Curiouser & Curiouser

Life’s short. Get curious.

In Which I Return to Reality January 3, 2011

Happy 2011, everyone!

Tis I, your favorite unemployed writer/photographer/adventurer extraordinaire returned from the jungles of our nation’s capital and beyond. After three weeks of fairly solid R&R (my definition of which is admittedly a bit wonky and includes exploring the frigid streets of New York and Washington, learning to run hills because northern Virginia’s Escheresque laws of physics cause streets to only run on a steep, perpetual incline, and holiday activities such as taking our car to the mechanic twice and baking 657 cookies that I couldn’t eat  due to my Christmas-crushing wheat allergy….), I’m returning to reality with superhuman motivation.

Par example: In three weeks’ time, the cats had transformed our cozy little apartment into a DEN OF DESTRUCTION. It was like a feline Lord of the Flies – reduced to their primal instincts in order to survive (never mind we have automatic feeders and a friend was checking on them every other day…), they’d removed two-thirds of the Christmas ornaments from our tree and hid them strategically (or not) around the house, dragged the faux moss from one of our houseplants into their litter box and somehow managed to track litter into *every* corner of the house.

But, with the precision of two seasoned cat owners, Jeff and I tackled the wreckage in a matter of a couple of hours (eat your heart out, FEMA). Then it was on to more important matters – namely, that I am still jobless. And yet, somehow I’ve managed to rack up a To Do list longer than Bernie Sanders’ filibuster. The common thread among the items on this list? The shared goal of putting my talents (besides my ability to balances sixteen water glasses on a single tray) to work. Granted, I can see that if I don’t act fast to get myself some kind of temporary back-up, I’ll be running into an old friend I like to call Financial Ruin. But even if I’m stocking quilted duvets at Bed Bath & Beyond or (god forbid) waiting a table or two again, at least I’ve got The Machine whirring away in the background. The gears have been greased. My list of Things and Stuff is rolling. I feel like I’ve been playing the role of starving artist ever since college and that maybe all I really need to do is push it just a notch harder, work just a little smarter, shrug this idea off my shoulders that creativity is for the privileged few, and make. it. work.

I may be getting a little redundant with this line of thinking, but if it’s a pep talk I need, then that’s what you all get as well 🙂

Now – off to finish designing my business cards (finally finished my Photoshop tutorials *AND* got PS5 for Christmas!!) Oh – and today’s photo features Skipper, my canine companion in D.C., looking rather fearless, which I found apropos of today’s post. Also, he rocks a fauxhawk like nobody’s business and that alone makes it worth a look.

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Girl’s Best Friend (and Worst Enemy) March 8, 2009

Filed under: Gabe,humor,life,pets,thoughts — curiouserx2 @ 2:54 am
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sickgabe

For the past couple of months – ok, let’s be honest, for the past year and a half since Gabe bounded into my mom’s car (and somehow into my life), our relationship has been a fairly constant struggle. The struggle goes like this: we get past one bad habit, he comes up with a new one. For example – we recently managed to make our bed off limits to him. We’d made the mistake of letting this little alpha jack russell burrow under the covers each night, when, the more we’ve read, dogs like this should not be allowed to sleep in the best spot in the house. That’s our place. So we got him his own bed, and, after a few nights (and some swift shoves off the end of our bed), he decided his new spot wasn’t so bad. Problem solved, right?

Wrong.

Now he has decided that in his less comfortable spot, he has trouble sleeping through the night and so is much more apt to wake up three or four times each night pretending he desperately needs to do his business, when, in fact, he needs no such thing.

I teach him to walk next to or behind me, he learns to get into the kitchen trash can. At the beginning of last week, he plucked two containers of leftover Indian food and a slice of birthday cake from the trash and devoured it all without any of us (there were 4 people in the house) hearing a thing. The only evidence was the remnant empty styrofoam. And that was some spicy food. Which explains why he spent the entire night expelling it – one way or another.

