Thursday, November 27, 2008
The good news is that my broken video camera was a working video camera for the whole of the performance. The bad news is that the camera I'm borrowing from a friend doesn't seem to be playing nicely with my computer so, though I can watch the video to my heart's content, I cannot upload the video to share with you. The great news is that a girl in my class sent me a video clip of one of my tricks just a few minutes ago! YAY!
This was my second trick of the night - a split. This trick would be a lot prettier if I could actually do the splits. However, I can't do the splits. You're just going to have to deal with bent legs. But forget about the trick...this clip is all about the return!!!! This is the first ever return where I've caught the bar with both hands! Occasionally I have caught the bar with one hand in a flailing grab while the instructor working the ropes keeps me airborne for an unnaturally long time a la Peter Pan, but this time I caught it like I meant to do it. Yay!! (Of course, mucho credit needs to go to Aaron, the catcher. Check out how hard he throws me at that bar.)
Hear all those people cheering? I had a huge fan club at the show despite the weather and the long drive to Gilbert. My boss came with her husband (and they actually live in Gilbert so no long drive for them), all my agility girls came with their families (and they brought me flowers and made up for my lack of sequins with a card that was bedazzled with them), and four of my co-ed book club friends came. I felt so popular! But where were my husband and my girl book club friends? Good question...
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
On Saturday my camera and my video camera were in a small plane flying over Clear Lake, Iowa. There was a crash. They died.
Well, it wasn't exactly like that. It was actually like this:
My camera has been breaking and fixing itself on and off since I was in Brazil. It was running with a bad crowd there - humidity and proximity to sand - and they were bad influences on it. The zoom button was particularly affected and it would start all the trouble. You hit zoom, the camera flips you the bird and shuts itself down - sometimes for minutes, sometimes for hours, sometimes for days. On Saturday, at my request, Craig was using it to take pictures at the Mud Run. I forgot to tell him to avoid the Zoom Button of Death and lo and behold (look and see!) he went to zoom and the camera shut down. This time, I believe it's shut down for good. Bummer.
Later that same day, at my request, Craig was using my video camera to record my trapeze show. (Yes, there was a trapeze show! Yes, it was awesome! Yes, I got to wear tights! No, I have no video. Keep reading...) Craig sure is a nice guy to attend all my events and assist me in documenting them. Unfortunately, he is electronically cursed. The video camera has never given me a problem but with Craig at the helm it took a cue from my regular camera and started shutting itself down. Craig is fairly certain that the trapeze show was recorded but when I tried to view the video there was nothing but the empty blue screen. The camera wouldn't play back any of the other stuff that I know was on the tape.
I replaced the camera on Sunday - I'm lost without a camera. But a video camera is more than I'm willing to spend right now so I'm currently giving the broken one two aspirin and putting it down for a nap. If that doesn't work I'm going to try CPR and a defibrillator. If it's still dead, I'll try burying it in the Pet Semetary.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
The teams were divided by those who run fast (and maybe-not-so-coincidentally weren't interested in the costume aspect of it) and those who wanted to dress up (and maybe-not-so-coincidentally those who weren't interested in the running part of it).
has a splint on her pinky)
Yeah, it was kind of obscure so we gave everyone a BIG hint on the backs of the shirts (if the picture is too small for you to read - they say STICK):
The obstacles were spread at one mile intervals and were pretty lame. The first was hay-cube hurdles, the second was a low crawl under a tarp, boot-camp style and the third was a scaling wall, but it was only half the height as the one we did in the Gilmore Adventure Race. Somewhere in there was a big ol' log balance beam, too. The last obstacle was the mud pit. You needed to go under the rows of flags. As you can see below, you had the option of either going fully under and embracing the mud like the headless person on the far left is doing or you can be a wussy and lift the ropes like the girl in the white is doing.
Team #1 is not only Too Cool for Costumes but also apparently Too Cool for Mud - this is their "after" shot. Hardly a speck of mud on their shirts!
Team #2 is definitely NOT Too Cool for Mud - this is our "after" shot. Mud on faces, in the hair and definitely on the shirts! Sticks in the Mud love themselves some mud!!
