The cold, hard, ugly truth is this:
My dogs are fat.
Now, I was well aware of this fact for one of them. The one that is vaguely reminiscent of the Hindenburg before it burst into flame. Whenever I watch him at his food bowl I can just hear that famous narration “Oh the humanity!” I informed my vet that he was fixated on food. I would even say that he was bulimic and suffering from Alzheimer’s. He binges but forgets to purge. He will suck down his food in two seconds fat and then sit back next to his bowl and belch loudly. If he was a person, he would be the sweaty next door neighbor guy who tips the scales at around 500 pounds and wears the v-neck white t-shirt that hasn’t been white in years. You know, the one with the pit stains and the splashes of chili down the front?
Fashions designed by Jackson Pollack.
So it wasn’t any real surprise to learn that he was 20 pounds overweight. But the other one? The smooth jazz Corgi that momentarily meditates before hesitantly eating? (A habit that gets his food stolen a lot by the hovering Hindenburg). He is apparently 10 pounds over.
The vet went through his speal three times: Give them a cup of food in the morning and a cup of food at night. I already feed them a weight maintenance type food and I’ve read the label. It’s not made up of apple cores and Chinese newspapers. It might not be the best but it’s certainly not the worst.
Welcome to life in the middle my pets.
He really emphasized the fact that I need to know how much I’m feeding them. I told him I feed them a bowl in the morning and that’s it. After the third incarnation of his food discussion I was ready to agree to anything just to get out of there. Yes, I concur with your conclusions but jumpin’ Jesus on a cracker! I’m not mentally retarded. Can we move on???
I guess what I failed to impress upon him was that my dogs don’t have traditional food bowls. They aren’t those huge containers that the dog can backstroke in. They are actually little decorative ceramic bowls that a human could happily eat their breakfast cereal out of.
So when I went home and pulled out a measuring cup and learned THE TRUTH about how much I was feeding them, the reality of the situation is this: If I do what the vet told me to do, I would be feeding them more than what they are currently getting.
Snacks and treats? They occasionally get a rawhide bones to chew on. And their teeth are nice and clean thank you very much. I was asked if I brushed them. I almost told the vet “Oh yeah, twice a day, right after I floss my own teeth…and then I floss theirs!”
So, I am cutting down on their food even more. I’m still within the range listed on the bag so they’re not starving but there is a definite look in their eyes when I pull out the measuring cup. The fat one actually looked at me, looked at the cup, and flopped down on the floor and sighed.
I’m guessing if, within the next few weeks, my chewed up carcass is discovered in my bed? The cat should not be a suspect.
Seriously though? It could always be worse…
I remembered about fifteen minutes ago that I made an appointment with the vet this morning to get the dogs updated on their rabies shots. Of course, I thought I would have my federal refund back by now but, funny story, it appears to have vanished in the ether. Tax lady sent it, government accepted it, said they paid me, bank never received it. My MN return went through just fine so I can’t see how my bank info would be the problem. Now I have to wait up to three weeks to INQUIRE about it.
But I’m going to take the beasts in anyway. We are all attending to our immediate needs after paying off some bills with our MN tax refund. I went and got a prescription filled that is rather expensive and not life sustaining. (The two other prescriptions that I take sort of replace those bodily juices that keep one alive so skimping is not an option.) The boy will be getting new jeans as he refuses to stop getting taller no matter how many bricks I pile on his head. And the dogs will get their rabies shots. Oh, AND they got new water bowls.
I really do like the vet that I go to but I’m bracing myself for their slightly condescending disbelief that I could let my dog’s rabies lapse. I realize that every professional lives in their own little world and really can’t comprehend why someone wouldn’t spend a kajillion dollars on something like insulin shots for their nineteen year old blind, deaf, and paralyzed beagle. I’m fully prepared to let them know that, by finally being allowed to place my dogs at the top of my list after a year and a half, I should be happy. AND SO SHOULD THEY!
After the vets? I believe I will drop off the dogs before heading to the mall. There is a sale on work clothes that I need to check out. Although I must admit to being tempted to bring them into the mall and just let them lose. “But officer! The vet said they needed exercise. I fail to see the PROBLEM!”
I am also finding that my cat is attempting to suffocate me on a nightly bases. It is a little known scientific fact that cats throwing their entire body weight onto a person’s face is the leading cause of sleep apnea.
