March 19, 2008

"It's me on four legs."

That's what Scott said about Montana tonight, remarking on the little bugger's attitude. When Montana and his cousin Kody get together, mayhem ensues. They run, they play, they fight, they growl, they compete for treats, they play tug-of-war with toys. Both dogs are more than a little possessive. Earlier this evening, at my parents' house, Montana decided to stake his claim. Kody was resting beneath the table as the humans ate dinner. Montana took advantage of this opportunity and quietly gathered the toys up one by one, placing them in a pile on the carpet. Then.... he peed on them.

I was mortified. I jumped up, apologized and tried to clean up the mess while Scott dealt with Montana. Everyone else shrugged it off and continued eating. Apparently Montana's misdeeds no longer faze them. After all, this is the same dog who once very graphically displayed his dismay at what he must have perceived as the uneven distribution of Milk Bones by sneaking down to my parents' basement and raiding the litter box. We were unsuspectingly eating dinner when Montana returned to the dining room and proudly spat a cat turd on the carpet.

While I don't argue with Scott's assertion that he has the same abundance of attitude as Montana, I do thank my lucky stars that he doesn't express that attitude in the same way.

March 17, 2008

It fell off. Again.

It may be St. Patrick's Day, but the luck of the Irish isn't with us.

A few weeks ago, Scott and I brought Ferris to the vet clinic to have his custom fiberglass splint reapplied, as scheduled. It took the two of us, plus two veterinary technicians, to hold Ferris down while one of the vets struggled with the splint, fresh gauze and tape. One week later the whole mess fell off. Scott did his best with vet wrap and medical tape to stick the splint back in place temporarily. Since we were running late for our own appointments, we had to drop Ferris off at my parents' place and trouble them to bring him to the clinic. The story they later told was familiar: it took the two of them, plus two vet techs, to restrain Ferris while his splint was reapplied. They reported that the woman who put on the splint admitted that it wasn't her "best work." I'll say.

Scott and I brought Ferris back to the clinic for a scheduled appointment two days ago. I remarked that I was concerned that Ferris had not been putting any weight on his leg since the last splint reapplication. That being the case, the vet decided to take an X-ray. Scott and I waited in the exam room, listening to Ferris whining, staff conferring, and an electric shaver whirring (?!). Finally the vet returned, without Ferris, and told us that she had "crappy news." The custom-made splint had been forcing one of Ferris' claws into his flesh, causing a painful and bloody skin infection. On top of that, Ferris had a yeast infection between his toes. The latter problem is understandable and not entirely unexpected. The former, however, should never have happened. Once again Scott and I helped to keep Ferris still, this time while his infections were cleaned and treated and his paw blow-dried. The vet supplied me with a Tupperware container full of dried liver treats to distract Ferris. When the container was almost empty I very nearly commented that I supposed I owed the clinic a bag of liver treats, but then I remembered the $1000-plus we had already spent on this one broken toe.

The vet feared that the tight custom splint would aggravate the skin infection further, so she opted for an off-the-shelf option. She told us that it might very well break, and that we would have to rush to an emergency clinic if that happened outside of our normal clinic's hours. Then she prescribed some antibiotics, we paid the $178 bill, and left. The new splint held together all day on Sunday, hooray hooray...

...only to break and fall off this evening, half an hour after our clinic closed. Grrr. Out came the tape, the gauze, the vet wrap. I left an impressively restrained voice mail at the clinic, where I'm sure Scott, Ferris and I will be yet again tomorrow evening. I have to think of a more diplomatic way to ask, "Could we please see someone competent this time?"

March 14, 2008

Kiss me, I'm a lacrosse fan

No, I haven't vanished from the face of the earth. I just haven't gotten into much trouble over the past several days. Perhaps I'll have some blogworthy news to report after Scott and I return from the Rock game tonight. One of the last times we attended a game we were caught on the Kiss Cam. My brother, my sister-in-law and my niece-in-the-making will be nearby, so Scott and I won't be able to get away with anything.

March 06, 2008

Can't take me anywhere

Shortly before Christmas, when Scott saw an ad for an upcoming Chick Corea performance at Massey Hall, he murmured, "Sounds like it would be okay." That monotone mumbling is about as excited as Scott ever gets about things, so his unsolicited comment caught my attention. I was aware that Scott might have been trying to gauge my reaction to see if a pair of tickets would be a suitable Christmas present for me. As I was short on gift ideas, however, I decided to keep silent while I made a mental note to order a pair of decent floor-level seats for him. "He'll like it," I thought. "Jazz can be upbeat and funky and energizing. He'll like it. He will." I ordered the tickets before considering the facts that a) the show was on a Wednesday night, when Scott would be exhausted from work, and b) this was not a hoppin' jazz orchestra performance, but a solo show.

