Thursday, March 31, 2011

Big Dog, Dumb People

An Open Letter to people who think that the fact that I have a large dog means I want to hear their idiotic opinions when I’m walking him (and believe me, I don’t).

Dear Morons:

I thought today would be a great time to address all of your asinine questions and comments at one time.  Here you go.
  1. No, Boomer is not a horse.  No, I don’t ride him.  No, he doesn’t have a saddle.
  2.  It most certainly does *not* look like Boomer is walking me.  He’s very gentle and walks on a loose leash, which in the dog world means he doesn’t pull.
  3. Are you really asking me about his poop?  I can save you some if you’d like.  I’ll leave it on your front porch later tonight.
  4. No, he doesn’t bite.   Do you think we’d be standing this close to you if he did?
  5. No, he doesn’t participate in dog fights (seriously!?!?).
  6. I bathe him with the hose, like I would any other dog.
  7. No, you may not borrow him for the weekend to impregnate your dog.  First of all, he’s neutered.  Secondly, what the hell is wrong with you?
  8. He eats dog food.  Because he’s a dog.
  9. Again with the poop?  Why the interest?
  10. He sleeps in a dog bed.  You know he’s a dog, right?
  11. No, I don’t “fold him up” to put him in the car.  He fits in the car the same way a 135-pound person would.  He puts his butt on the seat and his feet on the floorboard.      
  12. Thank you for pointing out that both my dogs appear to be “full breed” and that I should have rescued a dog instead of getting them from a breeder.  You are a judgmental jackass.  Both dogs came from rescue groups.  Any breed of dog can end up homeless, even Dalmatians and Great Danes.
  13. Yes I am aware the Great Danes can have health issues.  They can also live well over 10 years if given proper care.  Thanks for telling me that death is imminent for my dog.  You are a delightful person.  I bet you’re all kinds of fun at a party.
I hope I've cleared up all your thought provoking, intelligent questions.  I'd also like to give a shout out to all the awesome people (who are not morons with asinine comments) that I've met when I'm out walking Boomer and Marley.  You guys ROCK and I'm glad to know you!



Love ya, Boomer Boy!  Good Dog!

And just to give equal time to my girl Marley:

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Circumspect Seasons

I'd like to apologize to my fellow Atlantans for the disappearance of Spring.  It's all my fault.  We had a long stretch of warm sunny days that sent me straight to the mall for new Spring clothes, which naturally caused an immediate drop in temperature and torrential rains.

In other news, at some point in the last few years I seem to have become an adult.  I didn't actually notice on my own - my best pal Suzy pointed it out to me.  Here's how she knew: After Jeff & I received our bonuses from our respective employers this year, we entered into heated negotiations regarding the amount of money I should spend on new clothes for work (now that I'm out in front of the public more, I really needed to spiff up the wardrobe).

Jeff manages our money because I'm, well, me (AKA the Britney Spears of our family, sans the head shaving).  Trust me on this one, it's better for everyone involved that I don't have carte blanche to spend.  I have an individual bank account for my spending money (I'm not completely crazy), but we discuss  purchases from our joint account before making them.  So I brought my wardrobe-enhancement-plan to the table.  I originally asked for $500, which caused Jeff to choke on his Cheerios.  He countered with $200 and we eventually settled on $300.  And yes, I do know that we're in a recession but I can't pitch custom homes to the public wearing a pair of khakis and a polo with our company logo on it, which is pretty much what I wore to work previously.  I know. Not sexy. 

So I had $300 in hand to spend however I wanted.  In my former life, I would have gone straight to the Coach store and dropped the entire amount on a new purse, wardrobe be damned.  But I didn't.  I actually went shopping for work clothes and that's exactly what I bought.  Check me out peeps - I'm all growns up!  Sort of - every self-respecting woman knows that you can't get a really good Coach bag for $300, anyway, and I'm still kind of pissed about how crappy the new line looks.  

Which brings me right back to the unfortunate departure of Spring.  There's nothing worse than fabulous new clothes mocking me from my closet while I bundle up and go to work day after day.  I had to wear a frigging parka to walk the dogs yesterday morning. WTF?!?!  I'm seriously considering returning all the clothes in an attempt to coax Spring back into action.  That should work, right?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

SB 10: My Precious

Update on SB 10 (for those of you too lazy to check online or buy a newspaper): The House Rules Committee didn't consider the bill in their meeting yesterday (slackers!), but the Committee is scheduled to meet again on Monday and is expected to consider the bill then.  The Rules Committee decides which bills are sent to the House floor for a full vote, so until the bill gets through the Committee there won't be any progress.

