Saturday, August 30, 2008

Adventures in doggysitting, again

A month ago, I dogsat for Maiah. Jessica agreed to let me take her this weekend so I could see how she handles being with me for a longer time. So far, so good.

Yesterday we played frisbee and she went for a walk with my parents. They liked her just fine. Also good: she didn't pee in the house.

Maiah woke up this morning and grumbled until I pet her. She loves to give kisses and isn't picky about where — eyelids, mouth, arm, thigh.

What else? She pants a lot (and seems to have some type of dialogue going in her sleep). I'm hoping she'll calm down a bit, at least at nighttime.

On an unrelated note, Yukie emailed me this link about a dangerous dog toy. I'm usually not an alarmist about these things, but after reading the post, I felt like I had to get the word out, even if in a limited way.

Okay. Time to get ready for some non-canine social time. I hope you're doing something fun with your time away from work.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Fun with Art

Today, Tom (an art director I work with) and I designed wedding jewelry for his fiancee, Meg. The process was surprisingly painless. And in the spirit of true collaboration, we even came up with the title of that blog post together — very right-brain/left-brain, yes?

On a somewhat related note, I made a necklace out of lint balls last week. Lint balls, I tell you! I can't take full credit for the necklace, though: Jay, an illustrator in the art department, retrieved the specimens from his dryer.

I'm enjoying these creative challenges. Next up: a necklace with very large briolettes. But that's a story for another time.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The good life

I'm having a great time in my personal essay class with Media Bistro — it's a talented group of people and I'm doing more writing than ever. Wish you were here!

This week's assignment: "In 750 to 850 words, write about an event that taught you something about the world." The world is a big place; I could spend a week just choosing a topic.

But thanks to a suggestion from Katy over a peach-pomegranate mojito at Good Life, I've decided to write about getting separated from my mom at Narita Airport in Japan. "I'm 34 and I can't find my mom" — isn't that brilliant?

Well, it could be after a few revisions.

The assignment was due yesterday and I'm not quite done with the first draft. This is why I've been absent from my blog — I'm doing a lot of writing and critiquing and rewriting. That, and I've been staying up late watching the Olympics. So once I get out of Asia, I'll be here more often. Talk to you soon!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Irish Fest in the sexiest city

In their August issue, the editors at Marie Claire dubbed Milwaukee the sexiest city. They like our "something for everyone" vibe. So here we are — Denise, me, and Debby — at Irish Fest, in "the nation's summer-festival epicenter."

For festy fun, we wandered and shopped. And of course we ate — reuben rolls, potato pancakes, and shepherd's pie. 'Cuz what could be sexier than comfort food and getting your photo taken with a leprechaun and a big-headed doll?

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Yesterday I visited the Ozaukee Humane Society to see Pompkin, a 6-year-old beagle mix rescued from a puppy mill. When I stood at the fence, she craned her neck but wouldn't get down from her bed. The volunteer suggested I drop a treat in her cage, but I still couldn't get her to come over. She just looked at me and trembled.

When it was time to meet her, she had to be coaxed into the introduction room. She clung to the counselor but let me pet her. Eventually, she rolled onto her side and I rubbed her belly and her leg. If I stopped, she'd lift her head up and look at me, but she kept shaking. The counselor said Pompkin sometimes cries at night, and they think it's because her puppies were taken away from her too soon and she's still looking for them.

I hope someone adopts her soon. Maybe you?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Memories of Nevin's

Through the magic of Facebook, I reconnected with Don, who managed Nevin's Pub in the mid '90s. I used to cocktail at Nevin's to make some extra cash during grad school, but I also spent many non-work nights there with baskets of clam strips and cream cheese balls and pints of McEwan's, hanging out in the front room with my best pal Joanna and other friends who couldn't bear to be away.

Saturday, Don and I caught up about what everyone has been doing since 1997. We've both left the restaurant business, but we laughed about all our crazy mishaps like no time had passed.

He used to quiz us at the beginning of our shifts about the restaurant's history and the menu:

"How many ounces is the burger?"
"How do you ask for change?"
"Tell me about the Irish bacon." He was so disappointed when I couldn't.

But he was also a good-natured guy, so all would be forgotten by the time he'd have to help me schlep food to the tables. He could carry an armful of plates and never lose the pencil he kept behind his ear.

I, on the other hand, wasn't a good server (which probably doesn't come as a surprise). Even though I gained a command of the menu, I was ill-equipped for the job overall. From experience, I've learned that if you're carrying a tray of beers in one hand and a basket of fries in the other, it's better to drop the fries if something needs to go.

Still, I miss the days of Monday night Scrabble and shepherd's pie. And to this day, if I'd need to order a bunch of drinks for friends, I'd do it Nevin's style: start with the Guinness, then the mixed drinks, then finish with the beers (darkest to lightest). I'd make you proud, Don.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Way beyond the sea

This feels like old news by now (the event was last Saturday), but I've been wanting to show you the finished bracelet that I donated to Kathy's Garden Party.

By the way, last week was crazy, which is why I've been absent. So instead of doing a fresh post with new thoughts, I'll just give you the link to the BeadStyle blog. Which, by the way, is updated almost daily by the editors. If you like jewelry, it's worth checking out.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Say hello to my little friend

Today I got a card from Linda, a friend (and sorority sister) from back at my days at Cal. Even though she lives in San Francisco, we try to get together every year or two.

Linda loves dogs and used to feed their family dog with chopsticks. Her memory of Ginger made me laugh:

I remember this one time when we cooked breakfast at your place and she just loitered around the kitchen, waiting for little droppings that would hit the floor. (Who needs a broom.)

Linda also sent a Shining Stars stuffed animal. My little friend arrived with a password — very curious — so I went online. After entering the secret code and selecting my age (7 and up), I registered his name (Sir McBarkbark) and got to name a star. The website gave coordinates for “Ginger,” my star in the Hercules constellation.

Thanks for the thoughtful memento, Linda. I’ll take good care of Sir McBarkbark.

Again, thanks to all my friends for your kindness. I'm glad that there are so many people whose lives — and food — Ginger touched.