Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The lazy man's post, made even more lazy by yours truly

1) Bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline the books you LOVE.
4) Reprint this list in your own blog.

I'm not actually going to italicize and underline - I'm lazy. Suffice it to say I have loved all the books on this list and that I intend to read the rest at some point over the next 50 years.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Thursday, June 12, 2008

My Brand

According to wikipedia, branding has been used historically to mark the rightless, as punishment, to show ownership, and to mark Jews during WW II. More recently it is still done to mark slaves, but generally more in a BDSM way, as a way to haze and also as a form of body art. Traditional hot irons are used in addition to cold iron, that is frozen with liquid nitrogen - the stuff they take warts off with. Anyone who has seen Jackass probably remembers the branding scene, and while I haven't seen this scene, I want a brand. My coworker seems to think that if I see this particular scene, I'd change my mind. I have seen videos of people getting branded and still want it. My concern is more with how it will smell (burning flesh) than how it will feel. Also how to cause a nice scar without infection. If I put neosporin on it, the wound will close quicker and not scar. But if I don't use some kind of antibacterial ointment, it could get infected. Another website suggested iodine, which would keep the wound open but still kill any bacteria. I've got several ideas for what design I would like, and wikipedia gave me several more. Most likely I would go with the mathmatical design for inequality, the equal sign with the slash through it. Not because I like math or anything - I despise math, but more to represent humanity's inherint inequality. I also like F - which is short for fugitivus, which the Romans branded runaway slaves with. If I could find something that represents rightlessness (is that a word?) I would be very happy.
Anybody have any other ideas? Think I'm crazy? Think its cool?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Family shower fun time!

Henry loves taking baths. He smacks the water with his paws, rolls completely over, barks at his watery reflection. Basically just has a blast. So now whenever I take a bath, he stands against the side of the tub whining at me to let him in. I try to explain that the water is too hot for him and that there is no room, but to no avail. So this morning, I was showering, and he leaned up against the side of the tub begging me to let him in. I pushed him down and went back to sudsing. A few seconds later, he was back. So I pushed him away again, this time with a firm "Leave it Henry!" I turned around to rinse, and heard a big splash behind me. Henry had jumped in. We stood staring at each other for a moment. My first reaction was to toss him back out, but by this time, he was wet, and the air conditioner was on so I didn't want him running around getting a cold. And honestly, I figured he would get pissed and jump out after the spray hit him in the face. But he didn't mind. He jumped and splashed and was basically thrilled to be in the shower with mom. I worried the whole time that he'd fall and hurt himself, or get water in his eyes, or in his ears, or in his wrinkle. Once I'd finished my routine I sat on the edge of the tub and dried him off, and while I was drying myself off, he jumped back into the tub. Silly boy.

Relaxing after his exciting morning

In other Henry news, my youngest is officially a eunuch. I took him for a pre-surgery check up in the evening and he had surgery the next morning. I was hoping to pick him up in the evening after his surgery, but they wanted to keep him overnight again. So he was away from home for two nights which I felt terrible about, but it was nice for Wilson to be the extremely spoiled only pug again. And once Henry got home, he had completely forgotten the trauma. I'm glad to finally have it done. The boys had been humping each other all the time and in all different positions, which was extremely unnerving. Henry was also much more territorial about bones, toys and treats, and after surgery this behavior has virtually stopped.

