Magical Hell Hounds??

I have over two hundred pounds of German shepherd lying under my feet right now. And, as far as I can tell, their core function in life is to cover the house in dog hair, emit odours and annoy the crap out of me. But for all their lack of usefulness, they do have one unnatural, some might say, magical abilities.

Me: Trying to make the bed.

Dog One and Two: Rush into the bedroom and throw themselves onto the floor and not move, even if it means getting stepped on as I walk around the bed. Then groan and make irritated sounds.

Me: Pouring myself a cup of coffee.

Dog One: Roll onto her back and wave all four legs in the air.

Dog Two: Snore, spread out until she looks like a puddle of goo in the middle of the floor. Have dream where she’s woofing and her feet twitch.

Me: Go to the bathroom to do my business.

Dog One and Two: Wander in and sit in front me, push each other as they try to position their heads on my lap for optimal petting position. Look at me with hopeful adoring eyes.

Me: Yell at dogs (and cat) to get the hell out of the bathroom and leave me alone and why can’t I have just one minute of peace without having to smell their foul stench for fuck sakes!!!

Me: Applying makeup and taping false eyelashes on.

Dog One and Two: Move to their beds and take up positions for a long sleep. Snore, fart, groan, fart some more. Dream whimper and twitch.

Me: Lying on the couch and reading, then thinking to myself, after I’m done this chapter I’d better get ready to go outside and get a few kilometers in.

Dog One and Two: Jump up from their positions beside the couch, prance around the house in muted excitement and start whinging. Pant, lick my arms, legs and take turns sticking a wet nose into my ear until I yell at them to get the hell away from me.

My question, how do they know? It isn’t even as if I say it out loud. And it isn’t a specific time of the day. I can just be sitting/lying/standing doing something completely unrelated and think of going for a walk, and they just know. It’s like telepathy or magic or something supernatural. It’s eerie and uncanny.

 

(Hubby says the only thing eerie and uncanny about this blog entry is where I wrote that I tape false eyelashes on and apply makeup.

Me: What do you mean? I totally could be a person who wears makeup and false eyelashes.

Hubby: When you say shit like, “tape eyelashes on,” no one is going to believe that you wear them.

Me: Well if you’re so smart, how the hell do people attach those things then? It’s not like you staple them, or crazy glue them, or stitch them onto your face. I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to tape them.

Hubby: That doesn’t sound right. I don’t think they make duct tape small enough for that kind of stuff?

Me: You don’t use fucking duct tape!

Hubby: Oh yeah, how do you know? I bet it is duct tape. You can use that shit for ANYTHING! Didn’t I just fix the bird feeder with it?

Notice how neither of us has a clue, but we’re too lazy to actually Google the answer and the argument has completely gone off the rails. The next step will be how he’ll want to show me that you can build a house using only duct tape or sail around the world in a boat where the sails are made with it, and my brain will tune out his words and all I’ll hear is Charlie Brown’s teacher saying, “Waaah, waaah, waaah, waaah—waaah.” So, what was the point of this blog again?)

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Journal Entry, Your Brain on Twinkies

So yesterday, when I should have been doing my homework, I read an article by Mr. Neurologist (I didn’t get his name). He suggested that these days when most people wake up they immediately reach for their phones to check in with the world. OMG, I just have to know what happened when Zac Youtuber got the wrong sized socks from Amazon. Or, did Mindy Instagramer and Meemee Snapchat have a full out burn-fest when they accidently both wore the same shade of lipstick to review Irish dancing. (I’m just guessing here, I have no idea what these people do.)

Anyway, Mr. Neurologist says that starting your day in a scrolling frenzy is like giving your brain a shot of Twinkies in the morning. It’s the reason we all end up shuffling through our days like fucked up bleary-eyed zombies.

Apparently, all that clicking and liking and scrolling and snapping gives your brain a shot of dopamine, which it really likes and sucks that stuff up like, well—dopamine. Of course it means your gooey grey mass will want more and more and more until you are sitting on a corner with your phone in a brown paper bag begging for money so you can get your next fix of data. Eventually your grandparents will have to schedule an intervention, because let’s face it, they are the only ones who probably aren’t scrolling and liking and clicking. “I can stop anytime I want,” you will scream. “I just have to see the meme of the cat snuggling up with a baby mongoose!”

