Thursday, June 30, 2011

Names I have called the puppy unintentionally

Santa Maria
Siegfried (the cat)
Ryan (my nephew)
Henry Hudson
Shock and Awe

Sitting in a chair

So weird! I don't know why, but I was like, "Beh, couch, let's not." But this glider chair, man, it just will not stay put. It's the ice skates of chairs. HOLD STILL.

I'm going to drill a hole and put a bolt through it, I'm not kidding. Probably while sitting in the chair, since otherwise how will I know what angle? So there you go.

In the alarming development category:

I told the landlord I wanted to renew my lease, because what else can I do? If I even manage to pay all my bills and eat more than a bean this month I'll be amazed. And next month I might have a power bill again, yoicks. In other words, I can't afford to move, not even across town, never mind to anywhere I would actually WANT to live. Heh.
I took Gawain down to the school's fenced baseball field to run around today. He was kind of unclear on the concept. He walked at heel, basically, and wouldn't chase a ball that I threw, and then tried to run back to the car so we could go home. Awwww. Pretty cute, Mr. Insecure Puppy.

He also said YIPE repeatedly when waiting in the car while I paid for gas, and then crawled all over me when I got back in the car, all of which entertained the gas station woman very much indeed. YIPE, he said. YIPE.

I slept eight hours last night, though admittedly in two segments, but still! That's awesome, huh? And only getting up once is even more awesomer. I'm still just about as tired as a person can be and still be moderately functional and not hallucinating (not more than normal) so I'm really hoping for some kind of, I don't know, breakthrough of some sort. Like I don't know what exactly.

I thought getting paid today would help, but in fact matters are grim financially and not really going to get better until Other Job comes around again. I can't live on this income, that's all there is to it.

So anyway. I have to get back to my oppressive obsession with World Cup! Which is eating my whole life! Aaaaaah!

And drinking water, which I am just not doing enough of, such that Carafe Serge feels like a stern taskmaster. DRINK ME.

Right, soccer and water, coming right up, or rather down.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Guess what the puppy likes?

Running! Oh man! I took him for a walk down the dirt road (no cars) and he LOVED it. I wonder if there's a dirt road close enough to here to be a useful walk? Dirt roads are generally private, but that just means they don't get plowed. I think. You know, I might call the town office and ask about that.

And then we were getting bitten up by mosquitoes, especially my delicious puppy, so we started running, and OH BOY is that guy fast! He can run much faster than I can, though in my defense I was in work clothes and moccasins with no socks.

So now I really want to get suited up in exercise clothes after work (before I leave work) and come home and take him for some sprints on a dirt road, if I can arrange such a thing conveniently.

Someone suggested going down to the school in town to see if there's a fenced field where he can run loose. I'm definitely going to do that. Even a basketball court would be great fun. Anywhere fenced and big enough for puppy galloping.

World Cup! Oh oh oh oh oh! I love it so much!!! I rewired the satellite thingy so I could watch it in the kitchen while cooking (and supposedly washing the dishes, heh heh, which did not happen) but then rewatched what I'd seen because I'd been too busy cooking. Pretty goofy, huh? I know! So it goes, though. I LOVE WORLD CUP!

I skipped a match today, oh the shame. Sweden v. Colombia. I just don't have time for every game on work days, with puppy walking and today a trip to the store after work. I needed cans of cat food or there would have been a kitty insurrection, so look out!

I might have to get the clippers on the kitty's tummy. I could lose limbs doing this. But his fur is so thick and dense and sort of clumping into locks, though not dreadlocks yet. But I think it could be time. Here's hoping!

So Hope Solo is completely awesome as a goalkeeper, huh? She's obviously Han Solo's daughter. Every time they interview her she says stuff like, "I faced some challenges growing up," and I think, "Yeah, traveling the galaxy with your scruffy-looking nerf herder of a dad."

My usual Abby Wambach fixation is back in full force! Ab-by! Ab-by! She's so freaking amazing! Go go go! She *nearly* scored about a million times in today's game but never quite pulled it off. Next time, Abby! She finally cut her hair short and reminded me exactly why I don't do that anymore, heh. When you are tall and broad-shouldered and walk with confidence it can really make you look like a boy. Which, fine, whatever, but there are reasons I might not want to do that, see.

Look, the team is doing their skip-stretches while running around the stadium and waving to the fans after the game! Way to multi-task, team!

Oh oh oh, I love my team. Love them so much!

I can't believe I sprinted down the road today. Madness!

My other favorite thing about the World Cup (besides everything) is having the old team members doing commentary. Brandi Chastain! Especially my beloved Julie Foudy. I adore her! She's so funny and mighty and knows so very much and is totally confident.

My puppy is doing so good! He learned "sit" and he hung out with me while I cooked and ate a green bean and has totally learned the command "kisses" instead of biting and nibbling. Which means I get licked a lot but hey, better than being chomped by sharp little puppy teeth, huh?

Next USA game is Saturday against Colombia. Oh boy! I can't wait!

Must go to bed right exactly now, bunnies.

Oh! Hey, you know what running does? It unlocks my stuck sacro-ileac joint. At least, it always used to back in rugby days. I remember feeling it sort of stuck and then jolting it loose by running. Or alternatively falling hard. You KNOW I've thought about doing some falls here, to try to jog it loose, because it hurts so much when it's stuck and (obviously) it's not very flexible and is uncomfortable to sit and move and lie down and stuff. I'm not sure staging hard falls is a good idea. But who knows, maybe Baby Gawain will arrange them for me, huh? He's doing his best!

I did walk straight into the wall the other day, which made me laugh since I did *not* break my arm. Actually I fell over my trunk and slammed into the door frame with my right arm right below the wrist. No harm done, though. Phew!

We'll see how it goes. I have high hopes that Mr. Puppy and I will be putting in a lot of miles, though. Hurray!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Well I dunno

I've been trying to find a primary care doctor so I can get seen, but no dice so far. Aetna lists a whole raft of them but more than half are osteopaths. (I don't do that osteopathy thing--it's based on unreproducible theoretical nonsense, truly, though I'm sure a lot of the practitioners mean well and do a lot of good, or at least no harm. But I want a doctor who went to *medical* school.) And the rest are listed as family practice but when I check into them, most are actually in geriatrics or are OB/GYNs or pediatricians. And the ones I've called were all full up, despite being listed as accepting new patients.

In sum, no progress on the medical front. Sigh.

I'm in moderately bad shape, which I think means that the supreme headache was caused by something going wrong in the actual brains. Are there nerves in brains? I thought there weren't. But then I can't reliably count to sixty today so what do I know?

I'm kind of upset about the brain frying, though. My eyes hurt very much and yesterday I couldn't eat or sleep because the headache was so bad. I was up most of the night. Which doesn't make me feel any better today, I assure you. Ack! Ow!
Anyway. Must keep trying to find a primary care doctor.

Gawain is being impossible this evening. I don't think he likes Mondays! We've been together all weekend and then he's shut in the bathroom. I feel so bad for him! But it's what we've got. I think he's punishing me for the Monday of it. I broke out a new toy that I got him a few weeks ago. I had gotten about four different things that day and have been doling them out as needed, to spread the novelty.

He really is a good pup. Just kind of being a brat tonight, bitey and contrary and into everything he shouldn't be.

Well. It's sort of hard to see. Things are flatter than they ought to be and I'm not sure my eyes are on the same channel or something. Heh, I looked up the worst headache ever in WebMD because it really is the worst I've ever had, and by far the longest-lasting, and it said "OMG brain aneurysm!!1!" and I said, "I don't think so, actually, but thanks." Then it said headaches come with M.S., and I said, "Ah."

Women's World Cup! Let's talk about how awesome that is! Everyone is crazy fit and fabulous and they make me want to run and jump and exercise vigorously! And that's saying something! I've lost a bunch of weight post-puppy (13-15 lbs?) but haven't been, you know, exercising or anything.

Once the exciting new headache goes away I need to mow the frelling grass, though it might just have to wait for the weekend. It's not super tall or anything. Just very buggy.

I can't find the butterfly so I can name it properly, but this morning, guess what I saw? A black and white butterfly perched on a pile of bear poo in my yard. So very fitting, somehow! Also, eek!

I wish I knew whether taking the pain pills was the right thing to do. I don't think it helped yesterday. I took a half a one. I mean, it helped keep the pain down a bit, but I don't think it did any good, if that makes sense. I don't really know enough (anything) about how those drugs work and how they affect your brain to know.

See, a doctor would be really handy. Stupid American healthcare system. I'd go to walk-in care or something, but they'd send me to the hospital, because massive head pain is either absolutely nothing to worry about or really really bad and they can't take a chance. Anyway it would cost a fortune and accomplish nothing so I'm not going to do it, obviously.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Okay, I finally caved and took half a vicodin for the headache that's been crushing me all day. Ow. Ow. Ow. It's sort of dulled now so that I can (I hope) get to sleep.

That is one heck of a headache, with the eyes and my whole face hurting and all. What's up with that?

I'm fascinated by little Gawain suddenly feeling secure today. Yay! And also: why all of a sudden? In my experience, it takes two weeks for animals to decide you're not going to give them back, but he had sort of a traumatic 16 person relay race so I shouldn't be surprised it took him three.

As of today he's suddenly doing all these things that say he's much more relaxed. He'll stay lying on the couch or on his bed or even on the floor when I leave the room, instead of following me everywhere. He actually went to sleep on the floor, snuggled up against the big black bear-shaped bear, which he loves. He slept on his bed in the living room instead of on the couch with me. And most amazing, he's sleeping on the couch without being in physical contact with me at all times.

Actually all of those fall under that category, because all of them are basically: sleeping, which means relaxing, without being in physical contact with me. And they all add up to security. The puppy is feeling secure! That's completely awesome. I feel like I just got a huge gold star and an A grade on puppy parenting. Hurray!

It was horribly muggy and buggy today, only about 65 but miserably damp from the days of rain. Yick. We weren't outside much, and of course I didn't mow the grass, which is going to be an issue. Unless I'm about to get a LOT more free time than I would hope. Yeah.

So I managed to get some cleaning and tidying done, such that the house looks and feels much better. I've been neglecting the vacuuming, I admit this. But with the additional puppy mess of tracking in grass and whatnot, and his habit of going under every piece of furniture and tracking all the dust out onto the rugs, and chewing up whatever he can. Well, it was a mess. And now it's not. Yay!

