Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Things I've Learned from My Dog

If you hear about a crazy woman in the East bay area who walks (and I use that term loosely) her dog and talks (maybe yells sometimes) to said dog, you can rest easy knowing it's me.  We all talk about training our dogs.  I call bullshit on that!  My dog has trained me.  I took Rue to puppy school when we first got her.  We went for 8 weeks.  She takes my ass to school every day.  She would like to share with all of you the things she has taught me, her human.

Lesson number one:  You are not "going for a walk."  You are taking me to every single tree and plant I want to sniff between here and the dog park.  Never you mind that I've already peed 4 times and pooped twice.  That is irrelevant.  These trees smell VERY different from the way they smelled yesterday and I MUST investigate!

Lesson number two:  Yes, actually, I AM a princess, thank you very much!  And, yes, princesses sometimes CHOOSE to eat rabbit poo.  It is considered a delicacy in some countries.  Which countries?  I don't know, again, IRRELEVANT.  Stupid human.

Lesson number three:  I KNOW the way to the mailboxes.  I realize we go a different direction if you need to get the mail than if we are just going for a sniff, er, I mean walk.  And, to answer your question, I don't LIKE to do my business on the way TO the mailbox.  I prefer to do it on the way back, when you have lots of mail in your hands.  I think it's cute how you have to put the mail on the ground and get out the little poo bag and pick up my poo (we'll get to this little gem in lesson number four).  If the mail flies away due to wind, ALL the more fun!  I'm TRYING to make the trip a little more interesting.  You can thank me later.

Lesson number four:  What do you do with all that poo, anyway?  Are you collecting it to build a sculpture?  I bet my poo is considered a delicacy in some countries.

Lesson number five:  If you EVEN think you are going to sit there on the couch with that stupid machine and that I'm going to stay down here on the cold floor, you are seriously DERANGED!!  Scoot over woman.  Actually, that machine is really warm too.  What are you doing on there that's SO important?  What's "Words with Friends?"  Put that thing away and pet my belly.  There you go.  Good human!

Training humans is HARD work!  I'm pooped!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Perspective and a Project

Reading that one of my sorority sisters from college is having a double mastectomy today helped me gain a much needed perspective on my current situation.   As I sit here worrying about her, I've made a decision to stop my bitching about California and just make it work.  I've changed my altitude and now I must change my attitude.

OK, time for a funny story.  In the beginning that is what I proposed this blog would be, funny stories from my life.   BUT, it has turned into something else entirely lately and ENOUGH is ENOUGH!

Tanner has a school project due on Friday.  He has to build a model of Mission Santa Cruz (there were other choices but that boy loves to build).  We are learning all kinds of California history in the process.  He and Eric started building it over Xmas break using cardboard (something we have plenty of around here).  Once the structure was complete, Tanner and I started working on the details.  I am no stranger to crafts, people.  I was a first grade teacher for 16 years and have dealt with glitter (god help me) and plenty of children who get carried away with a bottle of Elmer's in their hands.  But I guess it's been awhile since I've battled the glue gun.
I think all glue guns should have that warning printed on them like the coffee cups from McDonald's.  "This shit gets REALLY fricking hot.  You WILL get burned."  That's my idea for the warning.  I know, not exactly the same as the coffee cup thing.  Anywho, I was doing great until we had to put grass all over the base.  Gluing the roof tiles was easy, they are solid squares of cardboard.  I put a squeeze of glue and Tanner stuck it on.  "Oooh, that feels hot through the cardboard,"  Tanner says.  "You have that right," I respond.
Let's discuss this grass, by the way.  I could have just had him color or paint the base green or covered it in green felt.  But then I spotted this spanish moss at JoAnn's and thought how realistic it would look.  (Dumbass)  I realize right away this is gonna get messy.  You have to pull the grass apart and it's not so easy. Plus it's falling all over the place and my dog is chewing on it as it hits the floor.  There's a comedian who says that glitter is the herpes of craft products (b/c once who have it, it never really goes away).  As I'm ripping the moss into sections, I can't get this out of my head.  (Squirrel!)
The true fun starts once the glue gun (implement of torture) is heated up.  Mine has 2 settings and I went with the lower one.  I know I'm going to be cursing, so I send Tanner to do something else, telling him I don't think he can help with this part b/c I don't want him to get burned.  So I put the glue on in small sections and wait a few seconds hoping it will cool a little, but not harden completely.  I stick the grass over the glue and instantly feel the heat.  So I yank my hand away but the pain doesn't stop.  That glue that is burning me is instantly hardening on my finger.  Awesome.  As an added bonus, I now have a spider web type string between me and the mission.  This process continues for about 15 minutes or so:  glue, grass, curse, tangle, glue, grass, curse, tangle.  As I'm trying to get the grass to stay on the base and not pull away with my hand, I have a surge of empathy for bikini waxers everywhere!
Ah, well, by the time I finish, I am tangled into a mess of dried glue strings and have little pieces of green moss grass hanging off of most of my fingers.  But, it LOOKS so realistic!  I can't wait to show Tanner.  (It is HIS project after all).  He comes down as I'm peeling the glue and grass off of my fingers and comments, "You were right, Mom, the grass is WAY better than just coloring it."  And I get a hug.  Totally worth it!  Get ready, Mrs. Chung, here comes Mission Santa Cruz ala Burke!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

