Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Princess and the Pee

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
(or "A Tail of Two Monkeys-" whichever literary pun appeals to you)

You know how my dog has a sensitive stomach, and if ignored, said sensitivity turns her into a Blast-Ended Skrewt with "fire" shooting out of both ends? Yeah, well... She was showing early symptoms of such "sensitivity" at the beginning of last week.

I do not mess around with this. First signs of trouble, and I'm all "Wham, bam, take a Doggie Immodium, ma'am." I also put her right on the canine equivalent of the B(ananas) R(ice) A(pplesauce) and T(oast) diet, which is cooked pasta and boiled lean hamburger meat. This means, yes, I cook for her. I COOK FOR MY DOG. I know, but it's sooo much better than the alternative.

Now, Bella and Fred have a little routine with the dog kibble. I usually spill a couple bits off the scoop, which are Fred's. If I don't spill enough, Bella will take a step back from the bowl and lets Fred scoop out a few more with his paw. This is a sacred, sacred ritual upon which no Dustbuster should ever trespass.

However, last week Bella wasn't getting kibble. Consequently, Fred wasn't partaking in his twice-daily mooch. Fred was a little more MOW-y and screechy than usual, but I chalked it up to his General Weirdness. (And also, I got a new shower curtain, which is opaque, and it's put a real damper on their Shower Curtain Game, which deserves an entry of its own.)

Anway, I was watching TV and working on my laptop the other evening, when I got a whiff of an Ominous Smell. Cat pee has got to be the foulest, most persistent odor EVER. Yup. Fred peed in Bella's mesh toy box. He fucking peed all over her toys! Right in front of me! Grr. So I got out the bleach and threw the toys in the washer. Twice. Luckily, Bella's Monkey toy was spared, right? The whole four step clean-up routine is tiresome, but okay. At least nothing reeks of the Dreaded Pee.

Right after that, Fred immediately ran right into the bathroom and pooped in the litterbox. Oh-kay... so.. I know my cat's brain is the size of a cocoa puff, but at least he still knows what the litterbox is FOR, in theory. Cats do "revenge pee." They seldom just spray if they're fixed and have a litterbox. I had no idea what he was cranky with the dog about, but... see above, I figured it involved the Shower Curtain Game.

But then, the next day I was leaving for work, literally closing the door, when Fred crouched over Bella's toy box and peed AGAIN. WTF?!? Now I'm angry. I try to pick him up. (Note to cat owners: Bad idea. Do not try this at home.) He peed for two solid minutes all over her toys while I stood there, going, "What? WHY? Stop! Stop it right now!" He was all,"Whatever, pink hairless bee-otch!" and ran into the bathroom, and (wait for it) promptly pooped in the litterbox. I was like, "I officially declare this bathroom the Tiled Correctional Institute for Incorrigible Imps from Hell. You *stay* in there for the rest of the day!" Bleach. Disinfectant. Washing Machine. Febreze. Run out the door.

Sadly, this time Monkey was not so lucky. On the other hand, this is not that sad. This was Bella's fourth monkey overall. Let's review, shall we?

Monkey I: developed funky smell of dog toy death
Monkey II: Lost in Florida
Monkey III: Beheaded by Gunner
and now... Monkey IV: soaked in pee!

After two trips through the washer, Monkey still smelled like pee. I threw out Monkey IV and purchased Monkey V at Petsmart. Bella was thrilled. Joel was walking her when I drove up, and she practically carried the New Monkey up the stairs herself. At this point, her stomach was back to normal. As I doled out the kibble, Fred mewed happily like a normal, sane cat and munched on his usual portion. Then he practically skipped into the bathroom and immediately peed in the litterbox. A-HA! Note to self: Give the Weird Little Cat dog food NO MATTER WHAT. Got it.

That night, I woke up to hear Joel saying, "You shouldn't have left Monkey at the scene of the crime." He climbed back into bed, telling me Bella had gotten into the trash, but he already cleaned it up. Oh, and by the way, she left her brand new toy right there next to the mess; she really takes that thing EVERYWHERE. At which point, I rolled over and snored gratefully in his general direction. (It was a very appreciative, tender snore, I assure you.)

The next day (GOD, this is long. Sorry.) I noticed Bella's new Monkey had gotten torn in the exact same places as the old one. Weird. Then again, she was playing tug of war with it, which is how the first one got ripped. A few days go by. Everyone is doing their business in the appropriate places. Good good good.

Last night when I was vacuuming, I moved the giant pet bed. Lo and behold, there was New Monkey, not at all ripped, stuffed between the bed and the wall and sort of behind the curtain. So here's the thing- Bella must have gotten Monkey IV out of the trash. She went in and got her old monkey out and left the new one in its place. When Joel gave her New Monkey back after cleaning up the mess, she hid it between her bed and the wall.

