Fred the Arthritic Bird

18 09 2011

So the birds around my house do this weird thing.

I’m sure they do it everywhere, but regardless of where they’re doing it… it’s weird.

They all group together.  A huge flock of them..  They all settle into a tree or two.  Thousands of them.  When you look up to the tree, it’s moving.  It’s just alive with the movement of the birds and the volume of them all chirping at the same time is so loud.  And when they all ride up together and take wing it sounds like I’m getting to be hit with a huge wind, but it’s just their wings.  It’s just crazy.  But the oddest part is, as soon as they all get settled, they take back off again.  But it’s funny, there always seems to be one bird that lags behind. I think of him a Fred, the Arthritic.  It takes him awhile longer to take off.  To get those old joints moving.  To catch up.   So it really seems like they’re all like, “Well, Fred’s here.  I guess we can GO now.  Thanks for showing up FRED, just in time to leave.”  And the cycle starts all over.  They do this for about an hour or two.  I feel bad for poor Fred.  And his poor stiff joints.  I figure that’s the only explanation.

Either that or he’s got terrible B.O.  





Meet Rufert

15 09 2011
I”m Rufert.
These are my bottom teeth.
I am not one to rag on dogs.  I LOVE dogs.  I love my dogs.  I love other people’s dogs.  I do not, however, love Rufert.  Rufert comes to our house once a year for two weeks when his owner goes over to England to visit his wife.  (Seriously, just don’t ask.  Apparently, it takes an ocean between them to make their marriage work).  He is the dog of one of the mechanics at the shop my husband manages.
This is the third year we’ve had the pleasure of watching Rufert.   Like I said he comes for two weeks.  Which means he goes HOME in just four more days.  I will admit, he’s not a terrible little dog.  And he is rocking he ugly-cute thing, like hard core.
But seriously –
Number of times he’s peed in the house:  1
Number of times he’s pooped in the house: 1
Number of times I didn’t know he pooped in the house and stepped in it – BAREFOOT: 1
Number of times he’s tried to get it on with one of our other dogs, Morgan:  3,465,283
To say I’m ready for Rufert to go is an understatement.   Whenever he comes I think he’s adorable for approximately 1.25 hours.
After that it all comes screaming back to me that he:
– Hates grass and therefore poops and pees all over our patio
– Has dinner that is more complicated than dumping food in a bowl
– Normally doesn’t see airplanes where he lives given the buildings around his house so he barks at them.  Every. single. one.  Oh and we live about 3 miles from a small local airport that people fly their private planes and Lear jets out of all. the. time.
– Normally doesn’t see flocks of birds…  or any birds…  and barks at every. single. one.
– Has a weird skin disorder that as taken away a big patch of fur in the middle of his back and just left this scaley gross area that makes me not even want to touch him and definitely dials back the “cute” part of the “ugly-cute” factor by, well, by pretty much all of it.
So why do we do it?  Because my husband is a kind and good person.  My husband, not me.  I mean, how could I be?  I just spent a half hour ragging on a little dog that can’t help that he’s the most annoying dog ever.  And also?  If two weeks in England with his wife where she lives…  in England…keeps his owner’s marriage strong?  Well, then, we fully support that




A girl, her heart and Sundays in the fall…

12 09 2011

A man.

A release date.

May 20th, 2009.  Mike Vick was released from prison for his heinous acts of fighting dogs and killing them.  And also, in my mind, for helping to perpetrate the stereotype against pit bulls, though, last I checked that isn’t a legal offense (regardless of what I think).  At any rate, he was out.  He did most all the time he was sentenced to, did pretty much the rest of it under house confinement.

