Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Update!

Last Christmas, we were in the process of moving from Alabama to Washington (state), and I was very sick on Christmas Eve. Consequently, I'm counting this Christmas as my first official Christmas married to Jack.

We got a real tree! A seven-foot Douglas fir. Jack has a buddy from work named Sean, and the day after we bought the tree, Jack and Sean went out to do Christmas shopping, and Sean's wife Samantha and I bought ornaments and lights and stuff and decorated the tree.



On Christmas, after going to church and singing/playing piano for the Christmas presentation thingummybobdoohickeywhatsit, we got down to opening presents. Akela immediately homed in on which one was hers.



We let the dogs open their gift from Grandma Dubby first. Blitzkrieg didn't seem nearly as excited about opening the gifts as Akela, so we let her do it.



We probably shouldn't have, though, because after she opened hers, she started wanting to help us open every other present too.



Especially the chocolate Jack got me.



I got him a Boy Scouts campaign hat, which I know he's been wanting. I don't think I got the size quite right, but they said he could take it in and exchange it if it didn't fit, so it's all good.



After that, Sean and Samantha came over. We ate salmon and shrimp scampi and happle pie and brownies, and then we played Farkle and Funglish and MarioKart Wii and Poker and then more Farkle. It was really fun.

Thanks, everyone who sent gifts! I don't want to list them all on here because I don't want to forget anything and then feel like a jerk, but thankyou thankyou thankyou!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hallelujah!

Last night we went to a "Handel's 'Messiah' sing-a-long," which is something I had never heard of before. A buddy of ours who went to Wood Badge with us and goes to our church also (Got all that? That's the subject of the rest of this sentence) told me about it. At first I was a little noncommittal--"well, maybe I'll go, maybe I won't, I dunno, I'll talk to Jack..."--but the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea. After all, I do like classical music, and I like concerts. A sing-a-long, though?

Turns out that while the choir was professional, or at least semi-professional (at least I assume so because they were adults and they were excellent), the orchestra was a youth orchestra. The concert, which they put on every year, apparently, is free, but to buy a score (which is optional), it's ten bucks. So we bought one, and it was the actual full and complete score. All 252 pages of it.

Once we got there, we started looking for our friend, Merrill. We didn't find him, so we went up to one of the four balconies to look there. While we were looking, the usher lady saw the awe-struck look on my face and explained to me that the lowest balcony was called the "loge," then there was the lower mezzanine, the upper mezzanine, and... oh nuts, I forgot what the other one was called. It was at the top, and there were actually two, one on the left and one on the right. Then the people sitting on the ground-floor level were divided into sections: sopranos on the right, altos on the left, tenors mid-right, basses mid-left. They said wherever you sit, though, you can sing along, but the higher up you go, the fewer other people are likely to sing. The people who come just to watch tend to sit on the higher balconies. We wanted to sing, but we also wanted to sit together--plus we only had the one score--so we sat on the loge. Even though we were half an hour early, there were still only two seats left on the loge level. They happened to be together, halfway down a row right in the very front, so that I could stick my feet through the bars and let them dangle over the heads of the people walking below.

They only did an hour and a half of the four and a half hours the whole thing would take. Apparently tonight they're doing all four and a half, but I don't think I could actually sit still that long!

They swapped out conductors every few movements, and the conductors were really funny. My favorite was the guy who was balding on top and let his remaining white hair grow down to his shoulders to make up for it.

Every time the choir stood up to sing, the audience was asked to stand and sing as well. I'm not terribly ashamed to admit that while I did passably well, in several parts of the music, I haven't been so lost in any music since I was a freshman in high school. But it was super fun anyway! Definitely worth the ten bucks we paid. Plus the five it cost us to park in downtown Olympia. The only thing that could have been improved was the French Horn section. Only because there wasn't one. But the trumpet solos were outstanding.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Traffic light

On the way to my horse-feeding job, there's a traffic light that I'm convinced is controlled by a gremlin. If there's only one person stopped at the traffic light, it will turn green and stay green for a more or less standard amount of time. If, on the other hand, there's a line of four or five cars stopped at the light, it turns green just barely long enough for the first person to start moving, and then it turns red again. I'm not joking about this. The light is yellow for longer than it is green sometimes. I once pulled up behind two cars that were stopped at the light, and I watched the light go red-green-yellow-red so fast that the guy second in line had to rush through the yellow, and I had to stop and wait for the light to change again.

I bet the gremlin that works the light thinks that's just the funniest thing in the whole world. I sure do.

Friday, November 18, 2011

I made a song!

To the tune of "My Country, 'Tis of Thee":

I have a puppy dog.
Her picture's on my blog.
She's really neat.

She knows to sit and stay
When food is on its way.
She does this twice a day;
She loves to eat.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Lord of the Rings

Jack and I have been watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy over the course of the last several days. I figured this would be a good place to post my opinions regarding the cast of the movie. We'll start with what I like the least and work our way up from there.

I can't decide which I like less, Arwen or Frodo. The actor who played Frodo seems to have been chosen primarily for his ability to make that grimace of extreme pain.


Seriously, he makes this face or one very similar to it for practically the entire movie. When he's not making that face, he's making this one:


This is the one I call the I-love-you-Sam face. In addition, the actor can't seem to figure out whether he wants his character to be timid or authoritative, and I don't think that has to do with the ring. I can't blame the actor too terribly much, though, since the character himself is pretty lame. I think just about the only useful thing he does in any of the movies is solve the "Speak, friend, and enter" riddle to open the door into Moria. Other than that, the character is pretty wimpy. I mean, in the first few movies, he offers the magic ring of power and utmost evil to pretty much anyone taller than he is. Sam is constantly saving his sorry butt, and all Frodo really does is make one bad decision after another. The character doesn't seem to have any particularly redeeming qualities. But he's got a pretty face and brilliant blue eyes, so I guess he's always got that going for him.

The other character/actor I really don't like is Arwen. Seriously, I don't know what Aragorn sees in that chick. The character is completely useless in the movies. The only thing she does that is remotely cool is that little bit of fancy riding to get to Rivendell with Frodo, when she outrides the ringwraiths and then summons the water to wash them down the river. Okay, that was awesome. But in the books, that wasn't even Arwen; it was Glorfindel. After that, all she does is cry a lot and be seductive when she has the chance.