I am not making any of this up. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Tap Dancing around the Truth

What to say? Life is.... How to complete that sentence? It just... is.

I've been dancing around the Real Stuff going on in my life here in the blogosphere, avoiding certain subjects that occupy the majority of my daily thoughts.

Things are changing for Nanny, my beloved 88-year-old grandmother. She needs back surgery, two rounds of it, to help alleviate the pain of her osteoporosis. She will spend the recovery period in convalescent care. She wants so very much for the surgery to "work," to make it possible for her to walk around easily and painlessly. For a woman who spent her professional life on her feet in a beauty parlor, and her personal life on her feet in a kitchen or a dance floor, losing her mobility has sapped her effervescent spirit.

She wants to move back to her own home this summer. I don't know if that will happen. My dad recently sent a sentimental email to our extended family and friends, about how her house on Billview Drive may someday soon belong to another family who will make memories there. I can't picture it.

Also, my friend Brad continues to fight the good fight. He's been in the hospital again for a while now. There are quite a few reasons that have kept me from writing about this stay in the hospital like I did last August.... It DOES cheer me to tell you he's started a March Madness pool for NCAA Basketball Championships in the ICU. So there's that.

None of us ever know how much time we have on this Earth. Nothing is ever certain, for anyone. On the other hand, Death is definitely biding his time, quietly playing Solitaire in the corner while we fiercely ignore him. I hate this roller coaster of news, updates, and "developments," but I don't ever want the ride to end. Perhaps this is the bargaining stage, but at the moment, I'm up for anything that gives us five more minutes. Just five more minutes with my crazy blended friend-family intact, please. Just five more.

"A little girl calls, 'Please don't let me fall!'...
You are so small under your blanket here in this hospital
I love you."
"Tell your bones not to let go,
Your heart is beating slowly now.
The Spring has come..."
-Anna, by Antje Duvekot

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Are the memers still MEME-ING?

Shannon tagged me, so here we go with another meme.

A) Four jobs you have had in your life
1. Cat-Sitter for Critter, my first grade teacher's "sweet" gray tabby who bit me so hard that she drew blood when I wasn't fast enough with the can opener. I cried and ran home, leaving the pink scooter that my dad made me earn half the money for in my teacher/neighbor's driveway. Seeing the blood and tears, my mom was convinced I had locked the keys to Mrs. McM's house INSIDE the house while fleeing. (I hadn't.) She drove us around the corner to get there superfast and ran over my scooter with her Datsun.

2. Substitute Teacher. I actually liked it. Except for the time I broke an entire set of test tubes five minutes into homeroom period. Oh, and when they threw milk at me. Bloodthirsty little bastards.

3. Fast Food Worker at Subway. HATED IT! The 49-year-old manager named Lloyd was sleeping with the 19-year-old assistant manager. They used to have sex at the local Sheraton when the manager was supposed to be at... um, sorry, but I can't bring myself to call it "the restaurant".... and Lloyd's wife would call repeatedly looking for him.

4. Deli/dishwasher/hostess/"tron" at Isaac's. It sort of went in phases, but there were stretches of time when working there was really, really fun. All the sandwiches are named after birds (roast beef-swiss-and-bacon-on-rye is a hummingbird, turkey-and-muenster-with-bacon-on-pumpernickel is a finch, etc.). One time, when I ringing up a check, I asked the usual customer service question "Was everything was okay with your meal this evening?" She said, "Well.. it was delicious, but I just don't like that you kill all those beautiful birds." Remember, however, that the only actual "bird meat" on the menu includes chicken breasts and turkey. I wouldn't even blame her for getting confused, but...some of the sandwiches were named after birds that were extinct, like the Pterodactyl (basically, a hot Italian sub, but also? Not a bird. Even 65 million years ago, it wasn't a bird) and the Phoenix (Mythical creature. Never existed.)... and... doesn't she recognize a ham sandwich when she sees one? This is all I'm saying.

B) Four movies you would watch over and over:
1. Bend It Like Beckham
2. Goonies
3. The Money Pit
4. This video of my ex-boyfriend falling off a piece of scenery and breaking his back during a rehearsal for Peter Pan in high school. (This sounds like a return to the bitterness, which, I assure you, it is not. Stephen shows everyone this video. He used to bring it to parties. Once of the first times we ever hung out, a billion jillion years ago, he showed me this tape. We laughed so hard I had to run to the bathroom. It was a good day.)