Mr. Neurologist reported that following just a few easy steps, he himself gave his brain a healthy regime and consequently has been able to write a thousand, billion, trillion books, author scallions of papers, paint a modern day Mona Lisa, while singlehandedly reinventing time. I wrote down the steps so I wouldn’t forget.

#1. Twenty minutes of meditation.

#2. One hour of reading.

#3. Thirty minutes of journaling.

#4. Write with the internet off.

The fact is, that lately, I have been overindulging in the world of clickbait a little too much, and I do feel that my brain has lost some of its glowing effervescent qualities. So I decided to follow his advice and give my noggin a kale and porridge start, instead of its usual Ding Dings and Yoohoos. (Saying that, I’ve always wondered what a yoohoo is? But not enough to google it.)

So this morning instead of reaching for my device, I let the dogs out, went downstairs and started a fire, shrugged into my winter parka and a pair of wellies, slogged out to open up the chicken coop, came back in and put in a load of laundry, let the dogs in, fed them, washed the dishes that I was too lazy to clean up last night, organized the overflowing recycle bin, then made a cup of coffee. Oh wait, I do that every morning. Well maybe not the dishes thing because normally I can’t handle going to bed knowing that there are dirty dishes in the sink.

Then instead of reaching for my Word with Friends, I started step one. Twenty minutes of meditation. LOL…let’s not get crazy. I’ve meditated before, twenty minutes would be beyond my capacity right now. I started with five, and that was almost enough to kill me. The method I use is where I try to pay attention to my breaths. I’m usually good for one breath before I start thinking about gorillas, then basketball, then big feet, then black-and-white Martian boots, then The Walkin’ Dude, then flags, then GAWD! Think about my breath!! My brain is click-baiting me, bastard.

I also switched the whole reading and journaling thing around as well because, let’s face it, once I start reading, that’s it for the space-time continuum. I have my doubts about whether it’s even possible to only read for an hour? I suspect a timer is involved. But first I have to fill the bird feeder, put in another load of laundry, make the bed now that the hubby is out and about, sweep the floors, let the dogs out, let the dogs in, let the dogs out, let the dogs in…ad nauseam.  And oh shit I almost forgot! Do my fucking homework.

Wow, he’s right. I already feel more productive.

Journal Entry, The Year of our Lord Cthulhu, Jan 30, 0091

It was around 0.25 kilometres in the morning. I’d just brewed myself my first cup of coffee, then I let the dog out, let the dog in, let the dog out, let the dog in, yelled at the dog and made her go to her auxiliary back-up bed. Kicked the cat out of my spot. Picked up my tablet and checked my Words with Friends. The usual six people I play against had all taken a move, so I sat down for my turn. Within a couple of minutes a new game request from a random person popped up. I accepted, added GAVE to his VEG. Random Dude (R.D.) immediately jumped into conversation mode.

 

R.D. – Good morning. How are things today?

Me – Good morning.

R.D. – So have you been playing this game for a long time?

Me – About three years, maybe. Not sure exactly.

R.D. – So which one are you in the picture?

Me – ????

R.D. – LOL, your profile picture. There are two gorgeous women in the shot.

Me – How long have you been playing?

R.D. – Not long. So, where do you live, gorgeous?

Me –

R.D. – Are you married? I’m a single guy. Got a great job. I like kids. Do you have kids? I’m from beautiful San Diego, where are you from? You two look like sisters in that picture, are you sisters? Which one are you?

Me –

R.D. – Hey, are you the shy type? How old are you? Are you married? So, really, which one are you in the picture?

 

And we are done. Block player. Moving on.

Seriously? Does this work on ANYONE? Do men really believe that there are a raft of poor lonely women playing on their tablets at -2 in the morning, hoping against hope that some desperate perv will ask them to engage with them just so they can somehow obtain a dick pic?

I’m working on a dystopian novel right now. It’s in the early stages, but this morning I think I’m going to have my M.C. kill a perv, his name is going to be, R.D.

