Friday, October 27, 2017

Dreams come true: dog pee edition.

My worst nightmare is having a house that smells like dog pee. Forget zombies or that dream where you're at the grocery store nekkid. Having a house that smells and that people talk about behind my back is my number one fear.

This is Li'l Frankfurter.
If you sleep on your toys, that keeps your dog bro from filching your stuff.
He's a dachshund. He does not give a rat's ass about anything. Sure, he'll go potty outside ... if you remind him. But now that it's getting colder? Nope. Left to his own devices, he'd happily pee behind the couch.

Yeah. I rearranged our living room furniture because "behind the couch" became a magical land where all dog folk could do whatever they wanted. Now, there is no "behind the couch." And Li'l Frank has been feeling ... displaced.

So, our TV room is where the kennels are. And it's been smelling a little funky as of late. Why yes, just last week, I washed all our floors with hot water and vinegar. Yeah, on my hands and knees. But no, I didn't move the couch in the TV room. It's heavy and I was already in need of both attitude and chiropractic adjustments.

But last night? Last night, I noticed a few drops of liquid on the floor, right at the corner of said heavy couch. You know, right next to Li'l Frank's kennel? Some paper towel investigation showed that Li'l Frank had marked the corner of the couch ... and there was an ocean of urine under the couch.

I moved the couch.

And this is what I found.
No, that's not an archaeological dig.
Li'l Frank had confiscated bones from his brother, pushed them under the corner of the couch, and then marked the couch as his territory.

On one hand, I admire his ingenuity. And to stash his haul right next to his kennel? Smart move.

On the other hand? It's going to be a long winter.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Me, too, or death by a thousand paper cuts.

I've been a tiny bit reticent to jump into the "me, too" fray for one seriously messed-up reason: what happened to me wasn't *that* bad. Like, it could have been so much worse.

When you feel like being harassed instead of physically assaulted means you maybe don't have a right to be upset? That's all kinds of systemic sexism, like layers of being told "it's not that big of a deal" have grown into our skin, becoming part of us.


So let's talk about the "it's not big enough of a deal to report" stuff. Like the boss who came up behind 20-year-old me and started rubbing my shoulders. "You're so tense," he said. (Note: Yes, I was tense because my 50-year-old boss just started massaging me.) "You should come over to the house and sit in the hot tub. It will work those knots right out."

I think I responded with a half-hearted "Ehh-huh" - just enough to make him walk away. I was 20. I didn't know what to do. I was just a baby.

But as an adult? This is how it went down.

My Guy: "I had a great day. I figured out the fix to a big problem. I feel good. How was your day?"

Me: "On the drive into work, this guy was waving and smiling at me, right on the freeway. I finally figured out that he was adjusting his mirrors to look at my chest. Then, I got to work and had a conversation with my male coworker, who insisted that I set up a meeting for him. I refused, since the meeting had nothing to do with me. But he wouldn't let it go. So I ended up yelling, 'I AM NOT YOUR SECRETARY' into the phone before hanging up and slamming my head against my desk. Then, I figured out how to fix a big problem. Nobody paid attention to my fix until a male coworker half promoted it / half claimed it as his own idea. My boss later thanked me for my work but called me "kiddo." Then, on the way out of the parking garage, I got behind Creepy Rajeev, who was driving 2 miles per hour because he had his window down and was driving alongside and talking to every woman walking to her car. He followed four different women. It took me 20 minutes to get out of the garage. I AM SO FUCKING TIRED."

Just think of how much more women could accomplish if we weren't dealing with this bullshit every day. Because all those tiny moments of gritting teeth, of pep talks in the mirror in the ladies' room? They take a lot of mental and emotional energy. And now? NOW WE ARE TIRED.

And done. We're done.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Why I stopped writing.

I kind of stopped writing because I started to think that my stories didn't matter.

It's such a ballsy thing to stand up and say, "Yes, my story matters. It's important and I must get it out into the world and it will make a difference."

But I was depressed and couldn't imagine such things. So I made excuses. I was tired. I was working on writing that pays, writing about Joe's Mattress Shack and their new pillowtop ultra extreme bedding extravaganza. I wasn't denying the world anything of value.

Except I was. I am.

It's so easy to look at other people's stories and say, "YES! This is of value! Get this out in the world!" Like the story that Mary-Claire King tells about Joe DiMaggio babysitting her daughter at the airport. That's an important story.

But the gist of that story is that you never know what ripples a simple act of kindness will have in the world. In Mary-Claire's case ... well, you should just read the story.

In my case? Maybe somebody just needs to hear, "Me, too."

Or maybe I'm more of a cautionary tale. Whichever.

Either way, I'm getting back on the horse. I'm telling my stories, even when it hurts.

Here's what I've been up to:
  • Rehabbed our rental house, put it on the market, and got a full-price offer within an hour. An hour! Last time I tried to sell a house, it took nine months, so this was amazing. Except ... we knew we had to replace the roof. The roofers didn't tarp the roof correctly. We had a torrential rain. THE CEILINGS INSIDE THE HOUSE COLLAPSED FROM THE WATER DAMAGE. It's all so stupid. The roofing company took responsibility and it only moved our closing back a week, but My Guy and I both lost about 10 years off our lives due to stress.
    Dude. That's not supposed to look like that. Also, just out of frame? My husband and I having simultaneous heart attacks.
  • Obsessed all summer about going to the beach. It was to be my finish line after a summer of the aforementioned house flipping madness. I am one of those people who just neeeeeeds water. We were scheduled to go to Florida ... during the hurricane. When I called the hotel to cancel our non-refundable reservation, I was all, "You don't want me during the hurricane! I have no skillz!" and they were like, "You're right, we don't want you. Here's all your money back." I was relieved but ... slightly hurt.
  • Been mauled by this now-50-pound dog.
"Hey! I'mma jump on you, 'kay?"
So. Let's catch up. What's up with you?

Mega, huge, completely indebted thanks to reader Cyndi B. who reached out to say she missed my writing. Thank you.