Full House vote could occur as soon as Tuesday, and if the vote is affirmative the bill goes straight to Gov. Deal (who says he'll sign it if it makes it to his desk).  And then...get to the polls, people!  And frankly, I should get to vote at least twice on this issue based on my efforts to get it passed.  May be even three times.

I have to admit I've kind of been in love with championing Senate Bill 10 (AKA "My precious") and the subtle civics lessons I've received as a result.  I'm tempted to find a new issue to embrace once (if?) SB 10 passes.  After I sober up, of course.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Go, Senate Bill 10, GO!!!

An update on Senate Bill 10 (AKA Legislation to give Georgians rights they should have had all along):

After passing the Senate last week (and it only took 5 years of wrangling - nice job, Senators!), the bill is headed through two House committees this week and is expected to hit the floor for a vote by the full chamber next week - possibly as early as Monday.  It passed the House Regulated Industries Committee with less than 10 minutes of discussion and minimal opposition.  Guess some of my fellow tipplers serve on that committee!

It's not a slam dunk, primarily because if the House makes any changes whatsoever the bill would have to go back to the Senate for another vote.  God help us all if this happens.  If I have to face another 5 years of stocking up on booze every Saturday afternoon, watch the news for stories about a 40-ish woman in North Atlanta running naked through the streets screaming "I wanna voooooooooote!".

The president of the Christian Coalition continues his dumb-ass whining about how there will be more fatal car wrecks if the legislation passes (which is bullshit, by the way - he's using faulty data from another state to make his case) and when that didn't work he said that House members who vote for the bill are being paid for their vote by the alcohol industry.  Nice display of Christian ethics, Mr. Luquire.

I still don't see what the big damn deal is in the Legislature.  They're not voting to allow retail sales of alcohol on Sundays, they're voting to allow citizens to vote to allow it.  Know what that's called?  Democracy!

Monday, March 21, 2011


Jeff started Shamu-ing me this weekend.

If you're not familiar with the concept of Shamu-ing, I read about it around 2008 when I came across a book by Amy Sutherland called "What Shamu Taught Me About Life, Love & Marriage: Lessons from Animals and Their Trainers" (hilarious book, by the way).

The book claims that humans can be trained using the same techniques used at SeaWorld to train dolphins and killer whales.  Specifically, trainers reward the behaviors they want and completely ignore undesired behaviors.

I know this method.  I use this method on Jeff all the time.  And he finally realized what I've been doing and is giving it right back to me.  He's not even trying to hide it!  The worst part (or best part according to Jeff) is that my Dad was at our house on Sunday and there was a serious Shamu-conspiracy going on.  No wait, the worst part is that Jeff admitted he was doing it.  He finds it hilarious, especially because I get so annoyed when he does it.

Here's a little example: I cooked dinner on Saturday night and he heaped praise on me like I had just served The Last Supper on a Silver Platter.  Way over the top gratitude.  Then on Sunday, I accidentally set fire to the toaster oven (again) and he completely ignored me.  I repeatedly yelled for him to come help me but he kept ignoring me until I took care of it myself.

This?  Will not stand.

Jeff's Shamu-Kung-Fu is not strong.  This killer whale is about to beach his ass.

Endnote: If you Google "Shamuing", you'll also find this awesome (and completely unrelated) definition in the Urban Dictionary: "Someone who tells obvious lies about everyday life and lies about anything and everything just to make themselves look good thus looking stupid and pathetic purely because they think everyone actually believes them".  Thankfully, this type of Shamu-ing is *not* going on in my marriage.  As far as I know.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Coalition Kryptonite

Holy Buckets, people.  Senate Bill 10 Passed!  You can thank me later.   If don't live in Georgia, SB 10 is the proposal to allow local communities to vote on whether to allow retail stores to sell alcohol on Sunday (and oh, baby, do I ever love a referendum!).  It's not a slam dunk - the bill still has to clear the House of Representatives and the Governor has to sign it (he has already said he'll sign), but it's looking like this is the year Georgia finally stops kowtowing to the Christian Coalition and starts recognizing citizen's rights. All of which will give us...the same rights that 47 other states have.  Thanks, GA Senate, for bringing us into the 19th Century.

