Monthly Archives: January 2007

The Great Puppy Debate

So I got a comment on my last post (side-note:I love comments! Hint hint! Nudge nudge!) about getting a dog, and I thought, “Whoo! Free topic to write about! No thinking required.” (Also, Rayshell – your puppy sounds adorable. I’m a huge fan of original puppy names – Ethel Brown definitely qualifies as original. Love it.)

So. Dogs. Here is my history with dogs:

I lived in New Jersey growing up, which is where The Seeing Eye is located. The Seeing Eye trains dogs as guide dogs for the blind. When I was 8 years old, I decided that I wanted to become a puppy raiser for The Seeing Eye. (Without giving you too much detail, the dogs can’t be trained for harness work until they are older, around 18 months, but they need to be trained for basic obedience, and to be around kids, other animals, etc. So The Seeing Eye – in conjunction with the 4-H –  places them with families/kids who raise them and train them for the first 18 months of their lives.)

I got my first puppy, a yellow lab named Aspen, when I was 8, and raised a total of 8 dogs for The Seeing Eye before I moved away to college. My brother still raises puppies, so if I am doing the math correctly, my family is currently raising their 14th puppy.

Working with The Seeing Eye was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life. I’m sure you can imagine being a child and giving away your puppy without ever seeing her again. But knowing that she was going to do something so amazing, to help someone in a way that was so profound… there are no words.

I learned discipline by getting up at 5am to walk, train, and feed them before going to school. I learned patience when an 8 week old puppy just wouldn’t calm down and go to sleep. I learned poise and self-confidence by appearing in front of schools and even doing newspaper and tv interviews about puppy raising.

If you live close enough to a school (I’ve heard about others but don’t personally know about any other than The Seeing Eye) and are at all interested in puppy raising I really urge you to explore it. I could talk about it for hours and would be happy to if encouraged. Also, if you have buckets of money sitting around and are looking for a good cause to donate to, I encourage you to donate to The Seeing Eye.

I think I had a point here somewhere, right? Oh yes – Matt’s request for a dog.

Well, as you can see from the above, I have a lot of experience with dogs (and lots of other animals – growing up I can remember cats, bunnies, an injured pigeon, a lizard, fish, etc.) Matt has none. His lone pet growing up was a box turtle. Named Ben. While I’m sure Ben had many fine qualities, undying love and affection for his owner was not one of them. Nor did he do any tricks. Or much of anything, for that matter.

So, Matt wants a dog. He asks me at least once a day if we can have a dog. When he runs in the park he comes home and tells me about the dogs he sees. When we drive past someone walking a dog, he immediately slows down and points. He has already named our future dog (either a Golden Retriever named Pickles or a Chocolate Lab named CoCo).

If I didn’t know better, I would swear he was a 5 year old instead of a grown man. This dude sure loves his 4 legged friends.

The things is, I want a dog, too. I REALLY want a dog. However, since I’m ever the rational planner, and the only one who has actually ever owned a dog, I want to make sure that we are ready for a dog. My biggest concern is about leaving a dog alone for so long. I want to make sure that we are not being unfair by leaving a dog (or puppy, since I think we’d prefer to get a young puppy) by itself all day. We are both out of the house every day by 8am and are not home until AT LEAST 6:20. That’s a LONG TIME for any creature to hold its bladder. I know I couldn’t do it. The obvious solution is to get a dog walker. But that brings up the second major issue, which is money. As in, we have none. I’m researched the average estimated cost of vet bills online, and for a large dog it is estimated at around $800/year. Then add food, dog walker, toys, leashes, care if we go on vacation… and you have a very expensive undertaking.

So I guess my question is this: how many paragraphs can I start using the word ‘so’? Wait. No. My question is: How have you managed to care for/pay for your 4 legged friends? I’m especially interested in what you do while you’re at work all day.

My other question is this: Would Matt’s heart ACTUALLY burst with joy if we got a dog? I’m thinking yes.

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Lazy Survey Goodness

The fabulous Lori asked her readers to answer a survey today. I think she meant that we should answer in her comments, but since I have nothing. to. write. about. I will answer here.  

-Name some favorite comfort foods.