Journal Entry, Stardate…

I really want to start this with, it’s, Stardate 23-04.82 and a quarter, but that would be too geeky of me, plus I don’t know what the stardate is because as far as I know it’s a completely random made up thing. So, I’m stuck with writing what I know.

It’s four thirty on a Wednesday morning.

Who am I kidding? I don’t know the time, let alone the day. As far as I know it’s six in the evening on Saturday, January 14th, 1938. Sure, I wear a watch these days. But I only care about how many kilometres I put on in a day. The time and date are totally irrelevant. So to be fair, it’s 0.30 kilometres on a cold winter morning.

I just opened the coop to let the birds out. Some of them bolted through the door like the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal was on their tails. He could have been, I really have no idea where bugblatter beasts sleep.

The dog had to come out with me. She does her business in the great out of doors. Mostly her business consists of eating chicken shit and begging the neighbour for treats. She got as far as the back step. Apparently as delicious as chicken shit is, it isn’t very enticing at minus eleven in the morning. So, she dutifully guarded the house while I preformed my morning avian chores (not a single task involved me sampling their droppings), then she followed me back inside. I am happy to report that her mission was successfully accomplished, as upon re-entry, the house was devoid of all burglars and delivery men.

I’m pretty sure that there was a point to this journal entry, but between the sleeping habits of the bugblatter beast of Traal and the fear of delivery men breaking into my house and leaving random packages under my bed, it’s completely slipped my mind. So, I will now make a cup of coffee and finish off the rest of the Trader Joe’s chocolate hazelnut biscotti that my bestie sent me.

It is now, 0.37 kilometres in the morning. (I had to stop for a few minutes and fill up the bird feeder on the deck.)

 

Leaving the Ranch

(I’m just going to clean away the dead bugs and the old spider webs and pretend that I haven’t been neglecting this blog for the past half-century and add a post as if I do it every day. )

I had my IRL writers meeting yesterday, which meant I was forced to leave the ranch. Anyone who knows me knows that I hate doing that at the best of times. But typically I will overcome my aversion and happily pack my stuff and go chat with my writing peeps.

Normally I combine this trip with going to town afterward to pick up groceries and other necessities. I seem to be stuck in this heaven and hell combination. I figure that I’ve already done the worst and left the ranch, so I may as well go and do the other things that I super-duper hate, like shopping and being around people. I may not be J.D. Salinger, but it seems that I do fit into the stereotypical introverted writer category.

Anyway, there I was, wandering around between rainstorms, picking up incomprehensible parts for the hubby, when I decided to put on my writer’s hat and listen. The following are snippets of conversations I heard.

 

  1. You would literally throw up if you saw her legs.
  2. I wasn’t there but I saw him grab the collar…
  3. Did you want the big size or the large one?
  4. I can’t, I have four meetings I have to attend at the same time.
  5. Can you come over later and look at his pus?
  6. Do you carry booze?
  7. He’s too pretty to marry.

 

I think I’ve just come across a great way to make my journeys from the ranch much more enjoyable. (Also, by the look on her face, she wasn’t about to get anywhere near the pus.)

Oatmeal Smoothie

Last year, sometime before the spring equinox, I bought a bag of oatmeal from Costco. Our household prefers steel-cut long cooking oats, so when I saw steel-cut on the label, I dropped it into the cart. Well, this stuff turned out to be some kind of super special organic, gluten free, vegan oatmeal. Apparently, that means it was hand picked by Birkenstock wearing, water goddess praising, yurt-living hippie nuns who lovingly harvest this stuff during a full moon. It also means that no matter how long you cook it, it comes out tasting less like porridge and more like little pellets of under-cooked wood shavings.

This morning I decided to try it in my probiotic/spinach/kale smoothie. (Don’t make that face, it’s good stuff.) Knowing the consistency issues, I cooked it first, then lovingly cooled it in my post-spring equinox snowbank. Then I let it blend for a good long time. Long enough that I started to smell burning wood. (Not from the oatmeal, but from the piece of oak that the hubby used to fix my blender with.)