Can we just pause here and recognize that the two dogs in the above picture are astonishingly like my own two canine companions? Can you guess which personality the vet will tell me has a WEIGHT PROBLEM? Along with being possibly retarded?
I also am faced with a slug of art history homework that I have started over the past two nights and ended with a glass of wine and the muttered phrase “Really, should I give a flying f’ck about this????” Perhaps I shouldn’t include THAT observation in the homework page.
I’m also taking Friday, April 2 off. The first is my last day of work at the old place. The fifth is my first day of work at the new place. I am being totally irresponsible and taking a day off WITHOUT PAY. Fate, in all her good humor, is giving me a first day of work and a big math test all on the same day. Oh silly fate! How I’d like to sucker punch you in the kidney!
I’m also testing out my dessert entry for a contest next weekend. I’ve dubbed my cake “Screaming Orgasm” for the simple giggle of having little old ladies come up to my entry and say “I’d like to have a little screaming orgasm”. To which I can reply, “Wouldn’t we all!” The original recipe doesn’t have booze in it but I purchased some raspberry liquor last night because it has all that fancy schmancy expensive chocolate in it and I am a SUCKER for raspberries and chocolate.
Having never had any kind of fruity liquor before, I can make one observation. It’s kinda like kool-aid for alcoholics!
And if you drink enough of it, you start to see gigantic bottles of booze knock down a wall in your house while yelling “OOOHHHHH YEEEAAAAH!”
Not that I drank enough of it, mind you. I just have a very active imagination. *cough*
I believe I will be taking my art history to Barnes and Nobles today. Everything is better when you can sit at a table with some sort of a distraction laid out in front of you while you sip ridiculously priced coffee and try to be a poser hipster douchbag. Aim Low! You might not miss!
So I will conclude this missive with a question: How much sedative did these dogs get before visiting the Queen? If these were my dogs they would be jumping all over her, sniffing her purse for treats, and shedding two pounds of hair onto her in 0.2 seconds. I mean, it’s almost like they’re CULTURED or something…
Back a few months ago I had an issue with my pipes. They weren’t quite frozen but they were definately frigid. I would turn my bathroom sink faucet on and nothing would come out. I would then turn on my tub faucet and water would flow out of the sink. It had all the makings of an absolutely fabulous Laurel and Hardy routine.
Only, truth be told, I wasn’t all that amused. It had been a day from hell at work and coming home to plumbing issues that I couldn’t afford was the final straw. I lost it. I turned into a blubbering whiner and took a couple friends on a very convoluted and teary phone conversation from plumbing to a job that I was hating to starting school and having no money and I needed to refinance the house…and…and…and
I’m thinking I looked a little like this
On a side note, when I called my brother (who does not live in the great white north) to ask for plumbing advice, I was asked “Well, has it been cold there?” To which I replied, “No, it’s been at least 10 degrees. Kinda warm in fact.” There was a bit of a “baa-dump-dump” pause and then the remark of “ummmm. That’s cold.” Yeah, it’s all relative baby!
Anyway, taps were left open, water began to run, and everything in Jesus’s peaceable kingdom worked out.
That was what I remembered this morning as I stood in my bathroom. The time that I was a Sally.
I signed the refi a couple days ago and yesterday I put in my two weeks notice at the job that has been the equivalent of mining my retina with a hand cranked drill. Needless to say, current employer was shocked that I was unhappy. They tried to lay a guilt trip on my by telling me that my supervisors were “very upset” about my choice to leave.
When they asked how long I had been seeking employment elsewhere, I, who by this time had both eyebrows cranked up to my hairline and my best “you have got to be shitting me” look going, told them rather bluntly, “From the second day of working here.” I was then gently reminded to make sure I was a “good steward” to their name once I left employment there. In other words, any negativity and my kneecaps would be broken in several places. (Well, perhaps I am putting my own spin on it. )
My new job starts April 5th. It is for more money. It is doing things that I deem to be far more comforting for my soul. It also will be the first job that I will fully be using my new name with no explanations needed. It will be a lot to learn. It will be challenging. But, I feel, I am ready.
And perhaps I’ll start wearing hockey kneepads out in public. Just in case.
There are times when it’s hard to know what to say.
I’m more of a passive observer to a senseless act.
My brother, two years older than me, kept to himself and battled his own personal demons for his entire life. I haven’t seen him or spoken to him for many, many years.
But still, I remember the little boy.
And knowing that’s him all alone in the street just doesn’t compute.
