Saturday, November 29, 2008

And we have a winner!

In my preparation for the Turkey Day feast I did what I normally do, I marathon watched The Food Network. It was great this year and they had a leftovers episode. Oh my yes, this is what I'm talking about. There was one recipe that totally caught my eye
Second Day Turkey and String Bean Pot Pies.
I am a huge lover of pot pies of just about any sort and these little gems are muffin sized. YES, sign me up! Plus it's a way of using the left over green bean casserole. How many of you have a recipe for that? I don't think I've ever seen a leftover recipe for green bean bake and I looves me my green bean casserole!

I made them tonight, alerted the recipe only a bit. I didn't bother with the chicken stock, instead I used what I had on hand, half a can of cream of chicken and chopped some carrots and celery to add in. I like my pot pies with carrots and celery, it's a pot pie purist thing. Oh and they turned out sooo good. I ate 2 and the dh ate 3. I think we're going to have a brawl over the remaining ones. He plans on taking a few to work for lunch and he'd best only take A FEW. Or it might get ugly.

God said she needed to be taken off the road

God said she needed to be taken off the road

I'm sorry what? Excuse me you caused an accident because God told you to? Really? And do ya think you can pull that one off in court and get away with it? Sure why not, the drivers in San Antonio suck so hard he probably can, sad to say. Plus they love that WWJD, God told me to shit here. Lord forbid we take personal responsibility for our actions when it just makes way more sense to blame it on God. Wow, what would we do with out God as our greatest excuse for all of our piss poor decisions. Boy howdy do I LOVE living this close to the bible belt. Remind me never to drive and further north east of here. I think I may have a violent allergic to Oklahoma or north Florida.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday

I don't think I've ever gone shopping on Black Friday, not that I can remember that is. My mother in law used to take her grandson (my nephew, he's 11 and the dd's fav person in the whole world) out to have his pictures taken at JC Penny's every Black Friday. Eventually she took both her grand kids (once I gave birth to the dd and she was old enough to sit by herself in a photo) out on Black Friday to get photos done. Now this is all well and good and we don't care that she has this done. Except when she started getting lazy and expected us to take the kid to the appointment. What's the problem with this you say? Well first of all it's our holiday weekend and I do not appreciate her dictating our schedule. She's retired, what the hell does she care about other people's time frames, rare days off and for the love of God doesn't she know that we spent the entire day prior catering to her time schedule? Screw that, I don't give a rats ass about JC Penny pictures, that's her fixaion.

Oh and lets talk about the icing on the cake here, JC Penny is located in Fashion Vally, the most popular mall in San Diego. The parking is so bad it took us 45 minutes to find a spot that year. In the dirt (and here you thought all of San Diego was covered in concrete) which basically means it was part of the banks of the San Diego river. Not even a real parking spot. All because my mother in law insists on having her grandkid's pictures taken on Black Friday. Why no other day of the week, or even that weekend? Well because she's always done it on that day so that's the day It Is To Be Done. Completely retarded. We decided that year we'd never do it again and if she wanted to do it she could damn well pick up the kid herself because we weren't going to put up with that bullshit again. Totally asinine day to INSIST on getting pictures taken at frikin mall. Lucky us though, we moved the year after and didn't have to deal with the mother in law being pissed off at us and giving us her like 5 yr old child passive aggressive pout during the holidays. I love not living next to family, did I mention that one before?

So today we needed to get the kid out of the house because she was bouncing off the walls. All her friends are off doing whatever it is the families around her drive away to go do. They must like their extended families, weirdos. The happy medium, we went out shopping. Not too adventurous mind you. Well unless you're in Long Island. We went to Walmart to pick up some groceries and scored on some $2-9 DVD's, Ratatouille being high up on that list. Oddly it wasn't busy at all. And those poor people in Long Island, 1 dead because of a mob pushing their way into Walmart? My god what a way to go, can you imagine explaining that one to people?

We then went to a lovely new mall very very close to our home, The Rim. They just opened a new Nordstrom's outlet there, it's one of my favorite stores (they've got one in Fashion Vally). No way in hell can I justify buying anything at Nordy's proper but The Rack? OMG the sales that you can get there are phenominal. I needed a gown once a good long while ago and I went straight there. Got a full length low back totally beaded gown for $60. I don't know what the full price was but it was probably in the hundreds when on the shelf at Nordy's. I don't have the spare cash or the patience for The Rack today, plus it's grand opening was like, a week or two ago, so it was probably a zoo. No thanks, I'm not feeling that adventurous today. We did go to Target, Old Navy, and World Market. The dh had to get another re-usable bottle for the Egg Nog that he makes and gives away to our adult fiends for Christmas. It's very popular, the dh is Irish, he knows his alcoholic drinks. I needed to see if there was a sale at Old Navy that included the yoga pants I find so comfortable on the weekends (I wear scrubs all week at work). Turns out they only come in 2 colors, black that I already own, and navy and I don't like blue.

The good news is that they had panties on sale and I needed to get new ones. How many of you out there have an issue with the price of panties? Where do they get off charging more for a pair than they charge for a t-shirt? I buy my underwear in the kid's section, no lie. They are all pink and green and purple with little animals and such printed on them. Real sexy, I know. But they sell for like 3 for $10 and really, I'm married so do you really think I'm trying to impress anyone here? My poor hubby. They had panties (yeah, grown up panties) on sale for 5 for $15 and that was my big purchase for Black Friday. The stores should be grateful for what little they got from me, I had no intention of shopping today.

Oh the 2 women in front of me in line at Old Navy! Let me tell you an interesting phenomena that I've only seen here in San Antonio. Now mind you we're from San Diego, 45 minutes north of Tijuana, definitely a border town. We have A LOT of Mexican nationals there, a lot. Some people would go so far as to have their kids in private school in the US and drive them to and from school every day from Mexico. San Antonio is not nearly as close to the border as San Diego so you don't see Mexican nationals living integrated in our every day life the way they were in San Diego but instead you see the binge shopping. Did you know that the San Marcos Outlet Mall (45 minutes north of us here) is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the state of Texas? Know why? It's where thousands of Mexican nationals come to shop every day. During the back to school shopping spree you want to stay the hell away from that mall. Outside of the Nike outlet there's a trash can where I have, at one point, seen no less than40 empty Nike boxes where people pulled the shoes out after buying them so they could fit them all in their car with all the other purchases they've made. Note, these people all pay in cash, it's wild to see people pull a HUGE wad of bills out of their pockets. We are so used to paying with cards here that it's a rarity to see that kind of cash carried around.

The Rim was not so very crowded this year, it's a relatively new mall and consequently still mostly only us locals know of this little gem. There was this tour bus, full sized, from Mexico parked in the lot though. All of the baggage compartment below the seats was opened up and not yet full. I suspect the participants of this tour were all shopping and would bring their bags back to be tossed into the compartment and then go back out for the next round. Bring it on, our economy needs the influx! The 2 women in line ahead of me were probably part of this crew, their cart was so piled high with clothing it fell off from the weight or it. They were paying in cash and doing this weird thing where they were sorting the clothes and having the register woman ring the clothes up in batches. They set some clothes up, have her total them, pay in cash, and then repeat. Now I've seen people do this when paying with different credit cards or checking accounts but when paying with cash? Never. Just odd. Plus it was Black Friday, do you think they were taking up an inordinate amount of time with boat loads of others waiting? Yeah, they were but not so bad as to have people complain. Oddly the people out shopping today were not in a rush or agitated like I normally see on a frenzy shopping day. Nope, I think the economy is such crap that people are taking their time and thinking trough each and every thing they are buying this year. About frikin time, US gluttony being what it is.

FWIW the kid is getting presents this year. We'll probably get a little something for each other from 'Santa' but only because the kid still believes an in order to cover for that fantasy we have to have something under the tree for us. I hate this holiday. Have I mentioned that before? Oh sorry...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Final holiday thoughts

1) Oh my and I sooo happy we don't do this holiday with extended family anymore. I don't care if that's what people now assume that this holiday is all about. To me it's about being thankful that I don't have to deal with the atrocities of those we are so fortunate to be related to. You can't pick family. Hell we have some friends that we'd rather not associate with, don't ask me why we do. Maybe we're too nice, yeah that's it. We're to nice. Hahahaha! OK maybe the dh but certainly not me.

2) Tried a few new recipes, the jury is still out. Brining the turkey, eh, it's all right but it's too salty if you ask me. I'm asian, I have soy sauce flowing through my veins. If I think it's too salty that's saying something. The meat was moist but my turkey is always moist. Next year I will probably go back to turkey in a bag. When I use the bag the turkey is still moist but you can taste the aromatics like the thyme and rosemary.
The caramel ginger pumpkin cheesecake, very good with one minor issue. The ginger snaps that made up the crust melted into one solid piece that would not come up off the cake pan. I'm sure it's a tasty crust, we just can't chip it off. Very weird.
I made a pecan pie (never made one before) but I can't eat it, I'm too full and way too lazy to whip the heavy whipping cream tonight. Maybe tomorrow. Regardless, I made the pie, points for me. Oh and I bought a dozen eggs in preparation for this cook off. When I went to make the pie this afternoon I found only 1 egg in the fridge (pie needs 3). Wha? Apparently 7 eggs were used this morning for breakfast. DH got a little happy with the omelets. Had to hit up the neighbor for 2 eggs. I love my neighbors, they are awesome people. These are the same ones that we hang out with late late Halloween night trying to get rid of her oodles of candy.

