Sunday, November 28, 2010


There are times when I think that the two dogs should be the chocolate and peanut butter of Reese's peanut butter cups -- perfectly complementary. Molly is deaf, and Ginger... well, I'd say Ginger is dumb, but she barks more than Molly (who I think has barked twice in six months) and Ginger's the brain surgeon of the two, so it doesn't really apply. I guess I'll have to go with Molly is deaf and dumb, and Ginger is a little dog.

But my point here is that Ginger doesn't obey because she doesn't want to, and Molly doesn't obey because she can't hear anything. The obvious solution is to train Ginger to get Molly's attention when I want her to come to me. That way it would always be Ginger's fault, no matter what happened.

The only problem is that this relies on me being able to train Ginger, and that might be asking too much. I'll be honest and admit right off the bat that the problem is not with Ginger. Training a dog to do anything requires consistency and timing, and I sometimes have the attention span of a squirrel on meth. It's truly amazing that I can get both dogs to sit at the door when it's time to go for a walk, and sitting is a pretty simple concept.

My only consolation is that at least I haven't trained her to do any bad behaviors, like a coworker of mine who has been working from home lately, and has accidentally trained her dog to bark. We all know how that happens -- the dog barks and she gives him treats to shut him up, and very quickly the dog learns how to get more treats. This coworker is having a baby in the next month, so we'll see how that ends up...

Anyhow, I've decided to take the easy way out and just wait until the dogs do something (anything) and say the command. That way they can do whatever they want, and I get the satisfaction of feeling that they're being obedient.

So far with this new technique I've learned the commands for spin around and snore. Now I'm off to go learn how to tell Ginger that she's barking. Good dog!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving thanks for the gobble

For this Thanksgiving I had great plans to stay at home and be anti-social while eating my traditional French onion soup, but then my next door neighbor went and ruined my plans by inviting me to their family dinner.

This is the same family that invited me to dinner one of the first years after I moved here, then sat me next to "Uncle Walter" at the table. Uncle Walter proceeded to drink himself into an obnoxious state and spent a large part of the evening embarrassing all of his relatives. I found out later that this was his standard M.O., which was why I had been seated next to him. They apologized for that (after the fact). It actually turned out alright, though, because he wasn't my Uncle Walter and thus I didn't really care what he was talking about.

This year there were no extended family members, so it was a more relaxed affair. The turkey wasn't cooked through, initially, but as the lone vegetarian at the table, I didn't care. Everything else turned out well, and their dog only managed to steal one roll out of the kitchen before she was caught and banished to the living room.

I spent part of the evening trying to convince my neighbor that I'm not really a CIA agent. What she sees as my mysterious behavior is really just me being my normal, boring, occasionally erratic self, but I'm having a hard time getting her to believe that. She's mostly joking, though. At least I hope so. I finally told her that if she found out the truth I'd have to kill her, so she should stop asking questions. Then we started talking about rules of grammar, ethics in production, the fact that her mother refuses to believe that her grandparents weren't married until after their first child was born, and other pressing issues.

Anyhow, a good time was had by all, even if I did have to postpone my hermit day. Tomorrow, though, I'm not talking to anyone. The world can be thankful for that.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Whatcha gonna do?

Instead of following through with my plans for the day (namely, being productive in some way, shape, or form), I spent the day lounging in the dog-walking outfit (scrub pants and a sweatshirt) and slippers watching half a season of "Cops".

It was educational. There's not a lot of white collar crime on that show. What there is, is a whole lot of people like the ones I saw when I was on overnights in Louisiana. Apparently those people are everywhere.

I learned that a whole lot of people are driving around in cars that some other guy stole. And a lot of people apparently throw drugs into the cars of perfect strangers which causes problems when that stranger is pulled over. And a lot of scantily-clad women with really dilated pupils meet a lot of really kind gentlemen who are willing to give them rides to the grocery store. Oh, and some of those women are really men.

But what I really got out of it is that after an entire day of watching television, I am a skinny, healthy, youthful-appearing, eloquent, clean, well-groomed, well-mannered, and productive member of society.

It doesn't get any better than that.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I would have added the kitchen sink, but it wouldn't fit.

Quiche has turned out to be the nuclear option in my ongoing battle to finish everything in my veggie box. Can't figure out what it is? Put it in the quiche. Can't figure out how it's supposed to be cooked? Steam it and put it in the quiche. Don't have a lot of time or energy? Quiche.

If it can be coarsely chopped, it's suitable for the quiche.

But, you say, what about all of those veggies that you don't have the mature palate to appreciate?

That's where the jalapenos come in. And then a bit of cottage cheese to calm the jalapenos. And feta cheese on top to make it taste really good. And if there's any space left, that's where the egg and milk mixture goes.

Real men may not eat quiche, but any lazy person with a veggie box probably does...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Possessions of Jeff

No, this isn't going to be another post on religion -- Jeff's sometimes a little weird, but I've never actually seen his head spin around.

