Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Capital B for Bruce

I have to back up a bit because I forgot a story last week.  Momela asked me not to get her anything for her birthday, which I read as "don't spend any money."  I think I told you that for Christmas, Maureen had given me a Penn State jersey that her sons had worn when they were teeny babies.  She had been saving it for my first born.  See, my mom has a wall in the kitchen filled with pictures of all of her grandchildren in Penn State attire.  The boys in the jersey and the girls in cheer-leading outfits.  You see where this is going right?   Dawne helped me take a picture of Percy and then she put it on a Sears-like professional background.  Then, I made two copies, one 8 X 11 picture for the fridge and then one 5 X 7 which was put into a hand/paw made popsicle frame complete with Percy's blue paw prints lining the bottom.  And, because I wanted Momela to have the full effect, this little gift included a card with Percy "singing"/barking happy birthday. 

This picture was taken pre-grooming.  I took Percy for his first pro-bath and hair cut (me having to cut gum out of his paw doesn't count.)  It pained me to cut those eye brows, but I knew that seeing was probably an important part of his life.  I missed my little ragamuffin immediately.  The chick at All things Pawsitive said to me, when I dropped him off at 8:30 that she was going to take her time and give him time to rest if he got too stressed out but that she was sure she could finish by 5 PM.  What!? It only took an hour and half, but when Pam took Lucy, it took until 4PM and the chick cutting Lucy ended up cutting herself and had to go to the emergency room.  Cray Cray. 

A new German came to live with us last week.  He's cool, his name is Alex.  I felt awful though because no one told him about the dogs, and he's never been around animals before and I guess he pretty freaked out about them.  It didn't help that Casper went to work with them, and that there is golden retriever at work as well.  Not only that, because he didn't tell Jordan about his apprehension towards the animals, Jordan had Alex drive Casper home on his own on Friday.  So, now we know he's a pretty good sport. 

Took Percy on a little trip to NY on Thursday evening.  He got his own seat and thought that was pretty cool.   He even liked his new Percy Purse.  On the way back from NY though, I picked up the bag to check on him.  He popped his head out and surprised the chick next to me.  She said it was okay if he walked over by her... which he did.  First he hid his rawhide in the scarf on her lap, then curled up on her tray and fell asleep.  When he woke up 15 minutes later, he walked back over and into his bag where he stayed for the rest of the trip. 

On Friday evening we went out for a "bachelorette" dinner at Traveler's Rest, which I chose - not knowing that Eva's uncle and cousin would be at, upstairs, playing jazz.  This same duo would be performing at Eva's wedding - and I had invited her cousin to dinner - but she couldn't make it because of a family thing.  What are the chances?  I had fun.  I figure, any time that we can get Evivova to laugh so hard that she cries a little, is a good night.  Here are the highlights:

Eva: Joe (her husband) loves Bruce Springsteen and wants to name the baby Bruce.  He even promised to walk the dog for the duration of Dino's life if we name the kid Bruce. 
Maureen: Ask him to throw in changing diapers, and you've got a deal.  I didn't get to choose the name for my first son, and I got nothing out of the deal. 

During dessert, a cart was brought around with cordials.  Jessica couldn't decide what she wanted so Eva's mom, Mary Ann told her to get peppermint schnapps (something green anyway) while Mary Anna got an amaretto. 

Jessica: I think this is actually Nyquil.
Me: Now you know.  If you don't make a choice we'll make a bad one for you.

We told Eva should go with a cherry cordial because "Bruce will love it."  At that point, the waiter understood that the bride drinking Shirley Temples all night was pregnant. 

Waiter:  Oh you'd going to be a b or d. 
(We all start laughing hard.)
Mary Ann: I don't get it. 
Me: I think he means the shape of letters because you'll have a baby bump. 
Eva: I was thinking capital letters!
Mary Ann: I still don't get it. 

Saturday morning, I met up with Carla (Stacey's sister) and the girls for ice cream and waffles at the dinner.  Morgan had given Carla 6 dollars so that she could get a Hot Cocoa.  I don't know why I thought that was so amusing.  Maybe telling the girls about becoming a minister at the Universal Life Church so that I could officiate wasn't the most responsible thing for me to do because immediately Bailey wanted to know how old you had to be to perform ceremonies.  After the diner, we went to Starbucks where Morgan wanted to acquire some straws because every day she ends up spilling her chocolate milk all over herself due to the same of the tiny cartons.  I sympathized, but didn't let her take more than a couple of straws.  As we were pulling out in Stacy's FJ and there was a lot of people at the intersections, Morgan informed us that "My dad always says biggest car always wins."  I told her she probably shouldn't listen to him, and also probably shouldn't listen to me either after I thought about the stories I had told that day already. 

