Friday, March 31, 2006

A lake, a rock wall, and RR on a bike...

If you haven't already, please take a second to check out THIS POST by RR.

I would have posted about it first, but she beat me to it. Since she is the one who actually ran in TO the rock wall, I'm guessing it is only fair...

Thursday, March 30, 2006

High Water in Big D...

It rained the weekend before last. A lot.

So much rain fell that much of North Texas experienced flooding - especially on Sunday afternoon (the 19th of March) around 2 or 3 PM. We aren't talking a little bit of water here, folks. No, no. It was a genuine FLASH FLOOD.

Anyway, two Sundays ago, I had lunch with my sister in Snider Plaza. We were enjoying crab cakes and shrimp quesadillas at Picardy's Shrimp Shop (a personal favorite restaurant of mine) when I noticed that a small river was rapidly coming in the front door. This caused quite a stir, as you can imagine. Needless to say, it wasn't long until the restaurant employees were busy building a makeshift dam in a vain attempt to keep any more water from coming inside.

My sister was especially upset about the new “River de Picardy’s” - not because she was worried about the restaurant (like I was - I love me some crab cakes) - but because my car was parked on the other side of the water and she was wearing cute, new shoes. She tried to get me to drive my car around to the restaurant’s side door to pick her up (and spare her shoes), but I refused. After all, whose idea was it to wear them in the rain in the first place?! Plus, it was really a moot point, anyway. The rain was coming down so fast that she and her cute, new shoes were getting wet, like it or not.

So, we made a run (mad dash?) for my car. We were out in the rain for less than twenty-three seconds, but were both completely soaked by the time we climbed inside and shut the doors. I remember thinking, “It’s not raining. We’re under a waterfall.” Even driving was becoming increasingly difficult. My wipers were on max speed and I still couldn’t see anything if I drove faster than 7 miles an hour. Craziness.

I dropped my sister off at her apartment, and proceed to drive back towards the freeway. However, I didn't make it very far. The intersection of Mockingbird and Hillcrest was under water. I might have been inclined to drive through it if I hadn't seen a Chevy Suburban floating in the middle of the intersection. I drive a small SUV, but if the water was too deep for a Suburban my Envoy didn't stand a chance.

The church parking lot at SMU was submerged, and the water was spilling over, like a fountain, onto Hillcrest. The force of the current was so great that some of the smaller cars were beginning to drift with the current. It was surreal.

So, I turned around and managed to wind my way to my mother's house in Highland Park (just south of Mockingbird). She was in her backyard with a broom frantically trying to sweep the leaves and dirt away from the drains - a battle that she was quickly losing. Actually, to be perfectly honest, she had already lost, but was not yet willing to admit defeat. I guess it is a little hard to accept it when your pool and backyard are one in the same. Even if the drain wasn’t clogged by debris, it would not have made much of a difference. There was simply no way to keep up with the amount of water falling from the sky.

That was when my aunt called and told me that Douglas Avenue was under water. My dad lives off of Douglas, and had just left for Galveston earlier that morning. Not that I could do anything if his house was flooding, but I wanted to get over there just the same to check things out. My mom offered to drive me in her jeep, as long as I agreed to take pictures along the way.

Neither one of us had a camera (at least not with), but my mother managed to find an old, unused, disposable camera in one of the drawers in her kitchen. Granted, it wasn’t ideal, but it was better than nothing. So, box camera in hand, we set out for my dad's.

My parents live less than half a mile apart, but it took us a good twenty minutes to get anywhere near my father’s house. This was partly because the water was so high and partly because we kept pausing to document the high water. It was unbelievable how DEEP it was - we had to document it so we could prove it to ourselves (and others) later on. I don't think I would have believed it if I hadn't seen it for myself.

One of the most amazing sites that we encountered along the way was the Turtle Creek dam at Beverly Drive and the Dallas Country Club(DCC). The dam had been breached, and the water had spilled over on to the golf course. The water was so high, in fact, that it was in danger of spilling over Beverly (instead of going under it, like it is supposed to).

Because I am an idiot (and because my mother told me to do it), I got out of the car and waded through "River Beverly Drive" to take several pictures of the raging flood waters as they poured over the DCC dam just north of Lakeside and the Cox Mansion. The water was deep and the current was strong, but it never occurred to me that I might be in any real danger. Little did I know a woman was drowning in the same flood waters less than a quarter of a mile downstream.

My mother and I got within mere blocks of my dad’s house when it became clear that her jeep could go no further. The water was just too deep, and the streets were impassable. That was when I made the decision that I would walk the rest of the way (we’d made it that far, so it didn’t make sense to give up just shy of the final destination). So, I got out of the car and into water that was just above my knees. My mom told me that she’d try to find another way to my father’s so she could pick me up.