C) Four places you have lived:
1. Miami, FL
2. Syracuse, NY
3. East Bumblefuck, Pennsyltucky
4. London

D) Four TV shows you love to watch:
1. Lost
2. Project Runway (I know! A Reality Show! The shame! SHAME!)
3. Law & Order: SVU (Can't. break. free. from. the. omnipresent. repeats.)
4. West Wing

E) Four places you have been on vacation:
1. Rehoboth Beach, Del.
2. Magnetic Island, Australia
3. Innsbruck, Austria (not to be confused with #2; different hemispheres)
4. Bergen, Norway

F) Four websites I visit daily:
2. My Beloved Monster & Me
3. I Blame The Patriarchy
4. One Good Thing

G) Four of my favorite foods:
1. meatball subs
2. mozzerella sticks
3. fresh watermelon
4. chicken macaroni casserole

H) Four places I would rather be right now:
1. Yosemite National Park (Soon! So soon.)
2. Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh
3. Home
4. One workstation over, the one with the "good chair"

I'm doing something a little different with the tagging. I'm tagging four of my non-blogging readers to be Guest Memers: Julia, Wetzel, Annie S., and my mom. You're up! Guest Memes will be posted here or somewhere else nice and easy to get to.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

We interrupt this broadcast...

Blog: Um, hi?
Me: What?
Blog: Whatcha doin'?
Me: Listening to Tom Petty, checking my email, editing sound for a multimedia show and ignoring my screaming cat. Why?
Blog: Because you haven't updated me in a while. Psychotic Chocolate Bunnies just aren't that interesting.
Me: No?
Blog: No.
Psychotic Chocolate Bunnies: Oh no, you di'int! You did NOT just diss the Psychotic Chocolate Bunnies! DIE! DIE! DIE!

PLEASE STAND BY.... FUTURE ENTRIES PENDING.... (Probably. If the Psychotic Chocolate Bunnies allow it.)

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

When My Dog Was a Movie Star

Back in the fall semester of 2000, my two roommates and co-dog mommies Jo and Erika took an "Acting for the Cinema" course. In theory, they were supposed to work with film students who would direct them in their personal projects and give them on-camera experience.

Except that *this* class... well, the student directors all seemed to suck, like, a lot. I don't remember too much about it, except that Jo and Erika played waitresses in one project. They were supposed to make up elaborate hors d-ouvers trays as props, but the director kept deleting the footage by accident, losing the tape or getting shitty critiques. By the fifth re-shoot, they were squeezing easy cheese onto cucumber slices and glaring at everything around them in our kitchen, including the toaster, the party trays, the EZ Cheez, and Creepy Carl, the OCD pain-in-the-ass roommate who insisted on scrubbing the outside of the milk gallon before putting it in the fridge while refusing to take the trash out. EVER.


Anyway, Bella the very young, stubborn, un-housebroken puppy appeared in one of the films. Supposedly, she was a natural. The professor for this class was a man named M@lcolm who had a distinguished career as a Shakespearean actor in England before coming to Syracuse to teach. He was your standard-issue middle-aged British man with unruly eyebrows and dry wit. He and his wife taught throughout the academic year and acted in a professional company in the Berkshires during the summer. After a disastrous screening in film class, the only positive thing M@lcolm could say about it (you have to imagine your own deep, James Earl Jones-ish employing a Queen's English accent here) was:

"The *only* good thing about your film.... was... that DOG." (Cue applause for the Bella.)

For some reason, this snippet of information has stayed with me over the years, along with this hilarious impression Jo would do of M@lcolm... She once caught him licking his own hand *with great purpose* during a rehearsal for Henry V when he thought no one was looking.

Now, I know this blog entry is taking you for a ride on Angie's Convulted Memory Train, but I have one more leap to make before I get to my point. I hope you'll stay with me.

In the summer of 200-and-something-or-other (2004, maybe?) Stephen performed with the unpaid acting troupe as "an education artist" in cooperation with the professional company in the Berkshires where M@lcolm traditionally acts in the summer break from S.U. Of course, I went to visit because

I believed! In! His! Dream!
And Maybe Someday! He'd! Get! Cast! In!
the Professional Troupe! And!
We'd Have A Life TOGETHER!!! In the Berkshires!
holla back y'all! Woo!

Ahem. That didn't happen.

But I'm still on the mailing list for this theater company, which... when I got their Spring Preview Mailing a year ago... made me feel like I got kicked in the stomach. I shoved it under a couch cushion and sat on it for a while, then I threw it away, as M@lcolm would say, *with great purpose* (slamming the lid of my kitchen trashcan, which promptly bounced off and made a mess).

Oh! But see how I have grown! When the spring mailer came today, I thought, "You know, why don't I look and see if @nderson (Stephen's best friend from the education tour) is finally getting main stage roles after so many years of due diligence? That would be so nice for him."

@nderson is not in any of the promo photos, but M@lcolm is.

Can't you see this man praising my dog's acting skills? and (completely separate from that incident) licking his own hand when he thinks no one is looking? I think this moment of hilarity alone makes my student loan payment this month feel incredibly worthwhile.

Also, I would really like it if Stephen achieved that dream, if that still IS his dream. :)