Monday, May 31, 2010

And Then Our House Melted.

We had the kind of low-key, laid-back Memorial Day weekend that typifies the start of summertime.

We went to a friend's house for a barbecue.  We invited friends over for a barbecue.  We ran errands, we watched movies, we walked dogs.

Oh.  And David almost burned down our house.

Or, rather, melted it.

Saturday night our friends Max and Jamie came over for dinner.  Jamie and I had plans to run to store while the boys got started barbecuing.  The menu was burgers and a "chik'n" patty, but I'd also prepped new potatoes and asparagus to go on the grill.  I popped baked beans in the oven and Jamie and I left.

When we returned, we went outside to find the boys.  And found this:

Neither of them was outside when this happened, so we don't know of flames shot out from the grill or if the heat was so intense it just melted the siding.  Either way, the side of my closet was decidedly droopy.

The good news was that everything was ok--everything but the potatoes, which were charred beyond edibility in the House Melting Incident.  David and Max didn't have to bust out the fire extinguisher or anything like that--they turned off the grill and cleaned all the grease and stuff out of it when it had cooled enough to touch it. Then they continued with dinner preparation--it was late, but still delicious.

And, obviously, our house is still standing.  We even had enough extra siding pieces left from when we built the garage that David was able to pull of the melty pieces and replace them so it looks good as new.  Let's hope that future barbecues are a little more uneventful.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

If Our Dogs Were Two of the Seven Dwarves

Today was a glorious Saturday morning--full of bright sunshine and cool breezes, weather promising to warm up to the 80s by the afternoon, but the perfect morning for drinking coffee on the deck, watering planters full of lettuce and herbs, and deciding over a leisurely bagel-breakfast to check out the farmer's market.

One of the things I love about where we live is that we are close to several parks.  We are within walking distance of a pretty little park with playgrounds, roller hockey, raquetball, basketball, and tennis courts, and plenty of shady paths for dog-walking.  We are a ten-minute drive from Forest Park, famous for its size (it's actually a couple of acres bigger than Central Park in New York), and home to the zoo, art museum, history museum, outdoor theaters, golf courses, tennis courts, restaurants and cafes, paddleboat and canoe rentals, and biking and walking paths.  Forest Park's other claim to fame is that all of its attractions are free, which is pretty remarkable.  Even the outdoor theater sells tickets to its weekly musicals all summer, but you can sit in section C for free and you can bring your own booze as long as you put it in a non-glass container (FYI:  an entire bottle of wine will fit in the largest size Nalgene bottle).

Tower Grove park is another nearby park and it is home to a Farmers' Market on Saturday mornings.  Tower Grove is a Victorian park in a number of ways--it still has the original winding streets first designed for horses and carriages and the nineteenth-century pagodas and pavilions that were donated in the 1860s and 70s.  We like to walk the dogs there and watch the adult kickball leagues in the fall.

Today we decided to venture out to the Tower Grove Farmer's Market.  As noted previously, Little Mac has been rather unpleasant lately (after an all-day hunger strike, she finally ate that pill for David after he wrapped it in more cheese), so we opted to leave her at home.  Being small, white, and fluffy, many people find her irresistible and I did not want to have to tell people they cannot pet her. 

So we just took Cooper.  He was delighted to go and although his manners when he is around other dogs are decidedly questionable, he is very sociable and friendly among humans.

And he loved the farmers market.  Loved it in the most obnoxious way possible.

Peed on every bush on the way to the market from the car.  Flung himself with gusto toward the smells and the occasional spill on the ground.  He does this "swimming" move where he lunges so violently that his front legs are off the ground and paddling through the air as he attempts to barrel chest-first toward whatever he has found of interest (for example:  Golden Retrievers, children in strollers eating Cheerios, a lettuce leaf on the pavement, a group of approximately thirty people practicing yoga in a grassy spot near the market).

Thirty pounds of puggle combined with the intensity of his doggie desperation and delight makes him somewhat difficult to control, particularly in a crowd.  We bought some homemade dog treats to distract him, which him considerably but then he kept leaping up at our hands and pockets and so we were those people reprimanding our ill-behaved dog as though he were behaving out of the ordinary when really he is just kind of a shithead most of the time and yet we still expect him to somehow know he should behave differently in public.

Finally David took him off to the side where he could pee on bushes and sniff another dog's butt in peace (Cooper, not David), while I bought asparagus and contemplated making a strawberry pie.