He made it clear he wanted to play football again.  I was incensed.  He wanted to PLAY football again.  How dare he?  Yes, he’s a football player.  That was his profession before going to jail and the argument was that he should be able to do it after.  An accountant who goes to jail for dog-fighting can come out of jail and go back to being an accountant…  a carpenter could go back to being a carpenter… but the fact that THIS man wanted to come back and play football outraged me.   
He said he was sorry and changed?  Fine, go get a job as a high school football coach or even a college assistant coach, whatever…  but don’t think you can come back on the football field as a player and have the opportunity to earn millions of dollars after what you did.  No, sir.  
I couldn’t even imagine a team that would be willing to take on the fan backlash of signing this guy.  I couldn’t think of a team that would touch him with a 10-ft-pole and risk that kind of outcry from the people who ARE the bread and butter of a franchise… the people that pay to come to the games.. buy the merchandise… and buy the concessions.  I couldn’t even imagine…
August 14th, 2009 – The day Michael Vick signed a 2 year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles.  MY Philadelphia Eagles.  I will admit, I sat down and cried.  Literally.  I yelled for a few minutes.  Said some things my mother wouldn’t be proud of.  And then sat down on the couch… and cried.  How… why… I knew someone, some team would give him a chance.  But why here?  Why us?  Why MY team?  It was the “not in my back yard” mentality.  I was.. devastated.  
Looking at him in an Eagles uniform made me sick.  When I saw him, all I could see were the pictures of the ravaged dogs.   And the knowledge coming forward again and again in my mind of the countless others already buried in his backyard.  Honestly, there are times, that’s still all I can see when I look at him.
I was faced with a huge decision.  And I know non-sports people don’t get this. But for several months… most of the 2009-10 season, actually, I battled with myself.  I tried to reason with myself and I cursed myself every Sunday I found myself getting excited about the game… and held myself in contempt when game time found my butt on the couch ready to watch the players do battle..  
I was bleeding Eagles green and white long before Michael Vick got here and I will continue to long after he’s left.  I can’t change it.  I can’t hide from it.  And I won’t pretend to not be excited when he completes those amazing passes to break open a game or when he runs for 30 yards and you can visibly see the competition deflate.  
I’ve watched him for the past two years and while in my heart I KNOW he’d still be fighting dogs if he didn’t get caught.  Is probably only sorry BECAUSE he got caught.  And for all I know may do it again someday?  He’s doing the right things now.  He’s acting the right way now.  He’s leading this team in a way we haven’t seen for over a decade.  And judge me for it, if you must, but I’m glad he’s here.  I’m glad he’s turned his life around.  I’m glad to see what 18 months in prison did.  I think…  or I HOPE it gave him some perspective, showed him a little something of what matters in life and the sacrifices that come with taking the wrong road.
And it may be naive of me…  but when he thinks of what matters…  and the sacrifices made at his own hand…  I don’t think it’s dollars that come to his mind.  
I’m sure I’m being idealistic…  
but it’s hard to argue with a girl, her heart and Sundays in the Fall.




My So-Called Life Rewind

5 09 2011

Today there has been a marathon on Sundance Channel of My So-Called Life.  I’ve enjoyed every moment.

I was 17 for the 7 months the show was on originally.  It was fantastic.

What average somewhat geeky straight girl in their teens didn’t want to be Angela Chase with a Jordan Catalano of their very own to notice them, think they were great and subsequently treat them like crap?  I know I did.  For crying out loud, watching the show today still makes me want my own Jordan Catalano.  Boy was hot.  I want one for no other reason than to have someone in my life I call by their first and last name constantly.  Because that’s kind of fun.  “I can’t talk to Jordan Catalano.”  “If Jordan Catalano is nearby, my whole body knows it.”  “So what did your parents think of Jordan Catalano?”  Well, maybe not NO other reason.  But that would be the biggest reason by far.

The only thing that seems unrealistic?  Thinking about sex all the time at 15.  When I was 15 I was in 9th grade and in my first year of high school and had a huge crush on…  ok, I see their point.  But even still, it wasn’t the first thing on my mind.  But then again…  if my crush looked like Jordan Catalano, maybe it would have been a different story.

Anyway watching the marathon today made me wish for a simpler time.  Oh, it didn’t seem simple at the time.  Like every teen I thought I was, oh so complex and deep and complicated.  No one could understand the intricacies and difficulties of being me.  After all, I was PROFOUND.   Yeah, not so much.

We grow up.  We learn there are issues bigger than a geometry midterm, parents meeting boyfrineds and sneaking off to the boiler room.  Or under the stairs as the case may be.  We still worry about our friends, would rather be liked than not and we learn that the Jordan Catalano’s of the world don’t change and can’t be fixed.  But in our memory, we still love them anyway.

Though I’d never want to do it over, I sometimes miss my teenage angst ridden days filled with brooding, pouting and the never-ending search for my very own Jordan Catalano.
First and last name.





Reason #5382 why being an adult can bite me

4 09 2011

No allowance given for yard work.