I even dusted something. Try not to perish of shock.

I did not iron my work pants, which I'm going to regret in, ooh, nine hours. I did not cook any lunch. There are leftover buckwheat pancakes and I think some cheese. Also carrots that are going a bit slimy and some potatoes and some lettuce and a strangely large quantity of lemons.

Um. Make lemonade? Is someone messing with me by enacting aphorisms in my fridge?

I haven't eaten since lunch because the headache etc. have made me so sick. Except for the half a chocolate bunny that I ate to try to kill the headache with sugar and caffeine. (It didn't work.) Also, why do I still have an Easter bunny in the end of June? Hmm.

Lots of quilt sewing today. More to go, but much accomplished. The machine was kind of like a jackhammer on my head, though. And I had a very hard time looking at the tv for the second World Cup game, though I loved listening to Julie Foudy and Ian Darke doing their commentary. Awesome! And Canada even scored on Germany which made me very happy.

This adorable dog is becoming much more liveable. With. Maybe he's just less maniacal on weekends. I don't know.

So today I started having massive escape fantasies! My usual thing, but since I'm broke and all, my new twist is to imagine putting 99% of everything into storage and running away with the dog and cat and kayak and just a few absolute necessities packed into the cordura rooftop storage thing. I know! How awesome is that? It's a great exercise for the mind. What would I take, if I could only take a few things that would fit in the car and still leave room for me and a dog and a cat?

It's an impractical fantasy because where on earth am I going? And how would I afford to exist once I got there? And how would I get all my stuff later? But it's highly engaging and helps cure that panicky feeling that I need to GET OUT OF HERE but can't possibly because how would I take my stuff?

It cures that incredibly distressing dissonance because it's an answer to that question.

I have to decide about my lease soon, see. End of July, isn't it? I think so. I do not know what I'm going to do. I really don't. This would be a great time to find a large roll of ill-gotten (and therefore fair game) hundred dollar bills on the sidewalk, though, so I could simply rent a truck and put the car on a trailer and zoom off to Oregon and rent a lovely place and afford time to find a great job. Or, you know, write awesome things and become a successful and financially self-sufficient author by authoring things. Plus of course optioning rights. I mean, yeah!

That part is impractical, but the whole storage space and roofrack part is extremely practical. I like the part where I imagine that I wrap the cello in blankets and stow it carefully inside the kayak, don't you? I know!

I can't believe I still have a headache right now. What could possibly be causing this to make it persist through powerful narcotics, eh? Well clearly it's an alien parasite infesting my brain. I expect it to burst out of my forehead any minute now, entirely unlike Athena in every possible way. In sum, ow.

Mmm, fried brains

I might have caught the thing going around at work. Or else it's a weird migraine. Probably more likely I caught the thing at work, though. Starts with the worst headache and your eyes hurt really bad. Actually I think they all had respiratory junk next, but I don't seem to have any of that, so maybe it's a migraine.

My brains are fried, I can't figure it out. Had a long nap with Mr. Puppy this afternoon, though. Actually that was sweet because he was chewing on a bone when I went to sleep and then I woke up to find him snuggling my legs on the quilt.

The fact that I went to sleep with a furry maniac loose tells you volumes right there. There's no way to puppyproof the living room. I mean, it's full of bookshelves, with books on them. At this point he can reach three shelves, the third if he stands up, which he does a lot more lately.

So anyway. He didn't eat the house. He just came and napped with me. Good boy!

Guh. Feel horrible. Wish I could sleep more but that doesn't seem to be on the cards, which also points to migrainey badness, oh well.

I thought at first I'd read too much yesterday, just a book and a half, not anything special, but I know my prescription is getting old.

What's going on in the world? I've been home for two days!

Huh. I just took the dog out three times but I hear him in the litter box. Hmmmmm. Do I want to go and look? I mean, good boy! But, huh?

I desperately need to vacuum this house. It won't actually kill me, right? Okay.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Quick, he's asleep!

Hi! I am the host to a raving maniac piranha who takes up a whole lot of time and energy! Yes! And in between I'm trying to get the house ready for my mom to visit, when it's dirtier and more chaotic than ever before, for reasons of aforementioned adorable piranha gnawing on my limbs!

Also we're having a horrible plague of mosquitoes, pretty much Biblical in proportion, so we're both all bitten up. Like this: we walk out the door and within seconds there are twenty mosquitoes on the dog's head and back and two dozen around my head and on my neck and more landing on my legs and biting me *through my leggings.* Which is ridiculous and absurd and also crazy-making. It's impossible to function outside. But we have to go out a lot. Because, puppy!

He has been bitten on his head so much that he's scratched a big welty area the size of a nickel, which makes him look like a sad, waifish, scabby stray type dog. Awwww.

He's a funny dog, getting this big muscular chest but still utterly skinny, like you can see his ribs. I feed him plenty, I swear!

Well, I put salve on his little scabby head and I'm hoping that'll keep the mosquitoes at bay. Hate! Mosquitoes! I have a bite on my right middle knuckle that's making me crazy. Argh.

Oh, the puppy's awake. But on the plus side, having to get up reminded me that there was a frozen chicken breast boiling in a pot on the stove, so it didn't boil dry and/or burn the house down, or anything. So yay!

I'm infinitely distracted these days, obviously. Little critter is into everything. Things he hasn't noticed up until now are suddenly enticing. I have to chase him everywhere all the time that he's awake. If I shut him into whatever room with me, he's still under the furniture and chewing on things you shouldn't chew on, like the walls, or electrical cords.

Anyway weekends are harder because it's chase chase chase nearly all day long.

In sum, life is pretty much impossible 24/7. But hey, at least I can't afford to go to the wedding!

Actually I'm utterly, unspeakably broke. Sigh. Woe. I know that Online JOb will come back and I won't have to register the car again for a year and blah blah blah, but you know, when you're in the middle of it and can't see a way out, then, well, you're in the middle of it and can't see a way out.

I guess it would be asking a lot to have my various ducks in a row in these circumstances, but it would be awfully helpful for getting OUT of these circumstances if my ducks weren't all running around and studying engineering and reading books under the covers with a flashlight and dropping things off high towers to see what happens when they fall.

Ducks: very very busy! Not at all in any type of row!

Tomorrow Women's World Cup starts, so hurray! There goes all my time for worrying, yay! It really does eat up a WHOLE lot of time and energy and makes me very very happy.

I've managed to sew one half of the strips for Birgit's quilt. I have high hopes for another half, possibly this evening, but since I'm either chasing puppy or reading a book while he sleeps in my lap (which is entirely endearing but rather *limiting*) I'm not so sure I'll get it done. Right now he's lying in my lap, chewing on a chew toy with his front end on my knee, awwww! He's so very good. And reeks of citronella oil and Deep Woods Off! but then we both do, not that it helps. Voracious monster mosquitoes are unfazed!

A lapful of warm, sleeping puppy is one of the nicest things in the whole world.

Have I mentioned how adorable his freckled front paws are? Freckled! And his muzzle, right around his little nose. Freckledy dog!

I just got the third book of Sarah Rees Brennan's series in the mail (yay for pre-ordering!) and so I'm rereading the first two, which of course I own, duh! The first one is amazing. I seem to remember getting bored by the second one, or not remembering what was going on even while reading it, but I'm three chapters in this time and it seems pretty good. I'm excited to read the third one, oh boy!

Baby Gawain has gotten off my lap and is now in pre-nap mode, snuggled at the end of the couch. Which means I may get some peace until I have to get up to pee or something and he wakes up and starts rampaging again. This goes on all night, too. He still has to go out three or four times a night. It won't last forever, I know! I'm enjoying the endless adorable puppydom as much as I can, while trying to survive the slightly less charming elements, heh.

I really really want to quilt. Oooh, boy. I mean I want to charge ahead on this thing and get it done! Which is not quite the same thing but related. It looks like instead of plain bargello it's going to need strips interspersed to stretch it out, so I'm planning to use this blue fabric with lighter stars in varying sizes. It'll be kind of psychedelic but that's a good thing in a baby quilt and Birgit will like it.

I used to do tons of hand quilting while reading, but you can't do that with machine quilting. It's going to be a while before there's another dvd player, alas. I did ask the family if anyone had a spare but nobody said they did. Don't you wish I had plentiful internet so I could stream video on Netflix or Hulu? I know!

Well, kitty's in his pie in the bay window, and the puppy's eyes *just* closed, so I'm all full of excitement at the possibilities, which are endless as long as I don't move much from this spot. Even sewing might roust the pup. Which is why I'm halfway through my second hat of the latter half of the week. Wool hats for the Maine homeless, yes! Why not, eh? I can think of lots of reasons to knit them, and no reasons not to, so hats it is. Hats!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sleep deprivation is bad for you and other things that go DUH

Oh hi! I got sleep last night. And today at work I mulled how to fix the issues where the dog does bad stuff and I have to holler NO and then he's upset and I'm upset and so on.

Well, the main one is: I switched to the chain leash, which he won't bite and pull on all the time like the cordura one. Problem instantly solved! Also it's much shorter, so he's right with me instead of roaming around and getting tangled and wrapping around my legs. Win!

I also put his halter on to go for walks. And gave him a smaller lunch.

In sum, I tried to arrange things so we're not in conflict over dumb stuff. Results: bliss! We had the nicest possible evening, seriously. Right now he's sleeping on my lap, but we have to go to bed very soon. I just had to wait for my pie to cool.

Because I went to wash the dishes and realized that was the last yogurt fez I was washing, oh noo! And no more fruit! So I made pumpkin pie, except using ground up walnuts for crust. BOY do I ever recommend this! They don't all stay stuck to the pan--some sort of float up through the pie proper. But guess what? It's so much better than regular pie even that way! It's like pumpkin walnut custard. SO GOOD.

And surely a glorious breakfast food!

It's lovely not to be utterly freaking exhausted. And to have the dishes done and some food cooked. We went for walks and measured the relevant pieces of the back yard for a chicken wire fence. I need about 100 yards, give or take, but I have 100 feet of flimsy plastic fencing I can probably use for the stretches along the tall grass and those weird scrawny trees. He is not going to run into the tall grass or the scrawny trees--he's afraid of the grass along the road, for goodness sake--but the one thing I know for sure about Mr. Puppy is that he's growing up fast! So I suspect that may change.