By the time we headed back to the car, Cooper had calmed down and David and I were thoroughly enjoying a stroll through the park.  The weather couldn't have been nicer and I felt summery and happy to have a bag full of local produce.  We cut through a field to head back to the car, pausing frequently so Cooper could sniff and take the peeing position although he had already peed himself out by this point.  David was carrying the bag and I had Cooper's leash.

Coop found something very interesting to smell on the ground and stopped short.  I stopped too, letting him snuffle the grass, before saying, "C'mon, Buddy," and gently tugging his leash. 

He didn't budge.

Instead, he flopped down and starting rutting in the grass.  Then, suddenly, he was writhing on his back in ecstasy.

This was a very bad sign.  When Cooper flops down and starts rolling his whole body on the ground, it means there is something very nasty, very stinky, and often very dead, that he is rolling in.  I've seen it happen with dead birds at the farm and dead fish at the lake and also once with some other dog's poop.  It is not a good thing.

So I (not so gently) pulled on his leash.  I proceeded to drag him about six inches, but he is still on his back.  He continued to flop around, enjoying himself hugely, until David ran up to him, yelling and clapping.  Then Cooper jumped up.  David inspected the ground and didn't see anything so he decided it was probably just "old pee."  (Seriously, that is what he said.  It seemed as reasonable a guess as any.) 

We continued to the car without further incident.

Coop loaded up in the backseat and we started driving home. I was still talking enthusiastically about strawberry pie.

David eased to a stop at a stop sign and suddenly a scent wafted toward me from the backseat.

An odor that smelled like dead animal and also ass.  Dead Ass Smell.

I immediately started gagging.

Then retching.

Then seriously dry heaving out the window.

In between heaves, I was gasping, "I don't want to barf!"

"Breathe into your shirt!" David yelled at me.

"Roll down the back windows!" I shouted back.

I was hanging out the window, trying to get fresh air, but Cooper was hanging out the window behind me and all I could smell was his terrible dead animal ass smell.

David wanted me to lean back so he could see oncoming traffic but I couldn't put my head back in the car so instead I just shouted, "ALL CLEAR!" and we started moving again.  With the breeze moving through the car, it wasn't bad, but anytime we'd come to a stop I'd have to bury my face in my tank top and breathe through my mouth, trying not to gag.

Cooper headed straight for the bathtub when we got home.  Little Mac growled when she saw David pulling the doggie shampoo out of the closet.  Then she went and hid in the bedroom.

Coop is probably not invited to join us at the Farmers' Market next Saturday.

And we have come to the conclusion that if our dogs were dwarves, they would be named Bitchy and Stinky.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Falling into Place

David and I have a routine.  I'm sure a lot of couples end up taking on one role or another in a marriage, and ours is always like this:

I worry and fret.

David repeatedly assures me that it will all be ok.

I argue, protest, point out all of the reasons why it most certainly might not be ok.

He is always, inevitably right.

(About this particular scenario, I should say.  We have lots of other disagreements where, I assure you, he is not always right.)

I don't know why I can't just breathe and let go and be absolutely confident it will all work out.  I sometimes feel like I used to be able to do that...  back when I was a kid?  back before graduate school make me twitchy and neurotic?  back when I paid for beer and movie tickets instead of beer and a mortgage?

I try to be optimistic.  I work with the idea that that it is possible things will be just fine.  But I also want a back up plan in place.  What will we do if.

If I can't finish my dissertation.
If I totally bomb the defense.
If I don't get a job.
If my article gets rejected.
If I can't extend my health insurance plan through the university.
If we can't afford to go to Korea.
If my tire explodes on the highway because David wouldn't take it to the garage to be looked at when the tire light came on.
If my slip starts sliding out from under my skirt while I am standing up in front of the class, lecturing them on Northanger Abbey

David hates the what-if game.  I guess I use it as a kind of defense mechanism.  Hope for the best, be prepared for the worst.

As I tell myself over and over again, being prepared or even expecting the worst doesn't make it easier to deal with when it arrives.  And when I end up in the best-case instead of the worst-case scenario?  Well, it just makes me realize how much time I can lose to the stomach-knotting fretting and worrying that is actually not very productive at all.

Because I finished the dissertation and I passed the defense.

Because I have teaching jobs lined up for the fall.  Good jobs.  Jobs that I'm excited about.  Jobs that could become more permanent positions in the future.

Because my article did get accepted for publication and the letter from the editor of the academic journal left me feeling on top of the world.

Because it turns out I can renew my insurance, because we are carefully saving money for the Korea trip, because my tire just had a slow leak from running over a screw and was easily patched. 

