Sunday, December 23, 2007

Favorite Christmas Movie Quotes


George Bailey: What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That's a pretty good idea. I'll give you the moon, Mary.
Mary: I'll take it. Then what?
George Bailey: Well, then you can swallow it, and it'll all dissolve, see... and the moonbeams would shoot out of your fingers and your toes and the ends of your hair... am I talking too much?
~It's a Wonderful Life

Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Over the years I got to be quite a connoisseur of soap. Though my personal preference was for Lux, I found that Palmolive had a nice, piquant after-dinner flavor - heavy, but with a touch of mellow smoothness. Life Buoy, on the other hand... YECCHH!
~A Christmas Story

Fred Holywell: [on his Uncle Ebenezer] ... His wealth is quite useless to him, really. He doesn't do any good with it; he doesn't even make HIMSELF comfortable with it.
Ebenezer Scrooge: [whom nobody else can see or hear] I haven't SQUANDERED it, if that's what you mean by "making myself comfortable!"
Ghost of Christmas Present: You mustn't argue with those in the right. It's pointless, and even tactless.
Ebenezer Scrooge: Tact is a quality I despise.
Ghost of Christmas Present: *That* I can see.
~A Christmas Carol

Frank Cross: I want to see her nipples.
Censor Lady: But this is a CHRISTMAS show.
Frank Cross: Well, I'm sure Charles Dickens would have wanted to see her nipples.
Guy who works on set: You can barely see them nipples.
Frank Cross: See? And these guys are REALLY looking.
~Scrooged

Kevin McCallister: I took a shower washing every body part with actual soap; including all my major crevices; including in between my toes and in my belly button which I never did before but sort of enjoyed. I washed my hair with adult formula shampoo and used cream rinse for that just-washed shine. I can't seem to find my toothbrush, so I'll pick one up when I go out today. Other than that, I'm in good shape.
~Home Alone

Clark Griswold: Where do you think you're going? Nobody's leaving. Nobody's walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We're all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We're gonna press on, and we're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he's gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse.
~Christmas Vacation

Santa: That's another thing... Buddy you should know that your father... he's on the naughty list.
Buddy: Nooooo!
~Elf

John McClane: Merry Christmas, Argyle.
Argyle: Merry Christmas.
Argyle: [Argyle shuts the limo door]
Argyle: Man, if this is their idea of Christmas, I *gotta* be here for New Year's.
~Die Hard
(Yippie-kay-yay, motherfucker is really my favorite, but I was trying for a holiday quote.... )

Have a great holiday everyone!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Who Knew Burger King Was Into S & M?

This site just cracks me up. It's called Subservient Chicken and you have to see it for yourself.

I'm generally too chicken myself to ask him to do more than the chicken dance. Let me know if any of you are brave enough (or clever enough) to come up with some interesting commands.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

For Those Who Can Get to New York on Short Notice...

I have movie premier tickets at Madison Square Garden for "I Am Legend" to giveaway on my Sci-fi blog. Go HERE to find out how to enter!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Light! I Can See the Light!

My parents flew out this morning. They really did it. They really left and I managed to prevent them from moving in with me. How I prevented this miracle tragedy (already drunk while writing this...) is still a mystery to me. Of course, I still need to stay vigilant to make sure that I don't end up with family members mooching off of me later, but I think we've set a good precedent.

I can breath now. I may not even need a bottle of wine to go to bed with. Starting tomorrow...

Friday, November 30, 2007

Time For a Crazy Check

I have a friend who is going through the same kind of B.S. with her mom that I've had going on with my parents. And we were wondering if it's a generational thing, you know- crazy baby-boomers, or if it's an age thing and we're all going to act like that someday.

We have both decided that we would rather be strung up by our eyeballs than end up like our moms, so we've promised each other that if we see the other doing anything reminiscent of our bat-shit-crazy mothers, we are obligated to give each other a 'crazy check.'

I think this could work, don't you? I mean, wouldn't it get your attention if someone said to you, "um, you're starting to act like your mom..."

((shudder))

But mostly, I'm thinking it'll be time to end it if my daughter ends up with a 'crazy check' agreement with one of her friends.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Sob

I wish I didn't need to use my blog as a diary. I wish I didn't feel like the acid in my stomach is a volcano ready to erupt. I wish my parents were leaving when they originally said they were going to *&^%$# leave!

They delayed their flight by three days. That might not seem like much, but it's an eternity to me. I went over to their house today to pack up stuff that they've graciously decided to pawn off on me and my gut has been ready to explode ever since.

Is it wrong to wish for a big blow-up so I can tell my dad never to call me again? I actually wish for this too.

The drama right now is over the fact that my parents want to store a bunch of stuff in our garage. My husband is so mad he can't see straight. My dad lays this guilt trip on me that because we're "family" he shouldn't have to even feel bad about asking us to store his shit for him. WTF? I don't remember seeing a family rulebook that says it's okay to take advantage of your kids without guilt. Then my dad tells me that because he gave us this pinball machine that my husband wanted ....I could've paid for a years worth of storage for what I could have sold that for..... we should store his stuff for him. My husband is ready to go rent a truck and park the pinball machine in their driveway.

I don't blame him.

My parents have also said they want to spend the night with us right before they leave but I think that's going to be off the table. My husband has decided he will put them up in a hotel before that comes to pass and I think that's wise. I can just see my dad telling us, after he's already in the door, that he's postponed his flight again and they're going to spend Christmas with us.

I think not.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Stress!!!

I'm as so stressed. I know I've been using my blog as a personal diary lately with TMI in virtually every post. But I'm sure you've been there before, haven't you? The stress you're dealing with is family related and you can't exactly call your mom and tell her what's going on when your mom is the problem. And my poor husband is just plain tired of hearing about it. And frankly, hearing his rants about my family don't exactly lift the stress right off of my shoulders either.

We're moving this week (Ya!) and that's actually not too bad. We have probably had the most hassle-free home purchase ever. This is so ironic considering the credit crunch that is going on right now. I guess the frugality that my husband and I live our lives by has finally paid off. We got the keys today and my dear hubby is currently painting his brains out. I would be over there helping him, but without babysitting there is no way I could take our 3-year-old demon child over there an expect to have a fingerprint-free paint job. Heck, I expect the boy would be covered in paint from head-to-toe in a matter in minutes-- right after my husband pulled all of his own hair out.

No, my stress is pretty much all related to my parents. Isn't that something? I'm moving during Thanksgiving week and that's nothing compared to dealing with my family. But you so know what I'm talking about don't you? You know you do. You're planning on having Thanksgiving dinner right now with relatives that drive you up the wall. Don't lie.

I've been living in terror for the last three weeks that my mom and dad were going to try to weasel their way into living with me. We bought a house that would be big enough to move them in, but there is no way in hell that I would ever, ever let that happen. My dad threw out a comment the first week that hey, there's room for all of us there! Your mom and I could go on hubby's insurance as dependants and I could pocket my social security money.

I think my exact response was oh shit!

My dad is one of those people who will say stuff like that to see how you'll react and if it's not a positive reaction, they'll try to pass it off as a joke. Riiiiiight. Just a joke. He wouldn't be joking if I said he could move in.

But I told my mom straight up that there was no way that I could live with my dad. Period. I've watched my dad wreck their finances for the last 5 years and I know for a fact he would take advantage of us and put us in the poor-house as well. No thank you. I may be a cold-hearted daughter, but I see no reason to bankrupt my family because my dad hadn't the financial sense not to rack up almost a million dollars in debt-- that he will completely default on.

What's really galling is that my dad wasn't some poor schmuck who earned minimum wage his whole life. No, he earned big bucks. He'd spend $30k a year on lavish vacations. They bought a stupid $10,000 marble statue of an angel that doesn't go with anything. My mom bought fur coats and we live in California. Need I say more?

Luckily, my parents have finally made arrangements to go to Thailand. They're flying out 3 days after we move. Thank God! But it's been a grind. My dad expects me to put my life on hold to help him with his stuff even though I'm moving! He calls me and says I need you to do me a favor and tells me that they're going to be spending the night at my house the day we move. Um, hello? Ever think about asking me if that was okay first? I put my foot down though and told him no way. I don't care that you have packed up your mattresses, where the heck do you think you're going to sleep at my house? On the boxes I haven't emptied yet? Jerk.

So then I tell my mom yesterday that I'm tired of them telling me what I need to do for them. If they want me to do them a favor, ask! Don't demand. My mom gets all patronizing when I get mad and says things like I know, we're all stressed, as if they're not actually doing anything wrong, I'm just stressed out. She did this to me too when I was planning my wedding--but that's an old gripe.

But I still laid down the law. I said I would help if I could. I would try to find a way to let them spend the night right before they left, but not the very day we move in. My mom tells me that my dad's feelings are hurt. Jeebus. My dad has never given a rat's ass about any one's feelings his whole life but now we need to worry about his delicate sensibilities. Sorry, that ship has sailed.

So I'm trying to hold strong. I'm trying to protect my family while managing to stay on speaking terms with my parents-- not easy. But if I have to go silent to keep my kids and my husband from harm, then I will. But I guarantee my parents are going to be nice to me. They won't have anyone else to stay with if they come back for a visit.

Monday, November 12, 2007

What It's All About

Jocelyn over at O Mighty Crisis (best blog name ever) put up this amazing post on her blog and I couldn't help but think, yeah, that's the way it's supposed to be.