Then we went to get our nails done.  I heard Jackie chatting up the guy doing her nails including when she said, "Could you do something exotic on my nails?"  And, that's when he brought out the fancy nail polish.  Afterwards, I stopped at CVS and got three different colors of peeps. 

Morgan: I don't like Peeps.
Me: Me neither.  This is for the Peep Wars. 

I told the girls I could probably stay a little bit longer, if I could also practice the wedding ceremony.  Naturally, the girls got all dressed up, the maid of honor and best man both had flowers, the fireplace was lit, and Morgan, in her first holy communion dress walked into the formal living room to the beautiful notes of the wedding march.  At one point, I asked the girls to hold hands, and Jackie said, "geez Morgan, we're not really getting married.  There's no reason for your hands to be all sweaty."  The two ladies giggled the ENTIRE ceremony - as I kept a straight face which told me I was ready to do this. 

On Saturday night, we met at Evivova's to work out any last minute details.  Eva's brother, Alexander and his girlfriend was also there.

Alex: Should we decorate the car?
Me: Totally! You can get some of that window paint!
Alex: What about cans?
Me: Well, there are 6 soda cans on the table right now.  If you give your sister 30 cents, you might be able to take them.
Evivova: Seriously, I like collect and return all the cans. 
Me: Not surprised. 

When I got to the Haymount House on Sunday morning:
Mary Ann: Eva's needs help.
Me: Eva! Your mom says you need help - mental or physical?
Eva: Both!

The whole wedding was lovely.  I was a little overwhelmed by how many complements I received actually.  My favorite part of the ceremony was the vows, which they wrote themselves and didn't share until that moment.  Eva, at one point said, "I promise to name our baby Bruce.... HAHA Just kidding! I'm not doing that."

How short do I look in this picture?

At the reception, there were little candles as favors on the tables.  Eva's dad, Peter picked one up and said, "Oh look, a garbage can."

Peter likes a good argument, and frankly so do I.  I was a little disappointed that he didn't bring his A game though - and didn't mind telling him so. 
Peter: Technology is ruining our lives.  Now, the SS department won't send me a check in the mail - they are now FORCING me to have it be direct deposit.
Me: So you hate convenience and frankly - the environment. 

On our way to the airport, my dad says, "City is clear. There are a lot of buildings over there!"  Amazing how much of NYC is revealed when the clouds lift. :)

OH!  I know this is Tuesday, but it'll be weird if I wait to post it next week.  When I got home, the very next day, Dawne comes out dressed for the day in this outfit to which I immediately sent to Eva in an email entitled "How to re-wear your wedding dress." 

Monday, February 18, 2013

What if it rains? Like on the Phone?

I fell into a youtube wormhole on Wednesday.  JayBray posted a Kid Snippet on facebook, which was very amusing, and then all of a sudden it was way past my bed time and I had abused the socially acceptable amount of videos one can post for a week.  However, this is my space (not myspace,  but you know my actual space on the internets that I can do whatever I want to with.) 

This was my favorite:

This was what Becky things a blind date with me is like:

Which is probably why no one has ever proposed to me, even like this:

I did receive the perfect Valentine though: 

Thursday, some folks form work (Christy, Kelly and Ryan) came over for a group date night with their puppies which means that the dogs outnumbered the people. Their dogs didn’t know really how to play – or at least aren’t as used to having so many other dogs together in a house.   Percy was trying to entertain and get the other pups to play.  He was running around, bringing toys over, “Do you like toys?  I have lots of toys, we can play with toys.  Or we can run up and down the stairs, that’s fun do you want to do that?  Or we can just run around the house and play chase.  Would that make you happy? I hope I’m making you happy. What do you want to do? Huh? Huh?”  Basically, he was the dog equivalent of me when I have guests over.  J

While, I haven’t seen Grizzled Veteran Game Designer Mike in a loooong time, it’s nice to know that I’m still lingering in his subconscious.  The proof was in this email I received that week:

I had a dream last night and you were in it....

Here are the points in no particular order or if you prefer “dream-like" order

Cable TV network  installer guy
A Mansion
Harry Potter quiz/test
Making fun of kids that couldn't figure out the Harry Potter quiz while you and I did
Making fun of them in front of their parents
The beach
A secret door the Quiz opened
A pile of dirty shirts that were to be given to me but have to be taken to the dry cleaner first

Bottom line is I need help.

I finished the third season of Downton Abbey and couldn’t sleep I was so upset about the season finale.  Naturally, to make myself feel better, I started watching House of Cards with Zach.  (It’s not making me feel better.) 