Little guy desperately needs an outside area where he can just RUN flat out. And this way I can let him out the sliding glass door by himself. If I dare, knowing there could be skunks and whatnot--though there shouldn't be, if there's a fence, right?

It's so interesting, today when I pet him, he doesn't do anything. Yesterday, he'd have bitten my arm all up. Dogs are funny mirrors. I mean, not that I bit him, but I was NOT happy with him and he knew it.

They are pestering me to RSVP for the wedding. We're supposed to tell them by the 27th, which is Monday. Hmmmmmmmm. I told my sister I couldn't go if I didn't get a new Online Job iteration to start Tuesday and she said just to tell them that. Hmmmmmmmm. I think that means, and I realize this is interpretation: nobody cares if I go or not. Well, okay!

See this? See how the puppy is curled up sleeping between my leg and the couch cushion? We did not have this yesterday or the day before. We had a ravening bitey maniac who could not sit still.

I have to put the puppy to bed and myself also.

Hey! The ospreys are nesting again! I'm so psyched! But the porcupine was not in evidence. So it goes.

On the news they said an eagle dropped a fawn on a power line and knocked out power for an area near here. So the next time someone says I'm crazy to worry about eagles and my tiny dog, think about that fawn.

Some people rescued a fawn from a fisher, too. Those things are crazy! They're ferocious all out of proportion to their size.

So that's my wildlife sighting for the day: a pair of nesting ospreys. And some deer bounding across the field. And an X-wing dragonfly, and quite a few butterflies. I see so many these days! Now that I'm, you know, out of the house.

Off to bed. But seriously, make your pumpkin pie with just plain walnuts ground up not even very fine and flattened into the bottom of the pie plate. Yummy! This is my paleo by necessity useful info for you today!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Glub blub

Just under water, on whatever scale or metaphor we're using. Definitely underneath, but coping as well as I can under the circs, which is to say: getting to the right places more or less on time, feeding and outing and cleaning up after the housepets, feeding myself after a fashion, and using bug spray. I even washed the dishes today! Rock! And made barley salad stuff. And took the no longer edible food and peelings and things to the compost. And took undecipherable pictures of the porcupine up a tree!

Actually I took a lot of very cute pictures of Gawain and Siegfried playing together but most of what you can see is that the house is a) very dirty and b) very messy. Both of which are true! Alas.

I'm cashing out my time off to be able to afford to go to the stupid wedding, even though obviously I'm conflicted about it and all that. And won't be able to eat the food and no one will care if I'm there and I don't even know if my dress fits and I'm far too tired to drive that far and so on. And even with the cash-out I won't be able to pay a couple of bills and could still get into trouble before the next paycheck, as far as food and gas. See? This is why I'm underwater emotionally. I'm trying to do too much on too little sleep, energy, emotional stores (or whatever that is that I don't have any of) and money.

Possibly I'll take the cash-out and just stay home and frelling relax and sleep. Seriously. I don't HAVE to go. I'm confused about this because I never want to go to parties--that's my default state--but for bad reasons, so I'm trying to override my standard dysfunctional reaction, except in this case it might be right. I am the worst at cutting through tangles like this! The worst! Which is not helping.

Obviously puppies are completely exhausting. Yesterday was the worst because he'd had two kinds of accidents in the bathroom when I got home, and then would not stop wrecking the house while I tried to clean it up, and then when I shut him in with me, he got into the mess and got in the way and nipped me and stuff, and then when I shut him in his crate he screamed and cried endlessly and I shouted at him and then I felt like a huge jerk. The usual stuff. Anyone who's ever even babysat knows the snowball thing that happens.

And then after it was all cleaned and even mopped, I went to empty the litter because today was trash day, even though obviously I should have done that first, and the bag tipped and spilled on the wet floor, and then when I moved the bag, there was a hole in it, and you can't wipe up litter off a wet floor, plus it was dirty litter of course, which meant the floor was no longer clean. And it got *everywhere.* It was like everything I did just made it worse. I tried to sweep it up and the broom got wet and then all the litter stuck to it and bits flung absolutely everywhere. All with the background of unendurable piercing screaming yelps, of course.

Then I gave Gawain one of those Booda bones to keep him quiet and happy so I could just exist peacefully for a little while, and he ate it up, and it gave him digestive problems and he got me up four times during the night, and then just after we came in from one this morning he had an extremely vile accident on the rug....

Anyway I'm just completely out of steam this week. People at work are commenting on it. I look like hell, apparently. Thanks, guys!

I just need puppy respite care or something, what with never getting more than two or three hours of sleep in a row at the most.

Again, anyone with a baby or whatever knows all about this AND they can't gate the baby into the bathroom and leave for half a day like I can.

So anyway I'm not really doing so good and in sum as soon as the dryer stops (don't ask) I'm going to BED.

I'm hoping things look better tomorrow, despite the days of rain we're about to have. There are good things! My beans and peas have sprouted! A whole mass of pie pumpkin seeds sprouted! Porcupine in the tree, looking down at me over its big black gorilla-like porcupine belly! Many cute dog/cat photos! Later. Am zonked beyond the dreams of zonkitude.

I'm gonna go snuggle the puppy and the kitty on the couch now. And drink more water. Yes.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Delayed what's the opposite of gratification?

Uh, my back hurts. A lot. And then I mowed the grass. And then I sat on the couch for ten minutes. And then when I tried to get up I screamed and couldn't walk. So I took one of those Vicodins and ran a hot bath and read Spindle's End in it. Lovely! What a great evening, actually. I sat on the couch lengthwise and Mr. Puppy curled up on my lap and slept there and at one point moved off to the side and the kitty curled up on my lap, and then the puppy rested his head on the kitty, and I was all teary-eyed blissed out peaceable kingdom household with dogs and cats living together, mass--well, mellowness, actually.

And so we sat that way for ages, snuggling and furry creatures and reading my book and drinking lots of water. Say what you will about narcotics, they are good at quelling the life-crushing pain.

Finally I had to get up as a consequence of all that water, so puppy and I went into the bathroom and he toddled over to his litter box and peed in it, awwww! But I was like, "Oh, puppy, we still have to go out. It's the principle of the thing!" But when we went out on the front porch, we heard a whole pack of coyotes singing over in the little valley where the power lines go, and puppy was like, MY REDNECK COUSINS ARE GONNA EAT THE PUPPY GET THE PUPPY OUT OF HERE. So we had to go back inside. And then we slept really, really well.

Except I felt horrible this morning and after feeding and outing the dog, we crawled under the quilt on the couch and slept another hour, and then I woke up with flea bites and raced to work and got there on time, but still feel like crap all day long. Also I broke the puppy gate when I was leaving, but he doesn't know that, right?

So I have to go to Walmart and get the cheap version of Frontline for the dog and the cat, a baby gate, some Epsom salts because a locust tree thorn stabbed my thumb yesterday and now it's infected, a new collar because the puppy grew out of his, and did I mention a baby gate? Yes.

I probably should have eaten dinner yesterday. But the pizza I made for lunch made me feel like I'd swallowed an entire whole shoe so I was not inclined. I'm glad I didn't given how nauseous the Vicodin makes a person.

In sum, it was nice to have my screaming back pain fixed temporarily, but it returned (much less of course) this morning and I'm walking like a zombie, all staggery, plus I have that despairing hangover feeling that nothing is going right even though actually everything is going right, apart from the flea bites and the broken baby gate. Yeah!

Going to bed early tonight. Coyotes, much as I love your singing, please take the night off. All biting insects of every kind, get the hell away from me and stay away.

Dog and cat played together gloriously yesterday. It was so awesome, I was sitting there clasping my hands together under my chin with sparkling eyes. So cute! They played hide and seek, where the cat hides and the dog actually can't find him and looks everywhere, and the cat comes back out a minute later and goes GOTCHA! There was plentiful scampering! They played chase. Puppy always does that bounce and bark thing because he wants to wrestle, but kitty's not having any of that. At first I was all, "A, stop persecuting B!" in which A and B switched all the time, but then as they kept at it and nobody was hiding or going YIPE or YOWL, I realized they were having fun and I was in heaven, heaven I say! Very cute furry heaven.

I have no idea how I hurt my back. Le sigh.

Oh! I tried to get a new doctor. The only practice accepting patients in the whole EMMC system is right near here, but guess what? It's all first year residents! Argh! But I have to go there and see how it is. Maybe they'll be very cut and dried instead of all waffly and flaky like the old doctor. Honestly, maybe a first year resident is what I need. They'll have a set list of tests to give and will just give them, instead of this blah blah blah and stupidity blah blah blah. It seems like a textbook case so maybe I need a doctor with a textbook. Hey!

Oy, going to Walmart, oof, though I suppose a narcotic hangover (or a not enough food or sleep and too much mowing hangover) is perfectly suited to the place, isn't it? Must not buy Doritos! No matter how delicious they look! Boy they sound good right now.

Tonight I'll just finish my book and then conk out, I suspect, failing to eat dinner yet again. Yaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwnnnnn!

Hope your Monday is full of adorable little furry creatures and also Doritos!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Small victories

Let's the medication into the dog and the cat, so basically the whole day is a win just from that.

They're both kind of under the weather from it. I got an old pillow, a regular bed pillow, and put a flannel pillowcase on it, and it put by the computer here, and Mr. Puppy climbed onto it and curled up and went to sleep. He doesn't feel so good. Also I love that a regular bed pillow is a dog bed for him. Though he IS much bigger than he was. Honestly!

I'm trying to do ten million things today and as usual wound up sitting here at the desk feeling queasy and unfocused. Time for a list!

To do today absolutely without question no excuses:
wash the dishes
wash the rest of the clothes/blankets
mow the grass

Things I really want to do if I can summon the oomph and find the time:
finish sewing the strips for Birgit's baby quilt
clean the bathroom
clean the kitchen
mow down/pull up the weeds in the garden
dig some more of the garden and get it planted
do more edging outside (endless job, but puppy-compatible)
file the papers that are piling up
stop being so nauseous/queasy
make goat cheese pizza (because that is what we have!)
jar up the soup that's in the pot
bake some breakfast
maybe bake some bread, I don't know
nap extravagantly
put things in attic

And the project I'm part way into but still can't figure out:
Find a way to fit that crate into the bedroom without having it exactly in the way of everything like it is now.

I'm actually not sure it's possible. Seriously. It might be a puzzle that can't be done! The chair is the sticking point, but that's where the cat sleeps, and I'm certainly not going to evict the cat for the dog crate.