I love my family dearly, but sometimes I wonder if I'm not a little relationship impaired. Somehow I found a man who thinks I'm normal and we've managed to hold it together for 12 years, and counting. But I think he's impaired in much the same way I am, which is a good thing. He has no other point of reference.

But, as I've said many times, my family is nuts. So how do you figure out how to function as a whole person when the tools you've been given are a bit lacking? In my case, I think I do owe a lot to a husband who fills in the gaps for me. (no I didn't say "he completes me...............") But he is the yin to my yang. He's all about the details and I'm the big picture person. He sweats the small stuff and I say "why worry?" He doesn't think I'm a freak for watching "Farscape" reruns and I don't belittle him for owning a David Cassidy record. Most of the time.

Jocelyn has inspired me to look back on my marriage and give thanks to the man who has been nuts enough to put up with my family for the last 12 years. Is there an award for that? There certainly should be.

I'm 3 years older than my husband and I think that has a lot to do with why we're still together. When we first met his 22-year-old self was quite in awe of my sophisticated 25-year-old self and he thought he was quite the stud to land the older woman. I didn't have the heart to tell him that I wasn't as impressive as he thought I was and just let it lie. I'm nice like that.

Despite the fact that I am older, we graduated college at the same time. (I'm a slacker-- though I did get a minor in Japanese and did overseas study that added to my time in college. At least, that's what I tell myself) So we were both on the hunt for "real" jobs at the same time. Honestly, I forget who landed one first, though he is still at his first post-college job while I had several. One job took me to L.A. I got a job as an Associate Producer for a syndicated TV show and couldn't pass the job up. I thought for sure my husband (then boyfriend) and I would break up. I'd had limited experience with long distance relationships and figured the relationship would fizzle out after a few weeks. We'd been together for a little over a year and I knew I loved him, but I had been disappointed before and prepared myself to be disappointed again. I told him we should break up.

Fortunately for me, my husband is not the kind of guy to take bad news lying down. He accepted what I said but didn't accept what it meant-- if that makes any sense. He helped my move my stuff to L.A. and get my apartment set up and I was impressed but not convinced that he was really going to hang around. O me of little faith.

For the next year, my husband-to-be flew down to see me EVERY weekend. Well, almost every weekend. I think he couldn't make it twice-- those times I flew up to see him. Is that dedication or what? It only took a few weeks for me to realize he wasn't going to just fade quietly into the sunset. This was a man who meant to hang around. Wow. Every girl should have a guy like that in her life.

After I was in L.A. for a few months he proposed to me and I knew I had to marry him. He was, and is, special. But more importantly, he thought I was special enough to fly down and see me every weekend no matter how expensive or inconvenient it was. I grew up in a family that sometimes forgot my birthday. I needed a man who could cherish me.

I won't say we haven't had rocky times. We have had some beauts. But the one thing that holds it together is that my husband never stops trying. There is really nothing he wouldn't do to hold our marriage, our life and our family together. He's not perfect-- and neither am I. But there is that link between us that makes me believe that soul mates exist. He finishes my sentences and knows what I am thinking before I do. He is in a word, irreplaceable.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Oh Dear God! Why??!!!

So I'm cruising the net today. Normal stuff. And somehow I come across a mention of a YouTube video called "2 girls 1 cup." (I got the name wrong when I put this post up, but I was too shaken to go back and find the video to verify its name)

Do not watch it ever. Never. I can not stress this enough.

I want to take an SOS pad to my brain and scrub. I wish I lived in the world of "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind."

I want to hurl.

If you have never heard of it, it involves two women eating feces. I wish I had never watched it.

I feel dirty.

*shudder* *shudder* *shudder* *shudder* *shudder*

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Is This Really My Child?

I wonder if my son was switched at birth. It just doesn't seem possible that he could be related to my daughter. My girl is such a mellow kid. We're moving soon and it's not bothering her at all. I was neurotic about moving her because I moved so much as a kid but she just takes a look at her new walk-in closet, says "cool" and is good-to-go.

My son freaks out if I leave the room.

My son is the kid you see in the McDonald's play area climbing on the side of play structure above the "do not climb" sign. He's the kid who picks up the bark at the park and throws it everywhere. I am the mom everyone looks at like "can't you control your kid?" No. Not really.

He's killing me.

I mentioned on my sci-fi blog how my son is going through a potty mouthed phase. At first I didn't believe what I was hearing. My son is a little bit speech-delayed (he's too busy climbing the walls to worry about talking) and his words aren't always that clear. At first I thought, well maybe he's saying "sit." But no, he wasn't explaining what his toys were doing on the floor, he really was exclaiming "shit!" whenever something didn't go his way. *Sigh* I got stop saying that every time I find that he got into the permanent ink markers and christened my couch....again. I still haven't figured out how to get the black ink off his belly from last time.

This week it's Halloween. To most people that might mean costumes but to my son it means candy. More specifically, chocolate. I will say this, the child has the good taste to prefer chocolate over all the other stuff most taste-impaired children go for. My daughter will trade a Kit-Kat for a gummy worm. Helloooooo? But not my son. He holds up his candy bar triumphantly and cries out "CHOCOLATE!" before smearing it all over his face and my furniture.

And now I'm trying to move and deal with this child. I'm pulling my hair out. He is the master of dragging the dining room chairs around to get into the higher cupboard-- or on top of the fridge. No place is safe from this child. I caught him with a knife the other day as he was trying to use it to open a candy package he had grabbed off of a high shelf.

And lest you think I leave this child unattended, let me assure you this is not the case. The last time he got a hold of a Sharpie, I had been following him around all morning. My husband has asked me to do all the transferring of utilities from the old house to the new, and I was making phone calls. I kept a note pad with me so I could be mobile and kept following my son as I made my calls. I'd go downstairs and dial and he'd immediately go upstairs. I'd follow him up as the phone was ringing and he'd turn around and go down. This went on for awhile until I got in the middle of a conversation with the cable company and realized after two minutes I my son was on the opposite floor again. I followed and found that he had pulled the Sharpies from the shelf (I think he stood on a box to get to them) tore open the package and got to work. He hit the couch, the kitchen floor, two tables and himself before I stopped the madness. Fortunately I got there before the ink was dry and managed to prevent any permanent damage. Thank God my husband wasn't home. The neighbors would have turned us in for sure.

But this is what it's like every day. I'm so tired I can't stand it. Between my family chaos and my son I need a sedative-- but I'm afraid I'd like the happy pills too much, so I'll stay away thank-you-very-much.

But what the heck do I do with a kid on testosterone overload? Seriously. Ideas?

Friday, October 26, 2007

My Mother-in-Law is a Tattooed Wiccan


I mentioned in an earlier post that my in-law's divorce saga was just too good a story to pass up-- and it is. I'll try to just hit the highlights, but I may still ramble a bit.

When I first met my husband's family I thought they were soooo normal, and for awhile, they were. My in-laws have been married 35 years and they kept it together for most of that time. They did split up for a year back when my husband was 11, but got back together when my father-in-law supposedly shaped up his act.

Let me back up a bit. My FIL is a career military guy. He flew F-4's in Vietnam and is now a General. I won't specify his position because it could actually hurt his career to have stuff circulating about him, and despite the family drama, I do respect the service he's given his country. But military men are notoriously controlling and in his younger days he had a temper. My MIL was not a strong woman back then but she finally decided enough was enough and left. My FIL calmed down, treated her better and they worked things out.

But over the years another problem creeped up. Confidentiality. My FIL has a political job that involves a lot of secrecy. My husband will sometimes ask questions about what he does and his dad has to say, I can't tell you that, it's classified. It's not as bad as I could tell you but I'd have to kill you... But in all seriousness, that's the job and my FIL isn't making it up. But can you imagine the strain on the marriage? Most of the time he can't talk about his job. The habit is so ingrained that we never hear about his job. No workplace gossip or anything. I couldn't stand that, I love water cooler talk.

Over time this has bled into my FIL's everyday life. He is so used to keeping to himself that I don't think the poor man knows how to communicate beyond giving orders anymore and my MIL is literally starving to death for attention.

So, about two years ago, my FIL starts acting even more secretive than usual. He'd say he was going to go to Home Depot to pick something up and be gone for three hours. He started getting mysterious phone calls. My MIL found his Viagra. Yep, an affair, though he still won't cop to it.

The sad thing is that my MIL held on to the belief that is was just an "emotional affair" for a long time (as if that was better) but I think she's finally come to terms with the fact that he probably used a few of those Viagra, though I don't know if she actually counted them. I would have. But I'm a glutton for punishment.

My MIL's reaction was a bit strange though. Rather than kick his butt out she started acting like a rebellious teenager looking for attention. ((We actually kicked him out for her, but she let him back in just two weeks later after he promised to go to counseling, declaring I've known that man for 34 years and I trust him. He never went to counseling.)) I forget which came first, her decision to become a witch, or the tattoos. I think it was the witch thing first.

I can't remember how it came up initially. I just remember she told my husband that she was going to be a Wiccan. My husband just kind of rolled his eyes and went with it. She's always been the type to get wild hairs every now and then, but this was a new one. I told my husband not to give her a hard time because I thought she was looking for a diversion. But in hindsight, I think she was hoping to shock her straight laced military husband. We'd go over for Thanksgiving and she'd force us to sit through all these pagan blessings. Oh, but only after saying that Halloween was now some kind of major holiday for witch-kind and decking the house out in all it's Halloween finery, lighting candles and casting spells. At least she doesn't do anything halfway.