The actress made the wimpy character so much worse. Firstly, I never thought she was quite pretty/graceful enough to be an elf. I always imagined elves with more delicate, slightly pointy facial features, and her face is much too round. That aside, it's really annoying how she never raises her voice above a whisper. And unlike Frodo, who could at least make two different facial expressions, she only has the one. I mean, this is the most intense her face gets:


That's supposed to be the face of someone who is riding a horse at full gallop with nine ringwraiths in hot pursuit, almost on top of her. She's trying to balance a wounded, delirious hobbit (Frodo, of course) on the saddle, and she has to outrun the ringwraiths and get Frodo to Rivendell because if she doesn't keep the ring away from the ringwraiths, the entire world will be destroyed. Pretty intense, right? Maybe I'm crazy, but I just really don't see that reflected in her face.

Also, this is her angry face:


That's also her sad face, her neutral face, and her seductive face. And PS, that dress is horrendously ugly.

One more thing: Galadriel was super creepy.


Okay, now on to the characters and actors I really liked.

They picked a perfect actor for Gimli. He was phenomenal. Also, I can't, in good conscience, finish this post without mentioning how much I liked Faramir. Even though you felt bad for the guy because of the way his father treated him, he was still incredibly lovable. His eyes, like Frodo's, were a brilliant blue, but unlike Frodo's, Faramir's eyes were very expressive. They had a twinkle in them that could turn to sorrow so intense it made viewers sad too. Or maybe the sorrow came from seeing the twinkle leave those eyes, which was almost symbolic of watching darkness cover the land, as it would if the quest to destroy the ring failed.


I'm glad he ended up with Eowyn, who, by the way, was also totally awesome. The actress looked perfect for the role, if slightly older than she was in the books. According to the book, she was supposed to be like 18 or 20. So her crush on Aragorn was perfectly understandable. The hopeful look on her face as she fed him soup, hoping he would like it, although she was apparently an atrocious cook, was great. (About as great as the look on his face when he tasted it.) As she prepared Meri for war, she seemed just like a mother dressing up her young son for his first day of school.

There are several stories about women her age (-ish) dressing as men to go to battle and then doing something totally awesome to basically make their side win. This story was one of the best. She fought as well as any man, well enough to stay alive, which, in that kind of war, was feat enough. Then, to finish it up, she stabbed the Witch King, Sauron's most powerful pawn, right in the face. Frankly, I think she's easily the coolest chick in Middle Earth.


Finally, the guy who played Sam was fantastic. In the books, I didn't really like Sam much. Loyal as he was, he struck me as kind of clingy and a little annoying. In the movies, though, the actor breathed new life into Sam. You saw him playful, you saw him angry, you saw him crying, destitute because he had followed Frodo all the way to Mordor only to have Frodo tell Sam to go home as Frodo journeyed on with Gollum, who Sam knew wanted Frodo dead. (Did you follow that sentence?) If I were to pick one actor in the Lord of the Rings for the Best Acting Award, it would be the actor who played Sam.


Sam's character kicks butt. Without him, Frodo would never have gotten anywhere near Mordor. Sam saved Frodo's life so many times, and in the end, he carried Frodo up to Mount Doom, even though he had been journeying just as long and far as Frodo. He put up with more crap than anyone else in the trilogy, and struggled longer and harder, was more patient and focused, more loyal and devoted. Who wouldn't want a friend like Sam? In my opinion, Sam, not Frodo, should have been the celebrated hero at the end. I know he is in my head.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Electrocution

The horses I feed have this enormous watering trough. Lately, the water has been getting filthy as the horses drop grass and crud in it, and algae grows in the water. So for the last several days, I've been letting the water get low so that I can empty it out and scrub the trough. Today, I just used a bucket to bail out enough of the rest of the water that I could dump it and scrub it. Naturally, during the process, I got, if not soaked, then at least pretty wet.

Being the genius that I am, I thought I wouldn't have to turn off the electric fence for this process, nor would I have to duck under the fence to get into the right paddock to turn the water back off. Instead, I leaned across the fence to turn off the water pump, which ended up being slightly stuck in the "on" position. My knee got a little too close to the bottom part of the fence, and the next thing I knew, there was a flash of light and this big flash of pain in my chest and face as my heart and eyeballs tried to pop out of their respective places, and I was flat on my back about four feet away from where I was before. Lesson learned: Turn off the stupid fence next time. (It doesn't really hurt when it zaps me and I'm dry and not touching any metal, so I figured it wasn't a big deal. Silly me.)

Anyway, when I managed to stop twitching and get my heart rate under control, I went home and decided to look up whether there's anything you should do after you get zapped like that. I don't know why I bothered. I've been electrocuted before, worse than this, and I'm well aware that it's one of those things where if it doesn't kill you, then you're fine. But I tried anyway. Here's what came up:


If you have to, click on the image so you can see it full size, because it's worth reading.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Young Grasshopper

It's about fifty and drizzly outside, which is my idea of perfect weather. Blitzkrieg is on the back patio, and he just found a grasshopper. He went over to sniff it and it jumped away. He scrambled after it, picked it up gently in his mouth, and brought it back to where he first saw it. He set it down, and I thought it was dead until he poked at it with his paw and it hopped again. He's been bringing it back and poking it till it hops away for about five minutes now. It's the cutest thing, although I doubt the grasshopper agrees.

Update: The grasshopper didn't make it, and Blitzkrieg got a small afternoon snack.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Work work

Jack's been bugging me to update again, so I guess I will.

I still don't have what I consider a "job," although I do some freelance editing, I have an interview next week, and I also found someone to pay me enough for gas in return for feeding her horses. I also shovel poop, brush them, and pick their hooves because I want to. Jack says she got a pretty good deal "hiring" me.

Of the three horses, the oldest one is my favorite. He's 35, and he's a black quarter horse. His winter coat is already growing in, and he's super fuzzy, and he loooves to be petted. The other two horses will do what I ask them to (mostly), but they don't seem to like being petted and scratched, and they'll escape to their pasture as soon as I'm done with them (and sometimes before I'm done with them). The older one, though, will beg me to scratch him--it doesn't matter where--and once I do, he'll tilt his head, his eyes will half close, and his upper lip will start to twitch. After a minute or two, he'll turn around and try to return the favor by "scratching" me with his nose. And just like Akela and Blitzkrieg, as soon as I stop scratching him to do something else, he'll get right in my way and try to make me scratch him some more.