After the race, the winners of the costume contest were announced. It went like this:
"Now it's time to announce the winners of the costume contest! Are the Speedo Vikings here?" The boys were in Speedos, the girls were in bustiers, they all had on capes and Viking helmets. They were awesome! Maybe I was just excited to know that there is a 28th thing you can do in a Speedo, but this team definitely had my vote.
Alas, they were not present. "Are the Incredibles here?" Also a good costume and well executed. Alas, they also were not present. "Ok..." (long pause for while the speaker tries to remember another costume) "Uh..how about the Crabs?" These guys had crab hats on that were kind of cute, but their shirts read "Mud Bugs." Bugs?? You can't wear a hat that is CLEARLY a crab and try to convince me you are a bug. Lame. Luckily, they were not present either.
Then...."How about the Mud Sticks?" Mud Sticks? Oh, he means Sticks in the Mud. See, I told you the costume was obscure. The race guy still didn't get it even after he awarded us the prize. But anyway...YAY!! We won the costume contest! Do we feel bad that we won by default?? Absolutely not!! A winner by default is still a winner! And we do like to win!
The prize? One bottle of wine and travel packs of Shout Wipes for all. Yay! We won!
Next year we are going to be a caterpillar. Or....um...crap...I have forgotten all the other awesome ideas we had. But I do remember that they were all very clever.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Me: Pat, I would like to cancel dinner with our friends tonight because I was given tickets to the Coyotes game.
Pat: Am I invited to the game?
Aw, Poor Pat. And in case there is doubt from you...yes, I took Pat to the game. Then I also set aside a "date day" and told Pat the day was completely his to do whatever he wanted. Happily he chose to spend the day with me. I figured he'd want to go out in the Jeep, but instead he wanted to get us some culture by visiting the Phoenix Art Museum.Now we are cultured. I'm actually super-cultured because I also went to the Tucson Art Museum in the same week.
Tangent Story: After the museum we went to Tempe Marketplace to meet Pat's parents for lunch. We got there a little early so we walked around a bit. While walking towards the shops there was a teenage girl walking toward us who looked strikingly like our friend, Elaine. Lo and behold (Tangent in a tangent: I wonder why we say "lo and behold" instead of "look and see"?), it actually was our friend Elaine out looking like an 18-year-old hottie in her workout clothes. Perhaps the fountain of youth can be found in hiring a personal trainer to come to your house. Will someone else try that and let me know before I go investing all that money?
Thursday, November 20, 2008
The meds helped and Mo is now peeing like a normal dog! Yay! However, weird peeing issues remain. She needs to pee about four separate times before she's empty. If you bring her inside before she has peed a sufficient number of times, she'll pee on the floor as soon as you aren't looking. She needs to pee immediately after she finishes eating. Immediately. Frankie and Georgie get the cue of "Who wants dinner??" when I'm about to feed them. Mo gets "Who wants to Eatpee, Sweetpea?" If you wait four seconds after she takes that last bite, she has already peed on the floor. It's very curious. She holds it all day while we are at work and all night while we're sleeping, but when we are home, unless I'm paying very careful attention, she'll pee in the house at least once a day. I think this is because she sleeps while we are away, but when we're home she's moving around and active and though she knows to go outside, she just can't hold it. We're going back to the vet tomorrow to get her last sutures out and for another bladder check.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I've been a bad blog poster lately. I've been busy. This was my last week:
7:00 am - fed and played with dogs
8:30 am - Laura came over and played Scrabble with me (The score showed that I won after going out with EROTICA, but my winning play was way over time and maybe, possibly, could have included some dictionary hunting for the bingo, so Laura was the rightful winner.)
10:30 am - Went to Scottsdale to rock the Urban Dare -
3:30 pm - Worked on photos and Urban Dare blog posting
5:30 pm - Left for trapeze class
9:00 pm - got home from trapeze class, read book for book club
7:00 am - fed and played with dogs
8:00 am - took Frankie to agility practice
10:40 am - played three soccer games and worked out
4:30 pm - went over to Laura's house to meet her kitties
5:30 pm - went to Coyotes game with Pat - it was a great game! We beat the #1 team in the league (Sorry 2Halves, but the Sharks have to lose every once in a while and the Coyotes need to win once in a while!)