Unfortunately my FIL just wasn't as rattled by the whole Wiccan thing as my MIL hoped. He'd kind of shake his head, but never really offered a big reaction, which is what I think she was hoping for. So she started getting tattoos. Now, I don't want to be judgemental. Tattoos are pretty commonplace now, but when your MIL starts getting them, they just don't seem that cool anymore.

She started with a moon and stars on her ankle, then a ladybug on her foot. Followed by a small fairy on the other ankle and a great big fairy on her inner ankle that goes up her leg. They're pretty-- I guess. But they're also a pretty drastic measure to get your husband's attention don't you think?

And sadly, that didn't seem to get his attention either. I think he's just totally indifferent now. So MIL is talking divorce, though I don't know how long it'll take before she gets the guts up to actually do it. My FIL is beyond indifferent to her emotionally, but he manipulates her into staying because he doesn't want to lose half his pension. I personally think he's back with his girlfriend but I don't know for sure. I don't really have the energy to deal with it since my parent's drama is ongoing, but I expect that within days of my parents finally leaving, my in-laws will go into full-scale drama mode.

Oh, and I haven't even mentioned the fact that my MIL decided awhile ago that she was bi-polar (she used to be a nurse and self-diagnosed herself) she got a psychologist to go along with it and has been taking meds for it--including Lithium. And she's become a raging alcoholic-- using the drink induced haze to run her mouth at family gatherings.

But you gotta laugh. It's like a black comedy written by the Farrelly Brothers. And the weird thing is that I still think my family is worse. My husband agrees. He thinks that compared to my family, this is garden variety stuff. I should write a screenplay.

I haven't heard much about my MIL's "religion" lately though. I wonder if she's got some other ideas brewing in that head of hers to get my FIL's attention. It could be an interesting Christmas this year.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

10-20-30 Meme

I've been tagged by John over at Grasping for the Wind with a fun meme that asks what you were doing 10, 20 and 30 years ago. Unfortunately I have answers for all three....

10 years ago I was mostly getting ready for my wedding. I had a job in L.A. that I left to come back to Northern California since my husband-to-be couldn't relocate his job as easily as I could. I decided to move back with my parents to save on rent money and I didn't want to live with my husband prior to marriage-- you know to keep it special. I was also scrambling to get a new job which ended up with me back in school to get my teaching credential that I completed soon after we married. All-in-all a hugely transitional time of my life.

20 years ago, let's see, I would have just turned 18. I had been in college for a year at that time and was just starting to realize I was going to have to actually apply myself if I was going to graduate someday. I was working as a waitress at a local Mexican restaurant-- after leaving my oh-so-glamorous job at the movie theatre. I had a lot of fun at this age. I wasn't a partier at all, but I had a bunch of friends that I worked with and we often would socialize together outside of work and had a blast. We'd go river-rafting or just hang out at Denny's at 2am. I didn't have a steady boyfriend at this age so just dated a bit and flirted a lot and got way too little sleep. Good times.


30 years ago I would have been 8. We were living in Irvine California. We moved a lot when I was a kid, I went to a different school almost every year in fact. I liked third grade. We lived in a great house in a nice neighborhood. The problem was that my parents only rented the house and couldn't keep up the payments after the first year-- but oh what blissful ignorance until then. I went to Turtle Rock elementary and I fondly remember a little boy Carl who declared his undying love for me-- at least until his next crush. I imagine that boy was quite the charmer as he got older. Even then he knew that compliments and gifts were a sure fire way to get the ladies. I hope he didn't turn out to be a cad.

I'm sure I'm supposed to tag someone. But I'm lazy, so consider yourself tagged if you want to be.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Sorry for the lack of action....

For the few who actually read this blog, sorry for the lack of new posts. I wrote THIS POST to explain on my sci-fi blog.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Obituary: Common Sense

I totally stole this from Factor 10 but I think it needs to spread around a bit.

Obituary
Common Sense

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, life isn't always fair, and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn) and reliable parenting strategies (adults, not children are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job they themselves failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer Aspirin, sun lotion or a sticky plaster to a student, but could not inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband; churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar can sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason. He is survived by three stepbrothers; I Know my Rights, Someone Else is to Blame, and I'm a Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.

Author unknown

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Sassy, the One Eyed Wonder Klutz


So, we're getting a dog. By the title of my post you've probably already deduced she's not any ordinary dog.

Who wants ordinary?

My parents are moving sometime in the near future and I'm inheriting the dog. I love this dog. As the title of my post suggests her name is Sassy and she is the greatest animal on the planet.

I don't know what it is, but my family has never had normal pets. We're all a little nuts and I'm sure our pets reflect that; but our pets also have personality. Oh yeah.

Where do I begin with Sassy?

My mom got Sassy just before I had my son, so she's almost four years old. She was the cutest puppy you ever saw. A little apricot colored bundle of toy poodle with bad hair. You know how most poodles have a kind of regal snootiness about them? Not Sassy, she's the poodle who's hair sticks out at weird angles and isn't quite curly enough to sustain the pouf the doggie hairdressers try to put in her tail. You gotta love a dog who has bad hair days.

Sassy had a great personality from the get-go. Super sweet with this teddy bear face that almost diverted attention from my newborn son. Though we noticed right from the start that Sassy was very clumsy. You know, the kind of dog that trips over their feet when they're running at you. Most puppies outgrow this but Sassy still finds running very tricky.

My mom has always spoiled our pets shamelessly and they often live twice as long as they're supposed to for the food alone. Sassy got the doggie bed, the little outfits, the toys and even a little knitted blanket. I remember the blanket well. Sassy was laying on my couch one day when my mom came over to help with the baby and I was petting the dog. Sassy jumped up in a puppy frenzy to play with me and promptly started yelping as her front claws got caught in the fabric of the blanket. Poor baby. I untangled her and she licked my face in puppy gratitude and got on with her day. It was an omen I think.

Our dogs have always had these kind of slender metal collars; designer duds for doggies I think. So of course my mom immediately went out and got one for Sassy. I don't think it lasted a week. Somehow, while trying to get the collar off, she got the collar wedged in her mouth. I don't think this is too unusual, my cat used to do this every now and then. But Sassy wedged that thing in so tight my parents couldn't get it off no matter how they tried. My mom got out the wire cutters and metal collars are now a thing of the past.

Things went along like this for awhile. Sassy would run and trip and bite her tongue and do all sorts of silly things, but nothing too serious. Until the Great Dane that is.

My brother had a Great Dane. Another dog with a fantastic personality. I remember when he got her and told me her name was Kingcow. Huh? What the hell kind of name is Kingcow? Turns out he named her after a friend of his who lives in Thailand. I suppose Kingcow (Kinkow?) could be a Thai name. But I digress. After my brother decided to move to Thailand my parents agreed to keep the Great Dane. I don't know many people who would take on that challenge but we are the type to go overboard with our pets. So they ended up with two strangely paired dogs: the Poodle and the Great Dane. And they got along very well; no sibling rivalry at all. But it turns out, size matters.

My mom was babysitting my kids for an overnight stay when the strangest thing happened. I have given my mom a lot of crap on the blog so far, but one thing I really admire about her is that nothing rattles her. Nothing.

So the kids had been at the house for a few hours and I called to check in and my mom tells me every thing's fine and the kids are having a great time. Cool. So my husband and I have our date night and go to pick up the kids the next morning. When we get there I notice that Sassy is looking very strange. One of her eyes looks like it's about ready to pop out of her skull. And it's an alarming red color.

Oh, funny story, my mom tells me.

Mom: Kingcow knocked Sassy's eye out last night.

Me: Um, what did you just say?

Mom: Oh, it's nothing really. The dogs were playing and Sassy jumped up somehow and her head went into Kingcow's mouth and I think one of her teeth hit Sassy's eye and knocked it out.

Me: Silence.

Mom: I didn't want to worry you when you called last night. Dad had already taken the dog to the vet and the kids didn't see anything. I saw Sassy's eye right after it came out and I picked her up really fast so the kids wouldn't see it. I had dad distract the kids while I put her eye back in.

Me: Standing with jaw dropped.

Mom: The vet said there really wasn't anything else we could do. He thinks the eye will stay in but doesn't know if she'll ever see again.

Finally I manage a coherent thought. You put her eye back in??!!

Mom: Well, I had to, it was kind of hanging there....

Me: Kind of twitching now, And you didn't call me to come pick up the kids?!

Mom: I didn't want to spoil your evening....

Me: More stunned silence.

Even though I called Sassy a "one eyed" in the title of this post, she still actually has the eye, though she can't see out of it. You'd never know. She's always been clumsy so there's no discernible difference, though she has a tendency to look at you sideways if you're facing her bad eye. Weeeeellll maybe she is a bit more clumsy. My mom actually knocked the dog out cold one day playing catch with the dog. I kid you not. She threw the ball and Sassy apparently didn't see it coming and it hit her right on the temple and the dog keeled over like a tipped cow. My poor mom thought she had killed her dog, but fortunately Sassy rebounded quickly and my mom's heart started beating again.

My hand to God, this is all true.

And I can't wait to bring her home. My mom is not looking forward to leaving the dog. I mean, anyone who would put your eye back in must really love you right? Gah! Just the thought of it... Maybe I'm crazy for a taking a dog with this history, but maybe it's like someone who has already been stuck by lightening; what are the odds of it happening again? Quick, I need some wood to knock.

And is my mom a cool customer or what?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I Should've Been a Rebel

I never rebelled as a teenager. I had three older brothers who did more than enough rebelling for the four of us. But sometimes I wonder if I should've raised a little more hell.