When you attend a solo acoustic piano performance at a venue such as Toronto's historic Massey Hall, sound carries. The audience can hear a muffled sneeze, a quiet snore or the unwrapping of a cough drop. Thankfully Scott and I were responsible for none of those noises. Another sound that travels well is that of suppressed giggles building up until they erupt into an utterly inappropriate snort of laughter.

Scott and I took in Chick Corea's performance this past Wednesday evening. Partway through the show, I noticed movement in the left balcony (dead centre in the photo above). I glanced up and saw a man waving frantically. I figured that he was trying to get the attention of a friend on the opposite side of the hall. As I watched, however, his waving changed, and changed again. And again. He looked as though he were drowning, then as though he were shooing away a cloud of gnats, then as though he were enthusiastically blessing a congregation. When his movements resembled those of someone either conducting an orchestra or playing air-piano, I figured it out. Balcony Man was enjoying the subdued performance in a positively unrestrained manner. I was rivited.

I elbowed Scott and tilted my chin toward the balcony. He watched the flailing arms for a few moments before giving me a look that said, What the heck?? Throughout the performance I spotted more and more people noticing Balcony Man and doing just as I had done, nudging their companions and silently directing their gazes upward. Before long, a healthy portion of our fellow patrons were either entranced or amused by Balcony Man's display.

I examined the woman in the aisle seat next to Balcony Man. Her long-suffering expression suggested that she was with him, but not necessarily by choice. I suspect she was a paid caregiver of some sort. She was leaning as far away as she could from Balcony Man, her elbow on the armrest and her chin in her hand. She wasn't watching the stage, she wasn't looking at Balcony Man, and she certainly wasn't meeting the stares of the people nearby. I reflected on how tough her job must be. Then I mentally patted myself on the back for not laughing.

At intermission I asked Scott if he wished to leave, as I was concerned that his frequent yawning indicated boredom. "No," he insisted, "I'm tired, but this is entertaining." We visited the lounge, where he had a Guinness and I enjoyed Kahlua on the rocks. I forgot about Balcony Man. I looked around at all the adults in the lounge and suddenly I noticed that Scott and I - gasp - fit in! I realized that it had been a very long time since we had been to any sort of grown-up event without being surrounded by youthful friends who make us feel like teenagers. I felt... sophisticated. I felt mature. It wouldn't last.

We soon settled back into our seats to await the second half of the show. That's when it happened. We watched three unsuspecting women, who were either seriously late or simply relocating from another section, shuffle into the row behind Balcony Man. As the lights dimmed the woman aiming for the farthest seat lost her footing and cartwheeled into the aisle. She vanished from sight with a very loud ka-thump (ka-thump being another sound that carries well in Massey Hall). All eyes were on the woman as she reappeared and hastily took a seat directly behind Balcony Man. It wasn't long before she and her companions realized their mistake, as the flailing resumed as soon as Chick Corea began tickling the ivories again. The trio quickly moved to a different section.

Slapstick really tickles my funnybone. I feel heartless, but I simply cannot control myself after witnessing a quality act of clumsiness. Graceless accidents, so long as they don't involve blood, crack me up. I had to clamp my hands over my mouth and silently remind myself that I am mature. I am mature. I am mature. I tried to focus on the wonderful piano music, but all I could do was mentally replay the woman's tumble over and over again, and it became funnier each time. When I spotted the lady on the other side of Scott hiding her face in her hands, shoulders shaking with silent laughter, my own pent-up mirth nearly got the better of me. And when a man hurriedly exited the hall and Scott whispered, "His clamp must have failed," I was done for.

So, so sorry, Mr. Corea.

March 03, 2008

I'm it (again)

I have been tagged by Alaskan Mama to share with you Five Things You Don't Know About Me. First, let me think about my audience. Friends, colleagues, parental units, strangers. There are very few things about me that at least some of my readers don't know, and a few things that no one needs to know. After all, if I had wanted anyone to know this stuff, I would have divulged it already. Alas, I can't resist a good meme. Allow me to delve into the deepest recesses of my shame in order to share with you...

1. I am dismayed by my laziness but far too comfortable to do anything about it.

2. I have just registered to become a potential donor of stem cells or bone marrow even though I have never had the courage to donate blood.

3. Back in university, I was once so sleep deprived that a thick string of drool descended from my mouth as I tried in vain to converse coherently with my roommate. She was such a good friend that she pretended not to notice even as it pooled on my desk.

4. When it's humid, I sweat like a man.

5. My ears must be uneven, because every pair of glasses I try on looks like this:

I won't tag anyone specific, but I invite any interested parties to search in their own pits of humiliation in order to share with the blogosphere.