10:00 pm - read a little more of the book club book
7:30 - 5:30 - work. Ugh.
6:00 pm - walked dogs - intended to run, but apparently I hurt my foot playing soccer so I walked instead
7:00 pm - worked out
8:00 pm - played soccer - ignored pain in my foot
9:00 pm - made pie for book club (mmmm...banana cream pie. YUMMY!)
7:30 - 5:30 - work. Ugh.
6:30 pm - Book Club. Hopefully I'll be able to post more on this - it was a good one. Ate pie.
10:00 pm - walked dogs
7:30 am - took car to dealership to get weird rattle looked at. My co-worker picked me up there
8:30 am - Went to Tucson for work. Did a site visit at the Art Museum. Worked in the office a bit. Had a big client event. It was a very long, busy day. I did not get back until 11:00 pm. However, if I had not gone to Tucson I would have played 2 late soccer games and I would have not gotten home any earlier. My team won without me so perhaps it was all for the best.
7:30 - 5:00 - work. Ugh.
6:00 pm - agility class with Frankie
8:40 pm - soccer
I don't recall, but it is possible that I went to bed before 11 pm this night!
7:30 - 5:30 - work. Ugh.
5:30 pm - took dogs for a run
6:30 pm - went with a bunch of friends to Laura's for a hootenanny. I wanted to do a separate post on this but there are a couple other posts I need to do first, so I'll suffice it to say that us girls were dancing in the spare bedroom while the boring boys played games in the kitchen. I haven't danced in forever - it was great! I do find it curious, however, that the songs my 20-something young'n friends chose to dance to were songs that were popular when I was a kid and remixed (Total Eclipse of the Heart, for example. And Call on Me by Steve Winwood as a dance mix? Weird.) Is there no new music out there? We stayed way too late, but still left Craig at the party to find a ride back to his bike which was at our house.
So, as you can see...not a lot of spare time in my life lately. But the devil will find work for idle hands to do ("...I stole and then I lied, just because you asked me to..."). Or maybe he'll just make them go shopping. I prefer to be busy.
Monday, November 17, 2008
I'm sure that everyone's heaven and hells are individually specific as there could be no universal paradise or place of torment. My personal hell would look a lot like Macy's. My eternal damnation would include the task of finding five pairs of pants that fit. I had a two hour preview of this hell last night. I'm 5' 2" thus I'm too short, diminutive, wee for normal clothes -- off to the petite section for me. Petite generally means 5'4" or shorter. It should not generally mean over 70 years of age and choosing to dress in sweaters with reindeers and pants with elastic waists. Why wouldn't petite clothes just be an exact replica of regular clothes with a shorter inseam?? This makes no sense to me. But there you have it - almost an entire clothing section of little, old lady clothes.
You know what else makes no sense to me? Jeans that are size 2PL. Yep - that means size 2, Petite, Long. Huh? If I needed jeans that were long, why would I be shopping in the petite section??
Why can't women's pants be sized like men's pants? Men's pants are labeled with a waist and length measurement so the lucky guys can just grab a pair of pants and waltz out the door without bothering with a fitting room. Women get a number size with no regard to length and since those number sizes and the lengths vary by designer, there is no way to buy without trying on first. Thus my personal hell extends beyond the racks of clothing and into the fitting rooms. If a fitting room could be found, that is. I walked all over this nether world of suffering only to find that every frickin' fitting room is occupied. (Economic crisis? What economic crisis?) I finally found an empty one in the Women's section - empty of people, that is, but not empty of clothes. There were approximately 50 pieces of clothing hanging from every hook and surface in the "empty" dressing room. Me and my 8 pairs of pants barely fit into the available space.
Trying on clothes is as frustrating as choosing clothes to try on. One pair of petite pants is so long they went past my toes. Another pair doesn't even reach my ankles. One size 2 is huge on my waist but way too tight on my butt. Another size 2 can't even be buttoned. Being nowhere near the petite section, I can't just run out and exchange sizes. I'm cold, I'm frustrated, I'm angry and I'm ready to just give in and vow to go to church every Sunday and join a bible study and become a street preacher if it means that I can escape this hell.
