Monday, March 31, 2008

Delayed Appreciation.

This is my mother's co-op living room. And since the day she got this apartment, I have thought it to be adequate, cozy, and comfortable. It was not until recently, as I tentatively begin my search to leap into ownership, that I see the light.  Her living room is "palatial," "too roomy," "filled with echoes" if I were to compare it to recent finds.

I have learned that adequate is an antonym in and of itself in regards to apartment ads. If a seller manages to muster up all of their creative abilities, glossing up their best assets, and come up with the word "adequate," I suggest to run as far and fast as you can in another direction. Barely sufficient or suitable is not an option when you have to fit in furniture made for adults.

"Cozy" has long since been my favorite word. Even when I first began looking for a rental, what feels like an eternity ago, I had been sent to a cozy apartment.  This particular "space" did not come with a parking spot, because it was actually a converted one-car garage.  Outdoor shingles instead of drywall, and a clothesline spanning from one side of the apartment in lieu of, you guessed it, a closet. I appreciated the referral, but that was probably the most hopeless I have ever found myself in a search to find a home.  After I moved in to my place, a friend complimented my bedroom, saying it looked "cozy," and I could barely squeak out a thanks.  Needless to say, I am avoiding "cozy" properties until my memory becomes a little fuzzier.

The word "comfortable" is perhaps the most elusive of all. A word so painfully open to interpretation should not be used to describe a place someone will inhabit. Period. I just went to see "comfortable" studio/townhouse conversion. One might ask what that is, as I did, and I can say it is a maniacal ploy to waste a home-buyer's time. Think of a small studio space. Now think of it split diagonally in half, and add in a full stairwell to split the place in two. That way, instead of having just a bedroom set, or just a living room set, you can have neither! Sound comfortable to you?  I mean, yes, I could breath comfortably in the space, my legs didn't cramp up and I'm sure if I purchased a bed to fit inside, sleep would come to me. I was under the assumption that "comfortable" would lend itself to actually living inside of a space with furniture and a guest or two. 

My momma always said that when you assume, you make an ass out of u and me.

MTV presents....

I learned a new term this weekend, "Stop-Loss." I don't know why it surprised me that even the people fighting for this countries' "freedom," or whatever they are told they are fighting for, so thoughtlessly get their freedoms removed. I have long thought of this war from the naive perspective of financial strain. 

I wish proceeds could be going to soldier's fighting, fought, won and lost.  My thoughts are.

Friday, March 28, 2008


My Seal (of approval)

Never have I thought I owned a seal more than I did last night, looking over at her. Trying to cool off on the beach, er, wood floor. 

Apparently, cutting some calories is no match for hereditary pre-dispositions.

She's still a puppy seal to me.

It's all in the application...

After having logged who knows how many hours reading puppy-for-dummies books and watching how to whisper, levitate, and be one with your dog shows, I refuse to denounce such training applications as futile. But after a look around my carpeting on any given day, deducing I have failed as a dog trainer wouldn't take a genius. I feel like I got the important things down. Here are my steadfast rules:

1. No bathroom on my bed. Ever. Except when we first moved. Thank goodness for waterproof mattress covers.
2. No eating expensive shoes, although we have both come to terms with donating a rogue flip- flop from time to time.
3. No yapping in the house. Growling quietly to yourself when questionable sounds come from outside is more than fine. Also, occasional yapping to other dogs while on a walk is okay.

Now, so as to put my other good learnings to use, I have decided to apply all gained knowledge to my cleaning techniques when they have not worked with my dogs. And they are:

1. Practice Makes Perfect. 
What I tend to do is complete a fraction of a task, however small, and then break from it. For instance, if I am doing dishes, I will do three pieces. Let them air dry while doing something more interesting, and then I return. The logic here is that if I repeat tasks enough, I will learn how to do them on my own.

2. Reward Good Behavior.
Positive reinforcement is so often spouted as the key to success. Taking such guidelines into consideration, I constantly reward myself for tasks inching closer to completion.  For instance, when I am scrubbing down the bathroom, I will work hard for five minutes and then immediately reward myself for the task. It is important to reward very quickly, so that the subject does not forget what they are being rewarded for.  As opposed to chopped up hot dog pieces, dog bones, and praise, I tend to favor reading a chapter in a good book, watching a show I need to catch up on, or calling a friend.  All methods work.