The problem in my house was that I didn't really get much out of being the good kid. I wrote a post about my psychotic family and a couple brave souls left comments (thank you by the way) so those who read the post might understand why I wanted to remain invisible as a kid. And that's what I was aiming for; invisibility. But looking back, I realize I didn't get much mileage out of being the mild mannered one.

I mean, I didn't do anything. I didn't drink, I didn't smoke, I didn't skip school and I got good grades. Out of four kids, only two of us graduated high school and I'm the only who went to college and was the first in my family to have a college degree. I got something out of being the good kid on a personal level, but from a familial standpoint I didn't get squat.

What I mean by that is that my brothers were so busy raising hell that my parents didn't have time to care whether or not I was doing anything good. To a degree, this was a good thing since I did strive for invisibility. But on the other hand, when you don't raise hell, you get in trouble for the dumbest shit.

Case in point. The only thing I did that bugged my mom as a kid was that I had a messy room. Looking back, it wasn't even that bad, just an unmade bed and some clothes on the floor. But you would have thought I set the place on fire. My brothers were doing drugs, getting kicked out of school and getting in fights that resulted in more than one hospital stay. Were their rooms clean? Um, no. Did they get grounded for having a messy room? No. Did I? All the time.

Am I the only one who sees a glaring double standard here?

Obviously my mom was looking for a measure of control in an out-of-control life and I bore the brunt of that. And it chaps my hide to no end. I have laid into my mom on this and to her credit she admits it was messed up. But daaaaaamn, I wish I would have had the guts to just go a little crazy back then. I mean, what's the worst that could have happened? Getting grounded? Sheesh.

And now I'm a mom and I don't have the luxury of rebelling. Oh, I could do the Britney Spears route, but how sad is that? I wouldn't put my kids through that for anything. So I'm kind of stuck being the good girl for different reasons now. I have a good life, a nice husband, beautiful kids and nothing to be too ashamed about. But every now and then I wish I had been a little bolder when I was younger and had the chance to live it up a little. You know, given my parents a real reason to ground me.

My daughter has a messy room too, and I don't say a word.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Someone Said I Was Beautiful Today

I went to Starbucks to get a chai tea latte today, and the greatest thing happened. The woman behind the counter handed me my hot concoction and said "Here you go beautiful..."

And it made my day.

Now, I have no doubt that she uses that with everyone. She's probably one of those personalities that calls people "cutie," "honey," and "beautiful," but so what? It made me feel special for about 2 seconds. Okay, at least 10 minutes.

Somehow my days of being called beautiful on a semi-regular basis left me about 10 years ago. I'm not saying I was a great beauty, but youth seems to attract the kind of compliments that we miss as we get older. I remember my mom once was so thrilled when a strange man told her how beautiful she was and I was thinking soooooo. How stupid was I? At the time I was thinking, well yeah, she is beautiful (my mom was a serious beauty) so what's the big deal? I hadn't gotten old enough yet to realize that as we get older we get a little less approachable, definitely more guarded. The open-faced child of 10-15 years past isn't there anymore with the assumption that life will continue to stroke our fragile egos as often as we might wish. How did those days go by so fast?

Now I'm told how beautiful my daughter is. And as much as I miss hearing it myself, I'm not jealous. I love to see her face light up when she hears that and she remains wonderfully modest too. I'm very proud of my beautiful little girl.

But every now and then, it's nice to be reminded that I might have a little something left that glows just a tiny bit with the radiance of youth I see in my kids. That someone might in fact think that I could be beautiful still.

I'm going back to Starbucks tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

How Come I Am This Way?


Do you ever wonder why you have certain personality traits? I do. All the time.

I swear I was type A personality in the womb. I was even born six weeks early. Having children has forced me to relax a bit. It's impossible to be as obsessive over dumb s*** when you have other little people to worry about. But I would give anything to be more laid back.

I mentioned in my last post that I fret about my weight. Oh I cannot begin to tell you what an understatement that is. My metabolism seemed to have shut down by my reckoning after having kids. So I bugged and badgered my doctor about it until he told me to knock it off and that I wasn't overweight. You'd think that it would be fabulous to have your doctor tell you that you're fine, but noooooo, not me. If I'm not perfect I can't let it go. Why is that?

I have a friend who never seems bothered by anything. I know it isn't true because every now and then she lets a tiny bit of weakness show through and says something like my hair looks like crap today. Oh happy day, she felt the need to complain about something. And I envy the heck out of her. She can be cut off in traffic and not think a thing of it. She can run into a rude cashier at the grocery store and somehow manage to make that person love her before she even swipes her debit card. She can put on a bikini and not freak out. The woman is inhuman I tell you.

And everyone notices her ability to sail through life seemingly unaffected by the B.S. that wears the rest of us down. I even asked her mom about it and she said that my friend was always like that, even as a child.

How? How did she win the personality lottery that allows her to skip the part where she gets stressed out by stupid stuff? Chicken Soup for the Soul my ass, you gotta be born able to not sweat the small stuff.

But still, I wonder. Is is possible to develop these kinds of personality traits? Was Dale Carnegie telling the truth when he said he could teach us how to win friends and influence people?

Seriously. I worry about these things.

Monday, October 01, 2007

The Delicate Art of Husband Management


Men don't get it. And they will tell you that too. They will also tell you that they have no conscious thoughts floating around in their heads at any given time. Just ask.

So is it really surprising that they almost always say exactly the wrong thing?

For me this comes up most frequently when I lament the fact, that despite running several miles a day, doing martial arts and eating grass disguised as salad, I can't lost weight. You'd think, after 12 years together he'd have a clue by now. But no, still clueless. Instead of saying what any sane woman wants to hear, Honey, I love you just the way you are... he's always saying crap like, I'm sure if you keep at it, the weight will come off. Tell the truth, you want to kill him already, don't you?

But I must admit fault here too. See, I was very slow to realize that I was supposed to tell him exactly what to say. That's right ladies, they will not figure it out for themselves. Ever. So it is up to us to coach them in the fine are of saying the right thing.

So the last time my husbands started in on his Oh, I'm sure you'll get it figured out eventually.... I stopped him mid-sentence. I tried not to actually say shut up, but it may have slipped out. Anyway, I stopped him before he made sure he'd never have sex again in this century and told him point blank, that is not what you're supposed to say!

Oh the confusion. The poor dear really didn't know what was going on. But I stood my ground and told him to quit trying to encourage me because he just didn't know how. I told him to repeat after me and slowly, with careful enunciation, said the words that every man should write on the back of his hand and say at least 10 times a day to the woman in his life. Honey, I love you just the way you are. I made him repeat it. I also told him to throw in a I don't think you need to lose any weight for good measure.

I told him to practice on his own. A lot.

Next week we're working on I don't care if you gain 50 pounds, I'll still love you just the way you are.

Taking the Blog Down the Rabbit Hole

So I'm checking out Pay Per Post.

Need I say more?

I have always resisted the whole Pay Per Post thing, especially when I think certain blogs abuse the use of it. You've been to those blogs I'm sure.

But I have 3 blogs and sometimes it feels like a job. I have the book review blog, which is great because publishers will send me books to review. Free books are a beautiful thing...

But the sci-fi blog doesn't pay for itself in any way at all. And I can't post PPP ads on it because I have contributors listed on the site. That's a good thing I'm sure; keeps me honest.

And I never considered using this blog for PPP until someone said they make $600 a month with their PPP ads. Really? Um, that much? Just for posting a few ads?

No, it's not a huge amount of money, but it isn't half bad. And here's the thing. I've also seen blogs that use ads and then turn around and use the ad money to do contests on the blog. For example, Ree over at Confessions of a Pioneer Woman has "name the photo" contests and has given away as much as $600 in gift certificates in just one contest. How cool is that?

I do book giveaways on my review blog, but I'd like to do more stuff like that. It's fun and it's a nice feeling to be able to give rather than take.

So if the few of you who have actually come back to this little blog from time to time can stand a few ads, I might be able to use the $$ for fun and maybe give away some Amazon gift certificates, or something like that. Do you think it would be worth the bother?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Dear God, Please Don't Let Me End Up Like My Parents

(Warning. This is a long friggin' post)

I bet just about everyone has uttered that prayer once or twenty times, my kids included. But let me tell you, I've got reasons.

I don't know what it is, but it seems like everyone I know who is in my age group (mid-to-late 30's) is going through some kind of parental crisis. And I don't mean a paltry health crisis either, oh no, that would be too easy. I'm talking divorce (my husband's parents), finances (my parents) and health (pretty much everyone).

I've generally stayed away from stuff that's too personal on my sci-fi blog, mostly to protect my kids. But after spending a year in cyber space and meeting some very cool people, I think I can vent in a general way from time to time. I just won't use names, you know, to protect the guilty.

And you gotta vent, right?

Alrighty, let me fill in some details for those of you who've managed to stay curious about all this.

My parents. Where do I start? Deep breath. Okay.

I was adopted as an infant and for the most part I'd say I have no issues with that. But there is a weird disconnect that comes from knowing you are not blood related to the family that raised you. I grew up thinking that maybe the love I felt for my family wasn't as strong as it would have been had I been related by blood. That's ridiculous of course, but still, you can't blame a kid for not understanding that.

