Thursday, July 30, 2009

Things that were invented in hell

  • Planks, especially of the "side" variety
  • One-legged hip extensions
  • Supersets

  • Loose sphincters on elderly dogs

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Nephew wisdom

Normally those two words would never appear in the same sentence, let alone right next to each other. Let's face it; what can a 25 year old nephew who still lives with mommy teach his successful 38 year old aunt?

That's not to say I'm not proud of my oldest nephew. I grow more sure of his future every day, though it scare the bejeesus out of me that he's getting himself geared up to go to Army basic training in September. It's pretty much all done but the part where he actually shows up. I don't know if he's quit smoking yet, but he was growing quite the fuel tank for his sex machine last time I saw him, in May. Last time I talked to him, he said he's lost 30lbs.

I've seen the following expression millions of times, and normally it's too testosterone-laden, too... HOO-rah!!! for me. However, I've been getting myself back into a daily exercise frame of mind - and believe me, getting the frame of mind in place is much more difficult than the actual exercise. So this little gem in his Facebook status update was perfectly timed for me:

Pain is weakness leaving the body.

After 2 days of getting the job done, as it were, first thing in the morning, I am definitely feeling the weakness leave my body. Every time I climb steps, or rise from a chair, or bend down, I feel those squats and lunges from yesterday, and my quads are reminding me that I re-started a running program today. When I reframe those aches in my mind as weakness leaving my body, I actually grow to enjoy them. It's like my muscles are saying, "Hey, welcome back!"

Hoo-rah, Master Chief.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Something is about to happen

If you look at the clothes I'm wearing (same size as last summer), or the number on the scale (same number +/- 5lbs as last year), it looks like nothing is changing, despite 1 1/2 years in a therapist's chair, purchase of a very nice treadmill, pending purchase of a very nice bike, and completion of Couch to 5K.

Outwardly, where one can see, nothing is changing. Inwardly, I'm preparing. Ironically, if I'd just do less planning inwardly and just do something, some sort of change would probably be apparent right now. However, that's just not how I'm wired.

Things are changing. Up here. *taps head*
I'm realizing that what I am afraid of is being able to sustain a commitment to lifestyle change, with proper portion control and exercise every day. For right now, I'd rather sit here and blog and stress over it, and over-analyze it than to "just DO _______ ", whatever " _________" might be. But, be warned, it's coming. It's on its way. Right around the corner. Really!

I have a start day and time in mind. I'm not sharing that right now, but it's coming soon, and you'll be one of the first to know.

Stay tuned.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Back from vacation. Back to the grind.

After ten days of:

Driving, eating crap road food (if I never see another goddamned Cracker fucking Barrel again I will die a happy woman), sleeping until a whopping 8am, jetskiing, lake swimming, tubing, beach-going, eating grilled steaks and shrimp perfectly inebriated in their beery bath, meeting for the first time friends I've known for years, staying in a fabulous resort, hitting 2 Disney parks in 2 days, being schooled in the ways of fastpass-ology, riding the monorail, taking exhausted but heavenly dips in the pool after returning from the parks at 1am, and hitting the hot tub before bed, finishing 2 books and an audio book, logging 2400 + miles and a work week's worth of hours on the road...

We are home.

If you read the above and it sounds like something that would induce a psychotic break in the most catatonic person, I understand. My idea of vacation is this: You rent a house within walking distance to the beach. You drive there. You park the vehicle and it doesn't move again for an entire week. You walk around your little beach town, boogie board and beach towel in tow, and finish each night with beers on the screened-in porch. So, as you can imagine, when that orgy of driving and constantly being on the move was proposed to me, I cringed. However, it was wonderful. (Except for goddamned Cracker fucking Barrel.) We spent time with family and friends. We spent a ton of time together. Everyone got along great. (There was one incident with the GPS that I won't detail except to say it almost ended up shoved forcibly into my beloved's grocery exit hole.) One such incident in 2400 miles of driving and 2 huge theme parks is tolerable - even unprecedented, you might say.

And, best of all, the look in the eyes of my 14 year old dog as I lay on the living room floor in front of her. She hasn't heard me come in and isn't aware of my presence... yet. Then the white-speckled muzzle turns toward me. The cloudy eyes open, slowly, and focus. They widen in recognition and joy. Suddenly, exuberance. Loud barks and yaps. It's quite a sight - 85lbs of arthritic joy hauling herself laboriously off of the floor to run back and forth across the living room in celebration. So good to be home.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


It always precedes and bleeds into the first couple of days on a trip out of town, when I have to put my beloved girlies in the care of others. Of course, I cried when we dropped Cecil off at the kennel. She hates it, and I hate it for her, even though they take great care of her. It also didn't help that my pet sitter left me a long rambling message a couple days before I left town, making sure I left all contact numbers for my vet, wanting to know if I wanted her to call me "if something would happen", with the disclaimer at the end of the message that, "Tara's getting older, that's the only reason...."