And because I now know that should my slip start sliding out from under my skirt, I will simply bend over very subtly and slide the slip all the way down to my ankles, then step out of it without pausing in my lecture, hope that the desk in front of me hid most of that situation, and be thankful that my students are too polite to mention it or burst out laughing.

So I am making a conscious effort to live in the moment and not worry so much about the what if.  Because chances are things will work out.  And if they don't?  I can trust myself to make a good decision in that moment.  I don't have to have a contingency plan for every possible scenario.  I can handle it--even if it is totally unexpected.

David is right--things are always ok in the end. 

It might have taken that letter of acceptance from a British professor at an academic journal to make it feel true, but I think I am finally starting to believe it.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dog Days

I'm in that weird limbo-place between the end of the semester and the start of my summer class.  There was a week of celebratory downtime where I felt justified just sort of hanging out, reading for pleasure, cleaning house, etc.  But now that graduation has happened and nothing much has happened since then, it just feels weird to not have a job or a dissertation to do. 

My friends are doing exciting things like:

- starting summer internships at law firms where they have assistants assisting them and they get free diet pop all day
- moving to the Pacific Northwest
- vacationing on the gulf coast (and avoiding the oil spill)
- taking a long Memorial Day Weekend and going to Chicago
- attending a wedding in Napa

My plan for today?  Finish re-reading Fahrenheit 451 in preparation for teaching it in June.  Sketch out a couple of lecture/discussions about the novel.  Give dogs heartworm pills.  Take Cooper to the park.  Go to the grocery store.

So far I have accomplished:  "Give dogs Cooper heartworm pill."

So my dogs get these chewable pills that are supposed to taste good.  They leave a bad taste in my mouth, regardless, because I always order them from one of the online pet supply stores and they always have to call my vet for the prescription and there is always some kind of mistake or miscommunication because I've used the wrong last name or transcribed a credit card number or forgotten to tell my vet I placed the order and so the vet denies the prescription and then we have to make a bunch more phone calls straightening out the whole mess.  And I always order them with their flea and tick repellent and it always costs much more than anyone wants to spend on a couple of mangy dogs and David always freaks out about the total when it goes through our online banking and I always say that he was the one who wanted two dogs and dogs are freaking expensive.

You'd think for all this trouble that the pills could at least actually taste good, and it seems that, in fact, they do, given that Cooper happily chomps his down and swallows it without fuss when I offer it like any other treat.

Little Mac is, of course, a totally different story.

Of course I am.  You want to cross me, bitch?  I don't think so.

This morning, I wrapped the pill in cheese and tried to give it to her.  She wasn't interested and growled at me to let me know.  Then Cooper came over to see what kind of treat I was offering Little Mac.  This inspired her to at least take the pill from me (she didn't want it, but she didn't want Brother to have it either--this same mindset has caused them to fight over raw asparagus and uncooked noodles that have fallen on the kitchen floor).  She appeared to be chewing it so I put Cooper outside to get him out of the way and went back to make sure she'd eaten the pill.

But no.  She had spit it out on the bedroom carpet and was trying to eat the cheese off the pill without eating the pill itself, resulting in a lot of dog spit and drool everywhere.

I pretended I was going to pick up the pill, hoping that would make her want it more.

It didn't.

She walked out of the room, leaving the mushy, slobbery, pill-cheese mess on the floor.

I picked up the pill in a kleenex because, gross.  Cooper wanted back inside.  I let him in and knelt down in front of Mac, trying to get her to take the pill off the kleenex.  I held the wadded tissue out toward her with the pill right on top.

She growled, lunged, and bit the tissue right out of my hand, narrowly missing my fingers.

Then she proceeded to fling it off to the side, where I had to grab it to keep Cooper from eating the tissue in its entirety, now that it smells of cheese and delicious chewable heartworm pill.

Mac never ate the pill at all.

I have decided not to feed her breakfast in hopes that if she gets hungry, she'll figure a soggy mushy pill with colby jack cheese wrapped around it and bits of kleenex stuck to it is better than nothing.

So far all she's done is nap on the love seat.

Please do not disturb.  Very comfortable here.  Also, I hate you.

It is a battle of wills between Little Mac and me.

You will lose.  Suckah!  Now I need more sleep.  Attacking kleenex is very exhausting business.

This could be a long day.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Look Who Graduated

I got a fancy hood and everything.

For $90, you get to keep the blue tassle.  And the memories.

