Friday, July 31, 2009

This sucks

I just got a Blackberry Storm and so far, I HATE it.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Naughty Kitty

Al cannot stay away from flowers. This is the second vase in two days. He broke the first one. Naughty kitty.By the way, I love this kitty more than any dog person has ever loved a cat. I think he is feeling a little better since his lung infection, though I am worried that he is still too skinny and I just can't get any weight on him. He is still acting his usual super-affectionate self though, so that's good. My very favorite noise is the sound of my kitty purring!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hockey Pat Goes Through A Door

I believe I have told you about Hockey Pat.To refresh your memory, Hockey Pat is the person that my very nice, very mild-mannered, very friendly, very easy-going husband turns into when he loses his temper. Kinda like how Edward Norton is this pretty cool scientist in Brazil (have you seen this movie?) and then he turns into a big green angry guy. Hockey Pat got this name because he first emerged in a hockey game when all of a sudden Pat starts pummeling someone from the other team, most likely for perceived overly-rough play against me. Luckily his balance on his skates is not quite as good as it could be and the other player probably didn’t even notice the blows coming his way. :) Every once in a while Hockey Pat emerges in places other than ice arenas. Places like the entryway to our house.

Our house is old. My dogs and I are admittedly hard on a house. These two things lead to various issues of the falling-apart variety around the old homestead. One of these issues includes our front door (and the sliding glass door and back door, too). The locks are weak, the frame is weak, the door doesn’t always shut tight, the deadbolt will barely open with a key, etc. One day Pat came home and the door was stuck. He had successfully unlocked all the locks, but the screws from the lock mechanism were stuck in the door frame, or something like that. Maybe he had a bad day at work or maybe he had too much caffeine or maybe not enough caffeine, but instead of patiently jiggling the door a bit until it opened, he broke through the whole door jam.

Yep...shattered the door frame. See?

And then he went to get a hammer to try to get the screws back in place (does this even make sense? perhaps I have the story wrong?) and he got more frustrated and started beating the shit out of the door frame. See the hammer marks? I'm pretty sure the whole episode was accompanied by some choice cuss words as well. I find this all to be quite hilarious now, but if I had been home at the time I'm sure I would have been really mad. Good thing I wasn't home. I'm enjoying the laugh!!

Last weekend, Pat and his dad worked on the door for two straight days - most of the day on Saturday and ALL day on Sunday.

While it still doesn't look so pretty yet, we do have a door that doesn't stick! And it unlocks easily. And most importantly in this stalker-filled world, it locks!! And an extra bonus - the new handle for the door is too deep and interferes with the screen door handle. This makes it seem as if the house is locked when it's not because the screen door handle can't go down anymore...only up. (What a bonus!) No more guests walking in without knocking! (Unless they just read this and learned the secret!)

Friday, July 24, 2009

r u my stalker?

The other day at work, something unusual happened. I received a box. This in and of itself is not unusual. Vendors often send me tchotchkes and goodies. But this box was from Shutterfly. Or maybe it was Snapfish. I should really blog faster so that the details don’t get so fuzzy by the time I get around to posting. Either way, photo websites are not my usual vendors and they do not send me unsolicited presents. Interesting….

Inside the box was a puzzle. No note. No card. No receipt. No shipping information. No nothin’ else. Just a puzzle. Interesting…

This is the picture that the puzzle will make once put together.

Look familiar? It should, because it is this picture here. Apparently someone uploaded the picture from the internet and used it to make me a present.

But where did this present come from?!?! I have no idea! Maybe it was a gift from a friend who didn’t realize that there would be no sender-identification with the box. Maybe that friend thinks I am being rude for not thanking him/her for such a cool gift. NFBF -was it you? Or maybe it was my sister whose recent i-phone acquisition has enabled her to join the ranks of my super-cool followers. Elaine? Nicole? Some people have suggested that it was Pat. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t him because he doesn’t even read my blog and thus has probably never even seen the picture that is on this puzzle.

The other possibility is that I HAVE A STALKER! It probably isn’t your everyday internet stalker/stranger because the present was sent to my place of employment. This most likely means that I personally know my stalker - which excludes all you awesome readers who don’t personally know me but still take the time to read my ramblings. (Though I’m sure each and every one of you would be thoughtful enough to do such a thing…and would most likely be sane enough to include a card...right??)

I have a mystery on my hands! Who is my stalker? Is it you? If it is you, please know that I think the puzzle is a really cool gift. Please also know that you are a little bit creepy. Maybe in the future you could sign your name to your really cool gifts. K? Thx.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Alternate Post Title: Someone Needs To Teach This Dog Some Manners.