Getting from the street to the sidewalk (which was also submerged) was a little bit tricky. The water was deep and the current was surprisingly strong. This was partly because the street I was on has a definite slant to it and partly because the storm drains had created a series of whirlpools. For the first time that afternoon, it occurred to me that what I was doing might be considered dangerous (and/or stupid). But it was too late to turn around, and my only choice was to continue to my dad’s house like I had set out to do.

Luckily, I made it there without incident, which is where this story ends. My dad’s house did experience some flood damage, but it was all relatively minor (although, that said, I did get to drill holes in his ceiling to keep the plaster from caving in. That was pretty exciting. After all, it isn't every day that you get to drill holes in your father's house and not get into trouble).

North Texas desperately needed the rain – just not so much so fast. The area where I live got well over nine inches of rain on that Sunday alone. It was incredible.

Anyway, I’d like to share my pictures with you. Most of them didn’t come out, but the ones that did are pretty dramatic...

These two pictures were taken on Mockingbird Lane (just west of Hillcrest Avenue) in Highland Park:

These are of the dam at the Dallas Country Club (just east of Preston Road) on Beverly Drive in Highland Park. The golf course is completely submerged:

Please note, in the picture below, that the water is starting to spill over Beverly Drive:

The following picture was taken just blocks from my father's house. I was on foot at this point, and the water was thigh high in some places. The car in the picture was literately floating down the Douglas:

~ The End ~

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

A Poem...

One of my coworkers spoke to a group of eight cub scouts last week.

When he returned, I asked him how it went. He told me that he'd email me about it later.

This is what I received:

"All went well until one of them had to let a fart
And then it was tough to do my part
I tried not to smile in the throws of passion
And their leader tried to let him know that was not in fashion

All in all they sat and listened
They stayed at attention and in their position
They are so full of life
Awaiting their turn in the world of strife

They smile and they are polite
But a fart is in their relationship sight
History is stuff that is old
But the ability to fart on demand, well that is quite bold

And to laugh about something so crude
That makes their day and makes adults the prude
I wonder when they will convert to social graces
And try to win the polite races

It is when a girl will look at them
Smile and make their hair trim
Then a fart will never be
A part of what their public will see"

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

This bothers me...

...mainly because I have an allergy to apples.

You Are Apple Green

You are almost super-humanly upbeat. You have a very positive energy that surrounds you.
And while you are happy go lucky, you're also charmingly assertive.
You get what you want, even if you have to persuade those against you to see things your way.
Reflective and thoughtful, you know yourself well - and you know that you want out of life.

...mainly because it is true. In first grade I was supposed to dress up as the scariest thing I could think of for Halloween. I went as a clown.

You Are Not Scary

Everyone loves you. Isn't that sweet?

...mainly because I am terrified of thunderstorms. Gypsy, Dolly and I ALL agree on this issue. And since when am I violent? Why couldn't I be a nice, puffy, white cloud? Boo!

You Are Lightning

Beautiful yet dangerous
People will stop and watch you when you appear
Even though you're capable of random violence

You are best known for: your power

Your dominant state: performing

...mainly because it makes no sense. How did they get that from my name and gender? Plus, if I can fly, why do I need a pony?

Your Superhero Profile

Your Superhero Name is The Rainbow Warlock
Your Superpower is Vampirism
Your Weakness is Snakes
Your Weapon is Your Web Launcher
Your Mode of Transportation is Pony

(stupid quizzes)

Monday, March 27, 2006

Grammy Pammy (another year older and still no grandkids)...

Yesterday, we celebrated my mother's birthday by attending Cavalia. It was fantastic! Anyone thinking about seeing it should definitely make the effort. I loved it!

We all got our matching Cavalia t-shirts, and wore them during the show. This is becoming a tradition. Last year, we took my mother to Medieval Times and we purchased matching sweatshirts to mark the special occasion (YES, I own a Medieval Times Sweatshirt & YES, I wear it all of the time. Stop judging me!).

Anyway, yesterday was a blast, but today is my mother's actual birthday. So, without further ado, please imagine me singing the following (*NOTE for those curious about my singing ability - I'm completely tone deaf, and was a member of a singing group in high school called GROSS NOTES) :

Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday dear
Grammy Pammy!
Happy Birthday to you!

~ XOXO ~

UPDATE: Thanks to Katie's post last week, we now know that -

March 27 is . . . National "Joe" Day:

"Do you hate your name? Everyone who hates their name has a right on this day to have everyone they know call them Joe."

Friday, March 24, 2006

The BIRDS and the BEES...

Happy Birthday to you!

Happy Birthday to you!

Happy Birthday dear RR and JLR!

Happy Birthday to you!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Washington Post...

At one point in the not-so-distant past, I lived in Washington, DC. While I was there I got into the habit of reading The Washington Post either online or whenever I stumbled across a copy of the physical paper at one of the 1.7 billion Starbucks in the DC-Metro area (seriously, why do you need a Starbucks across the street from another Starbucks? Can anyone explain that to me?).

