Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Still can't believe it happened...

If you are anything like my mom, when I tell you that Luke escaped from the house yesterday while Andrew and I were at work, you won't want to hear the whole story. You probably just want to know--did you find him? Yes. I cannot believe this happened.

He must have had to go to the bathroom pretty badly--as I couldn't get him to go that morning before I left for work. So, being the gentleman that he is, he took himself outside--thanks to the tricky lock at the back door that was deceptively in the lock position--but actually quite easily pushed open.

Andrew and I came up the stairs from the garage, expecting him to be at the top of the steps, excited to see us. Instead, we found an empty house and an open back door. We both reacted by immediately going outside to find him. We split up and I started on our normal walk route, calling his name. Some curious neighbors peeked their heads out doors and I asked if they saw him. They hadn't.

I made my way to a cul-de-sac where we normally do not go on walks. Because I had just met a neighbor on that street, I decided to go knock on her door to let her know to keep her eyes out for him. Before I made it to her front door--I saw a dog in a yard a few houses down. My eyes have played tricks on me before when I'm upset--so I didn't immediately let myself believe the dog I saw was Luke. As I got closer I could make out his brown and blue striped collar. It was him! I called after him, but the distress in my voice must have scared him. He walked in the opposite direction. I took a knee in my neighbor's driveway and kept calling him towards me--using my "Who's a good boy!?" voice. He came up to me and I grabbed his collar. I sat in the driveway waiting for Andrew to find us with Luke's leash--wrapping myself around him saying "Please don't ever leave again!"

In the end, I take full blame for the incident. I should have been more careful with that lock. I knew it was tricky. Today, the door is REALLY locked and we put a big bin in front of it to discourage him from even thinking about it. We're adding a second lock to the door ASAP.

Greyhounds can reach their maximum speed of 45 mph in three strides. Had he seen a squirrel or other critter to chase, he could have been in the next county within his first hour out of the house.

We aren't sure how long he was roaming the streets--but the only neighbor who told us he spotted him loose said it was around 5 p.m.--thirty minutes before we discovered him missing.

I don't talk about my religion much on this blog, but if you ask me, it was a small miracle that I found Luke. Many greyhounds who get loose are often killed when they run into traffic. I'm so incredibly thankful to have him back. Luke, I'm so sorry for not being more careful. Please don't leave us ever again.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

My nap partner

Luke is just starting to feel comfortable with us to show his playful side. But that doesn't mean he doesn't still enjoy a nice snooze...

He's my nice boy.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Rest in peace, Michael

I'm listening to a lot of Michael Jackson music today--as is the rest of the world. I can't really explain what he and his music meant to me... but he has been a part of my life since I was a child. I will definitely miss him.

What I think I treasure most about the King of Pop's works of creative genius is that they always seem to leave me with the same euphoric feeling no matter what is going on in my life. Whether I'm intensely happy or sad, playing some MJ makes me feel light as a feather.

My favorite MJ song/video is The Way You Make Me Feel. Tell me yours.

What are you going to miss the most about The King?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


He's heeeeeeerrreeeee...

Clicky to bigify

He's not fond of the car rides, but I survived the flood of greyhound saliva. And he couldn't be more content with his new bed, toy octopus, and all the love rubs he can get.

The adoption folks said to be prepared for a sleepless night for all of us. They said he'll pace around for at least three hours. Well... I'll let you see for yourself if that is fact or fiction...

As Andrew said, "We basically adopted a stuffed animal."

We love him. More photos to come. :D

Just humor me.

Stolen with much love and affection from Brandy...

I can’t…
Do a cartwheel. Roll my R's. Think about Maddie without tears welling up in my eyes. Stop having dreams about the girls I called my best friends in high school. Kill a bug without shrieking. Ride spinny rides at the amusement park. Ever seem to get to my cell phone in time to answer calls. Eat sugar snap peas, strawberries, or black raspberries without my mouth itching like crazy.

I can...
Bake a mean cookie. Sing along with most boy bands. Quote Anchorman. Watch HGTV all day. Amuse myself. Do a bad Arnold Schwarzenegger impression. Achieve most goals I set for myself. Admit that the Internet is my only vice.

I won’t…
Make promises I can't keep. Bake another pizza until this weather cools off again. Dwell on my short-comings. Stop taking my daily vitamin after a week (like I usually do). Carry a balance on my credit card. Ever be without hand sanitizer in my purse.

I will…
Send thank-you notes to our friends who helped us move two weeks ago. Ask for a promotion this year. Apply for my passport. Snuggle the crap out of Luke--beginning tonight! Make more time for my girlfriends. Order some whimsical art from Etsy for our kitchen. Pick up the dry-cleaning and get an oil change this weekend. Always be there for my parents.

