Wednesday, August 31, 2005

and then there are wonderful things

Two of our dear friends, the previously mentioned L who loves demolition derby, and her husband D, became an aunt and uncle for the second time today! L's brother and sister-in-law gave birth to their first child, a beautiful and healthy baby boy this morning.

Although the birth of a baby is always a happy day, today was especially touching because this same couple suffered through two terrible late-stage miscarriages and have been wanting and praying for this baby for a long long time.

So CONGRATULATIONS to the new aunt and uncle and the new parents! I know I wasn't alone in crying tears of joy when I heard the news! Welcome to the world baby! You are so loved!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


Sometimes you read someone's blog and they let you into the most painful, most private areas of their lives, and you are forever changed.

Badger is one of these. My hearts aches for her and her son today.

Contributions are still being accepted for her family, and Academic Coach has offered to forward cards along from those who wish to send them.

Monday, August 29, 2005

the things I'll do for content

This weekend two of our favorite friends called to ask if we wanted to meet them for a day at the beach and a visit to the Marshfield Fair. Unfortunately, we had errand-running plans for the daytime, but I am not about to miss out on an opportunity for fried food, so we decided to meet that evening at the fairgrounds.

I wasn't expecting much for a small town festival, and was surprised to find rides and games and an abundance of food and a performance area and farm animals! It was a definite large scale fair, not some rinky-dink festival. It took us about 35 minutes just to check out all the food options and settle on four different options that would satisfy everyone. We finally had potato pancakes with apple sauce, a chicken caesar wrap, a kebob and grilled vegetables on fried rice between the four of us. Plus lemonade and sodas. See? Quite a variety there!

Stuffed on the varieties of food, we wandered over to the performance area and discovered... and I'm almost ashamed to admit this... but there was a Figure Eight Junk Car Show that was just starting. Our friend L got very excited over all this and began telling me about the joys of junk car racing. Her family has spent childhood summers visiting Vermont fairs and festivals and many of these include racing and demolition derby, something of which I'd never heard or experienced before.

For those of you that have also never had the pleasure of seeing figure eights or a demolition derby, I'll give an explanation. People (or perhaps I should say, white men, since that is all there was) bring these really old cars out to the fair and compete in these races or derbies. The Figure Eight race had about 6-8 old painted cars lining up and then racing around a dirt track that was a double figure eight. While they are driving around the track they crash into each other and push each other off the track and a few of them start smoking or stall out and have to be pulled off the course. A demolition derby consists of these same old painted cars on the same dirt track, but this time they crash into each other until all the cars stall out or break down and the last car standing wins. Crazy, huh?

We watched two of the races and a championship round, and then they announced that as a surprise extra, they would also be having a demolition derby with whatever cars were still going at the end of the races. I still can't believe people ACTUALLY do this. They lined up, tails of the cars against tails of the other cars, about 30 cars on the dirt field, and just start crashing into each other. And crashing into each other. Cars even caught on fire! And meanwhile, people are cheering and yelling for the drivers and booing when the cars finally shut down. It was a new experience for me, and left me a little incredulous as to what these people are thinking. I mean, they only win $500! I know $500 is a lot, but I don't think I'd risk my life for that much money.

We finally left the spectacle after a winner was crowned and the tow trucks started coming onto the dirt field to drag off the cars and I was granted permission to choose the first ride. I chose one of those pirate ship things that sways back and forth, almost like a swing, thinking it would be pretty tame. OH MY GOODNESS. Tame does not begin to describe that thing. I literally thought I might be having a heart attack at every peak because I couldn't breathe or even open my eyes from the fear. That ride goes wayyyyy too high to just have a little bar over your legs. I needed five different safety mechanisms to make me feel good about it. As it finally slowed down and the lights came on I began to breathe like a normal human being and stopped uttering curses at my choice. And then the other riders began chanting "one more time, one more time".

And yes, you guessed it, he gave us a free ride. It is a good thing that the other riders issued up a scream of thanks so that the children couldn't hear what I called him.

At some point during that second ride I lost control of my stomach and leg muscles. My legs started shaking from the effort to keep them on the ground and my stomach staged a revolt of the previously mentioned vegetables and fried rice. Blech. I did survive and after sitting on the steps of a nearby ride for a while and keeping my eyes averted from anything that moved faster than a snail's pace, I began to feel like I could walk again.

So I did what any rational person would do, I sought out some food that might settle my stomach. Fried dough seemed an excellent choice, even though I've never had fried dough before and I don't think I ever will again. I have to say that those 20 minutes of munching on that sweet cinnamony goodness was fantastic. But for the next 6 hours, I begged Josh to never let me eat fried dough again and to please put me out of my misery. Lets just say that I kept tasting it over and over and over again. Ugh. Shortly thereafter (well, after losing out on my opportunity to win a care bear), we hit the road back to our home and the throes of Cape Cod traffic.

Still, I think our fair going was a success. Don't all good fairs end in vomit?

Thursday, August 25, 2005

how about a leather whip?

Three years ago today I stood up on the bed in my hotel room and flung open the heavy curtains. After a full week of thunderstorms and terrible forecasts, my mother, my bridesmaids and I cheered at the sight of blue skies and puffy white clouds.

That day turned out to be the best day of my life, as well as one of the best decisions I have ever made.

