Tuesday, May 31, 2011


That is not a typo. Teresa on RHW of NJ last night used that word, repeatedly. The women she was speaking to could barely refrain from smirking at each other when Teresa said that word.

Teresa butchered the shit of our language. Thankfully, the editors included the scene in last night's episode. My god that woman is a dimwit. Thankfully, she is nice looking.

Abby Fights a Laundry Bag

I tried to tell stories about the babies in a linear fashion. However, there will be times I forget stories and have to go back to fill them in. The following story is one about Abby when she was a puppy.

When I would take my dirty laundry to the utility room, Abby would viciously attack the hamper. I would drag the hamper on the floor out of laziness and energy economy so Abby was easily able to get at the hamper. Abby saw the bag of soiled laundry as an open invitation to play and fight. She pounced on the bag, snarled at it, flashed her teeth and wrestled with it all the way to the steps between the foyer and den. Once I put the bag back on the floor in the den, Abby resumed her battle. Finally, she gave up once we were in the utility room.

I thought her fighting the bag was cute. I did all I could to encourage these sessions. I would wait to take the laundry until I knew Abby was in the path of my journey from my bedroom to the utility room. I wanted to make sure the hamper crossed paths with Abby. To further incite Abby, I would pick up the bag and gently swing it into her body. That sent her into the stratosphere!

She eventually grew out of this aggressive phase. The one vestige of her aggressive phase that lingered well into her adulthood was her playing tug-of-war with the squeaky toys.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Clear Shower Curtain Liner

Andy Watching Me in the Shower

I had an impulse buy at Bed, Bath and Beyond one day. I saw a clear shower curtain liner and bought it. I had always wondered what exactly the babies were doing when I was in the shower. I wanted to know if they were looking around, sleeping or what. I thought “What the hell” and got it.

I took down my old liner which was opaque and put up the new one. The big moment came when I first showered with this newly hung clear liner. Andy was in his normal spot by the door. I turned the shower on, let the water get to the right temperature. I then stepped into the shower and pulled the liner over to the right. Andy’s ears drooped and eyes grew wide. Andy hopped up, turned around and started scratching at the door. He was scared. He wanted to get out so badly.

I immediately got out of the shower and hugged him. He was trembling. I told him everything would be OK. He settled down. He lied down and nervously watched me shower. After a couple of showers later, he adjusted to the new liner well.

What did he do in the bathroom while I showered? He slept. He pointed his head towards the shower and rested his head on a squeaky toy. Like before, when I turned the shower off, he would jump up and stand at attention. He knew I would be getting out of the shower when the water was turned off. While I was drying off, he would be standing there like a little soldier.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

My Little Soldier

If Andy was lying on the floor, he would stand up every time I stood up. It must have taken me weeks, months or possibly a year before I noticed this habit. When he was on the couch, he would not stand up when I stood up. Abby would not stand up unless she knew for sure we were going bye-bye. She would also stand up when I would go to the kitchen. Otherwise, Abby would only lift her head when I stood. She would then put her head back down between her paws and continue sleeping.

Even when I thought Andy was doing what I thought he was doing, I had to make sure by doing a few experiments. I would stand up randomly at times to see if he would also stand; he did. I was also curious how long he would remain standing.

Once, I stood up, noted the time, and watched Andy stand soon after. For 5 minutes, I stood motionless. Andy remained standing like a little statute. He did raise his head to gaze at me. His expression read “What are you going to do, Gary? Where are we going to go?” I thought his patience and loyalty were so damned cute and endearing. Just when I thought he couldn’t be any cuter, he went and proved me wrong. Andy also acquired a new nickname because of this event—My little soldier.

A Pavlovian Response

The babies became conditioned to a timer I used when I would do sit-ups. They would learn what the timer meant and would want to play. Before I ran or went to the gym, I would do sit-ups. I don’t do sit-ups to have ‘six pack abs’. I do sit-ups to strengthen my abs and warm-up my back. When I was younger, I had back problems. I found that if I did sit-ups after running, my back would start hurting. However, if I did sit-ups before running, my back would not hurt. So, I would do sit-ups for the sake of my back.

I used a timer to do crunches for 3 minutes at a time. I could have done a set number of crunches but having to count would be a pain in the ass. Besides, if I didn’t have to count, I could watch TV making the time go by faster.

When I went to the floor and laid down, the babies would jump up and start to lick my face. After a minute or so, they would lay back down. I would start to do my sit-ups. I don’t know how long it took until the babies knew what the beeper meant. The babies knew that while I was doing sit-ups, they couldn’t bother me. However, they soon learned that the beeper sounding meant that I was not doing sit-ups. I was fair game for them to play with.

The babies would jump up. Andy would grab a toy and drop it in on me. I would throw the toy down the hall or into the loft; Andy would give chase. Meanwhile, Abby would lick my face and kissy me. Once I started doing sit-ups again, they would lie down and wait for the next round. When they started this routine, I was slightly annoyed. Soon, I would learn to like it and think of it as a cute thing on a growing list of cute things they were capable of.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Anecdotes from Our Walks Downtown:
The Schizophrenic

Nash Square

Statue of Josephus Daniels, Fmr Secy of Navy and FDR's old boss

There is a story of one woman I can’t forget because of how sad it was. The first time I saw her, I didn’t think much of her. She looked ordinary. Sitting at a park bench, she was working on a crossword puzzle. I guess she was in her late 40’s or early 50’s. She had the look of a librarian or a secretary.