I shouldn’t…
Stay up so late. Drink so much coffee (a new habit). Keep buying so many dog toys. Blast my space heater at work all year round. Waste so much time on the Internet. Spend my lunch breaks inside in front of my computer. Be so impatient.

I should…
Eat more fruits and vegetables. Write to or call my grandma. Send my future mother-in-law the guest list for my bridal shower. Buy a dehumidifier. Weed the back yard. Figure out how to wear my hair on my wedding day. Figure out how to get rid of the moths in our closets without using stinky mothballs. Return to Zumba class soon. Let myself "mark all as read" sometimes. Go to church.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I am only a little ashamed to tell you...

Upon returning home after work, I curled up on Luke's bed "to test it out"... I woke up an hour and a half later...

Thanks for the snooze, Luke! (Your bed works!)

Pinkie Swear

Some of you are demanding not only photos of Luke but of the new house. This is understandable and I fully support you. I hereby solemnly swear to post photos of the new house and photos/videos of the pup. Your patience will be rewarded with gratuitous greyhound footage.

In other news... my root canal a few weeks ago? Can we talk about that for a minute? My tooth is calcified from trauma caused by a car accident I had in high school. The air bag went off in my face and broke my nose. What I didn't know at the time was that it also did some considerable damage to the nerve of one of my front teeth.

The endodontist couldn't finish the root canal in one visit due to the calcium build up--which teeth apparently produce to protect themselves after trauma. So I went back for round two today. AND HE'S STILL NOT DONE. Round three is next week. Thank God root canals don't hurt. (At least, not so far...)

And finally--I'm happy to report that the TV war is over. The good guys (me) won. The TV is safe and sound to the right of the fireplace. It ended up being too high to mount it over the fireplace. But we've angled the TV towards the couches and the asymmetry does not bother me at all, surprisingly.

This time tomorrow I'll be leaving work to adopt Luke! I don't think I'm going to be able to sleep tonight. :D

Monday, June 22, 2009

A love letter

Dear Luke,

You are the nicest dog in the entire world. When I made eye contact with you across the driveway, my heart skipped a beat. I couldn't believe you were as cool as you looked in your photos. Maybe even cooler! I just wanted to hang giant posters of you all over my bedroom and write "I <3 Luke" on my locker. You kind of look like a tiger and what could be cooler than that?

You are so rad and I loved kissing your snout on Sunday. When you rested your head on my shoulder I melted into a giant puddle. You probably noticed.

I gave you your merdog to see if it was to your liking and you pleased me oh-so-much when you took it in your mouth and ran around the house with it like it was the best thing you had ever seen. Rupert Merdog and I can't wait to play with you for many years to come.

I was sad to say good-bye, but I am so incredibly excited that you will be part of our little sea creature family as of Wednesday evening.

You are the best greyhound ever in the history of greyhounds.

XOXOXOXO times infinity!


Friday, June 19, 2009

The Flood Gates

Just heard there's yet another monstrous storm coming my way. If I have to spend my weekend mopping up the basement (again) there is a good chance I will lose my mind.

If that happens, know that I love you all.

Now if you don't mind, I must go build my ark.



Thursday, June 18, 2009

"I'm flying... Look at me, Way up high, Suddenly,

Here am I, I'm flying..."

It makes me stabby to think about last night (read: 3! high pressure Kirby salesmen in my house for more than TWO HOURS who WOULD NOT LEAVE NOT MATTER HOW MANY TIMES I TOLD THEM TO WRAP IT UP, basement that contains majority of our belongings in yet to be unpacked boxes flooded by torrential storm and record-breaking rainfall, and six hours without electricity = absolutely nothing was accomplished in my unpacking endeavors). So instead of recapping what would surely make for a giant ball of fury wrapped up neatly inside a tasty blog post--I want to tell you something. I can fly.

A few weeks ago I had my first dream where I could fly since childhood. My flying dreams from childhood are quite vivid and stick with me to this day. I'm not sure why I haven't flown in so long--but recently--it's back. I flew again in my dream last night. A lot. These are by far my most favorite dreams ever.

Last night, I took Andrew in my arms and we flew together. That sure beats the hell out of slopping up several inches of water from the floors of our (formerly) finished basement together.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Even more fun than I had imagined

We are meeting our potential greyhound Sunday! EEEeeeeeeeee! I feel like a kid at Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas, we went shopping for some toys for the (not-so-little) guy last night. Um... I had no idea dog toys could be this awesome.

I think we'll call this thing "Rupert Merdog"

If Lucas loves this even half as much as I do--he's going to be a very happy boy. (Yes, we decided on a name!)

