Saturday, November 29, 2008

While I was out of town last weekend in Big Bear and my friend, Madeline, was dog sitting, Grace managed to somehow escape from her crate again. We have yet to determine exactly how she's doing it, and I'm beginning to think Houdini may have been a better name for her. Before she escaped, she pushed the crate off the plywood I had put it on (to prevent her getting at the carpet again through the floor of the crate) and was again able to destroy a patch of carpet. My boyfriend proceeded to spend an hour reinforcing her crate with steel wire, so she couldn't possibly squeeze out through any possible openings. He also installed a 2" steel plate along the front edge of the crate where there was an opening we thought she might be escaping from.

I had my friend, Dennis, who works with dogs, come meet Grace a week ago and give some advice to help with her separation anxiety. One thing he suggested was putting her crate in the dining room so she could be with Wally when I'm not there. Her crate is in the bedroom, and Wally usually hangs out downstairs. However, since she sleeps in her crate and will whine if she's not in the bedroom with me, this meant putting a second crate downstairs. Charles (the b/f) and I went through the same process with this crate: we cut a piece of plywood to set it on (so she can't destroy the floor) then NAILED the crate to the board (so she can't slide it off the wood and still destroy the floor). We then reinforced all the joints and possible openings with steel wire.

One day this week, Charles was at my place while I was at work, and he put Grace in her new downstairs/reinforced crate when he left, about 3 hours before I would come home from work. We were excited to see how the crate would stand up since we had spent so much time preparing against Grace's destruction. I got home to find Grace in her crate, and the crate beautifully intact. Unfortunately, the second thing I realized is we'd left the crate too close to the window drapes. Sigh. Back to the drawing board.

(In case you can't tell from the photograph, she has pulled the drapes down so hard that the force completely bent the bracket holding up the rod. The end of the drapes is actually in the crate and quite chewed up and shredded. She shreds anything that goes in the crate with her. I'm beginning to think about throwing in my bank and credit card statements for safety.)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Wally Wednesday everyone! I realized as I scanned my iPhone that I need to take more photos of Wally. This one will have to do for today. It illustrates why I have a king sized bed, despite the fact that I live by myself:

A friend at work turned me on to these funny videos. Someone has taken old music videos and revoiced them with lyrics to tell what's literally happening in the video. Funny stuff.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

In 1978, I was in the second grade at Harry S. Truman Elementary school in Vancouver, Washington. We had just moved into town after living in Battle Ground, and somehow (the details are pretty murky since I was only 7) my mom got me put in to the gifted program (GCY). I think we met once a week, and it was a small group of gifted kids in my grade and the grades closest to mine (think Malcolm in the Middle, but a little less socially inept). When my mom explained to me that I'd be a part of this special group, she explained, "I think they're studying stars this year." Excited, I exclaimed, "You mean like Shaun Cassidy!?"

The b/f and I just got back from a weekend in Big Bear. No snow, but we hiked the Cougar Crest trail up to the Pacific Crest trail. For those of you out of Southern California, it's the week before Thanksgiving, and we were hiking comfortably at 7,000 feet in shorts and t-shirts. Here's a photo from the weekend:

We're too happy, right? Tell me it isn't sort of sickening.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

With Halloween recently here, some friends have been posting photos from parties on their Facebook pages. Some of them are of their dogs...dressed up. I'm generally a "no clothes on the dog" kind of person, but I have to admit, I wasn't always this way. When Wally was a puppy (well, maybe a year old) I did try to dress him up for Halloween. As a cowboy. He kept the costume on for literally just enough time for me to shoot this photo. Then he ate the costume. No clothes for dogs!

How many of you are on Facebook? I've never been one for social interaction web sites - I never really did MySpace or Friendster or anything like that. However, I signed up for Facebook last year when several friends recommended it and now I'm hooked. There's been a recent flurry of old friends from school coming out of the woodwork because the class ahead of me had their 20 year reunion and a bunch of them signed up. Sometimes, I get friend requests from people I literally haven't seen or talked to since Junior High and even Elementary School. Facebook is a weird beast. It gives you this voyeruristic window into the lives of people you know (or hardly know, or knew 25 years ago) where you can see their moods through their status updates, and look at photos they've posted of them with their spouses, kids and friends...without ever having to actually talk to them. Some of the people I find on Facebook ARE really long lost friends who I am so glad I've reconnected with. And some of them are...well...people I'm glad live in other states.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I'd like to start out by saying I can't keep up with blogging every day anymore. With the exception of the month I spent out of the country in 2007, I have blogged every single day for the past two years, and I now find myself having problems finding the time and energy to blog. I'll still write, just not every day.
That being said, here's today's post. I had to get my haircut today. My stylist is in Marina Del Rey, but I was coming from Lakewood instead of from home. A big fire had broken out in Sylmar, which is only about 20 minutes from Pasadena. I thought, boy, I'm glad I'm not up there where it's smoky. While I was in the salon, another fire broke out stretching from Corona to Anaheim. It's still 25 miles from here, but the wind is blowing toward Lakewood. On the drive back there, this is what the sky looked like. If you're thinking to yourself, "Just looks like another smoggy L.A. day to me," take a look at the second photo. I took it only 30 seconds after the first out the side of the car, instead of the front.