All in all it was a successful day. No dogs got the turkey except I just now heard the deer get up on my counter top. *Update, Jayne the deer took a nice lick of cheesecake off the side of the cake. Had to cut off that piece and have the dh get on putting it away. Fortunately it was the only thing left out, everything else is put away. Amazing as that is....

No one is in the hospital having emergency brain surgery this year. Small miracles people, small miracles. I also have the fortunate luck of having no physical or mental issues with that surgery 1 year (and finally no meds) later. Don't ask about the medical bills, you just do not even want to know about those. If that's the worse part of last Thanksgivings leftovers though I am not going to kick that gift horse in the mouth. This time exactly one year ago today the dh was wondering whether or not his wife would live. Freaky place to be on a holiday at 34 years of age. Just goes to show that one never knows what kind of thing life is going to through at you.

I hope you all had a good holiday and didn't have to strangle any family members! And when and if you have to drive your way home please do so carefully this weekend, there are too many people out on the roads Thanksgiving weekend.

Busy busy little button

And what does an only child do on Thanksgiving day with no siblings to play with? She takes over her parents bedroom (noticed now that she already laid claim to the bathroom she is moving on to the rest of my room...) and plays paper dolls.

Her daddy took these pictures and loves them because she looks so big girl! No shower yet and only wearing a shirt, ah yes holiday times are like that. I think it took her until 2pm to take a shower. Why bother rushing when we aren't going anywhere?

11am on Turkey Day

The kitchen is a mess. And I haven't started cooking yet. It's 11am. Yeah I am SO ON IT this year. Well I suppose I am doing better than I did last year, about this time the kid was calling her daddy downstairs and he would soon be calling the neighbor ER doc and then they'd be calling the ambulance. Yeah I'm doing hella better than last year! I'll have an evening post on that one later, no really. Once I am sitting fat and happy on the couch and everything is done, cooked, and eaten. Put away and cleaned is optional.

But to back the kitchen, yeah we are working parents so our house is basically in a state of perpetual hell. There is no horizontal surface in this house that isn't piled high with crap. This is my life and we don't like it but we have to wait until we are actually at home and not sleeping or getting something done (like the kid's homework or whatever) to be able to clean. Or some semblance of cleaning. Which is probably why you don't see as many pictures as I'd like to take, the house mess is in the background, ew. Welcome to my world. And why I have yet to begin cooking this fine morning.

Fast forward 45 minutes and I have wrangled my hubby off the upstairs computer so he can help swipe off piles of junk in my kitchen so I can find my counter tops. I knew they were there, I've got pictures from before we moved in. I now have piles of stuff on the dog crates but I have kitchen surfaces to work with now, yay! Oh and that damn toaster oven that no kitchen is made to host is on the floor. My hubby loves that thing, I use it on occasion but only because it's there and I have to justify that huge waste of counter space.

So first up, I need to get the turkey out of the brine and into a pan. It's my first time brining and not doing turkey in a bag. If it doesn't work I'm hunting Alton Brown down and having WORDS with him. He should start praying now, my words usually draw blood. Did I tell ya'll I made the cheesecake last night? The Ginger Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake one? Yeah it looks good, we'll see today if that one comes out well. Did I tell you it takes too much effort to make it? Yeah, maybe it's good for some country wife that has nothing better to do than make everything from scratch but I am just to urban for that I suppose. Too much prep time and it took like 1 hour and 45 minutes to finish baking. Oh no, not doing that one again unless I have to.

I got the turkey ready for the oven and put it into the fridge. It's only an 11 pounder so it won't take but 2-2 1/2 hours to cook so it needs to wait until like 2 pm to go in. The potatoes are now peeled cut and boiling. I am doing dressing and green bean bake so that won't go in until later this evening too. Those are totally easy so I'm not even going to bother thinking about them yet.

See how easy my cooking Thanksgiving dinner is? I still don't see what the hell takes everybody all frikin day to prepare this meal it's just a big chicken with sides. The hard part about this day is traveling and then having to be somewhere on time or have dinner ready done at some specified time. Yeah I figure I need to have dinner ready between the hours of 6-8pm. No stress, we're not going anywhere or having anyone over. Thank God.

So to all of you out there Happy Turkey Day! Try not to kill any family members but if it has to be done be sure to hide the body well and completely. If you don't know how to drop me a line. My extended family is horrid (and the dh has a few family gems that the world could do without) and the dh and I have plans in place that we can share if ya need. No, really, it's good to have these backup plans already thought out, it's best to be prepared.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Doggy indigestion, or rather bad ingestion....

The holidays are coming up and I'm happy to see articles like this
Surprising dangers for pets during the holidays
being posted on the front page of CNN. Because we're human, fallible, an inherently stupid/ignorant. Don't deny it, it's true, we do stupid shit that we have no explanation for other than the fact that it was a stupid thing to do.

So for that reason I will share with you my thoughts on the matter. Just because humans can eat it it does not mean you dog can! I am an adamant freak about dogs eating people food, it's a hell no in my house. Mostly because 1) I was a vet tech for 5 years and I have seen what it can do and it's not pretty. Like really not pretty, trust me on this one peeps, it's a very unfortunate thing with a damn big bill attached to it. And 2) I had a few dogs that had some issues with eating things. Bad issues. Here let me give you 2 examples, both of the 2 dogs I had prior to my dogs now, a lab named Marlin and a show english setter named Willy. I thought Willy was the dumbest dog ever until I got Corbin, goes to show that I just don't know stupid.

Marlin, he was a typical lab, hyper hyper hyper but oddly also reactive so see, I have experience with dogs like Jayne. That's why I knew we could handle him and that anyone else would euthanize the nutter butter. Me and my love of the rejects, I swear. Anyway Marlin was with me when I was going to school in Maryland. I had gone back to San Diego for Thanksgiving or Christmas, I forget when but it was winter. I know this because on the day I flew home it snowed that evening. Mind you it was a damn long flight so I had been up at like 7 am pacific time and by the time I got home and settled it was like 10pm. I went down stairs to do something and came back up to find Marlin had raided my suitcase (unzipped but closed when I left the room) and eaten a box of Abuelita mexican hot chocolate that I had brought back with me. Now for those of you that have not experienced this stuff it's like raw cacao with sugar, yeah only the good stuff for my damn dog right? I was PISSED. At me, at the dog, at the WORLD because I knew it was going to be a long night. In a snowstorm. Now you would think that this volume of chocolate would kill him. I was HOPING it would kill him. Yeah, no. Bastage was WIRED FOR SOUND after that stuff hit his system. I had called one of the vets I worked for to see if there was anything I could do because now he had an upset tummy, the squirts, needed to go out every 15 minutes. Did I mention the snowstorm? Ya? And was crawling the friking walls all damn night. I had to be at work at 7 am because that's what time vet techs go in even though office hours and vets don't get there until 9am. Next time you run into a cranky vet tech realize this ya? So the vet said there was nothing to do for him (of course). I got NO SLEEP and was not pleased by the next morning where I had to bring him with me since he couldn't hold it for any length of time. That dog was hell, he's the one who shoved me down a flight of concrete basement stairs when I wouldn't play with him. Oh and if you're wondering no, I didn't kill him. He bonded so strongly to my ex boyfriend I left in MD I gave Marlin to him. Separating them would have been cruel, those brats deserved each other anyway.

Dog #2, Willy, beautiful dog, dumb as rocks but so lovie you just don't care. Yeah he was a great dog for all his oddities. He loved everybody, polar opposite of Marlin. We kept them in the kitchen when we were gone. This was before we bought crates (before I was sold on crate training, all my dogs stay in crates when we're gone now) so they were baby gated into the kitchen. On a microwave cart in there I had a few cookbooks and one day, for reasons I just do not know, my bible was left in there. Yeah I had a bible (I probably still do somewhere too) I know that sounds so odd doesn't it? Me? Bible? It happens. Anyway I came home one day to bits of bible everywhere. Willy had eaten the bible. Not the cover mind you, no the thin thin pages of the interior. Shitting scripture for days. You could actually read some of it. Oddly Marlin didn't have a bite, it was just Willy. I never did understand what was going on in that dog's wee little brain but I was so waiting for the lightening to come shooting out of the sky, I swear. Lesson here, keep your religious icons away from the separation anxiety dogs or suffer some strange consequences. As for what happened to Willy, when I divorced my first husband (oh you didn't know I've been married before? Yeah I'll tell ya'll that story someday too, promise) we gave him to my aunt in law. She had fallen in love with him when we had moved across country and stayed in her house for a spell, Creve Coeur in St. Louis. I couldn't get rid of Marlin after the divorce. Like Jayne very few people can handle a dog with those kind of issues. Hell my ex couldn't really handle him but he did ok so there he stayed.

I'd show you guys a pic of them but it was in the days before digi cameras so I'll have to find where I put those old portraits I had taken of them and scan it in. It's around somewhere I'm sure.

