Sunday, March 28, 2010

Jonesing for a dog...

There he is.

My dream dog.

How can you not love that face?

But... I'm not allowed to have pets.

I broke the last one we had.

You see, we had this cat. Cody. We didn't choose him, he chose us. When they sold the farm across the street, the barn cats scattered. Cody showed up on our front porch one day. He was a scrawny looking tabby cat with one extra long canine tooth and a scar on his right ear.

I was working nights at the time, so I didn't notice as much. But one Saturday afternoon, my husband mentioned "There's some cat who keeps trying to get into the house." As he said this, Spousal One was filling a dish with cat food and another with water and leaving them on the porch.

Not exactly designed to send the feline away.

So, we had a new cat. Now, I love cats, I've always (till now) had cats, but most of them were females. This particular cat was male.

Completely, absolutely, without a doubt MALE.

He had one long canine tooth that was so long it hung below his chin. This cat was a grunting, farting, furbag with the worst breath you could ever imagine. He smelled like something crawled inside him and died.

He was an enigma. A very affectionate pet, but he'd disappear for weeks at a time. We suspected that he was cheating on us. That he had another family somewhere. Because he always came back from these little vacations looking well fed and happy.

When Cody was with us, we enjoyed him, but he had this one bad habit of darting in front of vehicles when they drove in the driveway. More than once, we said "One of these days, that cat's going to get squooshed."


One day I came back from shopping and as I came into the driveway, I felt a *thump* heard a "meow" and the cat dragged himself out from under my Jeep.

I never saw him till it was too late. We raced him to the vet, but there was nothing they could do for him. So, I held him in my arms as the vet gave him the injection that would send him up to Kitty Heaven.

Now I have been "Pet-less" for the past several years and I have to say it's weird. We've always had some sort of pet in the house whether it was cats, dogs, gerbils, turtles, hermit crabs or birds.

On one hand, it's a bit of a relief - we can pick up and go away for a weekend without having to make arrangements for pets.

But I have to admit, I am longing for a pet. I've got my heart set on a bulldog. Either an English Bulldog like the one above or maybe a French Bulldog which is a smaller version with bat ears.

I know it's selfish. We both work, and Son O'Mine is away at school...

But look at that face...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring has sprung

Several years ago, I had a root canal in a front tooth. That little one between the two major front teeth and the canine.

Saturday, while eating multi-grain bread, I heard a "crack!"

Ut oh...

Ran to the bathroom, checked my teeth - couldn't see any cracks, brushed my teeth vigorously - nothing loose.


A couple hours later, I went grocery shopping (in torrential rain) and slipped coming into the house - my tongue hit the tooth and out it popped.

I looked like a Jack-o-lantern.

In full hysterics, I called my dentist. God bless her, she met me at the office at 6:00 on a Saturday night in the middle of a monsoon to fix my tooth (temporary fix).

Now, you have to picture my dentist. She's an excellent dentist, but she is also young, petite and from Kentucky - and she sounds exactly like Hanna Montana. And she's perky. So damn perky.

So there I sat, in the chair, contemplating how quickly I went from a not bad looking woman to a toothless old hag while Hanna Montana chattered on in that chipper way of hers.

The upshot is, I could get a bridge, for $3000 but that would put stress on the adjoining teeth - so a dental implant is the way to go - for $3500. Why not? And guess how much my insurance policy covers?

Nothing. Zip, zilch, nada.

Good news! This implant process can take up to 7 months! So I have plenty of time to pay it off! Lucky me. The only positives I see in this are that it can be fixed - and the periodontist will do the implant itself. I like him. He gives me Valium.

Today, it is Spring.

Gorgeous day - 72 degrees. Sun shining, birds chirping.

And where am I?

I'm inside waiting for the furnace repair guy to come. AGAIN.

5 visits, $1300 in furnace repair bills in the last month and the furnace shut off in the middle of the night and won't re-set.

So here I sit, waiting for the guy who I believe can be claimed as a dependent on our taxes.

Happy Freakin' Spring.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Another week -

My company was forced to do some down-sizing this week. I still have a job and for that I am grateful, but I am still sorting out the impact this has had on me.

You see, in August of 2008 I was offered a new position at work. It was something new, a challenge and I was excited about it. I'd be reporting to a woman I didn't know well at all. We worked in different buildings and had almost no contact. As soon as I accepted the job, I was told that my new boss would be leaving within a week. She was relocating to a facility in another state. I would still report to her, but now it would be from 2,500 miles away.

I wasn't sure how or if this whole thing would work. But it did.

Over the past year and a half, she and I spent no more than 8-10 days in the same state. And yet, we developed through phone, email and IM an amazing relationship. What evolved from that daily electronic connection is a profound bond of mutual trust, honesty and respect. She has been there for me every step of the way with encouragement, support and the occasional kick in the ass when needed. I like to think I was able to do the same for her.

This past week, our company closed down that other facility and this brilliant lady is out of a job. I know that it won't be for long. She is strong, positive and enormously talented. I have no doubt that she will find another position. I only hope they appreciate what a treasure she is.

As for me, this week has been a blur. We knew this was coming. Correction: we knew *something* was coming. (You'd have to have your head up your ass not to notice that the business had dropped by 50%.) She and I talked about it and tried to prepare as best we could.

The axe fell on Wednesday. It was immediate and well-orchestrated. Within an hour of the facility closing, all of those people disappeared from email and IM. I understand that management must operate this way to preserve what's left of this company if we have any hope of recovering. Logically, intelectually, I understand this. I've been through this before with other companies.

It's never easy. Layoffs suck - for everyone. For those who lose their jobs, for those who have to deliver that news and for those left behind to wonder if they're next. No matter how prepared you think you are, it still hits you like a sucker punch in the gut.

The rest of the week was filled with re-organizational meetings. More blurs. Notes, discussions, redistribution of the work, etc, etc, etc. Focusing on the task at hand makes it a little easier to hold back the grief.

I am heartbroken.

Driving home on Friday, I finally let loose the tears I'd been holding back for days. And in that release, I understood. If you had asked me a month ago, I'd have told you I loved my job. Loved everything about it, found it fullfilling and challenging. Every day a new adventure! Yes, I loved my job.

What I realize now is that I loved working for this woman. It was not the process, it wasn't the work, it was the boss who made my experience there each day such a joy.

It was her. Her name is Laura.

She was my boss.

She is my friend.

We will keep in touch. We promised each other. Phone calls and emails. Yes, if I am sure of anything it's that this friendship will endure.

And one day for sure, we'll find ourselves together on a beach somewhere, sipping margaritas.

So long, my friend.

For now.