I decide to buy two pairs of pants and head off in search of the checkout. There are lots of checkout stations but none of them seem to be staffed. Ergh. I wander some more. I find a staffed checkout station but the sales person is signing the customer up for a credit card (you can save 15% on your purchase, you know) and is not entirely sure what she is doing so it is taking for-frickin'-ever. Another counter, same story. Maybe the abundance of credit card applicants is a sign of the economic crisis after all. I'm sorely tempted to leave the pants and leave the store, but I really need to wear something to work in the morning.
After I finally make my purchases, I have 45 minutes before the mall closes to secure a few more pairs of pants. I run all over the mall, into every likely looking store and finally end up at Ann Taylor Loft. Perhaps normal women, the ones who carry the shopping-gene, know about sizing at Ann Taylor. I didn't. I also didn't know it was not spelled "Anne" - that had to be pointed out to me. I grab what I think to be my size and head to the dressing rooms (mercifully empty!) only to find that these pants are huge! Have the pain and suffering of the past hour caused me to lose even more weight? Nope - at Ann Taylor pants start at size 00, then go to 0, then to 2. Huh. Why does everything have to be so difficult!?
I hate shopping. The end.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
The Urban Dare is part adventure race in that there are mystery events (called Dares in this race...clever how they tie that in with the title, huh?) and part scavenger hunt. We were given a list of clues to 12 locations in Scottsdale. Five of these locations involved Dares that we had to complete. The other eight required us to take a picture of ourselves in front of the specified landmark. 40 teams participated in today's race. Our #1 goal, as it always is, was to not come in last. Our secondary goal was to finish in the top half.
Some of the clues I knew right away:
"He invented the Mai Tai. Get your picture in front of the tiki in front of his place. (Answer: Trader Vic's at Hotel Valley Ho)
Some required us to call our at-home-partner, Craig, to do some internet research:
"Find the Urban Dare official near a statue by David Hovey" (Answer: David Hovey is a home builder of the Optima condo development complex north of Camelback on Scottsdale Road. There is a statue there.)
Other clues were easy to solve but still required Craig to look up the locations for us since we aren't that familiar with Scottsdale:
"Nia Vardalas wrote the screenplay for this movie and played the starring role. Get your picture at the restaurant named after the film."And one clue was found only by luck (and it wasn't necessarily good luck):
"He founded Scottsdale Light and Power Company and he has a street named after him. Get your picture in front of his statue. Solve the clue from #9 to find the road it is on." Now, internet research will tell you that Mort Kinsey started the SLPC. The internet will also tell you that there is a road in Scottsdale called Kinsey. However, the internet has no info on a statue of this man. The clue from #9 (unscramble NACHO DIN SOIL) told us that the statue was on Indian School. We noticed a statue (purely by chance) of a Charles Miller while running down Indian School at one point of the race. Our internet helpers could find no connection between Charles Miller and the Scottsdale Light and Power Company so we continued looking for Mort Kinsey. After searching fruitlessly for over a mile, we decided to double back to this Miller statue just to see who he was. Yep- the placard claims old Mr. Miller was the company founder. One clue required us to take five separate photos with statues of Indians. This was the easiest task of all since Indian statues are the Starbucks of Scottsdale - you can find one all four corners of every intersection.
The Dares were fun. One was an army sergeant dare - we had to create our own "I don't know but I've been told" chant and then do 20 push-ups. Another one had us doing a 3-legged race twice around a large circle. We had to search in the landscaping of a business for garden stakes that had values assigned to letters to get a total point value for a given word. We had to successfully play bolo golf - which Laura completely mastered! I got to be the lucky one to complete the "bubble challenge" - On a paper plate was a piece of bubble gum completely covered in a mound of whipped cream (mmm...whipped cream). I had to get the piece of gum off the paper plate without using my hands and then chew it enough to blow a bubble.