This is hard since my diet is made up primarily of foods that others would consider comfort food. However, mac and cheese is one of my favorite things and it always makes me happy to have it. Ice cream is also comforting, although I think we all know that I don’t need an excuse to eat ice cream.

-Name a song that makes you smile and turn up the volume.

Various songs for various reasons:

“Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra makes me feel romantic.

“Beautiful” by Christina Aguleria (spelling? I have no clue. See: lazy, above.) makes me think of my friend Liz, and all the times we spend belting out this song because we thought it was funny.

“Moneymaker” by Ummm, some rap guy makes me laugh. Because honestly – how could you not laugh at that song?

Many, many, U2, Aerosmith, Tom Petty, etc songs will also make me turn up the volume.

-Is there a place that you go, a la Holly Golightly to Tiffany’s, that makes you feel better just walking in the door and possibly you sigh with the renewed well-being of it all?

Book store! Books books books! All those upopened, beautiful books. Just waiting to be read by me. Mmmmm, books.

-Can you think of a silly or stupid thing that recently made you laugh?

Last night Matt was trying to convince me to get a dog, and I said no, because we can’t afford a dog. He asked what would be so expensive, and I said that vet bills would be a pretty big expense. His reply: What if she comes with a lifetime teeth to tail warranty?

I don’t know why but I laughed for a good 10 minutes about that.

-What are some random and assorted small things that make you happy?

Books. COMMENTS. Weekends. Playing board games. Having a good hair day. COMMENTS. E-mail. Mail (not of the junk mail or bills variety). Dancing lessons. A heartfelt compliment. A hug. Munchkins from Dunkin Donuts. Pictures. My Peanuts calendar. COMMENTS.

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It ain’t easy being green.

Matt’s sister called on Saturday with some very exciting news – she got engaged!!! Matt and I are both so happy for them, and we’re also excited to have another wedding to go to, because we are dorks and like wedding (drinking and booze, that’s what I’m talkin’ about). They are planning for July of 2008.

So this is all good, yes?

Can I tell you something? Something that I am only admitting here and barely even admitting to myself?

I, er, um…

I am a teensy bit jealous.

While, yes, I am a girl, and I don’t care what you say, ALL girls have had some thoughts of poofy white gowns and flowers and bridesmaids and any girl who tries to tell you that she has never thought of that stuff is A BIG LIAR… it is not really that stuff that I am jealous of.

I think what is making me jealous is that Matt and I are in a bit of an awkward situation – meaning that we own a house together, and we know that we plan to be together for the rest of our lives, but that we don’t have that official commitment that means so much. It’s a bit frustrating… and somehow hurtful, although I don’t know why I am describing it that way; the word just seems to fit.

I don’t know how to tell Matt how I feel because I think he’ll take that as me putting pressure on him. But I need him to start acknowledging that no matter what we call each other, even if it’s not Mr. and Mrs., that we are partners in life. Our lives are too intertwined for us to pretend otherwise.

I mean, I’m not saying that I don’t love diamonds and dresses and cake. Because, for the record, I love all of those things. I’m just saying that those aren’t the things that I’m pining for. Except for maybe the cake. I could definitely go for some cake right now.

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stress reaching toxic levels

Work is reaching that point where I’m not sure whether to crawl under my desk and cry, sit in a meeting and cry, or sit in my uncomfortable desk chair and cry. It’s times like this when I lose all ability to be organized and productive and succumb to the only thoughts racing through my head – those being, “You are never going to get all of this done and you are going to be fired and then you will have to live in a box on the street and if only you could get this work done none of that would happen but oooohhhhh no, you are just sitting here looking at hundreds of e-mails and deadlines and file folders with tears in your eyes, you wimp.”

I am trying to force myself to prioritize and just pick something up and DO IT, because at least that will be one thing off the list. But I am having a hard time with that because everything really does need to be done RIGHT NOW. Everytime the phone rings or the computer says that I have more e-mail, I just cringe in terror of whatever new task has been assigned.

And I know that maybe the first step to getting something done would be to stop blogging, but I just needed a minute to vent, ok?


I DO thrive on pressure, but this is just a little TOO MUCH PRESSURE.