Holy spitballs, I love GA Legislature Crossover Day almost as much as I love coconut vodka (well may be not almost as much, but you get the picture).  Kind of makes me wish that the House &Senate would only meet three times a year: Once to introduce bills, once for crossover day to vote, and once more to vote on bills that come over from the opposite chamber.  Imagine how much would get done!  No time for posturing or debate, just read the bill and vote.  Does debating ever change anyone's mind?  I think not.

I'm so hoping that the county in which I live decides to have Town Hall meetings to discuss the issue.  Because guess what I am?  Christian Coalition Kryptonite.  My friends, I'm identical to the majority of the members of the Christian Coalition in every way except one: my beliefs.  So when they show up all squeaky-clean and ready for battle, my squeaky-clean ass will be right there with a defense (or an offense, depending on which side you're on).

Don't believe me?  Take a look at this:

Granted, this was a handful of years ago, but have you ever seen a more all-American couple?  I'm wearing flannel and we're posing with a glass of sweet tea for Chrissakes!  Jeff looks like a televangelist and I'm all Stepford wife.

Here's a recent one (and apparently someone's been hitting the Cheeto's a little too hard lately):

Look at that, Christian Coalition:  We're the people who want to buy booze on Sunday.  There's nothing to fear from us!

So when my well-scrubbed, over-educated, professionally-dressed, sober (I can do it, I swear) ass steps up to the podium at the next Town Hall meeting, they're going to think I'm one of them - because according to the Christian Coalition only godless, thieving, baby-raping-sons-of-bitches would buy a bottle of Pinot Grigio on the Lord's Day.  Certainly not long-married, professional college graduates who live in the burbs!  Like, say, me for example.

And then I'll remind them that they can't protect their rights by infringing on mine.  If Sunday sales become legal in the county in which I live, they still have every right not to buy beer, wine or liquor.  It's a win-win.  You still have your rights, but now I have mine. 

Time to dust off my favorite adjective and say that the future for Sunday liquor sales in Georgia looks....awesome!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Perfection isn't really a reasonable goal, anyway.

Oh dear God, I saw the best sign *ever* on the way to work today.

You know those giant signs in front of gas stations on which they change the price for a gallon of gas as prices fluctuate?  It was one of those signs at a local BP, but it also had room above the prices for them to list items on sale or put a stupid tag line or write whatever they want to in an effort to bring in business.  It usually says something like "gal milk $1.99" or "carton cigs on sale".

Today's tag line?  "Persue Perfection".

No, I did not just make a typo.  They actually spelled a word wrong while advising people driving by to strive to be their best.  For a brief flash I though they were being ironic (which would have been 18 kinds of awesome), but this is a gas station we're talking about.

I've never loved a tag line more in my life.  It's my new mantra.

Persue Perfection, People!  Try to be the best, but don't try so hard that you put in any actual effort.  As I always say at work, some days it's enough just to show up.  And if you're showered and dressed appropriately?  Bonus!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Groundhog Day, marriage style

Jeff and I have the same conversation just about every day. We’d probably have it every day, but we don’t see each other that much. LAB’s secret to a healthy marriage = a lot of time spent apart. The topic differs from day to day, but the conversation is basically the same. Since you (never) asked, I thought I’d give you a little peek into the inner workings of a marriage heading into the 10-year-mark.

LAB: (looking out the back door) Hey, my Jonquils are coming up!
Jeff: What the hell is a Jonquil? Do you mean the Daffodils?
LAB: They’re called Jonquils. I know because my mom grew them at her house, too.
Jeff: They’re Daffodils. And as I’ve mentioned previously, just because your Mother said something doesn’t make it true.
LAB: Google it, Jack Ass.
Jeff: (goes to computer) Here it is. Botanic name is Narcissus, also commonly called Daffodil.
LAB: Scroll down, Yankee Boy. It says ‘the name Jonquil is sometimes used in North America, particularly in the South’.
Jeff: It says Daffodil first, which makes me more right. And why do you always think being Southern makes you smarter than I am?
LAB: I think I’m smarter because I’m smarter. Being Southern is just a bonus.
Jeff: When you start a sentence with the words ‘I think’, it pretty much guarantees that anything you say afterward is bullshit.
LAB: Being wrong makes you so pissy. Do you think my Jonquils will die if there’s another frost?
Jeff: No, but the Daffodils will.