New year, new look!

Happy 2012 everyone!  I decided to update my blog with a new look!  So since it's "Stories I Only Tell My Closest Friends" I decided to put some of my closest friends on my blog.  If you're not on here it doesn't mean I don't consider you a close friend.  It just means I have SO many friends that I couldn't possibly fit them all on my blog (yeah, right).  Really I picked the ones who have the most dirt on me and put them on so that they know how much I love them and hopefully they will never reveal my deepest and darkest. (I have information on you as well, bitches, so keep it quiet!!).
I am not making resolutions.  I don't do that.  I think it is just another way for me to publicly FAIL at something and I don't really need that help.  My big news is I still don't dig living in Cali.  My kids also do not care for it too much.  My husband, on the other hand, is in his element.  No, not the "California Surfer Dude" kind of element.  The Silicon Valley "Tech Geek" kind of element.  We did this for his job, it's a huge opportunity for him, blah, blah, blah.  Doesn't make it any easier and believe me I keep WAITING for it to get easier.
ONE thing that is easier is getting around.  I finally feel like I know which streets are connected to which places and how to get where I'm trying to get to (wow-terrible sentence).  So, just in time for that, Eric bought me a GARMIN for Christmas.  Whatevs, it's good to have it in case I get distracted.  What I REALLY need is an ear thingy so I can (legally) talk on my phone while I drive.  That's next on my list of must haves.  (What I really need is a bank drive up shute that will pop me back over to O'Fallon when I need to hang out with someone other than my dog or my kids).
My birthday present to myself (using Xmas funds from my wonderful MIL and birthday money-cough, cough, MOM, that's you-no presents, just money toward my already purchased plane ticket that is too expensive-) is to fly home for 5 glorious days in the usually very beautiful month of February.  I will see all my local friends, I will scrapbook at a crop, I will see family and I will eat Chick fil-a and toasted ravioli.  I CAN'T frickin' wait!!!  It's technically after my birthday, but no one really cares, right?  I need some "friend time" and I need it yesterday.
Okay, peeps, that's all of my moaning and complaining for the moment.  I really want something cool to happen like Aidan makes a friend or I make a friend so that I can write about that.  But, for now the cool news is that Tanner had a sleep over with 2 friends from his class and enjoyed it.  The COOLER news is that I met MC Hammer at the Square Xmas party.  The COOLEST news is that my mom and Bill were here for a week over Xmas.   See that?  That is me trying to put a positive spin on things.  You should have seen me trying to fit myself into their suitcase at the airport.  HILARIOUS!