It's just a really small room with a doorway, a closet, and two windows, with a queen size bed, two small dressers, a quilt rack, a small bookcase, a Poang chair from Ikea, and now a giant dog crate in it. You can't hardly move. It's not okay. Must fix!

Puzzle puzzle puzzle.

That was a verb. I'm feeling overly conscious of noun verbs lately because I said, "I crate him at night," to the vet. I crate my dog? I noun my noun.

And my mom is coming to visit and will be staying in my room, though without the dog crate, which will go with me to the living room. And we'll probably have the chair out here while she's here. But still! Tricky. I dunno.

I can think of one easy, expensive solution: get a real dresser, instead of two tiny ones, so that everything can fit in just over half the floor space.

Anyway so I'm spending a lot of time in the bedroom, shifting things around and staring at them and grumbling to myself. And apparently talking accusingly to the furniture, as the dog showed up and sat there looking apologetic. Or else he did something I haven't found out about yet. Hmmm!

Well. I'm shaky and queasy partly because I didn't eat anywhere near enough dinner last night and didn't eat breakfast today until 9:30 (up at 6, yes indeed) and also because I'm having an Episode or something, legs going numb on me from the knees down, which is a new one, then with all the shaking and stuff. Whatever, it'll pass. For all I know it'll pass by tomorrow.

For all I know all the nausea and shakes and that Thursday I spent making like Vesuvius is because the pumpkin I thawed and made soup and pumpkin bread out of had gone bad back in whenever I froze it, November or whatever. You never know! I certainly am feeling vile since about Wednesday but it would take a better detective than I to figure out why.

I generally think you can cure things with pizza, so what do I know? Mmmm, pizza. That's it, I'm making it for lunch. Yummy.

There's pretty much nothing in the house in a presently edible state. Yogurt and blueberries. Some almonds. I have to make food. Put that on the list! Make hummus, make some kind of white flour tortilla chip (pita analogue), make that purple cabbage coleslaw. Go to the dang store and buy some dang vegetables. Sheesh!


So in other words, a typical Sunday around my house. Heh. Except without the paper grading angst!

It's the most gorgeous day ever outside, just a little cool. Must mow! Have to! Imperative! Aaaaaaaah!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Hat trick

I think it's when I have the dog, cat, and laptop all within arm's reach on the couch. But you need to add tea in there, too. Fresh, hot tea. Hmm.

I got to hold the baby today. He weighs 20 lbs, man! He's a great big baby, I tell you what. And Gawain got so tired that Julia was actually able to pet him without being jumped on. Win! And I remembered to bring food for him. And everyone snuggled the puppy, and the puppy didn't chew on or jump on the baby. My goodness.

It's such a funny grouping when we're all three adults sitting on the floor with the puppy, the baby, and Julia, as well as a bunch of kid toys and dog toys, trying to keep proper access between puppy and humans and avoid the puppy chewing the kid toys and the kids playing with the puppy toys. Very very complex math going on there. Also the baby will get jealous if his parents spend too much time holding the puppy. And the puppy will go bananas if I spend too much time with either kid.

So that's tricky. Phew! Not to mention having to take Gawain out every half hour or so. Best way to housetrain a pup: take the pup out all the time so that bodily functions only occur outside. And then holler if they happen inside. Which works because here we are, housetrained within his physical limits, meaning litter box while I'm away at work for five hours (including the drive each way) so yay!

So dang tired. WELL, DUH. It's a day, after all.

I did a lot of sewing on Birgit's quilt today but there's a ton more to go. I plan to keep going until I'm comatose tonight. Also I had vague plans of making a margarita but it's cold out so maybe not. Oh, but I have to stay up for a while because the dryer stopped with the clothes still sopping while I was out. Dang it! And there's another washer full waiting to go in, which includes the sheets. Argh!

The puppy will pretty much conk out if I put him on a quilt and between me and a couch cushion. That's an excellent trait in a dog! Also peeing on demand is pretty terrific. Good boy!

Tomorrow I get to mow the grass (oof) and worm the dog and the cat (hundredtuple oooooof) which I hate even though it just means giving the dog a pill and squirting some nasty medicine into both of their mouths. Well, the cat will hate that, of course, though the vet says dogs tend to like this stuff. We'll see. Yucky, though!

And I'm under orders to set up a metal trash can with a trash bag in it to put the dog poop in, because hookworms shed eggs into the soil and can re-infect animals for ages, even after a winter, gaaaaaaaaah! Horrible! I hate hearing or thinking anything at all about anything to do with parasites. I get all icked out. Even though I know they're horribly common etc. blah blah. GROSS.

Also the whole point of living out in the country is that you don't have to pick up dog poop, man. And now I have to pick up dog poop. At least until I get him going in the woods. I mean, once he's not scared of the tall grass anymore.

Every time he balks at going into the tall grass (the path I cut in the field) I have to think, "Don't go into the tall grass!" and then I get worried about velociraptors and then I think about the turkeys and how they're like big fat stupid velociraptors who would run away if they saw us. Like the farm cow version of an aurochs.

But do you know how loud and scary it is when turkeys freak out and flap up into the trees? LOUD. And SCARY. Even from in the house it scared the daylights out of me so out in the field I'd probably scream and run away.

Anyway. Velociraptors in Maine fields! Not actually a valid concern at this time!

Today my brother and Sigrid and I all had the most terrible time calling either Ryan or Gawain by the right name. We got it wrong about 80% of the time. Ryan and Gawain are just too similar both in the sound of the name and in their small adorable cuteness, and we call them both Baby Ryan and Baby Gawain, which makes it even harder. So I did it again, just like Sigrid and Siegfried. Aaaaaargh!

I said, for example, "I took Baby Ryan to the vet on Thursday," and my brother was like, "Really? I thought he was in daycare," and I had to rewind my ears to figure out what I'd just done. But we all did it, over and over. Awesome! So funny.

Sigrid did it worst though because she tried to address Julia and said, "Ryan--Gawain--Birgit--Julia," and every time someone got the name of a cute small being wrong, we all laughed ourselves silly. I don't know why it's so hard to say the right name. Nobody is unclear about which one is the dog, honestly!

They took some excellent pictures of Julia and Gawain and of me holding Baby Ryan, but I don't have them yet. I swear Gawain has grown inches this week. He's as long as Siegfried now, but not as tall, but definitely catching up fast. I certainly can't pick him up in one hand anymore, far from it. And he looks so very Lab-like, especially when he's sleeping. My brother confirmed he looks like a cross between my old dog Elsa and my sister's old dog Bruni. Good combo!

Back to sewing that quilt and watching the terrible, terrible Star Wars Clone Wars movie on the DVR. Oh my goodness so terrible. All these wide polished floors and big fancy gowns. All these incredibly simplistic characters moved around like chess pieces in fancy set dressing. I really need to get a DVD player. I looked in Walmart but the cheapest one was forty dollars! How can that be? They didn't cost much more ten years ago, did they? That price should have gone down. I emailed the family to see if anyone has an extra one stuck in the basement anywhere. I mean, honestly.

Obviously in a month or so I'll just go buy one but that is not happening right now. I'm still not sure I can get myself to this wedding, never mind properly dressed and shod. Odds are slim, unless that never worn little blue dress in a fez in the attic turns out to fit and I somehow have proper shoes for it somewhere. I used to--do I still have those navy blue fancy flats somewhere? You know, I might. And what sort of jacket thing does a person wear with that? I have, like, cardigans.

I really don't want to decide this based on sartorial failure to cope, or financial reasons, for that matter. I want to decide yes or no based on whether I want to go. My brother thinks I shouldn't, since I half don't want to and all can't afford it, but I dunno. I kind of feel like it's the social event of the season (what with how it's the only social event of the year) and for that reason, I want to go.

Heck, I wore that flowery pale yellow linen dress to the last wedding I went to, in 2001. I could wear that again. I mean, I really could. If it fits. At least I'd be incredibly comfortable and it would be appropriate, if insufficiently dressy for what my sister has in mind, about which I don't care enough to make the slightest expenditure, as you can tell.

Will try that on and see how it goes. Will find little blue dress and see how that goes. Will decide whether to go based on whether I want to go. Okay!

I read the most glorious book, Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley. I want to write like her! Oh so fabulous. Except for this bizarre boring storytelling part near the end, where several people drone on and on about pointless things in sequence for pages and pages. Chop chop! But otherwise, utterly ace. She makes me want to write and write and write.

And I watched a peculiar movie this morning when I was too zombied out to do much else, Princess Diaries II. It was bizarre because it was written by Shonda Rhimes so the dialogue sparkled, and the cast is amazing, obviously Anne Hathaway and Hector Elizando and Julie Andrews and John Rhys-Davies and little baby Chris Pine (who is Kirk in Star Trek now) and Callum Blue, who it took me ages to recognize as a tweedy duke because he's always cast as a scrawny charming heroin addict kind of guy, and all this amazingness together with just appalling direction and the worst lighting I've seen in anything not student-made since films from the 70s. They must have had some ancient old school lighting person or something.

So I kept watching even though it wasn't promising and ended up really enjoying it far more than I ever expected. Well, also it bears no resemblance at all to the Princess Diaries books, which Meg Cabot fully acknowledges. And as a sequel, it pretty much killed the chance of any further sequels, which is a weird thing to do. AND it jumped ahead ages and ages in the story, skipping, well, everything.

What a bunch of weird choices to make. What's going on there?

The whole time I kept thinking a) if aliens arrive, send Julie Andrews and John Rhys-Davies and Anne Hathaway to them as a greeting party, and b) how come Chris Pine is so appealing when he has that strangely off-putting collection of features? Because he really is an odd-looking man, but he really is amazingly appealing. I find that fascinating. See previous similar musings on Tim Robbins. Obviously with real life people that's not even a question, I find pretty much everyone appealing unless they're awful people, but with movie and tv people who are playing characters, it seems pretty rare to find that combination.

I'm not explaining that clearly at all, am I?

Right, back to glowering one-note Hayden Christiansen and costumier clothes horse one-note Natalie Portman and the improbable mullet of lovely but one-note Ewan McGregor. Goodness, these movies are just unrelentingly bad. By one-note obviously I mean the characters they're given to play, because at least the latter two (I've never seen HC in anything else) are amazing actors. Which somehow makes it even worse to see them playing these ridiculously badly written characters. Woe!

