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February 27, 2013

This Damn Dog Stole My Heart

Internet, meet Dino.

Dino is a 4.5-year-old Pomeranian mix. He has little wormies in his heart. But if I was a worm I'd want to be in his heart too.

We met him at the Golden Valley Humane Society. One of the volunteers hooked a leash to his collar and led him to a friendship room so we could get to know him. The whole walk over he kept trying to paw off his snout restraint. It was adorable.

After thoroughly investigating all the alien smells, he felt like maybe it was OK for  us to pet him. He had a hard time looking us in the eye but slumped to the floor and nearly fell asleep while Matt pet his very soft silky puppy fur. Sometimes he looked up at us like this and we died a little bit inside:

Matt scooted back toward the door and Dino was all like, "No no no! More!" and he crawled right into Matt's lap and begged us to be his best friends for ever and always.

We said OK.

Dino (which is apparently pronounced /DEE-no/ and not /DY-no/ as I had assumed) is coming home with us tomorrow and needs a new name. Here are some of our ideas:

Porcelain Cup
Ron Swanson
Mr. Neil Young
The Distinguished Senator from Mississippi
Lamb Chop
Theodore/Teddy (Graham)


February 26, 2013

Sigh... Young Amour: Part 2

One of my fellow English teachers from Franceland Class of '11 sent over a priceless gift today. Her former students have created a Facebook page devoted to gossip and some very interesting anonymous love poetry (according to their mission statement they are looking for students to "declare their flame" or "give us crusty bits of gossip.") Below are translations from French by yours truly of some of the best.


For you, handsome little brunet, I send you a thought
Do you remember last year, a few minutes were enough for us
Like the first letter of your first name, I dream of it still
Of your mouth on mine, of our silhouettes that make one
It was in early morning, you offered me a divine pleasure
Know that I haven't forgotten you, I still can't believe it
That you and me, perhaps, we could take up where we left off
--From a former student of the high school, to a student in 11th grade


Oh you who lights up my days
With your cartoon nickname
I liked so much
The time when you kissed me
Even if you gave in return
A potato in the nose*
Oh my little slip of a woman
You think of me as an ass (kind of like one of your cinematic comrades)
Even if one equates me with a green man*
I wrote you this poem to confess
That I have loved you since last Saturday
Since I say you jiggling
After drinking a bit too much alcoholic beverages

*I may be horribly mistranslating an idiom here


In our history, our connection have dissolved to a point where today you hate me.
I never dared to tell you this in 10th grade, but today I have a profound desire to snuggle my head between your breasts!
Oh you and your long and curly hair make my heart pulse, when I run into you in the foyer, I would really love to kiss you so languidly

Read Part 1 of Sigh... Young Amour here.

February 21, 2013

Bus stories

My old bus to work had this guy name George who would get on about 5 minutes into my ride. He was probably in his late 70s, and always had a newspaper and a shock of pomaded white hair that stuck up in the back. The moment he got on he would start regaling the driver in an outside voice with everything that was wrong in the world. Most of his sentences either started or ended with "I tell ya..." and he had lots of theories about President Obama. Like how the reason he wants to take all our guns away is so he can round up all the Jews and send them to Siberia without any citizen resistance.

George was pretty sure most people were out to fleece him most of the time. He was also pretty sure our country and our world was going to hell in a handbasket and would tell anyone who would listen. Everyone on the bus wanted to listen; George was pretty sure of that.

I always wondered if George had an actual destination in downtown or if riding the bus was what he did to socialize.

The bus driver of my old bus to work would respond to George, but Driver never acknowledged my "Good morning!" or my friendly smile or my "Thank you!" when I got off. He just stared at me. Poker-faced. When I returned from France with a broken foot, I hobbled up to the bus with my walking boot and my crutches and looked up at him hopefully, expecting him to lower the ramp. Instead he regarded me icily. I gritted my teeth and hopped up the steps as best I could.

My old bus to work had a stop across the street from a Salvation Army center, which brought an infusion of colorful characters for the last six minutes of the ride. One time a couple of guys had been fighting at the stop, and when the bus arrived one of them managed to punch the other into the bus while Driver yelled, "Hey! Hey! Hey!" but did nothing to stop it. We had to sit there for another 10 minutes post-altercation while he phoned in a report. I don't think George was there that day.

There is nothing interesting about my new bus to work.

February 18, 2013

Progress Report: Living Room, Guest Room, Office

Since we closed on the hizzy a week and a half ago, we've been in a near constant state of schlepping, organizing and improving upon. I have today off, and I spent a good portion of my morning ROY-G-BIV'ing my dresses and Matt's shirts, if that gives you any indication of the nesting bug that has gripped my very soul. 

We're nowhere near completion, but the masses have cried out for photographic evidence of our housedom, and to them I say: I hear you clucking, big chickens.

