Wednesday, December 29, 2010

There's A Reason God Invented Wine

As we come to a close on yet another holiday season, I've come to the conclusion that Benjamin Franklin was right when he said "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" because according to everyone I've talked to, alcohol is the only thing that has gotten them through the holiday season. Once upon a time I thought this was some sort of little joke that you just saw as a cliche in movies where mom sneaks off to the kitchen to take a few hits from her bottle of Schnapps while grandma sits in the other room criticizing the cleanliness of the household. Now that I've grown older, I am beginning to realize that the movies are cliche because they are SO TRUE. Every cliche is rooted in some form of truth somewhere along the line, and the overuse of that truth makes it the cliche. Who knew, right? But after talking to several friends about how they spent their holidays and it has boiled down to mostly one common statement: "With a beer in one hand and my dignity in another".

This brings me to a question I've been rolling around in my head for a long time. What is it about families in general that makes people crazy when they have to spend time with them? I've always thought "Surely it can't be all families who are like this" but I'm starting to think that maybe it is. I love my family, and I like holidays with my family, but I'm starting to realize that maybe it's because holidays for us are super low pressure. We've never tried to fit into some Norman Rockwell painting of what a holiday is supposed to look like. Truth be told, everyone is damn lucky if my mom gets out of her pajamas all day on Thanksgiving or Christmas. For us it's about food and watching tv. And maybe that's how other people should be, if spending holidays together is so excruciating. Of course, I don't write one of those rosy "We were all snuggled in together in our cozy little house enjoying the warmth and joy of togetherness and love" blogs because the last time I checked, I don't live in a Thomas Kinkaid painting and life is a messy ball of crap for the world, so I'm not going to pretend that there are never holiday blow ups in my family. But, for the most part, I don't require a ton of alcohol to get through the day. Not to say my dad wouldn't provide it upon request. Dad was a bartender once upon a time. The man knows his mixed drinks.

This brings me to another question I've had about holidays. Why is it that the people we're related to, the people we love most or the people we should depend on during our darkest times are also the ones we find ourselves, on occasion, thinking about bludgeoning with the nearest table lamp? What is it about family that makes people crazy? Is it that they are possibly the only people who truly know us for all of our flaws and misgivings and therefore they know exactly which buttons to push to send us over the edge? Or is it that because they are family, we find it easy to take them for granted because we assume they will always be there when needed? Maybe it's a combination of both. And while I am not a religious person, I think if there is a higher power out there, they knew what they were doing when they sent us both families and alcohol. Family and alcohol go together like wine and cheese. Sometimes you need one to balance the other out. Just a thought.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My Cat Has Super Powers

I know what you're thinking, you're thinking that my cat doesn't have super powers. You are both wrong and incapable of understanding all of the power that can be packed into a cat this size. He's 20 lbs of giant cat cuddle and he is a force to be reckoned with. Most people don't realize it because so few people actually get to see him. He's a bit shy, and he doesn't socialize with visitors often. There are a few exceptions of people he has decided he loves upon first meeting, but it's rare. Most people have to win him over. But none of this really has anything to do with his super powers. It's just an intro to my good pal Errol, aka Chubbs.

No, the super power is evil and stealthy. See, my pal Chubbs there is a big fat kitty. He's practically got his own gravitational pull, and as a result, his primary job seems to be generating body heat. On top of that, he's got super soft cuddly fur which helps hold in all of that body heat. So when he sits on your lap, or cuddles up against you he's so warm and snuggly and suddenly you find yourself getting sleepy. Very very sleepy. That's right, my cat can put you to sleep like it's his friggin' job. I defy anyone to let him lay on their lap and not start to get drowsy. Even Jason, who never naps and rarely just nods off on the sofa, is powerless to resist it. Ten minutes of Errol snuggle and he's out. It can't be helped. The cat lulls you into comfort and a sense of security and then you are asleep and you don't even remember when it happened. I'm convinced this is part of Norbert's doing, as she is probably having him test his powers so that some day she can have him put us to sleep and then kill us in our sleep, or at the very least arrange a sacrifice to her demon gods of evil.

On Sunday I laid on the couch watching Jason play video games and the next thing I know, Errol is laying on my chest and I've been sleeping for 4 hours. WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN?! I'm telling you, this cat had better use his powers for good instead of evil.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Women Are So Irresponsible

Today I was sitting at work eating my lunch and trolling my usual set of Hollywood gossip blogs when I clicked over to and saw the headline that Natalie Portman is engaged and *gasp* also pregnant. Scandal! Except that it's really not, because we've evolved into a society where, especially in Hollywood, marriage equals neither happiness or longevity. This is not to say that I am opposed to marriage because well....last time I checked there's a big fatty ring on my finger and all of the commitment, baggage and responsibility that comes with it. But the point is, society as a whole is moving away from this idea that marriage is a necessity when it comes to having children or stability. In fact, situations like the one we're seeing with Natalie Portman where it's like "Oh look, I'm pregnant, better get engaged" so people can appease the expectations of society and family are the ones that most often fail after a very short period of time. And the true irony of it all is that we have the homosexual population fighting so hard to get the right to enter a legal marriage and being denied the right because it violates the sanctity of marriage that the heterosexual portion of the population tossed out the window years ago.

But none of this is my point. I'm getting there, eventually, when I finish rambling. Anyway, after reading the short article on Natalie, I did the ultimate sin of all blog reading. I started reading the comments. Anyone who wants to keep their blood pressure low should avoid reading comments on blogs or news articles because the stupidity of some people is so astounding that you do find yourself wondering how they exist in this world without getting beaten over the head with sticks. And if we ever do decide to beat them, I'll volunteer. So, as I scroll through the comments I see several about how terrible it is that she isn't even married yet and is pregnant. I expected that, I really did. What I didn't expect was the comment that read "There is enough supporting research out there that indicates that children are better off in married families. Developmentally, financially, psychologically, etc... Women should keep this in mind!"