Before we got married I used to worry, quite a bit, about losing my identity by marrying Josh. I had these fears of being suffocated. I hated the idea of not being ME anymore and I cringed at being called HIS fiancee or HIS wife. Call it craziness, call it typical cold feet, whatever it was, it scared me to death. One night I threatened to call off the wedding because he wouldn't change his last name to mine even though everyone expected me to change my last name to his. Another time when friends assumed I was busy with Josh and didn't invite me out to a party, I lay in bed and sobbed over my loss of independence.

I think Josh was at a loss for what to do with me. My fears had little to do with him, and if I had been able to think logically, I would have realized that he didn't want me to change and would have been disappointed if my personality had been subsumed into his. Someone finally took pity on me and gave me a book called What No One Tells the Bride. I tell people that book saved my life by making me feel like I wasn't alone, but truthfully, I think it took time and seeing how my life changed or didn't change with marriage.

When I look back at my tearful demands, I wish someone had told me that I might get mad at Josh for his anal-retentive neatness, but I might also find great joy and support by letting go of my fears. That first year was rather, ummm, hard, as I've mentioned before. But not a day has gone by that I haven't felt incredibly lucky to have found my partner so early in life.

I sometimes can't believe that it has been three years already, but I also can't believe that I get to spend so many more years with this wonderful man. He makes me crack up daily (sometimes hourly) by how silly he can be, and he laughs at my jokes too!** He shares many of my likes and dislikes and is willing to try new things with me all the time. He forgives me easily when I lose my temper. He grounds me when I begin to feel anxious or stressed. His kindness takes my breath away.

Sometimes I look at him and the love feels like it might crush me. Well, the love and his hotness. : )

Marrying him gave me so much more than I ever imagined it would and I wish I could go back and tell myself how blissful my life would be if I'd just stop worrying.

Happy Anniversary Hubs! You are the best thing that ever happened to me!

** But no, I don't care if this is the leather anniversary, I'm NOT buying a leather whip.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

why I haven't posted

Lets do a recap of my day:

6:15am: Josh gets up, makes big racket getting out of bed, leaves to take shower.

6:35am: Josh comes back, makes big racket getting dressed, decides to pet dogs while they are in bed with me, initiates play with them.

6:45am: Josh's alarm goes off because all he did was push snooze instead of turn it off, he makes a racket running up the stairs and into the room to turn it off.

7:00am: Josh comes into bedroom and sweetly tries to get me to wake up.

7:03am: Halloweenlover is alternating between ignoring him and snarling at him about keeping me up all this time.

7:05am: Wake up, take shower, trudge through getting ready. Head pounds.

7:25am: Put purse and work papers by the front door in preparation to leave, go to kitchen to grab breakfast.

7:30am: Rush out the door to drop HL at train so that Josh can get to class.

7:37am: Exit car and begin walking to train, and realize that work papers are still propped by the front door. Start screaming, waving arms and frantically running after the car.

7:42am: Josh drops HL off for the second time at the train, after rushing home to pick up work papers and ensure that HL doesn't get fired.

7:45-8:15am: Struggle not to vomit on the subway.

8:20am: Arrive at work, wonder how people deal with allergies and how it is possible that allergies could hit so hard and so fast for the first time ever.

8:30-11am: Work feverishly, start to feel lightheaded and achy.

12pm: Attend work lunch meeting, struggle not to fall asleep.

1pm: Begin to wonder whether perhaps this is a cold or the flu because whole body aches and head is throbbing.

Time passes v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y.

3:45pm: Close office door to put head on desk and wonder what is an acceptable time to leave the office if I think I am dying.

4:02pm: Recall that I stopped taking the anti-malaria pills because they made my stomach hurt. Begin to question reasoning there.

4:05pm: Research malaria symptoms.

4:10pm: Figure that I probably don't have malaria, but maybe I'll go home anyway.

4:57pm: And here we are, waiting for Josh to call me so that I can beg him to PICK ME UP PLEASE SO THAT I DON'T HAVE TO TAKE THE TRAIN AND POSSIBLY DIE ON THE WAY.

I don't know. Help me Internet, can allergies make you want to curl up under your desk from the achiness and the tiredness and the head throbbing and the throat hurting? How could I be sick in August? Could it be a combination of the two?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

continuing in my quest to be better than martha stewart

About 6 months ago, during one of the many many snowstorms of this year, I got the itch to try to sew. I've never touched a sewing machine in my life (I may have touched a needle and thread twice), but our little old house has lots of areas that would benefit from crafty sewing projects. In particular, we have a few nooks and crannies that are perfect for window seats, but because of their odd shape it was hard to find seats that fit into the space well.

I did some research and discovered that sewing machines are not cheap. They are so not cheap that there was no way I could justify buying one without ever having used one. So I scoured Craigslist and found a used sewing machine that was reasonably priced and came with all the pieces (including a manual). Voila!

On a snowy day in January, I dragged a friend who actually knew how to sew out to the Craiglist poster's house in Waltham. She showed us the sewing machine and accompaniments and upon learning that I'd never sewn before in my life, gave me a quick lesson on how to thread and turn the machine on and off. I kept sneaking looks at my friend to see if she thought it was a good deal and she just shrugged her shoulders as if to say, why not?

That weekend I played around with fabric and thread and got to work making this window seat. I even put in a zipper, which my mother-in-law says is a difficult thing to do. It turned out okay although I had several cursing episodes where I had to pull out the stitches on which I'd made mistakes. I also made a dog bed that matched our bedspread. And then I petered out.

Sewing is fun, particularly because the projects are finished so quickly, but between the painting and the gardening and the life that keeps happening, I haven't had the time to sit down and do it.