We drank and chewed, drank and chewed. It was still pellets, even after being steel cut for the second time. It was still tasteless and I still have ten pounds left in the five-pound bag.

Me: So, what do you think?

Hubby: Chewy.

Me: Yup.

Watching a Movie with a Seven Year Old

The following is a (mostly) true and accurate transcript of watching Iron Man with a seven year old (Everitt) and a grown-assed man (Hubby).

Ev: What’s he doing?

Me: He’s getting into his private jet.

Ev: Is he rich?

Me: Very.

Hubby: Shhhh, watch the movie.

Ev: Who’s she? Why is she dancing?

Me: She’s a stewardess.

Ev: What’s a stewardess?

Me: She’s a person who brings you food and drinks on an airplane.

Ev: Why’s she dancing?

Hubby: Shhhhhh!

Me: Because she’s drunk.

Ev: Oh, like drugs.

Me: No like booze.

Ev: Who’s that? What’s he doing?

Me: He’s a….

Ev: Look, POW! Bam! Crash! How come that blew up? Why are they shooting? Did he die? No, no—look his eyes are open. Why is that guy there?

Me: Because Tony St…

Hubby: Shhhh…

Ev: Who’s that? Who’s that? Is he a bad guy? Look it crashed. What’s he doing? Look, look…KA-boom! Haha. Good idea Stark. Hey what’s he doing? Is that fire?

Hubby: Be quiet. Watch the movie.

Ev: Look, look at that? How can he fly? How? It’s heavy and it should deaded him. Look at him? Hey it’s the bad guy? Is he dead? He crashed? Is it hot there, or cold? Wow! Is it the other guy…hunh…hunh? Is it? That guy, is he the good guy? Is he trying to save him—or maybe no? Where’s he now? Oh my GAWD! I never seen that before. Why? Did he start it? Why is she crying? Are they going to kill her?

Hubby: For crying out loud…BE QUIET!

Me: Well…

Ev: Why are they clapping? Hey, who’s that? I think that’s his dad. Is that his dad? Is he a good guy? I think he’s a good guy. Is she a good guy? Is Iron Man…I mean Tony Stark sick? Oh, oh, oh….he’s falling out of the sky. Why is he falling out of the sky.

Hubby: Arrggghhhhhhh…Everitt!!! Watch the movie.

Ev: Hey, where are you going?

Me: I’m just going to pop into the other room and slit my wrists.

Hubby: You want me to pause it?

Me: No—I’m good.

Ev: Look, look, he’s going to kill him. That guy is bad. I don’t think it’s his dad. He is a bad guy. Wow, wow, wow. That’s dangerous, right? Is that army guy his brother or his friend? How come he’s going to a party? Is that his girlfriend? Hahahaha, she’s mad. Is she mad. Look, it all fell apart. How come it fell apart………………….

Dance or Paddle

I was hoping for Men or Women. Girls or Boys. Even Bucks or Does, but all I saw was Dance and Paddle. The signs left me scratching my head, Dance or Paddle? There was no time to waste, I was already doing a pee dance, so I opted for paddle.

When I burst through the door, there in the middle of the floor, sat four ducks bobbing about in a child’s small blue wading pool. “Quack, quack, quack,” they said.

“Wack, wack! Quack, wack!”

I shook my head but charged toward the first stall. Three baby ducks paddled about in the toilet bowl. “What the hell?” I slammed open the door and ducked into stall number two. (See what I did there?) Thankfully it was empty, and in about ten seconds, so was my bladder.

When I flushed, four baby ducks popped to the surface. Where did they come from? “What the…?”

“Quack, wack,” they said.

Well, there was nothing to do but scoop them up and transfer them into the wading pool. I did the same for the three in the other toilet. “Home sweet home,” I said.

“Quack?”

Soon the occupants of the pool were having a conversation about the new arrangement. “Quack, quack, quack. Wack, quack, quack. Hornk, quack, quack.” I imagined they were discussing the quality of the water and what an inconvenience it was to have seven new additions, albeit, seven very small additions.

I filled my palm with the neon industrial strength soap provided; it smelled of ChemX, I ran enough water to get myself a good lather going. Then I began to sing Happy Birthday as I washed.

