Thursday, July 19, 2012

Where I've Been and What Happened While I Was There

Lasst week, the hubs and I decided to take a pretty last-minute vacay.  It was so last minute, that we didn't even pick a location until about two days before we left.  We ultimately decided on the hippie capital of the Southeastern United States -- Asheville, North Carolina.

Because you know I love hippies.  I wish I WAS a hippie myself, but in more than very small doses, patchoulli gives me migraines.  Sad, but true.

Also sad?  Turns out, those Asheville hippies are some crazy, crazy THIEVES!  Seriously!  When we went there a few years ago, I got pick-pocketed at a really cool beer pub.  This time, less than 24 hours after arriving, my super-duper, snazzy, totally cool road bike got stolen.

There aren't enough exclamation points to express my ire.  Dude, I loved that bike.  Todd gae me that bike.   On that bike, I learned how to ride in clips, and I learned how to ride up hills, and I learned to actually enjoy riding.   

The crazy ironic kicker?  My super-duper, snazzy, totally cool road bike was stolen while we were in Wal-mart.  For ten minutes.  Buying . . . wait for it . . . BIKE LOCKS.

I shit you not.  

Well, the vacation got better after that.  But MAN, do I wish I till had my bike.

As a postcript to this sad little vacation report, I feel compelled to tell you that I read a really good book while we were away.  Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn, was a great creepy mystery about a married couple -- she disappears and he becomes the prime suspect in her murder.  I know, that sounds like something you've probably read before, but it totally isn't.  It was all dark and twisty and turny and it surprised me.  I recommend.

And also, I saw a great movie, Safety Not Guaranteed.  It was one of those quirky little indie flicks about a guy who puts an ad in the paper for someone to time travel with him, and three journalists who try to write a story about him.  It suprised me, too, in a good way.  It won't change your life, but it will make you smile.  And, bonus -- the cute dude from New Girl is in it.  (And you should totally be watching that show, by the way.)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Last Day

It's hard for me to believe that two months have gone by since I have posted to this blog, and when I think about what I may have missed blogging about over that time, I can really only think of one thing.


Sam, our beloved first-born dog, is dying.  He's dying so quickly, and so painfully, that we have had to make the horrific decision to help him end his life as gracefully as possible, before things are even worse for him.  A veterinarian is scheduled to come to our house tomorrow, Thursday, at 5:00 p.m. to do just that.  And I'm sad and I'm angry and I'm worried about the part of me that will be empty afterwards.

I could tell you all the steps that have led to this point, but really, I don't want to write about Sam's dying.  Not today.  Tomorrow is for dying.  Today is for living.

And oh, how he has lived.  We discovered Sam eight years ago in a shelter, locked in a cage too small for him, and covered in poop.

It was the poop that got us.  We gave him a bath before we even left the shelter, and brought him home, and he made us not just a couple, but a family. 

What you need to know about Sam is this:

Sam loves to go for walks, and when he goes on those walks, he holds the leash in his mouth, so it's like he's taking you for a walk.  He trots along in a funny little kind-of-sideways sort of gait, and even before you snap the leash on, he is jumping up to grab it, to hurry you along in getting the walk started.  He likes it especially when there are smelly things to be found on that walk, and if you don't pay very close attention, he will rub those smelly things all over himself.

When Sam hears a noise of any kind outside, or sees someone walking down the street, he will run to you and lean against you to hold you in that spot, as if to say, "Stay here.  I will keep watch.  I will protect you."

Sam hates storms.  He hates storms more than anything in the world, and he barks at that thunder and patrols the house as long as a storm lasts. 

Sam loves pizza, with all his heart and soul.  If you eat pizza near him, he will stare at you until you give him some, and, truth be told, if you don't give him any, he will growl.

Sam is the best listener of anyone I know.  You can pour out your tale of woe to him and he will look you in the eye and take it all in and then listen some more.  His eyebrows say everything for him, that he loves you, that he understands you, and that he would do anything in the world for you, because you are his person, and he is your dog.

There is a lot more for you to know about Sam, more than I could ever tell you, and I feel like the luckiest person in the world that I got to know everything about him.  That Todd and I got to be his people. 

We love you, Sam.  We will always be your people, and you will always be our dog.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Why I Can't Relate to Ann Romney

I'm probably coming a little late to this party, but today I've been listening to the controversy about Ann Romney giving her husband advice on what women are worried about and Hillary Rosen criticizing her for "never working a day in her life," and Ann Romney criticizing Hillary Rosen for criticizing stay-at-home-moms and the political pundits criticizing Rosen for giving the Romney campaign the "gift" of having women rush to Ann's defense.  

Good stinkin' grief.

