Hurricanes Hurt Animals Too

Just read a story about a family asking someone to help their pets because they had fled their town, leaving their pets in their crates on top of the washer and dryer. I was going to capitalize parts of that sentence for emphasis, but each part was horribler and horribler (if you'll excuse the bad grammar), and it would have led to an extended strand of capitalization, which just isn't pretty. You know, I understand that the damaged towns are in states of crisis, that people panic, that it cannot be the calmest thing ever, to be ordered to evacuate your home immediately. But I'm sitting here, and I'm wondering how selfish and thick and possibly even evil a person must be to just. leave. the. family. pet. Oh wait, no, not just leave the pet and run. Not just leave the pet locked in a most-likely-to-flood-in-the-near-future house. Lock your pet in a wire or plastic cage so he can be slowly yet efficiently drowned in your laundry room. Perhaps I'm ignorant of how much of a warning these people had, or how gradually a flood takes over (this wasn't a flash flood or tidal wave situation, right?), but there's no way I would leave town without my animals. They'd be tucked into the car right alongside the huzz and our important documents and credit cards as we sped to wherever we could go that would allow pets to stay too. I don't get it. I'm having trouble sleeping, imagining the furry massacre in the South, knowing some of it was, if not intentional, then definitely avoidable. So I'm sending some love to Noah's Wish to help in the animal rescue and relief efforts. And if there is anyone out there reading this who also wants to help, they have PayPal, yo.


Lucky Dog

I’m driving to work this morning, trying in vain to shake the fog of fatigue out of my head and I hear a screech of brakes from somewhere off in the distance. Except, it’s not really off in the distance, it’s RIGHT UP AHEAD EVERYONE’S STOPPING WHAT THE SHIT!

As I slam my foot on the brake I see a dog trotting in confusion into my lane (the one nearest the sidewalk), looking around, wondering what all the fuss is about. And then I see him meander over to the center lane and narrowly avoid getting blown away by a Pontiac in a hurry. The dog must have sensed my panic somehow, because he slowed down, looked over his shoulder at me and made eye contact. So, because I’m careless and in no rush to get to work, I put the P.O.S. in Park (effectively closing one lane to traffic), get out and step towards the dog. He has a leash trailing behind him, and tags on his collar, so as long as I can catch up to him without scaring him back into the murderous morning traffic, everything will be fine. And it was.

His owner came from the other side of the street, mumbled something about the vet (?), and walked off with the dog. As I drove away, I was struck by a few peculiar elements to this:

  1. He didn’t thank me (the man, not the dog, obviously). If one of my dogs had been taken out of traffic to the safety of the sidewalk, you can bet your ass I’d be crying and thank-you-so-much-ing for hours. But whatever. Maybe he did thank me, but I didn’t understand through the garbled Irish/Scottish accent he was sporting?
  2. Irish/Scottish accent? Really?
  3. Why didn’t the dog seem happy to see the guy? Why didn’t the guy act happy to see the dog? Should I have pressed the issue more? Quizzed the dude about the dog’s name and checked his answer against the dog’s tag? (All of these concerns are under one bullet because they were all flying around my head at once and I am now suffering from a lot of guilt, thinking I quite possibly (and idiotically) handed this poor lost dog over to some crazy dog thief .)
I can only hope that all was right and good in the universe this morning and that no animals were hurt in the making of my good deed. And I wasn’t even late for work, dammit.


I do not like mice with ice, cleared of lice, or shaken twice

The first month we were in our new place here in Texas, I had the pleasure of being unemployed (and I do mean pleasure, because, I’ll admit it, if it weren’t for that whole needing-money thing? I’d be a damn lazy fool for the rest of my days). The first week, I talked up how busy I was unpacking everything by myself, since Monk had started work less than two days after we arrived. The second week, I talked up how busy I was painting the TEXTURED walls of the house all by my lonesome (never. again). The third week, I looked at our bank balance, freaked out and started applying anywhere and everywhere.