But important note I want to make here, there are a multitude of different things that are toxic to dogs, please do not learn the hard way!

here's a mini list of what people may or may not know:

raisins (no lie here people, we almost lost a foster to this one recently)
macadamia nuts
chocolate toxicity slide rule

And there's a multitude of plants, the article above has a link to a website of all the plants that are toxic to pets, or maybe the book, I forget. I have a water softener in my house so I don't keep any house plants, too lazy to gather the water from outside.

If you need to make your pet vomit and can't take the dog in (because you're supposed to take the dog in and not make them vomit yourself) hydrogen peroxide works like a charm. It's takes a lot of it (10cc for a lab, yeah he ate 13 Costco muffins whole, I had to get him to give them back before they went through his system and caused another all nighter) but it works.

Run dog run!

Can I go for a race please?

I really need to figure out how to not only take video with my video recorder (that yes, does have a tape in it with stuff on it) but how to get it off of said recorder and onto the damn computer. Then I'd have to figure out how to get it on my blog with out it going all wonky. I've tried to put a youtube video up but it jacks the format of the blog something awful, I need help. Obviously.

Regardless, until all that happens I'll have to describe the action as best as possible because it was not only odd and rare but HILARIOUS. I know, this post is nothing with out video but bear with me. Someday when it all gets figured out you'll know where the hell I was coming from. Last night dh got home at his usual after work time ~8pm, and when he finished his dinner decided that he wanted to go out on a j-o-g. Fine and dandy great, works for me. Now mind you of the 3 dogs only 1 can be jogged with. Normally at least. Jayne has the body of a deer and doesn't even get to a good lope when the dh jogs, it's really amazing, he should be a racetrack dog. On a horse racetrack. With horses to race against. Roxy, well she's an older momma and, like me, just loves to be left at home on the couch. The dh has tried to get her to jog but she doesn't really have that get up and go. She'll get out of the house and smell the flowers. And mark, girlfriend was un-spayed for so long prior to us that she has this very territorial tendency you don't see much in bitches, she marks. GF can get that back end like 3 feet up and marks the side of poles and fences, makes it reeeaaalll hard to jog with her.

Corbin? He has legs that are, no lie, 3" long and a right hip joint that doesn't quite hold the leg in socket when he's running. So he tries but it just ain't right, sometimes you see him hopping on his left rear leg until that right leg pops back into socket. Yes yes he'll eventually need surgery (I had a lab that had both hips that had surgery done on them, I know the drill) but I'm not doing it until it starts to hurt him. The surgery is brutal, I won't put the dog through it until he has to have it. Regardless you don't take a lame stumpy anvil on a jog, it's just not what we got him for. Nor is it what they bred him for right?

So dh gets suited up, puts the sense-a-tion harness on the deer, I mean Jayne and heads towards the door. And wouldn't you know it Roxy gets up and flies towards the door with him with a pep in her step that I didn't know she had. At all. Well maybe when she was like 6 months old. Where the hell did that come from? She was sooo delighted at the thought of going out for a run. WTF? Who switched my momma dog out for an active alien? Yeah we kinda felt a bit guilty about leaving her in the house at that point. The kid then pipes up that she wants to go on a jog too. Yeah in her dress but ok, it's only in like the upper 50's out side but whatever. I then volunteer to take the 2 slowpokes (Corbin was not going to tolerate being left behind, stumpy anvil or not) along so the dh can actually get some sort of jog. I did not expect the kid to be able to keep up with him and our neighborhood is not well lit. I didn't want him to feel obligated to walk the kid for his whole jog.

So off we go for a walk, and boy did that not go as I expected. Here's how it normally would have gone, I walk the 2 slowpokes and they sniff and gather wool, the kid goes back and forth between me and the dh but doesn't actually jog. This would be normal in our household dynamics. Last night? Totally abby normal. Kid takes off with Jayne and daddy, keeps up the whole time (yes he was jogging slower for her). My two All American Rejects? Going full tilt. WTF? I actually have to run on this outing? So not cool.

This is normal:

Corbie, now I don't know how he kept up, it was like Harry Potter magic or something because genetically he is mis-inclined for running. Roxy, well now I haven't seen that kind of energetic lope in her like, ever. The funniest part though is Corbie, he sooo wanted to up with the big boys! His hind end can't take it though so his gait, oh my that needs to be filmed. Rather than a left right left right action he has to bunny leg it, both moving together in super high speed action. Frikin HILARIOUS watching his fat little butt move at super high speed like a squat bunny running towards the action. Eventually, when we got closer to the house the dh picked him up and jogged with him in his arms so that he could keep up and not be uncomfortable with the hind leg that just could not take it anymore. The dang thing just kept popping out and he was hopping like a 3 legged bunny. He was happy to be tucked under his daddy's arm like a football and running with the big boys. He's gotten to the point where he thinks he's just as good as Jayne so we let him go on with his short man's syndrome until he pushes it. And Jayne eats him.

All in all it was a fun evening of oddities. If we could get this enthusiasm out of all the beasts at once on a more consistent basis we'd totally do this like every night. Sadly though we are a sluggish bunch, the kid normally will not go on walks and she's not old enough to be left a home alone. The dogs? Yeah they are always up for a walk but there are times when it's more of a drag than a walk. Then you know Jayne, how he doesn't like strangers or other dogs, yeah that's always fun, not. Never take that dog out when it's windy either, twice as neurotic. He's like a horse in that aspect, I never rode when it was windy, those horses got all freaky...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Downtown Holiday Jacket and Pant GIVEAWAY!!!!

I want this outfit for myself. I'm TOTALLY serious here peeps, especially the pants. Can't you just see me running through the cobblestone streets of...I dunno where there are cobblestone streets around me, I'd have to go visit Trailboss! Yeah so there, I could pull off this look! Right? Get on board with me here people. Good gawd if I could just go shopping for jeans once in my life and not have a traumatizing experience. Well then I'd know that hell had frozen over so it'd be ok for me to go visit....

Downtown Holiday Jacket and Pant GIVEAWAY!!!!

Moderately succesful

We were able to get out of the house on Sunday at around 3 pm, not bad considering the kid was sooo in the I don't want to move mood. The only thing that really got her out was the fact that she has this wee little toy game of Battleship. Like 1"x1",wee little tiny thing. I told her we could get a real one at Walmart so up she got from her spot on the couch in her pj's and went to get ready. Lord forbid...

We managed to get everything on the list except cranberry sauce, couldn't find it, and the mascarpone. But some lovely sweet local to me blog reader told me which HEB's have it so on the way home I hope to take care of that! The turkey, I've decided to get adventurous this year and brine it. I usually do a turkey in the bag thing and it has always come out spectacular but since I have the tools I've decided that I'm going to play. So brineing it is! I also bought the cheesecake spring form pan, mine didn't seem to make it trough my move to Texas. I had never even used it before so maybe I gave it away, who knows, so much stuff gets lost in a big move.

So now if I can get the mascarpone we'll have 2 desserts...for 2 1/2 people....lordy this is going to be a big turkey day. Oh and Battleship, got the real people sized one and we got to play. The kid kept knocking down the top though and all the pegs would fall out. It was FUNNY! Good thing her daddy came home when he did so that he could put them all back for her, over and over again. She did it like 4 times before we gave up. As it was we were about tied so she didn't do so bad!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Look look, redneck morons in my county!

Taken from the San Antonio Express Newspaper online...

Fight over pit bull ends in gunbattle in N.E. Bexar County

yeah the title says it all doesn't it?

By Brian Chasnoff - Express-News

A conflict over a stray dog escalated into a firefight around noon Sunday in a Northeast Bexar County neighborhood.

About 20 rounds were fired between the disputants in an entrance way to an apartment building in the 7600 block of Windsor Oaks. Two men, 18 and 19, each were shot in the foot and taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries, Bexar County Sgt. David Kilcrease said.

“Both parties were returning fire at each other,” Kilcrease said.

The shooters were arguing over ownership of a pit bull that roams the neighborhood. The animal was not located, and investigators have not found at least two shooters who fled.

OK people, they shot each other in the foot. WTF? Dude if you're going to whip it out use it for fucks sake! What a bunch of pansy asses. I (and mind you I'm a city girl) have always been taught if you are going to whip out a gun it's for lethal purposes only. If you want to slap each other upside the head then for christs sake don't whip out a gun. Bullets should be aimed at one of 2 places, heart or head. If you don't intend on killing the person DO NOT whip out the gun. 20 rounds shot and they are both shot in the foot? Fuck that. Bunch of twits, hell I think the rednecks would be embarrassed to claim them as their own. Probably more like a pair of reject wannabe gangsters.

Alright, now is the time to start getting on it

Because if I don't shop for the food today I'll have to do it after work this week and that is so not going to happen. DH is on shift until 8pm Tuesday which means I have to get the kid every day after work. That would put shopping real late with the kid on a school night. Yeah I don't think so. I tried to go out yesterday but she was having none of it. The kid wanted to lounge about the house all day. She entertained herself, deconstructed half of the upstairs (thankfully we did an old unused toy purge not 2 weeks ago) which was not as bad as it could have been. It kept her busy all day though so I don't care. Now if you think her lazies have gone away you'd be wrong. I've managed to get her showered (but not dressed) and it is 3 minutes to 2pm. Yeah she takes after my father, don't get me started. At least she does it all on her own, I just send her upstairs and eventually she comes down clean and dressed. The key word here being eventually....

