passing the wil wheaton test & puppies building forts

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So. That happened.
Wow. Not gonna lie, last week was kinda rough. Lil’ heavier than any of us were probably expecting. That in mind, I figured we’d take a moment & hit up some shiznit that’s making my world better.

it’s okay, we can all be kinda crazy in the head together.

While my confession of small mental breakdown wasn’t intended to be so, it would seem that several of you found great solidarity & comfort in knowing it’s not just you.

Guess what, people? It’s not just you.

:insert chorus of small children crying out with delight:

…plus it would seem we could all use some freakin’ cake.

source

Claris: ooh – momentary freedom?
k-walla oh yea, i am leaving at 5:15 then – I”M OUT BITCHES!!!!!!!!!
i really know how to push the envelope
lol
Claris: :snerk: me too – tomorrow, I don’t come in here to work, so I’m going to be at home working!
k-walla woo woo – we crazay
i very much liked your blog post today, always good to know other people spiral out of control with the weird and downer head thoughts as well!
Claris: HOLD ME BACK
omg, it’s like freakin’ rampant lately
we’re all taking turns, just not on purpose.
k-walla there was that great cartoon on hyperbole and a half too
Claris: omg, I love her.
but yah, it’s especially hard for single girls I think because if there’s a guy at home he’s like, “Okay, you know you’re being crazy, right? Do you want to have sex? Would that help?”
and then you might be crazy, but at least you’re crazy & getting laid.
k-walla haha, totally and that would help!
Claris: I know, right? Instead I’m sitting here emailing eHarmony to see why they rejected my affiliate program application for Project!Site — so that at least if people other than me are gonna get some, I’ll get paid for helping them get there, dammit.

–> For the record, eHarmony’s reply was that they only look to place with affiliates who will be able to offer meaningful content for dating & relationships, & how would my site fit into that?

Taking my life into consideration, I sat down to write a reply explaining what kind of meaningful content I could bring to the subject of finding compatibility with others and…

…yeah. I’ll get back to that one later.

Seriously, people – I just want to put up a damn banner sometimes & probably poke fun of your company during early February – why does that have to be so freakin’ hard??

Chocolate.com

Tru fax, peoples

When I went to put an ad up there, I originally thought I’d put up something for like, Chemistry.com or Match.com just to be a smartass to eHarmony. However, when I clicked on the “Dating” category on LinkShare, I found — and I swear to $deity this is true — that under Dating is Chocolate.com.

You have to appreciate the sheer awesome of whoever it was in their office that decided to be totes McGotes real about the way life is… or possibly they were going through a breakup when assigned the task of setting up their company’s affiliate network. Either way, I’m in favor.

Normally I don’t go for this sort of blatant, slightly schmaltzy advertising on a blog, but in this case I’m going to go ahead & make a one-time exception to let you know that from now until the end of the year, you get 10% Off at Chocolate.com With Code MYCHOC10.

Because let’s be honest – in this day & age, a company that employs someone willing to run with that brand of truthiness deserves to stay in business.

Speaking of advertising – I passed the Wil Wheaton test, y’all. :fist of triumph:

I’ve been looking at ad rates on other blogs lately for an ActualFaxRealLife project of mine, & I decided to see how much it might cost to help support the Bloggess’ Wine-Shushee Habit.

However, such an inquiry is not without risk — as Bloggess readers know, should you strike the wrong note, emailing on such a subject can earn you Wil Wheaton collating paper. For a moment, I totally considered trying to sound professional, but we all know that would be a short-lived effort, so instead I sent an email regarding the use of the word “Dickensian” and the fact that I’d put on my Big Girl Pants for the occasion.

What’d I get back?

This? Is an awesome email. I’m giving you the slow clap. But softly because my daughter is sleeping.
~ @TheBloggess

This email may have caused me to swing by Polgara’s desk yesterday & say, “So… I got a slow clap from the Bloggess.”
Polgara: What? How?
Claris: I emailed her about ad rates. I’m just really proud I didn’t get Wil Wheaton.
Polgara: She only does that to people that email her stupid stuff. What did you say?
Claris: Well I wrote her like… ya know, the way I normally talk.
Polgara: oh.
Claris: Yeah, so I’m not gonna lie — slow clap? Kinda proud of that.

…and then Polgara had a huge coughing fit. This was more due to her salad dressing than our conversation, but as SarahNicole will tell people, “Claris is a choking hazard. I can’t sit near her at meal times.”

It’s animals, people. TALKING IN CAPS. How do you not know about this already??