Clearly we were meant for each other.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Can't tell the difference between visage and vagina

I'll be the first to admit I'm not a baby person.  I adore toddlers & kids, but babies just aren't my thing.  I don't get all squishy when I see a newborn in a stroller or a babe-in-arms at the grocery store.  Sure they have that new-baby-smell, but that's only about 10% of the time.  The rest of the time babies smell like a cross between mildew and sewage - sickly sweet and mildly unpleasant.  The only good thing about babies is that when you put one down you can come back later and find it right where you left it.

Anyway, I saw my pregnant friend yesterday and she showed me a bunch of pictures from her ultrasound.  Ultrasound pictures look like abstract art to me: I know there's something there but I just can't make sense out of it.  I know enough about being a good friend to make an effort, so I looked through the pictures and then pointed to one that I thought was the face and said (in all sincerity) "oh, look at the sweet face!"

My friend gave me the "LAB, you're a moron" look and said "That's the crotch.  The doctor took a picture to show me that it's a girl."

Whatever, people.   I tried.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The one where Jeff becomes a welder

Jeff has been buying "how to" books about welding recently.  I'm not sure what to make of it.  Should I be worried?

Late yesterday he asked me if I wanted to go to Barnes & Noble with him for more welding books.  I declined, primarily because I was already well into the wine cabinet but also because I was afraid to find out what kind of people we'd encounter in the welding section of a bookstore.

After he went to bed last night I opened one of the books he bought because I thought may be "welding" was a metaphor for something awesome.  It's not.

I don't know what kind of trouble he's stirring up this time, but I know I should be afraid.  Very afraid.

Friday, March 4, 2011

The one where I get a couple of extra dollars

Guess what I got yesterday?  MY (petite) BONUS!!!  That's right, folks.  In the 2010 world of real estate land development there was a bit of "scratch" left over, and some of it trickled down to me.

Do you know what this means?  We're going to LIVE people!  Sure, it's not the same bonus I received in 2007 (the last time bonuses were paid by my employer).  It's barely 10% of the bonus of yore.  But still!  It's money I didn't have a couple of days ago.  Although technically I don't have it now either, since Jeff took the check away from me as soon as I showed it to him. *sigh*

I've got a good feeling about this year, especially since at this time last year I was just happy to have a job that didn't require a hairnet and a vinyl apron.  Bring it 2011!!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Things I’d like to kick in the cojones, v. 2011.02

You (never) asked for it…you got it!  More of my 2011 “cojones list”:

People who try to reach me by calling every possible phone number in quick succession:  This one drives me absolutely crazy.  I’m not going to name names here (although the person most guilty of this offence is commonly referred to in my family as “Dad”), but if it’s not an emergency why is it necessary to call my office phone, then my cell phone, then my home phone?  Seriously.  Why, why, why?  I was leaving work in a hurry on Monday trying to get home before the impending tornadoes when my desk phone rang.  I recognized the number and figured I’d return the call when I got home.  On the way to my car, my cell phone rang.  Same caller.  I finally got home (after driving through the onslaught of rain) and there’s a message on my home phone from said person as follows: “Just checking in.  No big deal, catch you later.”  GAH!!!  I’ll admit that I’m guilty of ignoring phone calls.  One of the benefits of not having kids is that it’s nobody’s damn business where I am or what I’m doing.  But if you need me, just call my cell phone and leave it at that.  You don’t even need to leave a message!  I’ll see that you called and get back to you (eventually).

Journalists:  As the proud owner of a (much wasted) Journalism degree, I’m appalled by the news industry today.  Do you know who determines what news is?  Journalists (and producers and editors et al).  Apparently these douche bags believe that “news” is Lindsey Lohan and Charlie Sheen and John Galliano.  It’s not.  And those “what would you do” shows?   Those aren’t news stories.  If you’re paying people to act from a script, it’s entertainment.  And it sucks.  Here’s a little tidbit to get journalists headed in the right direction:  If the word “rehab” appears in a story, cut it from the program (or the newspaper or any magazine that doesn’t feature gossip).  I’d like to propose that the news industry make a clean break from the entertainment industry and just report the damn news.  You know, world issues and shit.  It’s out there!   