So the plans for today? Food shopping. My turkey day is delightfully small with just me, the kid and the dh, no other family. And we are oh so very happy about that let me tell you. The food preparation is something I'm used to, I love cooking the Thanksgiving feast all by myself. I don't know why everyone else preps so much so many days in advance. Volume maybe? I dunno, I've never had a problem doing everything the day of and I do not get up early to stick that overgrown chicken in the oven. It only takes a few hours, anytime near the noonish-1pm hour has been more than fine enough to get us at the dinner table at a normal dinner hour. And yes I only have 1 oven, small family, it works. The largest head count at my table has been 6 I think and even then I had a stupid amount of left overs. I don't recall changing anything or upping the volume of food which just goes to show that I make too much. I do awesome things with leftovers though so who cares right? This year my new leftover fun is going to be Turkey and string bean stuffed pies. Oh yeah I loves me some pot pie...

This year however I will making 1 thing ahead of time, cheesecake. But that's only because cheesecake is best served cold. Now normally I'm a huge pumpkin pie fan but the dh hates it. He's also a cake hater, no I don't know why. Me? I don't like cheescake, too heavy for me and normally it's over sweetened. The happy medium this year (or at least I hope it will be) is P Dub's Caramel Pumpkin Ginger Snap cheesecake. Not so sure about the ginger snaps though, I don't like them so I may just use graham crackers and not say anything. I was going to do Ina Garden's Pumpkin Roulade but I am unsure if I'll be able to find mascarpone in San Antonio without trapesing to 15 different HEB's. Which is too bad, I love mascarpone, it's just divine.

I hate HEB, it's like living in communist Russia. You have only 1 choice in groceries in San Antonio, HEB. That's it. And all natives think it's great, like you can get everything you need there. No, you can't but these morons don't know that because they've never had anything else here. If you've always been given vanilla ice cream and told it's the best thing ever well of course you think it's great, you've got nothing else to compare it to and never had. Point of reference people! God forbid you put chocolate in front of these people, they wouldn't recognize it! No no! Vanilla only, it's the best! Frikin communist Texans, it doesn't get any worse that them.

So this year it's going to be nice and simple (pray for me people, last year was not so fun) with just us and we may not even answer the phone. As far as I'm concerned family can just piss off. I'll talk to my dad if he calls, I'm sure my dh will talk to his mom. Everyone else can drop off the face of the earth and I'm fine with that. Can't wait till x-mas! Not.

So how complex are ya'll making your lives this coming weekend? The entry gates into the holiday hell season is upon us, lordy am I glad we moved away from 99.999% of our families...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Rayna, the face of Hoopnotica

I know I have posted before about my love of the hoop, on of the most prominent faces in the world of hooping is Rayna of Hoopnotica(she's the one performing on all the videos). It was an article about Hoopnotica that got me started. I was sitting and waiting in my neurosurgeons office waiting for my first appointment (usual wait time approx. 3 hours) and flipping though a magazine, I think it was Oprah but I could be wrong. My memory, bad ya know. I went to the website when I got home and ordered myself a travel hoop and beginning dvd. It wasn't until recently that I have ventured out and looked at other stores, hoop makers, etc. I make all our hoops but there are a TON that you can buy off of places like for fabulous prices. Pretty hoops too!

I have been going up to Austin the first Sunday of every month to hoop at a park with others, I bring the kid but the dh is tired of going with us. He spent the entire last trip pouting an doing the same passive aggressive crap him mother pulls, didn't speak to me or the kid the whole time. Next time he can stay home and pout with the dogs, lord forbid he spend his rare weekend day off with his family, he wanted to go paintballing. Whatever. He wasn't even there when I came home from the hospital with the kid when she was born. No he was at the paintball field.

So one of the bonuses of going up on Sundays to hoop is the girl who arranges it is a Hoopnotica instructor. She announced a month or two ago that Rayna was going to be in town to be teaching a certification class. No I was not going to take a certification class. Why? It's like a $750 course. To say that you are a Hoopnotica instructor. Um yeah whatever. I suppose you could earn money on being an instructor, if you had a HUGE studio to teach in. And students, people interested in moving. OK I live in one of the fattest cities in the US, no way am I going to find A) a studio to hoop lots of people in (they just don't do exercise here) or B) people, in any sort of volume, willing to hoop. So yeah, that and the fact I don't have a spare $750 made the thought of getting certified ludicrous.

But, lucky us, Rayna is not stupid and, of course, needs to make the most of visits out to other cities. They have a very successful business and there's a reason why. She also offered a beginner and intermediate class on the Friday night before the certification class (which takes all weekend). This I could do, it's only $29 and is just for those of us at these levels.

Of course we're talking at 6pm Friday night in a different city than I was located. Normally it's about 1.5 hours for me to drive up there but Friday during rush hour? Yeah I knew it was going to be fun. he longest part of the trip turned out to be getting the hell out of San Antonio. Once I got past our beltway it was golden. And I was doing about 80mph because by that time it was 5:45 (I left work at 4), yup it took me almost 2 hours to get the hell out of this 'small town'. 7th largest city in the US and the natives here swear that it's a small town so the infrastructure reflects that. Gawd it took forever!

I was a half hour late for class but that's life, I jumped right in. I'm sure if I had never hooped before it would have been a problem but I, for the most part, know what I'm doing so it was fine. It was awesome, easily 50 times better than I thought it would be. I have the dvd's and there are some moves on there that I just can not get. Rayna teaches them differently in person (of course) and I got them. OK I may not be able to do them yet but I understand how to do them and can work on them by myself now and know what I'm doing wrong and how to do it right, in theory at least. I don't think I've been to an exercise class in forever and it was never pleasant. This one was sooo cool! Very awesome, not like a huge work out or something like that, no that is definitely one of the bonuses of hooping. You can do it and either make it feel like you ran a marathon or not and just enjoy spinning the hoop. I'm not much of an exerciser, can you tell? This is so fun though, if you can get a hold of an adult sized hoop I totally encourage you to try it, you'll love it I promise. I made one for my co-worker and when she had family over they made fun of her and then everybody had to try it. And they loved it. Try it, you'll like it I swear.

Friday, November 21, 2008

OK so a friend of mine forwarded this to me...

Apparently a fof of hers has access to a paper grader for Poli Sci 101. Yeah so this is obviously a perfect example of the mental capacity of Generation whY the hell did anyone give birth to these morons? Some of these sentences aren't technically sentences and make no sense what so ever. The rest are just STUPID.

More Political Science 101 Paper Bloopers!

In this assignment, students were supposed to write a research paper about eating organic foods, Wal-mart, international economy, or the genocide in Darfur. These are direct quotes from their papers. I preserved their original spelling and punctuation for added awfulness.


"Where Would Jesus Shop? Not Wal-Mart!"

"We have to do something so we don't give more power to China that what it already has and stay in our country and support it so it can grow more."

"Wal-Mart is on of the largest companies, but the economy is not."

"It is the common of men to degrade women in certain manners that are rude and disturbing."

"In male dominant settings like that in Wal-Mart, the egotistical man will stop at nothing to banter the women co-worker until the feel so humiliated and embarrassed that they leave or get dominated."

Eating Organic

"Big business have stuck their nose into our society once again, and this time in one of our life's natural necessities: food."

"Many crops get overran with weeds. Many crops get destroyed by bugs."

"Some of us listen to our parents and properly eat the vegetables we get on our plate while others just refuse to eat anything that is considered to be healthy."

"Rising meat consumption is a big part of our human evolution."

"Vegetables grown at a monoculture farm generally does not provide us with the amount of nutrients as an organically farmed vegetable, in fact it frequently provides us with issues and problems that our world already have too many off."

Genocide in Darfur

Title: "Genocide! A Tragedy! But We Can Fix It!"

"The U.S. needs to make sure that the government is actually getting those needy people their food."

"When these situations that we expect to be taken cared don't, we must take a stand and help to make that change."

"These Strategies, whether it's contributing money to an organization, writing a letter to advocate more US funding, or even bake sales and fundraisers all are a part of the widespread effort to help stop these mass killings."

"It is up to us, the one, the few, the few, the many, to stand up and both figuratively and literally should at the government-the people we voted into office to- to take forceful action and stop tolerating genocide."

International Economy

"There is a new word among the streets and it is Corporatocracy."

"The World Bank has the motto of "Working for a free world of poverty" bannered across its website." This is actually part of a subtitle on the website and it reads, "Working for a world free of poverty." …big difference.

"But considering Africa has one of the strongest governments, it is almost impossible for it to collapse."


"We need to show how drugs can be good in our society and not let it get out of hang."

"Indeed, I admit that the only reason I initially responded to this book was because I am a fan of the Oceans' 11 movies and Oscar-winner and activist George Clooney is in fact represented in both anecdotes and pictures."

"It is with this in mind, and with the hope that celebrities will only use their powers for good rather than evil, that I am happy to say that I am one who can and is always swayed by celebrity opinion."

"The only problem in the Middle Eastern countries is that they are in constant conflict with each other and themselves."

"Here he is clearly referring to Islam and their jealousy of America and it's democracy."

"Bin Laden and Mc Veigh's attacks were positive for Americans because it forces them government to stop being corrupt and violating the constitution."

"Joe the plumber is loosing jobs to illegal immigrants."

"I think there will be an increase of women empowerment and if there is not then there will be no progression and our society will be stagnated. In relations to this we may have our first African-American president and the Neo-Nazis would have never thought of this day to come."