I have quite a few police officers that live in my neighborhood. I suppose that is a far better reason for having police cars parked in the streets than having a crack house next door. (We don’t have crack houses in lakeside. We have meth factories. It’s much more high class. Actually, it’s just much more white.)
That being said, I must admit to being stopped short when I am out walking and I meet a police car. It doesn’t take much to bring me back to when the police were on our doorstep.
Now, the reality of the situation is, how many people are actually happy to see the police pull up in front of their house? Maybe if you’re the one with the knife held at your throat you would be a little relieved but chances are, it doesn’t happen very often.
I know our dogs weren’t thrilled to be disturbed at 7:00 a.m that weekend morning two days after filing our report. As I sat in my pajamas (grungy gym pants and a holey t-shirt), sipping my coffee, they started barking and losing their minds. I, of course, jumped out of my skin and poured half a cup of coffee down my front.
Peeking outside (and in full adrenaline rush as we didn’t have a served OFP yet), I was at least pleased to see that it wasn’t him. Since I had just given the kids cell phones and instructed them in that famous Walton Family talk of “if you see your dad, dial 9-1-1,” my nerves were a jangled mess.
“Hello officer, please come into my house and try to ignore the two footstools that are alternately growling at you and attempting to hump your leg.”
My daughter was still asleep. My son was on the computer in the other room. I guess I didn’t ask him for help with the dogs because I was trying to keep him as far away from the situation as possible. My kids were not children that needed to be exposed to the police. This was not my beautiful life.
So I sat down in the living room and tried to wrestle the dog off the nice policeman’s back. I was small, I was covered in coffee stains, my eyes were red rimmed and swollen, my dogs were totally out of control, and my son was lost in his own world. Hopefully, it was better than mine.
That’s what I remember when I see a police car in my neighborhood.
It’s just a car. It’s just my neighborhood. It’s just a memory.
It’s just like it was yesterday.
I think it’s the spring-like weather. Either that or the couple of punches that I’ve thrown at my new heavy bag have awakened in me the ability to listen to myself.
It is known as the meditation of ass kickery. What was that line in the Matrix? “Don’t just try to hit me, hit me!”
Perhaps it is also emptying out the garage that helped. There is still a lot of crap left in there but I can now see the space as being “my space”.
I can see the bones without the flesh.
I can see my life stripped bare.
I’ve had other moments of perfect clarity in my life. I believe there have been two or three. Times when I can feel the movement of the earth beneath my feet. I can sense the molecules that make up my existence. I can feel myself as a part of the greater reality that we all pretend to exist in but yet I feel separate. I am the grain of sand on the beach, knowing that I appear to be like every other grain of sand yet I hold the microcosm of the universe within my being.
And all this without the use of pharmaceutical enhancements.
I think it came about as I woke up feeling utterly overwhelmed by the fact that spring break is over now and another class has been added to my schedule and oh my god how am I going to cope and…and…and…and.
And then I walked outside and took a deep breath. For the first time in years, the air was clean.
I’ve been operating with the coping mechanism of “put your head down and trudge. Tie that weight to your back and even though it makes your knees buckle, keep going forward.”
But this morning, I believe I separated all the parts of my so-called reality. I laid them down to examine them and although they are large, I am larger. And when I picked them up again, they were as light as air.
I’ve been meaning to take a trip down to the cities to the Clouds in the Water Zen Center for years. I’ve always been to busy. I’ve always made a thousand excuses not to take a good long drive on an early Sunday morning.
Perhaps it is time.
Not trusting the squiffy supporting structures in this house, I thought it would behoove me to purchase a stand to go with my new punching bag instead of hanging it from a beam in the basement.
Of course, I always carry a measuring tape in my purse.
Did I use it?
Nooooooo. That would involve intelligence. I instead “eyeballed it”. I stood in my basement and reached up and touched the ceiling. I then reached up and touched the top of the stand while at the store and went “hmmm. It’ll be close but I think it will be ok.”
And then we got it all in the basement and started putting it together.
All I can say is two inches can be a bitch.
Two frickin’ inches.
So, my first real workout will be emptying out the garage of all the crap that I will be sending to the dump anyway. I’ll be swinging a sledge hammer and breaking up the last of his crap. Then, and only then, will I bring the stand into the garage and begin to set up our family gym.
I believe I will call it “Silvers”.
Complete with my new best friend “Punchy”.