One Momster Sunday

Here in the Northeast, we have three more weeks of summer vacation left. School doesn’t start until September 9. This may be incomprehensible to many of you who have had your kids back in school for weeks but rest assured, we get out at the very ass-end of June. By the time your kids are sick of the town pool, mine haven’t even taken finals yet.

Over on Family Circle’s Momster blog, I wrote a post about subversive tactics to use with your kids in the fight against summer sloth. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as tricking your kids into thinking.

The Puggles were supposed to tell you about the post, which came out a while back, but they totally dropped the ball. Their two favorite people in the whole world–CC and #4– went out of town at the same time.

They were beside themselves.

Needy Puggles paint an ugly picture. I’m pretty sure they got drunk.

It certainly would explain that battery of late-night texts they sent from my phone that were full of poor grammar and spelling and looked as though they were typed by someone not in the possession of thumbs. Not to mention the pictures I found there.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Anyway, I’m totally counting that as one of the links today, so go check it out: Picking Your Battles in the Fight Against Summer Sloth on Family Circle’s Momster.

Maybe you don’t have kids; maybe you’re single and dating. Maybe you do have kids and you’re dating. Maybe you want to be reminded of why you don’t date anymore, or how glad you are you got married if solely for the get-out-of-dating-free pass it gives you. Regardless, go check out Amy Neswald’s guest post on Psychology Today. She gives us Five Awkward First Dates You Probably Want to Avoid.

The best damn recipe for strawberry frosted cupcakes ever, on Marge Perry’s A Sweet and Savory Life… and if you don’t tear up a little at the story, you may be Satan.

Here’s a great resource I found on Twitter: 13 Inspirational TED Talks for Writers from Aerogramme Writers’ Studio.

And finally, if you’re a man who is planning on skinny dipping in Scandanavia, Beware the Pacu. It’s a fish. That’s all I’m going to say about it.


Oh, come on, you at least have to click through and see the picture.

Happy Sunday.

My Vet’s Hotter Than Your Vet

Recently we changed vets. Our former vet was at the super chain pet emporium. Great staff; terrible corporate-structured business plan designed to make sure that every time you take your dog in it will cost at least $500. And  it will have to stay overnight.

So we have a new vet that we love even though we’ve only been there once so far. Then Casey developed an issue. There’s no polite way to say it: she wouldn’t pee. When I called to bring her in they asked if I could get a sample.

Me: Umm. That’s kind of the problem. Nothing’s really coming out.

They said not to worry about it. They’d take care of it at the office.

Casey and Jack are terribly attached to each other. Jack more so; he screams whenever they are separated. Yes, screams. Ever heard a pug scream? Click here. It’s neat. And loud. He started screaming when Casey and I walked out the door and he got left behind. I could hear him as I was pulling out of the driveway, even with the house closed up and the car windows rolled up.

In the car Casey jumped into my lap and forced her full body weight against my chest. She trembled silently as I attempted to steer around her. It was pathetic.

At the vet she kept looking back over her shoulder at me. Without her twin there, she was completely ungrounded.

We waited in the exam room.

Casey under my chair in the exam room

And then the doctor came in.

This was a different doctor than the one we saw before. Much different. This doctor was a hot Columbian chick in leather pants, knee-high boots, and a lab coat.

She was awesome.

We discussed Casey, and then the doctor scooped her up under one arm before Casey even knew what was going on and took her in the back to “get a sample”.

I’m not entirely sure how they managed to get a sample out of her. Did they just squeeze it out? Is it in any way like milking a cow? I kept picturing different scenarios until she came back in with Casey. And a sample.

I didn’t ask.

We put Casey on the exam table- which was an elevator, which totally freaked her out- and I held her head in a futile attempt to relax her. The vet meanwhile slapped on a rubber glove, lubed up and started manually checking Casey’s urethra for stones. Then she spoke to Casey in the most incongruous baby-dog voice and Casey calmed right down. Didn’t seem to mind at all. And I couldn’t think of a single appropriate thing to say.

Jack was Still. Screaming. When we got home. I’m glad no one called the cops on us this time. That happened.

Thinking about it afterwards, leather pants seem really appropriate for vets. They clean easily and offer way more protection against scratches and bites than scrubs do. There are probably a lot of other occupations that could benefit from leather pants. This has become my current obsession and I would love your input on which occupations you think could really do a better job utilizing all the benefits of leather pants.

Really, we’d all benefit. I’m thinking here perhaps a National Leather Pants Day (there isn’t one; I checked. There is, however, a National No Pants Day, though there is some great debate on what day that is).

 Meanwhile, your questions of the day: How do you think they got “the sample”? Who do you think should be wearing leather pants? When is National No Pants Day, and are you going to celebrate it?

Casey is going to be fine. Even with four medicines (because she also has an infection in her ear and between her toes) it was less than $500 and she didn’t have to stay overnight. One of the medicines is a shampoo for just her paws.

That I am supposed to leave on for fifteen minutes.

Which should be interesting.

Remember to enter my Pi Day Pie Challenge!

I Hate the Way You Lay On My Tiger Sunday

Right after we opened my current show, over seven years ago, I took a creative writing class in the city. It was the first time in my adult life that I knew I would be in the same place for the next ten weeks and available every Monday night, so I took advantage of it.

There was a woman in the class who had one of the best short story opening lines ever:

“I hate the way you eat your sandwich.”

It did then and continues to now serve as the basis by which I measure good dialogue in fiction.

Good dialogue in fiction comes from real life- our instructor, author Matt de le Peña taught us that. A statement like the one above can only come from someone stuck in a situation with another person that feels so interminable that they’re either going to kill the other guy, escape in the dead of night, or sell their soul to Satan to make it stop. It immediately sets tension and speaks volumes, with very few words.

When you’re with someone your whole life- or what feels like your whole life- you can fixate on the way they take their socks off, the sound they make before they answer the office phone, how they always move your coffee mug. It can make you crazy.

I hate the way you lay on my tiger. Just to mock me. Not even playing with it.

What do you fixate on? I’m looking for some good lines.

Here are your links.

My favorite description of a first encounter with foie gras: Duck, Duck, Gross on Friday Night Casserole.

A courageous post about mental illness: The Clothespin Theory on Going Round and Round.

I love this. From the about page: Honoring natural selection’s most baffling creations. Go home, evolution, you are drunk. WTF,Evolution?

I dug this post about taking a couple of teenagers to NYC for their first trip, and losing an audition: You Can Learn a Lot From Losing on Running On Wine. 

Heart Disease is the number one killer of women. February is National Heart Month. This is a great post from Darla about her mother: What the Heart Knows on She’s a Maineiac. Please do also watch the really eye-opening and funny video at the end of the post from Go Red For Women.

Happy Sunday.