And then my head exploded.

I'm so offended by this comment because it completely pins the blame for unplanned pregnancy on the woman involved. Really? Because I'm pretty sure some jackass's penis was involved at some point. Ok, that's unfair. I'm sure that more often than not, the penis owner is not actually a jackass, but you get my point. I have no idea why people get this impression that it's only women involved in unplanned pregnancy, or that it's only women who are responsible for children born out of wedlock. Yes, women have birth control, but it fails. And if the guy involved is at all concerned about that happening, then he should double bag it as a back up plan. I am concerned that women tend to get labeled as the irresponsible ones in these situations. More than that, I find it so interesting that more often than not, people believe that the women may have done something on purpose to make sure they got pregnant, or that they somehow wanted it because all women want ten thousand babies right? It's genetically wired into us right? I mean I know that 99% of my thoughts throughout the day involve babies and wanting ten thousand of them, so I'm sure everyone else must be the same or something. Or MAYBE, just MAYBE women are typically nurturing and motherly beings but they still have a working brain and often understand that maybe ten thousand babies just isn't the right choice for them. I just love that WOMEN are the only ones who have to remember that chilren are better off in married families. And I'm sure this is a true statement, if the married family is stable and nurturing and creates a positive environment for the children. Of course, there are those abusive marriages and the home lives that come with them to consider. I'm sure the kids are better in those married families right?

So I guess my point is that I'm so sick of women being deamonized for something that is also the part of another person involved in the situation, and that person often gets off completely unscathed. I blame that fucking Adam and Eve. And maybe god since he set Eve up to take the fall for all the bullshit that was about to go down by eating some tasty fruit. Why didn't he pick Adam? I'm just sayin'...As a woman I'm tired of hearing about how irresponsible we are when men are also irresponsible. Sometimes I wonder if it were men having babies if the irresponsibility would finally fall on them, but I doubt it.

And this is not to bash men, really, because most of my friends are men and honestly I prefer their lack of drama and theatrics and their honesty, so I have a lot of respect for men. I'm just saying that I can't stand listening to women take the fall for something where there was also a penis involved as well. I'm just saying being a woman comes with a lot of bullshit sometimes, and we should all remember that.

And congrats to Natalie Portman and stuff...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Adventures With An Elderly Dog

For the past 5 years or so I have asked Jason to get me a puppy for every birthday, Christmas and anniversary and the response has always been "You have two dogs, you don't need a puppy". While this may be true, I am constantly reminding him that Simon is nearly 14 years old and in Lab years that's like....3 paws in the grave. Not that I want Simon to die or anything, because he's a good dog and I love him, but it is an eventual inevitability with a dog as old as he is.

What we are both beginning to realize, however, is that living with an elderly dog is as much of an adventure as living with a puppy. Gone are the days when Simon would never even think of peeing in the house, even if he refused to go outside for 3 days because he doesn't like to go out if it's too windy, or cold, or raining, or snowing, or too hot, or it's a Saturday in June. I'm just saying, the dog is picky. This has never been a problem before. He would resolutely refuse to go outside and he would hold it for days. Now when we sleep in on weekends, we wake up as soon as we hear Simon's snoring stop because if Simon is up, he has to go outside...NOW. If you have never tiptoed past your dog to avoid waking him up so you can get dressed before you have to take him outside, you have never lived. This is the only point where it's sort of lucky that he's gone deaf. We can talk and brush our teeth and he's totally oblivious. You just can't walk past him too closely, or he can smell you and it's all over. And on those nice occasions when we do wake him up and he doesn't go outside NOW, he leaves a trail of pee through our house so we can find him like some screwed up version of Hansel & Gretel. Because yes, he walks while he pees. He can't just go in one spot like a normal dog. The fact is, I'm not entirely sure he realizes he's drizzling through the house, and if he does realize it, I get the impression that he's trying to run away from his own peeing. Thus, pee trail. At least if he stayed in one spot I could get the rug shampooer out and only have to clean one place. When he walks, I have to follow the trail through the whole house. And inevitably that means down the stairs. Have you ever tried to shampoo pee off of your stairs? It's not fun.

And of course there are other things we get to enjoy as owners of an elderly pet. Your dog going senile is an adventure. This often manifests itself in Simon forgetting that we have fed him. Or thinking that every time we come home from ANYWHERE, he is supposed to be fed. We feed him after we get home from work every day, so apparently the leaving and coming back is a trigger for "Food time" to him. He will stand in front of his bowl and shuffle back and forth, grunting at us like we have done him some sort of horrible disservice. I'm 99% sure he isn't even hungry, but he firmly believes he MUST be fed because we left and came back. This often happens even if we've just gone out to get the mail and come back into the house.

He has also decided that now that he's old, he's going to do what he wants. This means walking out the front door whenever he pleases, drinking from the toilet, barking at everything that moves outside the house, sleeping all day, eating Sam's food, and vomiting on the floor whenever he's bored. And forget playing ball with him in the house. Now, when he gets really excited while playing, he spontaneously poops. It goes something like this:

*Jason throws ball*

*Simon chases ball and brings it back*
*Jason throws ball again*
*Simon chases ball and while chasing drops some poo on the floor*
*Simon looks at Jason as if to accuse him of being the one who pooped on the floor*
*Jason puts ball away*
*Simon stares at poop until it is cleaned up, highly offended that Jason would do such a thing*

This has become my life, day in and day out with the joys of an arthritic elderly dog. Where I used to worry that he was getting played with enough, I now worry that he got his daily aspirin. It's all an adventure.

And some days it makes me rethink that puppy idea.