After what we calculated later to be about 7 miles, our final stop was at Dos Gringos. There we had to put together a 60 piece puzzle. We zipped through that and checked in. The timer dude clocked us in, checked our pictures and our Dare completion sheet and announced that we were the 7th team. 7th out of 40! Awww, yeah!! Even with doubling back over a mile, we rocked the Urban Dare! Woo Hoo! What a great day!!
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Last week he sent me this email:
Equipment has not yet been invented to measure the depths of my
appreciation of your friendship. Happy 16 years!
He makes me happy. He remembers our friendship anniversary. It is awesome to be loved.
Friday, November 7, 2008
It was also quite a learning experience for Pat. He hasn't had a lot of experience planning parties or cooking for groups - with the exception of the initial smokyque. He learned that 22 people dining at once is hard to accommodate in one dining room. He learned that large amounts of meat require serving platters. He learned that carving a turkey isn't easy. Luckily, Brad and his dad were there to assist. He also learned that we have the most awesome group of friends and neighbors that anyone could ask for! Actually, he already knew this last one!
And since it was a trial run for Thanksgiving, I would like to do a trial run at giving thanks to all of my fabulous friends! I am honored to be a part of each of your lives and to have you as a part of mine. Thank you all!!
Football is on the TV - just like a real Thanksgiving!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
To fill the foster void created by little Hank Williams, I brought home Mo.
Mo is unusual in that the shelter staff actually knows her story. Her owner is dying. He is in the hospital and his son can't take the dog because he's spending all his time with his father in the hospital. The son asked his ex-wife to take the dog for them, she agreed and Mo went to live with the ex-daughter-in-law. Mo wasn't thrilled with that plan and immediately ran away (literally immediately - within the hour of arriving at the lady's house). She ran away to some train tracks, and this is where the story becomes unclear. Either she got caught in the tracks or was hit by a train (?) but in some manner her back left leg was completely smashed and embedded with dirt and gravel. Someone found the dog and called the Humane Society - they EAMTs picked her up and they immediately amputated the leg when she arrived at the hospital. The Humane Society located the new owner who realized that she did not have an appropriate place for the recuperation of poor Mo, so she signed her over to the shelter. The original owner is just devastated by all of this. The poor guy is dying and he doesn't even have the peace of mind of knowing that his dog is taken care of. This is one of my worst nightmares (Patrick...you'd better take care of F/G if anything happens to me!!!) Now I've got a very depressed, but very beautiful Australian Shepherd named Mo.
The first day she was here, Mo didn't eat or drink. She ran away from all of us and found a little alcove to hide in. She was lethargic and depressed all day. She was very slow to warm up to us - thus earning her the nickname Slo-Mo. That and she's still learning to master motion on three legs. She showed a tiny bit of interest in Georgie, but she refused to meet Frankie. I took a picture of how the introduction went ...This went on for about 20 minutes, then I finally got bored and took them inside where they continued to ignore one another.
The second day, Mo was much more willing to be with us. We were preparing for a big party at our house, so there was lots of activity - cooking and cleaning and moving furniture. She chose to be in the kitchen during all of it. She is tolerating the dogs well enough (except when Georgie infiltrated her alcove - that led to some snarls and snaps being exchanged). Frankie is still scared of her, but he's a wuss anyway. The really good news is that Mo is now eating - which shows that her depression is abating and I don't have to hide all the sharp objects and prescription drugs.
Our big problem right now involves peeing. She only pees when she's laying down on her bed and then she just lays in it until I put on her leash and drag her away. I've not caught her in the act yet. I'm not sure if she can't pee standing up (she makes the motions when I take her outside) or what. This will require more study and possibly a vet visit. It also requires many loads of laundry and lots of Nature's Miracle. I've stopped giving her dog beds and now she only gets towels. But isn't she just beautiful??
I love her.
Updated to add: The original owner (the guy who's dying) has been kept in the loop of everything that has happened to his beloved dog. He called the Humane Society and donated the cost of Mo's surgery and post-op care. They in turn called me and asked if I could send some pictures to them. They are going to forward the pictures to the guy so that he can see that Mo is in good hands. I am so heart-broken for this man.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Happy Birthday, little doggies! I'm hoping for at least 11 more of them from both of you!!!