It was in this third week that I discovered how cowardly I actually am, and how that cowardice can manifest itself in a single crazy act that will forever condemn me in the eyes of those that know this story. Nevertheless:

I swear, I had always been, under normal circumstances, a lover of all things furry. And then I strolled into the kitchen one afternoon, enjoying the slap-slap sound of my slacker bare feet on the cold tile, saw the mound of (my) dirty dishes near the sink and decided it would be too much effort to wash by hand, and why shouldn’t I try out the dishwasher (first time we’ve had a place with a working one, after all). Dishes in my left hand, dishwasher opening with my right, and “hang on a minute, what’s that dark thing hanging off the top rack and dropping down to the bottom of the holy fucking shit that’s a damn mouse! A mouse! In my house!” And, with a shriek meant to encompass all of the above (and without venturing further into hysteria-induced Seuss-isms), I slammed the dishwasher shut, shot the lock across, and my cowardice-crazed devil-possessed right hand continued on to click the setting to HEAVY WASH.

I should also mention that my calm-in-the-face-of-chaos, possibly-stoned-out-of-its-mind-cuz-who-can-really-remain-that-calm left hand was still steadily holding the stack of plates over the tile floor. I believe this is the same hand that, during various tumbles down frat house stairs or icy front steps in college, never spilled a drop of beer or lost its hold on a cigarette. What a champ!

Anyway. After the shaking and the freaking out and the calling of Monk at work to drop some F-bombs regarding this newly-purchased rodent-infested shanty we had tied around our necks, I worked up the courage to unlock the now silent dishwasher and peek inside. The mouse was gone, y’all. Not a whisker (or water-logged corpse being checked out by mouse officers in CSI rain slickers) in sight. So let’s all agree that he escaped before the tidal wave hit. And that I am not a murderer, exactly, just driven to violence when I have the ever-lovin’ crap startled out of me. Remind me to tell you about slapping the shit out of my best friend in 5th grade when she jumped out at me from behind my bedroom door. Oh, I guess I just did.


Pimp My Ride

Last year, following our move to the suburbs of Dallas, TX, my father-in-law graciously donated his 1990 Honda Accord to the charity known as Us. This was extremely generous and much appreciated, considering we had sold our little motorcycle before we moved out of Albuquerque and now had one vehicle, in a place where public transportation is, for all intents and purposes, nonexistent. This car drove like a Disney fun house ride, which was amusing for a few weeks. Unfortunately, once I secured a job and was putting nearly 50 miles on the Honda every day, I quickly realized the bucket seat was murder on my back, the delayed accelerating aspect was downright dangerous, and the burgundy interior was hot and ugly. Have I mentioned no CD player and a scratchy, poor-quality speaker system? As a bonus, I work in one of the swankier neighborhoods of Dallas, where the local transport comes from exotic lands like Lexus, BMW and Porsche. Chugging along in the white Accord with the lovely rust stain accents on either side, I could hear the whispers of the cool cars as they conspired to keep me out of their playground circles. The disclaimer here of course is that a free car is a free car, and we do appreciate how “lucky” we are, blah blah blah.

I had struggled for a month to find a name for this vehicle (I always name my cars; yes, I'm That Girl), but the only name that came to mind was evoked whenever the delayed acceleration nearly killed me during attempts to merge into rush-hour Texas traffic on Suicide Run/I-635, or when I finally figured out that yes, after being hit THREE TIMES in TWO WEEKS, this car really does have it in for my ungrateful ass. Now the car is approaching its one year anniversary with us, I still haven’t sent a thank-you note to my in-laws, and I’m afraid the name Piece of Shit has stuck.

All of this backstory to be able to describe my moment of shock this morning when I walked out the door in my new pair of cords, hopped in the car, and promptly disappeared. Who knew I’d find a pair of pants that were an exact match to the interior of Piece of Shit? Does this amazingly coincidental event redeem the car, or condemn the pants?