Friday, July 8, 2011

War Zone

I was so sure my cold would be gone by now. I've had it since Sunday. Well, the symptoms were starting to sneak up Saturday. If I were a defending fort, you could say my watchmen saw the symptoms sneaking up Saturday night, but were unable to prepare for the assault quickly enough. The enemy sent in the Sore Throat Infantry first, and they did their work well for the first couple of days before the Congestion Musketmen came in to reinforce them. Of course, the commander was the Headache Officer, and he led the charge. Two days ago, they began launching Sneeze Grenades and sending in units armed with Coughing Machine Guns. Last night, it felt like my forces were finally starting to get their defenses together and fight back, but apparently a good night's sleep had the opposite intended effect, since when I woke up today, I felt worse than I did when I went to bed.

I tried to enlist the aid of Sudafed, but those forces appeared to be virtually useless, so after the second wave of Sudafed troops got wiped out with little effect, I didn't take any more.

I'm told these sieges usually last seven days, so with any luck, tomorrow they'll send in the last of their troops to be gunned down, and then they'll leave and won't come back.

UPDATE: Now it's Saturday and it's sad to say that the Coughing Machine Guns have been joined by troops wielding Phlegm-16s. :(

Monday, July 4, 2011

Puppy fall down, go boom

Akela's getting another break from running. Yesterday, when I was rollerblading with her, we were approaching a place in the road where we could go left or straight. I wanted to go left. Suddenly, a cat walked into the road about thirty feet past the intersection (straight ahead). Akela, having not seen a cat in years (if she's ever seen one at all), spotted the cat and suddenly started running as if someone had put rocket boosters on her back paws. I held on, and then, just as the intersection came up, I pulled on the leash, slowing her down and pulling myself in front of her. I cut her off and turned left.

Well, Akela was having none of that. She'd seen the cat and she wanted it. So she tried to keep running straight. Unfortunately for her, we were going really darn fast, and I weigh three times what she does. I felt the leash jerk and I kept going, dragging her behind me, knowing she would be fighting to get to the cat and knowing that since I was on rollerblades, if I stopped, getting going again while she was struggling to do something else would be much harder. When I turned to look at her, she was running with her front legs, but she had apparently fallen over, and her back was on its side. The poor dog was trying as hard as she could to get back up while running, but at the speed we were going thanks to her mad dash for the cat, she couldn't quite get it.

It was hilarious to see, mainly because she wasn't hurt. Never even whimpered, and she's a big baby, so that's saying something. I slowed down, she righted herself, and we kept going another lap or two with no trouble. When we got back to the house, I checked her rump where she had fallen. There's a small patch of fur that's slightly roadburned. (I thought it was just messy, but I brushed it and it was still frizzy-looking, and when I looked closer, I noticed it was actually burned.) Good thing she's so fuzzy. Without her fur, she would have been skinned up. Also, an hour or two later, after we had all had some water and cooled down a bit, I noticed her limping, just a little. My guess is she probably bruised her bum. Her limp is already gone, but I'm going to give her a few days break from running at high speeds around the neighborhood anyway. Maybe it's time for a good old-fashioned walk.

Maybe that'll teach her not to chase cats. Especially when we're rollerblading, which is when she's supposed to be paying attention to me and the road and nothing else.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My dog can count

I'll update this blog more often when there's more to say. I'm sure you're sick of hearing about my dogs by now, but tough, because if you read the rest of this post, you'll be reading about them again.

Several weeks ago, I started taking my dogs out to run around the block, which is roughly a quarter mile around. I can't keep up with them when they run, especially not Akela, so I put on roller blades or ride my bicycle. Normally I prefer the roller blades because Akela has pulled me over on the bicycle twice (although neither of us got hurt either time).

Jack doesn't like roller blades, so when he was here, he would often ride his bike with Blitzkrieg while I had Akela pull me on the roller blades. This worked well, because we were able to switch off dogs as necessary. Neither of the dogs bother stopping to poop while running anymore, and a few times, it has been necessary for Jack to pass me both dogs so he could stop and scoop the poop (it's easier to stop a bike than to try and scoop poop on roller blades).

But Jack's been on a business trip for the last week and a half. Taking both dogs running at the same time doesn't work too terribly well on the bicycle, and if I use the roller blades, I have to try and scoop poop--usually about eight little poop balls spaced ten feet apart all the way down the street--while holding two dogs AND roller blading. I've done it, but it isn't easy. Especially if the poop happens to be in front of one of the houses with yippy dogs. (Oh, how I'm growing to loathe those annoying little squeaky nuisances!)

So I've worked out a routine. I take both dogs outside on the leash, then I tie Blitzkrieg up in the yard and let Akela run three laps around the block. She usually starts off so fast I can barely keep up with her, but by the third lap, she's gotten out most of her explosive energy, and I have to coax her to keep running. So after the third lap, I tie her up so she can have a rest, and I run Blitzkrieg for two laps. He goes much slower, and he has this habit of holding the leash in his teeth as he runs. I know he could go faster than he does if he wants to, but that's beside the point. Anyway, I usually continue to switch off the dogs--Akela for three laps, then Blitzy for two--until they seem to be getting tired out.

Well, today, when we got to Akela's third lap, she seemed to be doing well. She was still running strong and looked like she wasn't ready for her break yet. So I decided to take her for a fourth lap before taking Blitzkrieg. Blitzy, who had been sitting by the truck, calmly waiting his turn, saw us coming, then watched us pass him to go on a fourth lap. Just after we passed, I heard him let out a confused, high-pitched yip, which he's never done before. At least, not when I passed him while we were biking.

I swear, my dog can count, and he was able to tell that I was taking Akela for an extra lap. Apparently, he thought that was unfair. That or he thought I had forgotten about him.

Weird dog.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Weeds and Baseball

Yesterday was the busiest I've been since moving here, I think.

When I woke up, the first thing I did was let the dogs out into the yard, like I do every morning. Unfortunately, I didn't think to check if my backyard-neighbor had her floormop in the yard first, so I was startled from half-awake to full-wakefulness by the dogs charging the fence, the yip-yapping of her dog, and the sight of my dog smashing into one board of the fence so hard she knocked it askew and got her head through. The hole was small enough that she wasn't able to get through any more than that, but judging from what the neighbor was saying, the appearance of my dog's head where a board of the fence used to be just about gave her a heart attack. I dragged Akela away, tried to reassure the lady that Akela just wanted to play and wouldn't actually hurt her dog, for whatever that was worth (she didn't believe me), and took the dogs inside.