Ok. Vent over. Time to get back to work. One thing at a time.

I am trying here… but I would be lying if I said I didn’t half expect someone to find me rocking in a corner somewhere later on today.

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I’ve noticed…

I’ve noticed a few things about my writing style since I started this blog. I’m sure you don’t care, but I’d kind of like to record these observations for posterity:

  • I have a hard time coming up with titles. Sometimes I try to be catchy with them, but mostly I just don’t care.
  • I have a hard time coming up with ending for my posts. It always strikes me that most bloggers have nice endings that sum up the post while being snarky and giving a feeling of conclusion. I have a hard time with that. Mostly I just write to rant about something… when the rant is over, I have no clever conclusion. I wish I could just write, “Rant rant rant blah de blahdy blah. The End.”
  • I am very self-conscious about my spelling and grammer – especially since so many of the blogs that I read are written by editors/real writers. At work, I have to write constantly – e-mails, presentations, marketing plans, etc. And I know that those are always written in proper English. On my site, I write kind of like I speak, and apparently I don’t spell things correctly when I speak. As if that makes any kind of stupid sense. (And yes, I know that I could just use spell check… but I am afflicted with a condition called Lazy.)
  • I start an inordinent number of sentences with And, But, However, and Because. I guess this goes back to the whole writing like I speak thing. It’s annoying but somehow it works for me.

So, um, yeah.

The End.

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…I need to be reminded that the characters in TV shows aren’t real. Also, that they can’t hear what I am screaming at them as I watch the show.

This has been the case with the current season of 24. Jack Bauer just does not listen to me! I kept trying to tell him not to shoot Curtis, but he went and did it anyway! And then that dude that Jack pulled out of the helicopter was all, “I have to go to my wife and kids,” and Jack was all, “Where are they?” And the dude was all, “Well, see that mushroom cloud? They’re over there somewhere.”

And there is a brother! And a father! And… and… Graham! Lamp cord plastic bag ahhhh!

Sometimes it is a little much for me to handle, is all I’m saying.

I haven’t even watched Heroes yet, as it is still on the faithful TiVo, which was all, “Go ahead and watch 24 while I record the OTHER show that is on Mondays at 9pm.” But I am very excited for it and I just want to know WHO IS ON THE LIST.

Are YOU on the list?

I really hope that I am on the list. It would be pretty freaking awesome to have superpowers, although I can’t quite decide which character’s powers are the best. I mean flying is cool and all, but being able to heal myself could really come in handy sometimes.

Sometimes like, maybe this morning for example… when I closed my hand in the trunk of my car. Ouch.

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Superbowl will equal Supersuck

I was never a huge sports fan growing up. Where I lived in New Jersey, people were either Philly fans or NY fans – that was the biggest rivalry and even that was pretty low key. I really  had no loyalties and so I think the only sports that I watched were the Olympics.

However, once I moved to Boston, I realized something – these people love their sports. That it just the way it is. Major league sports are a passion here in a way that I cannot come up with a good enough comparison for. So, in recent years, I’ve kind of jumped on the bandwagon. I watched as the Red Sox lost in the playoffs and then when they won the World Series. I watched the Patriots win Superbowls and then walked through crazy mobs, scarcely controlled by riot police, to my apartment. I know names of players and even some stats – and if you have known me for a while, you would not expect this AT ALL.

But in midst of jumping on the sports bandwagon as a way to fit in with my fellow Beantowners, something else happened – I began to care. And that is how it came to be that I was sorely disappointed by the Patriots loss last night. (Not so much as Matt, of course, who punched the off button on the TV so hard that it almost disintegrated, but still upset.) So now the Colts, who I really couldn’t have cared less about a few weeks ago, are my sworn enemy. Payton Manning can shove his helmet where the sun don’t shine.

Let it never be said that I am not loyal. It might have taken a while for me to find these loyalties, but they are there and they are strong.

Oh, and let me just say this – I may be loyal to my team, but Caldwell – you’re still an idiot. He through it right to you! Like 3 times! And you just dropped it and then walked away bug-eyed and dazed! Moron.

End of rant.

I still can’t believe I’m a sports fan…

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