There is one spot in the house that was in dire need of a window seat, though, and that is the front window. Tango and Murray spend the majority of their days sitting in this window barking at every human, squirrel, dog and vehicle that drives by. I can't tell you the number of times we have driven up to neighbors laughing at the dogs doing their imitation of vicious animals through the window. Up until now, we have positioned a couple of couch pillows into the area and the dogs hop from the chair to the window without too much trouble. Occasionally, though, we'll drive up to see Murray prop himself against the window barking and then POOF! no more dog. You see, they and the pillows fall of the window seat quite often. Clearly, I don't want to have to pay the vets any more for their services, so we needed a new and sturdier window seat.

Ninotchka asked for a picture of my handiwork, so here you go.

Here is my newly completed pillow standing up on end. Very exciting, I know.

Here is the zipper that is rather difficult to sew in. For future reference, remind me not to buy a 12 inch zipper for a 38 inch wide pillow. It does not add to the ease of sliding the pillow in and out of the cover.

This is the finished product- see how it is an odd space? It was impossible to find a pillow that would fit correctly.

In this last picture, you can also see the newest addition to our house and the last of Josh's House Husband duties. He put in all of these new knobs!!!

Old ugly knobs... and my hand, but don't call my hand ugly, please.

New and beautiful knobs! Hurray!

The new knobs are throughout the house now, on all the built ins, and the office and kitchen paneled doors. Don't look at the chipping paint on the built-in, though, I am ignoring that part.

in the car

Conversation that took place last night between Josh and I...

Halloweenlover: I thought I said that I didn't want to do that.

Josh: I thought the last thing you said was that you DID want to do that.

Halloweenlover: Why do you always hear whatever you want to hear instead of what I actually say?

Josh: Its just a lot easier that way!

Monday, August 22, 2005

house husband no more

This past week Josh was away visiting his family in Florida. This meant that I was all by my lonesome and not very happy about it. It is amazing how quickly you forget how to sleep alone in a quiet house. Josh traveled for work during the last 4 years and just stopped consulting in May, so one would assume that I am accustomed to living alone. This assumption would apparently be false, as was evidenced by my lying awake at night listening for the sounds of creaking intruder footsteps.

It wasn't all loneliness and fear, though. I did try to live up my week as a single partying female and watched lots of scary movies, since Josh refuses, and met up with one of my best friends twice for girls' outings. We ate Mexican food, saw Wedding Crashers at the movies and had Cold Stone Creamery on Friday night- a perfect date, don't you think?

I was overjoyed to pick him up at the airport on Saturday morning, and continuing with my pledge to enjoy my time off instead of worry about the house, we had another lovely and relaxing weekend.

The pups and I had planned out an afternoon with Josh at Cape Ann, so we drove to Gloucester and Rockport, Massachusetts after picking him up. In a stroke of luck, Gloucester was having a Waterfront Festival, and we stopped to munch on festival foods and stroll around the booths. After a couple of hours, we ventured on to Rockport and visited all the adorable boutiques that make up this little seaside town.

Rockport is what I have always imagined the perfect New England town should be. Quaint, charming, sharp salty air, markers for lobster traps dotting the cold blue water and fisherman's boats moored to the docks. Since I visited for the first time during my freshman year of college, I have been drawn to its narrow streets and unique stores. I am never disappointed and this trip was no different. We sat on a bench munching on fried clam strips while watching tourists wander by and enjoyed the blue skies and cool breeze. A day like Saturday reminds me of why we moved back to Boston.

We did eventually (sadly) have to leave, though, and spent the rest of Saturday relaxing at home and playing with the dogs. Sunday wasn't nearly as fun, and we did typical food shopping and house cleaning for the rest of the week. I also finally sewed a window seat for our living room, since we bought fabric and the foam cushion a while ago, and Josh tried his hand at grooming the dogs. We picked up a clipper at Costco and he did quite a good job (I'll post pictures a little later)!

It was nice not to worry about painting or gardening and just enjoy the weekend. It also helped that my inlaws volunteered to help us paint and tile the basement!

On an exciting note, tomorrow I lose my "house husband." As I've mentioned in the past, Josh quit his job in May and has been relaxing and preparing for his reentry as a student. During these last 3 months he traveled to Costa Rica and read up for school, but he was also available as my laundry, dog care, and house cleaning guy. Sadly, tomorrow he begins his pre-classes and won't be as available to chauffeur me to and from work or do chores at my request. Sniff sniff.

I wish him loads of luck tomorrow as he enters this new phase of life, and I'll try not to be too sad that he isn't at my beck and call. Good luck! I know you'll be terrific!

** Any suggestions for new student gifts that I can give the former house husband?

Friday, August 19, 2005

accurate, except for the sarcastic part

Seen at Angry Pregnant Lawyer's!

the Ham
(19% dark, 61% spontaneous, 36% vulgar)
your humor style:

Your style's goofy, innocent and feel-good. Perfect for parties and for the dads who chaperone them. You can actually get away with corny jokes, and I bet your sense of humor is a guilty pleasure for your friends. People of your type are often the most approachable and popular people in their circle. Your simple & silly good-naturedness is immediately recognizable, and it sets you apart in this sarcastic world.

PEOPLE LIKE YOU: Will Ferrell - Will Smith

two things

1. OH MY GOD my head is k-i-l-l-i-n-g me. I don't know what is going on, but I feel like my forehead is going to explode. Do you think it is possible that fall allergies are starting already? I can't imagine what else it could be, even though it is a little early.