My next task was to finish weeding the flowerbed. Our landlord came by about two days ago and told us the Homeowners' Association would be doing a walk-around this Saturday (ie - today) and we would be fined if we didn't remove our trailer from our driveway and weed the garden. No, not the garden, he amended. The whole yard. Then he proceeded to walk me around the garden/yard, saying this is a weed, that is a weed, that's a--no, that's going to be a daisy when it blooms, scratch that. But that's a weed, and there's one, and maybe I could leave that one if I wanted. But every single dandelion in the grass had to completely uprooted, because apparently people get real snitty about dandelions. Which is a shame, because I really like dandelions. I think it's nice having a splash of color in the grass.

Our flowerbed--not the one in the backyard I've been working on--is almost as big as the whole rest of the yard. We have a strip going all the way down either side of the house, which has to be completely weeded, and then another one wrapping around and edging the porch. That one extends out about four feet. Then there's yet another one that's a big maybe-eight-foot-diameter circle near the sidewalk. I guess we share that particular flowerbed with our neighbor and we're only responsible for our half of it. That's a lot of flowerbed for someone that's never had a flowerbed before and is scared of bees and consequently doesn't really want one that close to the house.

Anyway, I began weeding the day before and finished up yesterday. Altogether it took me six hours or so, and I stabbed my hand in three different places in the process because I wasn't wearing any kind of gloves. Also, now there aren't weeds in the garden, but the garden looks a little bit empty. So here's hoping the HOA doesn't decide to ding us for not having a pretty enough flowerbed. Also, uprooting the dandelions in the grass left a couple of small bare patches of grass. I read the contract and apparently they can ding us for that too if they want to be poofaces.

While I was weeding, one of my Cub Scouts' parents came over to drop off her son's uniform and some patches. Being generally un-busy and often bored, I had offered to sew patches on any kid's uniform if the parents couldn't sew, didn't like sewing, didn't have time to sew, or just didn't know exactly where the patches were supposed to go. Jack had talked to her about it on Tuesday and when she said she felt like she should pay or something (apparently to take it to a professional tailor or seamstress, they charge $5.00 per patch), Jack had said, "Lint Monkey likes cookies. You can pay her in those." So they brought chocolate chip cookies! :D

We talked with them for a while, then I finished weeding the yard. After I finished with that, I swept the porch and driveway, then took up a hammer and nails and headed over to my backyard-neighbor's house to face the music. I apologized for my dog and fixed her fence and took my first step in the right direction for getting along with her. She appreciated my fixing the fence (I had to fix it from her side because of the way the fence was built) and was fairly friendly. I suggested we get the dogs together at a dog park or something and let them meet each other to see if that helped them freak out less, but she didn't like the idea. She's fully convinced that my dog wants nothing more in the world than to snap her dogs up in two bites.

After that, Jack took me on a short motorcycle ride and then we went to the Tacoma Rainiers' baseball game against the Reno Aces. They're AAA teams, and the Aces are the top of the Pacific North Division and the Rainiers are at the bottom. It was my second baseball game ever (the first was two weeks ago--Rainiers against the Memphis Redbirds and we lost 3-4). The game was phenomenal. Luis Jimenez broke another bat, my favorite pitcher (Chris Seddon) started the game and showed a lot of improvement from the last game I saw him pitch, and the baseball players continued to pat each other on the butt, which always cracks me up, even though, as Jack says, "It's not gay; it's sports." We won the game 18-4. In the fifth inning, we scored nine runs. It was really embarrassing for the other team's second pitcher, because after the first pitcher loaded the bases, they replaced him, and the replacement pitcher walked the next two batters, which meant he walked in two runs and kept the bases loaded. Later in the same inning, he hit a batter on the arm with his pitch. Ouch!

I didn't get to see a grand slam, but I saw four home runs. The first one was the coolest because it almost hit the fence and stayed in the park, but the outfielder jumped for it, and it bounced off the top of his glove to go out of the park. We scored two runs from that. I felt a little bad for the visiting team because when our team hit home runs, the stands erupted in cheers, but when their team did the same, the crowd went, "Awwwww." That has to be demoralizing.

There was also a foul ball that fell into the stands. That happens a lot, and when it does, all the audience crowds together and tries to get the ball because apparently you're allowed to keep foul balls as souvenirs. One guy jumped for it and fell over a seat and landed on his butt across a couple seats in the next row down. Another guy picked up the ball. Awww, embarrassing! Then the guy who got the ball gave it to the one who fell over trying to get it and everyone applauded.

Because we won the game, there was a really nice fireworks display after the game. I like fireworks. They're sparkly. :D

Monday, May 23, 2011

Brutes

My dogs have been so well-behaved lately that if they were kids, I would swear they wanted something. Like a Mercedes.

We live in a neighborhood where every yard is fully fenced with vertical six-to-seven-foot wooden planks. The lady who lives directly behind us has an annoying little floor-mop that yips its head off at every shadow. (From the little I can see through the slats of the fence, I'd guess it's a white-ish shih tzu.)

We discovered shortly after moving here that our dogs and her dog cannot be outside at the same time because apparently, when our dogs talk to each other through the fence, our neighbor thinks my dogs are terrorizing hers. I didn't even realize she had a problem with it until I overhead her one night telling someone over the phone about how my dogs are "brutes" and "monsters" who "terrorize" her poor baby, and she wants to kill them both. Since then, I've made an effort to keep my dogs indoors when hers is in the yard and to bring mine in when she lets hers out. (Honestly, I wanted to do the opposite out of spite, but I can be a mature adult sometimes, when I try really hard.)

Today, Akela and Blitzkrieg were in the yard when all of a sudden I heard the "YIPYIPYIPYIPYIP!!!!" and the accompanying "jingle-jingle" of the collar that meant the neighbor had let her floormop outside. Of course, Akela and Blitzkrieg got excited and started running back and forth and pawing at the fence. (They're not nearly as talkative as Floormop.) I immediately stepped outside and, without a word, patted my leg. Both of my dogs came directly over to me, and a gentle touch on the back ensured that they stayed quietly at my side while the lady did who-knows-what with her yappy little eagle bait, which continued running up and down the fence barking for another minute or two until the lady got it inside, where it continued to yap, but with the sound somewhat muffled by the closed door.