Non Sequitur

How wrong is it that when my close friends read this comic they think of me? Like across the board...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My child, the budding scientist

Most girls like bunnies and kittens, my child has always had a thing for bugs and today she proudly caught a lizard. OK she does still love bunnies and kittens but we won't let her have any, instead we got her a pink snake. No I'm not kidding, when she was 4 she met a snake a neighbor boy had and just had to get one for herself. So that Christmas she asked for a pink snake. Not one to disappoint his child's bizarro taste (he's used to it, his wife has owned snakes, chinchillas, and whatnot) the dh came and asked me if there was such thing as a pink snake. Oh yeah, it's a question all husbands would ask their wife isn't it? And yet I did have an answer, of course there are pink snakes, don't you know mother nature caters to her chosen ones, the little girls of the world that must have all their reptiles in a fashionable color. Right? Of course.

So that year, at the age of 5, my dd got an albino corn snake, which translates to pink in the real world. And so our zoo was expanded to include the wee little itty bitty Sarah. She was the size of a pencil when we got her, curled up onto a circle about the size of a silver dollar. I'll get you all a picture of her later this week, in the last 2 years she has gotten..bigger. Oh my yes she's a healthy snake and we can not believe how large she has gotten. The dd will take empty toilet paper cardboard rolls (I save them to recycle but they never seem to make it down to the bin) and create an obstacle course of sorts with them for Sarah and oddly, the snake goes through it. Hey it works and the kid's classmates (especially the boys) think that she's sooo cool because she owns a snake. Did I tell ya'll the kid has figured out that hanging out with the boys is way funner than hanging with the girls? Good for her right? DH is not so enamored of this discovery. It took me until much later in life to figure this fact out so I'm just glad she's ahead of the curve. Bets have it she'll get in less trouble being best buds with the boys than if she is always with the girls. Girls are evil, don't let anyone try to tell you otherwise, it's true. A group of three boys may raid your kitchen to use your utensils as digging tools, a group of three girls will take over the world and leave nothing but destruction in their path. Manipulative little beasties.

BTW, the dh is on strict directions that the lizard containment program at our house is a strict catch and release program. Must be done well before sundown so as to let the thing warm up and be able to find a good hiding spot before Roxy comes out, that dog lives to hunt lizards. She will stare at a tree trunk a lizard has gone up for hours.

Because hubby is home taking pictures....

That's what you get today!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Nothing like the smell of....

Wet dog in the morning. Yeah you heard me, wet dog. When I woke this morning Jaynie had snuck in when the kid was making her morning coup of my bathroom. He proceeded to hop up with me on the bed and curl into his nice tiny Jayne ball (he can get himself smaller than any dog I've ever seen when he does this) at the foot of the dh's side of the bed (the Jayne spot) and fall asleep. Glaring at any and everyone who dared make noise during his beauty nap. That would mean he was making nasty faces at the dd who was prancing around doing everything but getting ready to go to school. DH comes in to prod the child into doing the morning routine, proceeds to sit down next to Jayne and snuggle with him (Jayne hates this when he's trying to power nap first thing in the morning) and say hmmm Jaynie you're getting kinda funky. Being indoor dogs they get bathed pretty often but they are all allergy dogs and the funk factor gets worse during allergy seasons. Since San Antonio is in a perpetual state of allergy season we are constantly fighting one funky dogness or another. Mostly it's Roxy, she's the supda funkomatic. Jayne has the lowest funk factor but he's got a bit still, he is a boy dog.

So DH comes home from dropping off the kid at school, I'm just out of the shower and we decide we might as well throw the Jaynie in with dh and get him cleaned up. Alright so we knew the little dog needed a bath too, it was due time. So while I'm at it I bring the other 2 dogs in the bathroom suite, yeah it's a dang big bathroom, waste o space, and hope more than one gets scrubbed up while I'm leaving for work. Hehehe. Hey no harm i trying right? So the big dog gets done, dh calls down to me to let him outside and I let Jayne loose to run amock outside. Lasts about 2 minutes since the temp is in the low 50's. He runs 2 laps at full tilt and comes straight back to the door to be let in. Which is fine, I let him go and clear out before I am roped into being more late for work and get wet dog hair stuck to my scrubs. Yuck...

So this morning was started with the smell of wet dog, not the best of smells but in the end fully worth it. DH managed 2 out of the 3, just Roxy the funk-d-licious needs to get bathed. She's the worst, she has a boxer coat the likes of which I've never seen. She's like velour and washes like velour too. Man she can hold more water in that coat than a labrador. Freakish mutant boxer fur I'm telling ya!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

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IFC's Goth cruise DVD

Um yeah and you're asking....Wha? A friend of ours owns/runs a comic book forum website and gets some free things to review prior to release. He asked us to watch this one and review it. Why? Well probably because we are, basically, the type that went on this cruise. Kinda. Well almost. Close enough. This was a 5 day cruise ship going from New Jersey to Bermuda, 2500 'norms' and 150 goths. Oh yeah, We knew this was going to be a fun one. Really really fun.

Most of the goths were American, a few were British, one family with a 6 yr old son even. Almost all of them were older, basically at a point in life that they no longer wanted to go to a goth mosh pit for vacation. They wanted a real grown up vacation with others that enjoyed the same things they did. Some called themselves 'Elder Goths', oh lordy I felt damn old when he said that. God am I that old? We yes, I suppose I am. I was mod first, in junior high. Then as I moved into high school I morphed into the goth scene. Now mind you this was the late 80's early 90's. This means I was goth before the word was invented. See, I am just that old. I could relate to these people very well. I'm not so sure that's a good thing but it is what it is. A very interesting note about this documentary, and I say this in a probably biased manner, this is about real goths, not the new wanna be My Chemical Romance sycophants.

Oh my did that sound snobby? Apparently San Diego is know for it's snobby goths, we're kinda vain like that. Well lets face it, most of So Cal is snobby. It's one of the reason's I became goth, those surfer girls annoyed the crap out of me. This documentary, it showed me where I would be if I had continued to be goth as a corporate working American. Very interesting yet not what I wanted to grow up to be, no really. We only get into our goth get ups to go to club, we're stealth goths. Back in the real world we don't thrive off of that kind of attention. And that's what it all about now isn't it? Attention? That's what I got out of watching these people and listening to their stories. Translate it how you will but what started out for most as a way of expressing their own style really ended up becoming more of a "Look at me look at me" way of life. Not all the time, just when they get dressed up. Oh and the cross dressers? Don't assume that they are all gay, I'm pretty sure that's not what the cross dressing is always about.

They also interviewed some of the norms to get their opinion of the goths there and what they thought goths were about. Man are people stupid and ignorant. It just goes to show that when the average American is asked about something they know NOTHING about they will assume some pretty stupid shit. And then make up more shit to justify it. Which sadly, does not surprise me in the least. My faith in people is already at an all time low, election years do that to me. These people thought that goths were all about satan. OMG because they wear black. What? Now this is funny, one guy had a devil get up that took like 4 people to put together. He loved it, totally grooved on the norms that wanted to take pictures with him. He way played it up so those people, I could understand how people would equate that with devil worship but he was dressed as satan. One out of 150, yeah just go with that stereotype why don't ya! People always look for the easy way out that makes them feel like the better person. Not that I minded being thought of a satan worshipper when I was goth. If you are worried about what others will think of you then you wouldn't be goth, really, it attracts way too much attention and you'd have to be well medicated. No what bothers me is the assumption. I always appreciated those rare people that would come up and ask what or why we dressed that way. It was rare but it showed a certain amount of maturity and ability to think on ones own. Lord forbid! And fwiw the answer is no, most goths are regular Christians who just have a different style sense.

Play equals learning

And lordy it seems that society has lost sight of that in a big way. I tripped across this article today and it really made a lot of sense. I understand that education in the US is sorely lacking but taking away our kid's childhood is not the answer. To prove that, and I quote, diminished time to play freely with other children is producing a generation of socially inept young people and is a factor behind high rates of youth obesity, anxiety, attention-deficit disorder and depression.

Ya think? Yeah I think so too. They mention a variety of reasons for it, all of which I agree with, but mainly being a kid nowadays is just as stressful as being an adult. WTF? Who said we had to make our kids adults at age 3? Where do we get off pulling that one on them? My dd's b-day is at the end of October, in California we could have started her in kinder when she was 4 and have her turn 5 while she was in kinder. Why the hell would we do that? She'll be in school for 13 years straight minimum why start early? Fortunately Texas has a rule, if you're not 5 before September 1 you can't start kinder. Now she'll be one of the first in her class to be old enough to get her drivers license come time. Yeah see now that's what I'm talking about!

Note that in the article they mention that parents try to redeem the loss of play time by enrolling them in organized sports, have ya'll seen how stressful those sports teams are? Not exactly what I'd call 'play', especially with all the pressure that coaches and parents put on the kids. Parents get in brawls out there. I'm glad my kid isn't into most of those sports. The only thing she's ever shown interest in is dance and swimming, not the most competitive of sports. Yay!