We also bought our future darling an extra-large Kong to stuff with peanut butter so he stays occupied in his crate while we are at work.

Tell me what kinds of toys your dogs love!

P.S. I forgot to celebrate my 300th post--but this is #302! Here's to 302 more!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Unexpected Nostalgia

Walking home from the bus station for the last time on Thursday--before we moved to the 'pseudo burbs'--I tried to capture as much detail in my surroundings as possible. This is how I say goodbye to certain chapters of my life. I want to remember everything--so I can tell my kids about the time their daddy and I lived a stone's throw from the wrong side of the tracks.

A still operational railroad separates our apartment from the part of our neighborhood where most people would not feel safe walking alone at night. There are gunshots in the distance. But we are on the other side of the tracks, so we don't worry about that.

The gravel trail from the bus station to my street is littered with broken beer bottles, stale dog shit, graffiti, and the occasional discarded syringe. The houses, or more accurately broken down shacks, that line the trail are sad and mostly vacant. Most of the windows have been broken long ago--giving the house a classic "haunted-house" vibe. Tattered drapes blow in the wind through the shattered glass. Cardboard seals the holes in the structures that people still call home.

As I took my final walk home from the bus station, I admitted to myself that although this is the end of an era--I would probably not be nostalgic for this walk anytime soon. That's when I sneezed.

"GOD BLESS YOU!" a faceless woman shouted from inside one of the disheveled, vandalized houses.

Surprised, I felt a grin spread across my face. "THANK YOU!" I shouted back, as I continued my walk.

That's when I changed my mind. Maybe I would miss this place after all.

(Okay, so this is sneeze post number three... )

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sneeze Fetish? I need to know more...

What exactly is a sneeze fetish? Or do I not want to know? I've been getting a lot of hits from a sneeze fetish forum from this post I wrote. Sneeze fetish readers, welcome. I'm not judging you. Just curious. ;)

Small, Small World

To borrow one of Hillary's much loved words, the following story makes my head melty.

Two days ago I continued what has been a long search for a perfect elevated dog feeder for the future love of my life. (Veterinarians recommend elevated feeders because they help ease digestion problems.) Wanting to purchase something handmade rather than plastic junk from China, the first place I looked was Etsy, of course. There were a lot of really cute options, but I waited until I knew what color we would end up painting the new kitchen before ordering.

Anyhow, the following series of events may make your head explode--or melt, if you are Hillary. Proceed with caution.

On Tuesday morning I stumbled upon Merlin's Bark Products, the best elevated feeder shop on Etsy (in my humble opinion.)

I selected the model I wanted and was about to select the purchase option. That's when I noticed the seller operates from Pittsburgh. "OH! Maybe I can save on shipping and pick it up from the seller's house!" I thought to myself with much delight. I quickly sent the seller a message asking if we could arrange for me to pick up the feeder. Hours later I was still waiting for a response.

That's about the time my custom dog collar/leash set arrived. Probably more excited about this than the average person, I paraded the set around my office, squealing with delight. That's when one of my animal-loving coworkers overheard my greyhound adoption scheme. Extremely excited for me, she smiled her big grin as I gushed about my excitement for finally having my own dog.

After returning to my desk, I saw she sent me an e-mail:
"If you ever happen to be in the market for an elevated dog bowl holder--www.merlinsbarkproducts.etsy.com"

My jaw dropped. I ran to her office.

Me: "That's so crazy that you sent that link to me! I just contacted that shop this morning!"

Her: "Oh! That was you!?"

Oh my freaking gosh. My colleague 30 feet down the hall from me makes these dog feeders with her husband. Can the world be any smaller?

And in case you were wondering, she isn't charging me shipping. ;)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Could this be my dog?

Time will tell if this is the dog for us! Andrew and I get to make this little fella's acquaintance next week. My how handsome he would look in a custom Mod Dog collar/leash set. (The set was delivered yesterday and OMG. I LITERALLY died of cuteness. And then someone had to run to get out that weird little thing that they electrocute you with or something and push on your chest and yell "CLEAR!" And now I'm fine. Thanks for asking.)

Anyhow. I feel bad for being MIA lately. So I will reward you for your patience with a crazy weird story tomorrow. Okay? See you then.

Monday, June 8, 2009

I love finding weird things

I wonder what the story is behind this find...

Entertain me with your theories.

After another weekend of working on the new house (we move this Saturday!) my brain is too fried for anything beyond this puny post.


Friday, June 5, 2009


My friends know me for my less than desirable dreams/nightmares--but last night? Last night was so very awesome. Pittsburghers, be jealous. I made out with this guy.