I never had allergies until I moved to the East Coast and since then I have gotten sick each and every fall. One of my first doctors here told me it had to do with immunities growing up, and since I was immune only to germs on the West Coast I was bound to get lots of sicknesses. I have gotten bronchitis and laryngitis every fall since I moved here, 9 freakin' years ago. GRRRR.

This is ridiculous, though. It is only August! Granted, we've had a chilly couple of days, but still, it is too early!

2. I'd like to start a campaign, similar to the "Got Milk?" campaign called the "PEDESTRIANS NEED TO STAY OUT OF THE INTERSECTION WHEN THE LIGHT IS GREEN" campaign. I cannot tell you how often I curse at people who step in front of my car, or insist on running across the street after my light is green. Downtown Boston is very congested (especially with the Big Dig and all the excess machinery) and having to wait for all these less-than-brilliant individuals to cross the street at every light is maddening.

A couple of years ago, while living in NYC, there was a breaking news story about a man driving around midtown Manhattan refusing to brake for those people who stepped into the street in front of him. If the light turned green and people crossed the intersection anyway, he hit them, or almost hit them. If they insisted on crossing in the middle of a street while he was driving down the street, he plowed into them.

Now, of course I am not condoning his behavior (although it was a little bit funny at the time), but I did sympathize. He clearly lost him mind in that afternoon when he realized that it took 10 minutes to drive 2 blocks because of pedestrians ignoring street traffic. Thankfully, he didn't kill anyone in his insanity, but sometimes I wondered if pedestrians would be more careful after the incident.

I live about 15 miles from Boston, and there are many mornings that it takes me less time to drive the 15 miles on the highway than the 5 blocks from my exit to the parking lots. 5 blocks > 15 miles. Something is wrong with this picture.

If only I could convince Mayor Menino to put up some billboards telling people to WAIT THEIR TURN. Maybe we could install little shocks in the street that activate after the "No Walk" sign comes on. You cross, you get zapped. Any takers?

Thursday, August 18, 2005

as if you didn't know that I was queen of halloween

Loads of THANKS to Ellen over at the Reign of Ellen for crowning me Queen Halloweenlover!

It feels so nice to be recognized ; )

Queen Halloweenlover Posted by Picasa

I highly recommend visiting her, she is very fun and such a great cartoonist!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

because, you know, we need to focus on the important things

In case there was any question as to whether Paris Hilton actually has a soul, the answer is decidedly no.

Soulless, I tell you.

bleh and more on traveling

I don't know what is wrong with me, I just can't seem to find anything interesting to blog about. I have been busy at work, but not overwhelmingly so, I've been sleeping enough at night, Tango is feeling much better, despite another vomiting episode on Sunday evening, and we had a fairly relaxing weekend. So I have nothing to complain about, and apparently nothing very exciting to say!

In a related note from yesterday's post on travel, I also noticed after talking to a few people that traveling styles can differ a ton, as well. For example, Josh and I will stay at cheap but clean places when we travel. Our ideal lodging is a room in someone's house or at a bed and breakfast that is small and not very touristy. We have very few requirements and will live without a television or air conditioning or a phone, although I do prefer a private bathroom. We've done with and without sharing a bathroom in the past. We do this because we'd rather have the possibility of taking more than one vacation a year by saving money on the lodging and food.

At lunch with a friend yesterday, though, she was saying that she and her husband prefer to take one luxurious vacation a year (or every two years) and stay at very nice resorts. I was surprised to find that this shocked me! She was talking about hotels that cost $350 a night, a price that would probably make me choke. And these friends definitely are not big spenders and live on a strict budget, but staying at a lovely place and enjoying the resort is a high priority for them. Josh and I definitely choose inexpensive lodging and eat picnic type meals on vacations, and try to keep out of touristy areas to keep prices down.

For example, after graduating from college, one of the cities we visited was Venice. We found a fabulous teeny tiny room for about $40 a night, right off of Piazza San Marco and all of the most beautiful sites, although it didn't have air conditioning and was really really small. In the early mornings I would look out the window over the rooftops and into courtyards and see pigeons splashing around in the fountains. We wandered into residential neighborhoods and ate breads and cheeses on park benches while watching kids play soccer and scream in Italian at each other. At night, though, we were so hot that Josh started throwing water all over the floors of the room in a misguided attempt to lower the temperature. That image is clearer in my mind than many of the museums and churches we visited.

Not to say that I wouldn't love to eat at many of the amazing restaurants and stay at some of the beautiful resorts that many places have to offer, because of course I would. While we have limited funds, though, and since most of my memories are wrapped in the experience of hearing a different language and exploring new cultures, I'd rather have more of those than a stay at a beautiful hotel.

I love seeing how differently everyone travels, though! Thank goodness for so many opinions and likes and dislikes!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

whisk me away

Do you think I am allowed to complain about not getting to be on vacation this week? I thought not.

But I don't feel like working, and I had to get up very very early to drop someone off at the airport this morning, and I'm very sleepy, and very grumpy, and my favorite friend from work is leaving to get married at the end of today (selfish bitch) so I will be sad for the next two weeks while she is on her honeymoon, and I can't think of anything to write.

I need to tell you about how last week I realized what a great job I have, but I can't seem to finish that thought.

I also need to tell you some funny stories about my law school friends, but I'm too tired.