SOMETIMES I FEEL FEELINGS, YOU PERT, JUDGMENTAL EATING DISORDER BILLBOARD! LEAVE ME ALONE!
Much in the same spirit as the guy who Facebook msg’d me after my post regarding the word faggot to say that he would now be looking for an opportunity to shout at someone that they are, indeed, a bundle of sticks, I kind of want to call someone a “pert judgmental eating disorder billboard”. I think this could probably be contextually achieved if I walk down Sunset Blvd on a Friday night, most likely somewhere between the Viper Room & the Hustler Store. Oh yes, it can be done.

also?
THIS IS AN ENCYCLOPEDIA. IT’S LIKE WIKIPEDIA EXCEPT YOU CAN TRUST IT.
–> for the young’ins in the audience, I shall put this in a context you can understand.

They don’t talk in caps, so it’s a good thing they’re cute.

Sachiel arrives on Friday to begin what we’re calling #OccupyCouch for a bit. As part of #OccupyCouch, we’re going to have to re-stuff the back cushions of said couches due to the fact that as of late, the canine children have taken to burrowing into their favorite place in the whole wide apartment to make sleeping forts.

Case in point:


…right? I KNOW.

You argue with that.

Go on. Try.

Music: I Can Get Drunk & I Can Sing Songs – Two Man Gentleman Band (Live in NYC)Live in New York - The Two Man Gentlemen Band

Candy Cane Christmas Holiday Tea

a week of depression: piece of cake.

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Hullo. I’m back now.

After my mixed bag exercise at Head of the American, last week was my week off.

Why did I take a week off?

originally asked by Sachiel.
In most training plans, athletes are encouraged to take at least one week a year off. For a lot of rowers, this often happens in August/September — it’s a natural break between sprint season ending & fall head racing beginning.

In my case, it happened in July — I wasn’t going to Canadian Henley, so after tearing down the course at Mercer like a bull in a china shop, I’d had a break and started training for the fall in August.

With my right arm injured & the decision not to row NARF, I took the week after Head of the American off — not only in the hopes of allowing my elbow/forearm to heal up, but also so that I could do a second step test to be compared to the one from earlier this fall. I’ll most likely do lactate testing with the kids at Beach!Boathouse in December, but since my first step test was done right after I’d been Sick Because of the Wheat, we did another to see if there was any difference or I just… suck.
(no, I don’t know the answer to that one yet, The Man Doing the Math had two high school regattas to run that Saturday & Sunday – we squinched it in last Friday due to timing of training schedule, so we both knew he’d get back to me with actual results when he gets a chance to breathe.)

For the record, a week off doesn’t mean I sat around on a couch watching TV & eating bon-bons. Instead of doing say, seven workouts in five days, I only did 3, and I was indeed completely off the water for… actually come to think of it I still haven’t been back on the water – my first days back that the boathouse have been erg workouts. #sad

so this is what other people do…

It’s an odd thing, a week off. The only comparison I can make is that it’s like when you work a 9-to-5 job and then there’s that one day when, for one reason or another, you’re not at your job and are instead out & about in the world. You drive around, go to the grocery store, Do Things Out in the World, and think, “So this is what happens in the rest of the world when I’m avoiding meetings and playing WordsWithFriends compiling code? Huh.”

I remember talking to one of the junior alums Alle when she came home for Christmas her freshman year. After four years rowing in high school, she got to uni in NY and decided that college rowing was not for her.

“It’s kinda weird at first, isn’t it?” I’d asked her.
“Oh my god,” she’d exclaimed, “I got like, twenty hours a week of my life back. I didn’t know what to do with myself!”

…and in a way, it’s like that. You look at your schedule & decide it’s going to be an All the Things! week. You’re going to Clean All the Things! and Make All the Food! and Catch Up on All the Client Work!

…and that totally, totally, completely doesn’t happen.

You think you know … but you have no idea.

What actually happens is that you get home from the regatta, and after having driven 12-14 hours in three days, drop all your crap in the middle of the living room, consider a shower, decide that you’ll just sit on your couch for a moment first, and then wake up on your couch the next morning.

Awesome start to what should have been The Week of Efficiency.

The next morning, when you were going to pack your boat on the car then row Z‘s Filippi before driving to Beach!Boathouse to drop off said boat & then pick up the Canine Brigade from their stint as part of Doggie Devo, you discover that it is not only pitch dark, but the coast has also been enveloped in a fog wall roughly the consistency of pea soup.

Good times driving the 45 minutes south on the 405 with that one, especially since my roll of twine disappeared & I couldn’t tie down the ends:
LBRA fog
by the time I got to Beach!Boathouse and stopped after the speed bump to take this picture through my windshield, the fog had thankfully gotten a bit better than when I’d left LA. and yes, it was only my second time driving with $5k of hardware on the roof, so these conditions aren’t nerve-wracking at all.

…and the whole week just kinda goes from there. I got some things done, but not nearly as much as I really should have, or honestly, needed to.

