Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Oh no, Papa! Not the bed!

Sometimes I come home and my bed looks the same, except for a few blades of grass sprinkled on top.

Sometimes I come home and the extra blanket has lots of wrinkles.

And once in a while, I come home and the sheets and comforter are flipped back. Almost like someone took a nap and tried to make the bed again.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A week of tennis

Tennis was on my mind last week. Often.

1. I heard that my essay will definitely run in the winter issue of Tennis View. Yay! This is my first non-jewelry byline, and I am really excited about it. I'll give you more details when the issue is out at the end of November.

2. I went to a party held for our summer tennis team. As you'd expect from any party, there was good food and good company. An unexpected bonus, too: each of us wrote (anonymously) what we thought the strongest part of each person's game was. This was an inspiring party activity — we got to express our appreciation for our teammates and we learned some surprising things about our game. Thanks especially to whoever complimented my "eye-of-the-tiger determination to win." Love that. Nice '80s flashback, too.

3. I played singles on Saturday. Sue is a fabulous player, and those long rallies and running around the court made for a nice nap afterward. I kid you not: two hours of tennis can really sap a person's energy.

This week won't have as much tennis, but it should be good anyway. Happy new week!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Oh no, Papa! Not the Kleenex!

Papa did some shredding while I was at work. Here's a photo of the tame version.

Because I forgot to shut the bathroom door when I left, she saw fit to also shred stuff there.

Oh no, Papa! Not the Kleenex.

Maybe I can leave old tax documents and credit card statements in the garbage and she can shred those. That would be helpful. Or, I could buy her a scratching post. Do those work with dogs?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Wauwatosa East, Class of 1988

I dreaded going to my 20-year reunion — Sarah and Katy, my closest friends from high school, weren't going. But my stylist met me at the salon on his day off to approve my outfit and do my hair and makeup (“very Zhang Ziyi,” he said), so I was pretty much committed.

Walking in was the hardest part. But I heard someone squeal "How arrrrrrrrrre you?!" and figured it wouldn't be too bad.

It was a blast. Imagine a party where everyone is thrilled to see you and hear how you’re doing. Lots of hugs, along with the usual “What do you do” and “Are you still in the area” –type questions. Occasionally I had to look at nametags (which also had our senior pictures on them), but most people looked the same. In a good way.

Okay, maybe there were more glasses and gray. And less hair (again, in a good way; hair was very large in the '80s).

Here are a few photos. I could tell you who everyone is, but that would spoil the fun. (You can click on the photos and read most of the nametags.) And Katy, do you recognize everyone in the third photo? All of us went to Jefferson (a 30-year grade-school reunion!).

I hope it won't be another decade before I see my classmates again. But I guess that's the beauty of Facebook; we can get updates almost hourly about each other's lives. Hope to see you all soon.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Oh no, Papa! Not the DVD player!

My sister suggested that I've been making up Papaya's antics for dramatic effect.

I have not.

However, Papa does not always provide entertaining material. Thus, today's post.

One day I came home and found the DVD player on, with the tray open. Is my bored-er collie so starved for stimulation that she'll watch Shaun T's Hip Hop Abs?

Oh no, Papa, not the DVD player.

By the way, sometimes reenactments are necessary in order to illustrate her capers. I do have journalistic integrity, though: I have not thrown dental floss or shredded paper towels on the floor for "Oh no, Papa!" visuals. You'll just have to take my word for it, these things did happen.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Maple syrup: treat or travesty?

Okay, maybe that's overdramatizing the conflict a bit. But really, I just got this online newsletter from, which declares maple syrup "liquid gold."

I don't think so. Or am I missing something here?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Oh no, Papa! Not the couch!

It may be wishful thinking, my attempts to keep dogs off the couch.

When Ginger first lived with me, she respected the furniture. As she got older, though, she'd lounge wherever she pleased. (She did this when I was gone. Other acts of disobedience she committed in front of me.)

I tried different solutions. Like turning the couch cushions up. That worked but was unsightly. Then I put foil on the couch. That might have deterred her if she were a cat. Instead, I came home to wrinkled foil. So I put books and magazines on the couch. That was unsightly and I didn't like finding my books and magazines on the floor. After all my efforts, Ginger became fond of my favorite chair. By the way, the other side of that brown pillow used to be a patchwork of colorful metallic threads. She shredded those.

Still, I do what I can. I never allow Papa on the furniture. Even when she puts her front paws on the couch and stares at me. "No," I say. She seems to understand.

Alas, she gets on the couch when I'm gone. Oh no, Papa!

It is probably time for a new couch.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

And then there was light

If you live in Milwaukee and have never been to BBC Lighting, their showroom is worth a visit. Not just for the Swarovski chandeliers and Waterford lamps but for the free popcorn. How often do you go to a store that encourages you to eat while you shop? You can also browse their selection of framed celebrity photos. It’s a surreal experience.

Today I bought a semi-flush mount fixture. Not too boring, not too modern — a good fit for my tiny kitchen. Then Denise and I hung out with Papa while Jeremy installed the new fixture. (So handy — thanks, Jeremy!)

Now the kitchen beams out 300 watts of light. It's a vast improvement over the 60 watts I'd gotten by with over the summer.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Oh no, Papa! Not the grill!

Last week, Papa's frisbee got caught underneath the fence in my backyard. When she tried to wrench it out, she knocked over the grill.

Oh no, Papa! Not the grill!

Fortunately, there wasn't any food in it — just ashes and half-burned coals.

In this photo, Papa is keeping a respectful distance from the Weber. And from the tower of Brussels sprouts. (They were my favorite thing in the CSA bounty Christa gave me.)

I love Brussels sprouts. The mini cabbages never tormented me as a child, so now I enjoy them baked with olive oil and brown sugar. I could've grilled them, but I thought the grill had been through enough in one day. Right, Papa?