We don’t have a mower with a bag.  The last time Tom mowed within a couple days we had stripes of brown dead mowed grass in our yard.  (The same brown grass that prompted this comment and subsequent post regarding our neighbor).  To be honest, it looked like crap.   We seem to be the only bagless mower owners in the neighborhood.  So we were THAT house.

Today after Tom mowed and went back to chainsawing the tree he and his father brought down, I started raking.  We have .6 of an acre.  Which doesn’t sound like much, but if you take into consideration that our house is the size of a shoebox and our detached garage is the same size as our house…   we’re talking about two shoe boxes on .6 of an acre = lots of yard.

So I raked and I raked and I raked.  I got the whole front yard done, but it got to the point that it was too dark to see what was done and what wasn’t.  So we called it a day.  (Tom had stopped chainsawing and was collecting the piles.

Where is the person who’s supposed to pay me for doing this chore?  My husband had an inappropriate response, but since my mom reads this, I’ll leave it at that.  (Hi, Mom!).

I’m tired and sore and tired and in the words of Ringo…





Stupidity runs amok… more specifically MY stupidity.

2 09 2011

So here’s what I had planned to do today on Day 1 of my 4 day weekend”

– Shower
– Sort the Avon order and contact my clients to arrange delivery.
– Spend about an hour with just me and my idea book and brainstorm book ideas.
– Put in a movie and get on the Gazelle for about an hour.
– Shower again, because, obviously.
– Tidy up a little
– Watch a little TV
– Write a post
– Go pick my husband up at work.  
What from the list I’ve actually accomplished at almost 1pm. 
– Shower
What I’ve accomplished that WASN’T on the list
– Left my brain in bed sleeping, apparently.
– Answer the door to a sales guy – supposed sales guy 
– Watch his little demo of his magic cleaning stuff to take off paint, brake dust and some sort of something off our porch banister. 
– Stupidly say my husband wasn’t home.
– Panic because I just told a total stranger that my husband wasn’t home.
– Call the police to tell them that I’m an idiot and am now nervous because some stranger knows my husband isn’t home.
– Call my husband to tell him he married said idiot.  
– Obsessively go out front and out back repeatedly to make sure no one is sneaking up on my house to break in/kill me/rape me/murder me/kill my animals.
And oh, I did wrote a blog post.  




A Letter to my Neighbor

28 08 2011
Dear Neighbor:

You seem like a decent guy.  You do.  And I do like that when things seem awry in our neighborhood you patrol it with a Colt45 tucked into your belt given the responding police are 40 minutes away.  But knowing that you’re a slightly different guy with a house full of guns gives me pause to bring this up to your face.  Not because I think you’d shoot me, but because I don’t want our house left off your rounds when a stranger walks into another neighbor’s house thinking she’s not home (we’re guessing to rob her) but finds her sitting in her easy chair in the living room and runs out.  Like I said, it gives me pause…   a long pause.

But if I WERE going to say anything to you it would be along the lines of “When I want your opinion on my weight I will ask you for it, you misogynistic jerk… got it?”  Because honestly, I am sorry that the previous neighbor with her tight body, fake boobs and highly age inappropriate clothing moved out and this fattie moved in three years ago thereby effectively removing your eye candy, but them’s the breaks.  You can’t win ’em all, buddy and I do not need you telling my husband that when he mows that I should follow behind him and gather up the grass clippings because, according to you, I could “use the exercise”.  Really?   REALLY?

And, I will admit, at first I was mad at my husband for not sticking up for me, but really, it’s just not worth it.  Plus, depending on how it went down that could be something that would ALSO leave us off your rounds and  I just don’t want that. And I was irritated that he didn’t tell you that I’ve lost 25 pounds in the last 3 months but the more I thought about it, I’m glad he didn’t – because why on earth would that be any of your concern or business?

So speaking of business I would suggest that you mind yours or I will keep up with the passive aggressive behavior I’ve been employing all night of “mistakenly” leaving on the side porch light which shines right in your bedroom window.  At this point I’m only intending on doing it for about a year.

So when I see you outside and our eyes meet and you look like you might make a move to come down the hill to shoot the crap with me, don’t be offended when I quickly take the dogs back into the house.  It’s only because I think you’re a jerk.

But thanks for your vigilante like method of law enforcement   It is appreciated.  Your opinions, however, about MY body?  Are not.

The old ball and chain of your neighbor…
Amy