, slightly neurotic and constantly shedding beast. He was also one of the gentlest dogs I’ve ever known.

My sister and brother in law adopted Mac from a cousin right before my sis found out she was pregnant. Mac established a pattern of doing stupid stuff right off the bat – he was particularly fond of eating dryer sheets and then puking them up. He was a talented eater and puker of non-edible things.

Nine months later, my nephew came along and that’s when the dog began to exhibit other talents. The only worry we had is that the baby could be run over by the energetic Mac. I came home when my nephew was six weeks old and stayed up with him one night. Mac slept by the bassinet and every time the baby snuffled or peeped, he was up to check on the baby (at a year old, the dog was huge). Neither of us slept much that night – apparently babies make cute noises all night long. Mac always made it to the bassinet before I did. We were his pack and he knew immediately to take extra care with the kids.

One day, on the phone with my sister when the nephew had begun crawling, I was treated to what would become a phone-call routine. In the middle of a thought, my sis gasps, “[Neph], NOOOOOOO!!!!!!” It turns out that the crawling nephew had discovered Mac’s balls (the dog was sleeping on his back) and was in the process of giving them a thorough squeeze. Mac never even flinched. (He hadn’t been “fixed” at that point either.)

Right before the family moved into the new house, they fitted these little mittens onto his paws so when he went outside to do his business, he wouldn’t track mud into the house. Poor Mac took off and ran around and around like a crazed Tennessee Walking Horse, desperate for any way to remove the hated mittens. He was able to remove two during his frantic run and we all nearly wet our pants laughing at the spectacle.

Before having him fixed, Mac was mated to a friend’s lab. The subsequent first litter consisted of 7 or 9 puppies, and I believe that 4-5 is normal for a first litter. But having him neutered was a good thing for Mac – he finally calmed down enough to not get excited at simply being patted on the head. He also stopped making odd noises at girl doggies. He ran off less, which was good since the electric fence was no deterrent to run for a hoss of a dog.

The puking was a constant thing throughout Mac’s 8 years, and had begun to increase slightly over the past year. It wasn’t really noticed until a couple months ago when the weight loss became obvious, and then he couldn’t keep any food down at all. At his heaviest, Mac was 116 lbs, and he had shrunk to 77 lbs, losing about 30 pounds in the past year. An x-ray was inconclusive, but things seemed wrong. The family determined that an MRI would just prolong things (why wait till he became even more weak and wouldn’t even survive surgery?) and opted for surgery with the knowledge that the vet would end the dog’s suffering if surgery couldn’t fix the problem. Surgery revealed advanced cancer, tumors having spread throughout his organs. My brother in law blames himself for having not acted any sooner.

The night before Mac went to the vet for the last time, he was outside playing ball with a group of small boys. Despite not being able to keep food down and feeling terrible, he was never mean, he never snapped at anyone, and he continued to treat all people gently. His wagging tail was his most dangerous weapon, but mostly to small children and home decorations. The fur on his head and ears was so soft.

This was taken the night before.  last days

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Filed under Say good night

i too have a cunning plan…

Its just now 5 pm and I have already had two healthy glasses of Vin de Sol (from Pearmund Cellars as per previous post) – an excellent Virginian version of jerez.  Why is that?  I’m in the midst of having a plantar’s wart removed from the bottom of my foot, and it seems that the first week of said removal has not gone at all well.  The doctor took a look at it today, two days after the first application of acid, and was quite disappointed.  He then took sharp instruments and dug out whatever he could – without the benefit of anything that might dull the pain – and sent me on my way with instructions to return next Tuesday for additional torture, er, treatment.   Did I mention that it feels like you’re walking on a pin/tack after the acid application?  No?  Well, now you know.

Not all is bleak, however.  Teh Smitten has received an offer of a job from an employer that might make him rather happy.  We celebrated Fourmonthmas on Tuesday, and he continues to subject me to British humor.  In particular, I’ve become very fond of Black Books, Blackadder (fans will immediately recognize the title to this post), and we’re in the midst of the Jeeves and Wooster series.  For the record, I think I prefer the current Hugh Laurie to the younger.  We’ve also begun the HBO series Rome.  I’m into it after only a couple episodes, but Teh Smit isn’t quite sold.

Literarily, I’ve now finished Sandworms of Dune (which is okay but nothing like the original Frank Herbert series) and have begun The Golden Compass (which I quite like already and am looking forward to the film in December).

We’re off in a bit to pick up a friend and eat our weight in sushi at Kaz Sushi Bistro, where I haven’t been in a couple years.   I figure adding sake to the vin de sol should really put a dent in the foot pain.

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Filed under books, food and drink, relationships

the enemy of my lipstick is not my enemy

A couple weeks ago, Teh Smitten and I rounded up a couple of friends (the Manic Bride and her beau) and hit the Palace of Wonders for their quiz night, Go To Hell. I should have known that it wouldn’t have been your usual sort of quiz night. Suffice to say, they volunteer you for their sordid tortures and humiliations and I learned that I can eat two popsicles in two minutes. I also learned that it was painful to do so. We’re going out for MB’s birthday next weekend, and I kind of hope I can talk her into going to see the Drunk and Dirty Duo perform…

It has been kind of busy – stressful at work. For the first time in years I cried at work a few weeks ago. Things have improved, but a change is long overdue. I have many feelers out and even interviewed for a position (that I decided I wouldn’t take if they made an offer).

Teh Smit, who declared himself the mortal enemy of lipstick today (I don’t know why I keep buying that stuff if he’s just going to kiss me all the damn time), is living with me. The majority of his stuff is at his place but he stays at mine. For those of you who have seen my studio this might be quite a shock. I don’t feel crowded or anything, but do wish sometimes that I had another room where I could go and do unladylike things… The situation is rather pleasant, really, and I find myself counting the hours and minutes each workday so that I can go home to this man.

Oh – meant to tell you that we hit some of the Northern Virginia wineries over Labor Day weekend, and most of them are crap. The one winner of the bunch was Pearmund Cellars. Instead of bumbling about useless places like Swedenburg (pedestrian stuff – meh) or Piedmont (which wasn’t bad, but the folks pouring didn’t have anything to say about the wines), go to Pearmund or their “sister winery”, La Grange.  The owner was on site and doing a special reserve tasting when we visited.  He was a great ambassador for VA wines; if he’s on hand during a tasting you’d be in great luck.  Both wineries are easy drives from DC. We bought a bottle of Cabernet Franc and something called Vin de Sol which is strangely like bonafide sherry. Maybe I ought to crack that sucker open while I’m thinking about it.

Teh Smit also took me to the Maryland Renaissance Festival on Labor Day. Why do they have to hold those things when it is so hot? And how do the poor performers stand it? I was fine for about 3 hours and then the heat got to me during a performance of 20 minute Macbeth. Or was it Hamlet? All I know is that I turned to Smitten and said, “I’m not feeling well,” and we were on our way to get water and walk gingerly to the car. My advice is to wait and go when the weather improves. Also, be aware that bathroom facilities involve port-a-lets. I have a huge amount of respect for the women performers – it takes balance enough to hover over those things – can’t imagine doing it in costume.

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Filed under food and drink, relationships, travel