We didn’t pass directly by her. Her bench laid on a ‘spoke’ from the circle the babies and I went around. About a quarter of a way through the walk, I heard her yell in a shrill voice “Get away, get away.” She flicked her hands trying to shoo something away. I thought she was yelling at someone, a bird or a squirrel. As I looked closely, she was all by herself. Nothing was around her. She was yelling at an invisible intruder. The woman was schizophrenic.

I was taken aback. She looked clean and well cared for. This is in contrast to the other schizophrenics I’ve seen in Raleigh and Greensboro. The other guys I’ve seen had matted down hair and a wardrobe that was torn and mismatched. They also smelled ‘gamey.’

I would see this woman several more times. I wondered if she lived with her family or if she was institutionalized. Every time I did see her, she would be agitated and fuss at the demons she conjured up.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Anecdotes from Our Walks Downtown:
Men Using the Bathroom, pt II

It doesn’t take much guess-work to see what I and the babies stumbled across one evening. A man unzipped his pants and started urinating on the sidewalk about 20 yards ahead of us and he was walking towards us. He did not miss a beat, literally. During all this time, from the unzipping to the pissing, he kept walking down the sidewalk. Had this been the entire story involved, I wouldn’t have bothered telling the story. I have a good “stare at the horizon” look and can easily ignore things when I want. I could have walked past and not said a word. I preferred it that way. Unfortunately, the urinator was in a chatty mood.

The evening was cold for Raleigh standards. It was probably in the low thirty’s. I can and do wear shorts even if it is in the teens. The urinator wanted to know if I was cold. I wasn’t. He made a racial remark about how white people were made for the cold or that black people were not. I smiled and nodded and kept going. All I could think of was an entry in the blog “Stuff White People Like.” Number 86 on the list is “Shorts.” Yes, I am guilty of that.

All the while, this guy was holding a conversation with me and holding his dick in his hands while urinating on a public sidewalk.

Search Keywords

Earlier today, I found the list below in the "Search Keywords" section in this blog.

-big mom fuck
-food grade wax
-sryinge in nj beach
-is jose biaz fucking crazy?

I guess someone thinks Jose Baez's strategy in the Casey Anthony Case is a poor one. The Court TV commentators believe he was swinging for the fences. The commentators suggested he could have scaled back the story a little. Baez may have overreached in his defense strategy.

I've noticed something so far in the witnesses called to the stand. I have not seen any strong evidence Casey had premeditated and deliberated in a murder. It looks like the prosecutor is going for a "Susan Smith" type explanation. Susan Smith was the child-killing mother in South Carolina who locked her kids in a car and rolled the car into a lake.

The prosecution had on the stand Casey's boyfriend at the time of Caylee's disappearance. The prosecution is suggesting that the boyfriend did not want to be involved with a woman with kids. In the Susan Smith case, Susan Smith's boyfriend at the time had a similar feeling. What the prosecution will suggest is that the kid was in the way and the murder was a way to get rid of the problem.

So far, the prosecution has not shown strong evidence that Casey premeditated and deliberated.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Nancy Grace Is Going to Blow a Fucking Gasket

I normally don't watch Nancy Grace's crazy ass but tonight I will. I especially detest her after what she did to that guy in the Elizabeth Smart Case, Richard Ricci. Nancy went on a crusade swearing up and down the guy had kidnapped the Utah girl. Ricci had been telling the truth the whole time. Ricci's wife supported her husband's alibi. Nancy called the wife a liar. The cops found a mickey-mouse charge to revoke his parole and sent him back to prison where he later died. Nancy never showed any compunction for her misjudgment.

So, tonight, Nancy Grace will react to Jose Baez's opening statements. Trust me, you don't have to be a Nostradamus to foresee Nancy's going haywire.

Here are the main points she will blast away:
  1. That the father molested Casey
  2. That the brother molested Casey
  3. That the guy who found the body actually was the one who hid it
  4. That Caylee wasn't murdered but actually drowned.
Nancy is going to have  a goddamn stroke.

The Casey Anthony Trial:
A Menendez Type Defense

The defense has claimed Casey Anthony was a sexually abused by her father. The defense further claims Caylee accidentally drowned in the pool. In a panic and in fear of her parents, Casey tried to cover up the accident to avoid her domineering and overbearing parents.

This has a "Menendez" like ring to it. A notable difference is the victim. The parent is not the victim but the granddaughter is. Will this work? Is Jose Baez making up a whopper here? I'm interested to see if the autopsy results support Baez's claims.

The Road to Morocco

The Real Housewives of NY are going to Morocco! To me that is almost as awesome as when The Bradys went to Hawaii, The Grand Canyon or Kings Island. The previews describe the trip as a “sandstorm of drama.” A clip shows Alex calling someone a “snake.” Another clip shows Cindy telling the gang “this is over the top.”