Let me be clear:  I am not in any way criticizing stay-at-home moms.  Nor do I believe that having money means that you never experience problems.

But here's the thing.  Staying home with my (hypothetical) kids will never be an option for me.  I don't think I'd even want it, but it will still never be an option.  Having money like Ann Romney's gives you that option, and an infinite number of other options that most of us don't have.  It creates a difference between the Me's of the world and the Ann Romney's that I don't think could ever be overcome.  So HOW DARE she try to speak to the economic concerns of women like the Me's?

And the more I thought about what seems to me to be an insurmountable gap between myself and Mrs. Romney, I began to realize that the same difference exists in many ways between myself and Mrs. Obama.  The two of them -- and Hillarys Clinton and Rosen, and Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and a whole host of other powerful women -- live in a world that doesn't resemble mine in the slightest.  I honestly don't know what those women worry about, but I doubt they worry about paying for gas to get to work, or whether they remembered to turn on the crockpot, or finding time to exercise and do laundry both IN THE SAME DAY.

I was raised by another woman who never had the option to stay home with her kids -- my mother worked every day of her adult life, and continues to do so.  And she was raised by my grandmother, who worked every day of her life.  It doesn't make them any better, or any worse, than those women who can and do make a different decision.  But it makes them women like me.  THEY are the kind of women I can relate to.

And I can't help but think, maybe if the political pundits asked THEM what women are really worried about these days, something might actually get done around here.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

March Reading Round-up

Imagine, if you will, that you find a time machine lying around waiting to be used, and you use it to go back to March 31, 2012.

Why would you use it to go there, you ask?  Because if it was March 31, 2012, I would not be eleven whole days late in posting the March reading round-up.

Gah.  That should tell you something about my March reading, namely that I didn't read anything worth telling you about until it was already April, and we're going to go ahead and sneak some April stuff into the March post because . . . well, because it's my blog and I make the rules!

Okay.  We'll start out with Raising Stony Mayhall, a zombie book, because, don'tcha know, zombies are the new vampires.  If you like zombies, I can tentatively recommend this book, but only tentatively.  In this zombie world, zombies are infected with a virus that makes them temporarily lose their sanity, but after a few days they recover, and are totally sane -- just dead and decomposing.  And that just bugged the heck out of me, because everyone knows it's JUST NOT TRUE.  Zombies are crazy, mindless creatures that eat brains and they shamble, they don't run, and they don't organize into groups that fight for equal rights for zombies.

You know, forget it.  Don't read Raising Stony Mayhall.  Read World War Z, and if you love it, I can recommend some other great zombie books.

Moving on.  I was SO excited about Arcadia.  Lauren Groff wrote a favorite of mine, The Monsters of Templeton, and I just knew this one would be just as good.  If I hadn't expected that, I think I would have found Arcadia to be a good solid book.  It's got hippies, which I like, and hippie commune people, which I LOVE.  But it was kind of predictable, until there was a weird twist near the end that was unpredictable, yes, but also a lame and obvious I-ran-out-of-stuff-for-my-characters-to-do-and-the-book-is-too-short kind of twist.  I wil say, though, that the characterization was great.  I really did care about the main character.  And the portions of the book centering on the commune were fantastic.

At the end of March, spilling over into April, I saw The Hunger Games movie (liked it), which led me to re-read the books (LOVED them), which led me to buy another trilogy which Amazon recomended for Hunger Games readers, called the Chaos Walking trilogy.  First, let me say that these books read kind of like a first, or maybe even second, draft.  An editor realy needed to, well, do some editing.  They're too long, and I got tired of the "we're safe!  But wait --there's the villian behind a tree, so we're not safe!" kind of twists.

But.  The more I read, the more impressed I was by this series.  It's young adult fiction, but with some REALLY adult themes.  The heroes (yes, a bit too much like Katniss and Peeta) try SO hard to do the right thing, and discover that it's hard to figure out what that right thing is, and also that they can't really trust anyone else to tell them what the right thing is, and also that in trying to do that right thing they often do very, very wrong things.  There's alot in here -- politics and class warfare and plain old war and prejudice and free will and truth and I'm sure alot of other themes that I'm forgetting.  As a series, it's a fun read, and it will give you things to think about.  And if you've already read The Hunger Games, it will help with that young-adult-dystopian jonesing.

So, that's March.  Happy reading.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

In Which I Reach Technological Adulthood

I got a grown-up phone for my birthday.  For years, I have been happily using the same phone that my ten-year-old niece has, but I have now graduated to what I understand to be called a smart phone.

Don't ask me what kind it is, because that's too much technological information for me to handle.  It's some kind of Droid something-or-other.  It has a touch screen and I can get on the internet on it, and I can read my Kindle books on it while I'm waiting around in court, and I finally understand how everyone's been "checking themselves in" on Facebook wherever they go.