We are very into our downtime at home. The kid sometimes says "I want to relax right now" and we never begrudge her that. She has set times where we do her school work and then she's free to do what she wants. Don't bother talking to me about obesity and weight either. I bred with a stick and gave birth to a stick. All the McDonalds in the world wouldn't plump her up. I know, we've tried. She's 7 and still can't finish a Happy Meal. The only thing she totally finishes is the bag of apples that she chooses rather then the french fries. I don't think she was the kid those things were geared towards but I'm ok with that. It could be worse!

Dark Horse

So ya'll know my propensity for music, the angry white male kind right? Well I've had a thing for Nickleback recently, like for the last 6 months. Yeah I know their last album came out in 2005, where have I been? Even I can't answer that question. I do, however, like them enough to forgive them their Canadianess and that's saying something. The dh and I always rip on Canadians, again, we don't know why it's just a running joke. The Canadians and the French, oh yeah they are great fodder for the jokes.

Anyway today Nickleback finally released a new album, what took them so long? Who knows, they probably made so much money off of their last album that they could lounges for a few years. They have now run out of money so we get a new album! Isn't that how it works? Eh, yeah, Canadians.

Regardless, for those who have a thing for them and a bargain, Today Only,

Dark Horse

MP3 version on sale for $3.99 at

The hubby thinks he can convert it to iTunes for me, I dunno, we shall see.

Personal space issues

Every parent has them. In Roxy's case she's had her puppies, been spayed, and yet she has this little monster all up in her biznatch. Constantly. You saw the last pictures with them both in the little bed right? Now you're looking at her in her crate and Corbie thinking of different ways of driving her out. We got him because he was a super submissive dog, he won't touch Jaynie with a 10 ft pole (see he does have one brain cell that works) but for some reason he's decided that he can walk all over Roxie. We keep trying to tell her to kick his ass but she just doesn't want to bother. She's not intimidated by him, she just doesn't think he's worth her effort. I think it increases his short man's syndrome problems.

As for me and the rest of the household have I mentioned that the kid has practically moved into our bathroom in the mornings getting ready? It drives me nuts because she uses my space, not the hubby's. Green watermelon toothpaste smeared everywhere. Twice a day everyday. You know this is an only child, she has her own huge bathroom for herself. We even decorated to her specifications, it's beautiful. And unused. I'm thinking of just ostracizing her completely, making my space off limits. It's just about to come down to it because she needs to appreciate what she has and not take over other people's space.

My hairbrush, have I told you about the hairbrush? No? I have a boars hair brush. It's nice but not anything exciting. She loves it which is fine, it's a nice brush and all but she insists that it's more gentle on her head than her normal plastic ones. No, it's because she's usually got clean hair when she uses my brush. When we're using her other brushes that are littered about the house it's usually after she's got food in her hair or glue. Yeah Elmers white glue. Do you know how fun that is in the hair? Not even my hair brush is going to make that feel good. She's always got an excuse why it's in her hair but my answer is always, OK so you got it in your hair, why did you not wash it out? Do you like collecting it and then having it brushed out when it's dried? Nasty, why oh why do children use their hair as a collecting spot for liquid to solid matter? And then use my hairbrush damn it? Yeah I may just have to lay down the law sometime soon here.

Hey mom will you please put the camera down and kick Roxy out of her apartment?

Monday, November 17, 2008

That DAMN diaper hunt

Yeah I know many of you don't give a crap about The Great Cloth Diaper Hunt but I've never let that stop me before, not going to start now. It's been a long long long hunt and I'm cruising right along. There are 2 levels of difficulty in the hunt, regular and extreme. There are like 12 or 15 extremes and those are the ones where they hide the icon in a really elusive spot. Like a period at the end of a sentence is actually a link to the icon. How do you find it? Well you go around and around on the site for hours, drive yourself insane and finally just start hovering your mouse over EVERYTHING. Yeah it takes awhile but most of the other 170 sites are fun. They are allowed 4 clues to drag you through the website and the icon can't be too overtly hidden. Now those are super fun. I have, since Nov 1st found a total of 136 icons. That's a helluva lot of icons and some serious time spent on the computer, it's shameful I tell you! But it only happens once a year so I'm not feeling too guilty. And it only lasts a month, right?

And really, it's only the extremes that take an extraordinary amount of time and drive me insane and there are only 16 of them. Now mind you there is a hint forum so you can go and ask for a hint from the site owner. I have found though that there are a few that are just flat out beotches which seems counter intuitive if you ask me. These business owners voluntarily join up, donate some product and then hope to have a bazillion people go through their website and chose to purchase there. Now make the hunt so hard that NO ONE can figure out where the icon is and then behave nasty when people get frustrated and no longer want to look through your site? Yeah that makes me want to buy stuff from them. Not. Wouldn't you think that they'd be a bit more, I dunno, pleasant? After all they do want your money. Not like I expect them to give away the answers but some of them are flat out insulting and nasty. That's just bad publicity and that will lead to much more lost business than I'm sure they were going for. People have, in the recent years, been complaining about how bad people behave towards service (like airline stewardesses) but lets face it, if you have a small on line business can you really afford to piss off a few thousand people for a friggin treasure hunt? It's not like money out of their pockets to be nice. I'm not saying give the answer away, I'm talking common courtesy. Where has it gone?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Long Term Ramificatons

Same-sex marriage rallies stretch across nation

So yeah, I wonder if the conservatives that voted for Prop 8 really understood the longer term ramifications of what they were doing. The longer term ramifications they weren't looking for that is. In the above article you'll notice that the protests are not occurring in small pockets in the California, Arizona, and Florida where the voting was done. Oh no, people are pissed and they are pissed in ALL the states. Whatcha wanna bet that pretty darn soon here it's not just those 3 states that are going to be having a fight rescinding/negating those state constitutional changes. Oh buddy I tell you what, it's now gone onto the nation wide level. This is going to spur some serious changes nation wide. Ya think the Church of the Latter Day Saints are going to have enough money to skew those votes? I think those people who sunk their entire life's savings are kinda s.o.l. now. Now they don't have any savings during a recession and there will be waaayy more money needed to publish lies in all 50 states. I wonder if they'll start selling their children to raise the money. I wouldn't put it past the zealots.

I thought this was an interesting quote in that article:
"There is nothing civil about a man marrying another man," one protester yelled. "You lost. It is not a civil rights issue. It is an issue with morality."

Alright can anyone tell me what is wrong with this statement on a legal level? Let's just whip out that first amendment shall we? If it's not a civil rights issue but a moral one what the hell was it doing on the ballots in 3 different states? So now we are using our right to vote to shove our religious beliefs down other people's throats. I don't think that's what this country was supposed to stand for but hey, since they are obviously in the majority I'm sure that's ok right?

Now whether or not you'll be able to have gay marriage in the buckle of the bible belt someday, we'll I don't know. But we did make slavery illegal nation wide so anything is possible. I'm curious to see if the fact that we have a black president will have any affect on the outcome. It shouldn't but again, it's supposed to be a civil rights issue not a religious one right? Right? NO? Wrong on so may different levels.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A funny quote

From my fav online comic. OK the only online comic I read but whatever. Questionable Content is listed in my link roll to the right and you can only really appreciate how far along it has come if you start at the beginning. It's funny,really,it is. We started reading before the author got laid off and did it full time, now there are updates 5 days a week.
And I quote (from Sven, love buddy/antagonist of Faye's, and brother of Dora, Faye's boss)

A good relationship is like fireworks: loud, explosive, and liable to maim you if you hold on too long.

Which leads me back to a discussion the dh and I had last night. I think it was last night. Oh he would know and if it was sometime else he can go back and edit it. Anyway we first dated in high school we were 16, maybe 15. If you haven't noticed I'm not the one in the family known for their memory, that's his job. And we both forget our anniversary. Every year. Yeah we've obviously been together for too long, complacency much? In high school we were a bit more fractious. No wait, I was a bit more fractious and honey if you have a problem with the mildness of that wording you can write you own blog post. I didn't get many boyfriends in high school because they were scared of me. No not physically, I was 5'1" and weighed about 104lbs. Soaking wet. No not physically intimidating, emotionally intimidating. I was harsh and could make a boy cry in about 2-3 minutes, less if I knew him well enough. And I felt free do so at will, I had a razor tongue and enjoyed using it to humble those cocky teen boys. Oh come on you know they needed it. This was So Cal, those boys were terrible. So full of themselves, made it real easy to pop their emotional bubble.

This did make for interesting relationships when I did end up having them. Rare few and far between as that was. The dh had the privilege, or maybe the bad luck, to date me back then. One of maybe 3 in my high school years. I told you I was harsh and they were scared. He was lucky though, he didn't actually go to my high school so you know, it probably lasted longer because of that. Which was a whole...6 months, yeah just like the quote. Liable to get burned if you hold on too long, yup that was me. After 6 months though he'd had enough and stopped calling. He's always been an in the moment type of guy. Well hell most boys are at that age. Regardless what he failed to think of way back when is that revenge is best served cold. In his case 10 years cold so it was like dry ice at that point. Yeah so far I still have the last word on that one. Oh you want that story? Yeah it's a funny story, and I'll bet money that his version would be different than mine (and that's why we have separate blogs). Hell hath no fury....