Monday, May 17, 2010


Here are a few of my favorite pretties:

I ordered this dress from to wear to my commencement ceremony.  It is made of the softest knit so it is very comfortable and flowy and a I love this shade of purple.  I'm going to wear it with gold strappy high-heeled sandals and simple jewelry.  Of course it will be covered up with a big green wizard's robe, but at least I know it's cute.

I finally ordered these sandals, after seeing them in the store and then looking at them online everyday for weeks.  I wanted a pair of gladiators last summer but never got around to getting them.  Then we went to Paris and everyone and their freaking dog was wearing gladiator sandals.  Everywhere we went.  Seriously, if my American accent and pathetic pronunciation of French conversational phrases were not enough to make me look like an obvious outsider, the fact that I was the only person in the Jardin de Luxembourg not wearing gladiator sandals was a dead give away.  I like to imagine I will feel very French and very chic wearing them now.

I like to wear a tinted moisturizer instead of foundation when the weather gets warmer but then sometimes I need something to matte out a shiny forehead.  This stuff is cheap and works like a charm.

It has been raining for twelve out of the last seventeen days here.  But I put this on after my shower and I smelled like summertime.

This is unrelated to personal care, but it makes out entire house smell delicious.  Everyone's house should smell like almond floor cleaner and peonies.  I think the world would be a better place.

The dining room is now finished!  Our flooring project is complete.  Now we can continue with the destruction project that Cooper has already begun.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


The peony explosion has begun.  A fierce rainstorm the other night battered the bushes a wee mite (not to mention kept me up from 1:45 until 5AM with a freaking out dog who wanted to step on my boobs, sit on my pillow, drool in my armpit, pant in my face, and tremble so hard at the lighting and thunder that the entire bed felt like it was vibrating until finally he crawled under the bed but by that time I was so wide awake there was nothing for me to do except watch DVRed episodes of "19 Kids and Counting" until I passed out at last). 

So this morning I skipped outside and cut off the blooms that were hanging down to the ground.  Two vases full!  And the bushes still have lots of blooms and buds on them.  Love the peony explosion.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

How an Oriental Rug Brought Peace to the Midwest

While Cooper appears to be the only dog on a mission to scratch, dent, and otherwise destroy my new floors, Little Mac has not been a fan of them from the very start.

Remember, Little Mac is ten years old now and although she appears remarkably agile when she is leaping on the sofa or hiking lakeside trails (I call her my little mountain goat), she is getting up there in age (Not to worry--she will still live forever.  I imagine her twenty years from now bald, blind, and very, very angry, with just enough teeth left to make her even more fearsome.).  The new floors have obviously left her with little traction and she is much less sure-footed than she was on the carpet.  I've seen her hind legs slip out from under her as she skidded across the floor (and I giggled only a little before trying to comfort her with a kind pat on the head--of course she growled at me).

The main change that the new floors created for Mac is that she no longer jumps up onto the loveseat.  This was her perch.  Her hangout.  Her happy place.  The three of us (David, Cooper, myself) would have "family time" on the sofa.  Mac would sit alone on the other side of the room, hanging out on the love seat.  She had her favorite corner and when she was feeling really feisty, she'd climb on up and sleep on the back of it.

With the new floors, she evidently feels like she can't get the lift-off she needs to jump up there.  So the loveseat is out.  Her happy place is gone.  She has had to resort to actually using the dog beds that we have scattered all over the house.  (Because I like having one more freaking thing to move everytime I vacuum).

We've kind of enjoyed keeping Mac where she belongs (meaning off the furniture) but it created a bit of a headache for us as well.

You see, in spite of her desire to maintain her personal space, at night Little Mac relocates with us to the bedroom.  She has her own dog bed in there, too.  (Cooper shares our bed, of course, because he is a codependent mama's boy.)  Our room is not especially large and once we filled it with the bed, two nightstands, a small dresser, a big dresser, a laundry basket, and a small chair, there's not a whole lot of space left.  So Little Mac's bed is right in front of the closet, next to David's dresser.  We have sliding closet doors so we put her bed in front of the stationary one.  It seemed like the sensible place for her to sleep.

And for years, it has worked just fine.  Mac would sleep there all night.  Then, when David got up in the morning, she would get up and relocate herself to the love seat, remaining there until I got up an hour or so later to let both dogs out and feed them breakfast.

Since we put in the new floors, though, Little Mac has been choosing not to relocate herself to the dog bed in the living room.  Now that she won't jump up on the love seat, she just stays in her bed in the bedroom.  Which you wouldn't think would be a problem, right?