Nice clothes, though. And it was fun to see Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru (or whatever) when they were just kids. And the underground house, which I love. Isn't that cool? Not at all Woman in the Dunes.

Friday, June 17, 2011

What, tired again?

I know! Repetitive! Uninteresting! But true. I'm stupidly tired again and just about out of energy already, just as my usual working time arrives. Gah! Must find a solution to this, seriously. I even drank (bad) coffee in the afternoon today and it did not help.

Puppy is not sleeping. Okay, he was asleep in his favorite spot, between me and the cushion, but then I had to visit the facilities and that woke him, and he's all wide awake now, which means near-constant interaction and taking puppies out and redirecting destructive chewing toward dog toys. In other words, impossible to do any writing. Even this is seriously hard.

Now he's foraging for fallen popcorn bits, which happen to be right near the laptop cord on the floor. Perilous! He's *learning* that cords are NO but these things take time and reinforcement. And oh yeah, the battery died on my laptop, so if he pulls that cord out ONE MORE TIME I'm going to lose my freaking marbles. It's just the right height somehow (even though I have tried every different arrangement) to get caught as he dashes around.

And did I mention I can't run it on battery anymore? Since this week. Busted!

I think Gawain might be part pit bull, or possibly Corgi. Goodness, he's getting stocky and strong across the chest and shoulders. But he's clearly all sorts of things, isn't he? There's no way to know. A fun party game! What mix is the dog? I see Lab most often but then, I would, wouldn't I? Also Labs get those broad chests so it could be that.

Oh, yesterday--I got some kind of vile stomach flu/food poisoning thing and stayed home from work so I could suffer its revolting effects in peace. I was up half the night with it. And spent all morning sleeping on the couch with Mr. Puppy snuggled up between me and the couch back. That is SO NICE! Warm snuggly wriggly little critter lying on his back with his paws in the air, sleeping or gnawing his chew toy intermittently. He's so happy! He's a happy guy. I approve his penchant for leaning against me very much.

Birgit had her baby today! I thought they were going to induce, but apparently it was C-section because the baby's head was stuck up under her ribcage. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaack! Horror! Eeeeeeeeeeeek! I don't know how people do that when so very many things could go wrong. I mean, obviously. My hat is off to you, is all I'm saying. Off with her hat!

I got the quilt pinned completely while reading the second half of Rose Daughter (awesome book) and while the puppy was sleeping. Gosh!

He really is wonderful, though. I like how "puppy" is shorthand for everything most glorious. I was trying to express to D. how a cat is the embodiment of depression but a puppy is the embodiment of positivity or something. I'm not quite sure what a puppy is the embodiment of. Hope? Distraction? ADD? What was I saying? No, don't chew that! Heh.

He has the hiccups. Hee. Cute!

It's so funny when we're outside at night and we hear a big CRACK of some animal stepping on a branch or something, and Gawain goes Yikes! and dashes for the front door, but I'm all, "Yikes! Wait. It's a deer or something. Pee first! I'll protect you!" and then he gets behind me and peeks around my legs, then relaxes and pees on the grass, finally convinced a monster isn't going to leap out and eat him.

Don't tell him but it's perfectly likely it IS a monster that would leap out and eat him, but probably it wouldn't with me there or near the house or in the light. I mean unless it's a mountain lion. Nothing else would. But even in the daytime I watch the sky uneasily when eagles are around. I want to dress him in camo, man! Eagles could so easily carry off a dog this small.

Actually he's so much larger than before, I'm astounded. I wish I had marked his height in pencil on the door frame or something. I'll just have to take pictures with the stuffed yellow lab puppy for comparison. Or with Mr. Kitty, who is my hero for his patience and tolerance. Good boy, Mr. Kitty!

The puppy is gated into the bathroom most of the day and crated at night, so Mr. Kitty has almost the whole day free to roam, and he and I get lots of snuggle time after crate hours, and even before, to be honest. I make sure of it. And right now, for instance, the gate is up on the living room doorway so that Gawain can't chase him around the house. Gates make good roommates, or something. I brush the kitty a lot and snuggle him a lot. And he appreciates the chicken very much.

This is lame but I'm pretty much done in already. Yesterday really wiped me out. I've been drinking a ton of water (a whole Carafe Serge!) to try to recover, eating yogurt and all. Er, and a big bowl of popcorn tonight, which surely was a terrible mistake but OH SO GOOD.

I'm confused about whether I have to use my time off for a sick day. I had two sick days before and didn't need to use any. But I've had to use it for those half days. So what's the deal, you use it for vacation but not being sick? I'm going to need to cash it out to make it to this wedding and pay my bills, so I'd rather not use any if I don't have to.

Look! Really old pictures from ages ago when he was so very tiny! Last week! Before his ears really flopped over yet!

Puppy just wriggled closer to me, put his muzzle on my leg, and went to sleep. Awwwwwwwwwww. I should put him into his crate and go to sleep myself. I'm zonked.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Later than that

If I could arrange to get sleepy say an hour after the puppy finally falls asleep, that would be good. Or maybe it's just that a sleeping puppy cuddled up against me is insanely tiredness causing? Perhaps!

It stopped pouring all the time! Yay! Then it got nice and warm. Yay! Then eighteen bazillion mosquitoes were born and wanted to bite me. Booooooo! I poured Jungle Juice bug repellant on my hat, not thinking that of course it's thin nylon, so it mostly landed in my hair, which means I need a shower before bed. Or not, I guess. I just hope it doesn't bleach out my hair in a weird squiggle pattern.

Or maybe I hope it does. Hmmm!

It didn't keep the bugs off, anyway. Then I thought back to how old that bottle of Jungle Juice is. I bought it in Seattle at REI when I was there in, ooh, when was that? The year of the big San Francisco earthquake, because I'd just left the Bay Area and gone to Washington State right before it. 1989. Okay, I might need to get a new bottle of Jungle Juice. It might have lost a little potency in the last 22 years. Heh.

I'm in dehydrated-all-day-drink-a-Carafe-Serge-of-water-in-one-hour-while-writing mode, as usual this time of day. I have to quit drinking that cup of coffee in the morning. I started again when Gawain the Puppy arrived and haven't quit yet. It's so counterproductive! Bad coffee! Bad! Also it's bad coffee, coincidentally.

I impressed my friend D. the vet very much today when I whistled for Gawain while we were on the phone (D. and I were on the phone--you knew that) and he came galloping to me. He's very advanced! (An Antonia at Whoopee joke.) But apparently Border Collies are scary smart. I think Gawain is a little alarming in how much he understands already, when he's just a toddler, honestly.

I should get him to do my Online Job later. On the internet, no one knows you're a dog, right?

For example, he's probably smart enough not to pour 22 year old bug spray on his head.

I have these excellent and detailed plans. Want to hear? Of course you do!

Leave work at noon. Pick up prescriptions. Get the car registered. Get the car inspected. Go home and walk the dog. Take the dog to his vet appointment. Go home and collapse in sticker shock from spending all that money. Ack!

I have no idea how much the vet will cost but I suspect it will be TOO MUCH. It's amazing how poor I am with no Online Job. And they just suddenly started taking $120 off my paycheck to cover medical and dental insurance and this fancy pre-tax medical expenses card thing. You get whatever amount you want deducted from your check pre-tax and it goes into a Visa card that you can use to pay for, uh, medical expenses, like co-pays and prescriptions and such. Cool, eh? Except it won't be on the card in time for tomorrow's prescriptions, alas. Next month, though.

Sleeping dog just rolled onto his back, with all his little paws in the air! Awwwwwww!

D. was very excited about Mr. Puppy as you would expect from a vet. She also understands the totally devastating effect of depression plus anxiety plus major job stress plus sudden financial stress on top of already existing social isolation and scary unresolved medical issues. Well, when you put it that way, I don't know how I'm doing it at all! Oh plus the food pressure thing. Jeez!

But I think puppy stress will level out and then begin to pay back as he gets old enough to take his human for walks and such.

I also really hope and somewhat believe that Online Job will turn into a major source of income once certain things happen. And then, she said dreamily, I can use that big reliable income and virtually located job to move somewhere else! And have lots of fun! Hurray!

The peas are sprouting, oh boy! I'm excited about the garden. I really am. It's mostly peas and beans, but you know, yum!

I got called out for saying "squash" in a Michigan/mid-western accent today. Squahsh. They say squawsh here. Someone actually didn't understand what I said yesterday, did I tell you that? Crazy! This from a people who say the word "barge" baaaahge. No, see that third letter there? The R? Say it. Say it! SAY THE R! Baaaaahge indeed.

Upside-down sleeping puppy is ADORABLE. And snuggly. And oh those great big paws!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Point eight? Ish?

Passive aggressive people are passive aggressive!
I don't know, it's just more stupidity. YAWN.

Funny things: guess who's afraid of rain? My puppy! He hates to go out in the rain and then hides under my rain shadow like I'm his umbrella. Awww! It does make him surprisingly efficient in the Business Trip activities area, however, once I drag him outside. I mean, I literally have to carry him outside and put him in the grass or he won't go out there. He goes all passive resistance dog.

I am writing my book. I reread it and rewrote some parts and figured out what has ground me to a halt right exactly where I am. Now I have to fix that and get back on the road. These grinding to a halt parts! If I had a writing wish, it would be to diagnose them quicker and not let them stop me. For one thing, the answer is ALWAYS to keep going and fix it later.

Puppy Gawain won't go to sleep. I'm typing this with him tucked under my right arm, chewing on his rope toy. He's a very very very good boy, so smart and obedient and eager to please! I just love the puppy.

Words he knows already, though obedience is not exactly 100%: sit, come (this is about 100% actually), no, treat, out, kisses (I get many licks now that biting is forbidden), kitty, bed, chicken (he goes to the fridge), dinner, ball. Call me crazy but that is wicked smart for a four month old puppy I've had for a week and a half.

Also he is just the cuddliest, loveyest, nicest pup. Rambunctious and go go go and exhausting, and the thing about refusing to go out in the rain is not going to stand, obviously--can you see me picking up a 45 lb. yellow lab mix and carrying him down the front steps?--but perfectly awesome otherwise. And growing like a fiend.

Actually, I told him, "I want you to grow!" so probably he's just being obedient there, too. Well, clearly. What a good boy. Now go to sleep so I can write.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Everything moves so fast in puppy land! Yesterday he starting biting me, such that today I was in despair. My dog bites! He will bite Julia and Ryan! He will bite me and the cat!