Let us start in the living room, which until Saturday doubled as our sleeping quarters with the help of an outrageously comfortable air mattress on loan from Matt's parentals. We still have quite a way go to here, but we've painted it in the soothing tones of April Mist (and by we I mean I taped everything and MIL came over while we were at work and did the rest) and purchased a cute little lamp from Target. 

Here's the before picture, from the previous owners:
And here's what it looks like now:

Living Room To-Dos:
  • Buy a couch
  • Buy armchairs
  • Buy an area rug
  • Mount the TV above the fireplace
  • Make a painting/picture mural above the couch
  • Make curtains

On Saturday we got a moving van and picked up our furniture from the apartment, and thus we were able to sleep in an honest-to-goodness bed once more. The previous owners had two little girls, the older of whom was named Sofia and had a purple princess room with a princess princess princess pink chandelier. We decided this would be our guest room, and since the queen box spring won't make it around the tight corners to the master suite upstairs, our bed is parked here for now. We definitely need to leave the chandy up because it's awesome, but the purple's got to go. Depending one the color scheme we go for, I might want to refinish the furniture and paint it a different color. 

Before :
This is how I know her name is Sofia, BTW; it's not because I'm a master creeper. The paint color in that picture is closer to real life to mine:

 Guest Room To-Dos:
  • Re-paint
  • Get new bedding
  • Get lamp for night table
  • Hang map canvases so guests can pin where they're from
  • Make curtains
  • Refinish/paint furniture

I spent a good chunk of the weekend building things with my bare hands. The Ikea bookcases we bought were snap and a half, but this desk. My god, this desk. It nearly killed me. I'm spectacularly bad at all things that involve hand-eye coordination, and you should probably put hammering at the top of that list. I'm pretty durn lucky not to be writing this from the hospital.

Anyhow. This room had been used as a nursery, but we'll be using it as a home office. Depending on how ambitious we get, we'll probably be doing away with the pale pink walls and the frou frou switch plates, but I continue to find them charming.

Here's a before (again, their fancy real estate photography does a better job picking up the true paint color):
And here is the evil Ikea furniture that I'm going to have to not look at for awhile because we're in a fight:

Office To-Dos:
  • Paint
  • Buy a chair for the desk
  • Buy an area rug
  • Buy a lamp for the desk
  • Get some binders full of women so it looks real profesh

Sometime this week I'll show you my incredibly organized kitchen cupboards and the book explosion that happened in the basement. Maybe I'll even give you a peek at the ROY-G-BIV'ed closets. If you're good.

February 16, 2013

On learning to compromise

I was having lunch with Anna, telling her about my Woes of the Week.

"He wants a sectional," I said. "A big, fatty, leather sectional. It will totally overwhelm the space. And I stick to leather in the summer. If there's one thing I know, it's that I didn't buy a house just to stick to the gigantic leather couch in the summer."

This wasn't the only design disagreement we'd been having. I pinned long and hard to come up with a color scheme I was totally in love with for what I'm calling Salon Neenuh. It involves light blue-green walls, neutral fabric furniture and blue and coral accents. He would prefer dark colors, like gray and brown and navy.

This really shouldn't surprise me any more, after nearly six years of being together. I first learned of our taste gulf when we were registering for wedding presents, and I was head over heels for a teal china pattern with BIRDS on it, and he wanted white with a single silver circle. I wanted the bold apple green mixer and he was adamant that we stick to the classic red or white. I wanted bright-bright-bright linens and he wanted brown. I married a monster.

And, I told Anna, he's desperate for a dog. I ticked off the reasons I don't want one:
  • The vet bills. Dogs inevitably get ring worm and then cancer and then you have to pay for dog chemo and we just bought a house and how could we possibly afford that.
  • The poop. Once you buy a dog you are then responsible for every piece of poop that comes out of its body.
  • The shedding. I just spent an entire evening vacuum up the little white hairs the previous owners' best friend left EVERYWHERE-- like, they were even in the bathtub. 
  • The noise. What if Pup decides my brother smells weird and it yaps its head off every time he comes over? Sam is related by blood (at least that's what we've been told); I can't just ban him from our house.
  • The jealousy. What if we have a baby and then the dog gets jealous because we're not giving it enough attention and then it climbs into baby's crib and sits on baby's face AND KILLS OUR BABY?
  • The poop. What if it's a fraidy-dog and I drop something because dropsy and it makes a loud noise and then the dog poops itself on our huge leather sectional?
Anna patiently refuted all my points and told me that I would love being a pet mama and that it would be great practice for being a real mama and that she would be our dog-sitter forever and always amen. And then she had a stroke of genius. I care about the furniture. Matt cares about the dog. I should use dog ownership as a bargaining chip to get him to cede decision-making capabilities.

Reader, that's what I did. And it totally worked. I look forward to inviting you to our humble abode this summer, where the yard will be poop-filled and the couches will be stick-free.