Black Acorn Dogs

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Okay, yes I'm a few days late, but I could be writing this in June, eh? No whining!

We had the most stunningly beautiful weather on Thanksgiving -- shorts and t-shirt weather. Well, at least for the first part of the day. I worked for part of the day and by the time I came home and we took the dogs out, the wind had picked up to a level that made me worry (legitimately) that a tree was going to come down on our heads. Hey, it's not snowing and I'll take what we can get.

It was just Di and I this year, and we were about as low key as you can get. The plan was to get a spiral-cut honey ham and eat at the dining room table. Whoo hoo! Well, we got the ham early, and Wednesday night we decided to just go ahead and break it open for dinner. So we did. Then Thursday night by the time we got back from me working and then us taking the dogs out, we caved and just sat downstairs in front of the TV like any usual night. We did open a bottle of sparkling white and had a mimi-toast before we started eating. Does that count for something? To all family reading this, I really missed you, I really plan to come for at least at few days at Christmas.

The other fun thing that we did this weekend is put up a Christmas tree. We haven't had a tree up now in some four years. I think in 2003 we were moving for the week of Christmas (on Christmas Day, actually... we got to have a moving truck extra days for free because of that). In 2004, Indie was still a baby puppy so I was worried about him causing chaos with the tree. In 2006, Ben was still new enough in the house that he was randomly chewing on things and getting into trouble. I don't remember what was up in 2005, but probably the house was just still in too much disarray to be worth dealing with a tree, or maybe I was working too many hours to care about it. But we now have three lovely grown-up dogs who didn't flick an ear at the tree while I was putting it up, and haven't shown the slightest inclination toward removing ornaments. No one even paid it any attention while I was putting it up and decorating it. I should note that it is a fake tree, which may help it be less interesting. I was careful not to put up anything at all with wire hooks and there's only one fragile ornament on the entire tree. I was also careful not to put anything on low branches that I would be heartbroken to find in a masticated mess on the floor. So far, no worries though!

It's interesting how the way we decorate trees reflects a great deal of our personal style. The vast majority of our ornaments are red, a significant percentage are wooden or wood-facsimile, and almost all of them have some sort of nature theme. There are two garlands: one of red and gold beads and one of "wooden" red mini-apples. There are about 12 red birds perched on various branches. There are a plethora of horse-themed ornaments and then a bunch of other animals like dogs, cats, reindeer, moose, bears, a Chinese fish, and even a hermit crab. I went through the Christmas box and am going to Freecycle some 30 or 40 ornaments I've been hauling around since the late 80's, so the remaining ornaments are the ones that I really like or the ones that have special meaning, and that's pretty cool. The last interesting thing on the tree is the lights. This year, we used lights that are blue, although some of them are washed out so that the lights are actually blue and white and shades in between. We're really enjoying the unique effect, although I think Diane is going to look for new blue lights so that next year we can have solid blue lights with all of the red (and natural browns) of the ornaments.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Death to Nerds

Not the human kind of Nerds... just the kind in my blog that certain people have been whining to me about for months. You know who you are. Or rather, you know who you are if you've had the patience to keep stopping by my blog in the past 10 months in hope that I've actually posted here. I was thinking today that I should just remove the blog link from my website, but since that was effort, I thought: what the heck, maybe I should just do a quick post instead.

So Cindi, Dad, Jenni, James and others... this post is for you.

I'm still actually online quite a bit these days, but my relationship with my computer is a lot healthier than it used to be. That doesn't mean I'm not sometimes still sucked into staying up until 3:00 AM doing ridiculous and unproductive things (though clearly none of those things have been included updating my blog!), but at least Bessie and I are not attached at the hip anymore. Days do in fact go by without powering her up. It's a good feeling.

Here's an amusing story I was going to share back around May but never got around to posting, however it continues to be just as entertaining to me now as it did then.

Back when I worked at AOL, I always had people assume I was vegetarian. After this happened many times with close co-workers and a boss, I finally assumed that it was because I always had "health food" out on my desk: fresh fruit, granola, peanut butter, 64 oz bottle of water, etc. Then sometime around April, I was finishing my second sessions with a dog training client and I told her how a fellow trainer had been feeding chips and cookies to Ebony as treats and how it would never occur to me to feed those kind of things to my dog, but then, I didn't really eat chips and cookies much myself. My client said "Yes, but you always eat so healthy". After I drove away, it dawned on me that it was a weird thing for her to say. How the heck would she know what I eat?

Two days later, I was planning to share the story at a sort of "happy hour" with some of our WOOFS! trainers. We were eating pizza, and as mine was handed to me, our owner (my boss) turned to me, physically took my pizza off my plate, and said "No. You can't have that." I just stared at her until she explained "It has meat." I could only laugh as I said "I'm NOT a vegetarian!"

Since then another co-worker also assumed I was a vegetarian, but he's since learned his lesson. A few weeks ago he had trouble believing me that I was eating a duck sandwich, and didn't believe you could just buy duck at the grocery store. I'm also pretty sure he didn't believe me last week when I brought in bear for lunch. It was just ground bear meat that I used to make a meat sauce for pasta, so it didn't look much different from ground beef. Bear is pretty gamey so I used an olive-heavy spaghetti sauce so that the strong flavor of the sauce would balance the strong flavor of the meat. Honestly, the best part of eating bear is getting to tell people you're eating bear.

I guess I'll always have that "vegetarian vibe", but I think, at least, that my boss and current set of co-workers have pretty well figured out that I'm not vegetarian.