A mallard fluttered onto the counter. His ebony eyes glinted in the fluorescent lighting, then he turned his gleaming green head sideways, once, twice. “Quack?”

“Wack, wack,” I replied. “It’s not really my birthday, but when I was a child my mother taught me that my hands weren’t really clean until I washed them for as long as the song lasted. Then I searched my brain for any duck trivia I might know. “I heard ducks have corkscrew-shaped penises,” I said.

“Quack,” he agreed.

As I finished up and dried my hands, the door burst open and a wild-eyed woman hurtled inside, she took two steps, then her foot froze in mid-step. Her mouth dropped open and she blinked.

“Quack, quack?”

I saw a shudder run through her body, nature called, so she turned and ran for a stall. Her pants flapped around her knees before she’d even had time to close the door. I heard a tinkle and a sigh of relief.

“Make sure you transfer the babies to the wading pool after you flush,” I called.

“Quack?” the mallard said. Obviously, a few more babies would not be welcome. I shrugged.

As I left the restroom, a woman stood scratching her head and reading the signs on the doors.

“There’s a free stall in this one,” I said, then moved past her and down the hall. I patted the tiny lump in my pocket. Oh boy, I thought. I’m already regretting this. What am I going to do once I get back to work? There’s no pool. Ah, but the janitor has an extra bucket.

“Quack,” said my pocket.

“You’re right, there’s an extra toilet bowl as well.”

Feeling a little stabby…

Holy pootknackers! Trying to explain to the hubby that midnight on Monday is actually Sunday night is making me twist.

Me: You have to go pick him up on Sunday night.

Hubby: No, he says he’s arriving at midnight on Monday.

Me: Yes, I know. But it’s a two hour drive. You leave here Sunday night…

Hubby: NO! You aren’t listening, he says he is coming home at midnight, on Monday.

Me: I’ll print off the itinerary. Don’t wait until Monday to go pick him up…

Hubby: But he said Monday…

Me: One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten…eleven

Hubby: You said Sunday, but he says Monday.

Me:

Hubby: Well, which is it?

Me:

Hubby: Well?

Me: I printed off the itinerary, figure it out for yourself.

Hubby: Okay…hey this isn’t any good, all it talks about are baggage claims.

Me: Read the next page.

Hubby: This isn’t any good, there are no times listed…hey what are you doing…don’t take it…you always do that.

Me: (Circling the information and thrusting it back into his hands.) Be very, very careful what you say to me in the next few seconds.

Hubby: Look, it says right here that he’s leaving Sunday night…you told me Monday at midnight…

There isn’t a court in the entire world that would convict me.

Men, are they for realz?

As I may have mentioned, it is winter here on the ranch. On the east coast, that could mean almost anything from minus fifty degrees Celsius, with seventy-three feet of snow, to plus thirty with a drizzle of rain. Currently, it is +2 Kelvin, with icy pellets the size of small squirrels. (Oh hang on, those may not actually be ice pellets, I think they are squirrels…or maybe rats.)

Basically it is shitty out there. The biggest reason that humans invented central heating and the great indoors. Had we not, we would now look like human sized frozen turds covered in a thick layer of ice. Our bodies would be found anywhere we fell, because it is too fucking slippery to even stand up.

Hubby: Well, I think I’m going to grab my chainsaw and go cut down trees.

Me: You’re kidding?

Hubby: No. Why would you think I was kidding?

Me: Have you seen it out there?

Hubby: I let the chickens out this morning.

Me: And how long did it take you to get back into the house? The dog had to drag you most of the way back.

Hubby: So, what’s your point?

Me: Chainsaw. Ice. Injury. Death. Ice pellets. Plus we have enough wood for two years.

Hubby:

Me: Danger, danger Pat Robinson!

Hubby: You’re always so overdramatic.

Me:

Hubby: (Puts on his Paul Bunyan clothes and heads out the door.) See you later.

Me: I’m not coming to get you.

Five minutes go by and hubby is back.

Me: What did you forget?

Hubby: I changed my mind. It’s fucking crazy out there.

 

I must be married to Sherlock Holmes.