I don't blame her for worrying, I guess. Tara is 14 and has a chronic medical condition. However, her calls to confirm before I leave usually consist of, "Hi, I'm starting on (date) at (time) and finishing on (date + time). Let me know if there are any changes or if there's anything else I need to know." Maybe she sees more than I do. She asked very similar questions on my last couple of trips before Gunner went rapidly downhill at age 16. It doesn't help that every time I go out of town now, I have memories of having to take Gunner for his Last Ride the night before that trip. He was ready. I wasn't, though I know it was the right thing to do.

However, Tara's still happy. I find myself sometimes having to justify my decisions to people. After all, Tara still being around is the reason we're doing the "long engagement" thing and living in separate houses. I don't trust her and Cecil to not get into a bloody, scary, knock-down, drag out fight to end all fights - and with an 8 year old in the house, it's just not an option to try moving them in together. My arms and hands still bear scars from separating Tara and Gunner. And - only real dog people will understand this - it's just not fair to move Tara in her last years into a new and unfamiliar house where she'd be relegated to the lower level of the house and have to deal with another dog with a personality similar to hers. Sometimes when you are charged with the care of someone, you have to do what's best for them, even if it's not the ideal situation.

I guess the pet sitter sees the way she laboriously makes her way on the stairs, stopping to sit and rest halfway down sometimes. Or the way she loses her balance and sometimes her back legs just give up, and she follows suit, flopping down wherever fate fells her. Or the poopy accidents. Sometimes she doesn't even realize it's happening until it's too late. On good days I notice the telltale (telltail, ha) tail raise and get her outside on time. What I prefer to focus upon, though, are the good things: The way she hauls herself up off of her orthopedic dog bed to greet me when I come home, and the unbridled joy in her clouded eyes when she opens them, focuses, and realizes it's me. The way she still rolls on her back, kicking her legs up in the air and barking her demands for breakfast and dinner. Her habit of eating only part of her breakfast, pacing around until I make my eggs, waiting for me to top off the rest with a discarded yolk so she can finish up. The way, when I'm home, she is always aware of where I am, and is right there beside me. The once rough and tumble - now gentle and much abridged - play and wrestle times we have in the evenings.

I think I will know when it is time, and if maybe I don't see things as realistically as I should, I can count on my best friend, who also happens to be Tara's vet, to help guide my decision. What I do know, is that it's not time right now, but that doesn't mean it's not hard to be away, knowing our time left together is short.

I miss my girls already.

Monday, July 6, 2009

I know exactly what's going on here.

Just because I'm nearly deaf and my eyesight fails me sometimes and I bump my head into the wall if I try to turn too quickly... Just because after a walk halfway around the block I'm ready to get my nap on (thanks for the orthopedic bed by the way, it's the shizz! as you youngsters like to say) .... Just because in dog years I'm 14, and in human years - well let's just say I knew Jesus before he had that hippie hair-do ... Don't assume I don't know what the hell's going on here.

You're cleaning like a woman possessed. The fridge is almost empty. You're even letting the eggs run out! Noooooooo! Now, you know I eat all but a few bites of food and meds and wait patiently for my egg yolk every morning. Ok, well, maybe sometimes I kick my bowl to remind you, but you have to admit you're a little absent-minded yourself. So, how do I get my daily egg-yolk if there arent any eggs? This is a fucking crisis, in case you haven't noticed.

So, what's up with all the laundry, huh? What happened to the one-load-at-a-time dealie... where you choose a piece or two out of the dryer until it's empty, then start the whole process over again? There are massive amounts of laundry being done. I see what's going on here.

You've changed light bulbs over the stove and in that little lamp you like to leave on for the *gulp* pet-sitter.

The pet-sitter is coming. Tell me the truth. She is, isn't she. That lady who gives me treats, and walks me a couple times a day, and scratches my butt - that lady?

When are you leaving, again?

Wait just a damn minute, here. What is this pet-sitter business? Here I am, typing this from my dark, crap-smelling cell, and you're relaxing at your home on a bed???

I mean, I knew something was up. Dad cleaning til 2am and the suitcases lying about are never good signs. I keep hearing the word "Disney", whatever that means, but I like the word because it sounds a little like "dinner". I digress. I don't know what to do any more. I eat a whole chocolate cake off the counter, they give me a stern talking-to and then leave me alone. Here I am, I've been a GOOD GIRL for months, and I'm back in jail. I think when I get back I'll eat one of the kid's stuffed animals. Why not? I'm already doing the time, might as well enjoy the crime.

Wait. What do you mean, "if I had let the pet sitter in the house I wouldn't be here"? That lady was the pet sitter???

Some truisms

  • If you want a really good workout, slather a ton of shea butter on your legs and go jetskiing as my fiance's passenger. Guaranteed kickass thigh adductor workout.
  • For the nursing home staff I heard whispering amongst themselves, "The medics always think it's the Ambien!" (when an 85 year old lady who rolled out of bed kept asking to go back to sleep at 1:40am). Guess what? It was the Ambien.
  • For the 23 year old kid with a history of pancreatitis: If you drink a half case of beer, it's going to really, really hurt. I believe you, it hurts. Doesn't mean I feel the least bit sorry for you.
  • The last shift before vacation will suck in direct proportion to how badly the vacation is needed and will progress in inverse proportion to same.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

It is truly obscene...

... what we have made of our holidays.

Once a time to gather and reconnect with family and friends, to honor those who sacrificed for our freedom ... now a time to gorge ourselves and always look for more, more, more. I think I am particularly disgusted because, like a lot of people in public safety, I've had to participate in a few parades this past week.

Sure, I'm going to sound like an old biddy, but I'll say it anyway: When I was a kid, going to the parade meant that you were going to be wide-eyed at the enormous fire trucks with their blaring air horns and Federal Q sirens that hurt not just your ears, but your very soul. There were marching bands and girls with batons. Lots of times you were the one marching in the parade, with your softball team, or your dance troupe, or your fellow band members. We didn't bring bags with us for candy. That was for Halloween.

Now, it seems like parades are an all-you-can-eat buffet of candy and other junk food, and the spectators act as if they have been chained to a basement radiator and starved for a week - before being set free to feast on the bounty of candy and chips thrown from a mile-long parade route of vehicles. No longer are kids mesmerized by the shiny ambulances and fire trucks and people on horseback and baton-twirling girls and marching bands; nope, they've only got one thing on their minds - candy. With single-minded abandon they dart within inches of ambulances, in front of cars and bike patrols, their eyes fixated on the penny candy scattered in the gutter.

No longer do you see the proud father on the sidelines with a little one sitting on his shoulders - it was the best seat in the house when I was a kid. Nope, now these kids have to be mo-bile! A-gile! Hos-tile! All the better to be able to snatch the Smarties and Tootsie Rolls off of the ground - and stumble over each other like hungry, blind puppies fighting for the last unoccupied teat - clamoring for more. I think I reached the height of my disgust because of two separate incidents at two separate parades.

In the first, we drove carefully through the designated parade route, avoiding both darting kids and adults, who would apparently give their lives for a piece of stale candy. It was bad enough that most kids had almost-full shopping bags of the stuff they had collected, but even worse when they would demand - not ask for - more.
"Candy!! THROW it!", yelled one little boy, less than a foot from the huge wheels on my truck. Since he was so close, and what the hell, I'm a role model, right?, I looked him in the eye and spat, "Throw it, PLEASE." And I beaned him in the head with a piece of Dubble Bubble. It was unintentional, I assure you, but he had it coming anyway. There was a middle-aged man, probably a good 20 years older than me who was seated next to the demanding little boy's territory. He made eye contact with me and nodded ever so slightly in secret collusion.
"Good one", his eyes and his laugh said.

The second incident took place in a community known for its huge 4th of July parade. We were providing bike coverage. Just like last year, there was one of those ubiquitous trucks, you know the ones: Square and shaped like a toaster and full of boxes and boxes of chips or cheese curls or some other fried, puffed or otherwise not found in nature snack. Yes. A potato chip truck. In a parade. Handing out snack-size bags of chips and pretzels. They had to staff this truck with (I shit you not) a dozen people because they couldn't hand the stuff out fast enough. They were being met and mobbed in the middle of the street by parade-goers. It was like someone yelled "Free Jager-bombs!" on frat night at the bar, a feeding frenzy the likes of which I haven't seen since Shark Week was on last. What in the HELL is a potato chip truck doing in a parade?

Maybe I'm just a commie. Maybe I'll start my own movement. Next time you see my shiny blue and white ambulance at your local parade, duck. I'll be throwing apples.