Thursday, November 13, 2008

All American Rejects, featuring Corbin

Otherwise known as the Corbinator. Ahh why oh why did I want a third dog? I dunno, they're like potato chips I swear. I wake up to these monsters and I think "NEVER again, I never get another dog again!". Yeah right. Did you read about the boxer in PA that was tied to the train tracks and left to die? Yeah it's stories like that, people like that that will keep me a dog owner. If I were out there I swear I'd have been the first one on the list to adopt that dog. Well maybe the second, dh would probably be the first.

So Corbie, why did we end up paying for a dog on purpose? Yeah I know just nuts. After a few months with both big dogs the dh mentioned that it'd be nice to have a small dog the kid could snuggle with. The big dogs SMOTHER her when snuggling and the kid wanted a dog to sleep with too. And we never indulge the kid right? Did I ever tell you guys the pink snake story? NO? Well another post perhaps and yes we have a pink snake, her name is Sarah. But Corbin, well the search was originally for a smaller dog that the kid could handle. We don't like little dogs, we wanted a big dog in a little dog body. Went through a mental list of all the small dogs and came up blank. Thought about a pug, looked at one at the shelter we got Roxy from. He was great but a little timid so they wouldn't adopt him to a home with a child younger than 5, the dd was 4 at the time. I should have lied on my application but they still had our old one so that wouldn't work real well if they checked back. At this time I was part of a raw feeding group in So Cal (So Cal BARF, largest one in the nation) and one of the local women was a frenchie owner. She was throwing a 'graduation' party for her youngest pup of her 3 and we were invited. Oh yeah party of all frenchies and 1 english bulldog puppy. Is anyone out there envious? You should be, it was cute beyond belief. Of course the dh thought I was a loon but he always does.

Come to find out that these dogs have the coolest personalities and what they don't have they make up for in cute factor, big time. Also the host, Linda, was part of FBRN and they were needing volunteers. Well all rescues always need volunteers but they really did at this point. It was right before we moved to TX and when we got here we got our first foster within like 2 weeks. Higgins is in our family picture on this blog, he's the dark brindle and white pied in the picture. He was with us for 8 long long months. We fell in LOVE with that dog but he was placed in a home in Houston a little over a year ago. After that we really needed one of our own so I kept my eye out on the FBRN website for one that would work with our family. Now remember we have Jayne, he's not so good with other dogs so it was really important that we got a submissive dog. He brawled with Higgins on occasion because The Hig was not submissive, he'd push Jayne's buttons just for entertainment and it got ugly a few times. Jayne is big, frenchies are not. Fortunately Jayne has insane bite inhibition, he's all sound and fury, very little actual bite.

I applied for at least 3 frenchies on FBRN, didn't get any of them. I got a call back on 1 but it was the same week I bought Corbin, no lie. I would have taken her but the foster mom doesn't like me, never has. She called me out of guilt I think, since we worked so hard for the rescue but was never even called up for an adoption every time we applied. Makes the organization look bad and this woman was all about image. She always treated me like something she found on the bottom of her shoe, the dh doesn't like her at all.

When I had basically given up on adopting a frenchie I started calling reputable breeders. If you've ever tried to do this you'd be surprised how hard it is unless you've got an in somewhere, they are a very selective group and don't really like giving up their dogs. At all. Very hoity toity. You can get a back yard bred frenchie no problem, with enough money. But they'll have medical issues galore. Oh it's bad. Just like english bulldogs they are all artificially inseminated and birthed through c-section. Good breeders put in way more money than they get out of these dogs. Bad breeders will give you a dog so backwards you can't tell their front end from their ass and the inbreeding causes serious medical issues.

I had a few things I was looking for that was going to make it hard to get a frenchie 1. I needed something submissive, this basically means I needed a boy, girl frenchies are notorious beeotches and 2. I don't do puppies, I know everyone else loooves the puppies. Oh hell no, no puppies in my house thank you very much. The older the better for me. I love the old ones who have their tongues hanging out, just adore it! Give me an old fogie any day but no puppies for me. So after a few phone calls I was able to find some retiring bitches but they weren't exactly what I was looking for. The breeder lady was so sweet though and she gave me some leads on other breeders around me that bred the colors I like. Black mask fawn anyone? Yeah our household has matching dogs, so cliche.

And that brought us to Shelley's website. She has a small link there if you look, available adults. Oh yeah soo exactly what I was looking for. Right now she has a retiring bitch named Mocha up. Dang Shelley keeps her dogs fat, that looks like a short cow to me, whatcha think? When we were looking she had Corbin up, his name was Jericho and he was 9 months old. A bit young for my taste but I emailed anyway. Turns out he was super duper submissive, oh yeah we were sold. I could deal with slightly young, he was going to be an adult soon so it was ok. She also told me why she was selling him, get this, he was actually from a breeder in Florida and Shelley got him as a wee puppy, pick of the litter, and he was to be a show/stud dog. Oh if he only knew what he was missing. He grew up a bit and guess what? He got freckles on his front white socks. Oh the tragedy! This is one of the things that classifies him as one of the All American Rejects, breeders don't like freckles on those clean white socks. Shelley had paid $3000 for that pup, gah! That is the going price, btw, for a show dog. If you ever buy a frenchie please, for the love of God, email me first and we'll talk. Don't go paying astronomical amounts for a dog from a random breeder or even worse, a pet store. Oh please just don't. A companion frenchie from a good breeder should cost in the neighborhood of $2000-2500. And that's the cheapest thing you'll ever pay for with that dog, they get medical expenses, big genetic defects that they are.

So after a few emails back and forth we bought Corbin, for the low discount price of $1000. Yeah I actually paid for a reject, I couldn't help it, he's so damn cute! Plus he already had all of his shots and was to be neutered by her vet at her cost, that and avoiding having a puppy in my house in his younger months? Priceless. Shelley is located a bit of a drive away from us, about 6 hours I think. I was with dd in San Diego at the time of his pick up (he had to be neutered first) and our friend Mike in San Diego was out visiting the dh. Mike has family up in Dallas that he wanted to see so they made a day of it, drove up in the morning, picked up Corbin, then went by Mike's sisters house and had lunch. Then they drove right back down. Looong day of driving. Where the dh got a speeding ticket. Did you know they are much less expensive in TX than in California? Didn't surprise you huh? Yeah we weren't surprised either.

Now remember Corbin was owned by a breeder, she had lots of dogs so this one (along with a few others I'm sure) was a kennel dog. I suspect he was raised in a run and had interaction with her and the other dogs during free time in the yard. He didn't know the inside of the house. He barked at his reflection in the glass oven door (I suspect he thought we were cooking a frenchie), when dh went in to the bathroom and closed the door, when the toilet flushed, when he came back out of the bathroom, you name it, it surprised him! I'm sure he thought dh was going to disappear and the toilet would swallow him up when it flushed. Then he'd magically appear when the door opened, wow! Yeah they breed them real smart in these here parts. I've seen him walk into walls in the house, walls he's well aware of and haven't moved since he's lived with us. Frenchies, you don't buy them for their brains, what they don't have they make up for in cute and affectionate! These dogs will stick to you like glue.

They do have their downsides though, they are notoriously hard to potty train, Corbin has his moments. When it's cold outside he decides that it's much easier to sneak to a dark corner somewhere in the house to do his business. We then have to go through the whole strict parent routine where he goes out on a schedule (under duress, picked up and pushed out the backdoor) and in his crate when he comes back in the house. He's better after about a week of that but can randomly digress at no moments notice. Oh but his worst foible? That would be another frenchie thing, he's a poo eater. So gross on so many different levels. You would not believe what we have to do to keep the brat from doing this. We're very good about keeping the yard clean but he'll go after it right after going so it's this uphill battle chasing around that little anvil before he can woof it down. Oh yeah, they have their drawbacks, the little buggers. Not all of them of course, just those of us lucky owners get the special ones. There was a thread on our FBRN Yahoo group about this just recently, the verdict? It's almost impossible to stop, no one has found a good cure yet. Of all the frenchies to choose from we end up with the poo eater, figures.

At least this one doesn't challenge Jaynie, instead he challenges Roxy. Who totally ignores him since he's so dang stumpy/vertically challenged she barely notices his annoying little fly biting short man syndrome self. She just looks at us as if to say, "Can you remove him from the premises please? He's taking away my affection with the parents time!". She's an attention hog like that, Jayne's polar opposite.

Nordic Bo Peep and Long Lost Sheep Costume GIVEAWAY!!!!

Um yeah, check this one out. Makes you want to just go out and adopt a kid to put in it doesn't it? Oh ya'll need to go look at her past giveaways too, there was this Marie Antoinette dress, oh wow...

Nordic Bo Peep and Long Lost Sheep Costume GIVEAWAY!!!!

Commissioned Watercolor Portrait GIVEAWAY!!!!

Yeah so I have this blog that I pop to on occasion, this woman makes ADORABLE childrens clothing and gives it away. Why? I dunno, it floats her boat and really, that's what life is all about now isn't it? So to win these things on her blog you just create a link no your blog. So if you want to be eligible to win a commissioned watercolor then go to the link then create a link on your blog! I'm linking the cute other little outfit too, not like I have a kid that will fit in it but I can find one, or make one right? Trailboss you have 3 grandchildren, you need to get on this bandwagon...

Commissioned Watercolor Portrait GIVEAWAY!!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

All American Rejects, today featuring Jayne

This was his Craigs List ad picture. He was so fat when we got him he couldn't kidney bean with out falling over. So funny!