But Little Mac is crazy.  And one of the things that makes her crazy is her exceptionally large personal space especially in regard to her bed.

(Cooper has no personal space.  Cooper's favorite place to sleep is in my crotch.  Seriously--he loves the lap.) 

Little Mac's personal space at bedtime/naptime/rest time/pretty much anytime has approximately a four foot radius.  Break that invisible barrier, and she will growl.  Continue to advance and she will suddenly go into what appears to be attack mode--barking, growling, spitting, and lunging.  Fortunately for our safety (and her life) she does not actually lunge at the invader, but instead attacks her bed, leaping on it, biting it, and shaking it back and forth.  It is as though she is demonstrating what she would like to do to the invading human.

Cooper respects Little Mac's bed space.  When they wrestle and play and tear through the house chasing each other, Little Mac will sometimes turn and run for her bed.  That's like base.  The instant she gets on her bed, Cooper knows the game is over.  He quits chasing and pants at her from about four feet away, hoping she'll want to come play again.  He loves Sister.  And he fears her.  Just like the rest of us do.

Anyway, the whole freak-out about someone coming near her bed is very noisy and very obnoxious. And now that she is no longer relocating to the loveseat when David gets up, it is happening in our bedroom.  Every morning.  At 6:15am.

Imagine waking up to that every morning.

David gets out of bed.  Mac growls a warning.  David walks toward the closet door.  Mac freaks out and begins growling and biting her bed.  David opens the closet door.  Mac has a serious spaz attack..  David gets something from the dresser.  Mac totally loses her shit, with ever-increasing intensity.

David began laying out his clothes the night before.  Mac still freaks out the moment he gets out of bed.  Attacking her bed, growling, barking, spitting.  Because maybe he would decide to walk near her bed or GOD FORBID open the closet door. 

Something had to be done.

Short of a dog lobotomy, there was clearly only one solution:  give Sister back the carpet so she can move her ass to the love seat in the morning.

Back where dogs don't belong.

And that is how an oriental rug has brought peace to the midwest.

Mornings are much quieter around here.  I like it.  And so does Little Mac.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Pup In Boots

So the new floors are lovely.

Or, they were lovely.  Until a certain dog got a little too big for his britches and f***ing SCRATCHED them!

There was a flying leap from my lap to defend the house from a malevolent ten-year-old riding the bike in the alley.

The frantic barking-his-ass-off attack for the sinister mail delivery person.

The total blow your ever-loving mind meltdown when the evil UPS truck should dare to drive down our street, much less STOP at our house.

These are the things that make Cooper tear around like an absolute maniac, barking and barking his warnings so that we might all escape the apocalypse brought upon us by these unwelcome intruders. 

Except, there is no apocalypse and we are not in danger.  Just neighborhood kids riding bikes, the dog-fearing mailman dropping off another J.Crew catalog, and the nice UPS lady who actually leaves treats for the very dog who sounds like he would like to eat her alive.

The only thing in danger here is my floor.

We decided when we put the floors in that we were no longer going to crate Cooper.  He has a huge crate (big enough for a hundred pound dog; he is thirty pounds) that we inherited from a neighbor who moved the very weekend that Cooper ate a sofa cushion (ok, just ripped it open and ate some stuffing) and we decided we just needed some kind of barrier to separate him from our furniture while we were gone.

Even though he is mostly a Good Boy these days (chewing has pretty much stopped; panties the obvious exception--when he can get them), we were still crating him out of habit and because it keeps him from shedding on the furniture while we're gone.

The new floors prompted us to do some rearranging and we decided that the huge crate had to go.  It was totally ruining my design aesthetic.  Meaning, it was ugly.  Also, huge.

So now Cooper has run of the house which didn't seem to be a problem.  Until I vacuumed the shiny new floors and noticed the gouge near the love seat.  And another by the front door.  And a big scratch in the back room!

This in spite of a recent nail trim and grinding.

This is bad news.

I freaked out to David, "These floors are going to be the most expensive mistake we ever made!  What were we thinking listening to the guy at Home Depot who said it would be fine for pets?  We should have listened to my cousin Amanda!"

I was at a loss at how to control the situation except to start crating Cooper again when we are not home and wrestle him to the ground, counterproductively shouting, "SETTLE!" everytime we're home and someone comes to the door.

David--who was not excited about the scratches either--had another idea.

That's a pup in boots!

Let's just say it's going as well as might be expected.