One thought I am able to complete, I think it is funny how these silly memes actually let you catch glimpses into people's personalities. I don't generally think too much about my answers, but after reading so many different responses to the same meme, I am amazed at how many differing answers we can give. I have known Chatty Cricket for 9 years now (oh my goodness) and didn't know many of the answers she gave to the meme. In fact, I called her up in shock when I read that she didn't love to travel, because I was so surprised. As we discussed traveling, she assured me that it wasn't the travel she disliked, and that in fact she loved having new experiences, she just felt homesick. And it was then that I realized, I've never been homesick. Ever.

I lived in Paris for 8 weeks, I lived in Argentina for 3 months and several one month stretches, I've gone on a 2 and a half month trip around Western Europe, taken several 1-2 week trips to random places, and I don't think I have ever wanted to come home. Well, except perhaps for my first semester of college on the East Coast, but I don't consider that a trip, I call that CULTURE SHOCK.

Most of my departing cab rides to the airport have seen me crying, actual tears. It isn't that I don't love my life here, because I do. But I adore traveling, and I'd do it all the time if I could. I'm not satisfied if I don't have some trip in the works for the next few months. I don't know why that is, because as a child my family didn't travel much. We went on one trip a year to Argentina, and then took regular day trips around San Francisco. We didn't take exotic vacations and I didn't leave the country (except to go to South America) until Josh and I met.

Thankfully, the one person whose enthusiasm for travel equals mine, is my husband's. He has traveled far more in childhood than I did, but he revels in returning to many of these places to introduce me to his favorite sites. He enjoys the planning and anticipation of our trips as much as I do and we talk much and often about where we would like to go in the coming years. Our decision to wait before having kids after we got married, was in no small part due to our desire to travel. We both agree that our traveling plans may (ha ha, I know) be hampered by children, so we hold off, even though we both want a family in the not-too-distant future.

So, to cheer myself, I think I will go plan out our October trip to Vermont. Our main goal is to see foliage and relax, but perhaps I should make dinner reservations and figure out if there is anything must-see in the area. Suggestions for Vermont?

Do any of you love traveling too? Am I the only crazy one? I wonder what this says about me... hmmmm.

Friday, August 12, 2005

our little thief

The last couple of days have been a struggle between trying to get Tango to eat his prescribed bland dog food, and trying to get Murray to eat his normal dog food. Of course, each one wants what the other is getting (I told you they are just like kids), so each evening we work to get each dog to eat what we are handing to them.

Murray is convinced that he likes what Tango is getting, even though he refuses it when we offer it to him. For some reason he doesn't connect that what we give him is the same as what we are giving Tango, so he begs for it, we give him some, he spits it out, and then begs again. I TOLD you he is the simple son.

Meanwhile, Tango is just plain starving. He would eat dirt if we'd let him, so he is scarfing down the bland dog food and then surreptitiously trying to steal regular dog food from Murray's bowl. Last night I spent 20 minutes with one hand giving Murray the kibble while holding Tango off with the other hand. If I take Tango out of the room, Murray won't eat, and if I keep him in the room, then he suffers. Sigh.

This morning, Josh decided to just put down the two bowls of food and watch them carefully to make sure they each ate their own. This weekend we will start incorporating regular dog food into Tango's diet, but for now he is still eating the bland prescription food. Tango ate his food with gusto. Murray pawed at the kernels, as per his usual eating style, but ate very little.

When Tango had almost finished his bowl of food, he turned away and started to walk out of the room. Josh bent down to pick up the bowl and noticed there was still a bit left. He had only taken his eyes off the dogs for a moment, and as Tango was exiting he called after him- "Tango!" in a mocking tone, to reprimand him for not finishing his bowl.

Tango turned around slowly and looked up at him with a guilty look on his little face, and before Josh could say anything, proceeded to spit out the kernel of regular dog food he had been smuggling out of the room to savor in the privacy of the dining room. The little scoundrel!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

update on the pup pup

After my post on Tango's illness and visit to the vet, I came home that night to find that he had a rather large lump on his neck. Josh assured me that it was just a symptom of the subcutaneous fluids they had given him to prevent dehydration, but upon closer look I realized the lump was a purplish-red mass. Annnnnnnnndddd I FREAKED. I called the emergency veterinary hospital, shaking while I dialed and explained the situation. They connected me with a technician who had me describe the lump and Tango's reactions if I touched it.

The lump was so scary looking that my stomach turned every time I looked at it, and I felt all woozy when I contemplated what it might be. The technician, oblivious to my lightheadedness, was going through what she thought it might be, such as a hematoma or a slow bleed of his jugular. She was surprised that he didn't seem to be showing any discomfort, so she suggested I wait and see if it got any bigger over the next couple of hours. If I saw any change for the worse, I should bring him straight in.

Until midnight on Tuesday night, I obsessively examined Tango's lump and worried myself sick over his symptoms, but in the end we decided that he seemed okay and tried to sleep. In the middle of the night he began pacing again and after Josh got up to check on him, he threw up even though he hadn't eaten in over 24 hours. He paced the rest of the night and refused to come back to bed, so at 9am I called into work that I was taking him to the vet.

Our veterinarian seemed concerned over the phone and saw me almost immediately (apparently he came out of surgery since he had blood splatters all over his scrubs- ewww). He examined Tango and proclaimed that he had "no idea!" where the mass and huge purplish-red bruise had come from, and said his vet technician had denied any wrongdoing. The thing is, I have seen Tango and Murray endure treatments and tests and I know they don't struggle. They are very passive dogs, and many vets have commented on how good-natured they are. Our veterinarian even said the vet technician assured him there had been no problems with Tango during the blood draws. So where did the huge bruise come from? No idea, apparently.