I hope Kelly brought her medication and doesn’t have a melt-down like she did last season when the gang went to the Virgin Islands. I also hope Morocco has an ample supply of Pinot Grigio for Ramona. God help the woman if she does not have any Pinot on hand.

The trip is so epic that it cannot fit in one episode. For the next three weeks, we will watch the cast go at each other. There hasn’t been this much fighting in North Africa since Rommel and the Afrikakorps stormed across the desert in WWII.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Anecdotes from Our Walks Downtown
Men Using the Bathroom, pt 1

The bushes have been removed.

On our walks, the babies and I would encounter strange things. What is described below is what I call a “bathroom incident.” As the name suggests, we stumbled across someone using the bathroom in a public place.

One time, we were taking an extended walk. Normally on an extended walk, we would go beyond the park across the street to other parts of downtown. I particularly liked going to the State Capitol when it was lit up at night. I also liked going down the renovated Fayetteville Street. Before the renovation, Fayetteville Street had been converted into a pedestrian mall back in the 70’s. It seemed like a good idea at the time. City leaders thought people would come back to the downtown area if the main street downtown resembled a mall at a shopping center, and it was the malls luring businesses from the downtown area. It was a bust. Downtown businesses seemingly closed at a faster rate after the Fayetteville Street Mall project.

We were almost home. The babies were sauntering down the street at their normal cadence, Andy on the left and Abby on the right. Suddenly, Abby took a hard right into the bushes by a parking deck. I tugged at her leash; she resisted. I snapped at her to come back to me. Finally, she returned to the sidewalk. Curious, I peeked into the bushes myself. I thought someone may have thrown some old food there. Much to my surprise there was a man squatting with a roll of toilet paper in his hand. He was taking a shit. Nobody said anything to anyone. Awkward. The best thing to do in such a situation is to act like nothing happened at all.

I felt bad for the guy because we invaded his privacy. I felt bad because he had to use the bathroom outside in the first place.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Annals of Passive Aggressiveness

From the 6th Floor of Wake Med

I hate being yelled at. I hate strangers bossing me around. Standing in an elevator by the controls is an open invitation for asshole strangers to bark orders at you to hold the elevator. God forbid if you don’t do their bidding and hold the elevator for them. If they make it on after you didn’t try to keep the door open, the assholes give you a look like you stole something from their yard! I found a way to work around that by strategically positioning myself inside the elevator.

I stumbled upon this strategy around 6 years ago when my dad was in the hospital for 5 weeks straight. He had congestive heart failure and eventually a sextuple heart bypass. He came close to dying. The nurses and doctors would never come out and say “He’s going to kick the bucket.” Instead they say things like “I’m really worried about him.” I went to visit him on every day he was at Wake Med. It was a stressful month and I came to hate the place because of the stress.

Part of the annoying experience at the hospital involved waiting for the elevators. It took forever. When one finally showed up, someone would demand that I “Hold the elevator for him.” Some would give a fake and forced smile. Others would just scowl at me as they sauntered their dumb asses into the elevator.

One day, I had a stroke of brilliance hit me. After I entered the elevator, I thought “Why sit by the controls and wait there like an idiot for some dipshit to snap orders at me?” No. Instead, I would press the floor where I had to go, step all the way back to the elevator, lean against the back and look down at the floor. It was amazing how easy it was for me to ignore those bossy son-of-a-bitches! No longer was I in control of the panel. They couldn’t blame me if they didn’t make the ride.

I know this makes me a poor humanitarian. I know I can be a jerk. But the “back of the elevator” strategy brought pleasure to my devious mind in an otherwise tumultuous phase of my life.

That is my story about a moment of passive aggressiveness in my life.

A Walk in the Park

Downtown Raleigh (courtesy Google Earth)

The types of people we saw in the park depended on the time of day I walked the dogs. There were almost always homeless people there, not that many though. The other park downtown had quite a bit more homeless people because there were a few homeless shelters nearby. Once in a while, a homeless person would sleep on a park bench. The benches were comfortable for seating but not laying down. A few times, I would see someone sleeping in the bushes at the corner of the park. The cops did not allow anyone to sleep in the park and would arrest those that did for vagrancy. I saw a ranking by a homeless advocacy group a few years ago. The list ranked Raleigh in the “Top 10” as one of the “meanest cities” to the homeless. Rarely did the homeless want to pet the babies. Some were even scared of them.

In the daytime, we would see workers passing through the park. A parking lot was beside our building, even our own condo used to be a parking lot. There was some resentment by these workers against the condo occupants because we took their parking places resulting in their having to walk further to their jobs. The workers were nicer to the babies. They would smile at them and occasionally pet them. The babies would casually sniff them. If the person had just eaten or had a pet at home, the babies would be more interested in this person.