The Week of Efficiency turned out to be The Week of Sludgery. Every time I’d be home to do something, I’d end up putting it off. Or sleeping. Or getting distracted by the dogs because I’m home for once & I should spend time with them. Or…something.

But most of all, last week reminded me of just how much the structure of having an athletic schedule helps to stave off depression.

silver lining: modern creatives have learned to abstain from ear amputation. (mostly)

Here’s the thing about creatives – we’re all a little crazy in our own way. That’s what makes us able to see things differently enough to comment on it in some form which gets your attention. If our brains worked like “normal” people, you’d only get “normal” stuff, and then we’d all just be really friggin’ bored at the office.

templesmith_batteryacid
and in case anyone’s wondering, I actually did buy my parents AAA for Christmas last year.

And for the public at large, this great — these are the kind of minds that think up how to win a debate with your husband over whether to buy new towels by putting a 4 foot high metal chicken on the front stoop, or Seven Games You Can Play With a Brick.

But it also gets you into places where you freak out because all you can think is that you have no idea what the f*ck you’re doing and you have to be honest with people that the reason you haven’t been writing is that you’ve been trying to figure out why you don’t want to get out of bed.

I think part of it is that it’s just that time of year. Here in SoCal, summer ran out on us faster than a whore the morning after payday, leaving behind cold winds and a fog worthy of a Brontë novel, and everyone’s just like, “ugh… great.”

But across the board, I have several highly creative, incredibly smart friends who are having Life!Crisis!Moments! Whether it’s from a book deadline, job uncertainty, or in one case dog training, there’s a high occurrence of us each talking one another off the ledge as of late, and it just keeps reminding me to thank $deity for the internet. Years ago, we’d have each just been the town weirdo, isolated & told by others that there’s something wrong with us, but thanks to the power of the interwebs, town freaks across the world can connect & discover that it’s not that you’re the only person having these issues, it’s simply that geography separated us from meeting face-to-face, so let’s just go ahead & create our own electronic-based support group.

In terms of helping to create an emotionally stable place for creatives to innovate the ideas in their head, the internet just might be the best thing to ever happen for that weird kid who sat in the back of class in high school.

why? because our fellow crazies help us feel better.

Here’s the thing — just like the brains of creative people have the ability to bring about really great things, it also works in the way of being able to see life in creatively bad ways, the thinking about which can cause one to go completely over the edge — not necessarily into Hacking Apart My Neighbors Mode, but more into a despondent sort of Why the F*ck Am I Even Bothering Mode, where you’re so apathetic that not even the possibility of unicorn bacon could make things better.

 

Way to go, faggot.

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I had a different post for today, but instead, we’re going to talk about the word faggot.

That’s right, I totally typed that out loud on the internet.

Faggot.

f-a-g-g-o-t

faggot. faggotfaggotfaggotfaggotfaggot — Faaaaaaagooootttttttt…

hey, guess what?
faggot!

No @^#^&*#@, no shying away from it, just tossing that bad boy out into the stratosphere.

Personally, I love the word faggot. I think it’s great. I love when people use it in a sentence. I’m delighted when someone drops the fag-bomb in my presence, and have openly laughed at its utterance.

Do you know why I have no fear about using that word in a sentence?

Because I know that that word means something which is not what Bret Ratner thinks it means.

A faggot is a bundle of sticks.

faggot: a bundle of sticks

Wanna see it in context? Read Thomas Hardy’s Return of the Native, acquire some knowledge, and share in the torture of my high school sophomore year’s required reading materials.

So go on. Use the word faggot.

I think it’s great that you’re choosing to show your illiteracy.

I’m delighted to know that in attempting to slag someone else down, you’ve only managed to publicly display your own ignorance.

Because in that moment when you have mustered the same courage as a drunken college boy sitting in a folding chair on the front lawn of his frat house bellowing incoherently at people walking by, I will openly laugh at the fact that the pinnacle of your ability of insult someone is to call them a bundle of sticks.

Way to go, ya fuckin’ faggot.

Music: F*ck You – Lily Allen (It’s Not Me, It’s You) It's Not Me, It's You - Lily Allen

Alford and Hoff - General - Gift for the man who has everything

Head of the American 2011: ‘scuse me while I tank this race.

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In July, I’d figured this weekend would be about Trojans.

Three months later, I know it was about me.

Back in the day (aka mid-July) while Pomatto & I were sitting up at Lake Mercer about to inadvertently fluster our way to winning Southwest Regionals, she mentioned to me she’d heard the varsity 8+ of the lady Trojan Navy would be racing Head of the American in singles this year.

Oh, crap.