Needless to say, we are switching vets. I want a vet that will answer emergency calls at night, just to give me advice. I just want someone to tell me whether I am overreacting or not, without having to pay $150 just to be seen. And this little experience has turned me off of this office enough not to trust them again.

I took Tango home after the vet visit and he has been better since then. He had a few spoonfuls of food and water and kept them all down. He is starving, though, and wanders around the house scratching at where he normally has food bowls. It kills me to see him staring at me with obvious hunger. If only he could talk : )

We are now a good 36 hours without throwing up and I hope my little pooch is on the mend. He was definitely in better spirits this morning, so thank you for all your good wishes! It looks like they certainly helped.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

all the cool kids are doing it

The Question Meme

1. What is your first name? I was supposed to be named Erika, but when I was born, my dad took one look at me and said I didn't look like an Erika. My mom was a bit distraught because they had settled on that name months ago, and asked what they would name me then, and he pulled my name out of nowhere. I'll give you a hint, it is *pretty* unusual, at least in this country. And you know its not Erika.

2. Were you named after anyone? Definitely not, I'm telling you, he pulled it out of his ass.

3. Do you wish on stars? I do, when I remember. I always wish for the same thing.

4. When did you last cry? At Carolina's wedding.

5. Do you like your handwriting? Its okay. Other people sometimes tell me they like it, although it looks pretty normal to me.

6. What is your favorite lunch meat? Buffalo sauce flavored turkey (but I recently stopped eating meat- SOB)

7. What is your most embarrassing CD? EEK! Don't tell anyone, but I secretly love Celine Dion.

8. If you were another person, would you be friends with you? I think so. I love nice people and I try to be unfailingly nice, even to my own detriment.

9. Do you have a journal? I thought that was what this was? I do have a "thankful" journal where I write the things I am thankful for in my life.

10. Do you use sarcasm a lot? Nooooooooo, never. Aaaaand there it is.

11. What are your nicknames? My name is somewhat difficult to shorten, but in Spanish I have a few. Josh calls me BG, but if I told you what it stood for, I'd have to kill you.

12. Would you bungee jump? HELL NO.

13. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? Never.

14. Do you think that you are strong? Physically, decidedly not. Mentally and emotionally, probably yes.

15. What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Sweet cream.

16. Shoe Size? 8 or 8 and 1/2.

17. Red or pink? Red. Red. Red.

18. What is your least favorite thing about yourself? I'm too sensitive and I care too much about what other people think.

19. Who do you miss most? I always miss my parents since they live in California. Plus, my mom left today : (

20. Do you want everyone you send this to, to send it back? I'm not sending this to anyone, but if you want to do it, feel free.

21. What color pants and shoes are you wearing? Black pants, and black shoes. Very boring.

22. What are you listening to right now? Sarah McLachlan playing on my trusty green ipod, G-mini and people wandering the halls.

23. Last thing you ate? Cut up cucumbers, peppers and cherry tomatoes picked from my garden.

24. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Sunflower yellow.

25. What is the weather like right now? Freezing inside my office, outside its so hot I could melt.

26. Last person you talked to on the phone? My sexy husband.

27. The first thing you notice about the opposite sex? Smile.

28. Where did you find this meme? All the cool kids have done it. Phantom, APL and Rana.

29. Favorite Drink? Dunkin' Donuts iced coffee, OF COURSE.

30. Favorite Sport? Ewww sports? I guess baseball, if I have to pick one.

31. Hair Color? Brown with some new and very sad gray hairs.

32. Eye Color? Brownish hazelish.

33. Do you wear contacts? I used to, but my eyes have developed an allergy to them over the years. Plus, I think glasses make me look more lawyerly : )

34. Favorite Food? Buffalo wings or gnocchis.

35. Last Movie You Watched? Mr and Mrs. Smith.

36. Favorite Day Of The Year? Do you really have to ask? HALLOWEEN!!!

37. Scary Movies Or Happy Endings? Scary, definitely.

38. Summer Or Winter? How come I can't pick fall? I suppose Winter because I love the seasons, and Boston Winters is a season I didn't experience in San Francisco.

39. Hugs OR Kisses? Kisses from my hubs, hugs from everyone else.

40. What Is Your Favorite Dessert? Carrot cake or tiramisu.

41. Who Is Most Likely To do this Meme? No idea.

42. Who Is Least Likely To do this Meme and comment? People that already did it?

43. What Books Are You Reading? Harry Potter, See How They Run, and Chico Malo Busca Chica.

44. What's On Your Mouse Pad? A picture of Murray sniffing flowers that says "Always remember to stop and smell the flowers".

45. What Did You Watch Last night on TV? No tv for me last night, but I almost always watch Law and Order.

46. Favorite Smells? Josh's smell, pumpkin pie, apple cider, fall weather, gardenias and the ocean.

47. Favorite Sounds? Thunder and heavy rain, Josh's voice, the puppies' barks, winds rustling through trees, and the ocean.

48. Rolling Stones or Beatles? Beatles, I suppose, but I own neither.

49. What's the furthest you've been from home? Finland.

50. Do you have a special talent? I'm pick up languages pretty easily. I am also good at making people laugh.

51. What is your ring tone? Vibrate, baby.

subdued and sleepy

I was up all night last night with Tango because he is sick. We're not sure what is wrong, but we left him this weekend with my mom while we went to Miami and he started throwing up on Saturday and hasn't stopped since. He threw up twice on Saturday, twice on Sunday (the last time was at noon) and I got home that afternoon prepared to take him to the emergency veterinarian that costs so much we have to take out a third mortgage on the house. But on Sunday afternoon he looked better. He ate some rice out of my hands and snuggled up to me for the rest of the night without getting sick.