WTF?  Do not even think about the front paws.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Life Envy

So I realize that I am a pretty lucky girl.  As my official PhD graduation date approaches, I've had lots of opportunity (read: free time not taken up by fretting about the dissertation) to reflect on how fortunate I am to have a roof over my head, newly-installed hardwood floors under my feet, an upcoming summer vacation to Korea, a bottle of chardonnay chilled in the fridge, a garden that is producing lettuce faster than we can eat it, two obnoxious but endearing dogs, hilarious and delightful family and friends, a kind and charming husband, and a nice, long summer reading list of recently published fiction.  We all should be so lucky.

And yet.

Every once in a while, you know, I just get a hankering for a life that isn't my own.  Maybe it's that friend-of-a-friend who got a job in corporate law and married an investment banker and has Facebook albums full of designer wedding gowns and receptions with real stemware and a honeymoon in Italy.  Maybe it's that friend from high school who joined the Peace Corps and is actively working to make the world a better place.  Maybe it's that guy who dropped out of grad school to backpack through Europe.  No matter how happy and content I am, I sometimes wonder what if I'd taken a different path?

I know a girl who is graduating from college this year.  She is going to get a master's degree in Fashion History from the Parsons School of Design in New York (home to Project Runway, dontchaknow).  She and her boyfriend are moving in to a one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn and he's looking for jobs.  She's going to commute to Manhattan on the subway everyday, investing in a Kindle so that she has reading material.

To me, that sounds so exciting!  Nevermind that I have visited New York City enough to know I would never want to live there.  Nevermind that I already did the grad school thing and should by all rights be completly sick of being a student.  Nevermind that one-bedroom apartments in Brooklyn are woefully small and any apartment in New York gets automatically associated (however unfairly) in my mind with the infestation of cockroaches, rodents, and bed bugs. 

It just seems right to be graduating and moving on to something new, different, and glamorous.

I am graduating and...  I'll go back to doing the exact same thing I was doing before.  Except I won't be freaking out about that dissertation thing.  I'll still be getting up to let the dogs out everytime I sit down at the computer.  I'll still be teaching the same old courses at the same old universities (although now I'll be insisting my students call me "Dr.").  I'll still be coming home to the same old house, same old husband, same old story.

And I really love all of those same old things.  But still!  Isn't graduation the time for new beginnings?  New starts?  New lives?  New risks?

Nevermind that change of any sort completely stresses me out and graduating from anything makes me all weepy and nostalgic and suddenly even the things I hated the most suddenly become my most favorite things ever.  (For example, I sobbed as though my heart was thoroughly and utterly broken for the first thirty minutes of my drive when I graduated and left college.  David was driving and I remember him saying, "Hon, you can still go back to Columbia and you can still see all your friends," and I stared at him and wailed, "But it will n-n-never be the s-s-saaaaaaame!")

It does seem that my life needs something post-graduation.  Some kind of radical demarcation from the pre-doctorate and the post-doctorate.  Something thrilling and exciting and, yes, glamorous.

So, in light of this longing for new beginnings, I asked David if he wanted to move to a one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn.  He said that he would consider it, but told me to think about what a pain in the ass it would be to let the dogs out.  Especially in winter.

After further consideration, I think we're going to being sticking around here after all.  It may not be the most glamorous lifestyle, but it seems to suit me pretty well.

Having students call me "Dr."?  That's the kind of change I can get excited about.

Need a little glamor in my life?  I just saw a pair of sandals that will satisfy that craving.

I think I will always experience a little bit of life envy every once in a while.  But maybe I'm already living happily ever after, after all.

Lying In Wait

 Let the peony explosion begin!

Monday, May 3, 2010


You may (or may not) have noticed that I have not been online.

It is because I have disappeared into my own episode of Hoarders.

Finally, things are getting put back together.

I really like the idea of simplifying life.  Not letting material possessions be more important than personal experiences.  Reducing clutter.  Streamlining things.

And yet, I cling fiercely to my books.  And I do reread them.  Or I want to (seriously, Poisonwood Bible, I am looking at you).

Before the bookshelves were put back in place, a friend of mine came over to view the floors (and, unavoidably, the disaster that was my house) and when I apologized for the mess and muttered something about Hoarders, she said that it's not clutter if you have actually read all the books.

Which I loved to hear, because it totally justifies my multi-edition collections of the same book.

So what if I have four copies of Jane Eyre?  I've read every copy I own.  At least once. 

And even though I don't want to be petty and superficial and materialistic, I will share with you a quiet little dream I have:  that one day, my shoe collection will match my book collection.

And I don't mean thematically.