The USC women have a high yield of European recruits. This means that, unlike a lot of American collegiate rowers, USC girls know how to scull. And in the case of one Trojan, I know she knows how to scull, because I was learning to coach & lent her my speedcoach while she learned to row a 1x.
(I’m sorry American schools, but let’s be honest — emphasis isn’t put on smaller boats to get recruited to college. Flyweight, who has been sculling (and winning) in a 1x & 2x for the past two years, actually had college coaches reject her for recruitment when they found out she wasn’t primarily sweep rowing. I’m not saying it’s better or worse, that’s just the way the two systems are, and the result is that the majority of American collegiate rowers are not scullers.)

As a single sculler under the age of 35, rowing in the Masters’ category is kind of pointless — no matter what my raw time is, the age handicap adjustment would kill me.
Right now my age is only useful for a Masters’ A boat’s ability to bring in new collegiate grads to the boat & still make the 27 minimum age average — a fact which my original coach G was happy to realize for Crew Classic this year considering that when I started five years ago I was one of the young’ins he had to compensate for.

So if I row the Masters’ category, I could win in raw time & lose to a 67year old by age handicap, but if I row Open, there’s a very good chance I’ll have to compete against the freakin’ Trojan navy, two of whom placed in the top 10 at this year’s U23 World Championships.

And people wonder why I laugh when they say rowing looks so relaxing.

My decision?

Frack it. I’d rather take the chance of getting beaten in raw time than lose because of math.
Damn you, math*! ::shakey fist::
*not to be confused with Math, who is an actual person I quite enjoy talking with & simply has an ironic misspelling on his birth certificate, poor bastard.

Upcoming challenge in mind, I emailed what would should have been my primary source of training info & said, “Okay, I’m not going to Canadian Henley, but it looks like I’m gonna have to race the Trojan Navy at the end of October, so how do I alter my workouts to use the end of the summer to prep for that?”

In return I got…nothin’. Crickets started to chirp, & then stopped to apologize for being loud.

As someone that used to coach & run a team, I recognize that for the group at large there were other priorities at that point, and I’m realistic enough to understand that a lone Masters’ rower whose schedule didn’t match the competition plan for the rest of the team… not high on the list.

However, since this wasn’t the first time I’d asked a training question and gotten the cricket response, and I’ve never been one to sit around & wait, I went to Z & said, “Hi. I need help. …please. I totally meant to say please.”
Z, being a bit more used to me than most people, said, “What’s up?”
“Based on scuttlebutt, it would appear I’m going to be rowing singles against the Trojan Navy.”
“Crap.”
“Exaaaaactly.

Note: that Trojan who used to borrow my speedcoach? Guess who was her coach as a junior rower. If you guessed the guy that I was talking to, good call.

So we sat & talked a little.

While Z & I have known each other since I started rowing & his then-girlfriend Mo was using her experience as a former U23 rower to systematically kick my novice ass every seat race, he’s never actually had any direct interaction with my training other than the general stuff you talk about when you’re in the same rowing community for five years.

When I was looking for a coach after First!Boathouse, I’d actually asked Z first, but he was taking pre-reqs to get into grad school & didn’t have time, so I ended up working with Webster instead. Three years later, Z‘s decided against grad school for the moment, I wasn’t working with Webster anymore, & here we were again. Circle of life, man.
: obligatory Lion King joke here :

In talking, we went over my heart rate settings, which caused Z to have a coronary of his own and declare me freakish & odd, something that I have long accepted isn’t a descriptive solely isolated solely to my pulse rate, but more a continual state of being for my overall existence.

“In short,” I explained, “I have the heart rate of a hamster. A hamster that’s got a 5-hour Energy addiction. And does crack. A lot.”

So we did a step test, which for non-rowers means that I did a step test, & Z stood behind the erg & wrote numbers down, then went away & did a bunch of math. (Considering the options, I’m glad I was on the erg.)

The result was a two-faceted change to my training.

Physically, I had a new set of intervals for my morning workouts on two-a-days, and then I’d continue doing a recovery workout of stacking a spin class followed by yoga that night.

In terms of mental perspective, Z changed the metrics by which I measured my workouts. Where in the past I’d been ruled by meters on the water & splits on the erg, Z took into account the fact that four years of trying to change my heart rate workouts to what everyone kept telling me they should be and failing had only resulted in the the annoyance of this making my HR go faster because my competitor brain would look at the slower split & think about the split time instead of the heart rate, which is the actual focus of the workout.

To combat the fact that I’m overly competitive and more than a little OCD about tracking numbers to the nth degree, my new parameters were that I would do my pieces on the water for time instead of distance and that any work on the erg would be done using watts instead of watching split time. This way, the goal became to stay within my heart rate ranges for that time, and whatever distance/split I got, I got. We’d take a look every so often at split/meters total to see if those improved as I went, but otherwise that wasn’t something to be taken seriously — kinda like the rowing version of Joey Fatone on Dancing with the Stars.