We found Gabe when he was already nearly a year old, and it’s hard to say what the first year of his life was like (although, a safe bet would have something to do with a double wide, several monster children and a couple of parents who thought Jacks were just adorable).What we do know is that he’s terrified of the wind (I opened the windows today to let the oddly warm air in and later found him smashed into one corner of the kitchen, trembling uncontrollably), he loves his rope more than anything in the world (yes, I think even me), he’s horribly antisocial (we’re getting better with people, dogs are still pretty rough) and he has the indefatigable energy of a ten-year-old boy afflicted with both ADHD and a crack addiction.

But he’s really effing cute when he’s asleep. (Which is about 5% of the time).

Seriously, though, as frustrating and even maddening as it can be to try to raise this little guy right, the moments of triumph remind me that I’m doing the best thing anyone could do (or did do) for Gabe.  Today on our walk, I stopped and said nothing. He stopped and sat down next to me. We’d worked on this ALL week. Of course, he never did it again without prompting, but that one little win made it all worth it. I’m serious, I think I almost cried outside of Byrne’s Pub. We have SO much work to do still, but when I read about how Jack Russels are one of the top breeds returned to shelters and pounds because their owners felt they were in over their heads (ie, “Wow. He was so cute as a puppy. We didn’t know he’d be so much work.”), and that, as “problem dogs” they are rarely re-adopted and therefore eventually put to sleep, there’s no question in my mind that the work isn’t “worth it.”

Lately I’ve been kind of hooked on Post Secret (http://postsecret.blogspot.com), and I caught one at work the other afternoon that grabbed my heart and squeezed so unexpectedly that I was momentarily breathless (I swear to god I’m not as emotional as this post would indicate): “I’ve heard once you die, every dog you ever knew or loved comes running toward you to say, ‘Hi.’ That though makes me incredibly happy.”

Yep. Just let it soak in…..

You’re crying, too, now, aren’t you? My work here is finished. I guess my entire point is just that Gabe is showing me that I’m capable of a kind of responsibility and love I wasn’t sure I had in me. And it has been (and will continue to be) so effing HARD. And so be it.

~a

dog21

 

One Sick Puppy December 11, 2008

Filed under: Gabe,thoughts — curiouserx2 @ 3:27 pm
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pup11The Gabe Monster has fallen ill 😦

He awoke with standard pep (read: burrowing through the covers, stepping on J in an unfortunate spot, nuzzling his damp, little snout in my hair until I got up to take him out), but as I was getting ready for work, he suddenly became the victim of some… gastrointestinal unpleasantries. Having lost all his breakfast, the worst appeared over, but when I left he had curled himself on the floor against the couch in the living room (not a typical spot for the little guy) and was looking mightily dejected. We covered him up with a blanket, as he did not appear to want to move, and I had to leave. I wouldn’t write an entire post about my dog if I weren’t sincerely worried about him. If he were my child, I surely would’ve stayed home with him (the thought did, in fact, cross my mind). But he is, in the end, a pet, and although I may have a special place in my heart for this particular canine hellion, there’s only so much I can do.

At any rate, J will be checking up on him during the day for me, and I think my roommate will be home.

I just hate to think of him feeling so bad.

This girl is a softy. Afterall.

Who knew?

~a

 

In Which We Make Beds and Indulge Alter Egos November 24, 2008

Filed under: humor,life,music — curiouserx2 @ 5:30 pm
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picture-212

Why do I feel like I must be working for the weekend (and a bit of loss for this)? I swear I live during the week, too, just more hurriedly and frequently without time to write about it. Anyway, this weekend was eventful in its uneventfullness. We decided to designate Saturday for pure unadulterated winter-time relaxation. With the exception of some living room furniture rearrangement and the laying down of a new rug in said room, the rest of the day was spent doing only things I love (and if I’m to be completely honest, I kind of love rearranging furniture, too, so there you have it). Breakfast (er… lunch) at the corner cafe, purchasing logs for the fire, rolling out the fold-out couch, piling a bunch of blankets on it, setting up the laptop to play movies and, finally (the product of all our efforts) – watching movies in front of a roaring fire with hot chocolate and Gabe.

We made our bed and basked in it. I recommend this highly.