Monday, June 9, 2008

They've done it

Starbucks has officially gotten me out of the car. They've been trying for awhile. It started with friendly conversation while waiting for my drink at the drive thru window. They would ask me about my day. The weather. What I was reading. If I've ever tried x drink. I detest small talk, but I was willing to put up with this a few times a week in return for a delicious honey latte. Then they hired a new window gal. A super friendly window gal. That literally leaned out of the drive thru window and nearly into my car in an effort to make small talk. While this behavior didn't make me stop coming, it did make me pray it was her day off. In addition to small talk, I also hate people who use their cell phones while waiting for service, but I was always tempted to as an effort to ward off Friendly Frannie. Finally this morning, I decided that I'd had enough, and that I was going to just run inside. It may take a minute or so extra, but I really wasn't in the mood to force banter. And once inside I realized why they'd hired super friendly window gal. They WANT you to come inside. I saw no less than 3 cds I wanted. All the pastries looked so incredible. The pictures in the drive thru menu don't do them justice. I considered buying a paper, despite having access to the day's news online. And on the way out, I saw a book I've been eyeing for months, and really had to restrain myself from buying it. Those tricky Starbucks people. Put uber friendly employees in the window to drive the customers inside, where they spend the real money. Looks like I'll be fake smiling my way through the drive thru for awhile. At least until next payday.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Weekend Review

I'm just a few days late - but I've had a busy start to the week! But without further ado - here's my weekend recap.
Saturday morning was the season's first farmer's market so I decided to venture out with Henry. Last year I brought Wilson pretty frequently and he always seemed to have a good time, but I knew it was going to be busy and way crowded and didn't want to end up having to carry him. At almost 6 months, Henry is still small enough to be carried for long periods of time, and he hasn't ever been to the farmer's market, so I decided to bring him along. And he was a big hit, of course. Everyone stopped to pet him and get kisses and tell me how cute he is and how much they love pugs and when they can get a dog they want to get a pug, and how Aunt so-and-so has one and she just loves it so much. He ate up all the attention, which was nice because Wilson is a little more anti-social, and tends to offer up a polite sniff when presented with a strange hand. By the end of our two hour excursion, Henry was resting his head on my shoulder trying to catch a quick nap. We got home, retrieved Wilson from the bedroom where he was napping with Aaron, and the three of us napped on the couch for awhile.
Later in the evening, I headed to a friends place, planning on going to a subjective circus, which was a theatrical event with live music, plays, break dancing, fire juggling and circus food to support a local art studio. It ended up being rainy and cold, so we instead stayed in and chatted and watched a movie. The movie we ended up watching was Shortbus - if you've heard of it, you know. If you haven't, feel free to IMDB it because I'm not comfortable discussing knowing there are underage puggies reading. Suffice it to say - it was really very good, and was not about mentally handicapped children, as the name might infer. It was by the same director as Hedwig and The Angry Itch. After Shortbus, we started watching Savages with Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman and it was also really very good, but I started falling asleep about halfway through and ended up going home to bed.
Sunday morning I got up and ran to Lowe's to get geraniums for Aaron's mom and tomato plants for mine. We went to my parent's first, and had dinner and sat outside watching my 3 year old nephew chase Henry and Wilson. Later in the evening we went to Aaron's parents and had ice cream. Aaron's mother collects antiques and has thousands and always has new additions to show me. This week she had a 3 tier table that looked like a 3 tier cake display, only 4 feet tall, as well as a couple pieces of painted china and a painting. She gets a lot of stuff from garage sales, but also does auctions and a little bit of ebay. I can't imagine people selling these treasures, but I suppose after years of watching something collect dust, you just want to get rid of it and don't bother looking at how much its actually worth. Aaron's dad always jokes that the house itself would be assessed for less than half the price of all the junk in it.
I also got my stimulus check! Whoo hoo! I plan on putting it towards college loans - what about you guys? Are you being good Americans and using it to stimulate our economy?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Anybody need a couch?