Once in a while, we’d see another pet owner walking his/her dog in the park. The personalities ranged from aloof and snotty to warm and friendly. There was one family who owned a lab that attacked Abby one evening. They didn’t leash her. The dog, Chelsea (a snotty name if there ever was one), marched down the hall straight to my baby girl and attacked her. The owner didn’t apologize but at least she made an effort to get her dog away. I couldn’t stand that family. They were toolbags to say the least. When John Kerry gave his acceptance speech at the 2004 Democratic Party Convention, they had a party in their condo including balloons and ribbons on their balcony. It kind of reminds me of being cut-off by some asshole on the highway and to make matters worse, they have a bumper sticker of a candidate you can’t stand. It makes you want to smack the shit out of them. I did have nicknames for that couple: Pout Face and Pussy Whipped. In case it’s not obvious, I didn’t like them.

A favorite of mine was a bull dog named Zoey. She was such a sweetheart. Her owner, Susan, was a friendly person who lived part-time in Raleigh and in Florida. Surprisingly, Andy did not hate Zoey. Andy had issues with strange dogs. I tried to keep other dogs away from Andy since they scared him. But Andy did not fear or hate her. He was strangely fascinated by her. Zoey would snort when she breathed making her that much cuter. Andy would look at her with a perplexed look on his face.

I mentioned earlier that our walks around the circle were counterclockwise. After a couple of trips in the park, the babies knew which way to go. I didn’t have to guide them with gentle-tugging on the leash. If they needed to go right, they went right. If they needed to go left, they went left. They knew when and where to enter and exit the park. They were so cute taking the route they were supposed to take. Labs like structure and routines.

Andy's Quirks:
Opening the Bathroom Door

When I was in the upstairs bathroom at my condo, Andy would jump off the bed push the bathroom door open, take a look at me and return to the bed. On the bed, Andy would peer into the bathroom with an innocent face. He wanted to keep an eye on me. I lived alone so this should not have been a problem. However, my loft had huge windows, well over 16 ft tall. People across the street in the park could clearly see inside the lofts if the lights were on. Trust me, I’ve taken my dogs on many walks in that park and could see right through the windows at the second floor in those lofts.

Making things worse for me was that the bathroom door could not shut completely. The builders did a half-assed job in that building. For example, the bathroom door did not completely ‘catch.’ This was how Andy could nudge the door open. Another example of the builder’s half-assed workmanship was the toilet installation downstairs. The downstairs toilet is cocked a little to the left. It should be perpendicular to wall. However, I noticed that when I opened the closet door, it had a fraction of an inch of clearance when it swept past the toilet. My guess is that when the toilet was put in properly, the door did not open at all. The builder’s solution was to cock the toilet to the side to make way for the door.

I tried to adjust the strike plate—several times. The problem required more than shimming the strike plate. The latch was hitting wood. I would have to get a wood chisel, a hammer and chip out some wood to make room for the latch. It took me several times adjusting the strike plate until I realized I would have to chisel out some wood. In the meantime, I had a yellow lab with separation anxiety opening my bathroom door for the entire world to see.

I remember the first time he opened the door on me. I had already unclothed and entered the shower. Since I had an opaque shower curtain liner, I finished showering. I then reached my arm around to the towel hangar, grabbed a towel and dried off behind the curtain liner. I put the towel around me, left the shower, turned off the bathroom light and continued my normal routine. Once the lights were out upstairs, no one could see in.

I solved the bathroom door problem by making Andy come into the bathroom with me. He got to be closer to me and keep an eye on me. He could not pull the door open since he was on the other side now. Subsequently, I was able to use the bathroom without worrying about half of Raleigh peeking at a naked me. Of course Abby, who normally would sleep on the rug upstairs, had to come in the bathroom, too, now that Andy was there. She didn’t want to be left out. Sharing a standard sized American bathroom with two big dogs was weird. Andy’s quirks and eccentricities were almost contagious.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Waking-Up Routine

When the babies moved in, we quickly established a routine upon waking up. Not surprisingly, the main part of our initial activity involved playing. Andy would jump off the bed when he heard the alarm, grab a squeaky toy and place it on the bed by me. I would throw the toy in one of several places.

One place I’d throw the toy is across the room in the loft. Andy would quickly pounce on it, squeak it and return it to me. Abby, in the meanwhile, would crawl to the head of the bed by me and start kissing me. Another place I’d throw the toy is in the bathroom upstairs. I would sometimes throw the toy down the staircase. Lastly, I’d throw the toy over the balcony into the living room. Andy would ‘boom, boom, boom’ down the steps. I would then hear him hit the hardwood floor when he would ‘tip tip tip’ down the hallway. Lastly, I’d hear the glorious squeaking. He found the toy and won that round. On the longer runs, I would kiss Abby some more and hug her. She would thwap, thwap her tail on the bed.

These play sessions could easily last 10 minutes, sometimes longer. I would shower in my next step of my morning routine. I’ll explain later, but the babies had to join me in this routine. I know it’s weird. After showering, I’d put on my clothes, put the babies on leashes and take them on their baby walk. The walks took around 10-15 minutes. We’d return home where they’d spent their time napping. Surprisingly, the babies didn’t give me a hard time leaving them all by their babyselves.

I’d grab a soda and a banana and went to work. Having the babies in the condo took up 30 minutes at the start of the day which included feeding them. I felt so guilty leaving them alone for such a long time. They were used to having someone always around them. They adjusted well.