The reason I'm in Lakewood is this is where the new boyfriend lives. He has a dog, too...a German Shepard named Kraut, who Grace and Wally both love to play with. When I left for Marina Del Rey, I put her in her crate and, of course, latched it. The crate is in the bedroom, but I left the door open so Kraut and Wally could keep her company. I came back and was greeted at the door by Wally and...Grace! WTF? I went to the bedroom to find out how the hell she got out of the crate, only discover the bedroom door closed. She had somehow locked Kraut in the bedroom. AND - the crate is still closed and latched and I can't figure out for the life of me hoe on earth she got out of it. The best part is that she ate a new pair of my shoes. Sigh. This one is trying my patience.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

There's a long list of things I hate about having to go work in the office instead of getting to work from home. However, one thing on the positive side is that I get to listen to Kevin and Bean in the morning on KROQ. I was a commuter for years, and have never listened to any other morning show. (If you've never heard them, you can check out their podcast here). Since I only listen to the radio in the car, I really miss out on the show when I'm working from home. This week I also noticed that K&B have started something new called "Cinco de la Tarde" (5 in the afternoon). They're now on the air an extra hour in the afternoon, from 5p-6p, which is great, because I don't have to listen to some stupid drive time show - I just get to listen to more K&B. Yay!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I took Grace to work for the first time today for the whole day. She did remarkably well, other than whining and scratching at my office door whenever I had to run down the hall for something. Everyone told her how cute she is and scratched her head. Wally seemed irked this morning to see I was taking her to work instead of him - he loves it at the office. Unfortunately, I can't handle having both of them there so he had to stay home. I wonder if he enjoyed the quiet day to himself without his little sister, remembering the days before we got Grace? Or whether he sat at home missing his new friend?

When Grace and I got home, Wally seemed happy to see her and they ultimately had a game of tug of war with a toy. I think he missed her after all. Happy Wally Wednesday, everyone!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Crate training FAIL

Monday, November 10, 2008

It's my first day back in the office and already my back is killing me from the bad ergonomics in here. 6:30 came really early this morning. Super early, really, since I usually don't get up until 9-ish. I felt bad for poor Grace. I had to put her in her crate last night while I went and played hockey, came back around 11pm and let her outside for a bit. Then had to put her BACK in the crate so I could go to bed. This morning, we got up and I let them out and fed them. Then after I showered and ate breakfast, the poor little thing had to go right back into her crate. Luckily, my maid is coming today, so I left her a note in my best Spanish asking her to let Grace out of her crate while she's there. Poor girl. I'll have to bring her into the office later this week and hope she doesn't freak out when one of the owner's aggressive little dogs barks at her in the hallway.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Whew! I had a nice relaxing weekend with the dogs. Tomorrow begins round 2 of Showdown. Sigh. I have to be in the office at 8, and that should pretty much last until March. I am not pleased. Neither is Wally, and especially not Gracie. She still can't be trusted and is going to end up spending a hell of a lot of time in her crate, where she (and my electrical cords) can be safe.

I watched the movie Get Smart with Steve Carell the other night. When I first heard they were remaking the old television show into a film and had cast Carell in the role of Maxwell Smart, I was ecstatic. I couldn't think of anyone better for the part. Then I heard a lot of really bad reviews of the film and never ended up seeing it. I have to say, I laughed out loud through much of this movie and am now wondering how anyone could have thought it wasn't very funny. If you like Carell, you'll enjoy this movie. His wit and humor fit nicely into the role of Smart, and hopefully, you'll enjoy the movie as much as I did. (The three of you who haven't seen it yet).

Saturday, November 08, 2008

I can't believe it's November and the weather is still warm. Get colder, damnit! It's cold in the mountains at night, but still too warm during the day for them to manufacture snow and keep it on the ground. I want the snowboarding season to start already. I have a brand new board with new bindings, new pants and new jacket. I'm ready to ride!

I spent some time this morning attacking my front yard (and I do mean attacking - you should see it). I abhor yard work. No matter what I seem to do to my rose bushes, they just keep growing. I literally cut them back so far they SHOULD die, but they don't. I'm tempted to pull out every bush and put in rocks.

Shortly, I have a meeting in Hollywood with the director of the short film I'm going to be editing. It shoots in a couple of weeks and should keep me busy until spring. I'm planning on taking the train into town so I can save on gas and parking. Unfortunately, because the train here is so slow, I'll probably have to leave an hour and a half ahead of the meeting.

What's on everyone else's weekend agenda?