The horizontal lines slowly creeping across my forehead.  What. The. Hell.  I’ll admit that I’ve been hoping for something to distract from the vertical lines that recently appeared between my eyebrows, but this isn’t what I had in mind.  “Aging like an old suitcase” used to be a punch line for me.  Not so much anymore.   Now I know why women of a certain age (i.e. 40’s, like me) wear long bangs.  F*ck you tiny lines.  Don’t even think about turning into wrinkles.  You and I are headed for the championship bout…and you’re going down!  Ding! Ding! Ding!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Things I’d Like to Kick in the Cojones, v. 2011.01

I didn’t post yesterday because I was generally pissy and didn’t have anything to say.  Today?  Still pissy, but much more specifically.  Today I know what’s bothering me and it’s a list full.  Been awhile since I’ve posted a “cojones list”, so here you go:

Mall Kiosks and Carts:  No, you may not see my phone.  No, I don’t want to try your sea salt scrub.  I don’t care if it came from the Red Sea, the Salton Sea or Chicken of the Sea, stop approaching me with a palm full of dubious goop and attempting to rub it on me.  And a big double hell no, I do not want you to whiten my teeth right here in the middle of the mall walkway in front of a boatload of strangers.  I know my teeth could be whiter, but I’m not letting some high school dropout who couldn’t find a better job stick his hands in my mouth.  Screw all of you!  Move your ass out of my way so I can buy my overpriced lotion at Bath & Body Works and go home.

Twitter:  I tried it (@StarkRavingLAB).  I didn’t like it.  May be I’m not sufficiently needy or desperate for attention.  I don’t need to know about the last time a celebrity took a dump or where everyone I know in the Twitter-verse is at any given time, and I’m certainly not sharing those things about myself.  It’s impossible to follow a “conversation” with all the Tweeting and Retweeting and blah, blah, blah.  It’s all just noise to me.  It gives morons (present company excluded) an opportunity to spout off about things they don’t understand without offering any backup or rationalization. It’s like diarrhea of the keyboard. Quick, dirty and forgotten in a flash. No thank you.

And while I’m on the topic of social networking, People who share a Facebook account with their spouse: What the hell?  Is there a reason you don’t have individual accounts?  Does one of you have no friends?  Is there a level of mistrust in your relationship that prevents you from communicating with others without your spouse’s review and approval?  I don’t get it.  And that ridiculous smashup of your two names that you use as your FB account name?  Lame.

People who come to my office, ask me for a favor and then bitch me out while I perform said favor.   A couple who lives in the community in which I work recently stopped by the office to ask if anyone here is a notary.  I told them that I am, and while I was notarizing their paperwork they started bitching me out about how crowded the pool is, how they need a bigger clubhouse and how their new fence didn’t get approved.  Really?  So glad I could stop what I was doing (i.e. my job), perform a free service that you would have to pay for elsewhere and get my ass chewed out for my trouble.  It also happened to me when I agreed to drive to a resident’s home to notarize a document for their ancient mother who couldn’t leave the house.  Seriously.  I got in my car, drove to their house, notarized their documents and got treated like shit about things over which I have no control. Lesson learned.  My notary seal is officially expired for them.

Snakes:  I hate them.  They love me.  The live in my yard and greet me on dog walks.  They live in my attic and shed their nasty skins.  Much like Visa, they’re everywhere I want to be. Want to know the last time I saw a live snake?  Yesterday at 5 pm while I was walking to my car after work.  It was right there on the sidewalk like it had every right to be in my path.  It was a baby snake, so I’m really looking forward to meeting it again when it’s all grown up this summer.  I’m like a frigging snake magnet.  If you have kids who want to see a snake just have them stand next to me and one will be right along.

All Atlanta drivers except me:  Hang up, wait your turn and for the love of God use your damn turn signal.  That is all.

More cojones targets to follow later this week.  Previous lists can be found here and here.

Whew!  I feel better.  Thanks for letting me vent!