Anyway, the other day, while talking to a friend on the phone, I referenced an OP/ED piece that I had read in The Washington Post back when I lived in DC. I really liked this particular editorial - mainly for its witty use of language. Since I think about it so often, I decided that I'd try to find a copy of it in the paper's online archives.

The topic of the OP/ED piece - even the article itself - it's not important to this post. The search for it, however, is somewhat significant. Why, you ask? Well, during my online hunt for a copy of the ancient editorial, I stumbled upon the following:

Report from week 278:

  • Fifth Runner-Up: Foreploy: any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of obtaining sex. (Greg Oetjen, Lorton)

  • Fourth Runner-Up: Fortissimoe: the musical moment produced when someone serially slaps the faces of the first-violin section. (Jean Sorensen, Herndon)

  • Third Runner-Up: Tatyr: a lecherous Mr. Potato Head. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

  • Second Runner-Up: Doltergeist: a spirit that decides to haunt someplace stupid, such as your septic tank. (David Genser, Arlington)

  • First Runner-Up: Giraffiti: vandalism spray-painted very, very high, such as the famous "Surrender Dorothy" on the Beltway overpass. (Robin D. Grove, Arlington)

And the winner of the two-foot-high baby bottle:
  • Sarchasm: the gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the recipient who doesn't get it. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

Honorable Mentions:

  • Necronancy: communication with the late Ernie Bushmiller. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

  • Contratemps: the resentment permanent workers feel toward the fill-in workers. (Kevin Mellema, Falls Church)

  • Coiterie: a very, very close-knit group.(Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

  • Whitetater: a political hot potato.(Art Grinath, Takoma Park)

  • Impotience: eager anticipation by men awaiting their Viagra prescription. (Meg Sullivan, Potomac)

  • Elepants: too-tight jeans on broad-beamed people. (Steve Fahey, Kensington)

  • Lollapalooka: someone who has taken one too many turns in the mosh pit. (Philip Delduke, Bethesda)

  • Auto-da-feh: the extermination of heretics via drowning in a vat of pus. (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

  • Stupfather: Woody Allen. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

  • Reintarnation: coming back to life as a hillbilly. (Barry Blyveis, Columbia)

  • DIOS: the one true operating system.(Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

  • Inoculatte: to take coffee intravenously when you are running late. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

  • Thripp: a bug. (Bee Perrin, Washington)

  • Hipatitis: terminal coolness. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

  • Writer's tramp: a woman who practices poetic licentiousness. (Meg Sullivan, Potomac)

  • Goodzilla: a giant lizard that puts out forest fires by stamping on them. (Sandra Hull, Arlington)

  • Taterfamilias: the head of the Potato Head family. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

  • Guillozine: a magazine for executioners.(Barry Blyveis, Columbia)

  • Osteopornosis: a degenerate disease.(Sandra Hull, Arlington)

  • Adulatery: cheating on one's wife with a much younger woman who holds you in awe.(Joseph Romm, Washington)

  • Suckotash: a dish consisting of corn, lima beans and tofu. (Russ Beland, Springfield)

  • Emasculathe: a tool for castration.(Steve Fahey, Kensington)

  • Sata: a mythical being who brings toys to bad children. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

  • Burglesque: a poorly planned break-in.(See: Watergate) (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

  • Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like a serious bummer. (Meg Sullivan, Potomac)

  • Genitaliar: an image-enhancing object that can be carried in a man's front pocket.(Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

  • Glibido: all talk and no action. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

  • Antifun gal: a prude. (Elden Carnahan, Laurel)

  • Vaseball: a game of catch played by children in the living room. (Russ Beland, Springfield)

  • Eunouch: the pain of castration.(Jonathan Paul, Garrett park)

  • Hindkerchief: really expensive toilet paper; toilet paper at Buckingham Palace.(Dave Zarrow, Herndon)

  • Deifenestration: to throw all talk of God out the window. (Paul Kondis, Alexandria)

  • Hozone: the area around 14th Street.(Stephen Dudzik, Silver Spring)

  • Acme: a generic skin disease. (Sandra Hull, Arlington)

  • Dopeler effect: the tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly. (Greg Oetjen, Lorton)

  • Hindprint: indentation made by a couch potato. (Dave Zarrow, Herndon)

  • Intaxication: euphoria at getting a refund from the IRS, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with. (Greg Oetjen, Lorton)

  • Newtspaper: the Washington Times. (Fil Feit, Annandale)

  • Nazigator: an overbearing member of your carpool. (Elizabeth Monte, Fairfax)

  • Synapple: a perfect beverage to accompany brain food. (Sandra Hull, Arlington)

  • Socceur: the proper spelling of the sport for the next four years, alas. (Kevin Eade, Columbia)

  • And Lust: an unseemly craving for this position in the column. (Dave Zarrow, Herndon)

Next Week: Treacle-Down Theory

© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

Several months ago (September? October?), I received a forward from a friend or relative that implied that most of the words listed above were actually the end result of a contest that The Washington Post holds annually. I had never heard of such a contest, so I disregarded the forward as "funny, but false".