Today through a combination of the Monks of New Skete and CHICKEN and the word NO and a jar of puppy food (he disdains biscuits and dog treats, but will do anything for puppy chow) I've trained him not to bite. At all. Hurray!

Oh and when he jumped up and nipped me on the neck I flung him off such that he went YIPE and ran and hid under the couch, and then I felt really really bad because I just reacted, didn't think. But apparently that was the dominance key right there. Though I really think enforcing the whole "I am the one with the chicken" thing helped a lot too.

Another key element: a ball! These are the wiffle ping pong balls the kitty loves. Gawain is definitely part retriever, y'all! He proved it! He will chase that ball all day long. He is now fixated on the ball.

Instead of playing for an hour and napping for an hour, Gawain ran around like a nut from five o'clock until eight o'clock. We went out half a dozen times, planted the morning glories (he helped way too much), cooked chicken, cleaned the spots on the rug where a series of unfortunate events occurred (PEE), and even snuggled with the kitty, though that ended with someone sniffing someone else too closely and someone palming someone else's whole head with their big furry paw, claws included. Someone small said YIPE.

Everyone is boss of baby Gawain. He is quite clear that the cat is boss of him. I don't know what went on today while I was out, but there are some claw scabs on his little head. Awwww! Poor puppy! But the cat actually is the boss of him and will enforce that.

Now he's sleeping next to me on the couch, thank goodness.

Boy, the gnawing on my hands was just not cool. I'd try to pet him and he'd nibble and bite and chew. He didn't seem to get it when I'd say no, which was very distressing to me. He's a dominant kind of guy, little Gawain, so it's hard for him to accept that he's the bottom of the pecking order, but oh well. So it is.

Oh! And I figured out how to overcome the devouring mosquitoes. I sprayed my sun hat (the khaki one my dad gave me) and my Thrace camo jacket with bug spray, and I put them on every single time I go out. I also put on my rubber boots to walk baby Gawain, instead of those silly slip-on sneaker clog things. What on earth are they called? Those, anyway. Because today I had about seventeen bites on my feet and ankles and I am just DONE getting bug et. DONE, I tell you.
I look pretty absurd, I thought, but then the landlord drove by and didn't even see me, which just proves that camo works, hey!

We were looking at pictures of Gawain from a week ago compared with this weekend, and it's amazing how much bigger he is. His chest has really filled out and his front legs and front paws are obviously much bigger and more robust. And today his ears are flopping over even more! I am so hopeful that he'll be a floppy eared dog, and Lab-like in many respects. It's funny how his front half is growing more than his hindquarters. He sort of has Lab shoulders and paws but the rest is still catching up.

Well, I still have hopes of writing tonight. My plan is to go check on the dog beds in the dryer (a series of unfortunate events....) and then turn them on for another cycle because I suspect they won't be dry. I'll get to spend that cycle writing. Yay!

If only I could get the puppy to stay sleeping while I went and did that, but that is awfully unlikely. He's being a super good boy, though. See, the temptation is to stay here and write while he's asleep, but then the beds won't be dry and we'll be awake another hour and I don't think either of us can handle that. AM TIRED. Due to the unfortunate events happening at around 4:20 in the morning, see. Blech. Which is why the chicken. It's supposed to help with those sorts of issues. I hope it does.

Happy Tuesday, internet! May nobody chomp you with their tiny little needle-sharp teeth!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Happy day!

Whole happy weekend, actually. Tiny dog is asleep in his orange bed next to my foot. The squash is baking in the oven and the rice is in the washing machine. No, I mean the rice cooker. Sorry, I was feeling a little OBVIOUS.

Like when people say, "He had a big smile on his face." No, really, not on his face, for real? On his FACE?


I did manage to sprain my thumb turning over the garden, but it was the giant rock's fault. One of many rocks the size of my HEAD that I dug out of the garden today. Man oh man.

Puppy Gawain had so much fun in the garden, I nearly perished from the utter cuteness of it all. For one thing, it's fenced, so he isn't stuck on a leash like all the rest of the time, so he was able to dash around like a maniac to his little heart's content. And he loves digging in dirt, so I dug him a starter hole and he just dug and dug and dug. He chased bugs and grubs and helped me pull out weeds and grass and chewed on my trowel's thong and even fertilized one corner of the garden. Good boy!

Goodness, he's such good, cheerful company. Anything that would have been a hard slog or a dreary muddle was instead a PUPPY WONDERLAND. The only tricky part was actually planting seeds, most of which were beans or peas. He was like, "Oh boy, a game! You bury them, and I dig them up! Yay!" And had to be restrained (distracted) from digging up all my peas and beans.

I also planted a mountain of pie pumpkin seeds from my pie pumpkins last fall, so I really hope I get a whole mountain of those. I can eat all the pie pumpkins you can produce, garden! And melons and summer squash. I haven't gone to get a tomato plant or two yet. And I didn't plant the scallions because I just ran out of energy. Gone! Poof! And the puppy was tired and cold and hungry and wanted to go in. He was sitting at the gate, facing the house, looking hopeful. He's a communicator, that guy.

I'm about to bake some pumpkin bread, or possibly banana bread, neither of which will have eggs because I'm out. But I have that egg powder, except it's only whites. Hmm. I defrosted two frozen bananas even though I fully intended to make pumpkin bread. Except I defrosted a bag of pumpkin, too. I am unclear on my own intentions! But apparently they involve lots of delicious quick breads. Yummy!

Which reminds me, my mom is apparently coming to stay with me after the wedding. I heard that from my brother yesterday, while he was holding Julia, Sigrid was holding great big baby Ryan (who looks like a sumo wrestler), and I was holding baby Gawain.

Actually that was an excellent sibling interaction.

Me to baby Ryan: "You look like a sumo wrestler in that diaper."
Brother to baby Gawain: "Say, 'Yo quiero Taco Bell.'"

He is well over TWICE the size of a chihuahua, people! And a baby! Sheesh. Though I guess I can see the ear thing.

I told baby Ryan the story of the day he was born, which he found completely freaking hilarious, since every time I paused, he burst out laughing his diapered bum off, which made me and my brother laugh ourselves silly also. It was just about the funniest thing since Julia sat on Laughing Santa and stared deadpan at me as I nearly wet myself laughing at that whole thing.

Me: "And then we made mashed potatoes!"
Baby Ryan: "Ahahahahahahahahahaha!"
Me: "And then Julia ran up the stairs! And I went up and brought her back down the stairs!"
Baby Ryan: "Ahahahahahahahahahhaha!"

What an audience, man!

I fed Gawain part of my turkey burger since I'd neglected to bring his dinner (shame, shame) but then we weren't up in the middle of the night with dramatic digestive events for once, so maybe he's getting some chicken tonight.

Note to self: cook some chicken for the dog.

Julia was fascinated by Gawain even though she's around dogs every day at day care. She was a little scared of him though because he jumped up and scratched her legs. He does have sharpish claws despite my trimming. Needs to go walking on pavement and wear them down.

I'm just exceedingly impressed that we managed to do all those things. Laundry, cooking, mowed the grass, put in the garden, changed sheets, washed all the quilts and dog blankets, went to my brother's house and hung out, got tons of sleep, washed the dishes, made pancakes this morning, now making more food, and even sat and read my book while drinking a cup of tea. I mean! This is awesome.

Tiring out the dog seems to be key. I might take him to the Market de los Farmers up at the University next Saturday and score some produce, which should also (I hope) tire him out enough so I can mow without the yowling and agony. We'll see!

Ooh, also I have a PLAN for fencing the back yard so he can run loose--with me there, of course. It would involve a bunch of chicken wire and some stakes, that's all. And since it uses the house and the garden fence for most of two sides, I'd only need three swing sections I could move for mowing. Having him loose in the garden was terrific, but once there are things growing, that's not going to fly.

Time to bake things. I was promised rain today, so I didn't water the seeds, but where is my rain? Where? Rain already! The nice cool weather was wonderful, though.

I haven't figured out a solution to the car thing yet, except driving *very* carefully and legally between now and Thursday. Which I do anyway. The town clerk person was very funny on the subject. She said I wouldn't get a huge fine or anything if I got pulled over, depending on how much of a big jerk the cop was. Okay! That clears that up.

Resolved: not to frak things up like this anymore. Done!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Getting there, woo!

I mowed the grass, though crating Mr. Puppy and then not driving away caused a lot of high, piercing yelps and then long, low howls. Oh my goodness. Heartbreaking! Though for all I know he does this every day when I leave. How would I know?

I didn't mow the path or the far section beyond the giant locust trees. How come my life sometimes sounds like a Neil Gaiman fairy tale? And is that a good thing or a bad thing? Well, it's the thing I have, so it's MY thing. Anyway it'll be fine left another week. I knew I didn't have enough gas for the whole lawn and had to make CHOICES.

The snakeskin is mostly gone today. Something ate it up! The snake? I have no idea.

I think there's too much snake imagery in my life. And by snake imagery I mean snakes. Remember it started with the baby garter snake in my basement who had slithered up and wrapped himself around the water pipe? I had to get the landlord to put it outside. And then the eagle flying over with a snake dangling from its talons. And the one all mangled up that then vanished. The baby one in the field yesterday. The big garter snake who lives in the rock wall in front of the house, whose skin that presumably was.

That's a lot of snakes.

Mr. Puppy is sleeping next to me on the couch. I was just going to drink my tea post-mowing then shower then we're heading to my brother's to let his maniac (Julia) play with my maniac (Gawain) but I have issues waking a sleeping dog. Let sleeping dogs lie!

I'm full of dog aphorisms lately, especially the one about how if you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas. Not that I've seen any, and I've certainly seen mosquitoes biting me, and I've seen black flies, and okay I haven't seen no-see-ums but then again you wouldn't, would you? I've seen exactly ONE flea on him and I killed it, but where there's one, etc.

Is there an aphorism for that? Tip of the iceberg, or something? I'm sure there's one somewhere.

Here, I'm all proud and accomplished so bear witness:

--I've managed to read 41 pages of The Art of Raising A Puppy! Go, me!
--I mowed the grass
--the puppy is litter box trained, which is way better than peeing on the rug, yay!
--I cleaned up the cat barf before the puppy ate it (oh Lords of Kobol, gag me)
--I took the compost out
--I cleaned up all the puppy poo from the lawn before mowing, except for one I missed
--I did most of the laundry, including the quilts
--I sewed those three things that needed ten seconds of sewing each, though one took twenty, whoa
--I got *most* of one half of Birgit's quilt pinned. She's due any day now! It's a boy, apparently!