Alternate Alternate Post Title: Bow-Chico-Bow-Wow!

Alternate Alternate Alternate Post Title: How a 7 Pound Dog Made Frankie His Bitch

Warning. This Post Is Not Safe For Work or For Children!!

As I mentioned earlier, I got a new foster dog. It's been so long! I haven't had a foster since Mo became a real dog in December. That's EIGHT months!! Wow! The Humane Society put out a dog foster emergency notice that they were overfull in the hospital kennels and needed more fosters. I forwarded the email to Pat who replied:

-No big dogs! Nothing bigger than Frankie.
-You are not allowed to go out of town while you have the foster. No exceptions!
-Short term only! No exceptions.

So I immediately called the shelter and signed up to pick up Chico that very afternoon.

Chico is a maltese mix weighing in at 7.5 pounds. He is a sweet, playful little guy with all sorts of problems. I'm fostering him for kennel cough. When I return him he will have surgery for cherry eye, hernia and numerous dental extractions, as well as the requisite neutering.

The requisite neutering is certainly going to cramp Chico's style. This dog is all about the humping. Seriously. It's all he wants to do. (Ok, ok, if you start to pet his belly, he'll stop the humping for a minute or two.) Frankie is his humping target. This is what Chico does. All day. Poor Frankie.
Dinner time is especially exciting because Chico knows that Frankie goes to his spot, lies down and waits. Perfect! He is lower to the ground - good for little humping dogs! Hurray! I have to physically restrain him to get him to notice there is food in his bowl!

Frankie takes it for a little while. He's a very patient (submissive, beta, wussy, you choose the adjective) dog. But after a while, he gets mad and snaps at Chico:To which Chico responds, "Yeah, right. You wuss. Get back over here so I get my Chico on," and the whole shenanigans start again. Cue the music...Bow-Chico-Bow-Wow.

Poor Frankie.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Vanilla Ice, Ice, Baby

The other day, Jamie sent me an email of a press release that said this:

For those who loved his baggy pants, and who couldn't get “Ice Ice Baby” out of their heads, we have thrilling Vanilla Ice-related news. Thursday, July 9, the ‘90s hip-hopper-turned-VH1-talking-head will be at Glendale's new McFadden's Restaurant and Saloon in WestGate City Center.

Vanilla Ice, 41, hosts a party at the two-week old restaurant, which features American pub food and has a reputation for ladies dancing on the bar. He'll arrive around 9 p.m. and is expected to stay for at least three hours, signing autographs and taking pictures with fans, who can also expect $3 Jager shots and Coronas.

He's made appearances at McFadden's restaurants across the country, usually performing “Ice Ice Baby” with the DJ while standing on the bar.

It's been a pretty slow summer so this news was greeted with glee and super-duper extreme excitement (of the ironic variety). There was NO WAY we were going to miss this. Except that we almost did because I had already played hockey and soccer and I was tired, Pat didn't want to go, Jamie generally never wants to do anything...the usual. Pat maintained his position, but Jamie and I rallied and headed out to Glendale to see VANILLA ICE! Squeal!!

There was a line to get in the bar. A line? Wow. We wondered if this was because this was a cool bar or if it was because VANILLA ICE! Squeal!!! was there.

When Vanilla (can I call him by his first name?) showed up, it was like a mob scene. It was hilarious. That is him in the black hat with his back to the camera.

Because we are true groupies, we didn't let the crowd phase us. We skirted around the crowd through the restaurant section of the club, jumped over a wall, directly into the gated off area for Mr. Ice and his posse. Eventually a security guard threatened our lives if we didn't get out of the "secure" area pronto. We snuck under the rope and were in great position in the mob/line to get pictures with the Ice Man.

We watched the mob scene. We watched him sign autographs. It looks like there were posters made for the event and Vanilla Ice was wearing the exact same thing that he was wearing in the promo pics. Weird.
Finally it was my turn. OMG! OMG! OMG! Vanilla Ice! Squeal!!! I gave Jamie the camera and stepped up. I think Vanilla really had a thing for Jamie. This was his usual pose for everyone else...a little bit of impatience and you know he's thinking "Good God, I used to be a star and now I'm at a bar in Glendale where people are only taking their picture with me because they think it's funny."

But one look at Jamie's 70's porn-star mustache and Vanilla Ice's eyes lit up and he struck a pose. I swear he is giving Jamie the eye in this picture!After the pic, we scooted out of the mobbed area. We waited a little bit to hear him sing. Eventually we gave up waiting. We've heard the song before, after all. :)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Wuss? I am not!! Redux

Last year I posted this about my very first adventure race. A year has passed, we've done several more adventure races and we're still having fun! And we are way less wussy than we were last year.