The Casey Anthony Trial

The Honorable Chief Judge Belvin Perry
This afternoon when the Casey Anthony Court reconvened, the judge asked the defense lawyer if he discussed 'that matter' with his client (Casey Anthony). The defense lawyer, Mr. Mason, said he had. The judge said "OK. Is there anything you want to add? (No response) OK, this court will reconvene until 8:30 am tomorrow morning." The judge then stood up and left.

The TRU TV commentators are in  a tizzy trying to 'read the tea leaves' and figure out what the 'matter' was. The commentators say the defense may cop a plea.

My first guess is that a mistrial will be ruled. I don't know diddily about criminal law or procedure, but I am entitled to my guess.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Yankee Rednecks

The irony in last night’s Real Housewives of New Jersey appeared to me at the end of the show. In the beginning of the show, Caroline’s family cooked a Southern meal and mocked Southerners. The editors did a fine job when they juxtaposed this to other cast members who were yelling, screaming and fighting and otherwise acting like a bunch of crazy ass rednecks. The cast members argued and fought at a Christening Party! A new cast member, Melissa, recently had a baby.

The main principals in the fight were Teresa’s husband and Teresa’s brother. I never knew Teresa had a brother. After seeing the discord between those two last night, I understand why the brother never appeared last season. The source of their ill-will is not clear. I guess we will hear more of those details as the season unfolds. We also know that Teresa and her sister-in-law, Melissa, do not like each other. Again, why , I don’t know. Maybe they were arguing over who was prettier. I thought it was hysterical when Melissa was making fun of Teresa’s accent. The new cast members’ have normal accents, so much so that it made Teresa’s accent sound that much more like Fran Drescher’s.

If these guys had accents like James Carville and didn’t have vowels at the end of their names, this show could easily be moved to CMT in a time-slot right after My Big Redneck Wedding. What kind of a lowlife gets in a fight after a kid’s baptism ( their own kid’s at that)? Everybody on this cast is related to one another. This sounds like another stereotype which would make the RHW NJ cast a perfect fit on CMT. These people, to put it simply, are Yankee Rednecks.

I am sure some readers are curious as to what a Yankee Redneck is and how does that compare to a regular garden-variety redneck. A regular redneck has parents, relatives and friends who are all rednecks. Their parents, relatives and friends were rednecks as were their parents, relatives and friends. Being a redneck is all they have ever known. They were born into it. They had no choice.

A Yankee Redneck is much worse than a regular redneck. They were not born into the redneck lifestyle. They know better and have been around better. The Yankee Redneck is worse than a regular redneck because he chose that life! They want to be a redneck.

Despite my belittling of the RHW NJ cast, I was riveted to last night’s episode. I know it is low-brow, trashy and had a Jerry Springer feel to it. But it was exciting and fun to watch. I thought with Danielle gone, the drama would have died off. I was wrong. This should be a dramatic season.

Andy Plays Fetch in the Condo

For Andy, my condo must have seemed like a romper room. I knew he loved to play and facilitated his playfulness by buying many, many toys. Andy was 4 when I bought my place and was in the prime of his life. He was fit and had a high energy level. He did like to take naps, but once he was awake, he would go all out balls-to-wall. Abby was 6. She wasn’t nearly as active as Andy. She did love going on the walks required in condo living. At a home, if a dog has to go to the bathroom, we would open the back door to let the dogs out and they would take a few steps out, do their business and come right back in. When the babies where at my condo, I would walk them at least 3X per day. We easily walked over a mile a day. For a fat baby like Abby, these walks were essential in Abby’s weight-loss regimen.

Andy did not have a yard to play in. I worried he would lose out in fun time by not being able to run free. However, inside, we compensated by playing fetch. We would have 10 or 15 minute sessions of fetch several times a day. I would throw a toy down the hall. Other times I would throw the toy over the loft on the second floor. Andy quickly learned a new word: upstairs. After I threw the toy upstairs, Andy would look at me with a perplexed face. I would point up and say “Go upstairs.” He soon knew that the toy was upstairs and he would hustle up the stairs. I could hear him ‘boom boom boom’ up. I would soon after hear the characteristic squeak from the toy. Andy loved the squeaky toys. He would chomp down on them just to hear them squeak. Maybe it was his way of signifying victory. Andy would then look over the balcony at me and Abby. I would tell him he was a good boy. Andy would come back down, put the toy on my lap, take a step back and invite me to throw the toy again.

Abby would be sleeping by my feet or at my side when these play sessions took place. Sometimes she would have a rawhide bone to gnaw on. Andy kept playing and playing. For him, I was his big playmate. The mere sight of me brought up ideas of fun and play for him. I enjoyed being able to throw these toys however I damned well pleased without anyone bitching at me telling me to stop. I loved the freedom playing with Andy. I also admired his boundless energy.

Monday, May 16, 2011

A New Season of Real Housewives of NJ!!!