Thus I was sent off to go try this out for two weeks so that we could make any changes needed before Z went on vacation – aka The Time of the Year When He Runs Like Hell for a Week or Two & Pretends the Boathouse Doesn’t Exist & There Aren’t Over 120 Teenagers to Plan for in September & Really Who Can Blame Him for Doing So.

What I discovered was… I felt better.

 

the lingustic complications of stroke/cox & other semantic issues in my life.

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“Well I suppose that it’s better that the stroke is into the cox instead of the cox being distracted by the stroke — and oh my god that sounds so dirty outside of the context of our sport, especially since we’re talking about teenagers!”

- Me in conversation with a junior coach, inadvertently providing an abject example of why rowing really is just something you have to experience to understand

…just lie back & it’ll all be over soon – isn’t that what they used to say?

One of the project managers at Civic!Co emailed me yesterday — I’d talked to him late last week (talking=ongoing email chain with the same subj line as a project we finished 3 mos ago) and said, “At this point, I’m kind of overloaded and I’m not taking on any new work until after Nov 5th.” and J, who I’ve worked with since I started subcontracting there two & a half years ago, said sure, no problem.

…and then today I got an email regarding a migration starting November 7th.

On the one hand, it’s nice to be needed.

On the other, I could use a break.

I’d set the Nov 5th date for new work because I made the decision not to row NARF this year. I’m going to do Head of the American this Saturday and then take a week off for myself, both athletically and personally.

I just… I need the time, honestly.

There’s no way around it — I can tell just by looking at my online bank statement & seeing how many times there’s a charge from Whole Foods West Hollywood between the hours of 9:45-10:30pm, which is particularly ridiculous considering that my fridge is completely stocked with things that are perfectly healthy for me if I would just take an hour or two to set everything up so they’re ready to go.

Have I done this? of course not.

And really, it’s not just food – I have at least three client projects to finish up, a personal site that I need to put live Friday night, and a whack of administrative paperwork/recordkeeping crap for my business that’s just… in dire need of seeing to, lest I get to the end of the year & be utterly screwed. Thus, I’m going to take a week off the water (other than finishing teaching Sculling I) which will give me at least two to three hours a day back to myself & should make The Accomplishment of Things easier to… accomplish.
Yeah, my English kinda failed me there. not gonna lie.

Hopefully I’ll be able to hit the ripe old age of 32 having knocked the majority of Things On my List off said list. While they say that people can age like fine wines, I going to guess that’s not supposed to include dust on your to-do list.

Plus by then, the dogs will probably need another bath – and really, who isn’t looking forward to that? ;)

Music: bang bang bang – Christina Perri (Lovestrong, deluxe edition) Lovestrong. (Deluxe Version) - Christina Perri

Gaiam.com, Inc

donwannas, trolling for sailors & a (slighted dated) olympic-sized twitterfail

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A case of The Don’wannas.

I dunno about you guys, but I have been tired. There was a snafu with a client’s job that had me working from 5pm on Sun afternoon until about 6:30am last Monday morning, and I spent last week been trying to play catch up ever since. I’m having one of those stretches where I’ve got a case of The Don’wannas – I don’t wanna work, and I don’t feel like doing pieces at race pace even though there’s a head race next weekend, and I didn’t want to drive three hours round trip that night to pick up a roof rack so I can transport my single on Monday…

…et cetera and so forth. It was Head of the Charles this weekend, and while half the rowers I know were either in Boston or on watching the Cambridge web cam to see how many people would use a boat crash to mark their visit to The Land of Dunkin’ Donuts (mmm…. delicious blueberry cake munchkins that it turns out I’m totally allergic to…) I wanted nothing more than to just crawl into bed for The Best Nap Ever.

Which would explain why, on Friday afternoon, I fell asleep for about, oh… 14 hours. oops.

Also, because it’s a stretch where I am slightly whiny and oogy (as if this post hadn’t already given that away) I am also having that time where I just want a Nap Boyfriend.
I don’t need sex (although wouldn’t that be nifty), I don’t need an actual relationship right now, but it would be nice to curl up with a nice, solid male-gender type in my attempt at Best Nap Ever.

Alas, most likely it will be as things normally are — I’ll tell Ernie to go sleep on his bed, he’ll jump over his bed (often because Zoey’s already in it since she’s left all of her toys on her bed) and he’ll hang out on the couch until I’ve fallen asleep, at which point both dogs will take advantage of my unconscious state to climb onto my bed and drape themselves on top of or wedge next to my body so that I wake up hot as hell and pinned down to my own mattress like a mental patient that’s been strapped in for safety.

This is my life, people. Welcome to the whirlygig.

…because clearly a single woman over the age of 30 must be in want of a sailor.