And MY dogs are the brutes.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Bunch of Brief and Somewhat Unconnected Updates

There are wasps building a nest just outside my back door. I'm absolutely terrified of wasps, so consequently, I avoid going outside or even opening the back door anymore. (I'm not terrified enough to get up the motivation to go to the store and get wasp spray, though.)

My dogs are asleep in the sunlight filtering in through the back door (it's sliding glass). The patch gets a little smaller every day as the sun gets more directly overhead. I bet if they knew what it was, they'd be looking forward to the summer equinox.

I've officially reached the point in my jogging where my lungs are proving weaker than my legs. Curse coming from a family with genetically bad lungs. But at least I don't have asthma like almost everyone else in my family.

Jack is going to be gone for half the summer. On the one hand, I'm bummed, but on the other hand, this is much better than a deployment.

We have a Harley-Davidson motorcycle now. It's purple. I'm not allowed to drive it yet because I don't have the motorcycle endorsement on my license, but I'm going to take the class soon. Ish.

Sarah left. Long story. Not going into it.

Jack and I went on the Boy Scout Camporee last week. We were asked two days before if we would go supervise. We showed up and they shoved a camp manual at us and said, "See the bit in there about box oven cooking? Yeah, you're in charge of that station tomorrow." If I've ever used a box oven before, I definitely don't remember it. Jack was in the same boat. So yeah, that went well.

No, actually, it did go well. It took about a half hour or so for things to start working kind of smoothly, but after that, we actually had fun. The district boss-guy told us afterwards that our station had the most laughter and fun of any station. (Apparently Dutch Oven cooking is srs bsns!) Plus the kids did a fantastic job, and the awards (best meal, best dessert, best camp song, best clean-up job, etc) were distributed more or less evenly among the kids even though we didn't weight our decisions.

Hey, if anyone knows where I could find a good tutorial for writing computer code, let me know. I want to review java and maybe learn a few more programming languages, but my old textbook is outdated (so outdated that the program won't work anymore).

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Shrimp Story

First of all, in case anyone's been wondering, I've identified the birds at the bottom of the last post as a dark-eyed junco and a song sparrow.

Several days ago, Jack brought me to one of those fancy military dinners. Apparently they were celebrating successfully completing some kind of training event or other, and they all went out to eat at this really nice restaurant. It was a bring-your-wives event. So I dressed up all pretty and went with Jack.

I was as nervous as a mouse put into a nest of snakes. I feel awkward when I'm dressed up anyway (even though I was at least wearing slacks instead of a dress), and it's been a long time since I've had to use any kind of actual etiquette or table manners. Plus I had to remember all the extra military rules that I've never really had occasion to use before, since I don't go to many military events. I was trying to remember all the names and ranks of the people Jack introduced me to, how to properly hold and angle the silverware, trying to keep my elbows off the table, trying to keep from fiddling nervously with my hair or my necklace or my fork, trying to remember not to belch loudly, that sort of thing. I'm sure I came off as somewhat distant and preoccupied.

Halfway through the dinner, I was trying to figure out how to politely eat my salmon, which kept breaking into smaller pieces when I tried to cut it, when suddenly I heard a "splat!" I looked toward the sound and saw a shrimp tail sitting on my spoon. Shrimp tail. On my spoon. It took me about three full seconds before my brain even registered that something about that wasn't quite right.

As it turns out, the captain who was sitting across from me (not Jack) was eating shrimp pasta in some kind of mushroom sauce. Somehow, as he bit the tail off the shrimp (or, more accurately, bit the shrimp off its tail), it had tried to make one last desperate bid for freedom. The tail squirted out of his fingers, bounced off his forehead--splattering his face with mushroom sauce in the process--hit the window, and landed on my spoon, splattering more mushroom sauce on me.

Suddenly, I wasn't so nervous anymore. Everyone at the table ragged on the poor guy mercilessly for the rest of the dinner. It was awesome. And he gave me his hot fudge sundae to make up for it.

Also, I met the colonel. He gave me a rose. D'awwww.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Operation: Bird Feeder, Part II




That was quicker than I thought it would be. Here's our second visitor, but I don't know what kind of bird this is. I spent five minutes or so on Google trying to identify it without success, and concluded that it would be more fun to put the picture up on here and see if any of my readers know what it is. Also, I'm lazy. :P I think it might be a dark-eyed junco. Can anyone confirm or deny this?


Visitor number three is another one I'm not sure of. I'll update if I figure it out, or if you know, leave a comment, and I'll give you a virtual hug.

Operation: Bird Feeder

I put up a bird feeder sometime around last Friday. It took the birds a surprisingly long time to find it, but today we got our first visitor (that I've seen): a chickadee.


He flew back and forth between the feeder and... somewhere that's not the feeder about six or seven times.

Now that we've had one visitor, maybe he'll go tell all his friends and soon we'll get some more.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Drama Queen

My beagle is currently sulking under my bed.

You see, I've started an endurance training regime, which involves alternating between jogging and walking for between twenty and thirty minutes every other day. (I found the routine here, if you're interested.) Partly because it rains so often here and partly because I'm embarrassed to let everyone in the neighborhood see that I can only jog for one minute at a time, I usually do my jogging inside the house, since my kitchen/living room is enormous.

My dogs, of course, love it when I jog around in circles (actually figure eights). They jog along behind me and wrestle with each other as they do. That's fine with me, even though sometimes they get in my way, so I have to vault over them or dodge around them. Blitzkrieg, however, is not always a terribly well-behaved dog. Despite my efforts to teach him otherwise, he still thinks it's okay to jump up on people and playfully nip at them. This is exacerbated by the fact that sometimes, when he gets excited, he doesn't realize that his bites get hard enough to really hurt. (Incidentally, this is a sharp contrast to Akela, who absolutely never bites humans, even lightly or playfully.)

Two days ago, Blitzkrieg nipped my leg hard enough to leave a bruise while I was jogging. In response, I told him "NO!" and used the top of my foot to swat him in the shoulder. (Before you freak out about my kicking a puppy, please be aware that I don't think it's okay to hurt children or pets and that I very deliberately made the swat sharp enough to let him know I was serious, but gentle enough that it wouldn't hurt him, okay?) The swat knocked him a step to the side, and he stood perfectly still where he was, staring at me with a look of utter betrayal on his puppy face. With his ears twitching between lying back and pricking forward, he took a step backward, then a tentative step forward. Then he turned and trotted away, down the hall and into my bedroom, his head low and his tail drooping.

