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Friday, April 30, 2004
Why, I wondered, was I suddenly unable to download my e-mail or open my Internet pages? A call to Tech Support brought Rudy over to check my stalwart iMac. Fruitless clicking ensued. Then I had a horrible thought. Peeking under my desk, I beheld Piper busily shredding what was left of my Ethernet cable. "Um, Rudy? I think I see the problem." To Rudy's credit, he laughed. To Piper's credit, she hasn't chewed through any other wires or cords since. To my credit, I figured out that taping the cables out of her reach might, you know, be an idea.
It's been very great to have the dog in my office this week. She considers the space under my desk to be the perfect den, and rests quietly while I work. The security guard downstairs keeps throwing me the stink eye when I come in each morning, but as long as Karo's president doesn't mind the dog, I'm thrilled to have her here during her convalescence. Soon enough I'll be putting her in daycare for a couple of days a week. Meanwhile, my colleagues have been paying the little squirt lots of visits. I just pretend they've come to see me.
Monday, April 26, 2004
The Recovery, or Get this goddamned cone off my head, you. The drugs (delivered via a handy dermal patch) kept Piper alternately dozy and yelpy on her first day home. The second day was a constant struggle to keep the cone on her head. I finally resorted to weaving the cord around her collar about 20 times, and even then she could pull the cone over her ears and become an annoyed, stumbling megaphone.
Then, yesterday, it was as if she'd never had an operation. Perky, playful, and full of hell, which means that today she is nursing a poke to the snout courtesy of Martini, who was getting tired of getting bowled over and side-swiped.
The Gaijin and I discussed via e-mail whether we humans find pets, or they find us. I'd like to think it's the latter. Certainly I've had opportunities to get many a dog before now. And how else to explain why I willingly paid for a lame dog, then for her salvage operation? Okay, stupidity explains it, as does sentimentality, but I swear it's something more.
Piper's situation reminds me somewhat of one of the best dogs of my life, our old Lab, Tar, who was also shop-damaged; she was born blind in one eye, and deaf in one ear, and yet had the sweetest disposition of any dog my family's ever known. So I don't care about Piper's one physical defect: I wanted a companion, not an accessory. And now I must wake up the companion, who is snoozing under my desk, and take her home to play. Life, she is hard. [Note: I promise to stop rhapsodizing about the dog. Any day now. Really.]
Thursday, April 22, 2004
The first of far too many "Piper pics":

I have absolutely no shame.
The phone just rang. It was the vet, telling me that Piper's operation had "gone beautifully." Phew. I'll pick her up at 10:30 tomorrow morning, whence begins a week of bed rest (for her), a month of limited movement, and 5 months of gradually increased exercise. The latter sounds like just the thing for me, too.
Wednesday, April 21, 2004
Three things. One: Piper's operation is set for tomorrow, and at about 3:45 this afternoon I got the first spurt of real worry. I did the "should I/shouldn't I" thing, but every time I think that the operation might help her use her left hind leg more, I realize it's the right decision to make. Still, and I feel almost foolish for admitting this, I've lost my heart to the little squirt already, and hope beyond hope that the surgery goes smoothly.

I brought Piper in to the office today, where she proceeded to make everyone fall in love with her. Everyone's amazed at how quiet she is, how she's content to lie on her bed under my desk and snooze. I took her for a good walk at lunch, meeting up with Bryce, and had only one near accident when a rollerblader barely escaped getting tangled in Piper's leash and falling down the riverbank. I think the dog's extreme cuteness may be a good line of defense. It may have to be. Anyway, she's been asleep all afternoon under my desk, and every time I look down at her, or reach out to give her a quick belly rub, I can't believe how lucky I am.
Two. I know, I know ... I said I'd have pictures of Piper posted [say it 3 times, fast], but I'm having trouble getting near a machine at work that has Photoshop on it. Busy times. Stay tuned.
Three: So I read on the BBC news page that an order of Franciscan friars has petitioned Mel Gibson to make a movie about Saint Francis of Assisi, and totally lost it. I mean, what would it be like? Francis gets pecked in the vitals by ravens and fish-hawks for an hour, while rats gnaw through his fingers and feral cats treat his legs like scratching posts? If the level of violence in "The Passion of the Christ" is anything to go by, that is. And what would Mel Gibson call his movie? "Freaky Friar?" "Flay it Forward?" Or simply "Blood! More Blood!" It is to wonder.
Monday, April 19, 2004
Got My Dog: Well, it took me long enough, but at last the dream has come true: I have a puppy. A bit of red fluff masquerading as an Australian Shepherd, code name "Piper." She seems to prefer outdoor bathroom breaks, as we haven't had any indoor accidents yet. She loves my nieces and nephews, and pelts after Carbon during outdoor playtime. She is, in short, perfect. The malformed hip? So what? A quick operation to tighten the muscles over the socket, and though she'll never be perfect on that leg, she'll be able to get around just fine. Expect pictures soon, i.e., when I can clear a little time.
Monday, April 12, 2004
Replace the plastic liner, put new bolts in the front panel, charge $250. And that is why you should be especially careful not to park the mom-van against a cement barrier with a piece of rebar sticking up from it. I have had better lunch hours.
Thursday, April 08, 2004
Better Late than Never: Grant called and said that someone from Dale Carnegie contacted him about a Not My Dog post from November of 2001. In this post, I groused [of course] about getting a junk e-mail inviting me to a Carnegie motivational workshop. Anyway, the caller requested that I remove her boss's name from this post, and Grant, being the gent that he has always been, passed the message along. Well, why not: I'm always delighted to find that Not My Dog strikes a chord, even if it's off-key. Consider your name expunged, Person Whose Surname is a Member of the Cabbage Family. Ta, Grant!
Wednesday, April 07, 2004
Rather than take me to Jasper for a meeting with the client, the account executive took her husband and two children. Lot of help they'll be. Hmph.
Tuesday, April 06, 2004
Shitpissfuckgoddamnbuggerhell: Brainiac here, knowing she has to donate platelets at 7:15 a.m., consumes a bucket of water before bedtime in an attempt to hydrate fully. Upon awaking at 6 a.m., she drinks three more glasses of water before leaving for the clinic. The blood test results come back: hemocrit is too low. What? Impossible: I've been taking ferrous gluconate tabs and living on spinach lately. Turns out that my jolly hydration toot boosted my blood volume enough that there were fewer red blood cells in the test sample. The hemocrit was off by one tenth, but that's enough to get the twitchy bunnies at Canadian Blood Services to defer me for 56 days. SPFGDBH! I was looking forward to kicking back for a couple of hours and watching a movie, too.
Thanks, Rob, for fixing my HTML glitch. Cheque's in the mail.
Good Friday approaches, which means that the yearly ritual of waking at 5 a.m. to watch "The Exorcist" is only three days away. MERRIN!
Monday, April 05, 2004
Two of my favourite things, comp tickets and the Uptown Theatre, coincided today, courtesy of a generous reader. I can't wait to see "The Corporation." Thank you again, Blake.
I would like to apologize to the Ukraine for warping the ancient art of pysanky, or Easter Egg decoration, with my recent attempts. I managed to finish three traditional designs among the many eggs I vandalized over the weekend, and quickly became very fascinated with the "wax-resist" method of dyeing the eggs. I hate to say it, knowing my recent infamy in this area, but I really did get much much better at drawing on the eggshells with molten beeswax after two belts of 12-year-old Glenmorangie. Technically, I suppose, it should have been vodka. Fearless and I painted about 8 eggs each, though three of Fearless's met an early death by hair dryer, thumb and plummet, respectively.
In answer to the question, "Why do you live alone":

Grammar God!
You are a GRAMMAR GOD!

If your mission in life is not already to
preserve the English tongue, it should be.
Congratulations and thank you!

How grammatically sound are you?
brought to you by Quizilla
Copywriter unfazed by humorless brainstorming Philistines: Throwing around names for one of the many food courts proposed in the renovated mega-mall, a food court that is situated dab in the middle of acres of pinball machines or whatever you youngsters call 'em these days--video games? Anyway. The word "arcade" is tossed into the ring by a colleague. A lightbulb is flipped on in my head. "Hey! How about 'Eat in Arcadia'? "
Sigh. No one reads the classics anymore.
Friday, April 02, 2004
We've had such a time with one lousy two-sided insert for a promotional package, including a sales director who changes her mind on creative depending on whom she's talked with that morning, necessitating about 20 proofs in all, that we are planning to soak the printer's proofs in gin and set fire to them this afternoon. But not before some of that gin has coated our tonsils. "We" refers to the creative team on this particular task, a simple broadsheet that should have taken maybe five proofs, tops.
My soul recoils: Taken direct from an e-mail from another sales director in Vancouver: "Replace 'are' with 'is,' whether it is grammatically correct or not!!!" Thanks for all the screamers, babes, and may I suggest a remedial English course? Because if you think "Featured in the main room is a grand piano and fireplace" is correct, you either cannot write or cannot count.
Which is not to say that I'm perfect, rather, merely trained to write clean English when necessary. It is, I admit, an underappreciated art, much like scrimshaw or macaroni mosaics.
None of your beeswax, as we used to say in the polite days. Or rather, about a pound of your beeswax. Tomorrow I'm trying my hand at the art of pysanky, or Ukrainian Easter egg decoration. Being somewhat spatially limited, it still makes my head spin that you dye the egg first, then paint the beeswax over the parts of the design that you want to stay the colour of the dye; then you dye the egg in another colour, apply more beeswax, and so on. The dye is poisonous and there are open flames involved. Those Ukrainians ... always ready to suffer for art.
Thursday, April 01, 2004
Ah, that explains it: I haven't had a haircut since May 12, 2003, except for a determined hacking of the bangs about three weeks ago. I've been curiously reluctant to chop the hair to my usual Julius Caesar [the "Julie"] crop, but just figured that I was letting the follicles have a rare fling. Then just today, Ian, the brilliant programmer who always, unfairly, had the most luxuriant man-do of long curly hair, hair that would make Penn Jillette chartreuse with envy, blogs about donating his hair to charity. Of course! That's exactly the thing to do with my tresses. Except they need about eight more months growing time before they're wig-worthy. Still, now I know why I've been growing my hair for nearly 11 months. Ian, you're the greatest.
UPDATE: I forgot to check the date before reading Ian's blog. Well, he may have been joking, but I am not. By the way, Ian, in case you're ever considering donating your glossy locks to the less fortunate, check out the Canadian Cancer Society for places that take hair. I'm going to get my hair clipped this coming Christmas 2004. Care to join me?