No, this is the post in which I make fun of my brother because he claims he can't figure out the whole "apostrophe s" thing. It's not hard. In fact, there are examples all around us if you know where to look.

Here are a few from my morning walk:

(This picture has nothing to do with grammar; I'm just setting the scene here.)

Here we have the swim school of Morley. I don't know who Morley is. But there's only one of him (or her), because it is Morley plus 's.

There is only one Jim, and here is his store:

This is the tricky one. There are multiple physicians, and they all own a building (or at least they did when this sign was put up originally). Since physicians's would be hard to say, it's just physicians'. Of course, they would never name a building like that now, but back then people could apparently learn the grammar rules without falling apart.

And now, the test:

There are multiple overalls, but they don't own anything, so they don't get an apostrophe. But Levi Strauss & Co are lording their overalls over y'all, so they get the apostrophe.

Is it all clear now? If not, Liam may have to explain it to you in a few years.

The skull from Jim's Store thanks you for your time:

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Holy Obligation, Batman!

The sucky thing about being born on November 1st in a Catholic (okay, at least my mom is) household is that November 1st is All Saints' Day, which is a "holy day of obligation", otherwise known as a "let's make Theresa be bored in church every year on her birthday, ha ha ha" day.

It would have been much better had I been born on November 2nd because a) yeah, not a "holy crap you're obligated to park your butt in church" day, and b) it would coincide with the Mexican Day of the Dead celebration. Sure, I'm not from Mexico, but still... If I can't pick and choose what cultural traditions to rip off, what kind of American would I be?

I was thinking about this today as I walked by Jim's Store since still he has a bunch of small ceramic skull figurines in the window display. (Okay, so it's been a week since Day of the Dead, but who's counting?)

I like the idea of going to a graveyard to say hello to the dead. But then I started thinking about how this would work in my own life, and I ran into trouble.

First off, I have absolutely no idea where any of my relatives are buried. I could narrow it down to the state, but after that I'd have to just start guessing.

So I'd have to pick somebody else's relatives to say hello to, which is okay, but then I started thinking -- I don't know these people, what if I don't even like them? I mean, the chances of that are pretty good, because there are a lot of people I don't like. And they aren't even, you know, dead.

And a lot of dead people are really old, or at least they were before they died. They'd probably want to talk about all their medical problems. Who wants to hear a bunch of old people talking about their ailments? The only reason to listen to other people blab about their ill health is so you can talk about your own much more fascinating problems. Let's face it, it would be hard to one-up the dead people when talking about medical problems because they died from whatever was wrong with them. It's like a freaking coup-fourré.

So ultimately I've decided to just keep my birthday where it is and just un-obligate myself. I think it will just work out better this way.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

You're All Fired!

At work we've finally hit the stage of the current release at which point I want to fire everyone I work with. This happens to varying degrees every time we put out a release, so I try not to do anything irrevocable, but sometimes that's harder than others.

(For the record, I also have days when I think I'm a complete screw-up and should be fired as well. I try not to yell at myself while I'm in the cubicle at work.)

If one more person tells me they don't have anything to work on, I may give in to my impulses and snarl and ask them if they've tried to run the product lately. It's not like we're lacking in things to work on. Surely anyone can see that if you can't hit any button at all without an error popping up, it's not finished yet.

Today reminds me that universal stupidity is pretty much a constant, though, because today is the day we "fall back". The whole idea of daylight savings time is just asinine. It was stupid when if was first instituted, and it's even more so now. What really gets me, though, is that not only do we screw around with the time twice a year, we can't even all agree about when (or even if) it is supposed to happen. To figure out the time you have to know the date, and what country and timezone you are in. That just makes no sense. It offends my (German) sense of order.

Anyhow, my computers have one time, the oven and alarm clock have another, and the car radio has something completely random since I never reset the clock after Jeff and I made our abortive attempt to put in the HD radio. (I usually get home from work around "2:20", unless I'm running late and it's closer to "3:30" -- this really cuts down my anxiety about getting to work on time in the morning, though.) Any day now I'll put the new radio in and set the time. Really.

In the meantime, seriously, you're all fired.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

If Only I Could Harness Their Energy For Good...

Apparently the little people in my house were bored today. When I got home

  • The box of Diet Coke (from a 12-pack, with three cans still in the box) had been transported from the counter to the middle of the kitchen floor.
  • The week's mail was all over the kitchen floor.
  • There was a ziploc bag of dog dental treats shoved inside the Diet Coke box. (The last time I saw those dog treats they were in the drawer, but they disappeared about three months ago. I have no idea where they have been for the last few months.)
  • There were lettuce leaves strewn on the floor. (Confession time: that was me. I dropped the open tupperware with my dinner salad this morning. I was hoping the dogs would eat it. I guess not.)
  • The broom was knocked over.
  • Three empty tupperware containers were on the floor.
  • The pink elephant was sitting on top of the broom.
Obviously the pink elephant comes to life when I am gone, and today it made a mess but I came home before it finished cleaning up.

What other explanation could there be?