Then, I stumbled upon the "Report from week 278" while looking for the OP/ED piece, and it dawned on me that there was some truth behind that stupid forward I had received six or seven months ago. The words had actually come from The Washington Post! True, they were not coined for the sake of some yearly challenge issued by the paper, but the source was still the same (even if words, themselves, are eight years old!).

Anyway, I just found it fascinating that I accidentally discovered the truth behind an email forward. That has definitely never happened to me before. It was even more interesting that I stumbled upon the truth without even looking for it.

This leads me to my next question:

Why doesn't that EVER happen when you want it to?

Case in point: I've yet to find the stupid OP/ED piece that I set out for.



Tuesday, March 21, 2006

A good day for forwards...

Today was a good day for forwards, and I thought that I would take this opportunity to share my personal favorites with you:


    • That's right, folks. I am the vegetarian daughter of a central Texas cattle rancher. I LOVED IT!


    • According to the forward that I received, these are actual quotes taken from federal government employee performance evaluations. Anyone who has ever lived or worked in DC may have had contact with one or more of the persons described below:

      1. "Since my last report, this employee has reached rock-bottom and has started to dig."

      2. "I would not allow this employee to breed."

      3. "This employee is really not so much of a has-been, but more of a definite won't be."

      4. "Works well when under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap."

      5. "When he opens his mouth, it seems that it is only to change feet."

      6. "This young lady has delusions of adequacy."

      7. "He sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them."

      8. "This employee is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot."

      9. "This employee should go far, and the sooner he starts the better."

      10. "Got a full 6-pack, but lacks the plastic thingy to hold it all together."

      11. "A gross ignoramus - 144 times worse than an ordinary ignoramus."

      12. "He doesn't have ulcers, but he's a carrier."

      14. "I would like to go hunting with him sometime."

      15. "He's been working with glue too much."

      16. "He would argue with a signpost."

      17. "He brings a lot of joy whenever he leaves the room."

      18. "When his IQ reaches 50, he should sell."

      19. "If you see two people talking and one looks bored, he's the other one."

      20. "A photographic memory but with the lens cover glued on."

      21. "A prime candidate for natural de-selection."

      22. "Donated his brain to science before he was done using it."

      23. "Gates are down, the lights are flashing, but the train isn't coming."

      24. "He's got two brains cells, one is lost and the other is out
      Looking for it."

      25. "If he were any more stupid, he'd have to be watered twice a week."

      26. "If you give him a penny for his thoughts, you'd get change."

      27. "If you stand close enough to him, you can hear the ocean."

      28. "It's hard to believe he beat out 1,000,000 other sperm."

      29. "One neuron short of a synapse."

      30. "Some drink from the fountain of knowledge; he only gargled."

      31. "Takes him 2 hours to watch 60-minutes."

      32. "The wheel is turning, but the hamster is dead.

    (So, uh, did anyone else notice that they were missing number 13? Hmmmmm...wonder what that means?)

    I know that they are silly, but they brightened my day (and made me laugh).
    Hopefully, they did the same for all of you!

    Monday, March 20, 2006

    Quote of the day...

    Taken from my tea bag this morning:

    "If you cannot see God in all, you cannot see God at all."

    Hmmmmm...I like that.

    A lot.

    Anyway, that's all. Just thought I'd share.

    Thursday, March 16, 2006

    A story about love...A story about loss...

    You know when you get that feeling...that nagging feeling...that something is wrong? You don't know what it is, but you just cannot shake it. It sticks with you for days, and when people ask you, "What's wrong?" you just smile and say, "Nothing" knowing that something is wrong - you don't know what it is yet.

    Well, I got that feeling on Friday afternoon.

    It came out of nowhere, and I kept telling myself that it was nothing. I was just stressed because I was behind at work, and would have to stay late in an effort to try and catch up.

    But it didn't stop when I left work that night, either. It stayed with me all weekend.

    On Sunday, while we were having lunch, my mother looked at me funny and said, "Are you okay? You just don't seem very happy lately." I said, "Don't worry, it's nothing," and changed the subject. After all, there was no reason to talk about it. I still didn't know what it was.

    Then, Tuesday morning came and I got a phone call at 7:30 AM. I knew the second I heard the phone ring that I was finally about to get the bad news that I had been dreading for days.

    It was Toni. My grandmother's nurse. The woman who had adopted Carla two weeks before.

    "My puppy died," she said.

    I was silent. I didn’t know what to say. I didn't want to believe her. I had saved Carla from death. I had found her a "forever home". It was supposed to be happily ever after. She was supposed to be living the good life now. Carla couldn't be...dead. Not now that her life had just begun.

    Toni told me that Carla had died on Friday afternoon. She had wanted to call and tell me, but she had left my numbers at work.

    Carla had been fine Friday morning. Toni had feed her, and they had gone outside for awhile so Carla could run around and "do her business". Everything seemed to be normal. Everything seemed to be okay. So, without a second thought, Toni said "goodbye" to Carla and went to work.

    When Toni returned home that afternoon, she thought it was strange that Carla wasn't waiting by the door to greet her. While she was putting down her stuff, she saw Carla lying on the kitchen floor. "I thought she was sleeping," she told me. "But when I got closer, I realized that she was dead. I burst into tears and called my son on the telephone. I told him that he needed to come right over. There was something wrong with the puppy."

    Toni sat on the floor with Carla until her son arrived. "It looked like she had a seizure," Toni told me. "I don't know why. My house is baby-proof for the grandkids. There was nothing that she could have gotten into. I don't know what caused it, and now she's gone. My puppy is gone."

    Somehow I managed not to burst into tears. I could tell that Toni, on the other hand, was struggling hard to fight back hers. She didn't want her to cry in front of my grandmother (she was at work, after all). We were both quiet on the phone for what seemed like several minutes while we tried to compose ourselves.

    I had a feeling that I knew what had caused Carla's seizure, but I wasn't sure. So, I started asking Toni about Carla's overall health in the past two weeks. Remember that Carla was sick, and the vet had put her on antibiotics to treat what he had thought was Kennel Cough and a case of the canine flu? Well, Distemper, in its early stages, can look and sound a lot like Kennel Cough. When I first got Gypsy Kitty from the SPCA, she was also diagnosed with Kennel Cough. However, a few days later, Gypsy started having a thick discharge from her nose in addition to her cough (she kind of sounded like a motorboat when she breathed). I took her back to the vet, and that is when he told me the bad news - Gypsy had Distemper.

    But Gypsy was one of the lucky ones. She made a full recovery. Looking at her today, you’d never know how close I came to losing her.

    Distemper is almost always fatal in puppies under six months old (Gypsy was somewhere between six and eight months when I adopted her). Dogs older than six months have a one in four chance of falling victim to the disease as well. Apparently, the older the pet, the better their chances of survival. Distemper gets into their blood stream and attacks the Central Nervous System. When this happens, they develop seizures and die.

    I asked Toni if she'd noticed whether Carla had developed a runny nose in addition to her cough. Toni said she had, but that it appeared to be getting better so she hadn't given it a second thought. “My granddaughter has a cold right now, and has a runny nose. I thought it was just a part of growing up. Carla seemed to feel okay, so I wasn’t worried. I wasn’t worried at all.”

    It didn’t really matter. Even if Toni had recognized the symptoms of Distemper, it probably would have made no difference - at least not in the long run. By the time a pet starts showing the symptoms of the disease, it is too late. The only thing a pet owner can do is wait for signs that the illness had affected the brain. It can start out slowly and may be virtually undetectable: the pet may have problems walking, or might develop a facial tic. Seizures generally follow soon after, and will only continue to worsen until the pet ultimately dies.

    At least, in Carla’s case, she didn’t suffer for long.

    After I hung up, I just stood in my kitchen trying to process everything, wondering if I could have done something to prevent it (coulda', woulda’, shoulda’...). I needed to leave for work, but I was worried that I might start crying (I still hadn't cried yet). I didn't want to face the non-dog-lovers of the world teary-eyed over a dog that I'd only had for a couple of weeks. They'd never understand.

    Poor Carla. I know that it is silly, but I really feel that I failed her somehow. It was no one's fault. Maybe she was supposed to die that day in the shelter? Maybe that was the plan. Then, I showed up and adopted her at the last minute. Maybe the last month Carla was living on "borrowed time". I hope she was happy - even if it was all so brief. She finally had a home, and people to love her. Sometimes it all seems so unfair.

    Carla did so much good while she was here, though. Toni’s granddaughter had always been terrified of dogs. Carla changed all of that. Toni’s granddaughter fell absolutely in love with her, and even referred to Carla as, “her dog”. “I never thought it was possible,” Toni said, “but she loves that dog. She gets right down on the floor and plays with her and lets Carla lick her face. I don’t know how I’m going to tell her that Carla’s not here anymore. She’s was so bonded to that puppy. We were all so bonded to that puppy. It’s going to be very hard. I just cannot believe that she’s gone. I cried all weekend”.

    Toni and her son buried Carla in the back yard, and put a little cross on the site to mark the spot. The little boy that lives next door placed a teddy bear on her grave, so she wouldn’t be lonely.

    So, in honor of little Carla, I would like to dedicate a poem. It always makes me cry…

    The Rainbow Bridge

    Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

    When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

    All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

    They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

    YOU have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

    Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

    - Author unknown

    Carla, you will be missed and never, ever forgotten.

    Good-night, sweet princess, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!

    Tuesday, March 14, 2006

    And to think that I'm not even a big fan of Barbra Streisand...

    Because it makes me happy, here are some of my favorite quotes
    (in no particular order) from the movie:


    Rose Morgan: When my date takes me home and kisses me good night, if I don't hear the philharmonic in my head, I dump him.
    Rose Morgan: Think of this. Sex was always the fatal love potion. Look at the literature of the time. All consummation could lead to was madness, despair or death. Experts, scholars and my Aunt Esther are united in one belief: True love has spiritual dimensions, while romantic love is a lie. A myth. A soulless manipulation. And speaking of manipulation...It's like going to the movies and seeing the lovers kiss...the music swells, and we buy it, right? So when my date kisses me, and I don't hear strings, I dump him. The question is, why do we buy it? Because, myth or manipulation, we all want to fall in love. That experience makes us feel completely alive. Our everyday reality is shattered, and we are flung into the heavens. It may only last a moment, an hour, but that doesn't diminish its value. We're left with memories we treasure for the rest of our lives. I read, ''When we fall in love, we hear Puccini in our heads.'' I love that. His music expresses our need for passion and romantic love.
    Rose Morgan: This thing that we call a wedding ceremony is really the final scene of the fairy tale. They never tell you what happens after. They never tell you that Cinderella drove the Prince crazy with her obsessive need to clean the castle, cause she missed her day job, right?
    Claire: You are the mother of the bride, not the opening act.
    Claire: Now you spend an extra hour in front of the mirror every morning and every night. And now you'll be the one to walk into a room and scan it for who looks better than you and who doesn't. And as the years go by, the numbers change. One day you'll walk into a room and you're the last woman any man notices.
    Rose Morgan: What, what? Yes, I have breasts. They cannot, however, be the subject of one of your papers.
    Claire: If he weren't gorgeous, rich and straight, I wouldn't even have bothered.
    Henry Fine: I don't date these girls because they're well read. I gave one of them a copy of "Farewell to Arms". She thought it was a diet book.
    Gregory Larkin: The mathematical world is completely rational, uncomplicated by sex.
    Rose Morgan: Look at me, I'm a grown woman in a prom dress.
    Claire: Oh, please. You look adorable.
    Rose Morgan: Adorable? I look like an over-the-hill Barbie Doll. It doesn't fit right, it's too tight.
    Claire: Too many Sno Balls.
    Rose Morgan: Why didn't you pick something looser and in my color?
    Claire: Because Maids of Honor don't wear black.
    Rose Morgan: It's not a date. We're just agreeing to eat at the same table.
    Gregory Larkin: I want to be upfront with you. I am not interested in sex.
    Gregory Larkin: You don't use make-up, do you?
    Rose Morgan: What's the point? I'd still look like me, only in color.
    Rose Morgan: Let's face it. They're not standing in line for me.
    Rose Morgan: By the way, would telling you now that I want sex tonight be enough of a warning?
    Gregory Larkin: I don't care if you're pretty, I love you anyway!
    Rose Morgan: Everything will drop as l get older, and I’m gaining weight as we speak.
    Gregory Larkin: That's comforting.
    Rose Morgan: I just can't eat a greasy cheeseburger in the middle of the day anymore. Doesn't it bloat you?
    Doris: Bloat me? No, it doesn't bloat me! Actually I thought it went real well with the spare ribs I had for breakfast.
    Gregory Larkin: But I love the old Rose! The one with no makeup and baggy clothes who loves 'the perfect bite'! She eats carrots now, isn't that tragic?
    Hannah Morgan: Then why are you going to all this trouble unless that something might *happen* with this one?
    Rose Morgan: Mother, would you stop calling him "this one", it sounds like you're picking out a lobster!
    Rose Morgan: Why don't you get the coffee?
    Hannah Morgan: I've buried a husband, I've raised two daughters. I've made my coffee.
    Claire: Your hair looks good, the curls work. Why don't you get a perm?
    Rose Morgan: I tried that once, I looked like Shirley Temple on crack.
    Claire: Now you listen to me!
    Rose Morgan: Take it easy, Claire!
    Claire: Now, I want you to get up there and remember that this is MY day... and if you don't behave yourself, I'm gonna have your birth certificate blown up as a Christmas card!
    Hannah Morgan: I should never have encouraged you to speak.
    Rose Morgan: I don't feel anything, isn't that great! I never thought about how *I* would feel, I only ever thought about you. I only wanted to make you happy, I never thought I was good enough for you.
    Alex: Oh but you are good enough for me, Rose, you are!
    Rose Morgan: I know, I know, but Alex, you're not good enough for me!
    Candy: [to Gregory] Look, you're always such a nice guy. But let's face it, we have nothing in common except sex and the fact that you idolize me.
    Claire: Mother, the only thing you ever taught me about the Sabbath is that Bergdorf's wouldn't be as crowded.
    Rose Morgan: I tell you what I envy about people in love - I'd love it if someone knew me, I mean really knew me. What I like, what I'm afraid of, what kind of toothpaste I use.
    Rose Morgan: I believe in love and lust and sex and romance. I don't want everything to add up to some perfect equation. I want mess and chaos. I want someone to go crazy out of his mind for me. I want to feel passion and heat and sweat and madness. I want valentines and cupids and all of that crap. I WANT IT ALL.
    Gregory Larkin: I want to be married to you!
    Rose Morgan: Gregory, you ARE married to me!
    Rose Morgan: We all want to fall in love. Why? Because it makes us feel completely alive, where every sense is heightened, every emotion is magnified. Our everyday reality is shattered and we are flying into the heavens. It may only last a moment, an hour, an afternoon, but that doesn't diminish its value because we are left with memories that we treasure for the rest of our lives.
    Gregory Larkin: You’re a confident, no-nonsense woman.
    Rose Morgan: I sound like an airline.


    Wednesday, March 08, 2006

    Princess Carla...

    Anyone miss me?!

    I apologize if anyone has.

    The past several weeks have been a little on the crazy side. I've been exceptionally busy at work, and last week RR and I were out of town on business-related speaking engagements.

    And just incase you were wondering, I am NOT a big fan of public speaking. I best fit into the "Rather-Be-Dead-Than-Giving-The-Eulogy" category.

    But I digress...

    Not all of my time in the past several weeks has been spent preparing to feign professional expertise on the subject of multicultural education in the field of history to a room full of academics, though. I also took the time out in the past couple of weeks to, you know, foster a puppy.

    No, this was not a planned event in any way, shape or form. It just...well...happened.


    …Well, a friend of mine (let's call her "Claudia") wanted to get a dog, and asked me to help her find one online. She wanted a shelter dog, which was fine with me (I'm always trying to improve the lives of homeless dogs and puppies). So, I asked her to describe the kind of dog that she was looking for, and entered it into

    We came across a 2 year-old named "Lily" at an Irving shelter. She was perfect for Claudia - almost exactly the kind of dog that she had described to me (a Pomeranian mix). Lily was going to be available for adoption on February 15th. She was scheduled to be "disposed of" on February 16th. Apparently, at this particular shelter in Irving, dogs get 24 hours to find a home and puppies get 48 (this is in addition to the 3 days that they get before being eligible for adoption). Thus, we made immediate plans to make the trip to Irving on Wednesday morning to adopt her save "Lily".

    So, early the next morning Claudia, my mother and I piled into my mother's jeep and headed out to Irving. The shelter opened at 9:30 AM, and we arrived around 10:15.

    The three of us headed immediately into the back to find Lily. We looked in every pen, and saw lots of wagging tails and pleading eyes, but no Lily. Finally, we headed back to the front to inquire about the location of the little Pomeranian mix, and discovered - much to our dismay - that Lily had been adopted promptly at 9:30 that morning. We were too late (but glad that she had found a home).

    Claudia was, of course, disappointed, but we decided to check out the other dogs and puppies looking for homes in the back just incase another appealed to her. While she was looking around, I started playing with this shepherd-mix puppy in the pen closest to me. Very sweet little girl, and I remember thinking to myself that I thought that she would have no trouble finding a home - that is until I read her shelter ID info. The puppy (called “Rosie”) was due to be "disposed of" that day. Not only that, but the man that was scheduled to perform the euthanasia was standing there waiting to see if I was going to adopt her or not (Mr. Euthanasia had just put down her sister earlier that morning, and the puppy I was playing with was next).

    So, what did I do? I started to cry…

    My mom went and got one of the shelter attendants and asked if we could take the puppy outside for a walk. A girl came back and put a green rope around the puppy's neck, and dragged her to the door for us. The puppy was crying and looked absolutely terrified (I'm sure she must have thought that her time was up and we were taking her back for...the end). So, I picked her up (yes, I was still crying) and carried her outside to the grass.

    The puppy didn't want to be put down, though, and so it wasn't long before she was back in my arms. She had her two front paws tightly wrapped around my forearm, and an expression on her face that said, "Please don't make me go back in THERE!"

    It was at that moment that I decided that the time had come for me to foster a puppy.

    So, I took the puppy back inside to start the adoption process. Mr. Euthanasia approached me for a second time and asked if I, "wanted her or not". I said I did, and he had a visible look of relief on his face. In fact, he was so happy that he gave me a free bag of Science Diet Puppy Chow, and told me that the puppy was probably really, really hungry. Since she was scheduled to be euthanized that morning, no one had bothered to even feed her.

    So, just to recap, I did the two things that I promised myself that I wouldn't do that morning - I burst into tears at the shelter (in front of everyone) and paid the puppy's $45 adoption fee*. I've wanted to try my hand at being a "foster parent” for awhile now, and it seemed as good of a time as any that morning (especially with a little life on the line and all). I just couldn't live with myself if I left her there - knowing she was next and I didn't save her. I know you can't save them all, but I was there and I could save her!

    I took the puppy (who I named "Carla" because she looked a little bit like the dog in the GOOD DOG, CARL children's book series) to the vet that afternoon, and she checked out okay. She was running a low-grade fever so the doctor wanted to hold off on some of the vaccines for a day or two, but we got her all de-wormed, heart-wormed, flea-treated, micro-chipped, etc.

    Anyway, I really, really wanted to find Carla a good home – preferably not with me. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to keep her (I did!), but I already have one dog and I take care of my sister’s dog, too. Three BIG dogs in my little, itty-bitty house seemed a tad…well…much.

    So, I started the process of finding little, Miss Carla a permanent home the very next day. The last thing I want for Carla was to end back up in a shelter. Nothing but the absolute best “forever home” would due for my first foster baby.

    But then she got sick. Really sick.

    We are talking not-eating-not-drinking-only-sleeping kind of sick.

    And, of course, it happened late on a Sunday afternoon. Why wouldn’t she go downhill on the one day of the week when all vets are closed?

    So, bright and early on President’s Day, I took Carla back to the vet. Honestly, I was expecting some sort of grave report from the doctor – that is the kind of sick that she was (or, at least, appeared to be). All she could do was sit on my lap, look at me, and whine. Very pathetic.

    Thankfully, though, the vet wasn’t nearly as concerned as I was. His diagnosis: Kennel Cough and a case of the Doggie Flu. Neither case was fatal if properly treated with antibiotics (and surprisingly my two dogs never got even a hint of sick after being exposed! Here’s to properly vaccinating the pets in your life!). The doctor gave me two different pills to give little Carla twice a day, and promised me that she’d be feeling better in a day or two. No worries.

    And you know what?...she was!

    I was so relieved, but I decided to put the breaks on the whole finding-a-home business until she made a full recovery…

    …that is, until I found a home for Carla just a couple of days later. I wasn’t even looking! I just picked up the phone one morning, and discovered that my Aunt Mimi had mentioned that I was looking for a home for a puppy that I had saved from a local shelter. One of my grandmother’s nurses had just lost a dog and was looking for a puppy. It sounded too good to be true – a perfect match!

    The lady on the phone wanted to meet Carla as soon as possible, but the weekend was quickly approaching (and to be honest, I wasn’t ready to part with her yet). So, we decided that I’d bring Carla to meet her on my lunch break on the following Tuesday.

    So, on February 28th, I picked up Carla and took her out to meet…uh…let’s call her “Toni”. RR went with me, which was really sweet (I think she understood how difficult this was going to be for me, and wanted to be there to support/console me).

    Toni and Carla clicked right away, and just ten minutes later it was clear to everyone that Carla wouldn’t be making the return trip back to my house (although, I offered to keep Carla until she finished up her two-week round of medication. Toni just laughed and reminded me that she was a nurse and very well-skilled when it came to properly medicating a patient). My puppy had found herself a new – and permanent – home!

    I was happy, but it was bittersweet all the same (I get attached very, very quickly). If RR noticed me desperately trying to choke back tears, she pretended not to (although, she did remind me twice on the drive back to the office that she had brought Kleenex with her – you know – just incase). If that’s not a true friend, I don’t know what is…!

    So, that’s my story about Carla (who is now known as “Princess Carla”, by the way).

    And what a little princess she is! And you know what else? Carla never even had a single "accident" inside my house in the two weeks that I had her. How's that for amazing?!

    Princess Carla

    Sleepy baby...

    Ready to pounce...

    ...on her ball!

    Love me...please?!

    What are you doing up there?

    Rub me...I'm too cute to ignore!

    If I can ever help anyone find a dog best friend, please don’t hesitate to ask. Nothing makes me happier than finding a loving and deserving canine soul a good home!

    As a final Carla treat, here is a short video of her playing in my guest room. Big, red ball...BEWARE!!:

    * NOTE OF CORRECTION: Grammy Pammy paid Carla's $45 adoption fee. The shelter only took cash or check, and I was (sadly) without both at the time. Grammy Pammy saved the day by donating $45 to Carla's cause.

    Three cheers for Grammy Pammy:
    Hip, Hip, Hurrah! Hip, Hip, Hurrah! Hip, Hip, Hurrah!

    (Thanks for saving the day, Mom!)