And this is him now, after a roll in the dry grass, I had to brush him before I let him in the house!

Ah yes, my own personal autistic dog. Most trainers use the term 'reactive' when analyzing this type of dog but we'll get to that in a bit, first you need to hear how we came across this 'little' bundle of madness. FYI he's a bit taller than breed standard, I'm 5'1" and his head probably comes almost up to mid chest on me. He's built like a horse and oddly, his face looks very much like not so far back in his blood line he has pit bull in it. Like really not so far back, like a parent? He's got white haws (you know, that inner eyelid thing) which boxers are not supposed to have, it gives him psycho looking eyes. Which, in retrospect, is apropos.

When we got Roxy from the pound we always knew she would be the first of 2. We wanted 2 dogs and unlike the fact that we want 2 kids we are able to afford 2 dogs so after having Roxy for a few months we kept our eyes out for another dog (most likely boxer). One day I was flipping through Craig's List and found an ad (with a picture) for an adult male brindle black mask fawn. Thing to note, I'm not a big brindle fan, the dh loves brindle so he was all excited about this ad. Oddly enough when I called the owner she said she did not have many responses because one of the stipulations in her ad was that she wanted to come and look at the new home and make sure it was appropriate for him. Yeah this woman had no idea what she was doing with this dog, no control whatsoever and he needed serious help. The last thing she needed to worry about was how the house looked. No she wanted to make sure he would be contained and wouldn't bite anyone else. Yeah you heard me, she was pawning off a dog with a bite history. Do ya'll have any idea of the legal ramifications of that?

So I set up a date to have her come over and visit with him. Thing to note about San Diego, it's all valleys and mesas. You can be driving on a street and have it end abruptly only to continue on somewhere else if you know how to get around into that valley. Drives the newbs nuts, we natives are used to it. Anyway turns out the woman lives 3 doors down from us in the valley that goes down (we were the 2nd to last house on our end of the street) and so it was not a long drive for her to bring him over one night. So she shows up in her Mercedes and Jaynie on a leash with a German prong collar on. He's still got scars from it, don't even get me started. It's the WORST collar you can put on a reactive dog. Just the absolute worst. Fool woman, and I'd elaborate on her but she's not worth the wasted letters on the computer. You see that Louis Vuitton collar he has on in that first picture? She kept it, it and his leash (?). Beotch.

She comes up to the door, I go to greet her and Roxy follows behind, dh a little behind Roxy, dd is somewhere flitting about. Jaynie spots Roxy and goes apeshit, just like a dog aggressive reactive dog does. He's up on his hind legs rearing and barking growling foaming at the mouth, the woman has a hold of his leash and is trying to restrain him. I have not opened the security door yet so I'm not worried, dh thinks oh there's no way in hell we can take this dog. Me? Oh yeah, so used to this and I take it in stride. I have the dh take Roxy in the backyard through the house so Jaynie isn't looking at her then I have her give me the leash for Jayne and explain to her that it'll be fine. He can't have her on the other end of the leash and be calm, not going to happen. I've done this dance before, I was a dog trainer with a reactive dog so I know what's going to set him off and how to change the situation to one we can deal with. #1, take the old owner out of the equation, #2 put him in a place that is not his but is owned by Roxy. Roxy is a mellow girl but when she needs to put her foot down you can see the cranky mom in her come out and put the smack down. We love it when she puts the smack down, it's sooo fun to watch. She does it just like a good momma should, hard core with out any blood actually being shed. So I take his leash, lead him into the back yard by the side gate and introduce the 2 dogs with his old owner hanging back. And it goes really well. He doesn't mind Roxy at all and he just starts with the play, she plays a bit then puts the smack down just so that he knows it's her house and she's not going to put up with his crap even though he's a head taller than her. Jayne's old owner was amazed that he went from psycho to playing so quickly. I went though some basic dog behavior things with her and she hadn't a clue as to how a dogs mind works, much less this one.

Turns out she had gotten passed this dog by a gay guy friend of hers, I never found out why. She worked 14 hour days and he was locked out on the porch the whole time. So her excuse for re-homing him was that she didn't have the time. My ass. Do you know 2 months after adopting him she sent me an email with pictures of her shiny new puppy? She told me that Jayne had bit a homeless guy that wanted to pet him once when they were on a walk. Also the Fed Ex guy, she opened the door, signed for her package and when the guy turned to leave Jayne went after him. She was shocked and amazed. I was shocked that she just left him lose to have the chance to bite the guy. That dog is never, ever let lose around strangers in our home. Even on leash he's not allowed to visit with strangers. He will bite them, no doubt in my mind, with out proper introductions. When it comes to the fight or flight instinct he doesn't do flight, just fight and as far as he's concerned everyone is out to get him and his family. Dog is not wired right. So she took Jayne home and told us to call her if we decide we wanted him. Oh and if you didn't catch it before the dh was also impressed with how well Jayne did in the backyard. After the initial flip out he was absolutely sure that we couldn't take this dog. Oh ye of little faith.

We discussed him in the days to come, I think it took us 1 maybe 2 days to call her back. Dh had reservations so I had to explain a bunch of dog behavioral stuff to him. My last dog, the one I left with my ex boyfriend in college, was a reactive dog. Same thing, totally wired wrong. No, neither of these dogs were abused, as for nature vs nurture I know that the root is definitely nature but there are things that an owner can do to make it worse. #1 problem? Ignorance. And this old owner, she was stupid. She took him jogging once and he was attacked but a group of unleashed pit bulls and a rottie. Can I tell you just how observant we are when walking Jaynie? We can see a person or dog from a mile away and we avoid the situation. It's just too much for him at times and a dog can take up to 3 weeks to get that adrenaline rush out of his system. One of the things I told the dh when we were discussing whether or not to adopt him is that if we didn't take him he'd either go to a home that would have no idea how to take care of him or he'd end up euthanized. Most likely he'd end up miserable and then be euthanized. I was pretty sure he'd be on the fast track for a death sentence.

I know these reactive dogs, 99.9% of dog owners can not handle them. It's just like having a severely autistic child and not everyone can raise one, it's hard and the whole family has to know what they are doing. And we had a 5 yr old at home that we'd have to train to understand just what kind of mental case with potential disaster we were getting into. Now before you think OMG they adopted a known biter and they have a small child, don't stress. Believe it or not I do know what I'm doing. No, really I do. And let me tell you, the dd? An amazingly well rounded dog trainer by age 7, no lie. Plus she knows and understands dogs really well for a kid her age. I didn't realize it until I saw other kids her age around dogs. It's a miracle more kids don't get attacked by dogs, no really.

We ended up getting Jaynie, of course. We did change his name to Jayne, after a character in a movie/tv show made by Joss Whedon (Serenity/Firefly). He came with a name of course, it was the same name as my dh. My dh is named after his great uncle who helped design the San Diego Bay, it is not, however a common name. At all. Everyone gets it wrong. When he came into our home we started making immediate adjustments. We found that when we took him on walks he couldn't handle the sight of other dogs. Also he couldn't handle people walking by us, he'd wait until they passed and try biting the backs of their legs. Unstable much? Yes, why yes we are. We got a hold of a positive reinforcement trainer and did in home training lessons every week for 2 months. Learned an insane amount of things about how to read what was going on in this dogs brain. He ain't all up there, let me tell you. And yes, that's how I decided this boy is, for all intents an purposes, autistic. We had to learn how to make his life safe. Not just for the people and animals around him but for him all by himself. He has very few front teeth left, he chewed them all down in his neurotic behavior before we even got him. If he's left lose in the house and sees someone walking by he'll freak out and try to bust through the window. Not a good city dog.

We did everything we could to make everyone's life happy but ultimately the best thing we've done for him is move to suburbia, city life was just waaay too much for him. He's hypersensitive to external stimulation and if ever there was a dog that needed his crate this is him. He doesn't like physical touch, you can watch his skin twitch every time you touch him. He doesn't snuggle or come up for affection and loves. If the kid is hyper you can just watch the stress all over his face. He doesn't like toddlers, wrong height for him and it freaks him out. He won't do anything to them he just tries to get away from them with a stressed look on his face. See now you know why I think he'd be euthanized by now if given to anyone else? Who wants to put out that much effort and change their lives for a dog? It took us a good year to really love this dog, not that he isn't lovable but his sensitivities make it difficult to get close to him.

Interesting thing though, these 'reactive' dogs make the most loyal of companions. He's damn smart, really damn smart. I can train him to do anything. And when I came back from brain surgery he stuck around me, checked on me when I was in the shower, waited for me at the top of the stairs until I was ready to go down. Bets have it that if I wanted to train him to be a handicap assistant dog it's take me about a month. I started doing agility training with him and dang is he good. Even the dd can get him to follow the commands and do the tricks. We'd never be able to compete since all dogs have to be off leash and under control around other people, crowds and dogs. I would never do that to him, lord the stress for him!

Despite all of his issues he is, oddly, our favorite of the rejects. He's just so easy in the home. Unlike Roxy (who will pee on carpet for whatever reason she has) and Corbin (the poo eater who hates going to the bathroom outside, oy) he has no issues inside the home hanging out. He's even gotten to the point where, if invited on the couch, he'll lie on top of us. HUGE difference to what we started with, he didn't like to be touched or touching us. Yeah, inbreeding at it's finest...