Last night I was fortunate enough to meet two wonderful ladies staying with some friends of mine through couchsurfers.com. Are you familiar with this site? Basically you can advertise your couch, and look for other people's couches to stay on, all over the world. Sounds pretty crazy, right? I thought so. And then I met these ladies and checked out the site, and I'm really impressed with the whole idea. On one hand, its a little scary to think about sleeping on a complete strangers couch, and even more scary to think about one sleeping on yours. On the other hand, I think the site itself does a good job of attracting like minded people - those who love to travel, want to really experience a city rather than see the tour bus version, and are willing to, and actually WANT to have people from all over the world sleep on their couch. The women staying with my friends were so interesting and had such great stories to tell about their travels, and different characters who had stayed with them. They also had some words of advice for the savvy traveler, such as - mainly for other women - not to stay alone with an Italian guy, because they seem to have selective hearing when it comes to "No". The website has a great voucher system, where people who have actually stayed with you or people you have stayed with can write a reference for you, and rate the experience from "extremely positive" on down. That way you can search for only people who have only extremely positive ratings, or people that have several references. To me, the idea is really almost revolutionary. To open your doors to a stranger, and offer such hospitality, is really a lost art in America, and that's really unfortunate. I think we've allowed our fear to obliterate basic human kindness, from stopping to help someone change a flat to offering your couch to a traveler. I don't know that staying with strangers is going to change our fearful society, but it seems like a good start. The more good experiences people have, the more they'll travel, and share their experiences, and trust people and trust life, and trust, like fear, spreads.

Friday, May 2, 2008

The 5 Meme - Modified

Alright, since I still haven't finished my LA/Coachella post, I'll do another meme! And make yet another promise to have that post up this weekend! Really!

1. What were you doing 5 years ago today? I was a manager at Jimmy John's and living with my friend Melody. I don't know what exactly I was doing on this particular day, but it probably included working, and maybe doing the dark side of the rainbow thing. I did a lot of that in those days. Its so weird! For the first 45 minutes of the movie, it totally coincides with Dark Side Of The Moon! And who figured this out? Is there a group of people putting movies and albums together? Because I want to get into that.

2. Name 5 snacks that you love:

1. Chocolate shakes from the local ice cream shoppe called Snookies
2. Honey Latte from Starbucks (is a drink a snack? I have too many of these, weekly)
3. Cinnamon Buns from Ben & Jerrys. Lord is this good ice cream
4. Creme Brulee from B & J. Again - amazing ice cream
5. Half Baked from B & J. I could really go on an ice cream diet. I love all things ice cream

3. What are 5 things on your ‘To-Do’ list for today/ Or things you’ve already done today:

1. Pick up the house
2. Do the dishes
3. Put laundry away
4. Stop and pick up a bottle of the Jose Cuervo variety drink mix
5. Get ready for my Wii MarioKart party!

4. Name 5 things you would do if you won five million dollars: $5mil is a lot of money!

1. Buy a house. Actually, an old house here in Iowa that I can fix up, and also condos in various other international locales
2. Start a pug rescue
3. Give money to family and start a college fund for my nephew
4. Invest invest invest!
5. Buy a car. But not a Fit, because I'm already irritated by how the parking spaces they take up still look like available places until you've started to turn in

5. Name 5 bad habits you have: Only 5 huh? You guys are optimistic!

1. I'm lazy, and therefore don't exercise. Ever.
2. I'm a pretty shabby housekeeper in general - dishes, laundry, dog toys, various bits of dog destruction ie toilet paper, toy stuffing, couch and pillow stuffing
3. I bite my nails sometimes
4. I'm reeeeeally bad about calling people back, and answering my phone at all. Text me!
5. I'm the most un-self-motivated person I know. Probably related to the laziness.

5A. I'm going to add one - now that I'm feeling like a cow pie with all my bad habits. Things I really enjoy about me, and about being me!

1. I'm an eternal optimist, without even trying. My mind automatically sees the best in all things, people, places, and situations.
2. Once I locate those good qualities, I start earnestly trying to bring them out, so everyone else sees what I see.
3. I really enjoy helping people
4. Although I'm not a huge fan of individual physical qualities, I'm really starting to like the way they all fit together
5. I really love my cute little house, and my perfect (in their own way) puggies, and the fact that its Spring!