Friday, after work, I took the pups down to the little patch of grass we have by the water.  They were running around chasing each other for a while, and then I decided to take them down by the water.  Percy is a big fan of splishing and splashing, so I thought he would go to the edge of the lake and pat, pat, pat the lapping water.  I did not expect him to run out, jump on a bunch of big rocks and then go flying into the water.  Now we know he can swim, and it’s a good thing because that water is chilllly and I’m glad I didn’t have to go rescue him.   I thought when he got out he’d come running for me to hold him and warm him up – but again, I was wrong.  Towels are clearly for sissies.

Saturday, we had a great time at puppy class, and Percy totally WOW’ed the teacher so yay!  Then I picked up Becky, we checked out the new MOD pizza, and then we went over to the Mercer Island dog park.  Oooh wait, I introduced Percy to Becky’s cats.  He turned his head like he refused to recognize them.  I don’t think he would have been as dismissive if I had put him on the ground with all three of them.  

Saturday night was another successful meeting of the Try New Things Club at Korean BBQ.  I think I might have been okay with it if… we used different utensils to put the raw meat onto the grill than to take it off.  If we didn’t use the same scissor to cut everything up and then mixed it all together, and if the raw octopus wasn’t also touching the other meat and also touching it on the grill.  So OTHER than that, I think I might have liked it.  J  The company was delightful though. 

Octopi Kelly poking at my comfort zone:

Then yesterday I just cleaned and hung out with puppies until Dr. Rach came to play with me!  Did I mention that she’s great?  Because she totally is.  Especially when she’s bringing me presents.  Guess who’s going to be wearing Red Lipstick from now on?  This girl.  Although, not today because I was wearing my pretty new pink headband and I didn’t want to clash. J

Monday, February 11, 2013


Last week we tried watching a Western.  Once Upon a Western I think it was called – really we just found a somewhat highly rated western on Netflix and gave it a whirl.  I can’t say it’s my favorite genre.  I wanted to give it a fair chance, but it was soooo slow and the one fast paced section of the movie was filled with horrifying and unnecessary violence.  I took a shower, came back, and the plot had not progressed.  Can someone tell me if this is true of all westerns of yore or just the ones with Charles Bronson?

Lucas: I watched this video the day, The Guitar Artistry of Bill Frisell.  What a missed opportunity – I would have called it The Guitartistry. 

He immediately had me experience the guitartistry in all its glory.  This was my particular fav:

Jordan was telling this story about his friend who, for 20 years told this story about playing with John Lennon on stage.  For twenty years, no one believed him, until the video showed up on YouTube. 

Jordan: It was the Woodstock of New York.
Lucas: Woodstock was in New York.

On Thursday, I called Becky to see if she wanted to meet for lunch the next day. I must have inferred that I was bringing friends and then clarified that I was bringing Dawne and the dogs.  To which Becky replied, that makes more sense - aren’t your friends all dogs now anyway?

If that is the case, and I’m not saying that it is or isn’t, my friends and I had quite the day on Friday.  I had the day off because 95% of my office was switching desks.  I spent that day off taking the pups to the park, going to Pet Smart, lunch, then teaching Percy and Lucy how to come to other people, staying in the yard, and teaching Lucy how to go down stairs.  It was a pretty awesome day. 

Saturday, I went to puppy class with Pam, and then Dawne and I met Dr. Rach to buy her wedding dress!!! I kept thinking in my head that I just wanted something simple when I got married, or just wanted to wear my mom’s wedding dress and then I turned around and saw an absolute Disney’esque princess dress.  This isn’t the dress, but you get the idea:

Eva: Also if you want to come to my house on that Saturday night to rehearse we will be there with my fam. But if you have plans no worries. We can wing this!!
Me: We are NOT going to wing your wedding!!
Eva: Haha Okay.   

Did I mention that I spent 70% of last week watching 3 seasons of Downton Abbey?