 Stay Classy NJ

A new season of RHW NJ starts tonight. A couple of new cast members will debut this season. I guess Danielle, a.k.a The Prostitution Whore, is gone. I want to know what happened to Teresa's dream house. Was she able to hold on to it, or did the economy take its toll on her and force her to scale down in her accommodations? It sounds like Teresa works now. The previews show her saying "Mama is bringing home the bacon." We'll also find out if Teresa's husband took care of his DWI charge. I could find out with my Lexis-Nexus account. I could have, let's say. I think I don't have access to it this summer.

In another preview last night, Teresa has an exchange with someone in a large dining hall. It looked some a reception area. There were dozens of tables in the hall. The guy speaking to Teresa and eating called Teresa 'garbage.' The guy then told her to go away. I don't know how late in the season I'll have to wait to see the outcome to that exchange, but I don't see it ending well. To make things worse, Teresa had a couple of kids in tow.

What does that mean? It means we have to hear Caroline harangue this guy for talking about her "family." Who gives a fuck about her family? She talks about her clan as if they were the Rockefeller's or Kennedy's. Talking about Caroline's family gives Caroline an excuse to lose any social graces and make a complete ass of herself.

Andy's Claustrophobia

The bowls were kept near the cooler on the right.

I had a lot to learn about Andy. I knew he loved to play, play-fetch and swim. I knew he loved Abby and my mom. He also had some hang-ups. As I came to know him better, I would find out just how broad and seemingly endless the hang-ups he had. I knew quite a bit about Abby. I helped raised her. Learning about Andy’s quirks and idiosyncracies could be funny but at other times it would be frustrating and even sad.

The first thing I learned about Andy after he moved in was that he was claustrophobic. My condo had a gallery-type kitchen. Even though the square footage in the condo was barely over 900 sqft, the kitchen had ample room. I thought I had a good idea by placing the dogs’ food and water bowls at the end of the kitchen. I wanted the bowls to be far out of the way of the hallway traffic between the entrance and the living room. I wouldn’t run into them. Yet the bowls sit close to where the food and water were making it easy for me to refill them.

On the first day, I knew the idea had fallen flat. Andy was hungry and thirsty. He took a step towards the bowls but would back out. I could hear him “tip-tipping” after advancing a step towards the bowls only for him to “tip-tip” back out. This went on a dozen times. I was watching TV which is why it took me a while to catch on to Andy’s dilemma.

I stood up to take a closer look. Andy backed all the way out. I commanded him to eat. He wouldn’t. He drooped his ears down. I knew that look of fear. He had that same look when it thunderstormed. Andy was claustrophobic. I knew I wasn’t going to cure him, so I had to put the bowls in a more accessible place for him.

I put the bowls at the entrance of the kitchen galley. Andy would not be closed in and would never feel trapped. As soon as I put the bowls at their new place, Andy ate and drank with no problems. Putting the bowls there was not efficient space management in such a small place. I had to make the adjustment to accommodate my baby boy. It fortunately worked.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Rick Carlson Has the Last Laugh!

Sam Elliott in Lifeguard

Rick Carlson, the main character in Lifeguard played by Sam Elliott, has the last laugh. In that movie, people gave Rick a heap of scorn for being a 33 old man and working as a lifeguard. I guess they felt he had a Peter Pan syndrome, was underachieving and not applying himself. His dad especially derided him for making only $10,000 a year (that is around $40k in today's money).

Rick took it all in good stride. And why not? The guy was fit and trim. He was screwing everything in site. He did not have to worry about herpes or AIDS (yet). He was having a hell of a time.

However, I came across this article recently. There are lifeguards in California making well over $100 grand a year, some making close to $200 grand. Somewhere out there, Rick must be smiling! Think of all those corporate types toiling in obscurity fretting about their jobs. They can no longer wear size 34 jeans, hate their jobs, bosses and lives. It took them who knows how many years to get to where they are, only for it to be taken with a stroke of a pen in lay-off. The Rick's out there are working in the sun in an active  and well-paying job.

Say what you want about the 70's, though, it did have some pluses to it. You could have a chest that looked like it had an Ottoman rug on it  and a you could have a pornstache; yet you could still be considered a sex symbol! Did these guys worry about "manscaping"? Hell no.

Andy's Second Chance

One evening, I went to my mom’s to pick up the babies. I would give Andy one more chance at staying in my condo. I didn’t need to push them to get in my car. All it took was the magic words—bye-bye. Andy, sitting behind my mom on the couch, hurdled over the arm-rest and ran to the door. Abby soon followed behind him. It didn’t take long for me to get home. I was about a 10 minute drive from my mom’s. In the parking lot, the babies patiently waited while I put their leashes on them. I never let them go off-leash, especially in a high-traffic area.

We hung out in my place for a while. I knew I had to take them out one more time before bed. I asked them if they wanted to go ‘walk’. They enhusiastically ran to the door. Abby let me put the leash on her first. Andy figited a little. I got the leash on him. I opened the door, turned right, went all the way down the hall and out the north end of the building. We would go through a gate, turn right and head towards a park across the street.