It took having my own kids to realize that the love is the same and for that I will always be grateful I had kids. But at the same time seeing yourself reflected in the face of your children and their mannerisms drives home the undeniable truth that no matter how much you wish it wasn't so, you are different from the people who raised you. I don't mean values and that sort of thing. But the truth is there are things that come with genetic bonds. Your doctor knows this is true, that's why they ask you about your family history every time you have a health concern.

In my family, like many, the issues related to substance abuse and manic-depression. My parents were fairly stable, though my dad has a tendency toward alcoholism and gambling and my mom --hell, I don't even know the story there. Okay, maybe not so stable.

Anyway, the reason I mention all that stuff is to kind of give a background so you understand how they got where they are now. On the surface my parents look normal, successful even. But my mom wouldn't have it any other way. She has always compulsively tried to make sure the world would look at us and see the ideal family. Oh dear God, who did she think she was kidding? But it was this drive to appear normal that has allowed her to ignore what has been in front of her face for 40 years. Our family is nuts.

More history-- I have three brothers. One I haven't seen in 10 years due to a bad meth and alcohol addiction. How bad? He was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver and hepatitis C at 35 and told one good alcohol binge could kill him. Didn't slow him down. Last I heard he had somehow managed to get out of jail despite a weapons charge that included endangering a minor. He should never have been let out but he usually informs on his drug suppliers to get paroled and then leaves the state. Another brother moved to Missouri about 15 years ago and I seem him every 8 years or so. My third brother-whom I am closest with and love dearly, is manic depressive and moved to Thailand about 2 years ago. I get phone calls now and then.

Back to my parents. I've been nagging them for years to save money for retirement. My dad made a lot of money during his good earning years but they spent like crazy. They'd go on these month long vacations and stay in 5 star hotels. My dad once told me the tab on one vacation was $30k. So I bug my mom since my dad won't listen to me. I ask her what they have put aside for retirement and she tells me they're fine. I suggest that they cut their vacations in half and put away the money they'd save in a retirement account. She tells me, "oh it's your father who wants to take these vacations..." I'm thinking, what's that got to do with anything?

So I nag and they tell me I'm so tight I squeak. That's always been the family joke. Everyone in my family goes through money like water, but not me. For some reason I've always been very frugal, even as a kid. There's no reason for it, my parents never denied me anything. But for some reason I always had a different mentality about money-- one of the things I've kind of wondered if it could be inherited genetically, but probably not.

Once I got married and had kids I became too preoccupied to nag my parents too much about their health or their finances, but I did still try. My dad was a chain smoker for most of his life and I bugged him about that. He was always losing weight on the Atkins diet and then gaining it back-- and then some. My mom had fake boobs (that's a whoooole other counseling session) and they burst and made her really sick and she ended up with lupus and arthritis. My dad predictably ended up with diabetes and heart disease that culminated in a massive heart attack he barely survived.

Needless to say, their health is poor.

Oh but wait, there's more. Oh so much more.

The heart attack put my dad off his feet for almost a year. He'd had his own business for over 20 years but it was a one man shop and there was no one to take up the slack. I asked my mom about that, but everything was fine. But I knew that wasn't the case because my dad had taken a loan out against the house in a business gamble that was poorly thought out and didn't go well. I don't know how much he lost, but it wasn't pretty.

Fast forward two years or so. My brother comes home from Thailand to settle some business and he stays with my parents for a couple of months. He starts telling me they aren't doing well financially. I knew it was bad but I didn't know the extent of it. My brother tells me he loaned my dad $100k, and I'm thinking, wow it is bad. So I bring it up with my mom to try to find out how bad. She didn't know about the loan. Boy, my mom can wear blinders with the best of them.

Cut to the final tally-- $600k borrowed against the house and $200k+ on the credit cards. Holy crap! $800k+ in debt and my dad's business was losing money. My mom makes my dad shut down shop since it's losing money-- and here's the kicker-- my dad doesn't go back to work claiming his health is too poor. WTF? He's been getting up and going to work everyday up to that point but now that the debt is so bad he can't see daylight he quits working altogether? Oh wait, I get it, he thinks he can sell their house for enough money to cover the debt and then some. Except he forgot that the California housing market is going into the crapper.

I found about all this about a year and a half ago.

So my dad's brilliant idea is to sell the house to cover everything. And it might have worked had they sold the house a year and a half ago. But they decided to go to Thailand since my brother and his wife were expecting a baby. They stayed 6 weeks. They come home and tell me they've decided they're now going to sell the house and move to Thailand. Okaaaaaay. Actually, this is okay. They can live on social security and get pretty good health care much cheaper than here. And because my dad can't go to a McDonald's everyday and further abuse his health his blood sugar is the best it's ever been. I tell them I whole-heartedly support the plan.

So you'd think they were on the fast-track to sell the house right? Um, no.

My dad dinks around for several months supposedly getting the house ready, but really he's just moving stuff from one pile to the next. My mom doesn't nag him to move along because she doesn't really want to move to Thailand and she's hoping for a last minute miracle. It doesn't come. January, they finally get the house on the market, but price it about $100k too high. This in a falling market too. My husband and I talk to the realtor and get their appraisal on the house and try to talk sense into my dad. He blows us off. My mom stops talking to me because she doesn't want to hear me nagging anymore. My dad starts smoking again, and my mom won't do anything about that because she doesn't want to stress out my dad any further. Yeah, those cigarettes aren't stressing out his arteries at all.

At about this time my in-laws start in on their divorce crisis-- I will probably go into this later. It's just too good a story to pass up.

So the house sits for months and as far as I know, no offers. Then I find out they did get an offer but my dad rejected it because it was too low. My mom tells me the offer was for $700k, but I later find out it was $785k. But my mom's lies are nothing new (my dad is actually my step-dad, though he's the only dad I've ever known. She told me years ago he couldn't legally adopt me because her ex wouldn't sign off on the adoption. But during the purge of all their stuff she inadvertently gave me a copy of a letter dated 1977 giving my dad consent to adopt me. Nice huh? But I'm used to it. Sort of.)

Where was I? Oh yeah.

Eight months later my dad finally realizes the house is priced too high. He lowers it to $800k (it was at $950K in the beginning). Alright, we're making progress. He's also really regretting he didn't take that earlier offer.

Now they sit. They've sold off most of their stuff to keep the rent paid but they've finally run out of money and stopped paying the mortgage. They are praying they can sell before the house forecloses. My brother who lent them the $100k is now broke and calls me periodically for money. Sigh. We don't have a big enough house to have them move in with us and did I mention, we live in California? It's still crazy expensive here and we can't buy a big enough house for all of us.

And I am ashamed to admit, in moments of reflection, like this, that I'm glad I'm adopted. I don't have an addictive personality, manic depression, heart disease, diabetes and all the other stuff in the bloodline. Of course I don't know what I do have to contend with, but maybe that's a gift.

So we all sit on eggshells. I blog about my personal stuff because I don't have anyone to talk to about this. We moved almost every year growing up (I went to 11 different schools) so I don't have any childhood friends and frankly, I'm not good at making them as an adult. And really, is it fair of me to dump this on some poor unsuspecting soul?

Oh wait, I just did.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Marcia Marcia Marcia Indeed!


I'm back at it. But the celebrities just won't stop the insanity.

In case you missed it, Maureen McCormack-- Marica Brady for those of you who've lived under a rock for the last 30 years-- has decided to divulge some, er, interesting details about her relationship with her TV sister Jan.

My only question is why? Okay, I get it, the more salacious the details the more books she'll sell. But jeez, does she need to sell her dignity too?

Apparently so.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

What Do I Look Like? A Mom?


My little dude (3 years old) woke up with a fever this morning. Actually, he woke up at about 1:30am and proceeded to whine the rest of the night. Ugh.

The thing is, I don't really know what to do when my kids are like this. Mostly, I'm just glad they're not throwing up.

My son, bless his heart, is going through a mommy stage too. If any of you have been through this before, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. If we go out in public, he must be carried by mommy. Mommy must be the one to hold his hand, etc. etc. So of course, since he is sick during his mommy phase, he only wants mommy to comfort him.

On one level, this is great. We all want our little monsters to love us right? But on the other hand it's also exhausting. I find myself saying don't you want daddy to hold you? a lot these days.

So, today my son has spent the whole day lying in my bed in a kind of lethargic stupor. My husband, myself and my daughter have taken turns keeping him company but he keeps kicking everyone out and demanding that I go back and lay with him. Sweet, but kind of boring after 4 hours of Power Rangers.

I really, really hope he feels better tomorrow.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Could This Get Any Weirder?


I had no intention of turning this page into a celebrity blog, but it seems I can't help myself. The foibles of people in the public eye offers a never ending flow of jaw dropping stupidity that must be remarked upon.

So now that that's been established, let's talk O.J.

I had actually thought about putting up a post last week about the release of O.J.'s book "If I did It," but it almost seemed too grotesque to even bring up. Then I watched the interviews of the Ron Goldman family on Oprah (with a separate interview of Nicole Brown's sister, Denise) and almost put up a post about that. And yet, for some reason I wasn't moved to post until now.

I'm sure if any of you read or watch the news you've heard all about O.J.'s most recent arrest. I mean, does it get any more surreal than this?

If you haven't heard about it, let me fill you in. O.J. claims that someone stole a bunch of property from him and was attempting to sell it illegally. The best part of this is that O.J. didn't go to the police but decided to get some guns, and some help and attempt to steal back the items at gunpoint.

That O.J. It doesn't seem possible that so much common sense exists in one person does it?