In case you were thinking that I was the only one who has fallen in love with the puppies:

Zach is the human, L-R Nala, Percy & Lucy. J

I plan on having an “Orphan’s Thanksgiving” for Valentine’s Day this year expressly to watch romantic movies like You’ve Got Mail, Valentine’s Day and Silence of the Lambs.  I was talking to Kelly about organizing this event and another “Try New Things Club” meeting next week.  I guess one of our co-workers just found out about the TNTC.
Kelly: Kyle was really mad about not being invited to the TNTC. I told him it was because of his nut allergy and that's when he asked me to de-band the club.
Me (after I stopped giggling): Did you ask him to the next meeting?
Kelly: No. Of course not. He can’t come to a club he wants to be de-banded. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tea and Crumpets

Last week I started taking Percy to the park to run him around the track like area.  It only takes 4 laps for him to get really exhausted – but we’re working on both of our endurance.  J  On Tuesday, I decided to take all three dogs, whether they wanted to or not.  Percy wasn’t a fan, but I picked him up, threw him into the crate in the car and left him to cry while I went after Nala.  She tried to run away, but I wasn’t having it, so I picked her up and put her in the car.  Then came Casper, who looked at me like, “really?” so I ended up having to pick him up and put him in the car.  I put Casper’s leashes on all three so they would be the same length even though they weigh roughly 1/6 of yorkies total weight. When we got to the park, Casper changed his mind and wanted RUN.  About two laps in Nala just stopped and sat down – to which I had no sympathy and made her keep running.  This incident might be why when I tried to get them in the car again they had even more resistance – and no amount of me saying, “we’re going to have fun!” changed their feelings. 

We met up with Rollie on Tuesday.  We met at the British Pantry which is next door to the Three Lions Pub, where his co-workers were going at the same time.  I believe the conversation went something like this:

Co-Worker:  We’re going to the pub, let’s go.
Rollie: I can’t, I’m getting tea and crumpets today. 
Co-Worker: What are you doing?
Co-Worker: You’d rather get tea and crumpets then go to the pub?
Rollie: Yes, that is what I am saying. 

I’m so glad a chose the British Pantry that day.  J 

Me: You know, even though you’ve been dating Angel for 14 years, those years don’t count.  You’ll think you’ve been together for 50 years, but you’ll only be able to celebrate your 36th anniversary.
Rollie: We won’t be celebrating anything.  At that point we won’t be talking to each other and sleeping in separate twin beds.
Me: Still arguing about whether or not chocolate milk and espresso is different than a mocha. 

Jordan was talking about using tools for various projects.
Me: You don’t use tools.
Jordan: No, not me specifically.  But in theory, tools are being used.  

On Saturday, I went to my first puppy class where many of the exercises were based on the fact that your puppy would want to do a bad behavior, and then you corrected it.  Only, Percy refused to do the bad behavior, and he got full up on treats after 5 minutes.  After class, we went to Bark Espresso to meet my co-worker Ryan’s dog.  It was a kinda nice to get the pups in a different environment, meeting another dog all over coffee.  On our way out, we saw a Norwegian Elkhound puppy (which is what my family had when I was really little.)  We went right from there to Sandy’s house who just got a new toy Poodle (which is the other dog we had when I was growing up – what are the chances!?)  The toy poodle was just a baby, but at 4.5 pounds, was already bigger than Nala and Percy.  We went for a walk, then everyone came back to the house for more puppy play time.  (Did I mention that my life has become very dog-centric lately?)  THEN we all went to IKEA for dinner and a spin around the wonder that is the Swedish flagship brand.  

I didn’t get a pic, but here’s an idea of the elkhound cuteness:

And more of Percy:

On Sunday, we went wedding dress shopping with Dr. Rach.  Before we went, we were making a lot of jokes about bringing Cheetos, Bloody Mary’s etc.  I had the places we were going to switched, so Shana commented, “Aren’t we meeting at Dress Theory first? I would be so embarrassed if I showed up to the wrong place with these balloons filled with paint.”   When actually arrived to first store, there was Jin, who was not on this text thread, eating orange soup. 

Naturally, Dr. Rach looked lovely in everything she wore – but we’re still on the hunt for that perfect dress.  While she was trying on dresses, the rest of us was watching another bride try on dresses.  Finally, she comes out in a dress and announces, “This is the one! Go ahead and take pictures ladies, because I’m buying it.”  That’s when Laina turns to me and says exactly what I was thinking, “She must be into LARPing.” 

After wedding dress shopping, we came home and watched 5 minutes of the puppy bowl and 5 minutes of the Kitty half time before the TV was taken over by Talespin.  After a couple episodes of that we headed over to Maggiano’s where Dawne began to plan everyone’s life for the next 3 years.  Meanwhile, Lucas announced, “I want to rebuild Nickelodeon to its former glory – like Mussolini.”  We all have goals I guess. 

Yesterday, I brought Percy to work and he was absolutely perfect.  He didn’t make a single sound all day long – even when I had to go to a meeting he just chilled by my desk.  I took him to one meeting, and he was perfect then too but every time someone saw him they felt compelled to go, “awww He’s so adorable!” to which I had to try to get everyone to focus.

Did I mention that my puppy is all eyebrows and ears now?