There's still no food but watermelon and rhubarb and lemons, plus I think some carrots and rice cakes, but there are jars and fezzes of various types of grain. I'm hoping to cook actual food later today. Like, soup and whatnot. Soup and some more quick bread. Possibly pumpkin since I have a freezer full of pumpkin still.

Mmmm, pumpkin bread. Mmmmmm.

It's going to be cold and rainy for a couple of days, yucky. So hup hup with the cooking and stuff.

Mild panic attack upon discovering that Online Job has approved me for a bunch of things I've never done before.

The classic recurring nightmare professors have is being up in front of a class trying to teach a subject you know nothing about. Everyone has this dream! Aaaaagh!

Still have to get a bucket of strong soap and borax and scrub that area of the rug where Gawain, er, went. I mean I cleaned it as well as I could with paper towels and Greenworks spray cleaner but I'm feeling a powerful urge to clean it really really really well and then put my weights under it to let it dry. Know what I mean?

Oh that puppy! He's lying on his side, sleeping away, with his great big paws all stuck out. That's a sign of relaxation and trust. He's showing lots of signs of settling in like that. For 15 weeks old (nearly 16) and all of the ridiculous stresses he's been through, he's in amazing shape emotionally. He complains hugely about being separated from me, but that's a good sign. That's bonding! I miss him so much when I'm at work, too, jeez--I keep wishing I could hold him, all squiggling and licking and jabbing me with his elbows. He's very jealous of the laptop and Siegfried when either of them is on my lap. And he's way too interested in the process of pinning quilt strips. Eek!

Also I get to say things like, "I love your puppy lips," and "Please don't bite my face."

So many butterflies this year! Those great big yellow ones that look like Monarchs. Are they Monarchs if they're yellow? Did I tell you that one day this week I was sitting on the grass, snuggling my puppy, and a little orange butterfly flew over and landed on my hand? And after I'd admired it for a while, I tried to get it to fly out of puppy range, but then it flew back and landed on my other hand! So pretty! Puppies and butterflies! More of those, less of the snakes and biting insects, please!

I had to let Gawain's size extra-small collar out to the last hole. He might have to graduate to a size small!  He can't walk under my bed without bending his knees anymore, either. He has to limbo a little. So ridiculously cute!

I need more tea, stat. But isn't all that progress good news?

Friday, June 10, 2011


I think--I'm hoping--that my current bout of Failure To Cope is running out. Yes please!

Failure To Cope manifests in the following ways:

--not cooking or providing yourself with proper healthy food
--not paying bills on time (or at all)
--not managing basic life maintenance like registering the car
--not keeping up with laundry, clothes purchasing, etc. such that you have appropriate clothes
--not replying to email in a timely fashion
--not returning library books on time or watching your dang Netflix dvds
--not watering the plants on schedule or planting the garden two weeks ago (ahem)
--not taking the compost out in a timely manner, or keeping up with the litter box, or cleaning, and so on
--not doing the things you absolutely love, which is bananacakes, right?

I think FTC is actually just code for depression and anxiety, but Failure To Cope is how it manifests, so that's what I call it. I know, I'm one of those people who doesn't believe in wind unless the trees are moving.

It tends to show up in OBSTACLES. Everything looks like giant impossible obstacles all the time. There's no possible way to overcome them. It's hopeless! It can't be done!

Well I could chronicle all of the manifold expressions of FTC in my life lately but eh, can't be bothered--hee. No, really. It's true and it's absurdly funny at the same time because it wasn't intentional.


Anyway I'm hoping it is on the upswing. Right?

It looks like this:

Friday night is supposed to be popcorn night, man! I wonder if I can eat popcorn with this maniac puppy trying to crawl into the bowl the whole time? It might be a giant pain. Is it even worth it? Ah, forget it.

And then I don't eat dinner at all.

Actually reports of the upswing might be premature, but I *did* just request another forbearance on my student loans (which I have never been able to pay--and yes, this is a huge ongoing source of anxiety for me because THEY KEEP GROWING) which I think shows tremendous coping. I tried to do it before but the website was down. I mean, I tried once. And the site was down. So I was all, WOE. Can't be done! I give up!

It's really irritating, and I'm the one doing it, so I can only imagine how irritating it is from the outside.

Things I have been failing to accomplish for ages now:

--mailing some loot to Jen for her birthday LAST YEAR
--finishing this last Jayne hat that I started in DECEMBER (just needs a pompom--I'm not kidding)
--writing thank you notes to anyone for anything
--knitting for Afghans for Afghans and the Maine hat people
--various quilts
--mending three garments that literally each need about ten seconds of stitching to be wearable

Hmm, that feeling of suckage washing over me is familiar.

I DID finally get through most of my backlogged inbox. So yay for moderate functionality.

The biggest lamest thing was that I didn't get my car registered before the deadline at the end of May, even though hello, I've known when it needed to be done for a year. And then I went today and couldn't afford it. If I'd realized how much it was (about $300) I'd have put off a bill or two and been able to pay it. So I also couldn't get the car inspected. And I couldn't get a dog license because he needs rabies certification first. But it turns out you get six months to get a license. Then I realized I won't be able to afford the vet bill Tuesday either, so I should reschedule that.

And then I just gave up and had a nap on the couch.

I am chronicling the utterly pathetic Failure To Cope partly for my own lack of memory, and partly because I hope it'll help fix it. Looking things in the face helps, truly.

So anyway my stress levels might be related to this. I mean, it's legitimate stress. Jeepers.

All this is why I haven't replaced the broken dvd player or bought a phone from this century or replaced the sewing machine, and it's why I put off ridiculous things like registering the car. The insurance is paid up, don't worry! I'm anxious, not crazy. Well, not that crazy.

All these seriously interrupted nights when I'm up taking the puppy out five times in a swarm of mosquitoes and/or a raging downpour aren't really helping that much, ha ha.

I'm considering (given a sufficient ability to cope) really fixing up the garage so he can be in there all day in comfort and not in a cage with a litter box. Probably not this weekend but maybe in one or two. It'll be a lot of work, to set it up so he won't chew the wires off the lawn mower or eat the cross-country skis or whatever. I worry about him being shut in that cage all day long and all night too, though, only out in the evenings and for a while in the morning. That's just not right. I know plenty of people crate train, but jeez!

Okay, Birgit's quilt. I am not kidding. Must get this quilt made! Surely my exciting new surge in ability to cope will cover this? Yes? Even if it doesn't cover dinner. Beh, who needs dinner? I ate six or eight cherries of dubious quality! I had a whole fez of quinoa salad at lunch, come on! And carrots and celery yesterday! I'll have watermelon later. Mmmmm, watermelon. Ooh, plus I'm going to make strawberry rhubarb ice cream. Doesn't that sound good? I already cooked the rhubarb. Mmmmm.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Things the puppy likes:

Being held, chewing on toys, wrestling the stuffed animals, sitting on my lap, lying on me, being carried, getting snuggled, cuddling on a quilt, raking his paws through my hair while I'm sitting on the floor and he's lying on the couch, nibbling me, licking my nose, walking along the road, scampering, hiding behind me when there are scary noises, sniffing me vigorously, and standing underneath my dress when we're outside in the rain, umbrella-wise.

Things the puppy does not like:

Rain, tall grass, walking in the path in the field, wet grass, cars driving past, slugs, not being allowed to chew on things, steps (because they are too high), getting his nails clipped, fleas, mosquitoes, no-see-ums, black flies, thunder, planes, sirens on tv, using the litter box in his cage (but he will when necessary), when I go back to work after coming home to take him out at lunch, and (I predict) the lawn mower.

Baby Gawain! He's awesome.

I've pinned I think six quilt strips for Birgit's quilt. Hee. Progress! And I'm watching my *second* Bones episode in a highly distracted way. Also I updated my bank stuff, so I can go get the car inspected and registered. I'm into my month of grace period and have a whole plan for taking it to that one weird place and walking the puppy in town while it's getting done.

Actually I should stop in the town tomorrow (am I taking a half day? I do not know!) but I think you have to have the inspection done first. Or do you? I'll call them.

They don't renew it and send you a bill like in certain civilized states. You have to remember! Crazy! Also it's town-o-centric instead of through the state DMV thing. Isn't it decentralized and states'-rights-ish?

Hey, guess what? When you're all bitten up by mosquitoes and black flies and no-see-ums (and possibly fleas?) and going crazy from itchiness, you can take a loratadine and a ranitidine (like you're supposed to do every day, ahem) and the bug bites stop itching practically at all. Antihistamines are antihistamines! I know! Pretty cool, huh?

I think I do have to work tomorrow, with the coming home at lunch and snoogling the baby dog a whole lot like today. Because I have SO MUCH WORK to do. I cannot neglect the work. Nooooo.

It's just entirely fascinating to me that I have almost no interest in food anymore. Dog yes, food no.

I'm gonna finish pinning this half of the quilt, man. I am. And then time for some benadryl. Itchy and scratchy.

By the way my book is coming along great, even though as I'm re-reading it I discovered that I kind of left out the THING that the heroine is trying to DO which is like the STORY that isn't just what happens to her, know what I mean? People are about what they do and how they do it, not just what they experience. That's the thing, right there. So I have to write that in, har har. The doing stuff part of the book. Ha!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Hee, I think it's funny to have to come to terms with things like, oh, I don't do well with emotional abuse. Ha! I mean, DUH. Who does? Nobody.

My problem with it seems to be that it takes me forever to identify it, say that it's not okay, and do something about it. Which I guess is classic in someone who's been abused a particular way. You have specific blind spots for that pattern. I know I tend to freeze up and stop thinking and completely fail to cope. Oh and cry a lot.

Guess what, I just made awesome banana bread and now I'm eating some with butter on it. Which is both a) cooking food and b) eating food. It's been grain salad and fruit and yogurt for days now. I just made more grain salad, too, actually. And took the old, gross food out of the fridge and threw it on the compost pile. And washed the dishes. Yay!

Rah rah, basic functionality!

I wonder what tomorrow will bring? I hope I can do what needs to be done.'1

More puppy chin typing. Cute! How come in the kitchen he'll just lie on the rug for ages looking like a china doorstop but in the living room it's all playtime all the time? PARK. Your. DOG. (Please.)