Amidst all this lying-around-doing-nothingness, there was much talk. Plans have been laid. Details are being worked out. (Muah-ah-ah). Great things are to come, and it makes it so much easier to face a Monday when you have a plan. Plans… I recommend them as well. And think BIG. It’s more fun that way.  I promise to divulge when mine are a little more solid. (This entry is so disjointed – my apologies. I’m afraid it’s just the state I’m in this morning).

The band had a surprisingly productive practice yesterday. We’re loving this new space, despite the cost. No distractions, no equipment f@#k-ups, great sound…  I love practice space. I LOVE PRACTICE SPACE!! We have a show coming up this weekend, playing a set at the conclusion of a new, two-act play being presented at one of our downtown theaters. Actors are theatrical. We’re theatrical. This could work.

So, moving backwards through last week…. my roommate (also a musician), another female musician friend of mine and I will be performing for a Christmas party benefiting local homeless families. The three of us have performed in the past under the alter-ego name Girls!Girls!Girls! These shows are typically holiday-themed (we did the most kicka## USO-style show last Fourth of July) and ripped right out of the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. So it’s totally throw-back and kitschy and entirely different from what each of us do with our respective musical projects. So we’ve got this holiday show to get together, and last week we had a shoot for the promotional photos. It was completely ridiculous and fun, and we definitely threw a little, plaid scarf around Gabe’s neck because he was walking into every shot and posing with us. The little dude loves the camera (and the camera loves him). Anyway… below you’ll find some final shots and production shots from that evening.

Everyone have a safe Thanksgiving!!

See you on the flip 🙂

~a

girls1gabe1girls4girls3

 

Fairies Don’t Do Fleece October 28, 2008

Filed under: humor,life,parties,Special Occasions — curiouserx2 @ 4:26 pm
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How could I possibly believe that we’d NOT partake in the festivities surrounding what is my second favorite special occasion of the year? (Christmas, yes, is first, but only because it’s a good three weeks of the world as it should be – it’s nothing to do with gifts; I sometimes find the day itself to be a bit anticlimactic). Halloween has enchanted me as far back as I can recall (dressed as a fairy with shiny, mesh wings and tulle tutu, my mother’s lipstick in little circles on my cheeks, protesting loudly because she was making me put a sweater over my costume that had a big, furry dog face on it, and there was NO EFFING WAY a fairy would ever wear such things, damnit!)

Here I am, 27 years old, my heart still melting over houses decked out in glowing orange pumpkins, faux cobwebs, garden tombstones and light-up skeleton hands emerging from front yards. (Sniff!)

I feel pretty good about our observance so far – my roommate and I held a pumpkin-carving party last weekend. You’ll recall from below (see “A Life Less Ordinary”) that we bought entirely too many pumpkins, so we had everyone over to help. Myself, I’m the master gutter. I’m fairly horrible at getting creative with the carving itself, but I am SO GOOD at getting my hands dirty. Something cathartic about scraping slimy, stringy seed goo from a gourd.

Anyway, so the evening resulted in 8 or 9 jack o’ lanterns on our front porch and all of us feeling a little sick from eating all things pumpkin (pumpkin bread, pumpkin seeds, squash soup, pumpkin buckeyes, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin butter – all washed down with pumpkin beer. And some random mini-candy bar things for good measure).

But last week flew by, and here we are on Tuesday and I still don’t have a Halloween costume. We’ve had some ideas, but nothing has stuck, and certainly nothing has materialized. (Although, I trust my roommate fully on this. Last year, no one had costumes. So we went to her house – the one I now live in – and using only items in her basement, we created an elf, a hockey player, a goth chick, a magician and Thomas Jefferson. Night saved.) I feel some basement diving is in order once again.

In the meantime, I was searching for ideas for the Gabe-man. He’s a fierce, little guy, mind you, but he does love a little clothing as he is almost completely bald. Besides, he was a very BAD little guy last week and gave me a scratch on the face (and after a massive hickey episode, J’s already known as my abusive boyfriend in certain circles and doesn’t need my dog to help cement this reputation.) So I’m flipping through possibilities on the internet and THERE HE IS! A dead ringer for Gabe decked out in all his Star Wars glory. Tell me this was not meant to be (revenge is sweet):