:wipes drool from chin:

When I wanted our saliva-swapping to be recorded for posterity--but realized my camera battery died--I quickly changed the battery and asked if he wouldn't mind "trying it again" aka more face sucking.

I told Andrew and I'm pretty sure he's cool with it. That's just how awesome Sid Crosby is.


Unicorns and Self Promotion

You may have noticed that I'm now part of the BlogHer ads family. I'm super excited. What's better than extra money in my wallet at the end of the month? Easy. See below. (Click image to bigify.)

an actual ad that recently appeared on Cusp of Normal

I know. You don't have to tell me. I'm awesome.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Seriously. How do pieces of clothing vaporize into nothingness? I will not rest until the size 4 (i think) purple quilted H&M hoodie is returned to its rightful owner. Unless napping after work counts as resting. Then, nevermind.

LOST! Purple Hoodie. Last seen May 17. Anyone with information that leads to the finding of lost hoodie will be rewarded. Contact Mermanda if you or someone you know has seen this hoodie since it went missing.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Doctor I-Want-To-Kiss-Your-Face

Two weeks ago:
Dr. Douche Bag: (Examining my quickly yellowing front tooth) "It appears your tooth is dying. I'm not overly concerned about it. Let's just wait and see."

Dr. I-Want-To-Kiss-Your-Face: (Examining x-rays of yellow front tooth) "Something extremely weird is going on with your tooth. We need to do something immediately if you want to keep this tooth around for the rest of your life. I'd like to send you to a very good specialist to make sure everything goes smoothly."

The root canal is scheduled for next Wednesday. And you know what? I'm relieved. Let's fix this sucker once and for all.

P.S. The specialist who will be performing the root canal is down the hall from Dr. Douche Bag's office. I asked my new awesome dentist for a disguise. He said, "Sure. We'll just dress you up as Michelle Obama!" LOVE HIM!

P.P.S. Dr. I-Want-To-Kiss-Your-Face told me he has several of Dr. Douche Bag's former patients. Don't ya love it?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Our First Tough Decision As Homeowners

Well, we only owned the house for one day when we began unleashing our wrath upon the cute stone abode.

What was once referred to as "move-in condition" can now be described instead as "filthy, dusty, sticky, and full of holes." A series of unfortunate events led to the near decapitation of Andrew's father (use caution with broken mirrors!) and several more major projects for the father-son duo to undertake before we can move in on Sunday.

I'm doing my part of course--pleading for permission to remove the god-awful backsplash and promptly taking the hammer to it before the men had time to change their minds. "Oh, what's that? You weren't planning on doing much renovation in the kitchen? Haha! Suckers!"

(Side note: manual labor is hard work! I woke up on Sunday feeling like my arms were jelly fish. Or gummy bears. And then my bones fell out!)

Anywhoodle, at this point we have our paint colors picked out and a general game plan for each room. There's just one problem. Our living room is laid out in such a way that we have limited options for where to put the TV. We can either:

1. Put TV to the left or right of the fireplace (asymmetry makes me cringe)
2. Mount TV above wood-burning fireplace (fireplace is currently inoperable but can be fixed & mantle is considerably low so viewing height would not be too uncomfortable--but where will the wires go!?)

Give me your thoughts! Is there an option I'm forgetting? Does anyone know how I can harness the power of magic to solve this issue?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Bye Bye Dr. Douche Bag

My dear dentist of three years, I'm kissing you good-bye! And isn't it about time?

After last week's trip to the endodontist at 7:30 in the freaking a.m...

...where they refused to treat me because Dr. Douche Bag wrote the referral for the wrong freaking tooth...

...where they called Dr. Douche Bag to settle the confusion and he had NO RECOLLECTION of him telling me my tooth was dying...

...where they said even if he wrote the referral for the correct tooth, they aren't allowed to treat front teeth because my insurance won't cover it EVEN THOUGH I FREAKING ASKED MY DENTAL HMO IF IT WOULD BE COVERED AND THEY SAID YES IT WOULD BE COVERED ONE HUNDRED FREAKING PERCENT!!!

...where I learned your primary dentist must perform root canals on front teeth unless there is a specific complication...

...where I cringed at the thought of having to let Dr. Douche Bag perform something so invasive on one of my FRONT FREAKING TEETH...

...where I was NOT HAPPY AT ALL about being there for no reason at such an ungodly hour (hey, I'm not a morning person)...

...I asked the endodontist's secretary for a recommendation for a dentist who I can trust.

I'm seeing Dr. Hopefully-Not-a-Jerk on Wednesday. Here's hoping he fixes my toof with the quickness.

P.S. Mom, "Douche Bag" is in the dictionary. Look it up. ;)