Yesterday, he didn't throw up although he apparently had some yucky, ummm, bowel movements, but Josh says he was playful and friendly, so he didn't worry. I'm not sure what happened, but the minute I walked in the door Tango was depressed and looking ill again. He refused any food and would just stand near me with his little back all hunched over and looking unhappy. I knew something was wrong, and I have to admit that I was pretty pissed off that Josh and my mom hadn't noticed anything all day. Tango was clearly still sick, and had I been home I would have insisted we take him to his regular vet. Instead, I was up all night with him, because every time he would pace or stand I would turn on the light and hover to make sure he was okay. At 1:30am he threw up all the water he had drunk all day, and I started panicking. I took his temperature, checked his gums, listened to his breathing, and decided that if he threw up one more time we would take him to the emergency vet, additional mortgage be damned.

He didn't get sick again, thank goodness, but I still had a restless night of getting up often to feed him water and check on him. This morning Josh took him to his regular vet, who is running some blood tests and keeping him for the day to make sure he gets hydrated. I am pretty experienced with the eye dropper, so I doubt he is really dehydrated, but I am grateful for whatever the vet can do.

At least the vet doesn't think he has an intestinal blockage, which is my worst nightmare. With pups this small, it is far too easy for them to get terribly ill, terribly quickly.

I told my mother this morning that I cannot imagine what it is like to have children. I know I will love a child 100 times more than my dogs, but Tango being sick feels like someone has torn my heart from my chest and stomped on it. I could hardly breath during the night, I was just so worried about him. I don't know if I can survive children.

If you have any positive puppy thoughts or prayers, feel free to send them Tango's way. Also throw some "please eat some food" prayers, because he needs to put some meat on his little 5 and 3/4 pound frame.


Tango spent the day with the veterinarian and received medication and fluids and according to the vet he should be on the mend. Josh picked him up a little bit ago and he seemed far more happy and energetic than when we dropped him off. We are on strict instructions to limit water and food intake for the next couple of days, and hopefully there will be no more throwing up.

Thanks for the well wishes. It is so hard to have a sick puppy, especially because as Angry Pregnant Lawyer mentioned, you can't explain to them why you have to leave them at the veterinary hospital and they can't tell you what is wrong. I am exhausted from not sleeping, though. Seriously, how do you parents do it?!

And thank you for the thoughts and prayers, they mean a lot to me : )

Monday, August 08, 2005


I can now unveil my new stylish and personalized design! See?! There I am in the upper right hand corner, sitting at my desk, pretending to work while I post for my favorite readers! Aren't I so cute and smiley?

A HUGE MONSTROUS ENORMOUS GRATEFUL shout out to Bethiclaus and her wonderful, fantastic, amazingly talented web designing husband Andiclaus, who made this awesome blog design for me. I feel like the coolest girl on the block (or blog) with my new and improved designs. I was about to kill someone if I had to look at another day of lighthouse background, so this was such a welcome gift. I am so halloweenloving now too! Look at all the beautiful graphics! YAY!

Hurray! Bethiclaus and Andiclaus are the best!!!

best. weekend. ever.

After receiving my acceptance to law school, we were invited to an admitted students weekend to attend classes and receive a brief orientation into the program. My law school was my top choice, so there wasn't much need to visit, but I didn't want to turn down an opportunity to meet future classmates. Each admitted student requesting housing would stay with a current student, and due to a housing mixup, at my house there would be two admitted students. That afternoon I met Carolina.

Within minutes of meeting each other, we hit it off. We determined that we had loads in common, such as a shared Argentine heritage, long-term significant others, a love of jokes and laughter, and easy-going personalities. We spent the couple of days together comparing notes on people we'd met and whom we liked and disliked. We were even hit on by the same scummy student that we both couldn't stand. By the end of the weekend we'd decided that we would take a risk and live together the next year. We made an appointment at one apartment complex near the law school, chose an apartment and signed up.

Looking back, I can hardly believe that we did this. We barely knew each other and given my normally reserved and calculating decision-making, this was a rarity. But it was one of the best decisions I made during those few years of law school.

We had a BLAST. We threw parties, had dinner get-togethers, went out with friends separately and together. We cultivated other friendships, particularly with those people in our small groups, but spent loads of time together late at night chatting and gossiping. She was sweet as could be about Josh visiting every other weekend and she was never difficult or messy or short-tempered. We applied and were accepted to a program that allowed us to attend law school in Chile, Argentina and Brazil and begged to be permitted to stay with the same host family. So for 5 weeks we spent practically every moment together, attending classes and functions, touring the cities, going out dancing or to dinners. We lived together for two years and got into one argument over who had to sleep where while in Chile, and ended up laughing about it 5 minutes later. It was a wonderful friendship, and many of my fondest memories of law school were with her.

At the end of our second year, I got married, so she moved into a different apartment in the same building and Josh and I lived just a few floors away. We still visited each other often, and she came up to help me adjust to life with a puppy (Tango) and a husband. That year was hard on her. She started to dislike the city we lived in, classes were less meaningful and more "fluff", she wasn't dating anyone special, she hated the weather, and missed her family and friends in Miami.