3. Ignore Bad Behavior.
This, I have to admit, is a practice I had perfected long before I even owned a dog. I will not use this extreme training tool outside of my home, but indoors, this has always been a favorite. When a task is being neglected, ie. bad behavior, I ignore myself. It may take practice for some, but when the voice inside your head urges you to stop what you are doing and forge ahead with chores, you must quickly and entirely ignore yourself. What this does is alleviate the cycle of guilt and frustration, and allows a movie to be enjoyed without distraction. Except of course from the growling dog by the window.

I hope that everyone can use dog training techniques in their lives as well. If professionals can do it, you may not be able to. But instead of cutting your losses, re-work the rules to be something you can master.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

For Everyone Craving A Little Paparazzi In Their Lives...

My tech-savvy, uber-up-on-trends friend (kind of a tongue twister, eh?) sent me this link:

Okay, perhaps I'm being a little harsh. Part of me thinks, "Hey, I want that!!" Thankfully, the self-conscious, critical side of me anchors me down, reminding me of every horrible photo of myself I have burned, shredded, and buried. So why pay someone to take shots of me when I know I will be slumpy, frumpy, and tired?

But, still, I want that!!!

Call Me Crazy....

So, as most of my friends, and maybe even passersby, will contest, Brad Pitt is a favorite of mine.  It goes beyond his perfect hair, and oozing charisma. Beyond his impeccable career moves and smoldering eyes. As a child of the 80's, spending countless hours re-dressing Barbie dolls and even, occasionally, playing "Barbie Barber," when I first saw "Thelma and Louise," I found my real- life Ken doll.  I've followed him through Fight Club and Se7en all the way to becoming a real life Daddy Day Care for a woman who seems to be sucking his youth away.

And you know what? My opinion has been a popular one. Most people find it difficult to dispute my adoration, as exquisiteness is hard to dispute.

One of my best friends has shared an unpopular favorite of mine with me: Benicio Del Toro.  With his dirty look, premature gray hair, narrow eyes, and his undeniably prominent bags under his eyes, the weak-in-the-knees reaction to his on-screen presence is much more difficult to relay.  But when he delivers his lines with that muddled accent, all reason goes out the window.

And today, I am happy to profess to all you nay-sayers, I have found a connection that I will hold dear forever.


This is Marley. This is Marley's signature head move. I've been told it's very "pug-like." I prefer to think of her as an individualist. Either way, seeing her so maternal always pangs me with guilt over so authoritatively removing her ability to reproduce. Is it awful to think that her spawn would look more like a "special" gremlin than I could handle?

One Inch Wonder

Last night, I experienced quite possibly the strangest night of sleep. Not to say I don't feel relatively rested, but as I crawled into the 1x5 space the dogs so kindly allotted for me, my level of consciousness was immediately stuck in between blissful dreaming and acute awareness.  I lied in my bed, in the same place, for 7 hours listening to cars and wind and dog bone chewing and dog snores and creaks from who knows where. Then my alarm went off, followed by a zombie like movement performed by yours truly. Inexplicably, I went straight towards the linen closet, pulled out a curling iron, and started sectioning off pieces of my hair in the bathroom.

So one might think there was something different about today, right? Nerves kept me up, I decided to put my best foot forward. This is not the case. Today is no different from any of my other days I have had for at least the past two months. 

Except now, my hair is pretty!!! It is truly amazing what one inch of hot steel can do to my hair in under ten minutes.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

This is my leap.... from "blogging" on post-its and notepads, notebooks and jump drives, to putting it in one spot.... 

I work in marketing and I love what I do. I have two *insert adjective here* dogs. I love my family and friends.  I am missing something in my life. Probably a lot more than just that one thing. 

Some summation words:  laughter, early mornings, good books, snowstorms, trashy television, sad movies, sad puppy eyes, music in its every form, and words that make me run to a dictionary.

Also, a quick thanks to a person forever emblazoned on my heart who so often called me 'leftherwits.'