6. Name 5 places you’ve lived:

1. Altoona, IA
2. Winterset, IA
3. Orange City, IA
4. Omaha, NE
5. Des Moines, IA

7. Name 5 jobs you’ve had:

1. Sandwich Artist at Subway
2. Manager at Jimmy Johns
3. Hotel front desk person
4. Collections
5. Home Mortgage

And now here's another 5 - pictures of my boys!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

I'm currently working on my LA trip post, and should have it up tonight or tomorrow (I promise!) but in the meantime, here's a photo memoir meme from Lex - Sleepy Pug Edition

Henry - Lavish licker who loves his brother

Wilson - Lazy lover lets loving brother lick
And I have no idea who hasn't been tagged - probably most everyone - so anyone who hasn't done one yet! I tag you!

Friday, April 11, 2008


Here's the before bathroom pic. Plain white. But high gloss white, which is more offensive to me than just plain white.

And some after shots. I haven't got it decorated how I'd like yet - and also these pictures are with my camera phone so hopefully I'll get my camera back from the folks this weekend and can post better pictures. You guys will be on bathroom pic overload!
I may have mentioned the bathroom is small...it has two doors, one going to each bedroom on either side, and on one side is the bathtub and the other side has the sink and toilet.

Anyhow...I'm happy with it. The color somehow looks okay with the 70's cream and brown sink, which was one of my concerns.
In other news, we noticed this morning that Henry was limping pretty badly. I'm guessing (hoping, really) that he just got bruised up from too much roughhousing. But he was also a little lethargic compared to his usual early morning rambunctious self. But that could be because he was up way past his bedtime the night before. I also rubbed the leg and paw and in question to try and find the source of the limp, but he didn't flinch. And he wouldn't jump off of the bed or onto the couch. He would just sit and wait until someone moved him. I'm really scared that its hip dysplasia, but I keep telling myself he just hurt it playing and that he's tired. For now, I'm going to wait and see, because I'm sure that's what the vet would say. If I don't see any improvement by Monday I'll definitely take him in. I would just be devastated if its hip dyslplasia. He's not even 5 months old!
I also found out the other day that Prince is going to be one of the headliners at Coachella on Saturday. I have only bought a ticket for Sunday, because I was really only interested in seeing Roger Waters, but now I'm trying to decide if I should go Saturday as well. In addition to the extra $90, it would be two trips from LA to Coachella in one weekend. That's at least a two hour drive each way, depending on traffic. But really, its Prince. I have to go, right?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Taping is a bitch

I started painting the bathroom when I got home last night. The color is called cornflower blue, and its at Lowes. Its a pretty darkish gray blue. I was afraid it would be too dark, because the bathroom is very small, but there are two white doors, a large white medicine cabinet, and of course the tub surround is white. So I think by the time I'm done, it'll look okay. I didn't realize quite how high my ceilings are (10 feet!) and I don't have a ladder, so right now I've got it all done except about a 3 foot space by the ceiling. I also want to do another layer, and then clean up my edges if need be. I've got crown and base molding, and they've been so laquered over with paint through the years that there are no right angles on which to tape. I just had to guesstimate where the break between wall and molding should be, and pray the tape is straight! This picture is a bit dark, I'll try to get better pictures tonight when its finished.

Okay, so we have to talk about the New Kids On The Block. They were on the Today show last week, and the audience was screaming so loud, you couldn't hear what anyone was saying! They didn't even perform! I can't imagine why they're having a comeback, other than needing money I guess. I don't know that any of them have been doing anything lime-light related. I guess Donnie has had a few movies, but I haven't heard about any of them on reality shows. What sort of music are they going to be making? And why wouldn't they just do a reunion tour? And why were the girls in the audience screaming so? I mean I was a fan back in the day, I had tapes and probably a poster or two. A friend of mine had bedding, dolls, the whole nine yards. Its cool to see them again, and see what they've been up to, but they haven't made any music in nearly two decades. Anyway. Maybe I'm being a spoil sport. What do you guys think? Is it time once again to embrace NKOTB?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Choose Your Own Title

Henry, taking a break to look adorable for the camera.

Wilson has loads and loads of toys, but of course he prefers Henry's baby toys.

This isn't the best picture, but he's so cute with Henry's flower squeaker!

6 days with no posts, I feel so guilty! But in my defense, I've been a little more busy than usual, planning my big birthday bash. The plan originally was to build a little addition to the cement slab we currently have, to have a bigger patio, but our landlord stopped by yesterday to pick up the 400 bricks piled up in the backyard. I was disappointed, but at least we hadn't already used them! So now we'll make do with what we have, which really is big enough I suppose. I also went and picked out a grill, just a cheapish, smallish charcoal variety from the local hardware store. And Aaron and his dad are going Thursday to pick out a fire pit, which will be my birthday present. And I stumbled across 4 green plastic lawn chairs for $10 on craigslist! So the patio is almost complete. All I have to do now is clean (oi!) and I'd like to paint the bathroom. Since the brick patio didn't work out, I figured I better come up with another project to stress me out! I'm thinking a grayish blue, but I'll go tonight to pick something out and let you know what I come up with.

Here's Wilson and Henry, in one of their sweeter moments. Henry's a little blurry, because he's cleaning Wilson's face like the devoted little brother he is. They're pretty well matched pugs, in terms of playfulness and energy. With the exception of mornings. Wilson is very much a momma's boy, in that he doesn't do mornings. He waits until he hears kibble hitting the bowl before he burrows out from under the covers to come out for his breakfast. Henry, on the other hand, is a ball of energy from the moment my alarm goes off. He bounds up to my face, licking everything in his path, until I finally give up and go let him out. I almost feel sorry for Wilson, who would rather eat his food and go back to bed, because as soon as he's out in the kitchen Henry is biting at his ears, face wrinkles, and tail, trying to entice him to play. Wilson looks up at me like "Can't we toss this sorry excuse for a pug back into the dumpster from whence he came?" I try to explain to him that before long Henry is going to be a lazy pug too, and then who will he have to play with?

I can hardly tell who's who in this picture! Henry's growing so fast, he's already 4 1/2 months old! We were thinking he wouldn't be as big as Wilson's hefty 23 lbs, but from this picture, it looks like he may. Henry, by the way, is the one on the left, and Wilson is on the right.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Not much to say today...

Except that chocolate ice cream and white blazers don't mix. And here are some pictures.

Monday, March 31, 2008

So the weekend wasn't too exciting. We have had my parent's beagle since Thursday evening, and for the first day and evening there were a couple growly moments, but its been great since then. So much so that this morning when I got out of the shower, I noticed I little unsavory pug on beagle on pug action. I didn't take any pictures, I thought that it would just be wrong, and probably illegal to post them on the internet! Anyhow Saturday I really didn't do anything productive at all. Played some video games and maybe did some laundry. The boys did some napping.

Here's a picture of JD, the beagle. JD stands for Jane Doe. She showed up at my parent's door one time with no tags, and she wasn't microchipped. My folks live waaaay out in the country, so how she got there, they don't know. But they were thinking of adopting a bassett and figured JD was such a sweetie, and was in need of a home anyway.
Sunday I took Wilson to the vet to pick up his allergy shots and find out how to give them. Basically he'll be getting a really low concentration of the shot every other day or so, and slowly building up to a higher concentration to be given every 21 days. I gave him the shot Sunday at the vet to make sure I got the hang of it, and he didn't even flinch, but I must say it made me a little quesy. I'm sure I'll get used to it, especially as I'll been giving them pretty frequently. But for now, I defintely don't like giving shots to my baby.

Here's me, thinking about the huge bag of syringes in my cupboard.
My birthday is coming up in a couple Sundays, and I'm trying to decide if I should have a family birthday party at our new house. Aaron's parents and my parents haven't met, technically. Aaron played on my dad's soccer team about 20 years ago, so I'm sure that at least his dad and my dad have met, but again it was 20 years ago, so this would basically be the first meeting of the parents. As if that wouldn't be stressful enough, I would also like to grill, which would mean adding on to our current tiny cement slab and investing in a grill. And preferably a fire pit. Sound like too much of an undertaking for what would be basically one weekend? I don't think so. But Aaron does. So we'll see how it goes. Maybe I'll just have everyone meet at Chuck E Cheese's.

Here's Henry, who just wants as many people over as possible, all the time.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


One month from today, I'll be at Coachella. For those of you who don't know, Coachella is a 3 day music festival in Coachella, CA, which is near Palm Springs. Last year I went for all three days and saw (amoung many others) Bjork, Of Montreal, Amy Winehouse, Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Arcade Fire, the Decemberists, the New Pornographers, Regina Spektor, Andrew Bird, Rage Against the Machine, Willie Nelson, and Lily Allen. It was amazing. See pictures below. Its in the desert, so its right around 110+ degrees, but oh so worth it. We generally didn't make it to the festival much before 2 each day, and spent the first several hours in tents, trying to avoid the blistering sun. And honestly, after a couple hours, it really becomes pretty bearable. Its really dry heat, so it just feels like a blanket of heat overwhelming you. Not a wet hot blanket, like what we get here in Iowa. Anyway, this year I'm only going one day, Sunday, to see Roger Waters, of Pink Floyd fame. I can't even begin to describe how ecstatic I am about this. I've been a Pink Floyd fan for years and years, and had really given up hope of ever seeing either the band, or at least Roger Waters or David Gilmour play. So when I saw that Roger Waters was headlining Coachella 08, I was breathless.

Palm Springs, CA. This was outside of our hotel room.

The "food court". I was honestly a little disappointed. I went to Austin City Limits in Austin, TX, the year before, and there was much better food there. But then again, it is Texas! There were these acai smoothies with granola though, that I basically lived on for 3 days.

There were several art displays scattered around, and this was one of them. It's called I.T. and is basically just a huge alien looking metal creature that that loomed over the crowds. There was a laser on one side that rotated around and picked people out. Very War of the Worlds.

This was the entrance - with the mountains and palm trees, and people and blue skies as far as the eye can see. I can't wait to get back there. Can. Not. Wait.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Today was dremmel day for the boys. This is a terrible experience for poor Wilson. When he was a pup, I tried to trim his nails and cut way too close into the quick, so after that I took him to the groomers, and the lady there suggested dremmelling. She said that pugs generally react better to that than they do the clippers. He did so well getting his nails dremmelled, no screaming or struggling, so I decided to buy a dremmel and do it at home. Fat chance. He struggles less and screams less than he did if I were trying to actually clip them, but it's still not easy. Henry doesn't mind as much, but still, it's less than pleasant. I wait until they're really sleepy, then snuggle them for awhile and get them nice and relaxed, then pull out the dremmel. And afterwards lots of treats and more snuggles of course. I hate having to do it, but it has to be done so the boys won't scratch each other's eyes out ! Also we're dogsitting for my parent's Beagle for a long weekend, and I wanted to make sure everyone was trimmed in anticipation of rambunctious play.

After dremmeling I took a bath. Aaron's a bartender and works most nights, which is nice for me because I can relax and read, or bathe. After the horrors of dremmeling the boys were ready to find solace in biting each others face wrinkles, but occasionally took time to check in on old mom.

My bath buddies

Wilson watching the tub fill thinking "What are doing to yourself?! Baths are evil! Save yourself! Get out! Run!"

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

So shoot me. I called in today. I had a severe case of the sunny and 64 degrees flu. So rather than sitting at work checking blogs, I'm at home checking blogs! At least at home I've got two pugs at my feet. And in my defense, I do plan on being productive today. Its beautiful outside, so at some point I need to get outside and rake the yard. In the mean time I'm too busy being a chin rest.

In other news...MarioKart comes out in a month! I'm so excited about this. I've had my wii for about a year, and have totally over played the 10ish games that I have now, and am not really interested in anything else. I usually play Zelda now, but I'm thoroughly stuck and no walk through I can find can get me unstuck. So I'm ready for something else. And MarioKart is definitely it. Aaron and I have MarioKart battles on 64 pretty frequently, but I'm not great, and Aaron is amazing. So it will be nice to have a game that we're both new at. Also, you can play online, so if anyone out there is planning on getting it and has a Wii, let me know and we can battle! Or play together against others! I'm so thrilled to get this game. And I'm sure the pugs will be thrilled to have my butt on the sofa for hours at a time so they can nap on me. As long as they don't mind my requisite MarioKart trash talking.

Wilson watching me play Zelda

Monday, March 24, 2008

Pug butt Monday

In true pug fan form - I'm doing a post that can really only be enjoyed by pug lovers.

But if you aren't a fan (and who couldn't be!) There are only two.

Wilson butt

Henry butt

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

This morning I went to Easter brunch with my family, while Aaron stayed home sleeping with the boys. He's a bartender, so most earlier morning (before noon) family actives are Aaron-free. At the table next to ours, the Florida State girls basketball team were also enjoying brunch. My nephew Ryan, who's 3, was pretty impressed with the girls. One reached up and touched the ceiling on the way out, and he shouted "Whoa! She just touched the sky!" He also told them all "good luck" on the way out, so I was happy to hear that they had in fact won their game on Saturday.

Ryan and Henry
Ryan LOVES Henry. He's not so sure about Wilson, but Wilson is fairly large for a pug, 23 lbs, and tends to think that when Ryan runs away, it's because he wants to play.
After lunch Aaron and I went to his grandmother's for a late lunch. We left the boys at home since there were going to be so many people there, but it was nice when everyone was disappointed. We ended the day at my parent's place, and just stayed for a couple hours for a quick visit. By that time, we were ready to get home to our boys.

They were just sleeping - but I'm sure they missed us!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Boys will be boys...

When we first got Henry, we were afraid that we would give him too much attention and Wilson would be neglected and hate us. I don't think that's the case anymore, but we may have overcompensated, as Henry is really independent and not particularly cuddly, but Wilson is SO dependant on me. Anytime anyone else holds him he's very obviously uncomfortable and straining to get back to me, but Henry loves attention from anyone and is totally willing to stick his tongue up anyone's nose.

Henry, when he was Baby Henry. Actually, about 2 months ago.
They do get along very well, and haven't had any dominance issues yet. As Henry gets older and larger, and his boy parts become more man parts, I'm guessing there may be some. But for now, they just play. Very roughly. I wish I had some pictures of this, because I'm honestly amazed that we've still got all 4 puggie eyes, but they seem to survive. Last week Henry bit Wilson's big lip a bit too hard and drew blood, but after an hour of cuddles with Mom, they were back at it.

7 AM Wilson - otherwise known as Yoda Wilson
I assume a lot of the rough play is their difference in age, and once Henry gets fixed and grows up a bit he'll be more laidback. Until then, Mom or Dad are around to play refferree.

Friday, March 21, 2008

When Wilson was a puppy, we noticed a rash on his inner thigh and took him to the vet. She tested for mites, amoung other things, but couldn't figure out what it was, so she sent us home with antibiotics and steroids. A few weeks later it was gone, but a month or two later, it returned. After another round of tests with no results and another round of antibiotics and steriods, Wilson started biting his paws and rubbing his face into anything he could find. Clearly, he had allergies, and the vet said the rash was most likely related. At this point it was springtime, so we decided to get through with Benadryl and see if the allergies were seasonal. By winter, the rash was back and his nose was runny as ever. Not seasonal. So we gave him Science Diet's hypoallergenic food and treats, in hopes that it was just food allergies. Not the case. So finally, this past weekend, we had blood work done to see what exactly he was allergic to. Turns out - 21 different things. 21! Poor boy! The biggest was mold, but also dust mites, fleas, and several types of greenery. Also human dander - which means he's allergic to us! So now he has to have allergy shots, but until then, I've been giving him more Benadryl and baths in some medicating shampoo.

But he's not crazy about the baths. Hopefully the shots will be easy, and solve the allergy problems. Does anyone else have to give their dogs allergy shots?