Wednesday, April 26, 2006


The saying 'Getting there is half the fun' became obsolete with the advent of commercial airlines. --Henry J. Tillman

I have been away from the blogosphere this week because I have been working on some travel plans. I have so much going on!

Today I'm going to Savannah for a work conference. So I'll be gone for the rest of the week. That's a picture of the 1858 fountain in Forsyth Park, one of the most well-known landmarks of the city. You might recognize it if you've ever seen Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which is set in Savannah. That's a great movie, by the way. I'm kind of excited since I've never been there before. I hope I'll have time to look around and check out some stuff. Or at least get some great food. There is so much history and culture down there. I'm hoping to dine at The Pirates House because it is supposedly haunted. You know how I love anything ghosty!

While I'm gone, Sammy will be at the kennel. I just dropped him off and I sobbed the whole way back. I couldn't even say goodbye because I was too upset. Needless to say, I'm feeling very over-protective and fear that this will traumatize him. I'm worried he will think he is homeless or something and will sink into a deep depression while I'm gone. I certainly flatter myself, don't I? But the kenned has been highly recommended and is reasonably priced, so it should be ok. Too bad they don't take credit cards. This will be a little more financially challenging for me, but I should be ok. I sure do wish I could take him with me, though. I'll miss him so much! K will be out of town too, so that's why she can't help me out in the dogsitting department. Navy Guy is graduating so she has to go to Charleston this week and then she has to go to a wedding near Charlotte on Saturday.

Speaking of weddings, after I get back from Savannah on Friday night, I have to turn around and pack for a wedding in Hickory, NC. Blonde's brother is getting married and she invited Brunette and me to attend as her guests. I guess that the bride is somewhat of a bridezilla because she is having a dozen or so bridesmaids. These attendants have to buy $250 shoes and $350 dresses. Miss Bridezilla also registered for some pretty hoity-toity fine china and crystal. A dozen of each Kate Spade place setting. Yeah...that comes out to around $250 worth of dinner plates alone. Must be nice. I'm hoping that she has the same taste when it comes to the buffet. Especially since I will know only three people at this wedding--hey, I can keep myself occupied if you have some good food around!

Let's cross our fingers that I'm not too fat to fit into my dress. When the number on the scale is rising like the price of gas, it's time to hit the gym. I have been sleeping and playing with Sammy too much. Note to self: must start working out again. Thank goodness there is a gym in the hotel.

So I'm trying to get a plane ticket so I can visit my friend German Nurse in (where else?) Germany. She just had the cutest baby and wants me to come visit. "No problem!" I say, "I should be able to get a free ticket with all the points I have saved up on my credit card!"

All 32,000 points. Which took me two years to accumulate. Which I got by using the card to spend $32,000 of my hard earned money. Considering it's only about 10,000 miles or so on a map from here to Germany and back again, I figured I had it in the bag, right? I mean, usually for every point you transfer, you get one mile. Right?

Oh, not in my case! I'm not going to mention the credit card or the airline, but this is basically what happened:

I called the credit card people to transfer ALL 32,000 points over to the frequent flier mile program of the airline. I then go to book the flight. Based on some unknown mathematical equation, my 32,000 points are not based on real, actual geographic miles, but some pathetically small fraction of that. So 32,000 miles are not enough for a free ticket to Germany. (Remember, I have spent $32,000 dollars! And it's not enough for one measly little ticket! Never mind the fact that that much money will buy you a lot of airline tickets to Germany!) How many miles do I need? A total of 50,000. So I offered to buy extra miles to make up the difference.

This seemed like my solution until I found out that they only allow a certain number of frequent flier tickets per flight. And every single flight to Germany in June is fresh out of frequent flier tickets. Go figure. So since I would be one of those frequent flier ticket people, I cannot buy a ticket for a flight to Germany in June.

"If you want to wait until July you can go then using that kind of ticket," they said.

"If I wanted to go in July, I would have booked it in July," I said.

"Ok, well, if you want to stay in Milan a couple of days, then go to Germany, you can do that on June 23rd."

"But I don't have any money or enough vacation time to do that," I said, "Besides, I'm obviously broke, because I'm trying to get a free ticket." Duh.

No dice. They can't work with me on this. All the frequent flier tickets have been sold. I ask to speak to a manager. Some lady (who I imagine looks like Frau Farbissina) gets on the phone with me and interrupts me a zillion times. Finally I asked:

"Well, since I'm not paying for the ticket with 100% frequent flier miles, isn't that ok? I mean, I'm willing to pay $600 of my own money. That's really only about half frequent flier." I asked. To which my reply was, "No, if any portion of the ticket is paid for with miles, it is considered a frequent flier ticket." Oh. Kay.

Then she says, "But we do have a special program where if you have 100,000 frequent flier miles, you don't have to worry about that and you can fly on any of our flights at any time. You can take whatever flight you want."

"But I just told you I only have 32,000 miles. So that isn't really an option for me. That doesn't help. I have no choice but to buy a regular ticket at the full price of $1300."

"Oh, but you could buy the missing 68,000 miles you need to total it to 100,000 miles. Let me see how much that, that would be $1700 approximately."

I don't think she was even listening to me. It's like that scene in Tommy Boy where David Spade says to the airline ticket counter lady, "Hi. I'm Earth. Have we met?" and she says, "I don't think so....?" That's exactly how I felt!

Gosh, how helpful. When I started to get upset (and yes, cry), she said I can write a letter to corporate. Yeah, because they would do something! I told her she must think I'm stupid. That's when I let her have it.

"You know, I used to have sympathy for airlines when I would see on the news that they were going under. But now I understand why. It's because you have crappy customer service and inflexible policies. I'm offering to pay half price for a ticket. Isn't half price better than nothing? You know as well as I do that that seat will probably remain empty because you would rather stick to your silly policies than get half price. And with the cost of jet fuel these days, I'm really surprised at your business practices. It's no wonder your industry goes belly up all the time. Here I am, a new customer, and all that has happened is that I've misunderstood your policies because I didn't see anything about them on your website. Your website never said anything about this during the whole time I was browsing and looking for a ticket. Your other customer service person, whom I called yesterday, told me I wouldn't have a problem doing what I want to do, so apparently, y'all need to work on your consistency because I'm hearing two different things."

I was not aware of their policies about frequent flier tickets because the policies were hidden on their website. I looked for them, trust me! But nothing on the site said anything about special tickets. Oh, sure, I found it later, after she explained to me where it was on the website. But it shouldn't be that hard to find something so important! I told her she needs to tell the website people at Screw You Airlines that they need to re-do their website because it's very confusing and misleading. She said she'd pass the information along. How much more condescending can you get???.

Wanna hear the kicker? Those points I transferred from my credit card CANNOT be put back onto my card. Trust me, I tried. So it's not like I can start over or something. Now I'm stuck with 32,000 frequent flier miles which aren't enough to help me take the trip I want to take. And now I hate this airline, so I don't even want to have anything to do with them. This was two years of point-saving for NADA.

I think what I'm going to do is use 25,000 of them towards a free domestic flight. I'm sure I'll find somewhere to use them. Gotta make sure it's a flight that isn't booked up already! Sheesh! Let's hope I book it in the next 12 months, because if I don't I will lose those too. Don't you love all these little catches?

Then I will never fly again because this is ridiculously complicated and I feel I'm really not getting my money's worth out of these points. Grrrr....I'll just use my points for other things from now on.

But now I'm left with a dilemma. Do I suck it up and shell out $1300 for a plane ticket? I did find a cheaper flight for $1100, but that's not much of a difference. Or, do I tell German Nurse I can't go? She will be heartbroken. She's already emailed me three times about how excited she is that I'm coming to see her. I'd love to go see her and I already have the time off. But I'm b-r-o-k-e. Any advice for VB?? What would you do?

So continuing on with the money theme of this post...I bought some eye cream at Target the other day. I love Target. I think just about every American woman does. I usually am very happy shopping there. But I go to open the eye cream to use it yesterday. The tube is empty. That's because someone used all of the eye cream (I could tell because there were traces of it in the cap) and then put it back into the packaging and returned it to Target, where they didn't bother to check inside before putting it back on the shelf for sale. So someone got a free tube of eye cream, leaving me very ticked off. And I couldn't find the receipt.

Isn't that gross that someone could do that? I mean, what if they had an eye infection? And how cheap can you get--it only cost about $10. I wish I had thought to check, because people used to do that all the time when I worked for Clinique. Some women would even open their half-used bottles of perfume, dilute it with water, then return the "new" bottle to us. Incredible.

Luckily, I found the receipt this morning. Yesss!!! Maybe my luck is turning around.

Better news: I think Repo is going to get a job offer from a nice hotel today. He said his interview went really well and they called him last night for a second interview. Then they said he should be getting another call today. Sounds good! I am really excited about this because he'll be much less stressed. He's happy because he'd be making more money. Woo-hoo!

Ok, I'm off to catch up on reading some blogs before going on my big adventure! Have a good weekend everyone! I'll be back on Monday.

Friday, April 21, 2006


Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live. -- Oscar Wilde

I hate volunteering. I know this sounds really selfish of me, but I do. So sue me. But I have my reasons for being selfish with my time and resentful of people asking me to give up free time. It's not that I have always hated volunteering or think it is bad . I applaud people who do. It's just that every time I volunteer, I feel I've been taken advantage of. I occasionally try to volunteer every so often, just to give it a try again. Each time, I end up resentful. This is because one of two things happens:

1. People swear up and down that I'm needed desperately, then when I go, there is nothing for me to do. It's really irritating to get up early on a Saturday morning and go somewhere, only to twiddle your thumbs. This is a complete waste of my time.
2. I tell people I can help out and I'm given the impression that I'm needed for a couple of hours. Then when I'm ready to help, they inform me that I'm scheduled to work for 10 hours. Again, this is really annoying. If you need me for ten hours, why not just say that instead of surprising me?

Recently, I made the mistake of volunteering for The Three Rivers Music Festival. It's an annual outdoor event here in Columbia this weekend. I didn't have much planned, and it's a hop, skip and a jump away from my front door, so I figured why not. Nice people volunteer. It makes you a better person. It makes you feel good. Blah blah blah.

So I went to the volunteer meeting. Our job is to work the booth where they sell the tshirts. Now, someone had already called me to tell me that they'd probably need me "for a couple of hours Friday night." This was fine, and what I expected. When I got there, the schedule has me down for Friday night and Saturday night--a total of TEN hours.

Yeah, because I have no life, apparently...grrrrrrrr......

Apparently when you tell them that your schedule is flexible and any day would work, they hear "I can be your bitch this weekend." Do they really think people want to do this that badly?? Here I was, thinking I was being a good volunteer by being flexible, when really I should have said "I can give you two hours. Take your pick." Gah, do you really have to spell it out for them like that? I thought it was a pretty safe assumption that I can be there for a little while, not during ALL prime social hours. And I can't believe no one else has to work as many hours! That's just not fair! This must be what I get for being flexible.

So now I hate them and am trying to figure out a way to tell them that this just isn't going to fly. Any ideas? Maybe I can think up a good excuse. I feel deceived and I'm annoyed they seem to think I don't have better things to do with my weekend. I don't mind helping, I just don't want to help that much. I'm selfish, I know.

The good news is, there's a decent chance of rain, which would really affect the attendance, so I'm praying for Monsoon '06 so it will be dead and I can leave early. (The funny thing is, we have not had any rain in like two months, and this concert is on the ONLY weekend where there has been a chance for rain. How ironic.)

This festival, btw, is often called "Bobfest", after our mayor, Bob Coble. He has a tendency to really push for this festival, regardless of its success. I read once that he always makes sure one of his personal favorite performers comes to the festival. And based on most of the acts in the past, he must have really bad taste. I am having a hard time understanding why city council is clinging so desperately to continuing this concert. It's only been around for a few years, and it is plagued with problems. They have lost money every year because of rain or because of crappy bands. This year may prove to be no different. I wish they would just give it up and admit defeat. Or re-tool it into something that works. I think they spread themselves too thin--there are about 50 performers every year, and usually about two are nationally recognized. People want to see bands they know. I think they should try to have fewer, yet more popular, acts. I also think they are too diverse in their music--I think it would work better if they focused it a little more. Few people want to see country, jazz, funk, rap, alternative rock, bluegrass, local bands, etc. I'm thinking they should limit it to just a couple of genres. Just my humble opinion. What do you think? Would you attend this festival? I've lived here for about 4 years now, and have yet to want to buy a ticket. It never appeals to me. (You can see a list of who's performing on their website.)

I read an article in the local paper that brought up a good point. We have a St. Patty's Day festival here. It draws 35,000 people for the one-day shindig. Last year, this 3 day music festival only drew 45,000. I really fail to see how it is working. They should look around and see what they can do differently instead of continuing with something that doesn't work.

Ok, didn't mean for this to be an editorial about the festival. Moving on...

K's boyfriend, Navy Guy, just found out he will end up being stationed in Norfolk, VA. This is a little bit better news, but not much. That's still about 6-7 hours away. So she and her man are in limbo for now. I feel really bad for them because it stinks when the purpose of a relationship is called into question thanks to an uncontrollable, outside source. I've been there. It's not fun. That's why I just simply don't date military men or do long distance any more. It's too painful when it happens.

So my oldest friend ever is coming to see me soon! I've been friends with J since I was 13 and I would probably have committed suicide in high school if it hadn't been for her! She kept me sane in our bizarre little world that was CHS. Remember that show, Beverly Hills 90210? That's what my high school was like--kids with their own Mercedes-Benzes. I graduated with about 750 people. I was one of two who didn't have their own car. Girls got boob jobs for graduation presents. People would buy entire new outfits at Abercrombie & Fitch every weekend so they never had to repeat an outfit. Everyone in that town had money to burn. It was surreal. For teens who lived in regular-sized homes with parents who made average salaries, this was social hell. If it hadn't been for J, I would have shriveled up with insecurity and envy.

Anyway, J is coming with her boyfriend and they are going to her family's reunion in Charleston. So I'll probably go with her. But I'll at least hang out with her when she's here in Columbia for a day. I haven't seen her in about 5 years, so I'm pretty excited.

Repo had a job interview with a hotel the other day, and he said it went really really well. I think he will be getting a job offer, which would be awesome. I think he might even be looking at a raise! My fingers are definitely crossed, even though he'd probably be working hours that are just as bad. But at least he wouldn't be dealing with The Pig or people who pull guns on him when he goes to repossess their stuff. I still can't believe he puts up with that!

In Sammy news, he went to the vet yesterday. He was unbelievably good! He just waited patiently as the vet poked and prodded him. Well, except when she took the stool sample. He didn't really enjoy that. But who would? He was such a good boy! He is perfectly healthy and happy. Yay!

Navy Guy is in town for a few days and he's been taking Sammy for lots of walks and runs. Poor little Sammy was exhausted by the time I got home last night! He was too tired to even jump up and greet me. His eyes were half-closed and he had this look on his face like "Please! Let's go to bed!"

This morning I thought he would like to sleep in, so I didn't wake him up to go potty. (The dog, not Navy Guy.) I figured that since Navy Guy is hanging out at our apartment all day by himself, he would just take Sammy out later. Well....of course, Sammy waited until I was 5 minutes late for work to insist that he needed to go out now. I quickly took him outside, where he made the hugest poop ever. I swear, it was a third of his body weight. And there were all these noises which kept distracting him, so it took him forever to finish. Gah! And it smelled so bad I started gagging and I was in a hurry because I was late for work, and it was all so humorous, I started laughing my butt off. So there I was, standing in the middle of my apartment complex, gagging and laughing my ass off, with a bag of dog shit in my hand, nagging my dog to poop faster. I must have looked like a loony tune!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Potpourri #2

I have officially cancelled my subscription. *VB bows.* I feel I don't really need it anymore. Also, I've had far too many bad dates from there and life is too short. Plus, I need the $40 per month. I'm broke.

Was just reminded of a conference I'm going to go to in May. Didn't really want to go, and was told it was optional, but I guess someone decided for me. Thank goodness someone thinks for me. Where would I be otherwise? Oh yeah. On my couch watching TV. Or taking a nap. Right.

Someone at work has taken my scissors. It's not like we have a shortage of scissors around here. There are about 43 pairs floating around. We can even get free scissors from the bookstore if we want. But I'm left handed. That means that only 5% of all scissors in the universe will work for me. Plus, these were new and bright blue and looked quite fetching on my desk. I want them back!! Lady Starfish says that when I find them, I should put a label on them that reads: "Steal these and DIE!" or "Know what it feels like to be stabbed with stolen scissors? You will!"

She kills me.

Just in case anyone has noticed, we call each other "Ma'ams." Don't know why. Can't remember how it started. But it stuck. Deal. We are weird like that.

There is this guy I see every day when I'm driving home from work. He's protesting abortion. He holds this big red Stop Abortion sign and has a babydoll strapped to his chest. Hey, this is America. If you want to spend all day long holding up a picket sign with a baby strapped to your chest, that's your prerogative. But the thing I don't understand is, he does this in the SAME spot every day. You'd think that he would realize that he's expressing himself to the SAME people over and over as we all commute home. By now, we've pretty much noticed him and read his sign and flyer. Our minds are made up, so really, he's beating a dead horse. If he's really that dedicated, why isn't he touring Columbia? Or doing something more productive for his cause? Come on, how many babies can you save by doing that? I don't get it. I'm thinking he's senile.

Jennster reminded me of a funny story about my dad, WLF. He used to watch TV late at night. He loved to watch infomercials and buy crap, which irritated The Czarina, who is a huge tightwad. The thing that used to irritate her was that WLF would buy these food gadgets. His philosophy was that every food should have its own gadget. This is retarded, according to The Czarina, whose kitchen was busting at the seams with onion slicers, yogurt makers and tuna can drainers. (Did you even know you can make yogurt at home??) While he meant well, a lot of the stuff he bought was never used or liked. I mean, why dig around for a special tuna drainer when you can just press your fingers on the top of the opened lid? We always made fun of him. Since I understood The Czarina's plight, and I occasionally stayed up late watching TV with him, she put me in charge of stopping these silly purchases. I had to rip the phone out of his hand to stop him from buying a rotisserie chicken cooker, a jerky maker, a food dehydrator and a large deep fryer. It was a battle! He was convinced we all needed a regular supply of dehydrated foods or perfectly sliced potatoes! Yet none of us were ever wandering around the kitchen saying, "Man! I sure could go for some turkey jerky or homemade curly fries!" Seriously, sometimes he lived in some kind of fantasy world. So I had to flex my debating skills big time. How do you convince someone that his children do not desire deep-fried foods at a moment's notice? We would argue for the entire length of the commercial, but when I reminded him of Czarina Wrath, he would cave and hand over the phone sheepishly.

Repo had a job interview today. He said it went really well and I'm stoked. It would be more pay, better benefits, less stress and it's more in-line with his long-term career goals. When I asked him if he would take it if they offered him the position, do you know what he said? "Yeah, but only if the hours don't conflict with USC football games. I've got season tickets." For Pete's sake! You'd think that any job where people don't pull guns on him would be a shoe-in. But I must be underestimating the male love affair that is college football. Does he think women pick jobs whose schedules are based on the sales at the mall? It never fails to amaze me that the male gender is the one running things. Sheesh.

Speaking of jobs, mine has been stressful lately, what with the Parade of Morons that waltzes in here every day. It's the end of the semester, so they are multiplying tenfold. 3/4 of them have never even been to the library before, yet expect me to show them how to do everything, including picking a topic for their term papers. They are getting stressed and antsy because they've been procrastinating or sleeping in class for three months and now have no idea what the F they are doing. This in turn makes them really stupid and annoying. If you see my picture on the 6 o'clock news, you'll know why: I've murdered a college student. With my stolen scissors.

Weird Things

I've received my first tagging. You might think I'm a dork, but I'm really excited about this. I feel popular now, thanks to Stephanie over at Pickleness. My insecure 13-year-old self thanks you from the bottom of her heart. I've tried to think of six weird things that very few people know about me. This is hard, because Lady Starfish knows pretty much everything about me.

Without further ado, Six Weird Things About Me.

1. I pretty much eat the same thing every day. I know this sounds weird coming from someone who likes to cook, but my breakfast is always the same. My lunch is usually the same and my dinner is sometimes the same. There's a group of foods that I eat over and over without ever growing tired of them: roast beef sandwiches with cheese, pasta with spaghetti sauce from a jar with shredded cheese melted on top, fruit, oatmeal bars, candy, yogurt, nacho cheese Doritos, ice cream and more cheese. Every day. Notice the dairy product theme. I am Dairy Queen. I laugh in the face of osteoporosis.

2. I had plastic surgery when I was ten. There was a big mole on my back and they decided to go ahead and take it off just to be safe. At the last minute, The Czarina, ever the overly-panicky mother that she is, decided that I should go to a plastic surgeon so that I wouldn't get a big scar. "She might want to wear a backless dress to prom!!" she exclaimed. Sheesh. But it worked--the scar is barely visible.

3. I never got to meet either of my grandfathers, and I only met one of my grandmothers. She died when I was ten. Almost everyone in my family dies before age 70. It sucks. Aw, that was kind of sad. I should change that to something happier, but I can't think of anything. How about: I really like stuff that rhymes. I'm like a little kid because that really entertains me. Know what I mean, jellybean?

4. There was a solar eclipse on the day I was born. Or was it the day The Czarina went into labor with me? (She was in labor almost 2 whole days. Whatever, I'm worth it.) Anyway, not quite sure what that means...I hope it's lucky!

5. Squash makes me want to hurl chunks. Cannot stand it. I will literally gag. I also dislike olives, artichokes, sushi, kiwi fruit and peanuts. But I love peanut butter. Especially the chunky kind. Makes no sense.

6. I'm pretty organized and tidy, except when it comes to papers. Bills, magazines, letters, print-outs, newspaper clippings, junk mail, notes, etc.--I'm a mess. I can't ever seem to organize them or throw them out when I'm done using/reading them. I have BAGS of papers needing to be sorted/filed/thrown away. Crazy enough, I can actually find stuff in the mess sometimes. Why do I keep magazines I've already read??? Why?? (Actually, this means I'm turning into my father. He kept his spelling bee flashcards from 2nd grade until the day he died. You think I'm kidding.)

Ok, now I have to pass this about Sassafras? Her reward for being such a loyal reader! Ha ha!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Crushed Potpourri?

No theme to this post. Just random tidbits I've been meaning to share. A mish-mashed potpourri, so to speak. Ok, maybe there is a theme, which will be evident later...but first.....

Forgot to post a Fun Friday entry. As punishment, I found an extra site for you. Thanks to my coworker L and Lady Starfish for showing/reminding me of these funny sites.

Peeps Research (in honor of Easter)

You've heard of Pimp My Ride. Well, check out Pimp My Snack.

Has anyone else been getting a lot of junk email lately, out of nowhere? I never used to get it, and suddenly I am. I don't think it's spyware, because the junk emails have nothing to do with sites I visit. I mean, really, I am not interested in buying stock or Viagra. Those words are not even used in my vocabulary, let alone my web surfing. I haven't changed my security settings on my's weird. Not to mention annoying and ego-deflating. "Wow! I have 43 new messages....oh. Not really. Dang!"

Question for Blogger: For blogs that require word verification before you can leave a comment, why not use real, actual words, instead of "xxghiuz" or "rhqil"? It's so much easier to type "zebra" or something. Help us out, Blogger. Sheesh.

I'm wondering if I'm a commitment-phobe since it took me 5 years to commit to getting a dog. At this rate, I'll get married when I'm 73 and buy a house when I'm 49. And just forget kids! My ovaries will be shriveled beyond recognition by the time I am ready to commit the time and energy.

So there's something I haven't shared yet and have been meaning to: I have some secret crushes. One is my hot neighbor. K and I both think he's adorable. Other than some friendly "hey!"s we haven't talked. He does kinda make me wish I was that bad? I've noticed there is no girl around at his place, but he tends to go out of town on the weekends. Hmmm... Shut up! I'm not going to do anything! I'm not like that. It's just that usually when I have a boyfriend, other men become invisible to me. This little harmless crush probably means I'm not in love with Repo. Not that it couldn't happen. It just hasn't happened yet. I think I'm holding back on my emotions because he doesn't seem to be in love with me. I mean, he likes me, but that's a long ways away from being in love with someone. I am not going to invest my emotions when he's not doing it either. Although, he has been really sweet lately...and he kept staring at me last night....but I could have had something stuck in my teeth for all I know!

Crap! I'm not supposed to blog about that kind of stuff. Moving on...

My other secret crush is at home (at The Czarina's house). Are you sitting down? She's trying to fix me up with this really cool and super-cute guy. I know. I think this is groundbreaking history in the making. Who can say that their mom is actually fixing them up with a hottie? It definitely makes up for the weirdo she fixed me up with in high school. That guy was basically my opposite--he loved Jethro Tull. Eww, eww eww. (No offense to any Tull fans, but I really hate that music.) I am a huge rap fan. Do the math. That was just the beginning of how badly we meshed.

So this fix-up guy, I'll call him Mr. Cool. Why? Because he has a great dog. And it goes with him everywhere. No exceptions. It goes with him to work, to the store, everywhere. The friggin' dog will wait outside of church while he attends it with his mother! It just sits there. Waiting. Know what he does in his spare time? He rides bulls. Yeah, as in he's a sexy cowboy who rides wild animals, risking life and limb just for some fun. How hot is that?? Yee-ha! Saddle me up. Did I mention that he's really really good to his mother, who is trying to fix me up with him, too? (I'm already in with the Moms! Yess!) Did I mention that he is a structural engineer whose job it is to oversee multi-million dollar building projects? Again, how cool is that? He even lives in Richmond, Va. I love Richmond. It's only an hour from The Czarina's house. Even my brothers like him. Oh, are you ready for the bonus? He has a great ass. Just great.

So...the problem? He has no idea I'm breathing right now. Oh, I've met him. He acted like he was being introduced to a distant relative. Polite, nice, but that's it. Not an ounce of interest in me, as I was standing there, falling all over myself, drool pooling on my collar. "Please please please let me have your babies," I thought as I stared maniacally at him. He's the coolest guy I've ever met and it's never going to happen. Dang! I'll just have to pine away for him, I guess. It's better to have someone like Repo, who appreciates me and wants to be with me. I really should stop with the Mr. Cool crush. It would help if I never saw him again, but I know that won't happen. Every time I go home...

Speaking of I'm minding my own business at work the other day. Just sitting at the desk...when someone calls my name. I look up to see an attractive guy who looks vaguely familiar. He sits down and we begin to catch up, while I'm racking my brain trying to remember who the heck he is. Bits and pieces surface from my memory: His name is M, I met him through L....I think we dated...or something. Meanwhile, I'm trying to have a conversation with him. He remembers everything about me, despite the fact that it had been about 3 years since we had hung out. It was kind of unnerving. I get freaked out when people seem to know more about me than vice versa. We had a nice conversation, and I was left wondering why he had never made it to Boyfriend Status with me. Then I started to get this nagging feeling in the back of my brain: He pissed me off about something. He deceived me, I think. There was some guilt on my part.... But I couldn't remember! I figured it was just my imagination, so I went back to doing what I was doing.

Later on in the day, it hit my brain like a train wreck. The memories flooded back: It was a fix-up. But I was sorta-kinda seeing The Big Ex, who was in Afghanistan at the time. (It was rocky between us at the time.) M and I hit it off, and were starting to head down the dating path, despite my feelings of guilt about it. (I don't do well with open-ended relationships. Even though things were rocky between me and Big Ex.) There was a lot of chemistry. And you know where that leads....then M confessed. He wasn't exactly divorced yet. Just separated. Yeah, he was telling me this after I was naked. (Luckily, it was before...) The rest is foggy, but I think I threw him out of my apartment and vowed to hate his guts ever after....or something like that.

My coworkers had seen him talking to me, and wanted the scoop. I told them generally what had happened, and one of them said M had been wearing a wedding band. Oh boy. I would like to just avoid him altogether, because all I can think now is "He's seen me naked. He was still married. He IS still married." and I'm totally mortified. So now I have to hide in my office when he comes in to the library. I am not cool with being The Other Woman! This is not a goal to which I aspire! Now he comes in all the time. And he always tries to talk to me. He always asks about Repo--you know, keeping track of my relationship status just in case. Good grief! My past is haunting me!

Speaking of Repo (wow, this post just has all kinds of circles in it! Round and round we go!), his eye is better, but now the doctor says he has this abscess. (Warning: if you have a sensitive stomach, you probably don't want to click on that.) I think it's related somehow to his original eye injury, because it is near his eye. Doc said Repo could have gotten infected when he was in the emergency room or during the fight--there's no telling. Doc had to send a sample to the lab to see what kind of bacteria it is so he'll know what kind of antibiotics to give Repo. I'm not getting into details, but it's pretty much the grossest thing ever. One half of his whole face is really swollen. And he's in a lot of pain. He just called me to say it looks a lot better today--the swelling is down and it's not as painful, thanks to his treatment yesterday and his very strong medicine. So he went to work, even though he's probably a week away from it being healed up.

While at work, the (*ahem*) gauze came out. (Yes, I said "out", not "off". Use your imagination.) That's not supposed to happen. So he's got to go to the doctor now. Do you know what his boss (whom I will now refer to as The Pig) said? "Well, you can go to the doctor on your lunch break." Can you believe that s--t?? I mean, if one of your employees comes to you with a swollen, bleeding, gaping sore on the side of their head, I really don't think it's too much to ask that they be allowed to go to the doctor. So now, Repo doesn't get a lunch break today. He doesn't eat breakfast and he doesn't get off work until 9 pm, so he doesn't get to eat today--12 hour shifts apparently do not warrant more than one break. *VB does the angry dance of rage.*

The Pig should be glad I wasn't there to hear this go down, because I would have pummeled him on the skull with a stapler or something until he pleaded with me for mercy on his soul. Then I would have stomped him in the crotch--with my cute high heeled sandals-- as he lay before my feet, begging. *VB leaves to daydream this scene for a moment.*

When I get off work, I'm going to take Repo some food. Poor disgusting thing. (I must like someone to see them when they look like he does! Trust me! It's nasty!) He says he feels hideous and won't appear in public.

"I look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame!"
he keeps saying, emphatically. What a drama queen.

"No, sweetie, you look worse than that," I reply.

Then he gets mad.

Then I call him Pus Head.

Then he tells me to shut up or he'll infect me. (It is contagious if I were to touch the wound. Um, ew. Like I would get near that thing. As if.)

Then I tell him that he'd better go to the doctor or else his entire head will get infected-- his eyes, his nose, or--worse yet--his ears. (Gah! There is something about ear problems that just grosses me out beyond belief!!!) "Then your head will have to be amputated," I explain, "But actually, now that I think about it, that would be an improvement."

"I hate you," he replies.

We've had this conversation about four times now. Poor baby.

Monday, April 17, 2006


Here he is! He looks kinda funny because his ears are back. But I just love how he grins when he's panting!

That's me, petting him. My wrist looks bizarrely huge at this angle. I promise I don't have manly arms. I have dainty wrists!

He's so awesome. *VB's heart swells with love.*
I'll post more pictures, but not soon. Don't want to be one of those dog owners.

It's a Dog's World

What dogs want most in life is for no one to go away.-- Jose Saramago

This weekend was GREAT. I am completely and totally in love with my Sammy. He is so funny and adorable. I picked him up after work on Friday. The lady who sold him to me was almost in tears when I came there to get him. She said if I ever need a dogsitter, she would love to do it because she's going to miss him so much. She also told me that he is trained not to get on furniture or beg or bark, so he's a very well-behaved little dog. (The Czarina will love this.) She also told me Sammy has a microchip, which I was glad to hear. She gave me all the paperwork and told me he is due for shots. Then I paid her and we left.

He was a little hesitant to get in my car, but he just napped as we drove home. He worried me a little because he didn't eat for the first 24 hours, but from everything I've read, that is pretty normal. I took him over to Repo's house, where he got to meet the two black labs over there. Tank loved Sammy and began to play with him immediately, but Giz was annoyed by Sammy, so he just growled.
(I've learned that some big dogs don't like smaller dogs.) Sammy adores Repo and does whatever he asks. This of course, makes me insanely jealous! And of course, Repo loves to rub it in.

Then I took Sammy to my house, where he had to sniff and investigate everything. I was hot, so I took a shower, and Sammy watched me shave my legs. He kept trying to eat the shaving cream. I checked my mail and discovered an unexpected check (hmmm, could Sammy be my lucky dog?) which was really nice. After a walk and some water, Repo came over to hang out with us. We ordered a pizza (Sammy doesn't bark when someone comes to the door!). We played fetch for 2 1/2 hours while we watched tv. Sooooo relaxing. Nothing like a dog to make you feel like you are home. And Sammy is so funny! His little face and googly eyes just kill me! He was so intent on catching the ball, he would forget to watch where he was going, so he ran into the wall, the couch and the table a couple of times. But he's fine.

Lady Starfish called to see how I was doing and to congratulate me on being a pet owner. She's known how badly I've wanted a dog, and she is a huge animal lover, so I was glad she called. She began to laugh at me because she said I have "New Pet Owner Paranoia", which is true. I worry about every sneeze and what he will get into when I'm not looking or bad things he will eat because I've been careless. I told her I keep envisioning emergency room trips to the vet. She told me that as long as the dog is eating and seems happy, everything is ok. Dogs are easy for the most part. Whew!

He whined when I was going to bed, so I let him sleep in the bed with me. Just this once. (He likes the bed I got him, so he's been sleeping in that ever since.)

On Saturday, we went to Petsmart, along with K. He was a very good boy and I learned that you should always take another peson with you to Petsmart, because you will spend all of your time keeping your pet under control and away from big dogs that are trying to eat your little dog. Sammy just loves everyone, so he got a lot of petting from strangers. K played with him when we got back, so he has bonded with her as well. Brunette brought her huge and totally out-of-control golden retreiver, Jackson, over for a walk on Saturday. We learned quickly that Jackson was just too crazy and too big for he and Sammy to hang out together. It was just too much. Jackson is sweet, but it's just not something Sammy is ready for. So she took Jackson to the groomer's instead. (Jackson's main problem, I think, is that he needs to be neutered!)

I went out to dinner with K and her family Saturday night, so we left Sammy alone for the first time. I put up the baby gate so he would be confined to the kitchen. I think he would probably be ok if he was left loose in the house, but I wanted to be sure. Two hours later, when we got back, I opened the door and announced that Mommy was home. There was dead silence.

Oh my God. I killed the dog. He choked on something or died of loneliness. I am a bad Mommy, I thought. I was freaking out.

So I walked around the corner, and there he was, my little Sammy. He had the most pathetic-looking face that just seemed to say: Why did you leave me? What did I do wrong? Why do you hate me and leave me in the kitchen? Which of course, broke my heart into a thousand pieces. Then I took down the baby gate and he was all over us, licking us, jumping up, etc. So I think he is ok and not too traumatized. I'm crossing my fingers because he's alone for 3 hours today until I can go home at lunch to walk him.

The rest of the weekend was spent mainly playing fetch, taking walks and napping with Sammy. He's learning that it's ok to snuggle on the couch with me. Otherwise, he stays off the furniture. He did lots of sniffing and peeing. (Is it normal to take 2,458 walks in one weekend?) I think he is pretty happy so far, especially since he started eating yesterday. We have to work on some training (he doesn't beg for food, yet cannot grasp the concept of "sit"). He will sometimes stop dead in his tracks in the middle of a walk and refuse to move, which baffles and annoys me. But so far, so good. He is just wonderful! And I will try to have some pictures soon. Trust me, he's adorable.

I'll try not to be too dog-obsessed. But for now, I'm pretty immersed in all things Sammy-related.

Tiny updates: Repo's eye is basically healed, but he has an infection near his eye which we think is related to the main injury. (No details--let me just say it's really gross and swollen.) He's going to the doctor today. I'm getting tired of my boyfriend being sick/injured all the time! If he had a warranty, I'd be asking for my money back!

K found out this week that her boyfriend, Navy Guy, won't be around for long. He was hoping to get into a program here in Columbia, but it fell through and now he will be leaving for San Diego in May. For three years. This is quite a crossroads for their relationship and it makes me sad because I really think they are good together. We will have to see what happens.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Dog

This week has been crazy busy. Two coworkers are on vacation and we have had a ton of people in here. This means I have to help most of the people with their research and questions. Which is fine, because usually I'm bored. It's just taking up most of my blogging time.

David Sedaris was great. W and I hadn't hung out in a while, so we had a lot to catch up on. She had gone through a breakup and had gotten a raise since I'd seen her last. She didn't know anything about Repo, so I had to fill her in on that and my dog hunting. We must have talked a million miles an hour as we drove to Charleston! I really needed some girl-time and this hit the spot. Right before we got there, W informed me that we had third-row seats. Sweet. We got there just in time to sit before he came on. He told some really funny stories and answered questions from the audience. My only complaint was that he didn't talk as long as we all had wished! I can't wait for his next book, whenever that is.

Repo is healing up slowly but surely. He doesn't do well during daylight hours, since his eye is really sensitive to light. But he can drive around a little and he can use a computer for about an hour before it gives him a headache. He went to the doctor on Wednesday who said things are progressing, just slowly. His vision will be fine. Repo has been taking this time off work to do some thinking about his career, so he is job hunting and evaluating his financial situation in the hopes that he can quit his awful job. He is very grateful for all the help I've given him and has been very sweet. He wants to take me out to dinner this weekend, but I'm worried about his financial situation, so maybe we can just order a pizza. I'm exhuasted and really just want to stay in this weekend anyway. These past two weeks have been go go go, so I'd like to just chill out. Do some laundry, watch some movies, that kind of thing.

All week I've been hard-core dog hunting. Watching the ads, browsing the shelters. Still getting pangs of sadness over my broken heart. Sure, there might be another dog out there. Some day. Eventually. But I cannot get over Sampson! He's just perfect for me!

So I called the lady who is selling Sampson yesterday. You know, just to tell her I was still interested in the dog. I ended up talking her down to $450. So I'm going to go buy him tomorrow afternoon after work! *VB jumps up and down excitedly.* And yes, I am extremely excited and could just pee in my pants about this! I have had a grin on my face since I said I'd do it. I can't wait. You should have seen me in Wal-Mart. I was almost skipping down the dog aisle. I bought a bunch of toys and dog treats. I had tears in my eyes when I placed the little dog food bowl and water bowl in my cart. Sammy will be all mine for ever and ever!

I have been waiting to buy a dog for five years, and although it's a little more than I want to spend, I need to go ahead and just do it. The dog is exactly what I'm looking for and I would be heartbroken if someone else bought him. I've wanted and waited for this for too long to let the opportunity pass me by. So I'm doing it. Although, if she were to call me to say that someone offered her the full $600 for it, I would probably tell her to give the dog to them. I'm still pretty broke right now!

I'm hoping that the $250 required by my apartment complex as a pet fee can wait until the end of the month. Not that I'm deceiving them. I'm going to pay it. I just want to pay it.....later.

I still have a couple of small bills to pay this month, but I should be ok. I haven't been eating out much and I have not been shopping. Ok, I bought a pair of shoes. But that's it! (And they were only $17!) I really could use some extra money. I don't have anything I can sell, unfortunately. So I've been thinking about getting Repo's roommates to pay me to cook and clean for them. Sounds crazy, but I'm serious! I just need a little bit of money as a cushion, and they keep joking about how they wish I would just cook and clean for them, so I'm going to see if they are truly serious. I don't think they will do it, though, because I'm a friend to them now, and they might feel weird about it. Maybe I can convince someone else. Stuckey?

Luckily, my car issue is resolved--for now. I took it into the dealership yesterday and they explained it to me like this: Basically, the part of my ignition that reads the key is getting run down. The key reader has these gears inside it. One of them is sticking, so it is having a hard time reading my key, which is pretty worn down. That's why the key sometimes won't turn. They said for me to try using my spare key since it's never been used and is still new. They said the key reader will have an easier time reading it and I may not need to replace anything for a year. Woo-hoo! So far, this has worked. And it didn't cost me a thing! Don't you love it when stuff works out like that? So if you ever have this problem, try using your spare.

Speaking of cars, I was walking out to my car yesterday morning to go to work when I saw a neighbor. He was jumping his car with the help of a friend. I asked him if he needed any help and he said no. I noticed he had a sticker on his car that indicated we worked at the same place. I told him it looks like we work together and had just never met. He's an older man who is in a different department. After some small talk, I told him I'd wait to make sure his car started in case he needed a ride to work. I called work to tell them what was going on and that I'd probably be a little late. The jump didn't work. So he hops in and we are going to work (I'm already 5 minutes late at this point) when he asks me to pull into an auto parts store to see if they are open and sell batteries. Oh....kay. He buys the battery and asks them if they will install it in his car. While they are loading the battery into their repair truck, he asks me to drive by this other place so he can drop off a bill payment., sure. Then he asks me if I will take him back home so the repair guys can come and put the new battery into his car. At this point, I just wanted him out of my car and I was already 15 minutes late, so I did it. Can you believe his nerve? I mean, I offered a ride to work, not to be your personal taxi. Worry about that on your own time, buddy. I ended up being a half-hour late to work. I guess no good deed goes unpunished. Thank goodness my boss wasn't there. I figure it is good karma and I could check off "Completed good deed of the day" on my to-do list. Oh well.

Last night was trivia night with our hostess, D. We are flabbergasted at the fact that each time she asks questions about American Presidents, Seinfeld, professional sports, the Oscars and South America. It's funny. Anyway, Team Heavy Petting did very well--first place--and we won a $35 gift certificate to the restaurant and a free apptizer. Yessss!

So tomorrow is Dog Day. I'm going to veg out on my couch and watch movies while I play with my little Sammy. K and Repo are invited to veg out with me, but I am not leaving my apartment this weekend! Oooh, maybe I can finally get around to hanging up some pictures, doing some laundry and cleaning my bathroom...who am I kidding. I will be taking walks every two hours with my new dog! I can't wait! I will wake up next to my little furball in two days! Yay!!!

Ok, I have to go read my dog books now. Note to self: Buy Dogs for Dummies. Perhaps after trip to Petsmart on Saturday.

Monday, April 10, 2006


Uh-oh. Sounds like somebody's got a case of the Mondays! --Female Temp, Office Space

I am not normally one of those people who hate Mondays. I'm usually ok with Mondays, despite the fact that they really interrupt my weekends. But I'm really just not happy to be out of bed today.

First, let me recount my weekend. I went to Charleston on Friday morning. Repo's mom was getting married, and so I made the hour-or-so trip down there to meet his family and attend the wedding. His family is really nice and we all got along splendidly. Whew! *VB wipes brow* One irony: His super-cool aunt is really into organic foods. And she smokes like a chimney. Doesn't that defeat the purpose...? Repo made a lot of jokes about how she wants to take over the world and force everyone to eat organic. He calls her the Organic Nazi.

Anyway, when I got there I greeted Repo, who had been in bed for an entire week and was bored to tears. "Entertain me!" he kept joking. "Shut up! That's not my problem!" I would say, with a big grin on my face. (He was still in some pain and couldn't see, but his eye looked much better, so my sympathy for him has waned.) I talked to him for a minute, put my stuff down, and then hopped in his mom's car along with his sister. We went to get manicures and pedicures. We had a good time. There was only one little problem. I hadn't had a manicure in about...uh, ten years. I had forgotten what they do during manicures. (I have been doing my own manicures for years because I'm cheap! Stop making fun of me!) So I didn't know he was sanding down my nails to prep them for fake acrylic nails until he had already filed away half my nails! I felt so stupid. D'oh! *VB smacks forehead* I thought he was just going to give them a really thorough buffing. Not! So now my nails are really thin and fragile. I guess they will grow out. three months. Dang! Being dumb sucks.

On Saturday, at the last minute, the weatherman called for heavy rain, so Repo's fam had to buy tents since it was an outdoor wedding. It was beautiful and sunny for the ceremony, but by the reception there were very dark clouds looming. It's a good thing they bought the tents, because it was a really bad storm--it hailed the size of mothballs! So we were all drenched as we were eating. (Repo and his aunt made a joke that Repo's dad sent the hail because he was probably rolling over in his grave about the fact that his widow was re-marrying!)

The running joke after the wedding was that the pastor who conducted the ceremony reminded us all of Mrs. Doubtfire. We were snickering a little at the wedding, because really, it was uncanny. She was a big girl and even had the accent and hairdo. Good thing I was sitting in the back. Later on, Repo's uncle said that she used to be a he--Uncle was pretty sure it was the legendary local pastor who had had a sex change. Well, that explains the Mrs. Doubtfire resemblance, I guess...and no, we don't think the lovely couple realized that was who they had hired to conduct the ceremony.

It was a really relaxing weekend overall. The food was good--Repo's mom has an endless supply of Jelly Belly jellybeans, which scored a lot of points with me. We had a big lasagna dinner Friday night, a pig-pickin' at the wedding reception, breakfast at his aunt's house and dinner at his grandma's house on Sunday. So I definitely ate well! (And I scored a container of leftover pulled pork from the reception so I'll be eating yummy BBQ sandwiches all week!)

Other than hanging out at family functions, I mostly napped along with Repo, who slept 90% of the time. I nursed him some, too, since he has been getting headaches from his eye injury. His stitches are dissolving into his eyeball, which isn't very comfy, either. I watched some movies with his super-cool aunt while he napped. (Bewitched was so cute and very funny! And Practical Magic was...interesting. Strange that both movies involved witchcraft...) It was pretty nice to relax and catch up on some Z's. On the way home, Repo took my by the house where he grew up. Awww...I think he was a little sentimental about it, especially after looking at old pictures with me at his grandma's house.

I dropped him off at his house when we got back to Columbia and then went home to unpack while waiting for K's flight to arrive. She went to DC for the weekend and her flight didn't come in until 11:30. So I'm pretty tired today!

Then, on top of being tired and cranky that my weekend is over, I woke up too late to make lunch this morning. The final icing on the cake was when I got in my car this morning (ten minutes late to work already) only to discover that it wouldn't f'ing start. The key goes in, but it won't turn. It's almost like I'm trying to use someone else's key. (I'm not. I'm not that stupid.) After pleading and begging the car to start, I gave up, got angry and shouted some expletives as I slammed the door shut. (If you remember, I hate my car. It has been causing problems ever since I got it.) So I had to wake up K so she could drive me to work. I have the coolest roomie ever. She got up and drove me, no questions asked. I just love her.

On the way, we had to stop because there were cows in the road. Yes, I said cows. As in moo-moo. Only in South Carolina. We honked and they moved. Weird. Especially since we live in an urban-ish area. Are there friggin' farms in Columbia?

Work has been crazy today. Everyone decided to go on vacation, leaving me and one other coworker to deal with all the frantic, crazed library patrons that come in. We are getting a lot of Office Max questions: Do you have any glue? Can I borrow your scissors? etc. It has been one weird thing after another today. Example: This morning, I helped a stripper find articles on the literature criticism of Langston Hughes' poetry. Her paper discusses the role of racism and prejudice in his poetry. Very surreal.

Ok, I don't know if she was a stripper, per se. But she sure did give a good impression. Is it too much to ask that you cover your midriff before coming to the library? I mean, how are people supposed to take you seriously, Bambi?

After K picks me up, I'm going to get her to drop me off at Repo's. Another irony: He can't drive, but his car works. I can drive, but my car doesn't work. So he said I can borrow his car until mine gets fixed. His eye is still messed up, so he's not going into work until at least Wednesday. K's friend is going to look at my car tonight. He's a mechanic, so I'm hoping I can save a bundle and just pay him for labor.

I'm sure tomorrow will be better since I'm going back to Charleston to see David Sedaris!!!

Thursday, April 06, 2006


So I got a call from my friend, W today. She was calling to see if I was free on Tuesday night. I am. She wanted to know if I could go with her to Charleston to see David Sedaris. She has tickets.

"AM I FREE?" I shouted. "Are you kidding?" David Sedaris is probably my favorite author ever. He is hilarious. I've read or listened to all of his books about three times each. (BTW, if you have never read any of his stuff, drop what you are doing and run to your local public library. You will laugh your ass off! His family is crazy!)

If you don't know anything about him, he is this guy who grew up near Raleigh, NC. His Greek-American family is totally bonkers and he tells the funniest stories about them and his various life experiences. His sister is Amy Sedaris, who starred in the Comedy Central show (now cancelled) called Strangers with Candy. She, too, is hilarious and fairly well-known. (She appeared as Carrie Bradshaw's book publisher in Sex and the City. She and Molly Shannon proposed that awful book cover where Carrie is naked and trying to catch a cab, remember?) Anyway, I think David now lives in Paris with his boyfriend, but luckily he still makes appearances here in the States. I have two words of advice for novice David Sedaris fans:

1. You don't have to read his stuff in order, but it can be helpful.
2. He is fun to read aloud with someone so you can take turns reading it out loud, but he is best enjoyed when you listen to his books on tape or CD. He reads all of his own books and does a great job with the characters' voices. (I usually grab one when I have a road trip to take.)

So I have the coolest plans ever for next Tuesday. Yessssss!!!

[Insert VB's readers' envious glares here.]

If you want to learn more about David Sedaris, you can check out these websites:
Wikipedia Entry
David Sedaris items @ Amazon
David Sedaris Article on NPR

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

True Love

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. --Roger Caras

Men are often referred to as "dogs"--usually in the bad sense. But there are men who are good boys, too. They are so sweet and loveable that they become our whole worlds. They make our lives whole. And I'm totally in love with one. No, I'm not in love with Repo. In fact, on the phone last night I told him he was on probation with me. He's still in the doghouse, big time. I even lectured him again. He falls under the heading "Bad Dog" with me. I have been making him too much of a part of my life. He needs to be placed in the backseat for now. There are other men out there--ones that can make my life whole.

No, no, I'm in love with another man. His name is Sampson, Sam for short. I just met him this week and it was love at first sight. He is very handsome and is crazy about me. In fact, he would spend every minute with me if he could. He loves to snuggle and make me laugh. And he would let me do whatever I want! He's not too old or too young and he was very excited to meet me. He's well-behaved and was already well-trained by the last woman in his life (unlike Repo). He's very friendly with everyone, has no temper issues and is willing to give me all the love I need. I feel like I've known him my whole life, because I've been looking for him my whole life. My mom would adore him, as would all my girlfriends, because he's totally charming, smart and sweet. I am absolutely nuts about him. His kisses just make my day. I cried when I left him. This kind of emotion doesn't come around every day. I have never been so ready to commit so soon in my life. Not only do I want to wake up next to him in my bed, I want him to move in with me! Sometimes, you just know it when you see it. He's just perfect and makes me feel safe, loved and happy. But don't tell Repo. Shhh!!! I'm cheating on him!

Oh, yes, I know this comes as a surprise. And it's soon, I know. But since Repo left town to stay with his mother in Charleston while his eye heals, I've had time to check out some other options. I told Repo I was suffering from a wandering eye, but I don't think he believed me when I told him I was seriously looking for a replacement ASAP. Repo hasn't been that great of a boyfriend lately, so I have taken the opportunity to look at some other men--he can't be my whole life, you know. I mean, he's been pretty selfish lately, to be honest. And unfortunately for Repo, I cannot love him as much as I love Sam. There's no contest, really. It would be impossible to even compare my feelings for Sam and my feelings for Repo. It's crazy, I know. But love is like that sometimes. My heart belongs to Sam now. Somehow I will have to tell Repo: I'm in love with Sam.

Sam weighs 18 pounds and is covered in fur. He is a Boston Terrier. He is also the coolest dog ever to have existed. I met him yesterday and it was the only time I've ever experienced love at first sight. He is playful and happy and immediately came up to me (without barking) and jumped up on my leg, grinning from ear to ear with this look on his face that said, "Pet me. Love me." And I obliged willingly. He is healthy, purebred, well housetrained, obedient, friendly and just a bundle of love. I wanted to take him with me immediately. I started daydreaming about rides in the car, trips to Petsmart on Saturdays, walks in the park, snuggles on the couch...*sigh*

So why is he not My New Man?????

The dumb ol' lady wants $600 for him. Grrrrr......

I cried. I pleaded. I almost backed down. But I just can't afford to pay $600 for a dog. I have to pay my apartment complex $250 just to have a dog, so we're looking at $850 before even buying all the dog supplies and getting his booster shots at the vet (he's due for shots). I just can't afford Sam. It figures. I finally find the perfect man and I cannot have him.

I told her I'd give her $300, tops, although she could talk me into $450. She wouldn't back down on the price, but said she'd let me know if she changed her mind. I hope she does. Because I love him. I'm hoping she will back down a little--I've seen ads for Boston Terrier puppies for only $450, so her price is pretty steep, especially since Sam is almost three years old. Most people want puppies, so I'm hoping she won't get too many offers. K was with me and she helped me stay sane. Before we got out of the car, she reminded me not to go crazy and fall in love. If it wasn't for her, I'd have dropped an insane amount of money on a great dog. But alas, we drove back home empty-handed and dogless. *VB cries softly into her hands, shoulders trembling.*

Unfortunately for me, all other dogs I've been looking at now pale in comparison to little Sampson. They are just...other dogs. They're cute, and cheaper ($175), but they just aren't Sam. I guess I will just have to lick my wounds and keep trying to find that perfect little guy in my life. He'll be the center of my world if he's anything like Sam. Then Repo will really have to step it up!

Monday, April 03, 2006

The Cup

I already blogged about how The Cup was this past weekend. Basically, about 70,000 people come to this tiny town in South Carolina called Camden for the day. Camden's main street, which you can see at the top of this page, looks eerily like my hometown. Anyway, all these people come out every year on the first Saturday in April. There are horse races (steeplechase) all day long. But no one really watches the races, as this is more of an excuse to party in a big field than a racing event. Everyone brings coolers and beer and lots of food. Sunglasses, sunblock and beer koozies are a must. It's always quite the fashion show. Women wear strapless sundresses and big straw hats. Men wear anything seersucker, pastel, madras or embroidered with little critters. Sometimes they even wear bowties, as corny as that sounds. In a nutshell, it looks like a giant, drunken, tailgating J.Crew-styled frat party. And I love every minute of it. It's how I hope heaven works. Any event that combines being outside with partying, eating and dressing up is my kind of shin-dig. I always meet cool people and eat yummy food. This year was no different.


Oh yes. There is an "until" in this post. But let me back up a little. The night before was spent shopping for a cooler, chairs, beer, sunblock, etc. Then K and I baked cookies and made fruit salad-- our contributions to the food table. We were going with the Church Group. I'm a friend of one of the families attending and they allowed us (me, K and our boyfriends) to tag along. After making the food and doing some general packing up, I helped K curl her hair with sponge rollers. Then we went to bed.

We were hoping to leave Columbia around 9:30 or 10am that morning. So I called Repo at 8am to wake him up. He was still sleepy, so I called him back at 8:45 to wake him up again. He didn't answer. So I went about my business getting ready. We had a small crisis. K had slept in the sponge rollers overnight. When she removed the curlers in the morning, she was left with a white girl 'fro. It looked like a wig. She looked just like this guy. It took us about a half hour to stop laughing and try to figure out what to do with her hair. Then we got pretty and packed up with the help of K's boyfriend. We brought a cooler full of beer, red champagne and diet coke in addition to the fruit and cream cheese cookies (recipe to follow soon). We were ready to hit the road and party. By this point, it was 10am. Wait, where is Repo?

Oh that's right. He fell back asleep and is just now waking up. We could have killed him. He didn't have any clothes ready, couldn't find his shoes, and had no sunglasses or beer. So we had to wait for him. Grrr....

Finally we hit the road and we were having a great time. Since we left a little on the late side, we didn't have that much traffic. The weather could not have been better: mid-70s, sunny and a light breeze. We arrived and began to eat and drink and socialize. And that's what we did until the "until" part of the day.

Then, around 4:30...Are you ready? Here is what happened. I was hanging out with Repo, my roommate K and her boyfriend, Navy Guy. We were standing in a big crowd of people, waiting for one of the horse races to end so we could cross the track to get back to the other side. (After visiting some friends, we were leaving the college side and going to the quieter adult side for a much needed snack break at our home base.) During the wait, people were getting crowded. When you have a large crowd of fairly drunk men, tempers will flare over trivial things. The two men in front of us began to sing the Clemson University fight song. This apparently was unacceptable behavior in the eyes of Repo and Navy Guy, because they are South Carolina fans, so our dumb boyfriends began to talk smack.

That's right. Repo and Navy Guy picked a fight. With guys who towered over them.

Now, I'm not very experienced with fist-fighting, but I think it's pretty obvious that picking a fight with people who A) don't know you, B) haven't done anything to you and C) outweigh you by 70 lbs. is a pretty dumb idea. So K and I are trying to calm our stupid drunk boyfriends. It didn't work. Apparently someone said something about someone's mother, and I guess in GuyWorld, this is a call to arms. So the fists started flying. It happened so fast K and I couldn't do anything but watch. I was mortified at first, then angry and finally worried as I saw Repo duck and swing before finally crumpling to the ground. The two victors ran off and K, Navy Guy and I rushed over to Repo to see if he was ok. I didn't get a good look at his face since he was doubled over, but it looked like he had broken his nose--there was a lot of blood. One of the victors had dropped his cell phone, which Navy Guy quickly snatched. And proceeded to snap into two. Navy Guy told us it was Repo's eye that was injured, not his nose. This made me worry.

The next thing I know, this crowd of Good Samaritans (bless them!) swarmed around him and carried him off into the crowd to get some medical attention. We tried to follow, but lost them in the crowd of people. The three of us spent the next hour and a half walking all over the place (in shoes that give you lots of blisters, I discovered later) looking for Repo. We couldn't find him, and to make matters worse, the cell phone network was clogged, so Navy Guy couldn't use his cell phone. Out of frustration and worry, I started to cry. We were totally helpless.

By now it was about 5:30 or 6pm and The Cup was basically over. We realized that the Church Group had no idea where we were and couldn't call us since they only had my number and my cell was with them. They were probably going to leave soon--with our car keys, cell phones and purses. One of the medics told us that a man with an eye injury was taken to the emergency room. So we decided to just go get our stuff and leave. We walked back (again) to the other side of the field, feet throbbing as we hobbled in our wedge sandals and strappy heels, and explained everything to the Church Group. They offered to take our cooler so we could hurry off to the hospital. Then we were stuck in traffic for a while as we went over to the hospital. Luckily, the cell network cleared up while we were driving.

On the way over, The Czarina called me to see how The Cup went. She knows I really look forward to it. I told her how this year's was not as fun as it usually was. I explained what had happened and she said, "Leave his ass! He needs to learn a lesson!" (Hey, I call her The Czarina for a reason.) As angry as I was with him, I wasn't quite that unsympathetic. We were an hour away from home and there simply wasn't anyone else to pick him up. So we went over to the hospital, with me bitching the entire time. I was FURIOUS with their immaturity and short-sightedness. So many people were inconvenienced with their thoughtless actions. K and I could have been hurt. His mother is getting married this week. He could have been arrested. Or hurt even worse. My mind was spinning--I had every desire to chew Repo (and Navy Guy) a new one. Until I saw him.

Poor Repo had a laceration to his eyelid. Basically, it was split, starting at his eyelashes and going halfway up his lid. When I arrived, the surgeon was just finishing the stitches. He had to have inner and outer stitches. Can you imagine having stitches on the inside of your eyelid?? Ouch! Repo was miserable and totally embarrassed. Not to mention he was in excrutiating pain. He had to get a novicane shot to the eye area in addition to a tetanus shot. Poor baby!

I took care of him all night and all day yesterday. Needless to say, I didn't get much sleep. The first night was the worst, because we hadn't gotten him his painkillers yet. Since he had been drinking, the doctor said he couldn't take anything stronger than Advil. Yeesh. After he got the medicine, he felt a lot better. I changed his bandages, got him food, held his hand, etc. I have been super sweet and caring--I went into Nurse VB-mode. Big time. But I did give him a HUGE lecture yesterday. "I am sorry! I hate myself! I just want to die!" he moaned. "Shut up! You can't die yet. I'm not done lecturing you!!!" I replied.

His mom decided to come up from Charleston and take him to the doctor. His eye is fine--he just scratched the cornea, so he didn't lose any vision or anything. The eye doctor said he will feel much better in about 2 days. And he had an eyelash stuck in his eye all that time, which was a source of much of his pain. So now he's feeling a little better and he's in Charleston with his mom. She is getting married this weekend, which you'd think would make her pissed off to the extreme, but she's not too upset. She's disappointed in him and told me she will lecture him later. But mostly, she is just worried. (And she loves me now!)

I am trying hard to be upset with him, because I am very angry and disappointed, but for the most part it's all out of my system. I think he has learned his lesson and realizes he needs to keep his temper under wraps when he drinks. (Actually, he hadn't been drinking all that much at The Cup...I don't know if that is more or less troubling...) Here's to knocking on wood. Unfortunately, if this becomes a pattern or gets worse, I will have no choice but to stop seeing him.

I'm taking Friday off so I can go see him and attend the wedding. We'll have to just see how it goes. Hopefully he'll be up and feeling better soon. He seems like he's gradually returning to his old self--he wants to wear a pirate patch to the wedding.