This park is over 200 years old. It was one of the ‘Four Corners’ at the corners of Raleigh when it was founded. The city was a square mile. These parks were placed at the corners. Two of them remain to this day. The others at the north end of what is now downtown have been covered over with government buildings. I always loved going through the park with the babies. There was a circular sidewalk with a circumference of around 220 yards. We would go all the way around it, going in a counterclockwise direction. The babies would soon find their spots to go to the bathroom. Dogs will often pick a spot and keep using it and not go anywhere else.

So far, so good. Bedtime approached and the moment of truth had arrived. I asked them if they wanted to go nighty. I’m not sure if I had to show them where the bed was. Regardless, it did not take them long to figure out where the bed was. They would soon know what direction to go when I asked them to go nighty.

Andy reached to loft first. He always had to run in front of us. He didn’t stop on the rug to pee. He jumped in the bed and took his position at the head of the bed right beside me. Abby slept at the foot of the bed on the same side as Andy. We went to bed. There were no incidents that night. Andy got to stay.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Guilt Trip

My mom called me later the night I left Andy behind at her house. She gave me the biggest guilt trip for not taking Andy to my condo. Andy grew so upset that he threw up soon after we left. He felt so distressed about being left out. He did not understand why he was being left behind. All I could say to my mom was I would not have a dog not housetrained living with me. He knew it was bad to use the bathroom inside. He was too lazy to let me know he needed to go out. He was smart and knew how to communicate.

My mom kept laying the guilt on me. I agreed to take him with me on the next visit. But there would be one condition. If he used the bathroom inside my place again, he would not be invited back. My mom loved him so much. Let him shit and pee in her house; I wasn’t going to put up with that mischief. I would give him one more chance.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Second Sleepover & Andy Wasn't Invited

A few days later, I invited Abby to go downtown but not Andy. I’d be damned if I was going to have him shitting and peeing all over my place. My mom did not do a great job disciplining Andy’s poor housetraining habits. I did spank Andy the day he peed on my rug. Besides, Andy was my mom’s dog and Abby mine. This was the way it was supposed to be.

Abby trotted through the kitchen and towards the door. Andy tried to follow behind her. I stopped him. He looked up at me quizically. He didn’t know why he could not go. I kept him at bay and closed the door. I looked through the window and saw him sulking. He hung his head down and went back to the den.

Later that night, I took Abby for a walk downtown. No one was there except towards the end of the walk when I saw three people and an unleashed Great Dane. The dog came straight towards me and Abby. I tried to get between them, but the dog persisted on visiting Abby. I was pissed. I fucking hate irresponsible dog owners who will not leash their dogs when others are around. I especially hate it when the dog owner makes no attempt to control his dog.

So, here was Abby with a huge fucking dog looming over her. I could only imagine what was going through her baby-girl head. I know if a 7ft son-of-a-bitch was standing over me, I’d want to knock his ass out. The dog clearly postured over Abby. I know some will say he was ‘playing’ but that is bullshit. Abby was trapped. She snapped at the dog. The little bastard who owned the dog did nothing. I then yelled at him to get his dog off of mine. Damned if he didn’t mouth off and had the nerve to say that my dog was the one who snapped at his. Things were at Defcon 4.

I yelled at the guy. Finally, he and the others got control of the dog and walked down the street. When they were safely away, the twerp started mouthing off at me. He was a northern transplant. He had a nasally New York/Long Island accent, making him that much more irritating. That accent is like nails on a chalkboard. People from Long Island do not lose their accents no matter where they relocate to and for how long. If he was going to mouth-off, it was good he waited until he got out of arm’s reach. I am almost certain I would have shoved him. I didn’t want to go to jail for his punk-ass, but when it came to my baby-girl, I was a little over-protective. Fortunately, I never saw this guy again after that night.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Babys' First Sleep-Over

I went over to my mom’s house to pick up Abby so I could take my Baby Girl home with me. My mom and I decided to split Abby’s time between her house and my condo. In other words, we would have joint custody over her. I planned on leaving Andy at home with my mom. It seemed like the logical thing to do. Abby was my dog. Andy was my mom’s.

However, my mom and Andy had other thoughts. When I asked Abby to go bye-bye, she readily headed towards the door. Unfortunately, Andy took off to the door as well. I tried to block Andy from going out the door. My mom asked me to let him go. Begrudgingly, I agreed.

I don’t remember much about that night except what happened towards the end. I had taken them for an hour long walk. We must have walked around 2 miles. The babies had ample opportunity to take care of their business. I remember asking them if they wanted to go ‘nighty’. Andy bounded up the stairs, Abby came in a distant second with me coming up right behind Abby.

I can still see the image of Andy standing on my new rug. He was beside the bed, turned around to face us and started pissing like a racehorse. I couldn’t believe it. He had all the time in the world to pee, and the spoiled bastard soils my brand new rug. I yelled at him and gave him a spank. I put on my shoes and shorts and took Andy right back outside. I’m not sure if Abby went with us.

And that is the story of how Andy ‘Christened’ my new condo.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Abby's First Time Alone in the Condo

I slowly adjusted Abby to my condo by taking her for short visits over there. The first time she and I were by us is still etched in my mind. She did OK at first. She sniffed around then slept. However, when I went out on a chore, she jumped up and tried to follow me out. She had a startled look in her eyes. She wanted to be with me. She did not want to be alone in a strange place.