Okay, you know what Google? Meet me at Camera 3.

Do I even want to know what on earth in my internet workings caused your algorithm to present me with this ad?

Really, Google? Really?

When I said I wanted a Nap Boyfriend, it didn’t mean I was going to be trolling the docks to provide any port in a storm, thankyouverymuch.

and now for a #TwitterFail of Olympic proportions

… you ever have that day where you make a joke on twitter about your neighbor being a pothead right as your friend on the National team twitters & cc’s the world championship 8+ to thank you for the baked goods you sent them?

… yeah. Me neither. :cough:

um, hi guys. < /awkward>

Honestly, what I really like about this is the educational opportunity that @thisismagda created:

You ever have that moment where you just look at your world & think, “our lives aren’t like other people.”

… yeah. me neither.

and then it all went horribly wrong: a dog tail

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Hi. I’m Zoey.

I’m Ernie!

Yeah, he is. Let’s get back to the part that matters. My name is Zoey, & I’ve taken over Mom’s blog. Mom’s tired because of that whole work thing she leaves us to go to every day, so I used her moment of insensibility to take over so I can finally speak up about the horrible abuses that I experienced one Saturday.

Um, excuse me – I was there too.

If you’re a third of my size, you only matter a third as much. Simple math, dude – it’s called a ratio. Look it up.

Hey… that’s not nice.

Whatever. Anyway – Peoples of the Interwebs, we need to talk. Normally, my mom is pretty cool. It’s been a decade since the two of us started hanging out together. I’ve got our neighborhood worked. Everyone stops to pet me when they come into the building. I am fed, I get to sleep as much as I want, and people are always telling Mom how pretty I am. As far as things go, Zoey-world is fairly chill.

However.
Recently there has been a development which is making me wonder if I can continue to exist under these unacceptable living conditions.

Zoey, it’s been nine months. You need to let it go. Mom says that I’m staying, no matter what you say. You heard her, she said you’re supposed to be nice to me –

I’m not talking about you, Puggle McNeedyPants. As soon I find the right set of Gypsies to sell you to, I’ll be minus a pain in the ass & richer a quarter. This is about last Saturday.

oh. that.

Yes, that. I’m talking about the misleading, unwarranted, bait-and-switch tactics employed by the person that’s supposed to be taking care of us. Is this to be borne? It is not to be borne, I tell you.

…we got a bath.

In public. It is one thing to undergo the horrid necessity of bathing in one’s home when Mom has this crazy idea of “cleaning things” that she likes to do every two weeks or so. Then at least she puts down towels and I can take care of things on my own by rolling on the towels on the floor.

It is quite another to go to a public place with the chattle – why, she’s acting like I’m some kind of… animal.

Zoey? We’re dogs. You know that right?

You can be a dog all you want, Ernie. I am a highly evolved canine.

Okay, sure. That’s one thing I can call you without getting into trouble. Let’s run with that.

For you, the assorted internet public who visit to bask in my glory, I will explain.

Oh jeezus.

It started out as a decent day. Mom was leaving for the boathouse. I love boathouses, because when I go to any boathouse, there are birds to chase and grass to roll around on and people to adore me.

:sigh: you see what I deal with? All day every day, this is what it’s like. I just can’t even tell you.

So we get there and I settle in for a nice morning nap while Mom goes out on the water & does that weird exertion thing with the water & the oars & the sweating. I don’t understand it, but it gets us to boathouses, so okay, I’ll let it pass.

How magnanimous of you.

That day was especially great because afterwards, she let us out of the car and the boys from Bear!Boathouse where there too! I like them, because most of the college boys like to play with puppies since theirs are at home so that’s lots of fun for me.

I was there too.

Then, after that, we got back in the car, and we went to the beach. The beach where they let dogs off the leash & I can run around. It’s the best beach ever.

They let us do that because it’s a dog beach. I’m just sayin’.

Whatever – it’s a beach! And I can run around! This year at 4th of July, I decided to run into the ocean for the first time, and it was great! I don’t know why Mom got freaked out.

Maybe because from what I hear you’ve spent the last decade avoiding water of any kind to the point where I’ve seen you refuse to go out to pee in the rain and then suddenly you jumped chest deep in the ocean and Mom didn’t know if you’d know how to swim?

Mine is a noble hunting breed. Of course I can swim. Thus far, I’ve simply chosen not to.

Right. So Princess Zoey here went off to engage in such dignified activities as jumping in the ocean and then running out to roll around in the sand. Meanwhile, I stayed with Mom, and we walked over to a couple of other little doggies that Mommy said were also puggles, because it turns out that when we fed me up, I’m actually a puggle.

Mom tried to get me to play with the three other puggles, but I just wanted to stay with her instead. I like standing next to Mom when she’s around. It makes me feel better.

Mom’s nice. She lets me cuddle, and we do Quiet Time when she meditates at home. She sits on the couch and I jump up & roll around a bunch until she says, “Okay parakeet, time to be quiet.” and then she throws the blanket over my head and I get to curl up & put my head on her left hip and we meditate. That time when we got what Mom called The Fleas that Just Won’t Fracking Die & we had to keep getting baths, Neighbor Beth said I was soft like a bunny. And when Mom got sick that time because of something called glooo-tin, I stayed with her all weekend, and she called me her lil’ bear. So I’m like, a parakeet bunny bear. And I guess some people would say that’s confusing, but I think it’s nice. I like my Mom, so I decided to just sit on her feet while she was talking to the other ladies with puggles.

Mom asked the other ladies how much their puggles weighed, and the ladies said anywhere from 15 to 25 lbs, which I thought was great, because I weigh 23 and Mom’s worried so I thought I’d be off the hook and get to eat Zoey’s food again, but then the lady agreed with Mom that since I’m small, 15-18 pounds is probably the better range for me.

I didn’t mean to get pudgy. It’s just that when Mom came & got me, I was only 11.3 pounds, & the were saying I was a cheagle, which is a Chiuaua/Beagle mix. Then Mom was letting me eat Zoey’s food because “for the love of god please just eat I can see your ribs”, so I got to 15 pounds & someone at the dog beach told Miss Mia, “He’s not a cheagle, he’s a puggle – look at his curly tail!”

…and that was great, because Chiuauas are little yippy dogs, but everybody likes pugs, & they’re bigger. So I thought maybe if I kept eating, one day I’d end up like, a Labrador or some other kind of big doggie, and that’d be awesome. So I kept giving Miss Heidi who comes to walk us when Mom goes to work my Big Sad Feel Sorry For Me I Came From the South Central LA Pound Eyes, and Miss Heidi would feed Zoey & I extra meals. It was great.

except it didn’t work like it was supposed to, because I grew out instead of up.

and then I weighed 23 pounds.

and Mom got Little Dog Food and put me on a diet.

:sigh:

Anyway, so Mom was talking to the other Puggle Ladies about it, & Puggle Lady One said that she has an overweight cat and when Puggle Lady One went to the vet to get her pudgy kitty flea drops, the vet tech asked, “Does your cat weigh more than nine pounds?”

And Puggle Lady One replied, “My cat doesn’t like to talk about her weight.”

I like Puggle Lady One.

Then the vet tech told Puggle Lady One that they needed to know the cat’s weight to determine what flea drops to give her for the kitty, and Puggle Lady One asked, “Do you weigh more than nine pounds?”

And the vet tech said, “Well, yes.”

So Puggle Lady One told her, “Then why don’t you just go ahead & assume my cat does too.”

Dude – listening to adults is hilarious!

Mom kept trying to encourage me to go play with the other kids because she said I should go enjoy the exercise, but this was way more fun. The tide kept coming in closer, and I just walked up the beach a little further as the waves came closer. Mom realized what I was doing & said, “Ernie, no. I went through ten years of this with your sister. You actually like bathtime. It’s just a big bathtub, it won’t hurt you.”

But I didn’t want to go in the water, I just wanted to sit next to Mom & lean on her ankle.

Unfortunately, Mom decided to just fix things by picking me up, walking into the ocean, and putting me in so I was standing up to my chest.

So what, like, half an inch?

Shut up, Zoey. I’m bigger than that.

:cough:notbymuch:cough:

So Mom put me in the water, and I stood there while she had her hands on my tummy. Then when she let go, I turned around and ran through her legs back up the beach.

The ocean is not a bathtub. I can see the edges of the bathtub. I cannot see the edges of the ocean.

Personally, I had a great time at the beach. I ran around, I rolled in the sand, I played catch with other dogs and ran in the ocean before I ran out & rolled my wet soggy fur in the sand again.

Although, now that I think about it, that should have been an indicator — normally when I do that, Mom sighs and says, “Oh, Zoey — we have to get you back in the car after this, you know.” That’s how I ended up leashed to the parking meter.

So we get our leashes & harnesses back on, and we’re walking away from the beach back to the car…

Except we passed the car….

oh, wait. we’re walking towards a place that smells like food. Are we getting food? Because that would be fantaaaaaastic and possibly make this the Best Day Ever until the day when I find those Ernie-buying Gypsies.

Stop saying that to people. I’m totally telling Mom on you.

.. but we didn’t stop at the place that smells like food. We went into the door next to that, and a little man came up & said to Mom, “good morning! How may we help you today?”.

And Mom said, “We just went to the beach.”.

and the little man said, “How nice for everyone! Have you been here before?”

Mom: No, we have not.

Little Man: Well then, let me show you how things work.

AND WE WALKED INTO A LITTLE ROOM THINGY THAT HAD THIS:

 

interweb innerworkings, puggles in bow ties, & the danger of balcony ammunition.

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Okay, let’s review how this internet thing works.

So remember how, a bit back, I said I wanted to play with some sms stuff, & so could you guys hit the like button & comment, etc? And a bunch of you have, & it’s great.

Except that I meant to do it in the blog.

’cause while the likes on my actual facebook page are rockin’, they’re also locked from the public & thus do roughly nada for me being able to ‘speriment with the interwebs while I try to prep Project #1 & #2. There’s a button up there ^ on the right, another bunch to play with down there at the bottom, and a couple more over there on the right>, so while I know we’re all used to being able to critique the world from behind the flimsily-constructed iron curtain* of Livejournal’s security features, I’d appreciate the help by allowing the sometimes harsh light of that mysterious burning ball of light in the sky to fall upon our (occasionally) witty repartee.
*As lawgeekgurl said when she saw my apartment for the first time, “Okay I love you, but this sh*t is so totally not built to code.”

Plus, if I get things the way I like, I can work on taking over my own little enclave of the internet, which means that if the Tea Party prevails and the terrorists win, we’ll have somewhere to hide from The Crazy. And even if I can’t eat them, you know my bomb shelter will have cookies.

…because that’s how I roll, yo.

Awesome: discovering that somewhere along the way in packing lunch you’d put two of the single servs of Colby Jack Cheese in with your veggies & hummus, and because you’d forgotten having done so, it was a pleasant surprise. Yay cheese!
Dismay: the fact that you had trouble getting the packaging open.
Depressing: knowing that somewhere there’s a 5 year old that could do it faster than you while playing Angry Birds on their iPad.

my powers are mysterious, diverse, & influential. Forget that not, mine readers.

The latest Friends Are Fun! Reader Feedback comes from edwud:
Puggles? What the hell is a puggle? And why does it look like a much smaller version of a proper dog? Why am i looking at a facebook gallery of puggles and then at the local pound listings? Damn you, Claris!

The reward for your prize:
Because someone on your facebook queried regarding puggles in bow ties, the answer is that it looks something like this:
 

Please stop yelling, the internet has a headache.

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Note to my Toronto friends: While this is being posted at an odd synchronicity with your present political issues, I’ve actually been pondering this for quite some time, so don’t worry, I still lurves y’all.

I was like, this >< close to becoming one of them. You just don’t even understand.

As those of you connected to me on twitter know, I spent most of Wednesday and Thursday being annoyed at a guy named Zuckerberg.

And so, I sat down on Friday and wrote a whole entry regarding Facebook, and the fact that it wasn’t that the new products are bad, it’s that Zuckerberg and his friends rolled things out in a completely douchebag fashion.

It was concise. It was thorough. It explored the psychology behind creating a product that your customers would want versus cramming your upgrades down the users’ throat. It gave examples, and presented an alternate approach which might not have had so many people utilizing the convenience of what happens when replacing the Z in Mark’s last name with an F.

I wrote this, and I finished, and I felt so much better. Then I started proofing and thought… what am I doing?

Oh holy jesus, I almost became an Angry Internet Person.

Let’s be honest – there’s like 50 of you guys reading this at the most. (Hullo mah peeples!! :waves:) What, precisely, would free-ranging on the internet regarding what some guy who I’ll probably never meet nor have the professional ear of actually accomplish?

 

I am never. getting off. the dock.

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Let me preface this entire entry by saying: Normally, I’m actually pretty decent with rigging. I’m not an expert or anything, but when I started rowing, setting up boats was just something that I found to be a fairly peaceful activity, so I actually like doing it. (which I know some rowers will find sad & wrong)
As time went on and I was running a team and rowing a single, need and my own natural pickiness regarding having things just so would lead to me pestering several coaches into teaching me what I wanted to know. At one point, Z handed his copy of The Nuts & Bolts Guide to Rigging.

Looking back, I suspect he gave it to me so that I left him alone before he threw it at my head — just because I insisted I could feel that the oars weren’t set evenly & it turns out they were off by .3 does not mean I’m crazy. It means I’m precise, so there’s no reason to ask if I’m the Princess & the Pea like it might be a bad thing, it means that I now know how to change out handles & set even lengths on oars, and I think that’s a good thing.

…right? Right. Totally!

Note: For the record, I gave Z his book back, because I’d gone to Amazon & ordered my own in case I wanted to be able to take notes.

The point being that rigging a boat & doing wiring — normally these things & I are, if not Great Friends, then at the very least, Fairly Amicable Acquaintances.

Sadly for me, the following story is not normal.

 







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