Irene and I again competed in the Extreme Heat Coon Bluff adventure race as Storming the Castle. Brian and Christy competed, too, as Adventure Troupe. The race was similar to last year with a few random orienteering checkpoints and then some ordered trekking checkpoints, mystery events mixed in and a final tubing down the river portion.

Many of the checkpoints were in the same vicinity as last year's so it was a lot easier to navigate this time around. Adventure Troupe trekking:

Irene trekking:
The first mystery event was to find a particular word in a 12 page catalog about energy supplements. Looking very carefully:Or, more accurately, overlooking very carelessly. Christy and Brian shared the page number with us after they completed the challenge. Is it considered wussy to take help from others? Nah!

Another mystery event gave us 10 seconds to memorize 9 items (color, amount and item) attached to a board.
Then, since we were smack in the middle of the pack, we had to wait in this line...while trying not to forget the recite them to a volunteer.
We got it on our first try and were able to move on to inflating our inner tubes for the river portion of the race. Yay! It was hot (extreme heat, actually) and we were looking forward to that river! Pumping up the tubes:
Brian and Christy arrived right after this and we had to share our pumps. Once inflated, we took our tubes and life vests and trotted off for the river entrance. There was a mystery event on the way that had us put on belts that were hooked up to a rope with lots of knots on it. You had to untangle the knots without undoing the belts. Irene was a superstar at this task. I just stood there and let her move the rope over me and around me until we were untangled. Brian and Christy did just as well and we left together.

Finding the entry point to the river isn't easy. Irene is my map-guru so I left it in her capable hands to find it for our team. At one point it appeared that we were lost and going in the wrong direction. I was fine with this, but Irene was worried that Brian and Christy would be mad that we were leading them astray. She let them know they didn't have to stick with us; they could navigate whichever way they wanted. Their response? "Um...we got rid of our map a long time ago!" So, they stuck with us. :) And we found the river!

It was WAY higher than last year. Last year we walked portions of it, but this time we were able to hand-paddle and kick the whole way. The water was moving so fast, I was afraid we wouldn't be able to get out at the designated spot. However, I made it out with only a little peril. Brian and Christy were right behind us as we crossed the finish line. Hurray! And what do you know? I was again blessed by the choosing of the correct category to enter. Storming the Castle finished SECOND in the female division! Woo Hoo! With our awards:And again, Christy was cursed by entering the wrong division. Like the Women's Adventure Race, where she beat us by 45 minutes and got no recognition, this time she got the exact same time but came in sixth in the coed division.
And our goal was to place in the top half overall this time. And we placed 11th out of TOP HALF!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Leaving the Canyon

I know you're probably thinking that maybe I never made it out of the Grand Canyon. I mean, it's been weeks since this trip took place, right? Well, I did make it out and this will be the final post about it. Which is good, because in the meantime, LOTS of blog-worthy things have happened. I got a new foster dog (Chico!), we did another adventure race (and placed second!), we met Vanilla Ice (this is not a joke!) and Pat broke down our front door.

But...back to the Canyon....

In order to beat the heat of the day and to get an early start on the drive home, Christy and I decided to leave camp at 5 am. This made Aimee decide to leave at 4 am - because she didn't think she'd hike as fast as us and she didn't want us to have to wait for her. We put out all our stuff for the mules. They pick it up at 7 am and deliver it between 10:00 and noon. We would be up at the top way before 10:00, but we figured we'd get on the road right at 10:00.

As scheduled, Aimee left camp at a little after 4 am with David/Iren and Rob/Monica. Christy and I left at 4:58.

Still dark out:

This is the bridge you cross after you leave the village. Notice no huge backpack? It was great hiking with just my camelback and an extra water jug!

Without the packs weighing us down, we were able to enjoy our surroundings and take pictures. Isn't this beautiful?Starting early gave us the benefit of shade for most of the way. The sun was hot, but the tall canyon walls blocked it for us.

Without our big packs, we were also able to take some time to climb on the rocks. I love rocks! I was very happy to play on them. What a great hike!

Christy climbed rocks, too:
We also took some time to play with this guy.
This beagle was the friendliest of the camp dogs. He'd even roll over and let you pet his belly. He accompanied us for a large portion of the hike. He'd show up, say hi then disappear...only to reappear again 5 minutes later further up the trail. After looking at everyone else's pictures of their hike out, it seems that Friendly Beagle accompanied everyone up the canyon that day!