I find it all to be very exciting.  I shit you not, I tried to check myself in at the Bullitt County Jail the other day, but sadly, it didn't show up as an option and I don't know how to manually enter it.  There must be a way to create your own places, though, because I see people checking in at places like "Our Porch" or "The ______ Farm" or such places.  And somehow, it just seems like fun to me to check in at the Jail.  

Also, I have learned to take pictures with my grown-up phone.  Talia, my good fifteen-year-old friend, showed me how while we were eating sushi the other night.  I'll have to have dinner with her again soon, though, because I don't know how to upload the pictures to the blog.

My boss is trying to get me to start playing Words With Friends, but I'm a little scared.  I like words, alot, actually, but I suck at word games like scrabble.  The words I like never seem to be useful in word games.  "Fortuitous" is one of my favorites, along with "superfluous" and "vitriol," but I'm not sure I could successfully work those into a game.

And I would like to use Pandora to listen to music I like without flipping through  hundred radio stations, but I'm having trouble figuring that out, too.  I tried to make a Carolina Chocolate Drops Station, but for some reason that freaked my phone out and I had to close the app let my phone explode. 

So if you're trying to reach me in the near future, be patient with me.  I'll be trying to respond, all grown-up like, and cussing auto-correct the whole time.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

I'm Hoping You Think This Post Is Okay . . .

I've been thinking about confidence lately.  There's nothing like starting a new job to make a person feel insecure about, well, everything.  I came home the other night after a looooong day in court in which everything out of my mouth sounded, to my ears, like Jessica Simpson debating herself about chicken and tuna.

Seriously, at one point I had to look at the judge and say, "Never mind."  Because what I was starting to say was so stupid that it simply could not be salvaged in any way.

So I thought I'd seek a little comfort in my husband, who also happens to be the best attorney I know. I asked him, "Have you ever done something in court that was really stupid and you were embarassed?"

He said, "Oh, I'm sure I have."

Me:  "So tell me about it.

Him:  "Well . . . there was that one time that I lost that argument, but I was actually right.  It was the judge that was stupid."

And that, my friends, was it.  That was as close as he could come to an embarassing moment in court.  He was shocked that this didn't make me feel better.  His advice was "just be confident, and people will be more likely to think you are right."

I know he's right, but man, is that ever hard.  I see people who seem to just stride through life, putting off vibes of "I am the bomb-diggity, so why don't you just do me a solid and acknowledge my superiority" and I have to wonder -- do those people really feel that way, or do they just act like it?

As a teenager, I always thought I'd magically get a big dose of self-confidence just be becoming a grown-up.  What I found, though, is that being a grown-up feels remarkably like being a teenager, just with better skin and more bills.  I still feel compelled to point out my mistakes, lest the world think I am too dumb to realize they are mistakes.  I still care tremendously how I'm perceived.  I still want to fit in and be liked, and still worry that I'm failing on both counts.

Maybe the wry self-deprecation isn't working for me.  Maybe I should quit telling the world that I'm old and fat and the worst violin player ever.  Maybe I should try harder to point out the things that make ME the bomb-diggity and not be so quick to point out my flaws.  Maybe if I just pretend that I am one of those cool kids who never loses sleep over what the world thinks of me, I will actually BECOME one of those cool kids.  Like, for real.

Or, at least, the world will THINK I'm one of those cool kids.  Which is really the same thing.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Stuff I've Been Doing

I don't know what in the holy heck happened, but I just turned 'round and it had been AGES since I wrote anything on the poor neglected blog.

Here's what's been happening:

1. Penny went for one of her unauthorized races around the neighborhood and got herself smooshed by a car.  There were a few days there that were pretty rough, but she's finally back to her normal, actin'-a-fool self.  She's now the most expensive rescue dog ever.   I suspect that she might actually be bionic.

2.   I turned 39.  Let's never speak of this again 'mkay?

3.  I briefly considered dropping out of the newly-formed community orchestra I play in because the music is SO BLASTED HARD.  However, I decided on a new strategy.  I play the first note of each measure, aim for the last note, and do a bunch of swirly-bow-arm moves in between.  It seems to be going better now.

4. I saw the season finales of Glee, The Walking Dead, and Pretty Little Liars.  I'm available at any time if you want to discuss whether Quinn will survive, who the freaky chick was with the armless zombies, and if Mona acted alone.

5. I had my first new-job case involving illicit drugs up someone's butt.  I feel like  full-fledged public defender again.

I now you're terribly afraid of missing out on such excitement again, so I will be sure to post more regularly from here on out.