The thing that really sticks out here though is the fact that O.J. has really decided he's bulletproof. And why not? He got away with murder and everyone knows it. It's always been galling that O.J. has been so in-your-face with his acquittal. I don't think I've ever seen more arrogance in my life.

Of course, it's not enough that he got away with murder, he also had to write a book saying, oh, and here's how I did it. (As an aside, I didn't expect to have any sympathy for the Goldman family for releasing this book, but they made a surprisingly good case on the Oprah show. Even Oprah, who is convinced she's Jesus IMO, seemed more inclined to be sympathetic toward their position by the end of the show) And now, he figures, hey, I got away with all that, so I might as well do this.

The only thing that shocks me anymore is that the Goldman family hasn't hired someone to put O.J. out of our collective misery.

The good news is that O.J was arrested without bail and if (big if) he is convicted on these charges he could get 30 years on each count-- adding up to something like 250+ years.

Wouldn't that be something?


Monday, September 10, 2007

Who Doesn't Love a Good Celebrity Meltdown?


I don't know why I'm so fascinated by publicly broadcast train-wrecks, but I know I'm not alone.

Who hasn't been talking about Britney Spears lately? Obviously the bungee cord that held her brain together snapped a long time ago, but it's just sad to watch this thing going on and on.

Sometimes I hear people want to jump on the media/paparazzi for broadcasting this stuff, but I have a different take on that.

Years ago I worked for a TV show as an Associate Producer and got to know a little about how the business works. There was a Senior Producer I worked for who loathed....no...HATED George Clooney. With a passion. Why? Well, back in the day when Clooney was lucky to get a few lines on Roseanne, his dad, Nick, worked for as a TV reporter. My Senior Producer worked for a lot of tabloid shows back then, A Current Affair and Hard Copy among them. He told me that he worked with Nick Clooney on one of these shows, but I can't find anything to confirm that (intentional omission on Nick Clooney's bio I'm sure). Anyway, my boss said George used to come in and beg for publicity. He'd plead for them to do any little snippet on him so he could get some more on-air time to boost his career.

Fast forward 10 years or so. Clooney now has a prime time gig on ER and is starting to make it on the big screen. He's a big shot now. Princess Diana is killed in a tragic car accident and the paparazzi are implicated. Who is the first actor to attack the press? Clooney. How does he do it? By calling a press conference and denouncing all the tabloid shows, naming Hard Copy specifically. He's such a hot shot now he doesn't need the press anymore apparently. Not that that has stopped People magazine from repeatedly naming him the "Sexiest Man of the Year." I guess the tabloid press is okay if we like what they are saying.

I don't have any particular ax to grind with Clooney in particular. It's just that I've seen this time and again. Celebrities know what they are doing when they put themselves in front of the paparazzi. When Sharon Stone decided to make a public statement against gun ownership (not long after the Columbine massacre) and turned in her rifle (rifle?) to the local police department, you can bet good money that she called the press and made sure they were going to be there. In fact, I bet she bought the rifle just for the occasion.

So while it's sad to watch Britney continue to melt down, just realize that each time you see her without her underwear in public, not only has she likely planned the exposure, but there's a good chance she called ahead to make sure the press would be there to cover it. Somehow this poor child has convinced herself that attention from the press either equates a still viable career or, pathetically, someone still cares about her. Does that make her fair game for the press and pundits? Frankly, yes. Does that make it okay when people go after her kids? No.

Honestly, I wish Britney would learn to isolate herself from the press. I wish she'd find a secluded space, far far away and at least try to get well.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Why Hasn't the Hammer Fallen on This Kid Yet?


I don't know if anyone watches the reality TV show about Hulk Hogan called "Hogan Knows Best." My husband watches it but I find the family insufferable and stopped watching it almost immediately.

One of the reason I can't stand it is because Hulk, and his wife Linda, spoil the kids, Nick and Brook, beyond belief. They fabricated a music career for Brook despite any evidence of talent and then sponsored their (then) 16 year old son in a career as race car driver (drifting). Huh? Who the hell thinks it's a good idea to give a 16 year old a Dodge Viper and say here son, why don't you race down the track in this? Is it any surprise that the kid got four speeding tickets within one year of getting his drivers license-- at least two were over 100mph.

How was this kid's license not pulled?

So, predictably, a kid is in the hospital after Hogan's kid got into an accident almost 2 weeks ago. The passenger is still in the hospital now.

So WTF? Why hasn't anything been done yet?

Hulk Hogan is of course claiming his kid didn't do anything wrong. He says his son wasn't racing (despite numerous witness statements to the contrary) and that the media is being "unfair" in bringing up Nick's driving record. Way to go dad. Way to teach your son how to take accountability for his actions.

But it gets better. The mom of the passenger, still in critical condition, is defending the Hogan family. Now, I don't want to call her a sell out-- that wouldn't be fair, especially since her son is still clinging to life in the hospital. But it is public knowledge that the Hogans are paying the medical bills (as they should) and I can't help wonder if there has been talk of a monetary settlement between the two families. I'm betting they've already begun negotiating numbers.

What really pi$$es me off about this whole deal is how the Hogan family is treating the whole thing. Oh boo hoo, poor Nick is being beat up by the press. Our poor baby didn't do anything wrong. But he's trying to keep a stiff upper lip and get on with his life....


Are you kidding me?

And somewhere in all this the police are supposedly investigating this thing, but so far nothing has been done. Nada. Why? Because Nick's the spoiled brat kid of some celebrity and no one wants to step on the toes of anyone famous. We wouldn't want to offend anybody.

This whole thing infuriates the heck out of me.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Me Me Me Meme

Sfgirl tagged me with a fun, self-indulgent (are there any other kind?) meme. This one is the "your name" meme and the rules are as follows:

1) Go to http://www.google.com/

2) Click on Google images
3) Type in your name and search
4) Repost (w/ a link) the picture of the oddest, craziest, strangest, coolest, oldest, etc. person that shares your name. Post multiples if you find a few you like.
5) Have fun with it and pass it on.

My real name is Theresa. I suppose I could do the meme with SQT, but I usually get a bunch of technical sites, so I'll skip it.

From Wikipedia: The meaning of the name Theresa, or Teresa, is "one who reaps". The name implies one who is destined to work hard, but who will receive great bounty for her efforts. The name is associated with the fall season of the earth's life cycle: a time of harvest, of plenty, of purposeful labors, of warmth and generosity. Theresa shares her harvest with the world, as the earth has given its fruits to Theresa, thus respecting and supporting the natural cycle of life.

Yeesh, that sounds exciting doesn't it? Okay, lets see who shares my name.


This adorable girl shares my exact name: Theresa Lucas, though she spells her name Teresa. She is on an acting school website, so I'd say it's safe to say she's an aspiring actress.

This is a picture of the Hotel Theresa in Harlem. Apparently it's quite famous. Way back when it first opened in 1913 only white guests were accepted. This changed in 1940 and since then the guest roster has included, Louis Armstrong, Sugar Ray Robinson, Lena Horne, Josephine Baker, Dorothy Dandridge, Duke Ellington, Muhammad Ali and even Fidel Castro.


Well, there's just no getting around the fact that most Theresa's that can claim an Irish Catholic background were probably named after St. Theresa. I was in fact named after my mom, who was named after St. Theresa. This picture is The Ecstasy of St. Theresa, it is the central marble group of a sculpture complex designed and completed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini for the Cornaro Chapel of Santa Maria della Vittoria in Rome. And it is one of the sculptural masterpieces of High Roman Baroque.


This is probably my favorite find. I found this Teresa Lucas on a Benny Hill website. Apparently she was one of "Hill's Angels" and was most notably featured in a segment called "Love Machine."

That's all I found right off that got my attention. As usual I'm not going to actually tag anyone, though if you want to do this one, consider yourself tagged. If you like meme's do this one. It's kind of fun to find out a little history on your own name.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Redemption


Time again for another assignment from Stewart Sternberg. This one is supposed to incorporate the line I see things in darkness that no should see by light of day... We are also supposed to pick ten words from our writing and use a thesaurus to replace them with other words rich with meaning. .....Oh, and should I mention that Father Stewart is an homage to our own Mr. Sternberg??

I see things in darkness that no one should see by light of day.

I prefer the darkness.

"Father Stewart!"

I turn my head as I hear my name and see a novice running in my direction with her braids flying in cadence with her footsteps.

"Father" she gasps out as she comes to a stop in front of me.

"Yes daughter?"

"Brother Isaac asks for you, he says it's urgent."

I raise my eyebrows. Isaac has been working on a special task for me and I know he wouldn't have sent for me if it wasn't, in fact, urgent.

"Thank you my child." I say as I bless her with a caress across the cheek before I walk away.

I don't need to ask where Isaac is and I head down a side corridor without another word to the novice who had come for me. So preoccupied am I with concern over Isaac that I almost trip over a woman scrubbing the floor in the middle of the hallway. A rebuke is on my lips before I realize it is Kara and I stop myself before uttering any angry words.

Kara holds a special place in my heart; she was my first. The first soul I saved. Kara had been a prostitute in her old life and the conflict between her profession and her conscience had brought her to my doorstep many years ago. I was early in my calling and perhaps a bit too earnest in my desire to help my flock find redemption and Kara's mind had been altered more than I intended. She ended up simple and capable of little more small chores. But her soul is no longer in danger of being lost and that is all that matters.

Kara doesn't talk as she looks up at me nor does she smile; rather she just stares as is her way. Though I am in a hurry I kneel down and gently wipe a bit of spittle from Kara's lip before looking into her eyes for some sign of recognition. But her focus is elsewhere and I know it is the will of God that her mind has been removed from most mundane concerns. I guide her hand back to her scrubbing and continue on my way.

The church has grown over the years and odd corridors have been added as space was needed. I had seen to the building of rooms for my personal use and had found them very useful on many occasions.

Isaac is the only person I have come to trust with my secrets though I am not sure the One God will consider him worthy to take over for me once I have taken my place at my God’s side. I am sure He will reveal His will to me in time as He has done in the past.

The hallways are very dim as I do not light many torches to show the way. I believe sin divulges its secrets in the darkness and I have made the night my servant. Many people have walked these passageways with me as I gave them the opportunity to meditate on their transgressions without the light to distract them.

As I come closer to my destination I can hear Isaac’s voice echoing off the walls and can’t help but frown in concern; this has never happened before.

Picking up my pace I quickly come to the door I am looking for and Isaac’s muffled words begin to take on some clarity. I listen at the door so I don’t walk into the situation unprepared.

“You wanted this!” Isaac yells “This is your only chance, you know that!”

The reply is too indistinct to hear.

“You cannot change your mind!” Isaac continues, but the rest is lost as he lowers his voice. It doesn’t matter, I know enough.

I open the door and enter quickly, hoping to catch the man who is the object of Isaac’s attention in an unguarded moment.

He is sitting in a chair in the middle of a room devoid of any ornamentation and only the light of a single candle. He is not physically changed from the last time I saw him other than the sweat on his brow though it is not uncommon for people sitting in that chair to leave with far more gray hair than they started with.

I see fear and pain on his face but not enough determination to worry me. Fear is easy to deal with; it’s the pain I must convince him is necessary for his salvation.

I look at Isaac in sadness, I had expected more of him. Properly rebuked he looks down at the ground and steps back.

I have compassion for the man in front of me. What he has chosen to do is not easy but he must find the courage to continue; the fate of his soul depends upon it.

"Brother Markus."

His attention is drawn to me even though I speak his name in the barest of whispers. His hair is wet from perspiration and his eyes are shot through with red but his gaze never wavers from my face as he listens to my voice.

"Why have you weakened my son?"

"I can't... this isn't right...." His voice is hoarse and weak and he swallows convulsively. I watch him silently and wait for him to continue.

"I didn't know." He quietly begins to sob. "I didn't know."

I lay my hand on his arm half expecting him to flinch but he doesn't. I am not the one who has been the deliverer of his punishment so he does not fear my touch.

I wait until he is composed enough to hear me before I speak again.

"You have not been here long, have you my son?" I ask him.

He looks confused and does not answer.

"You have only been under Isaac's care for two days now," I explain patiently. "Yet you have many years of sin to atone for. Do you believe God will only punish you for two days after you sit in judgment before him?"

His mouth works but still no words emerge. I grip his arm harder in my desire to make him understand.

"I am offering you eternal bliss my son! All that you must do is be willing to suffer God's retribution in your mortal body to save your soul. How can you waver now? I am giving you the greatest gift I can bestow."

Tears are running silently down his face and I can see acceptance in his eyes. I run my hand across his forehead and murmur words of encouragement. I realize it was a mistake to allow Isaac to take my place so soon and know I will have to finish this myself.

Before Markus has a chance to become more upset I place my hands on either side of his head and let the power flow from my hands into his body. His eyes roll up into his head as his body begins to convulse from the pain, though I do not allow him to lapse into unconsciousness. He must be aware or God will not accept this reckoning.

I can feel the weight of his sins flow into my body and savor the rapture I feel in his deliverance. I have missed this feeling and realize that Isaac's failure was God's way of enlightening me that I must continue this work myself. Slowly I allow the flow of power to fade from my hands and watch Markus slump in the chair. I kiss his forehead in blessing before I stand and turn my attention to Isaac.

"I am afraid you were not ready to take my place my son." I shake my head sadly, "And I had not thought you would need to return to the chair so soon."



Original words...............................Replaced by
Salvation....................................Redemption
Simple.......................................Mundane
Corridors....................................Passageways
Sins.........................................Transgressions
Punishment...................................Retribution
Give.........................................Bestow
Project......................................Task
Euphoria.....................................Rapture
Telling......................................Enlightening
Understanding................................Acceptance

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Some Small Adjustments

I don't know if anyone will come here to read any of my 3 part story that began with "Mark" and continued with "Aftermath" and "Dangerous Lines." I've decided to take them down because I am reworking the story to enter it into a short story writing contest. I am only keeping a small portion of it and completely redoing most of it to make it an original story. But since it is based on a story that I started here on the blog, I wanted to take it down so there wouldn't be any conflict or reason I couldn't get it published. If, on the off hand, anyone wants to read the originals, email me and I will send them to you.

Thanks.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Renewal

Here it is, the latest Stewart Sternberg assignment. The theme is renewal.

Sara heard a man in the line talking about fear. He had two men to either side of him and seemed to like the audience.

"Fear is like a blanket you see, it covers you, smothers you......"

Sara listened with growing contempt. She had been walking in line with the rest of the refugees for the last two days. Like most of the sad group she didn't have a blanket, or any other supplies for that matter. Her face had worn down to the bone, closely resembling the threadbare condition of her jacket.

How could anyone who had ever felt real fear compare it to a blanket? A blanket enveloped you with warmth and comfort.

Fear stripped you bare.

She had been living in a shell that used to be a home. At night she huddled in the corner of the rubble strewn bedroom and tried to stay away from the window and the yellow eyes that looked inside. It had taken less than one night before she gave up the comfort of blanket in favor of using it to cover the window. She didn't know why the creatures that scratched outside the door never came in and she wasn't about to ask.

She wanted to tell the man that she knew what fear tasted like, the coppery feel of it on her tongue and the dryness it left behind. She wanted to tell him that when he talked about naked fear, then he would know what he was talking about. But she wasn't interested enough to waste the time.

Sara didn't have any kids and she knew what a blessing that was right now. Maybe once it was a dream, but no longer. She watched mothers, and the few fathers who were still left, herd their children over the rocky terrain. She saw the fear in their eyes as they gave what little food there was to the kids, not daring to think that more would come soon.

The hills they traveled through were dark. The scouts were trying to shelter them from the sun and the eyes of wandering-- something. Scott had left months ago to fight against those who would take their home, but no one expected that things out of nightmares would materialize when before only guns and bombs had been used. Once she saw the eyes at the window, she knew better than to expect his return.

She had been pulled out of her village two days ago in what was being called a rescue if one insisted on believing it possible. There had been rumors that the one who coveted their land was sending more men and more creatures to drive them out. It didn't take much persuasion to convince the few people left to leave.

So here she was, listening to a man she'd never seen before talk about something he knew nothing about.

Then it started with a howling in the North end of the gorge, about a half mile back. The sounds were alarmingly loud for so far away and coming toward them fast. Sara wasn't a fast runner and she knew her only hope was to hide and maybe get lost in the confusion. There were more than a dozen families with twice as many kids who had the same idea and she tripped over several screaming people who were trying to herd their children toward some sort of shelter. She almost ran down a girl who couldn't have been more than two who was sitting in the middle of the road crying for her mother. Sara looked frantically around but didn't see anyone claiming the child. Without thinking she scooped her up and kept running.

By this time the howling was so loud she couldn't think. She made it to the nearest blanket of scrub she could find and ducked under it with the child. Desperate to save herself and the girl she held her hand over the girls mouth and crying in terror kept shushing the child to keep her quiet. Soon the wailing was so loud Sara didn't even bother trying to keep the girl quiet as she didn't think it would make any difference. Wind whipped at her face as the noise reached a crescendo and she thought her ears would bleed.

The noise stopped so abruptly she didn’t realize it at first.

It seemed as if it was over too fast. Too easy. Sara couldn't force herself to move, finding strange comfort and warmth in holding the child despite the violent quaking of the girl's little body.

It was the calls of desperate parents that brought her out of her spell; that and the frantic squirming of the girl.

No one claimed the child at first and Sara feared that her parents had been lost with the people they were just realizing had been taken with the noise and the wind.

“Emma!”

The child immediately responded to her name and took off running toward her mother, without a backward glance at Sara, who was too numb to care.

It was a weirdly detached group that continued on. There were people missing but no one held any illusions that they would be found. The leaders of the group hurried them on with promises of shelter before nightfall.

Sara listened for the man whom she had heard speaking earlier but he appeared to be among the missing. That made her sad for some reason.

But then the most unexpected thing happened. The trail emptied out of the hills they had been traveling for the last two days and sloped gently down into a valley that looked so green, so alive to Sara’s tired eyes. Shouts came from the group as a large city came into view and it looked as if their strange journey was coming to an end.

There were even people waiting for their group to arrive.

Sara couldn't fathom who could possibly be waiting for the people of her village, or why. She barely spared a glance for the people grouped at the bottom of the trail when for some reason a figure holding onto a crutch caught her eye. Something in the way he stood........

“Scott!”

The name exploded from her as she felt the blood rush to her face. She started running though her legs felt as if they might collapse.

“Sara!”

She knew she wasn’t mistaken when she heard Scott call her name. Running full out she almost crashed directly into him until she realized he couldn’t stand on his own. But before she could fully stop, Scott threw the crutch to the side and limped into her embrace.

And for the first time in too long, Sara dared to let herself feel hope in a warm, blanketing hug.