Friday, November 07, 2008

Living room lamp - 0
Gracie - 1

Yep - she completely chewed off the PLUGGED IN power cord. Now I have a perfectly good lamp, and no way to plug it in.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I hope my friend, Jennifer, doesn't mind me reposting from her blog. She's an elementary school teacher at a Catholic school, and this was posted the morning after the election. I thought it was interesting enough (and awful enough) to pass along:

"So it is real. Barack Obama will be our next president. I was so happy this morning when I saw the cover of the newspaper.

I went to school with a spring in my step and hope for the future. One of my boys came skipping in smiling. He immediately asked me if I had heard that Obama won. I laughed and said no I had not heard that. Then he laughed and said I know you did! It was cute. So half the class was excited and half was disappointed. I have not voiced any opinion either way. They do not know who I voted for - only that I am happy it is over. And so it happened that before the bell even rang I had students in tears.

One of the kids had said that Obama is a Muslim and that Muslims kill people. Another said that Obama wants to kill babies and a girl told a boy whose father is a Marine that his dad kills people. So rather than being able to highlight the historic moment of having the first African American president and talking about how anyone in America could become president, I had to focus on the need for understanding and tolerance. Once everyone was calmed down we went on with our school day.

After school I talked with a few of the parents about what their kids had said. The principal offered to come and talk to my class, but we decided it would be better to have Father Michael come. He will be in my room next Friday talking about tolerance and other faiths.

Kids are the future and usually I am surprised by their insight and kindness, but today was a rough one for me. To come to work with such hope for the future and then to have my students saying such hurtful things to each other was hard. Although we have come a long way, we still have work do to and it will not be easy. Already people are praying that Obama does, in fact, become president and that he is not assassinated. There have already been death threats and in Portland there was a cardboard cutout of Obama hanging from a tree on a college campus. I hope that we can live up to the promise of the future, that we can end the divisions and come together as Barack said in his speech last night - that we are more than red or blue states, that we are the United States and yes we can. We have no other choice."

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Hail to the Chief

The dogs and I did quite the little happy dance here when we discovered Obama had clinched the election. For those of you who missed Obama's amazing victory speech, you can read it here.

(In case anyone is wondering, I know it's Wednesday, but Wally has said he doesn't want to steal President Obama's thunder. He will return next week for Wally Wednesday).

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

This sticker seems like a stupid little thing to get excited about as an adult, but every time I vote, I happily walk away with one stuck to my shirt. I felt especially happy this morning after voting at my poll where I didn't even have to wait. Friends in other parts of the city reported waiting from 1-2 hours to vote. The returns so far look extremely good, but it's hard for me to feel optimistic after experiencing the Gore debacle back in 2000. I vividly remember working a job until midnight where we all celebrated in front of the returns on the internet, then grew slowly silent as we watched once blue states turn red, one by one, in front of us. It was horrifying. I must admit, though, the dogs and I all feel a happy dance coming on (the dogs are Dems, of course). Fingers crossed. Congratulations to the rest of you who got your own stickers today.

Monday, November 03, 2008

I have received approximately 1,000 calls in the last couple of days from the Democratic party, making sure I'm voting for Barack Obama. You would think the fact that I'm a registered Democrat who donated money to his campaign would be enough to ensure them which way I'm voting, but apparently not. I finally picked up the phone to actually talk to the person calling so I could reassure them I am, in fact, planning on voting for Obama tomorrow, and yes, I'm voting no on props 4 and 8. My phone rang again 15 minutes later. Sheesh! At least they're doing their job.

Make sure you get out and vote tomorrow, and if you know someone who just turned 18 and is new to it, make sure THEY vote. Here's to a brighter tomorrow.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Grace has chewed up two of my three remote controls since I got her. In fact, I can no longer control my Blu Ray player because you can't fully control the disc with the buttons on the front of the unit. I broke down today and did something I never thought I'd do - I bought a universal remote control. Yes, it was almost $80, but I figured it would cost me at least that much to order a new one for the Blu Ray and another for my DVR. It was actually really easy to set up (and even worked with my Mac with no problem). All I had to do was plug the remote into my computer via USB, tell it the make and models of what components I wanted to control, and voila! My TV, my Blu Ray, and my DVR all on the same remote. It's awesome! Now, if I can just remember to hide it out of Grace's reach whenever I'm not using it.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Tonight, a friend and I went to the Shipwreck at the Queen Mary. For those of you not in the area, it's sort of like a giant haunted house thing they put on every year. The Queen Mary is already known for being haunted, which makes it that much more creepy. There were 6 mazes we went through which were dark and filled with smoke and strobe lights. People dressed in creepy costumes jumped out of the dark at us, snuck up on us, and used every means you can think of to startle us. I'd never been to anything like it so I didn't know what to expect, which is probably why the first maze scared me the most. Well, not really scared, but I got quite startled. Some of the mazes are even on the ship and one winds through the boiler room. I think that one was the coolest. I also liked the one where we had to wear 3D glasses through the maze. I haven't laughed so hard in a long time and I sometimes even found the scary ghouls laughing at me because of how much I startled. I'm definitely going again next year!