September 28, 2006

Doggy updates

We brought Ferris to the vet again last night for his remaining vaccinations. Aside from the fact that he stomped on the vet's face when the poor doc got on the floor to examine his belly, Ferris was well behaved. He appears to be doing well. It's amazing how the absence of worrisome test results can make a dog seem instantly healthier.

As for Kody, he's doing well, too. He had a thorough teeth cleaning from a conscientious (or thirsty) Yorkie at the dog park.

Speaking of dog parks, Kody and Red aptly demonstrated one of the most common hazards one encounters while at off-leash parks.

And Red, well, he has certainly come out of his shell. Unfortunately, however, as is typical with shelter dogs, he has severe separation anxiety and has been destroying both the house and himself while Rose and Jeff are at work. They are doing all the right exercises and Jeff has temporarily changed his work schedule to permit him to come home at lunchtime, but any and all suggestions would be appreciated.

September 27, 2006

Got gas?

Having two weeks off allowed me to force my driving instructor to schedule two lessons within two days -- no three-week gap this time, no sirree. I had a lesson yesterday and another one today. Lo and behold, my driving did not completely stink today! (We won't speak of yesterday.) The first thing I noticed when I started the car was that the low-gas indicator was blinking.

"Lino, you're almost out of gas," I said helpfully.

"That's why we're going to a gas station," he replied. I successfully guided the car to the nearest gas station and proudly pulled up next to a pump without hitting so much as a curb. I put the car in park, engaged the parking brake, and turned off the ignition.

"Out you go!" I said cheerfully.

"And out you go," Lino replied. I protested at length, explaining how the smell of gasoline makes me nauseous and relating the tale of an uncle of mine who puked all over himself after spilling gasoline on his clothes. I knew Lino wouldn't give in, so while I was complaining I climbed out of the car, wrestled the gas cap off and shoved the pump in place. Lino waited patiently until my griping was over, then selected his gas type and watched with amusement as I choked the pump repeatedly.

When I finally managed to get the fuel flowing, Lino instructed, "Stop at exactly $20.00." I rolled my eyes and said, "Oh, we're going to play that game, are we?" but secretly it made me feel, for the very first time, like a real driver. The result? $20.02. Not too shabby for a first-timer.

September 26, 2006

Introducing Alexa Vivian

All together now: Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!

Ava Elizabeth is being the perfect big sister, helpful and enthusiastic. Mom and Dad are as pleased as punch. For that matter, so is honorary Aunt Jenni. Curse this cold, though; I'm not yet well enough to visit!

September 20, 2006

Speaking of the Humane Society...

...look who followed our friends Rose and Jeff home from the shelter over the weekend. Welcome, Red! He's so cute, and so far he's the sleepiest little dog I've ever met.

Cover shot

Recognize that goofy face? That's Ferris on the cover of the Toronto Humane Society's 2007 fundraising calendar. Awwwwwwwwwwww.

September 15, 2006

Call me evil...

...but every year I get a kick out of the "10 Worst Toys" list from World Against Toys Causing Harm. These are a few of my favourites:

  • Classic Horror Psycho Saw
  • Sesame Street's Check-up Ernie
  • Jungle Gym Jump-O-Lene
  • Mock Military Bazooka
  • Camouflage Water Bomb Fun Kit
  • M-60 Automatic Assault Lazer
  • Star Wars - Revenge of the Sith Energy Beam Blaster
  • The Lord Of The Rings - Return Of The King Uruk-Hai Crossbow Set Including Electronic Light 'n' Sound Sting Sword
  • Air Kicks Kickaroos Anti-Gravity Boots

How do such things get past the drawing board? They're as bad as the phony products in that old Saturday Night Live Consumer Probe skit with Candice Bergen and Dan Aykroyd.

September 14, 2006

Parting gifts

September 22nd is my last day at my current job. My colleagues threw a farewell party for me today and presented me with this:

which was filled with this:

They know me so well.

September 12, 2006

Always diplomatic...

... my driving instructor, Lino, took a call on his cell phone during my lesson this evening. "Listen," he said to the caller, "can I call you back when I'm not with a student who's trying to kill me?"

How Scott thinks

I love the way Scott's mind works. He saw this:

and said, "That's the heaviest box of tissues I've ever seen."

September 07, 2006

Latest calamity

There's a reason my bathroom cabinet is stocked this way.

Warning: gory photos below

I was attempting to clean out the blades of my paper shredder with a pair of scissors this evening.

Apparently that was a dumb idea.

See that thing that looks like a lemon seed on the blade of the scissors?

That's part of my finger.

Yeah. Ouch.

Healthy dog

Ferris had his first appointment with our new vet this evening. The doctor seems very knowledgeable and, while thorough, he will not be running any unnecessary tests. Ferris has gained a few pounds back so he was able to have his rabies vaccine. Hooray! Things are looking up.

September 04, 2006

Dumbo's feather

Scott and I enjoyed "Spamalot" on Friday evening. I was all "Always look on the briiiight side of life!" and "Spam Spam Spam!" as we stood outside the theatre after the show waiting for our ride. In preparation for our friends' out-of-town wedding the next day, we were going to spend the night at the home of two other members of the wedding party, as they live a bit closer to the wedding venue. They picked us up at 10:45 pm and drove us to their place, the groomsman griping the whole time about how tired he was and how he was not looking forward to getting up at 6:00 am to drive the other bridesmaid and me to our hair and make-up appointment. We all expected to go right to sleep when we reached their house.

When we arrived, however, the other bridesmaid and I decided to try on our dresses one last time before the big event. She hadn't tried hers on in a while, and I hadn't had a chance to try mine on since having the zipper replaced. When I finished zipping her up, she could barely breathe. When she finished zipping me up, she was holding part of my zipper in her hand and my dress was still gaping open at the back. Panic ensued.

We changed back into our other clothes and held our dresses in front of us in disbelief, she expecting her zipper to spontaneously fall apart at any moment and me wondering where to find espresso-coloured body paint at that time of night. The guys, bless their hearts, marched into the room and declared that they would fix my dress once and for all. We were sent away, as our nerves were getting on their nerves.

The other bridesmaid and I jumped in the car and drove around the suburbs for an hour in search of a 24-hour drugstore. Every locked door and darkened storefront reminded me why I choose to live in a big city. At long last we found an open store. One Tensor bandage, two sewing kits, three stretchy hairbands, fifty safety pins and a tube of Krazy Glue later, we departed for home.

We found the guys in the living room drinking beer and claiming success. Scott had determined that the slider part of my zipper had been stretched open too wide to push the teeth together. Pliers were no help, so he had bitten the slider closed. I remained dismayed, as I was sure that the slider would simply stretch open again after I had worn the dress for a while. I didn't sleep very well that night, visualizing my dress bursting open and falling to the floor as I climbed up to the podium to do my reading.

We had no time to fuss with the dresses the next morning. The guys drove us to our appointment at the salon and we begged them to venture out in the pouring rain in search of scarves or material that we could drape down the backs of our dresses. The only store that was open at that hour was Wal-Mart, a chain that I do not ordinarily patronize. This was no ordinary situation. We were planning on sewing, pinning and gluing each other into our dresses and we needed the scarves to hide the evidence. I was in the middle of having a hairdresser do exactly the opposite of what I had requested with my hair when Scott called and reported that Wal-Mart had nothing like what we wanted.

I gave the other bridesmaid the news and we fell into a defeated silence. Then she said, "Call him back. Wal-Mart may not have scarves, but they have a fabric department." Scott was not receptive to the request, as he and his fellow groomsman were already on their way to a restaurant to enjoy a big, greasy breakfast. The salon's receptionist, overhearing my pleas, suddenly stood up and said, "I can't take it anymore. I'm going to Wal-Mart!" She asked us what colour fabric we needed, grabbed her car keys and marched out the door, a woman on a mission.

By the time the guys arrived to pick us up more than two and a half hours later, I had several metres of chiffon, a head full of frizzy ringlets and a pair of raccoon eyes. (The other bridesmaid had not given the hairstylist and make-up artist such latitude, so her look was elegant and understated. I must learn from her.) Scott had managed to find some champagne-coloured material that matched our shoes quite well, far better than the pink chiffon that the well-meaning receptionist had purchased.

We had to race to meet the rest of the wedding party and the photographer. There was no time for sewing and pinning, so I was zipped into my dress and sealed with Krazy Glue. The other bridesmaid decided to forego the glue on her dress, as she needed me to unzip her every so often so that she could take a deep breath. The matron of honour tried to pin the fabric that Scott had found to the back of my dress but she gave up, saying that it looked like I had accidentally caught someone's scarf in my zipper. That was it, then. I was to enter the church with a broken zipper slathered in glue, walk down the aisle past a couple hundred people, and climb the steps of the altar to the podium to deliver my reading. Even the groom couldn't have been as nervous as I was.

Somehow, ladies and gentlemen, it worked out okay. The ceremony was a success, with no unnecessary exposure of flesh. The photo sessions were unremarkable. Three times I climbed into the limo, and three times I climbed out. At the reception I greeted all the guests as they entered the hall, I stood and sat when required, and I danced the minimum number of dances to avoid being perceived as completely anti-social.

When we finally got home, I was prepared to cut my way out of the dress. Much to my surprise, I was able to undo the zipper and remove the bodice without a problem. When I tried to zip it up again, of course, the teeth refused to mesh and the bodice hung open. Scott's repair job was only temporary. The Krazy Glue ended up being a version of Dumbo's feather, giving me just enough confidence to make it through the event.

May I never, ever, ever be asked to be a bridesmaid again. I'll cheer from the sidelines, ladies, and throw all the confetti you could want. But no more single-wear dresses, no more $200 salon appointments at ungodly hours of the morning, no more frantic trips to the 24-hour drugstore at one o'clock am. No more Krazy Glue. No more.