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Copper and Patch

Here's my latest writing assignment from Stewart Sternberg. This one is supposed to be from the perspective of a pet.

Copper didn't like the puppy.

Puppies have no dignity she told him.

Patch was all wiggles and puppy enthusiasm and Copper wanted no part of that. Copper was sure she had never been so excitable. She had watched over two fine children and she couldn't love them more if they were her own pups.

The family had managed to carve out their own bit of green in the desert, but Copper knew all too well the hazards the could have threatened her charges. She could smell on the wind when the wild dogs were near and she knew how to sniff out the hidey holes of the snakes who might strike out at moving legs.

Puppies did not know how to watch over children properly.

Copper loved her home. She loved to roam the ranch, bark hello to the horses and steal food from the pigs. As long as she could remember she'd follow the kids as they did their chores; patiently waiting until they had time to throw a stick for her and pat her glossy coat when she returned it to them. She most definitely didn't like to play fetch when Patch was around.

Patch had started to make it his habit to trot at her heels as she followed the kids. Sometimes Copper would give Patch a quick nip to remind him that she was boss. But puppies are forgetful and it usually wasn't long before Patch would jump on Copper's back, earning another scolding.

Remember your place she would growl at him.

She also was quite affronted that her family didn't seem to mind the pup's inappropriate enthusiasm. So she continued to hold herself aloof whenever the family would laugh and encourage the mad frenzy of puppy energy that Patch regularly displayed.

But as pups do, Patch would tire in the early evening and sleep long enough for Copper to have time with the family to herself. She would lay herself flat as she could in front of the TV so the kids could lay their heads on her belly as they watched their shows. Close proximity to kids often meant treats given when the parents weren't looking too.

But there was an unusual amount of activity on this late Fall day and Copper followed Dad around with her ears perked forward trying to figure out what was going on. And then she heard the word that let her know what all the excitement was about; hunting.

Oh, Copper loved to hunt. It didn't matter if it was ducks or deer, just so long as she got to run into the woods and help flush out game. Copper didn't know that she had the nose and breeding for hunting, she just knew it felt right. She couldn't help but wiggle with excitement as she followed Dad around the house, her body quivering under his hand as he reached down to pet her.

"You know where we're going tomorrow don't 'cha girl?" Dad said and she barked with excitement.

Copper got a little carried away and woke up Patch. After yawning and stretching the pup came in and wagged his tail in response to Copper's excitement.

"Look Copper, you'll have Patch to help you this year, won't 'cha girl?"

Copper's ears drooped a little and she tried to plead with her eyes to have this one thing to herself. But Dad just ruffled her ears and kept on with his preparations.

I get to go too! I get to go too! said Patch as he ran in circles around Copper.

Copper barked sharply at Patch, behave! But Patch was too excited to listen.

So Copper resigned herself to a hunting trip with the puppy.

You do what I tell you to do she instructed Patch, though she didn't think he'd listen.

The family got up before dawn the next morning since they had to travel closer to the mountains for good hunting. Copper made sure she got the preferred seat between the kids while Patch sort of roamed around the very back of the car.

Are we almost there yet Copper? The pup kept asking.

Copper chuffed at Patch, but didn't bother answering. They'd get there soon enough.

And despite the puppy's company, Copper was in a grand mood. She was with her family and they were going hunting.

The weather was still warm, though the promise of Winter hung in the early morning air. Copper edged over to the window and scented the air, though they were going to fast to really catch a single odor. But she knew by the familiar smells they were getting close to their destination. Forest foliage flew by the window as they left the last of their desert home behind.

Once they hit the rutted dirt road that led to the cabin, Copper began to get excited. She stood over Younger Brother and looked out the window, waiting for the cabin to come into view. Patch didn't know what to look for, but taking his cues from Copper, he began to excitedly jump around the back.

Soon they were there and Copper bounded out the door as soon as it was open. Knowing that the family liked to get settled before they'd head out, she followed Dad as he put away the supplies. Patch made a general nuisance of himself by running under everyone's feet.

Once they started laying out gear by the front door Copper knew it was almost time to go. Mom would stay back at the cabin with Younger Sister since they didn't like to hunt, while Dad, Older Brother and Younger Brother would go out with the dogs.

Dad had brought something he called a "bow" which let Copper know they were hunting deer this time. And though Dad also brought the "rifle" he never brought the "bow" when they were hunting duck.

We're hunting a big four legged animal called a "deer" she told Patch.

What does it look like? he asked.

It's very tall, with long skinny legs. Just follow me and I'll show you.

Once Dad and the boys starting putting on their gear Copper almost danced with anticipation.

"Copper! Patch! Time to go!" Dad called out and they began their trek into the woods.

Copper roamed ahead with her nose to the ground trying to scent out deer for Dad to bring down. She could smell old tracks and sometimes followed them for awhile to see if they led to a common path or a drinking hole. But usually she'd come across a newer scent and veer off on that trail instead. Patch hung at her heels trying to recognize the unfamiliar scents on the ground but mostly followed Copper since he didn't know what he was looking for. Dad and the boys fanned out behind the dogs ready to run if Copper bayed to let them know she scented their quarry.

Before long Copper found a recent trail and began to trot at a faster pace to let her family know she was on the trail.

"Looks like she found something boys," Dad always called out as they picked up the pace to keep up.

And sure enough Copper saw a flash of the deer's white tail as it turned and bounded into the woods. Baying loudly Copper took off after the deer leaving Patch to try to catch up as Dad and the boys took off at a run after Copper and the deer.

Copper was able to cut through the trees and grass quickly since she was low to the ground. She kept baying loudly, as she had been taught, so that the hunters knew where to follow and stay on the trail. Patch struggled to keep up, and tripped over fallen branches as he ran, but he could scent Copper on the ground so he knew where to follow.

Amid lots of baying, yelling and crashing though the underbrush, Dad yelled out that he had sighted the deer and the boys stayed back as Dad took his shot.

"I think I got her!" Dad yelled, though it was hard to tell since the deer kept running.

Copper stayed on the trail and within a few yards spotted blood drops on the ground and knew Dad had in fact hit the deer. Copper barked to get Dad's attention and he ran over to see what Copper had found.

"There's blood, hopefully she won't go too much further," he told Older Brother as he walked up and they began to follow Copper further into the forest.

Patch caught up as they slowed down and again began to trot right behind Copper as she followed the blood trail to try to find the injured deer.

Copper was intent on the deer's trail and barely lifted her nose off the ground as the scent of fear and blood got stronger as she began to gain on the deer. The trees were thick and there weren't many breaks in the forest so Copper slowed down to let her family keep up. There was a lot of blood on the ground so she knew the deer was too injured to go fast enough or far enough to get away. Sure enough she soon saw the deer thrashing weakly on the ground near a large rock outcropping and she bayed again to let Dad know she'd found her target.

Copper sat down and didn't go any closer to the deer as she had been trained and waited for Dad to catch up. She could hear her family crashing in the woods behind her and knew they were almost there. Patch reached her first and wiggled with excitement and ran in circles around her.

Why are you waiting here Copper? Isn't it more fun to grab the deer?

WE don't grab the deer
she told the pup that's Dad's job.

Younger Brother was actually the first to arrive.

"Good job Copper!" He told her as ran his hand over her head. "You too Patch!" He said as he tried to pet the excited puppy.

Not bothering to wait for Dad, Younger Brother started approaching the now still deer. He had almost reached her when a loud noise high up on the rocks suddenly startled Copper and she caught a scent that caused a thrill of alarm to go through her body.

BIG CAT! BIG CAT! was all she had time to think as a tremendous yowl sounded through the valley. Younger Brother fell back in alarm as he realized there was an enormous mountain lion perched on the rocks just above where the deer had come to rest during it's final struggle.

Copper bunched her legs and began to launch herself to where Younger Brother lay in an attempt to get there before the big cat could attack.

The cat screamed again and jumped down from the rocks and landed in front of the deer and faced off toward Younger Brother in an attempt to keep him away from the deer.

Panicked, Copper started barking and running toward the deer, but before she could get there a flash of white and black fur suddenly appeared in front of the cat barking furiously. Copper realized that Patch had instinctively run at the cat in an attempt to protect Younger Brother.

Knowing that the little dog would not be a match for the big cat Copper redoubled her efforts and launched herself at the cat just as it raised a massive paw to bat the little dog away from her. Just as the cat brought it's paw down Copper landed right between the cat and Patch and she felt the stinging pain of the cat's claws as they raked across her right flank.

Yelping in pain, Copper nonetheless held her ground and began to growl furiously at the cat. Patch stayed close barking in a high pitched frenzy as the cat reared up and prepared to launch itself at Copper again.

BOOM!

Dad had arrived and fired the rifle toward the cat, but wide so it wouldn't hit the dogs.

Reacting to the noise the cat fell back crouched facing the newest threat.

BOOM!

The rifle fired again and cat fell back once again, not getting up this time.

Knowing the immediate danger was over, Copper sank the ground and began licking her flank, whimpering a bit at the pain.

Dad hurried over to the dogs and began looking over Copper's injury.

Are you ok Copper? Patch asked anxiously as he laid down in front of Copper nose to nose worriedly seeing if she was ok.

Copper looked up at the pup. Licking his ear gently she quietly said to him.

You did good Patch, real good. I couldn't be prouder of you if you were my own pup.

Gently scooping up Copper into his arms, Dad picked her up and without a single look back at the fallen cat began to carry her back to the cabin, and Copper knew everything would be alright. Their family was safe.