Wednesday, August 27, 2014

It Started with a Chicken Sandwich

I wound up in a short, somewhat intense Twitter spat with a local news anchor today.  She quickly and incorrectly decided I was angry and I just had to laugh.  

But when a former acquaintance of mine, who became a former acquaintance during the last Presidential election season, “favorited” the Tweet calling me angry, it nagged at me. 

No, I don’t consider myself an angry person.  I vaguely remember taunting my former acquaintance over his enjoyment of Chick-Fil-A and/or his support of Mitt Romney in 2012, but I genuinely don’t see myself as an angry person.  I guess that’s how I come off to some people.

But I have to wonder…

How angry would you be if you were denied basic governmental benefits and protections because of your hair color?

What if the owner of a multi-million- (billion?) dollar company donated his profits to organizations that strove to make being Caucasian a crime punishable by death?

Would you be angry if you awakened every single day of your adult life and despite being a good, ethical, caring person, you were reminded that you and your partner and your relationship and your family were invalid in the eyes of the law? 

You got married last year, Former Acquaintance.  How was that for you?  Did you enjoy it?  Did you enjoy standing up before your friends and family and declaring your love for, and commitment to, each other and having that commitment legally bound?  Do you rest easy knowing your wife will be taken care of financially if anything should happen to you?  Did you have to hire a lawyer to make that happen?  Is it nice knowing you can stroll into a hospital and see your wife without any questions being asked?  If your wife gets pregnant and decides to stay home, how wonderful for you that she will be covered by your insurance and that the child you raise – even if you’re not the biological father – will be yours in the eyes of the law simply because you are married.

So yes, maybe I am angry.  Maybe it simmers below the surface and causes me to muck it up with people on occasion and make them aware of how their actions, whether knowingly or unknowingly, contribute to making me and people I care about…less.

Because that’s what it comes down to.  We’re less.  Until we are afforded the same rights and protections that you take for granted, we’re less than you.

Enjoy your chicken sandwich.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Great news!

Dear Polly,

I've got fantastic news for you!  The grooming for both girls this morning was free.  And here's why.

That's a small quantity of Sophie's blood, from a nicked dew claw, on the side of my shirt.  This is from the second time she started leaking and from my second trip to the vet next door to the groomer.

They called me at work to say she'd been nicked and that they were taking her over.  I remembered she was a vaccine-reactor and called the vet to make sure they wouldn't give her any medications without checking with me first, so that I could relay the information to you.  The receptionist replied condescendingly that they would not be vaccinating her.  I then told them that she's a hyperactive foot licker, in case they needed to bandage her.  The receptionist sighed and said they would probably put her in an Elizabethan collar as a result.  

It was then I decided I needed to leave work and go supervise.

Checked in at the groomer, prepared my argument for the parking lot nazi as I was going to a location beyond the approved parking lot use list, and went to the vet.  They were slammed and she was already being seen.  One of the groomers was sitting in the exam room waiting for her.  They crazy-glued the wound, which was tiny, and said she probably wouldn't need antibiotics, but that he'd write me a scrip if I wanted them.  I declined and said we'd keep an eye on it.  The vet suggested we have her dew claw removed since she was so young.  They told him she was 1.5-years-old.  Since she's 8 or 9, she must be aging well.  She was her usual rambunctious self the whole time.  And only half-groomed.  The vet said the glue should work, but if she sprung a leak again, he might have to wrap the foot.

Off we three went back to the groomer's.  The owner could not have been kinder or more apologetic.  Layla had been groomed in the meantime and they got busy finishing Sophie's cut.  We all agreed to avoid the injured foot.  

They brought her out front and she was fine.  But then as I was getting ready to pay, I noticed blood on the floor.  And then more blood as she walked around.  They'd brought Layla out in the meantime, so I asked them to take Layla back and off Sophie and I went to the vet once again.  

That's when I got the blood on my shirt.

They took her into the back, cleaned her foot off and said the bleeding had stopped and the glue seemed to be working.  They said as long as she didn't smack the foot into anything, the bleeding shouldn't start again.  

Back to the groomer to collect Layla and pay.  It was then they told me the visit was free.  I told them that wasn't necessary -- that it was a normal part of grooming and they handled it and were paying for the vet, but they wouldn't accept payment.  Especially since Sophie had had The Eye Incident a few years ago.  I asked them if they'd like us to start going somewhere else.  They laughed and said no, that they want us to keep coming there and that's why they weren't charging.  I told them their business model was flawed.  :)

And so, Sophie is OK.  She enjoyed some air conditioning on the way home:

She and Layla waited patiently for me to let them out of the car:

Sophie now has the rap name she's always wanted (Lil' Fuzzy Foot):

They're chilling on a blanket on the couch, in case Old Faithful starts gushing again:

And I'm enjoying Mother's Little Helper, after an interesting morning:

I'm purposely not telling you this while you're at work because I don't want you to worry, but I had to tell SOMEONE, so here we are.  :)

Friday, May 2, 2014

Weather's Beautiful, Glad You're Here

Two men were side-by-side.  Both very sick, both with sick hearts.  Both near death more than once.  One spent a month in the hospital and unexpectedly, miraculously chose the path back to us.  Involuntarily?  Voluntarily?  We’ll never know.  But his roommate spent three months in the hospital and isn’t coming home.  He lost his battle yesterday.  Involuntarily?  Voluntarily?  We’ll never know.  Similar circumstances.  Same amount of love and hope.  Same doctors, same care.  I’m so sad for the friends and family who ‘lost,’ and so thankful for the friends and family who ‘won.’  Life has never been fair.  It’s always been survival of the fittest with a dusting of dumb luck.  I don’t know how you made it and he didn’t, but I’m glad you’re here.  And I feel guilty about that in the face of their loss.  Be strong, be healthy, and live your life.  You have the memory of a good man by your side.   

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Super Club

I saw an ingenious anti theft device in a car earlier today, on my way to work.  At first I thought the driver must not know it was there, because surely she'd be embarrassed, but then it occurred to me that she may have put it there on purpose.  

As garlic is to vampires, this product is to men:

A giant box of maxi-pads were shoved into the rear window area.


No guy is going within 10 feet of those things unless he absolutely has to and he sure as hell isn't stealing a car so he can drive around with them visible in the back.  

I'm going to tie some tampons to my steering wheel.  Think of them as The Club, just smaller and more absorbent. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Things I Learned Today

Cabbage soup and gastroenteritis don't mix.

A tuna sandwich and chips and gastroenteritis REALLY don't mix.

When you have gastroenteritis and your trunk feels like a solid block of bloat and pain, carrying a 33-pound sack of dog food is not a good idea.

More cabbage soup on top of your gastroenteritis shit storm belly is an even worse idea.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Mon Petite Chou Chou

Girlfriend came back from Thanksgiving at her mother's with a recipe for cabbage soup.  She announced this afternoon that she'd be making it for dinner.  It gave me a little pause, but I thought maybe I could have the broth.  I hadn't had anything other than white rice, toast, or pretzels for the last two days.  Since I had gastroenteritis and all.


I've been home the last two days.  It hit me like a lightning bolt on Sunday afternoon.  I think I woke up Sunday night and blogged something about it.  

I'm feeling better for the most part, but there is still some sort of alternate world going on in my belly.  

Girlfriend came home and I watched her put some of the soup together.  I spotted onions and half a head of cabbage.  

Hoo boy.

Once she had everything in the pot, she called me over and gave me a hug and then half cried/half laughed something about not realizing until two minutes earlier that she was about to feed me cabbage soup on top of a stomach virus.  

She's distracted by her own TMJ pain, so I couldn't give her too much grief about it.  

I ate the soup.  My appetite was returning.  And I threw down some pieces of French bread for good measure.  

Pray for me.  

Or more importantly, pray for my coworkers.  I'm going back to work tomorrow.  

*Thanks to a little FB eavesdropping, I discovered an app today to practice my French.  My French I haven't practiced in 30 years.  A common nickname of affection in French?  "Mon petite chou chou," which translates to, "my little cabbage."  You're welcome.  :)

Monday, December 2, 2013


I'm not sure what they were thinking.  Friends of theirs had one and I used to play with it whenever we visited or when I was sent there for babysitting -- babysatting, since I was being sat and not sitting.

I remember it was $50 and that was a lot of money for my parents in the late 70s.  I'm not even sure how they tracked it down.  But one Christmas, I received a pachinko, a Japanese pinball machine.  

A very loud, clangy, bell-ringing, metal ball spewing pinball machine.  

Again, I'm not sure what they were thinking.  I can't imagine how annoying it was to hear me playing with that thing.

Here's a tame video of one.  The more the balls fall into the three large flowers near the bottom, the more balls one wins from the back top of the machine.  I can remember them just coming out as a constant loud stream.  And then once they were all out, they'd have to be added to the dispenser cup in the top back.  Again, a very noisy prospect.

Pachinko machine in action

Alas, the pachinko machine made it through a few moves, but when my mother sold our house, I didn't take it with me to Virginia.  I see one every so often -- there's one in a window display across the street from Stove in Portsmouth -- and just searched for mine online about two weeks ago.  I'm not sure I'd recognize my specific machine if I saw it.  Mom just sent me an email earlier today asking me if I knew there was a pachinko app.  I can't bring myself to spend the $0.99 to see if it still makes the same obnoxious noises.  Let's just assume it does.

The thought of it makes me smile, though.  It represents what my parents would do/put up with to make me happy.  And for that I'm quietly thankful.