Oh, the whatsit!

Oh! Puppy typed his first word! Awwwww!

YAWN. Tired. All sorts of heinous crap deleted here!

Gawain the puppy! He's delightful. He is nonstop fun times! Actually the first day or two he napped a lot, but now although he gets completely exhausted, he wakes up after not too long (not long enough!) all raring to go again. He plays and plays and plays, wrestles the stuffed golden dog and the big black bear, chews on his toys, follows the cat around, investigates, brings me dust bunnies from under the furniture, gnaws on my fingers, and gets into everything. Following him around is a full time job.

He's not overeating like at first, so his tummy has settled down. And he's more secure. He'll go into the kitchen to eat while I'm in the living room. He doesn't have a whole lot of strength or endurance, so a walk around the field wears him out (poor little guy!) but I swear he's growing and getting stronger already. He can get up the steps now, which is amazing for someone who can walk under my bed without bending his little knees.

I'm completely exhausted to the point of wrung out. Though I got six uninterrupted hours of sleep last night, until the kitty woke me up, and Gawain didn't even use his little litter box then or today while I was out from 7:30 to 1:00. I think that's amazing. He has a litter box in his crate but has only used it once, good boy! It's for emergencies, of course.

You know what's funny? People at work are outraged by the litter box. They say, without exception, "Why don't you just use those pee pads?" But why? Why spend money on something disposable (and gross) when I have something that works great? There's no reason why cats should use litter and dogs shouldn't.

Hee, someone said that since Gawain has his own bed and litter box in the crate, it's like he has his own apartment. Yay! That's so funny! That's what my L.A. apartment was like: a crate for humans.

I got the garage mostly whacked into shape today. I'm hoping that soonish Gawain can run loose in there during the day and not be crated. And we did a ton of yard work today, edging and stuff like that. (And poo patrol. Must teach him to poop in the bushes or undergrowth or tall grass SOON.) I have all these ambitions to work in the garden but I'm so dragged down and made miserable by [redacted unpleasantries] it's hard for me to enjoy all of this wonderful fresh air and free time and stuff. It saps my energy, I'm not kidding. I just want to sit there.

And the last bit of brilliance: I've been forgetting to wear my glasses at home, which makes me very tired and nauseous and cranky. Awesome! I have them on now, in case you're wondering. Makes me far more articulate! And sensible! And able to cope! Yay!

Monday, June 6, 2011

A puppy having kind of life

Dude, puppy is AWESOME. A lot of constant attention, plus the kind of thing where if he's not making an obvious sound I recognize after about thirty seconds, I get worried and go see. What are you doing, little pup?

I'm enjoying my afternoon off VERY much. The nap on the couch with Mr. Puppy and Mr. Kitty snuggled up with me on the quilt was just about perfection. Happiness! It's weird but I'm like those dopey yuppies who spawn and then say, "Now we're a family!" One of us is still a hyperactive chewing-focused maniac but things are right now.

Though last night when I had horrible nightmares and barely slept (though it seems like those both shouldn't happen together) I wasn't so sure. But that's because I was terrified the landlord would make me give the puppy back. Nothing worse than something you want so very much that you think someone is going to take away, right?

That's one of those rules of drama, like giving someone tough someone small and weak to protect. Give someone something they love and want very much, but make it so they're terrified they'll lose it. Actually I think that's the same thing, now that I think about it.

I keep trying to imagine Gawain grown up. I think he'll be sort of longish body and shortish legs, with that alert terrier face. I'm not sure if the collie bat ears will stay pointed up or flop down at some point. Bruni the dog had incredibly similar ears and they tended to flop over just a bit on the top. They were like radio antennae. He looks longer already. He can't be, can he? His face reminds me of a Jack Russell.

Julia is going to LOVE this puppy. Must take him over to visit her soon.

I have to take a picture of him on the gigantic dog bed. He knows it's a dog bed, for sure, knows it is his zone, and can keep an eye on me from there. But he's like a DOT in the middle of an ocean of royal blue dog bed. All the toys (okay, both the toys) end up over there.

We need more toys. My sister is getting my mom to mail her recently deceased dog's toys, which you just know are going to come with that litter box toybox that I threw up into during my dad's wake. Just watch. You can never get away from things like that. (I dumped the dog toys out of it first. We're not *savages* here. I had been passed out on the dog bed, so I still think it shows excellent presence of mind through a pickled brain.)

I'm going to have to boil them or something. The dog toys. I don't know. It's kind of weird. Also I get paid Friday and can go buy appropriate puppy chews and things.


Junior is infinitely distracting but then he'll get done romping around and galumph up onto the couch and plump down into the rumpled quilts and fall asleep.

Did I tell you this? At my sister's house, in a room full of couches and comfy chairs and dog beds, he went straight for the quilt I made her, which was half on a footstool and half on the floor, and curled right up on it. Dogs love quilts, eh? We laughed ourselves silly. Just like when she was holding him in the car (I was driving) and he launched himself over her shoulder into the orange cat bed in the back seat and curled up there. Which is now his bed, where he sleeps at night.

[Stressful redacted stuff] got so bad I took two lorazepams, my hands were shaking so bad. But that's also waiting to hear for sure on the puppers.

Hey! I got my insurance card today. I can get started looking for a good primary care doctor who can hook me up with a neurologist, or an anxiety management person, or both. I get so anxious, my chest clenches and I can hardly put one foot in front of the other.

I'm going to write while the baby is napping and then get cracking on Birgit's quilt. I'm nearly done cutting it out, and it's bargello, which means it'll go very fast from there on out. Hup hup, little bunnies! She's due in like two weeks! I'd love to get it mailed this week while I have afternoons off.

I love that the puppy got tired and put himself down for a nap. How great is that? Mr. Kitty came and got a full extended snuggle just now, too. All of us on the couch = HAPPINESS.

Right, back to my Apollo book. I decided not to worry about it, just keep going, which come to think of it is excellent advice for nearly any situation, unless you're that blue Plymouth minivan that was dropping gouts of gasoline on the road such that the smell was so strong, I zoomed up to pass, and *just then* saw the driver about to flick a cigarette out the window. Ack!

Even though only gas fumes ignite, there's a fair quantity of gas fumes if you spill liquid gas on hot pavement. How nice that I was not engulfed in a massive fireball! Gracious.

But in most other situations, especially writing, don't worry about it, just keep going. If it's seriously problematic, you'll stop, without having to think whether or not you should. Right.

But I might just reread what's there before I go, yes? Yes.

Up and away!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Holy interruptions

This is baby Gawain! You pronounce it Gowan. Did I say that already?

I think he's lying still for a second. Aaaaaaah! Puppy! He's a maniac, maniac I know! Also he has the tiny little hiccups which is outrageously cute. He is just teacup sized, this guy. He's less than half the weight of the cat and all skinny and small so they look absurd together, giant fluffy cat and tiny skinny dog.

I really hope he gets a lot bigger, because I'm a big dog person, medium at minimum, but they said his mom was a yellow lab and his dad a Border collie, which puts you at medium at least, right? Right! And he's underfed and scrawny, not an ounce of fat on him. I've got the puppy food out for him but he's got a case of the runs. And who wouldn't, after the day he's had?

He was brought up to New Hampshire via 16 different people on some kind of Puppy Underground Railroad since he and his littermates were about to be put to sleep. So he arrived at my sister's friend's house this morning, then we got there half an hour later and took him to Petco, then my sister's house, where her gigantic black dog and my cat checked him out, then he spent four hours in the car and came to yet another house, where I gave him a bath and then rubbed him down in a towel then wrapped him in another towel and held him until he was warm again, then we had a nap on the couch, both snuggled in the quilt, him cuddled against me with his head on my arm.

See, that's a big day.

Also I took him on a walk around the field, which you'd think was some kind of torment, the way he acted. I think he's been in cages and whatnot for most of his life. Not so much with the endurance. Plus he's just a little baby thing.

He's sleeping in this orange cat bed that Siegfried would never use, cuddled against a tennis ball. Awwwww!

Every time I take him out, he pees and poops, which is SO GOOD, good boy! He has *already* learned that when we come back in, he's to go to the kitchen and sit and then he gets a little treat. Smart! Scary smart.

He's also a total maniac, running from room to room, getting into everything, biting the wrong things (the laptop, for instance) and bouncing around and alarming the cat.

He's a really good dog, eager to please, totally affectionate, happiest when in as much full-body contact as possible. He understands NO, like when I said it for biting the laptop cord, and hustled over to his orange bed and got in it, all contrite. That is awesome! He's a smart cookie, little Gawain!

Well I've had moments of WHAT HAVE I DONE THIS DOG IS TOO SMALL AND I MAY NEVER GET ANOTHER ONE and all that, obviously, though as I was dripping tears into the dishwater I realized I hadn't eaten a hot meal since Friday lunch. Whoops! And so I made a chicken breast from the freezer and made lovely barley salad from the barley I cooked yesterday, and now I'm perfectly fine. I mean I've been eating nuts and fruit but apparently we invented agriculture and animal husbandry for a reason, yo.

I also got practically no sleep last night and drove about ten hours total between eight last night and three this afternoon. I mean, it's a recipe for a meltdown, even without the happy bouncy tiny maniac dog.

Puppy is conked out. Siegfried just walked in and sniffed him and the puppy didn't even move.

It'll be good once he can actually go for walks. I mean, that's how much of a baby he is. He's too little. My sister pointed out that our family's 70 lb Lab was this size at this age also.

I have to get to bed. I'm still anxious about how to arrange getting home at lunch time tomorrow. Do I take half days for two weeks, as I thought would be best? Or do I just take super long lunches every day? I'll ask the boss which he prefers but you know he's a raving psycho so he'll probably just say something snide and nasty and not reply. Or maybe he'll surprise us all. Or maybe he'll fire me. Honestly it could go any of those ways.

I think the pup will do great alone for four hours, which is actually five counting the drives both ways. He'll just sleep. He's a champion sleeper and has to be utterly exhausted. I think I'll put the orange bed in the crate so he has a comfy bed and also some space. And food and water. Yes.

Worry worry worry! Tiny maniac with giant bat ears to worry about!

I like this part, where he's sleeping next to me and all's calm. I'll just get ready for bed and then take him one one last time. Here's hoping it's a quiet night with all bodily functions occurring in the proper times and places. And here's hoping all of us get some sleep.