Eventually the sun was high enough to get over the canyon walls. Wow, was it hot. We felt very bad for our fellow campers who didn't leave as early as we did. Their hike was going to have lots more sun than ours did....yowie! More pretty (I have no recollection of seeing this on the way down):
We got out of the canyon and this is what we saw (more views that I didn't get to enjoy on the way down):

Then came the torture. The last 1.5 miles of the hike are steep, steep switchbacks. I doubt I could have done this with my pack on. It was hard with just a camelback. Again, we were very happy to have the shade and were worried for everyone hiking after us, since the sun was just starting to come over these walls. Holy crap, this is steep:Despite the stopping to play, climb rocks and take pictures, we were hiking pretty fast. We continued to rejoice over leaving our bags for the mules! Our goal was to catch up to Aimee and crew. We did catch and pass Nick, who left at 4:30, but the first group beat us to the top by about 10 minutes. Dang it! Maybe we shouldn't have climbed those rocks! :) The 10 mile hike took us 3 hours and 19 minutes....less time than hiking in!

Aimee was the first person to reach the top. Yay, Aimee!!
Just to make sure Laura doesn't kill me, I will now mention that she and Craig hiked the 10 miles in 3 hours and 5 minutes...with packs.

Now the waiting started. Waiting for the rest of our group. Waiting for the mules.


And waiting.

And waiting.

Our group started to assemble. And we waited some more.

Our bags didn't come on the 10:00 am mules. Or the next set of mules. Or the next set of mules. It was getting really annoying. The sun came out and it was HOT. As we feared, some of our people didn't fare so well on the hike. Jess and Chris had to pay the mule guys to ride the out of the canyon:

But everyone made it out with no injuries! Hooray!

And our bags still didn't come. Finally....after FOUR hours of waiting (and you know I hate waiting!!) our bags came at 11:52. Ergh.

Loaded up. Drove home.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Down Time in the Canyon

It wasn't all hiking and swimming in the Grand Canyon. Of course there was game playing. FARKLE!This was before we stole additional picnic tables from unused campsites near us. We had one picnic table that sat 8 people, which left 12 of us standing or sitting on the ground. After we played this game for a while on Christy's bed roll, it was suggested that maybe we'd be more comfortable if we could all sit down at once!

More picnic tables! And more Farkle!I challenged Craig to a game of Scrabble. I am on a 3 month Scrabble losing streak. My streak continues:
We had some wildlife adventures in camp, too. That is, if you count squirrels as wildlife. Across the little stream from us, the squirrels claim the campsites for their own. Jess and Chris had their tent set up there, but the squirrels were relentless -- jumping up the sides of tent trying to get in. They'd jump and jump and jump until the finally hit the mesh part, then they'd chew threw it and eat whatever they could find inside. Jess and Chris finally gave in to the squirrels and moved their tent across the stream. This spelled squirrel doom for the group camping next to them.

We were in our camp in the afternoon and our neighbors across the stream were not. We noticed the squirrels doing the crazed jump/attacks on the tents and then saw one eat through the mesh. In he went. The tent was fully zipped and he now had no way out. I went over to remove the squirrel/save the campers food stores. See the hole above the blue part of the tent:I opened up the door and went around back to kick the tent. Out flew the squirrel. You can see him zooming out of the lower righthand frame of the picture: I zipped up all the windows in the tents in hopes of deterring more break-ins at the neighbors'.

Kristen lent me this cool tent to take on the trip:I didn't bring it though. There was rain (isolated storms, Aimee!) forecast for every day and this wasn't going to do much against the rain. Christy had a 3-person tent for herself, Aimee and me, so I gladly left the (2 pounds) weight of the tent out of my pack.

Yeah...3-person tents don't really fit 3 persons unless you are all very snuggly people. So this is where I slept:It was cooler than the tent, so that was good. I sprayed my bedding with Off! before bedtime so I wasn't really bothered by bugs while I slept. The flies would come at about 5:30 am, so that was annoying and I couldn't read with my headlamp because it attracted too many bugs. Other than that though, I enjoyed sleeping outside.

This was what I woke up to:Well, one morning I woke up to a squirrel trying to get in my Camelback that was right next to me. Squirrel! I am RIGHT HERE! Show some fear, buddy! Instinctively my dog voice came out and he got in trouble, "Leave it! Get out! Get!"

And this is the fun I had with Aimee and Christy at night:

Our group:A more accurate depiction of our group:And more:
Girls with braids stick together: