Wednesday, December 6, 2017

It's Christmas Card Time Again!

Here's the thing, if you know me at all, you know that I take our Christmas card waaayyyy too seriously. I dress the animals in ridiculous outfits:  

I even bribe Opie to wear matching outfits or slap him in a Ralphie pink bunny suit a la The Christmas Story.

I think it's full on AWESOME...Opie allows as how he thinks it's a touch over the top.

Anyway, this year was no exception. I loaded up the dogs with treats, fed Opie beer with reckless abandon, and waited until Prince was so woozy from sleeping in the sun that I could toss some antlers on him without too much loud yowling (no fear, animal lovers, they are yowls of pure enthusiasm.  This is a cat who LOVES costumes, I assure you) and got everyone dressed as hilarious reindeer.

Anyway, we got some great pictures and I foolishly thought the hard part was over.

Until I tried to ORDER the cards. 

Here's what happened:

I got online bright and early for the Cyber Monday sale which included about 55% off, 10 free cards and free shipping.

Bam! I ordered 115 cards!

A few minutes later a confirmation email arrived which said I was getting 105 cards and 115 envelopes.

It didn’t mention the 10 free cards, didn't say they were included in the cards—nothing.

Since, as I mentioned, I get a little more emotionally invested in our Christmas cards than the average bear, I immediately freaked out.

Luckily, they have a helpline so I called it, waited forever to get through, got put on hold, got asked if I wanted a callback instead of waiting, get assured by a robot lady that I wouldn’t lose my place on line and heard that my waiting time is approximately 10 minutes. I reluctantly selected this option and waited an hour to actually talk to a real live person.

So, let’s be honest, I started the conversation ever so slightly incensed.

I explained everything that I just explained above and the girl on the other line said “I see you ordered 105 cards...”

Me (trying to be nice) “No. I ordered 115 because I need 115.”

Her (clearly not listening) "If you need to change your order, you can always cancel this one and re-order in the correct amount.“

Me “Actually, I can’t cancel this order. There’s a 30 minute window to cancel the order and I’m way past that because it took over an hour to talk to someone.”

Her “Well, you could always just order 10 more cards....”

Me “No. As I’m sure you know, your company does tiered discounts for cards so ordering just 10 would be a lot more expensive per card. Plus 10 cards wouldn't be eligible for free shipping. So buying 10 more cards now would essentially cost me three times as much as if they were on the original order — which they already should have been BECAUSE I ORDERED 115 CARDS.  There’s been a mistake here and I didn't make it. Something's gone wrong on YOUR END."

Her “I can probably go ahead and cancel that order for you even though it’s past the window.”

At which point I paused and reflected on how sad I am that I don't have one of those old rotary phones like my grandma used to so I could follow her example of slamming the receiver on the table four or five times in frustration and then pretending like I'd just dropped it.

Seriously, my grandma was hilarious.

Anyway, since I have an iPhone that is about as fragile as a wet Kleenex, slamming my phone against the table was out of the question, I settled for making obscene gestures at the screen and silently questioning how hard it would be to find this girl and punch her right in the throat.

Me (summoning a level of patience I didn't even know I had) “That really won't help since, as I said, the problem appears to be on YOUR END with the whole 10 free card promotion thing. So if you cancel it and I try to reorder everything, the same exact thing is going to happen because I'm going to use the exact same promotion."

Her “I can see you ordered 105 cards—“

Me “NO! That’s what I’m trying to explain. I ordered 115 cards. The order clearly says 115 envelopes and 105 cards. Which means there has to be some sort of mistake because it’s actually not possible to order more envelopes than cards.

Her “What’s that?”

Me (using my best patient teacher voice and not at all letting on that I was ready to hunt this girl down like wild game) "It’s not possible to order more envelopes than cards. I know this because I’ve tried. But your company has a completely unwarranted and unrealistic faith in my ability to fill out 115 Christmas cards without making a mistake so they will only send me as many envelopes as cards. Something else is happening here!!”

Her “If you’d like to cancel your order —“

Me: “Look, I’m trying really hard not to get nasty because I know you were not personally responsible for this mistake. I also know this is probably one your busiest days and things are pretty busy. So I'm trying to be nice but to be honest, I’m about three seconds from going 8 kinds of whack job crazy.”

Dramatic pause on her end then she said “Oh yes, here it is. 10 free cards, you’re right. You’re getting 115 cards.”

Unfortunately, I have a suspicious heart. Plus she was using that tone that indicated she thought I'd already gone 5 kinds of whack job crazy and was simply trying to get off the phone before I turned it up 3 more notches.

On a slightly unrelated note, I should probably question the life choices that have made me so familiar with the tone people use when dealing with a lunatic but I'll think about that tomorrow.

Anyway, as I was saying, I have a suspicious heart and she overcame her earlier confusion in a shockingly short time. Plus, I'm no lawyer but I watch A LOT of court TV. Therefore, when she said "Can I help you with anything else?" I responded "Yeah, I just need to get confirmation of that in writing."

And she said "Excuse me?"

Me, now using my best Judge Judy tone and, let's be honest, imagining myself on her show: "I need written confirmation that I'm getting the 115 cards that I ordered because the email I have says only 105 are being shipped. I just need something in writing so if only 105 cards arrive, I have some recourse without going through this whole hullaballoo again."

I think it's a testament to how worked up I was that yes, I actually used the word hullaballoo.

In any case, she said "I don't understand."

And then I did the dramatic pause thing and finally asked "Do you really not understand the words I just said or is it that you don't have the authority to send an email to me?"

The long and the short of it was, she's not involved in all this email-shemail business.

I hung up, considered a variety of violent options, considered alcoholic amelioration of my feelings--spent a brief second pondering how much I love the word ameliorate--and finally did what I should have done all along: got on Twitter.  I sent the company a private message, indicated that as one who is familiar with the power of social media I understand exactly how vocal online complaints can cost a company business, and explained the whole thing again.

I got the email confirmation.

Even better, the 115 cards arrived, I'm getting them addressed, and with luck should have them in the mail tomorrow.

So, it's official -- it's the holiday season and these are the happiest holiday hounds (and cat) around!


And don't even get me started on this one, he is clearly chock full of Christmas cheer!

As I've said before, I bet he looks back on all those years he was single and just weeps about how boring his life used to be.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Got Milk?

Here's a fun fact you may or may not have known:

Milk explodes.

I don't, of course, mean all milk. I'm not suggesting that we need to be on the lookout for radioactive cows or that the average American refrigerator is a ticking time bomb of unstable dairy.

I am, however, prepared to definitively state the following:

If, as a loving wife, you buy your husband a plastic bottle of chocolate milk before vacation AND he doesn't drink the milk before the aforementioned vacation AND the milk spoils AND you take it out of the fridge and set it on your counter so he doesn't drink it by mistake AND you leave it there overnight so you can take it out to the recycling the next day AND the bottle gets somewhat hot because the sun apparently shines directly in that spot, your plastic bottle of chocolate milk can ACTUALLY EXPLODE. 

I dare anyone to ask me how I know.

I also just double dog dared Opie to set foot in this house tonight and say anything like "What's that weird smell?'"

And speaking of dogs, you should all pause and try to imagine the reaction of the two craziest dogs in the known universe when they are flopped down, holding the couch in place, and A BOTTLE OF MILK EXPLODES.

Drama does not begin to describe it.  And I can't even blame them because I seriously thought someone had fired a shot in the kitchen. 

In any case, in these situations, I usually take a few moments to advise Opie how best to comfort his wife but today I am too busy cleaning chocolate milk from every surface in the kitchen to be much help...though I did say chocolate is always a good choice but chocolate milk could result in physical violence.

It's entirely possible I will still be cleaning when he gets home. It's also entirely possible that I will never be able to get all the chocolate milk out of the kitchen we will be forced to move.

And don't even get me started on the smell.

Mickey looks like he's been
through the chocolate war.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Blast From the Past

Well, it's almost everyone's favorite time of year: time for Eric and Kimberly's fabulous yet freaky summer vacation! 

For those who are new to this blog, I should mention we’ve gone every summer for the past 17 years now—yes, even after I got married.

Largely because Opie has NO DESIRE to go any of the places we’ve gone.  I tell him where we've decided to go, he stares at me for a long moment in horrified silence then says "Have a good time."

See, Eric and my goal is to go to the wackiest places possible, places no on in their right mind would visit. Which is why we’ve been to  The Lizzie Borden Axe Murder House,  The Waverly Hills Sanotarium, The Villisca Iowa Axe Murder House  (sort of an axe murder theme there for awhile), The Superman Convention in Metropolis, Illinois, Psychic Boot Camp, and  Snake World (which was basically a TRAILER in Arkansas that housed the largest private collection of venomous snakes in North America) and so on…

Let me tell you, it’s been HILARIOUS.

This year we're flying in the face of tradition and returning to one of the places we've already been: The Roswell, New Mexico Annual International UFO Festival.


Because it's been 15 years and who knows what kind of mindboggling breakthroughs have occurred in the field of xenoarchaeology?

So, when we return, I'll be sure to update everyone on our trip.  But first  I thought I'd share a blast from the past: the official record of our last trip to hunt UFOs 15 years ago...back when we were young, crazy and had a somewhat limited understanding of Government Security Clearance guidelines.


Ok, as some of you probably are already aware, Eric and I took our annual vacation over 4th of July weekend and as always, we chose a somewhat unusual vacation spot: Roswell, New Mexico for the annual national UFO convention. It was actually 3 conventions in one as there are 3 different groups who put on rival conventions all over town.

Roswell, for those of you who don’t know, is the place where a UFO supposedly crashed in 1947. The army first released a statement saying it was, in fact, a flying saucer. Later they retracted that statement and said it was a weather balloon. It is now the Mecca of UFO researchers.

We thought it would be fun to go someplace where we are the most normal people around. Most of the people, however, were deceptively ordinary--until, of course, they started discussing their abduction experiences, government conspiracies, and the malevolent alien plot of world domination.
But I get ahead of myself…it was quite a trip and I've included a detailed play by play but  it is ridiculously long so feel free to skim or not read this at all…it was just too funny not to share!

In any case, we began our journey on Wednesday, July 2nd. We actually thought we were off to a good start because we began a mere 40 minutes late…this is over an hour better than our previous record! Unfortunately this fabulous start time was slightly marred by our nearly immediate stop and 10 minute search for the trip journal to record the fabulous start time.

Then any leftover euphoria quickly died when we realized that our planned route was actually 2-3 hours out of our way. Since we were supposed to stay with Eric’s parents, we had no choice but to press on. We did, however, peruse the map and come up with an alternate route home.

The rest of the day’s events are best illustrated in the following timeline:
10:50 -- First fervent wish for alcoholic beverage.
10:51 -- Loud chanting of “We don’t drink and drive, we don’t drink and drive!” Oddly, chanting did not dim desire.
10:54 -- Debate whether or not Kahlua really constitutes alcohol. Surely something that tastes so much like coffee can be considered coffee?
11:00 -- Vote taken on the status of Kahlua. 2 votes for coffee.
11:01 -- Search for Kahlua in backseat of car.
11:05 -- Realization that Kahlua is either still in St. Louis or buried in bag in trunk of car.
11:06 - 11:10 Cursing, finger-pointing and overall disgust concerning undetermined location of Kahlua.
11:15 -- Water chosen as healthier but infinitely less satisfying beverage.
12:36 -- First stop for gas.
12:38 -- Eric inadvertently locks car; panicked search for keys encompasses several minutes as we envision calling a locksmith etc.
12:45 -- Locate keys, enter gas station/convenience store.
12:46 -- Get into argument with clerk about true size of bag of ice. Insist that he is overcharging us for a $1.00 bag of ice as the sign clearly indicates 2 pounds for a dollar and we only have 1 bag.
12:49 -- Feel like idiots when clerk explains for the 3rd time that the bag we are holding is 2 and pounds.
12:50 Assuage each other's embarrassment by marveling how easily we can lug 2 pounds of ice around the parking lot.
1:55 -- Enter Kansas.
2:00 -- 5:30 Endless discussion of how far out of the way this route is. Eric maintains that route is better as more scenic and historical (Actual Santa Fe Trail!). My reply obscene and not included for fear of offending anyone still reading.
6:00 -- 10:00 -- Arrive at Eric’s parents. Have dinner, sit down with Eric’s mother and peruse map for shortest route to Roswell. I make sounds like “north” and “west” as if I understand what they mean. Eric tries not to laugh.
10:01 -- Realize no possible way to get to Roswell in under 10 hours. Plot Eric’s bloody death.
10:30 -- Go to bed so can get early start.


Driving the second day included more wrong turns and directional struggles but we stopped a few fun places along the way--like the exact mid-point of the United States. This spot is exactly 1561 miles from San Francisco and 1561 miles from New York. We got out of car like big tourist nerds, climbed the hill to take pictures, then I stepped on cockleburr with my bare foot, hopped back to the car and complained loudly for next twenty minutes.

We finally arrived in Roswell around 5:30. Of course, the address that the online reservation service gave me was wrong so, just like last year, we went into the wrong hotel, went up to the front desk and demanded imaginary reservations. Then—sure that I was right and assuming that our room had been given to some other conference attendee with fistfuls of cash—I engaged in a loud, heated discussion with the clerk, insisting that I had booked a room days earlier. I even triumphantly waved my confirmation email in his face.

Which is when the clerk snatched the paper from my hand, pointed at the name of the hotel emblazoned across the top and said “That’s not us.”

I’m not going to lie, it was a little embarrassing.

The conference itself was great! My only suggestion for the organizers is that next year, they should indicate right on the program which presentations are best experienced under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs…for example, we went to one so called laser light show that I could have done with 2 flashlights and some colored cellophane.

Plus, I was astounded to learn that the truth about aliens has not been discovered because of a conspiracy between both the government and organized religion. Apparently, the government doesn’t think we can handle the truth and organized religions don’t want to admit that aliens caused evolution by interfering with our genetic structure millions of years ago.

It is now clear that this blog entry will not only cause me to be interrogated by the FBI, the CIA and other nefarious secret government organizations but I will also, no doubt, be excommunicated.

But I’m getting ahead of myself again!

The first thing we did Friday morning was drive out to the actual crash site. It is about 35 miles outside of town and the road is only marked by a raggedy old sign. We got out of the car, took a few pictures, and another group of people told us that no one is allowed to go to the actual crash site anymore.

“All part of the government conspiracy,” I said.

Two of them nodded along with me but one woman shook her head and said, “No, I think it’s just private property now.”

“Allegedly,” I said.

And the other two nodded even more emphatically.

But you know what?

They were all cowards. 

They weren’t interested in what some people call “trespassing” but Eric and I call “exploring.” So we had to wait for them to leave before we could go ahead with our own search.

Oh sure, it was private property and yes, there might or might not have been but definitely were signs indicating the area was restricted by the government and yes, it was the middle of the desert where it was so hot I thought I might actually burst into flame and admittedly we spent over an hour driving up and down unmarked gravel roads avoiding cows and sheep and various other livestock but we did find the gated off area and managed to wander around a bit until we could identify the ranch house and the area in question.

Then, when we got back to the UFO museum, we saw a sign that informed us one of the reasons that the crash site is off limits is because of the “excessive danger of TARANTULAS and RATTLESNAKES.”

“The question is,” I told Eric, “did the government MAKE UP the tarantulas and rattlesnakes or did they PLANT THEM THERE to further the cover up?”

“We’ll probably never know,” Eric said

In any case, we felt suitably freaked out enough to spend the rest of the day getting freaked out by people giving convincing and somewhat alarming accounts of what really happened 50 years ago in Roswell…did you know that Jerry Marcel, the army guy who was instrumental in the alien cover up, came forward years later and basically said the government was lying, he believed that a UFO had crashed?


Later we went out to a presentation at the Roswell fair grounds and it is interesting to note that slamming vodka and Sprite in 105 degree heat can occasionally induce feelings of nausea…this feeling is not noticeably improved by a 20 minute viewing of wobbly home videos of a supposed UFO. Was it a UFO? I have no clue, I thought it looked by a big black dot.

However, I turned my attention to the presenter and was mildly amused to feel a sort of “He’s a long-haired UFO chaser but what a great smile” type of attraction (it is possible that this was due to the vodka as well).

Then, sadly, he spoke.

“I saw me the UFO” he said. “So I went and got me muh videah camra.”

Then he revealed that this is what he does for a living; he sits around his house all day drinking beer, smoking dope (I’m speculating on this last bit) and pointing his “videah camra” at the sky for hours a at time.

I need this guy’s life.

After dinner (the highlight of which was cracking Eric up as he was trying to do a shot and getting vodka sprayed in my face) things were a little disappointing. We went to a presentation called “The Great UFO Mystery” and the biggest mystery was “When are you actually going to stop talking about astronomy and talk about UFOs?”

Eric and I tried to lighten the mood with a few jokes and witty repartee during the presentation but considering the woman right next to us actually got up and MOVED TO ANOTHER SEAT, I think it’s possible that everyone did not appreciate our humor.

Next we drove out to fairgrounds for a fireworks display …which would have been a lot cooler if the fireworks display had actually been scheduled for the fairgrounds and not behind the planetarium on the other side of town.

In any case, the last day more than made up for any disappointment. We met “The Alien Hunter” who makes his living investigating claims of alien abduction and perused his collection of alien implants. Strange as this may sound, this guy was actually NOT a loon. He was articulate, educated and explained to us the scientific methods he uses to investigate these claims.

Honestly, he freaked me out.

On the other hand, there were plenty of loons. For example the guy who said he got involved in UFO studies after a “strange being” entered his bedroom and touched him. Or the woman who was continually possessed by aliens and forced to run around her bedroom over and over again as part of some bizarre athletic experiments. Or the guy who was abducted continually for about 10 years until he found Christ and then he quit his job and moved to Roswell to start The Alien Resistance Organization in order to get the word out. He was even handing out stickers that had an alien head inside a circle with a line through it (like a no smoking sign).

You can’t buy fun like that, not in any store.

I had, of course, come up with an alien abduction story of our own but the only place where people were invited to share their stories was at the Biblical Studies of UFOs. Considering that one of their books blamed homosexuality on aliens and further considering I was already getting dirty looks for daring to wear a tank top to the presentation, I didn’t think we should tempt fate any further.
So we left, drove all night to get home and are now considering giving up our careers as teachers and becoming UFO researchers…

I'm not going to lie, this is going to be a hard trip to beat -- but we're leaving Friday and I'll let you know how we do!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Not the Wisest Wabbit in the Warren

You know what SHOULD be better than a snake in the yard?

A bunny.

You know what, oddly, ISN’T better than a snake in the yard?

A bunny.

You know why?

The Bub:

Here’s what happened:

This morning I went out to check on the flowers that I planted on the outside of our fence when I saw, right smack in the middle of the flowers, a bunny:

A cute little baby bunny reminiscent of the bunnies I used to get in my yard back in St. Louis when all they had to fear was a fat Chihuahua with a bad heart. The kind of bunny we never get in our yard here because woodland animals far and wide point their paws at our fence and talk in hushed whispers about the squirderer behind the walls.

Unfortunately, this bunny either didn’t get the memo or he is not the wisest wabbit in the warren.

It is interesting to note that "wabbit" is NOT a typo. I’m just a helpless slave to alliteration…but I digress…

The point is, the bunny decided that our yard is eight kinds of awesome and sometime this morning wandered his way inside.

Which I didn’t realize until I opened the door to let The Bub outside.

Luckily, the lawn guy had just mowed so Bubba was intent on running out and rolling in as much dried grass as caninely possible and he didn’t immediately notice the bunny.

Unluckily, the lawn guy had just mowed so Bubba—clearly still miffed that I hadn’t let him out earlier to eat the lawn guy—decided to pretend he couldn’t hear me calling his name and ordering him back into the house.

Seriously, he is turning into the worst lying liar of a dog.

Anyway, that’s when I decided to unpack the big guns and run out to the yard while offering him a treat. And the stupid bunny says to himself "Treat? I could go for a treat.” And hops closer.

Which is when Bubba saw him.

I will now pause and let you imagine all the things that could go horribly wrong with that scenario.

Now try to imagine Bub and I engaged in a little game called “Bunny Ball.” In which Bubba is tearing around the yard after the bunny and I—clearly playing defense—am flinging myself between him and the bunny, screaming his name, cursing and literally physically blocking him at every turn.

How I did this in flip-flops without breaking a leg is a mystery for the ages.

Meanwhile the stupid bunny didn’t realize that he wasn’t just playing ball, he WAS the ball, and instead of looking for a way to escape was scampering around the yard like the dumbest bunny to ever draw breath.

And it was only through the divine intervention of some guardian angel of bunnies that I somehow managed to grab The Bub around the waist and wrestle him in the house.

I went back outside and tried to convince the bunny that he is, in the eyes of big dogs everywhere, food. And he should scurry along for safer pastures.

The bunny was unimpressed.

Then I tried to explain to the bunny that not only was the carrot section of the garden a poor hiding place but also reinforced the worst bunny stereotypes and that in the interest of species sensitivity, he should go somewhere else.

Unfortunately, that particular bunny is incredibly self-involved and could not care less about species stereotypes.

I even went so far as to get the hose and spray the bunny with a little water…I mean, I didn’t put it on jet because it really is a tiny bunny and I didn’t want to practically waterboard it after all the trouble I went to to rescue it from Bubba but come on! Even a little water should have sent any reasonable bunny packing.

Not this bunny.

This stupid bunny decided he had discovered the best bunny bath of all times and is EVEN NOW still in the garden.

And in case you think I’m exaggerating the ridiculous overconfidence of the bunny in question, please note that I have not only sent a picture of the bunny in the garden, I have included a picture of the bunny GROOMING ITSELF even AFTER it was chased all over the yard by the Bub.

So, I had to come in to work, the bunny is still in the garden and Bubba is not speaking to me.

Friday, May 26, 2017

The Dumbest Fight Ever

My in-laws are getting a new guest bed. Which on the surface probably doesn't seem like that big of a deal or  that interesting of a topic,  not even when I add in the other essential bit of information: I am an excellent sleeper.

In fact most people probably think they've already figured out the tie between these two pieces of information and think that this is really the dullest story ever.

That feeling is probably not at all alleviated by the addition of the following information: Opie is a terrible sleeper. He has insomnia, he wakes up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep. Often during these bouts of sleeplessness, he starts conversations with me and I freely respond and take part in these conversations even though I'm not actually awake. Sometimes I don't  wake up at all. Sometimes I wake up about four lines into the conversation and I basically have no idea what is going on at all.

It is a combination of these events that led to a little something I like to call the dumbest fight ever.

Though in my defense I'd just like to say Opie started it.

Here's what happened:

"So, I guess my parents are going to an go ahead and get that bed," Opie said early one morning.

"What bed?" I asked finally waking up.

"For the guestroom."  Then he spoke really slowly and carefully you know, like I was an idiot not like I'd been sleeping for the last five or six  hours "The room you sleep in sometimes?"

It's important to note here that often when one of us is sick or Opie is snoring exceptionally loudly, I go in and sleep in our guestroom.

Which is when I realized that he and his parents had been conspiring behind my back and were replacing my guestbed--a bed I had before we were even married--without so much as asking me.

I should further note that my in-laws are not the type of people who normally go around foisting new furniture upon us but again it was about 4:30 in the morning.

And, if Opie were going to try to pull a fast one, this would be the perfect time to do so as he could legitimately say "We talked about it."

In any case, although I'm slow to wake up, I can be rather quick to anger… Even more so early in the morning.

I think it's safe to say, I was more than a little incensed.

"We're not getting rid of that bed!" I snapped. "That mattress is practically brand-new and I've had that bedroom set forever. I love it so no one is just replacing it."

"I think they already bought the new one," he said obviously confused.
And then I pictured his parents visiting and happily bringing us a new bed and taking down my old bed, the bed that I love and I was quite frankly insane with rage.

Fine, I thought to myself. We'll take the stupid bed and we'll put it up when they visit and take it down when they leave and put my bed back up. And I don't mean we, I mean he.  Opie, OPIE will put together and dismantle beds when his parents visit and he better not say one word about it because this is ALL HIS FAULT!

"Well it's going to be a lot of work for you!" I huffed.

"I even know what you're talking about," he said. "Why are you getting so mad?"

Which, of course, only made me angrier. "Because all of you made this decision without me!" I shouted. "I don't understand how you think can just replace the furniture WITHOUT EVEN ASKING ME!"

"I don't understand why it's any of your business if my parents replaced their guestroom furniture!" He shouted back.

"Wait, what?"

"My parents can replace their furniture if they want," he repeated. "Just because you sleep in that room twice a year doesn't mean you own it."

And thus ended the dumbest argument we've ever had.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Lucky and Wise?

I have long said that Opie is a lucky man (and he never disagrees so it must be true!) but today we had a little test to determine if he is also a wise man.

Did he pass?

You be the is the email I sent him this afternoon:

So I just basically tore a big chunk of my nail off while out in the yard.

This is not my usual "A-Little-Crack-That-Stings-But-I'll-Get-Over-It-In-A-Second" type injury.  This is a "We-Might-Need-Therapy-For-Bubba-Because-I-Was-Screaming-Out-Loud-Can't-Believe- How-Bad-It-Hurts, Blood-Actually-Ran-Down-My-Hand" type injury.

It is important to note that I have bandaged it all up and I am fine.

It is also important to note that a wise man would not waste his time inquiring about the logistics of this injury. He should just assume that it occurred in an heroic life or death struggle with miscreants,  thieves, and/or terrorists--many of whom have been known to lurk in the Sapulpa area.

A wise man also wouldn't waste his time trying to figure out and share ways to avoid this type of injury in the future. He should instead assume it was unavoidable---unless he thinks miscreants, thieves, and terrorists should just be allowed to wreak their mayhem willy-nilly.

A wise man would be better served spending his afternoon trying to decide if he should bring home wine or chocolate--OR BOTH--as a panacea for his wife's pain.

Are you a wise man, Opie Yates? ARE YOU?!

And he walked in with this:

Yep, he's wise...and I'm feeling pretty lucky myself (injured finger notwithstanding!)

Monday, March 27, 2017

King of the Cats

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Opie and I have been remodeling the bathroom and the pets have been less than enthusiastic.

By “remodeling” I, of course, mean completely gutting and starting from scratch:

And by “less than enthusiastic” I mean “ridiculous to the point of insanity.”

Take, for instance, Princeton P Kitty’s attempt to help me paint:

Not helpful, not helpful at all.

And to be fair, since I am the one who decided to decorate without him, I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that he wasn't pleased with the outcome.

See, I decided would be cute to decorate with bird cages and Hummingbird art. Then, I thought it would be a cute and kitschy contrast to add this ceramic cat toilet brush holder:
However, I forgot to run my plan past Princeton P Kitty. And he wasn’t one bit interested in adding another cat household – real or stone.

He spent the first few days sniffing it out, trying to determine what kind of cat had invaded our home then yesterday he went ahead and kicked things up a notch.

Which I realized when I walked upstairs and glanced into the bathroom and saw a rather rat-like tail disappearing behind the shower curtain. I couldn't figure out what the heck the ridiculous cat was doing this time…

Until, clearly convinced this new intruder was incredibly dangerous, he flung himself out of the shower and onto the cat.

The other cat,  being ceramic, was relatively unimpressed and didn’t fight back at all.

Thus, emboldened by his obvious success, Prince jumped back in his new exciting bathroom curtain tunnel and smacked the ceramic cat from another angle.

And, in case you are wondering, yes, I did yell at him to stop even as I took pictures. But this is not the face of a repentant kitty:
On the bright side, the bathroom has been converted from this:

to this:

And I'm in love with the new bathroom...but I can't help but wonder if the shower curtain or the ceramic cat will be destroyed first.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Cars, Cats and Cupcakes

It is with the greatest reluctance that I finally made the annual doctor's appointment for the feistiest of felines, the incomparable Princeton P Kitty. 

Which if you are new to this blog probably makes me sound like a very irresponsible pet owner, like someone who begrudges her poor defenseless kitty his chance at proper medical care. 

Nothing could be further from the truth.
The truth is I want Princeton P Kitty to live a long healthy life. I want him to keep stealing the blankets, harassing the dogs, and horrifying complete strangers for many years to come.

I just don't want to drive him to the doctor ever again. 
See, this is not his regular doctor whose office is exactly 5 1/2 minutes from our house. This is his Yes-It's-A-Real-Thing-We're-A-Little-Obsessed-With-Our-Pets-Feline-Cardiologist whose office is approximately an hour and a half away. Which, if you figure the round trip, means I have to spend approximately three hours in the car with the angriest cat in the world. Because, make no mistake about it, Princeton P kitty is the worst traveler ever.


Essentially, he screams for the entire car ride.


Because he hates being confined to his crate.

Why don’t I let him out of his crate? 

Because then he either insists on riding here:

Or he spends the entire journey attempting to balance on my head like some sort of crazed kitty gymnast.

Which, as I've mentioned before, is a little distracting on the highway.

So, in his crate he goes. And one of the following things always happens: 

1. He screams in rage until he makes himself sick.
2. He turns around and faces the back of the crate, there by riding backwards, until he makes himself sick.
3. He stomps around the crate in angry circles,  around and around until,  you guessed it, he makes himself sick.

What I'm saying is that he always makes himself sick.

And those of you who have never spent an hour and a half confined in a small space with a howling cat and the lingering scent of cat puke are probably saying things like "Oh that poor kitty."

And, yes, I do have some sympathy for the cat but the thing is he brings the situation entirely upon himself. He's not legitimately carsick, he's just mad that he's not getting his own way. I have explained to him 1,576 times that if we would face front and lie down, he wouldn’t get sick. 

But, honestly, there’s just no reasoning with this cat. 

So you know who I really feel sorry for?

Me, that's who.

Nonetheless, I suspect some of you still have your priorities confused and are now saying, “But he sounds really upset, have you thought about giving him some tranquilizers?”
In a word, yes. It was a nightmare of such epic proportions that I can’t even talk about it again. You can read about it here or you can trust me that, after that whole experience, I needed xanax more than anyone.

In any case, last year's trip was the worst of the worst.

First of all, Prince puked twice on the way there. Which is gross but not unprecedented so I pulled over both times, cleaned him and the crate up as best I could (I learned my lesson after the unfortunate initial visit--during which I’m pretty sure he aimed his vomit at my purse on purpose--and now I always bring a roll of paper towels with me) and we continued on our not so merry way.  

Then he upped the ante with explosive diarrhea.

Which was fabulous because when you're already in a confined space with a howling cat and the lingering odor of cat puke, nothing adds to the atmosphere like the eye-watering stench of cat poop.

So, again, I stopped and cleaned but the problem with all this stopping and cleaning is that A. You can't get everything completely clean. B. The cat, for safety reasons mentioned above, has to go back in the crate when the haphazard cleaning is finished.

This means that, by the time we walked in the clinic, he was about three stages past “insane rage” and was screaming like he'd been set on fire.
Which means that, as soon as we walked in, all the other pet parents in the waiting room started gaping at me, most likely assuming that I had let some horrible tragedy befall my cat and now was trying to rush in and cut the line. 

I'm not going to lie, it was a little embarrassing  

So, I laughed nervously, kind of half-waving to all the other horrified pet owners and shouting “He’s really excited to be here!” 

But those people didn’t think I was funny AT ALL.

Luckily, the receptionist always remembers us (I imagine a hairless cat would be somewhat memorable in most situations but when you add in his constant and impressive vocal range, you have a situation that is irrevocably burned into people's minds) so I didn’t have to wait around checking in. 

“We’re heading to the bathroom so I can clean him up!” I shouted. “Please tell Brandy we’re here.”

Brandy is the technician who always helps us and who I have a tiny bit of a girl crush on—which might be because she’s really good with Prince but is more likely due to the fact that she frequently calms my nerves with cupcakes. 

But I digress...the receptionist gave me a thumbs up so I went to the bathroom and as soon as I verified the room was empty, I opened the crate door and Prince ran out like he’d been shot from a gun. He flew to the other side of the room and then hid behind the toilet, occasionally sticking his head out to glare at me and meow loudly, like I’m some sicko kitty sadist who flings cats into crates and drives them around for the sheer entertainment value of it. 

This is his angry face.
 So, there I was, scrubbing the crate in the sink and explaining to the cat how ridiculously ungrateful he was, when the door opened and another woman walked in. 

Who immediately thought I was a lunatic because, in her view, I was standing there talking to no one. 

A situation not helped by the fact that, when she asked if I was waiting for a stall, I said “No, but my cat’s in that one.” 

No, this isn't from that day but come on, it's clearly relevant.
Anyway, the woman fled into the other stall. Unfortunately, one thing Princeton P Kitty really prides himself on is figuring out how to make any situation more uncomfortable. 

Plus he’s surprisingly fast for a cat with a heart condition. 

Which means that, in the next second, he shot out of his stall and into hers. And a second after that the woman said “Uhhhh, he’s on my lap.” 

Please pause for a moment and picture yourself in a public restroom, doing your best to ignore the crazy lady by the sink, when this cat:

flies inside and flings himself on your lap.

I'm probably lucky I don't have a lawsuit for emotional duress on my hands.

Anyway, I was somewhat stymied. Because I assumed she was using the bathroom as it was intended and this is not, at least not for women, a group activity. 

I very helpfully said “Oh my God, I’m so sorry.” About fifteen times and then said “Tell you what, you probably don’t want me coming in there to get him but if you put him on the floor and sort of, I don’t know, shove him, I’ll reach in and grab him.” 

“No,” she said weakly. “That’s ok.” 

But the thing is, the rotten cat has sneak attacked me in that exact same fashion at home and it is most definitely NEVER ok.  

It’s been almost a year, and I still can’t figure out how she finished her business. 

But she did. And a few minutes later came out with Princeton P Kitty purring contentedly in her arms. 

“He’s got a lot of personality,” she said. 

“That’s one way to describe him,” I agreed. 

Luckily, it was at this moment that Brandy the Vet Tech popped into the bathroom and said “I thought you might need some help….how about a cupcake?” 

I love Brandy a little more every time we go. 

So, in summary, Prince is the worst traveler in the history of travelers, you never know what might happen when you sit down in a public restroom, and cupcakes make everything better. 

And you can probably see why I am NOT looking forward to our next drive to the vet. 

If you'd like to read any or all of the other Princeton P Kitty vet adventures, I linked a couple of them below: