Saturday, December 31, 2011

The fun part of dyeing your hair at home...

... is waiting until the dye develops and then finding all the things you've stained. Today's victims: my bathroom sink, counter, and various body parts. While rinsing I also got it on my daughter's new fairy towel, which I washed with fervor and prayers; thankfully, it came clean. Whew!

Previous victims have included my bathroom door, which now has some kind of modern art look to it.

Such fun!



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Friday, December 30, 2011

This is just cruel.


I was in a fancy mall tonight (fancy=all stores too expensive for me to actually shop in) and, of course, I had to go to the bathroom. THIS is the hallway I had to walk down before turning the corner into a lobby area AND THEN turning into the bathroom.  By the time I got back out to the mall, I had to pee again. Plus, I had this whole fight-or-flight thing going on because people get attacked/mugged/stolen in long, creepy, semi-deserted hallways, right?

Anyway, see the guy wayyyyyyy at the beginning of the hallway? (I took this picture on my way out.) That's my husband, possibly dying from boredom. Or reading ESPN.com on his phone. They are pretty much the same anyway. 


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Friday, December 23, 2011

It's a holiday pee cup!


Deck the halls with urine samples
Fa la la la la, la la la la
Fill the cup and make it ample
Fa la la la la, la la la la
Don she now her protective gloves
Fa la la, la la la, la la la
Run the tests and feel the Christmas love
Fa la la la la, la la la la!

I went in for my instillation today, obviously. My nurse made a little squeally noise in excitement while fetching my sample and she told me how much she enjoyed basically getting to handle cups filled with my pee. My work here is done. Until next time.

And now for some Christmas laughs, brought to you by the Muppets. Thanks to my facebook friend Jeanette, who found this gem, which my kids watched about 10 times today while laughing fiendishly. 


Merry Christmas!

What the hell is this cup all about? Click here for more info!


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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

This might be YOUR last Christmas, Taylor

A few days ago, my 14-year-old self was crushed to hear this on the radio:


Goodness knows, one of the only good things about that song is that it was sung by a very young George Michael. My junior high school friends and I would gladly have found the girl who broke his heart* and punched her in the neck. Twice. 

And now Taylor Swift has done a remake? A world of no, people. 

This is the only version of Last Christmas that matters:




I still love you, George. Just not, you know, THAT way.

Also, hello, 80s hair. 

*We didn't know, OK? We totally didn't know.



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Thursday, December 15, 2011

I'm sure I can spell your name better than you can

Right now I'm in the midst of an email conversation with a tech person. I sign every email "Thanks, Brenna" and she starts every email response with "Hi Brenda." It's like a passive aggressive way of saying that my parents can't spell.



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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sometimes you just HAVE to


Sometimes you just can't stop being an editor. Thanks for the laugh @karendipitee! 


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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Summing it up 12/11/11

This week I worked feverishly to format the contents of the March issue of Clean Run Magazine. Made my deadline by about two hours. Impressive that I timed it out that well, right? Early is for chickens.

On Saturday, I packed up eight portable dog crates that are part of my crate review article (due on January 1), a box of 50 munchkins from Dunkin Donuts, and a photographer friend and took them all to a trial about 30 minutes from my house. Kelli Hayes from Pasco Paws allowed me to use some space at her trial to ask competitors to rate the crates I brought. My photographer, Linda Galgani, took about 50 gazillon pictures of dogs in the crates for potential use in Clean Run. I couldn't believe that so many people gave me a good chunk of their time. Dog people can be so nice! That article should be out in April, although sometimes things get moved.


I also can't believe that my fingers still hurt from opening/closing/assembling/disassembling crates while I was demonstrating them. I type an awful lot and never have sore fingers from that so I really was surprised that a day of crate demos would make for soreness lasting for days. That's some kind of crazy.


I now have had at least three different people tell me that they've thought of me when leaving urine samples or having other medical tests. These are people that I only know on the internet. I'm super proud to be so awesomely famous that you all think of me in your most humble moments. Or something.

On a completely non-work-related note, I got tickets to see Evanescence in concert in January. In the third row. In the exact center. I'm seven kinds of excited about this! I've loved them since the beginning but I've never gotten to see them in concert. In fact, I've not been to a concert in ages because my old favorites, Pearl Jam and Tori Amos, have forgotten the Tampa Bay area over the last few years. I'm trying not to be too bitter about that.

So here's a sample of Evanescence playing with an orchestra at the Nobel Peace Prize concert today. Picture me in the third row of this show, smiling and shouting asinine things like "We love you Amy Lee!" There's nothing weird about a 40-year-old woman doing anything like that, right?

What's better than Evanescence? EVANESCENCE WITH STRINGS:


Since this is a humor blog, here's a link to something funny. With swear words.

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Running out of Thyme

Husband just called me from the grocery store:

Husband: Will you check and see if we have any Thyme? It should be in the bottom left drawer of the refrigerator. 


Me: Is THAT where all our time is? I've not had anywhere near enough time to do everything I need to get done lately. I can't believe it's been right here in the refrigerator all along! 


Husband: Just check and see if it's still good, OK?


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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Spider for Sale


At my friendly neighborhood Pet Supermarket, this spider cage sits up on a shelf so high that I had to hold my phone over my head to take a picture of it. Don't go looking for the spider. He's ALLEGEDLY under the bedding. I just thought the information on the cage was so interesting that I had to take a picture of it.

While I was snapping away, a salesman came over to see if I needed help. I told  him I was fascinated by the outstanding sales pitch on the cage. He told me that the tarantula, which is only a quarter-sized baby, bit him when it poked it to see if it was still alive (idiot). The bite on the tip of his finger left bruising that extended ALL THE WAY UP TO HIS ELBOW. FOR MONTHS! 

The "friendly" adult tarantula in the cage next door only cost $15 because he's not as pretty as this attack-ula apparently will be when he grows up. So basically they are waiting for the right person who doesn't mind risking life and limb owning an aggressive spider BECAUSE IT IS PRETTY. 

Can you imagine if it got out of its cage in your house? You could never sleep again. 

<shivers>

Need more stories about spiders? Here's a classic. 

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Sunday, December 4, 2011

China China Bo Bina

The Boy has his first project to do for school. He has to pick a country and then research what people in that country do for Christmas or a similar holiday. Then he has to compare and contrast that country's Christmas customs with those in the United States. Several countries were listed on a "don't do" list because those countries are going to be studied in class.

Last week we had a lengthy discussion (read: argument) about why he couldn't choose the U.S. even though it wasn't on the "don't do" list. He was quite determined. Over the next few days I made some suggestions, including Australia and Canada, where I know a few people and could get information via email. He finally chose China and today we started researching it. After I put him in bed tonight, I asked him this question:

Me: How did you choose China?


The Boy [with a big smile]: I chose it because it sounds like angina. Chest pain.


[We both laughed.]


Me: How do you know what angina is?


The Boy: iCarly.


Me: Ah. 

I guess I should consider myself lucky that it's ANGINA that he's rhyming it with.

I'm sure he's going to get an A.


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Summing it up 12/4/11

It was a quiet week for the online version of me. I wrote a few uncredited announcements for USDAA.com, but mostly I worked diligently on things that will appear in print or online later. The first of the month means that I always have at least one magazine article due to Clean Run (Everything You Want to Know About Agility But Were Afraid to Ask - you can see a copy from 2009 HERE), plus I need to upload and begin formatting all the articles that are submitted to Clean Run Magazine. The December 1 deadline is for articles appearing in the March issue. Isn't it amazing that magazines have to work that far ahead?

This month I also, probably stupidly, made the deadline for all material for the USDAA's quarterly newsletter to be due to the designer on the first. I want to get it out before the end of the month though, so that's what needed to be done. So I was doing excerpts from subscriber articles and writing an article of my own, plus an editor's letter, plus editing the president's letter.... I got it all in by December 2, which is just like December 1, only better. Right? Our last newsletter is HERE if you'd like to see it.

I also had three articles due to another magazine called DogSport. This month one article due was a brief one about the sport of K9 nose work, another about dock jumping, and the third about exercises for the sport of flyball. I attended a dock jumping practice a few weeks ago to help prepare for the second article. It was interesting. It looks like a fun sport if you have dogs that like to swim. I have dogs that don't go out in the rain, let alone swim, so I'm out. My Papillon is actually my most game dog. He might eventually like swimming, but I'm not sure jumping off a dock would be his cup of tea.

My formatting deadline for Clean Run is up next, so working on that and some other new administrative duties for the magazine will be absorbing me next, along with getting the week's worth of articles ready to post for subscribers on USDAA.com. Somewhere in there I need to keep working on my e-book for Clean Run, as well as do research for my article on portable crates, due to Clean Run on January 1. I'll be bringing seven crates with me to an agility trial next weekend for people to try out. The good part about that is that I'll be going to an agility trial with a photographer friend and no children. Fun! The bad part is having to haul seven crates. No normal 9-to-5 desk work for me!

One fun online experience this week was writing a haiku about hammers. It was inspired by some twitter buddies and wound up being posted in an article on this blog. Click HERE if you missed it. That article garnered one of my first pieces of comment spam. I left it on the blog because it makes me feel relevant :)

Another really cool online interaction involved Martika, a late 80s/early90s pop star who has developed a presence on twitter as @MartikaTunes. She's been working on new music and took some time out to ask her followers to follow various people. I sent her a note with a link to my blog and she immediately tweeted this out to her 13,000+ followers:

 Martika 

Please check out Brenna's Blog and follow  :):)



How cool is that?

Need to be reminded who Martika is? This is one of her biggest hits:


This is one of my favorites:





Now back to my real work!


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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hammer Haiku

Today @lucysfootball and @lgalaviz, two twitter friends, starting sharing haiku about hammers. Why? I'm not sure. It's possible that they were trying to avoid doing something else (certainly that's not why *I* contributed). I'm not here to judge. But I can't pass up a chance to write haiku.


I've written haiku about pee before. Could hammers be that much harder?


Here's my first offering:


My hammer is quick. It beats your head in nicely. Pound pound pound pound pound.


It's about hammers AND violence. I'm pretty sure that's exactly how haiku is supposed to work. I'll keep you posted if I come up with any more. 


Last post: What the Whippet Ate


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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What the Whippet Ate

I spend approximately 35% of my at-home-and-awake time taking stolen food away from my Whippet. Today's steals:

1 Vanilla Special K granola bar
1 bag of airline peanuts
1 wrapper that luckily no longer contained gum

These stolen items were not just sitting around. They were in a purse and a computer bag. Zippers do not defeat the Whippet. Counters do not defeat the Whippet. Children's hands do not defeat the Whippet.

It's maddening.

Who, me? I have no idea what you're talking about. Hey, is that a cookie?



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Help! I'm falling!


The Girl's miniature dollhouse lives on the edge of a "clifft" today. There are alligators in the water below. I suspect that lava will be involved soon. It's a dangerous world in my daughter's imagination. 

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Monday, November 28, 2011

A cup of... coffee?

Today I had a follow-up visit at the good old urologist's office. I had to use a different kind of urine specimen cup today and there was a disappointing lack of writing space. I drew one of these stupid blobby guys that I've been drawing since junior high school. I usually put a hat on them but this cup had a bumpy section prohibited that so you'll just have to imagine it. It will look better in your imagination than if I drew it anyway.



I have been feeling significantly better. I have even had a few cups of very diluted decaffeinated coffee, which is a nice treat. Caffeine is a big no-no for people having an Interstitial Cystitis problem, but even decaf is considered dangerous because it is acidic. Even MILK is a wild card. Who knew that milk is acidic?

Anyway, the first few cups I made with rice milk and almond milk weren't too great, but I tried my first bit of milk since midsummer in last night's cup and then I was reminded of how much I liked coffee. I'm drinking tons of water and taking Prelief before each day's diluted cup of decaf in hopes that I'll get to keep it in my diet. 

I talked to the nurse practitioner about adding in a multivitamin (vitamins are sometimes triggers for Interstitial Cystitis flares). She recommended trying one while I'm not trying anything else new to see if I can tolerate it (of course). Fortunately, she understood the importance of trying decaf coffee before vitamins. Smart lady.

I spent too much time today trying to figure out when would be the best time to have my one cup of diluted decaf coffee. Yes, I know how pathetic that sounds. I'm not proud. But I *am* enjoying some coffee. 

Oh, and good news for those of you who are fans of the crazy cups: I'm going to be going in for instillations once every six weeks for a while. So although that means I'll be suffering through more catheterizations (ooh, my favorite!), I'll also be writing more weird stuff on cups. All for you. And, you know, for me.

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Overheard at the elementary school

"Another day, another dollar."

The Boy, who is 8, talking to a friend on their first day back at school after a week-long break for Thanksgiving. 


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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Summing it up 11/27/11

Stuff I didn't blog about this week:


  • Some of my articles were posted online at Cleanrun.com and they are free for anyone who is interested in reading them. They are all dog sport related, so if that's not your thing, well... you can still click and enjoy my awesomeness. Or don't and just say you did. I won't know the difference.


Competing for the Cup

USDAA Holds the 2011 Cynosport World Games

The AKC's Youngest Triple Threat





  • Offline, I gave my second speech in a week on what it's like to be a freelance writer and editor. My first "lecture" was to my son's class at The Great American Teach-In (otherwise known as "Career Day") and the second was to my dog training club at their meeting. After that one I started thinking that maybe I could give talks to writer's groups and, you know, get paid for it. Maybe I'll look into that after the first of the year. When I have more time. Riiiggghhhttt!

  • I finally started working seriously on an e-book I'm doing for Clean Run Magazine. It's designed as a companion for Clean Run and a resource for agility newbies and instructors. So far the agility glossary is 31 pages long. And counting. OY!


Up Next: I have lots of deadlines coming up, with one article due on December 1 and three due on December 3. I also have a whole bunch of editing responsibilities and deadlines in there. It's going to be a hairy week.

Click here to shop at Cleanrun.com for Christmas for all the awesome doggie stuff you need!
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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Of fairies and teeth

How my eight-year-old son still believes in the Tooth Fairy, I don't know. I really hate lying to him, but he seems to like the whole thing so I kind of think he's subconsciously avoiding thinking too hard about it. I figured out all the whole Santa/Easter Bunny/Tooth Fairy concept at age five, so I really have very few memories of what it's like to believe. I guess I have to stick with it until he starts asking questions.

Yesterday, he lost a tooth. As he climbed into his bed, which is completely littered with stuffed animals, he requested "a real pillow." He never sleeps with his head on much of anything, since he generally spends the night engaged in some battle behind his eyelids. He does have several Pillow Pets in his menagerie (one of whom starred in one of my very first blog entries). Husband said, "Why can't you sleep on your Pillow Pets?" The Boy replied, "Because the Tooth Fairy might not recognize it as a pillow and then she won't find my tooth."

What could Husband say to that? Not a damn thing, so he went and got a pillow. In the process, The Boy asked an interesting question:

Boy: What does the Tooth Fairy do with all these teeth anyway?


Husband: I don't know.


Boy: Well, I hope whatever she does do with them, she puts them to good use.

Later, I went to sneak in there to do the deed and The Boy was draped all over the pillow, making it entirely impossible extract the tooth. Husband came in to see him too and we managed to wake The Boy up in the process. We made up some lie and headed out. I had to go back in later to finish the deal. Sheesh.

Read about how my Thanksgiving ended. 

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Friday, November 25, 2011

A relaxing Thanksgiving night, or maybe not

Last night I stayed up far too late watching an episode of RoveLA on the internet. It featured Seth MacFarlane and Lauren Graham, two people I enjoy hearing speak, and Will.i.am, who doesn't seem to speak very well but who has oddly small teeth and is therefore intriguing to watch.

When I finally shut everything down and was turning off lights, I saw that a bizarrely huge roach (non-Floridians and sticklers call them palmetto bugs) was hanging out just above my front door. I swore and went off to find the tallest swatting object I could find. It was a thin catalog, and I could tell as I moved closer to Mr. Roach that I wasn't going to be able to reach him. He seemed particularly obsessed with trying to walk on my ceiling, which he eventually gave up for the chance to fly directly at my head. I squealed like a little kid, ducked, and then said out loud to no one, "I hate it when they do that!"

Then I hurried across the room to the wall where he landed. This time, with me jumping up in the air, I was able to hit him, but only in a way that knocked him off on to the bookcase, and then floor. I did my best Hulk smash but the bastard climbed up on the bottom shelf and ducked under some Princess magazines and library books.

I swore some more, quite colorfully, and tried to sort out what to do. I hated the idea of leaving him there to crawl out later, when he would most definitely find his way down the hall to crawl on my sleeping face. I wiggled some magazines around while poised to leap back if he should emerge, but he stayed in hiding. Smart little booger. So then I went and got some spider spray, which was the most conveniently available poison in the house. I did a quick spray under the edge of the magazine and then stepped back. I wondered whether mere spider spray would disturb a creature rumored to be capable of surviving a nuclear holocaust. The answer turned out to be a most wonderful "Yes." Roachzilla came racing out of the bookcase and across the floor, where I pummeled him excessively, finishing him off with a satisfying, "Take that, you asshole." He is now resting in pieces in the comfy confines of my trashcan.

And that's how I finished off my Thanksgiving.
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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Let me go wash my hands again

My husband and two children are preparing some desserts for Thanksgiving. I think The Girl is pretending she's on Hell's Kitchen. She's referring to what station she's working on and she's calling Husband "Chef."


This conversation just happened.

Boy: May I help?

Husband: Sure, I'll find something for you to do. You can stir this.

Boy: I'll go wash my hands.

Husband: Good idea.

[The Boy hurries to the bathroom, washes his hands, returns, and stirs.]

Husband: Good job! OK, the next thing you can do is...

Boy: Wait a minute. I need to go wash my hands.

Husband: You don't have to wash your hands in between each step.

Boy: Well, I accidentally put my hand down my pants.

[Husband and I burst out laughing.]

Husband: Well, thank you for your honesty. I don't know how that accidentally happens. And I'm pretty sure that you've just given your mother a blog entry.


Happy Thanksgiving! 



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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I'm in someone else's blog. Also, there might be a wrinkle in time.

I'm pretty sure blogging about being mentioned in someone else's blog might cause some kind of rip in the space/time continuum. Hopefully I'm not causing science-fiction-type of problems on the internet here because goodness knows, we don't need that.

Anyway, if you can tolerate the occasional frequent swear word, check out How Not to Make Shirts on Zazzle and laugh along with me.

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Words I routinely misspell when typing that I can otherwise spell correctly

Competing (competiting)
Birthday (Brithday)

I'm sure I'll be adding to this list, but these are the two that are haunting me at the moment. And Brithday gets me every damn day on facebook. My left index finger must be extra fast. Being a speedy and eager worker is usually rewarded, but not when you are a single finger working in a team sport like typing. There is no "I" in team, Pointer. NO I.


Word I misspell but it makes me laugh so it's OK:

Results (reslut, meaning "to slut again." Obviously.)

What can't you spell when typing quickly?


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