I felt like an absolute monster. Five minutes later, during one of the walking periods, I walked back into the bedroom. He was hiding under the bed, and when I called him, he army-crawled halfway out and stared up at me with his huge brown eyes, looking so sad you would think I had beaten him up and stolen his candy. I picked him up, and he wrapped his front paws around my neck and buried his head in my neck, exactly like a little kid who had been picked on at school might do when his mother hugged him to make it better.

Freaking dog.

After I hugged him and brought him back into the living room and started to jog again, he started running around and playing with Akela again, acting like nothing had ever happened.

Apparently, swatting him like I had didn't teach him his lesson, though, because today when I was jogging, he jumped up and bit me right in the butt about thirty seconds after I started. I didn't touch him this time, I just snapped "NO!" and kept going. When I rounded the couch and started back toward the kitchen, I saw him backing toward the hallway, and when I rounded the island in the kitchen and began heading back to the living room, he was gone, hiding under the bed again.

I'm not apologizing this time. He started it. Furry little melodramatic drama queen. I swear, he abuses the power those big brown eyes grant him.

UPDATE: I walked into my room to get a book, and when I walked out again, he followed me and is now curled up beside my chair.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Onoez the fud wil biet me!

This morning, I fed the dogs with my normal feeding ritual. "Sit. Wait. Look here. ....Good dogs. Okay, go ahead!" Blitzy, who was sitting and waiting in his favorite patch of sunlight, nevertheless didn't hesitate to run forward and start nomming his food. Akela likewise stepped forward, and I left the room to go acquire a book.

Hearing pawsteps behind me, I turned around and saw that faithful Akela had shadowed my steps, apparently to keep me safe from the monsters that hide under the bed and in the closet. I picked up my book and headed back to the kitchen quickly, because if given the chance, Blitzkrieg will eat all of his food, then all of Akela's food, and then will turn around and throw it right back up because he ate too much.

I sat down and began reading. I hadn't gotten more than a page into it when I heard a weird sound. I looked up. Akela was pushing at her food-dish with her nose. Then she pawed at it and almost tipped it over. She stared at it for a few seconds, howled, then turned and walked away. She got about three steps, then turned, walked back, and did the same thing again, acting like she fully expected the food to jump out and bite her. She did that about eight times, with Blitzkrieg watching her, obviously hoping she would decide not to eat it so he could grab a few bites. Then she stepped up to the food dish, took out on kibble of food, and dropped it on the carpet. She sniffed it, pawed at it, and ate it.

Then, as she finally began to eat her food like a normal dog, Blitzkrieg tip-toed up beside her and sat down with his nose about three inches from her food dish, as if to say, "Hey, if you're not gonna eat that, I will!"

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Nick Pitera

Apparently, this guy, Nick Pitera, is a Pixar animator who is also a fantastic singer. Seriously, WATCH THIS! It's AWESOME.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Mealtime for the dogs

We store our dog food in the garage. The dogs don't really have a set meal time. They eat in the morning and in the evening, whenever we get around to feeding them.

As soon as I make a move to pick up their food bowls, Akela shadows my footsteps, knowing I'll soon be holding food that should, by right, be hers. (Of course, in her opinion, any and all food should, by right, be hers.) Blitzkrieg, on the other hand, goes directly to the spot I always bring the food back to and sits and waits for his meal to be brought to him.

Akela isn't allowed in the garage with me, so she waits just outside the garage door, hoping to ambush me as soon as I come in and take the food. Blitzkrieg remains sitting in the kitchen.

When I bring the food back, I head to where Blitzkrieg is waiting, then tell Akela to sit. She does immediately because I'm holding food. As long as I'm holding food, I could tell her to jump into the Grand Canyon and she'd do it if she thought it meant I would give her my food. Then I set down both food bowls and tell the dogs, "Look here." They have to look at me, not the food, and aren't allowed to eat until I tell them, "Okay."

Training Akela to wait was more difficult than training Blitzkrieg, because Blitzkrieg won't touch his food until it's put directly in front of him. I usually set the bowls about three feet away from the dogs. Even when I say okay, Blitzkrieg will usually just sit and stare at the bowl, probably distraught because it's not within his reach, so he can't figure out how to eat it. He doesn't budge until I push his bowl directly in front of him, at which point you can almost see him looking relieved that using his mind powers to move the bowl closer worked, since there was no alternative.

Sometimes, like today, if I remember that the dogs need food when I'm in the middle of something, I just set the bowls down in front of the dogs and go back to what I was doing. When I do that, Blitzkrieg will start wolfing the food down immediately, but Akela sniffs the bowl and then turns and looks at me with an expression of utter confusion on her face. It's like she's saying, 'I'm looking at you. See? Can I eat now? Am I allowed? What did I do wrong? Why are you walking away from me?' She won't touch her food until I come back and tell her to sit and look at me. Because I feel bad for neglecting to make her earn her food, I sometimes make her do one or two more tricks as well, by which time she starts edging toward the food, like, "Okay, I'm done with this game. Food time."

By that time, Blitzy's almost done snarfing down his food, and when he's finished, he usually circles Akela until she finishes, hoping that she'll leave him a few bites. I guess the food we give him isn't worth getting up for, but the food we give Akela is, even though it's the same food.

When Akela finishes, Blitzkrieg rushes in and licks the bottom of her bowl a few times, just in case there are any invisible pieces hiding from him. Then he'll waddle over to his favorite patch of sunlight (or the air vent if the heat is on, or the bed), plop down, and go to sleep.

Lazy dog.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Darn helpful people

So I guess the red panda was too easy. Oh well, I'm already bored of this game anyway. Also I forgot what I was going to do next, although I remember it was awesome.

So I still can't find anyone willing to hire me, though at this point it's probably because I no longer have any confidence that anyone would want to. It's not that I'm useless, it's just that nobody really needs me. I feel like a hammer might if it were brought to a new construction area where there were already more than enough hammers that were already being used. The hammer would still be useful, if anyone wanted to use it, but everyone already has their hammers.

I thought about being a volunteer firefighter. And by "thought about," what I mean is I tried. Turns out this fire station doesn't take volunteers. They only take paid employees. So I was going to apply, but there are TWO THOUSAND applications already on file. I'm not kidding. There are TWO THOUSAND people lining up to run into burning buildings. So much for that.