Bars and Boyfriends

Again with the dreaming:

Felicity Huffman and I are coworkers, and on a road trip through Europe. We’re trying to get back home but the car breaks down, so we find a last-minute flight to Las Vegas (of course) to meet up with my family and get a ride back to our hometown. Once in Vegas, there’s some confusion as to when we and the family are leaving. I asked to “borrow” the shower of a hotel guest, but was interrupted and told that the family was leaving immediately, thus creating a throwing-all-shit-haphazardly-into-suitcase, madwoman-running-to-rental car scene.

Felicity and I finally arrive back in our town, and decide to stop in to the bar to see what our work schedule will be that week. Discover we’re scheduled to work THAT NIGHT. Like RIGHT NOW. No chance to go home, change, freshen up, nothing. We have to stay and start setting up the bar (AM I MAKING THIS CLEAR PEOPLE?). Felicity is chatting with people as I’m trying to find glasses and other bar stuff. This Guy-I-messed-around-with-in-high-school (okay, just one evening I helped him cheat on his girlfriend) comes in with his friends and they all order Fat Tire and some odd Jager+ beer combo. I’m still trying to find regular pint glasses. All I can find are skinny 2-foot-high tube glasses, mini goldfish bowl glasses, and a Fat Tire promotion glass with a little glass peg sticking out of it, like a bong. I get back to the bar, Felicity is still chatting obliviously to people. I serve the guys their drinks and This Guy slaps down money to pay for the round- it’s a $1002-dollar bill. I think this is a joke, but then again, maybe it’s real and I just haven’t hung out in the right (wealthy) circles to have seen such a rare bill before…

Next up comes Lindeman (aka my sometime boyfriend from the 6th, 7th, and then again 8th grades). He has a 2 year old daughter in tow. We catch up for a bit, talking about letting ourselves go, etc. Felicity inexplicably takes a sudden interest in my goings-on, starts making fun of me for losing it after a break up, not eating, not showering, etc. It’s embarrassing, and frankly, the bitch came out of nowhere with that shit. Meanwhile, Lindeman’s daughter has gotten into a vat of pesto (sure), and has it all over her shirt, her face, hands, etc. Out of sympathy, Lindeman looks at me, then asks his daughter what happened to daddy when mommy went away (died). The girl talks about daddy not taking care of her, or the house, or himself, everything was always dirty, etc. Lindeman picks her up and hugs her, getting pesto all over himself and suddenly looks very dirty and haggard. He gives me such an intense look of “I’ve been there, I get it” that I feel instantly better. He goes off to clean himself up while I keep an eye on his daughter, who is now outside with her teddy bear. I turn to Felicity and wistfully say “I used to date such. nice. guys.”

Just as I head outside to watch Lindeman’s daughter, I see a semi approaching at top speed. The child is way too close to the curb, the semi swerves up and over the curb, I see an object fly up in the air and the truck bumper slams into it. I say (to the universe in general) “you have GOT to be kidding me!” and start running over to the scene of the accident. I’m thinking “that was a trick, of course she wasn’t hit, it must have been her teddy bear that was thrown through the air.” I do see the child, unharmed, crawling over to the middle of the street to retrieve her bear. As she’s crawling, she opens her mouth, slowly sticking out her tongue… which unravels down her chin to the ground and along it, stretching 13 inches or so. And then the end of the tongue turns into a giant foot (!) which creeps forward towards the bear. So now I know this can’t be real (in my dream, I’m quick, just like in real life).

Just then, I hear this weird tribal dance music start up from behind me. I turn, and Lindeman is coming through a shiny curtain to dance a show tune number on a stage that’s been set up. I realize the theme of my day and that this will be a show of all my ex-boyfriends. And then John Stamos joins Lindeman on stage, dancing and singing and parading around. Just as I’m thinking “Weird, you’d think I’d remember dating John Stamos,” I wake up.

And now, I’m exhausted. But I’m kind of scared to go back to sleep. Dave Coulier might be dancing up on that stage with Johnny.