I came home. She was happy again. She sniffed my legs to see where I had been and what I was doing. About an hour later, I put on my running clothes to go jog a couple of miles. Again, when I left the condo, she hustled down the hall. I must have been a good 20 feet from my door when I heard a plaintive cry from Abby. She was moaning in her isolation. My god did that dog know how to give me a guilt trip. She would eventually come to love the condo and downtown. However, on that day, things were a little rocky for her.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Babies See the Condo for the First Time

A few hours after the closing, I was excited to see how the babies would like the place. I loaded them in the car by asking “Do you want to go bye-bye?” They whipped themselves into a frenzy, took their places in my car and rode with me downtown.

When we got there, they almost instinctively knew what direction to go when they got inside the building. It may not really have been instinctual. They may have been able to track down my old trail from my scent left behind. As I got the keys out, they grew anxious. I took them off their leashes, flung the door open and let them run free inside. They hustled their way down the hall and into the living room. They quickly came back to me. When they say the stairs, they climbed up them. Abby climbed. Andy bounded up them like an antelope. He was so strong, energetic and graceful then.

In the loft, there is a balcony. The babies immediately peaked over it to get a view at things below. They seemed excited and loved the place. This would be Abby’s second home for almost three years. Andy would live there 8 years, as long as I did there.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

My First Home

The summer of 2002 was winding down. I had thought about buying a house, but since I was living with my mom, I took my time to find a place. One day when I was walking the babies downtown, I thought “I should get a place down here.” I decided to get a condo for several reasons. Deep down, I knew I’d have to move from Raleigh to a place where houses are too damned expensive. I didn’t want to spoil myself, so I chose a condo instead.

I also chose the downtown area because it was close, but not too close to my mom’s. A few years later when my dad was sick and I had to come over every day, that decision paid off well. I also didn’t want to live more than 30 min from work. I was right at the cusp of that criteria. Lastly, I knew Abby would love it down there. It was always hard to get her going, but a trip downtown always excited her. There was also a park right across the street from where my unit was.

One problem of buying a condo downtown is that what is a nice panoramic view one moment is a nice view of a 20 story building put up the next year. I knew that with a park sitting there, no development would ever take place there. I would always have a nice view of the downtown Raleigh skyline. The noise wasn’t too bad. I’m a heavy sleeper.

My condo was actually a loft. It was my first place and I no longer had to fret as a renter and worry about some asshole landlord looking over my shoulder. I was also excited to see how Abby would like it.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Dodo is a Ragdoll Cat!

I didn't think much about Dodo's pedigree when he first came to our house 3 years ago. He was a scraggly and  underweight cat close to dying when he we first saw him. He had been in a lot of fights and had the battle scars to show.

However, he came recovered well. He is now heatlhy but he has some very striking features. He has the biggest and prettiest blue eyes. Something else we found different was how he went limp when we picked him up. It turns out this is characteristic of Ragdoll cats. Dodo also has the eye color and hair colorations of a Ragdoll. I'm not sure if he is a pedigree Ragdoll, but I have no doubt he is part Ragdoll.

I looked on the web, and a pedigree Ragdoll can go for $500 - $1000. We got him for free! Talk about a bargain!

Friday, May 6, 2011

I'm No Longer a "1L"

I took my last exam today. Just like that, a full year of law school has passed me by. If there are any readers out there about to start law school next semester, I only have two pieces of advice.

  1. Get all the pens, pads and highlighters at the vendor booths at the start of the semester. There is no damn reason for a 1L to buy a pen with all the freebies handed out. It may seem tacky or even kitschy to take the hand-outs, but those pens especially come in handy later in the year.
  2. If you see an email with the words "meeting" & "interest" in it, by all means go there because there will be free food. I don't care if you are a red-hot liberal, if the Federalist Society offers free food, take it. Conversely, if you are a right wingnut, go to the environmental interest meetings. It won't kill you, and they will give you free food.
If you want advice on what hornbooks and primers to get, I suggest going to toplawschools.com or the like to see what all the blowhards have to say on the matter. I have no sage advice to "Get that 'A'."

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A "Where Were You Moment"

People can recall with clarity and precision where they were when they heard news about some events like when Kennedy was shot or when the 9/11 attacks occured. I wasn't born when Kennedy was shot but I can recall the day's events when 9/11 happened. I was at work and remember thinking what a nice day it was. The humidity was low, the skies clear blue and the temperature mild. Things went downhill from there. I was only 30 or so miles from the World Trade Center Attacks.

When people ask me where I was at when I heard about Osama Bin Laden's death, sadly, I have to say I was watching Bravo TV. The Real Housewives of OC had ended when Andy Cohen was about to start "See What's Happening Live". He had shit eating grin on his face and asked if we heard the news that UBL had been killed.

I thought he was joking, so I switched over to CNN. Sure enough, it was no joke. So now, I have to live with the fact that I was watching RHW of OC when I heard about UBL's death.