So then I decided to volunteer at the wildlife refuge just outside of town. I perused the website. As it turns out, they apparently take volunteers, but the application process is as bad as applying for a job. You fill out the application and send it in with your resume, and they put it in a file and if they need someone and like your resume/application, then they'll call you and set up an interview. And then you have to buy your own uniform. I mean, Boy Scouts makes you buy your own uniform, but at least they don't make you suffer through a stinking interview first.

The problem is that the people in this city are too darn helpful. I'm not kidding. I was driving to Safeway the other day, and I saw flames beside the road and traffic was stopped. It was a bad car accident, and I got there probably less than a minute after it happened. The car was on its side, engulfed in flames about twelve feet tall. By the time I got out of my car and ran up to see if I could help in some way, people had already pulled the girl away from the burning car, there were three or four people tending to her and another person on a cell phone, presumably calling 911. Figuring the best thing to do was get out of the way, I got in my car and turned around and saw two or three other people who had gotten out of their cars and were directing traffic.

It's awesome that people here are so helpful and willing to take the initiative. But it means there's nothing left for me to do. Those jerks.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The duet of the cats

This is the best ever!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Bird composers

Someone saw a flock of birds sitting on telephone wires and saw musical notes.

Birds on the Wires from Jarbas Agnelli on Vimeo.


Awesome!

Common genet

Kudos to the Old Man--the kitty two posts down is a genet.

Genets are relatives of the cat family, found in Europe, Africa, and some places of the Middle East. They're about a foot and a half long, with another foot and a half of tail, and they weigh around five pounds. They're solitary and nocturnal, and live to be about ten to fifteen. They eat pretty much anything smaller than themselves, from smaller mammals to birds and insects to eggs and fruits. Common genets are also known as small-spotted genets or European genets.


This one should be a little bit easier. Anyone know what this animal is? (I think Dubby does.) He's also unbearably cute. Don't worry, they won't all be cute. My next animal lined up is downright silly-looking.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Fuzzy!






Since my dad likes guessing games so much, let's see who's the first person who can post a comment telling what kind of animal this is. I would give you a hint, but if I did, that would make it too easy to search Google.

Valentine's Day last week was the best V-Day I've ever had. I went to PT with Jack to play racquetball and as we got back to the truck afterward, Jack said, "Shhh, you hear that? What's that? Stay here!" He ran ahead to the truck, opened the door, and a second later called me to come join him. I was completely oblivious, so I came up and there was a little Valentine's basket on the front seat with candy and a little stuffed puppy that Jack decided to name Boogers. D'awww! When we got home, turns out Boogers had left little Ferrero-Rocher chocolate poops all around. And for dinner, Jack got a heart-shaped pizza from Papa Murphy's.

I've never really liked Valentine's Day, but this is the first time someone's ever actually made me feel special for it before. It was cool! :D

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Work work

I got a car a few days ago. It's a green Subaru Legacy. I love Subarus. :) Now I'm happy because I can go places. Consequently, I've finally started seriously applying for jobs. (I was only kind-of looking before.)

I found a couple of freelance editing jobs (yeah, I know, I should have been applying to them while I didn't have a car, but the thought never occurred to me), but I'm really leery about working for someone I've never seen and probably never will see. I especially don't want to send them my personal information, like credit card number and bank information, which they say they require to pay me and to report for tax purposes. I don't like it. Maybe I should apply to McDonald's.

They gave me a church calling last week. Now I'm the new Wolf Den Leader in the Cub Scouts. I wasn't happy about it at first because I kind of wanted to teach the young women stuff, but then I realized that teenage girls are silly broads that don't want to learn how to be independent anyway. Also, if I told the leaders in the Young Women my ideas and they said, "Oh no, we need to teach these girls to be more spiritual, so we can only ever discuss eternal marriage," then I'd probably get really mad.

Besides, little boys like juggling. I can juggle.

The other day, I was talking with a friend of mine who I taught to juggle. Apparently he's been getting so many gigs as a clown at birthday parties that he's starting his own business now. I'm so proud!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Sorry

My mom always taught me that it's really important to say you're sorry. I'm starting to learn what that means.

Whenever I do something that hurts or offends someone, they get upset with me. I say I'm sorry, they accept my apology, and life goes on.

Whenever someone else does something that hurts or offends me, I get upset. They get defensive and angry. I end up saying I'm sorry, they accept my apology, and life goes on.

Does anything here seem wrong to you?

The alternative, I guess, would be people like that deciding not to hang around me anymore. I'm starting to wonder whether that would really be such a bad thing.

Note: This post was not brought on by any argument with my husband. For the record.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Neutered!

We finally got Blitzkrieg neutered today. So far, I can't tell which he's more indignant about, the neutering or the "buster collar," which I always called a cone, but I guess I was wrong.


He didn't have the collar on when the vet brought him out to us, and when we slid it on over his head (we had to finagle his big ears a little bit), he glared at us with eyes that said, "I may be little and drugged, but someday I will kill you and everything you hold dear." When he's not awkwardly tiptoeing his way around trying to find his balance without his little puppy ballsack and trying to figure out why his field of vision is suddenly much narrower and why he can't fit under the computer desk or walk close to walls and corners anymore, he's alternately glaring at us and standing with his head as close to the floor as he can droop it before the collar stops him.

Poor puppy!

PS: I found a new record today. I'm still looking for cars, especially Subarus because I love them, and I keep finding ones with sick amounts of miles on them, often in excess of 200,000. Today I found one with somewhere around 350,000 miles on it. Still running. Yeah. Subarus are awesome.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Dogs are gross. I am lazy.

I didn't sleep well last night, so after Jack left for work, I decided to go back to sleep. I'm not sure how much later it was when I was woken up by that weird gulping noise that means a dog is getting ready to vomit. Reflex kicked in (this happens kind of a lot) and I immediately grabbed my little dog, Blitzkrieg, and tossed him off the bed. He tried to crawl under the bed, so I held him in place by his collar, because the only thing worse than cleaning up dog puke is having to crawl under the bed to clean up dog puke.

Blitzkrieg deposited an enormous pile of chunky, apparently-undigested dog food on the floor right beside the bed. Still-half-asleep, I stared at the big pile of vomit, which I could hardly see because my glasses weren't on, and I thought, "Man, I really don't feel like cleaning this up right now." As I sat there staring at the pile in dislike, Blitzkrieg and my other dog, Akela, both started chowing down on it.