I was sad to see her go, but happy that she was excited about starting life anew in Miami. In a fitting tribute to our law school years, we marched together into our graduation ceremonies and went out to dinner with both families to an Argentine restaurant in town.

She started work at a law firm in Miami, and within just a couple of months of being home, began dating a wonderful man. Almost immediately I saw a change in her personality. She was so calm and happy, so at peace with herself and her relationship with him. A year later he proposed, and this weekend they were married.

In January, I visited Miami and went to bridal salons with her to try on dresses. Her dress was stunning and beautiful when she tried it on at the store, but nothing prepared me for the moment when they swung the doors open at her wedding. She was breathtaking. In true Carolina fashion, she didn't wear a veil or excessive jewelry, and wore her hair up with ringlets falling around her neck. The dress was simple, a strapless a-line, with a top layer of lace that sparkled as she entered the room. But best of all, she was radiant with happiness. Literally glowing. I couldn't stop the tears the moment I caught sight of her.

Another dear friend and I couldn't stop saying how happy we are that she is so happy. We couldn't ask for anything else for her, and no one deserves it more. So loads of Congratulations to the wonderful couple, and I am so happy that I was able to share the celebration!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Dear Opposing Counsel,

G-D BLESS YOU for putting the section numbers in the top right hand corner of each page. You have made my tedious assignment of writing down all the terms of this agreement about ten bajillion times easier.

You are a fucking genius. I think I love you.


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

cake, cake and more cake

We decided not to go whale watching this past weekend and postponed the trip to 2 weekends from now. I decided to take yours and my own advice and let myself relax at least a little bit on the weekends from now on. I am trying valiantly to not worry myself silly anymore over incomplete house projects and enjoy the summer. If that means that the trim doesn't get painted until later this year, I'll survive. If finishing the basement sprawls over a few weekends, I'll just have to live with that. I cannot make myself crazy in the little bit of free time that I have.

This weekend was still busy, but manageably so. And the busy parts were nice and calming. On Friday night friends came over for dinner and we sat outside on our patio for hours, just munching away at hot dogs, hamburgers, pasta salad and guacamole. Saturday, after my blogger meetup with Phantom Scribbler and Adorable Offspring, another five friends came over and we had a repeat of sitting outside enjoying the mild weather. We did a lot of staring at our friends' baby and marveling at what a genius she already is at 8 weeks. We ate and ate and ate some more. Then, just as our friends were leaving, our Fun Neighbors came over with their son and we did some more sitting outside, eating and chatting. Our neighborhood is a mostly older population, although the number of young families is growing. Our Fun Neighbors are terrific, and any time we can arrange a get together, we do so. They have the cutest two year old son, who is quite smitten with Josh. He gives him voluntary (and very sweet) hugs and tries to impress him with his bubble-blowing prowess.

Josh made me this amazing cake for Friday and Saturday night festivities, isn't it adorable? He is the sweetest! He didn't even use a mold! He just baked a big sheet cake and then cut out all the little pieces. I love it! And just in case you were wondering, the red ball in the upper corner is the sun : )

Our friend A made me another delicious cake (that I unfortunately didn't get a picture of) that she baked and decorated herself! Cake, as we all know, makes for a fantastic day, and both were scrumptious.

We loved having company over (and it is fairly rare), but it made for a busy couple of days, and that is why I asked if we could postpone the sightseeing trip. Instead, we ran some errands including taking a tile class at Home Depot, picking out coffee table and side tables, a trip to the (deeply loved) Container Store and a much needed reorganization of the linen closet.

I also sat around for 3 hours, snuggled with my pups and watched 3 episodes of Law and Order. All in all, it was a fabulous weekend. I felt relaxed starting work this week, and happy with my decision, particularly since we are out of town again this weekend. We are off to Miami to attend the wedding of one of my dearest friends, whom I'll tell you about in my next post.

Miami (and more cake), here we come!

** And on the ungrateful bitch thing, guess which gift I have used EVERY SINGLE DAY since I received it? Yup, you guessed it. The avocado peeler.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

YG&B's best morning ever

Today I am all about posting about fellow bloggers, apparently, mainly because I am trying to schedule a getaway to see the fall foliage in Vermont. This has been my dream since I first moved to New England, and for once the hubs and my schedules coincide to allow us to get away. Leaves, cider, apples and ice cream, here I come.

But enough about me, I have to direct you to YG&Bs blog, where she will tell you about her Best Morning Ever. I'll give you a hint. It involves seeing some pretty famous people filming in her apartment building and she got to meet all of them. Oh, the jealousy pours out of me...

welcome "momtothelady"!

We have a new blogger in our midst, please welcome my good friend A at her new address!

You may recall my mentioning A, as she struggled through a FULL WEEK of labor, on this day and this day and this day and this day and PHEW, finally this day. Her description of labor is enough to keep this halloweenlover from having a baby, but thankfully, I have seen the finished product, and the little Lady is totally worth it.

A is a great writer, and I am sure we'll all enjoy her funny tales! And she has an adorable (non-frou-frou) small dog as well, whom my two terrors adore. She also made me the most beautiful birthday cake this weekend, and I have been sneaking bites ever since (my hips do NOT thank you).

Welcome to the bloggy party, A!

Monday, August 01, 2005

can we all say "wasn't me!"

It may not have been a good idea to bring hard boiled eggs to work and crack, peel and eat them in my office.

The stench is decidedly unpleasant, and seems to closely resemble other noxious substances.

Maybe I should hang a sign up denying any personal involvement. Or go buy some air freshener ASAP.