"How nice," I thought. "Now I don't have to clean it up." Then I rolled over and went back to sleep.

Dogs are gross.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Listening pleasure

And now, for your listening pleasure, here is a pretty song that I would put as the background music for my blog if a) I could figure out how and b) it didn't annoy me a little when other people put music on their blogs that distracts me while I'm trying to read.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

If I were YW president...

I FINALLY got my guitar fixed, yaaaay! Still no luck job-hunting, but I've been fairly busy with some freelance editing I'm doing as well as studying for my ham radio license and looking for a car (which I kind of want to get before I get a job).

Jack really wants me to be a boy scout unit commissioner with him, which I wouldn't mind doing, but it's not something I'm completely gung ho (sp?) about. I kind of want to get a position with the young women (12-18) at the church because most of the YW programs I've seen have been hyper-focused on getting ready for weddings and interior decoration for your house and other frivolous stuff. I kind of want to make sure the young women are taught things they'll actually need to know, like first aid, personal management, and home repair. If I were YW president, we would be learning and reviewing first aid at least twice a year. I would also have some lessons about emergency preparedness. I think I'd even spend a little money to get a couple of the little fire extinguishers and teach everyone how to use one properly, because realistically, how many young people are confident using one in an emergency situation? Also a lesson on car repair would be useful--how to change a tire, change your oil, jump a battery, change a headlight, put on new windshield wiper blades. How about how to pick a basic indoor lock in case you have a toddler who locks himself into a room and you out of it? How to manage your own finances just in case (gasp!) you DON'T get yourself married off the day after you graduate high school. A lesson on cleaning couldn't hurt either--which chemicals to use when, what chemicals not to ever mix, how to properly use and care for vacuum cleaners, laundry machines, ovens/stoves, dishwashers, etc. How to cut your own kid's hair so you don't have to pay someone else to do it. These are things that don't get taught in school but that almost everyone needs to know. The Boy Scouts learn most of this stuff while the Young Women are writing lists of qualities their future husband will have, drawing little hearts around temples they want to get married in, and designing what they want their wedding dresses to look like. Not that I think people shouldn't get married (obviously), I just think other things are important too.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Meow

Blitzy has officially grown up. He's been trying to mount Akela. I'm so proud!

It's actually really funny, because every time he tries, she turns and snarls at him and chases him off, so he tries to sneak up behind her and rape her without her noticing. Every time she starts to turn in his direction, he scampers away. Sorry, puppy, but it just doesn't work that way!

Still no luck with the job-hunting, but I also don't have my own car yet, so it's probably a good thing anyway. I may end up being a unit commissioner with the Boy Scouts, though. Apparently I have enough experience now, and apparently they're desperate for unit commissioners, which isn't surprising. Most councils are. I just don't think I could do a very good job just because I don't like telling people they're doing something wrong, and that's 95% of a unit commissioner's job. Then again, that's 95% of what editors do too, and I also do that. Huh. I hadn't thought of that until now.

Jack's pop gave us this awesome recipe he made for linguini with shrimp and peas. The first time we tried making it, it didn't come out right, and we added way too many peas. This time, though, it was amazing! I'll definitely have to call him up and let him know his recipe was a smashing success. Also, hey, I cooked something yummy!!! :D

That's all for now.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Yaaaaaaay...

Still no luck job hunting. It depresses me that even with a college degree, I still don't even qualify to shovel horse manure. (Seriously, I was told not to even waste their time by applying for the position.) I found some really weird job titles too, such as "Kitchen Table Coordinator." Seriously? I didn't know kitchen tables needed to be coordinated. I can only assume that Kitchen Table is the name of some business or other. I've sent in a few applications, but it feels like I only qualify for one out of every 250 jobs, and I only know of so many places to search. I did find a linguistics job, but I would have to enlist in the army for it and go through boot camp, and then anytime my husband and I are both in uniform, I would have to salute him and call him Sir, and I don't think that's going to happen.

So bottom line, wish me luck.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Starting up again

I guess it's about time to start writing in my blog again.

Jack and I are living in a really nice house in Washington state. It's in a neighborhood with a playground in it and a wildlife preserve next to it. The house has a fenced yard--albeit a small one--for the puppy dogs, and the kitchen and living room of the house open onto each other and have a big vaulted ceiling, which makes the house feel even bigger than it already is. Jack's adopted sister Sarah is living with us, and she has her own bedroom and bathroom with a skylight.

We just moved in Monday, so a lot of our stuff is still boxed up, and we're in the process of acquiring furniture. For me, finding a job is more important than unpacking, but I can't find anything that I qualify for and that will interest me for three years (that's how long we'll be here). Even a lot of entry-level jobs seem to require experience working with customers, which janitorial work never really covered. I've considered just taking on a bunch of piano/trumpet/french horn students and advertising for freelance editing work, but I don't think that work alone will keep me busy enough.

Speaking of music students, my parents gave me my (are you ready for this?) dad's sister's husband's father's old trombone, which was given to my grandfather and put into storage in his shed out back for a few decades. The case is falling apart and covered in mildew, and the trombone was tarnished almost completely black. When grandpa died, apparently the trombone was going to get either thrown away or sold on eBay for twenty-five bucks, so I rescued it and polished it up last week. Turns out that except for some tiny age spots, the trombone cleaned up really really really nice. I didn't even realize until I'd spent almost half an hour with silver polish that the bell is a different color from the rest of the trombone. The outside is silver, and inside the bell is a pale brass color. Really nice for an instrument that looked like it was made out of patchy hematite last week. I greased up the slide and played it, and the sound is beautiful too. It has one tiny dent in it, but is otherwise in near-perfect condition. And they were going to just throw it away. Sheesh.

So now I'm going to learn how to play the trombone.

Also, I got that new flavor of Altoids, Creme de Menthe. They're addictive. Yummyyyyy. Maybe I'm just guzzling those because I've been cutting back on chocolate and I need SOMETHING to be addicted to. Mmmmm, Altoids. Plus they last forever because they pretty much have to be eaten one at a time. Om nom nom.

I never blogged about the other puppy we have, Blitzkrieg. He's mostly beagle, and he's really cute. So when I make reference to Blitzy, if you didn't already know, he's our other puppy that isn't Akela the husky. He turns one in April.

That's all for now.