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Archive for September, 2010

El Bling

I raise my right hand and solemnly promise to keep the El cleaner, less stinkier, unhairier, and more sittable than the toaster. I will wash the floors, keep the seats off the ground, and keep the puppies away from the front of the car. And I will achieve that last item by an arsenal of puppy-proof tools. First: a large fabric barrier that hooks under the head rests and spans the width of the car, keeping seat backs clean and paws on the ground. Second: head rest covers, so those critical stops stay drool free. And third: something for the middle to keep Linus from leaping over rainbows to join us. I’m waiting on #1 for my Petsmart gift card (pleeeeease come before I have to pack for the Poconos!), and #3 is yet to be determined and based a lot on the fit of #1. But I could order #2 now.

And I did.

And since I like free shipping on Amazon.com, and Amazon.com requires a purchase of $25, and I happened to want something else for the El that matched item #2, and since it was like a perfect little package of El bling…

Well, you get the point. I ordered other stuff too.

But doesn’t El look cute?

The El mostly still sits at home. It’s been to Starbucks a couple times, and Sneades for paint. (Oh yeah, did I mention I’m redoing our bedroom?) Anyway, when it’s finally the El’s turn — WINTER!RAIN!INCLEMENTROADCONDITIONS! — it is all blinged out and ready to go.

It’s a shame the Ravens don’t look as sharp as the car.

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Party favors

Everyone is very concerned the other pups didn’t get a birthday celebration also, so here is some picture proof that they did, in fact, enjoy delicious party favors.

It’s just about football time. For lunch, leftovers from dinner: Black Bean Chili w/ Butternut Squash and Swiss Chard. This time around, I added half a can of pumpkin and some cinnamon. Delicious!

It’s also possible I bought a can of paint to redo the bedroom, which may or may not be opened today. It’s been two years, so it’s about that time…

But for now, GO RAVENS!

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Linus is 7! or 6… or 8…

HAPPY ADOPTION DAY LINUS!

Friday marked Linus’ fourth adoption day. When we adopted him, we were told he was 3-4. We think perhaps they were overshooting. But we are still celebrating the end of our fourth year with our 6-8 year old allergy-prone cuddle dog.

This year Linus has had fewer allergies, fewer ear infections, and fewer pills than ever. It’s as though he is finally getting the hang of ‘being our dog’. He’s mellowing out a bit, and by that I mean that he snores through the night like an old man and throws a fit if someone/some dog wakes him up mid-dream.

What birthday wouldn’t be complete without a celebration. For our tallest dog, a cupcake and a new giant monster (his first since he and SalSal destroyed one the weekend she came home). Plus BBQ bones for all three puppies — because a birthday isn’t a birthday without party favors.

Linus with his cupcake:

   

As you can see, Linus isn’t really a cupcake dog.

Until we decided to snap a couple pictures in the other room with his giant monster, and he thought stuffing the entire cupcake in his mouth at once was a good idea.

“Wow, this cupcake is a little bigger than I expected…”

“Okay, I can swallow this. Concentrate Linus.”

“Oh my dog, I think it’s getting bigger!”

“Aah! It’s stuck in my mouth! It’s STUCK in my mouth!”

“I lost to a cupcake.”

Cupcake 1 – Linus 0

Happy Adoption Day Linus!!

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Are you ready for…

… some football!!

Praise everything, it’s football season again. Sunday afternoon has meaning again (besides post-writing naps). Best part of week 1: my fantasy team is still undefeated.

This pair is ready:

  

In other news, I’m gearing up for my writers conference in two weeks. I’ve gotten some, um, rejections from agents for Book One, but there’s been some helpful information imbedded in those ‘no’ letters, as well. (Not the letter that referred to me as Mr. K. If you think my name is a boy’s name, then you’re probably not the right person to sell my book anyway.) But a few letters essentially said that my pages were great but my premise was not so great. Well, I’m not ready to dismiss the premise of my book just yet, but what I do take from that is that my query letter is crap.

So I’ve totally rewritten the query letter (and it doesn’t much resemble the first draft), and I’m going to finetune a bit till I’m happy before sending it to my next set of agents. I’m going through agents about 10 at a time so I can keep sending better and better material out without exhausting my prospects. So we’re on to Agents 11-20 with a new and improved ‘premise’ and the same, hopefully awesome, pages.

But this morning’s writing session is done. It’s time for FOOTBALL! Let’s go Giants!!

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Big car, long roads

Mostly I would like to take a week off work and drive my new car around. That, of course, is not happening. For now, I will have to be satisfied running errands and parking it in faraway lots where doors, carts, and other mayhem can’t touch it. I also like to look at it in the driveway. And take pictures. Like these:

Look! No carpet!

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New Wheels

The toaster was a very good car. It lived a long(ish) life with a high-mile kind of style. I firmly believe trading toasty in was the right decision, but I thought it was unnecessary for the dealer to write in the appraisal comments section such notes as “tore up by dogs” and “dented by animals”. I mean, come on. “Well-loved” and “rural” would have sufficed.

But the toaster is headed to the auction block for a new family (apparently cars with 100k+ miles on their car don’t get featured on the high-profile platform for used cars at the dealership). And our driveway is now home to a 2010 Honda Element EX 4WD in Polished Metal Metallic, which is a fancy way of saying dark gray.

My favorite features of the new car:

– Washable everything. Praise the car gods: carpeting is gone.
– Fold-up seats that hang from the ceiling far far away from doggy paws.
– The set-up in the front with holders for glasses, beverages, ipods, phones, purses, and more. It’s so organized.
– Rear hatch which opens in two pieces (top window can be opened on its own without pulling the whole hatch up).
– Big windows and a big square shape so I’m not losing much of the visibility I had with toasty.
– 4WD. Even though this pretty much guarantees it will never snow again in Maryland, even the non-wintry years leave us slipping just a bit on some of the windy roads near home. I’m thrilled to finally have a car for the elements. (Get it?)

There are definitely some things to get used to, namely the size. The ‘El’ is 14.6″ longer than the toaster and a whopping 1,210 lbs heavier. And of course, from rolling low on the ground to sitting high above the world, it’s a bit of a new experience in a real SUV.  (For the spec-obsessed, it’s also about 6″ wider and 6″ higher.)

Oh, and I forgot one of the best things about buying this car (which my dealer didn’t even tell me): with the purchase of a new Honda Element, I get a $200 gift card from PetSmart, one of Honda’s partners. If that’s not reason enough to buy the car, what is? First purchase will be a doggy barrier to keep those front seats clean from the get-go.

I’m inclined to think this is the absolute best car on the market for a family with three labs and a tendency to enjoy road trips, mountain drives, or just wintry commutes. I’m also inclined to think I got the best deal I could. My dealer even threw in a package of dog bones.

More pics tomorrow when G brings his camera home. 🙂

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Vicariously, part II

They’re on TV! They’re on TV! Proof they’re actually watching tennis and not just, yanno, drinking at the tennis bar. 🙂

So, uh, what are the boring people doing tonight? Well, we had delicious chicken and roasted root veggies (carrots, parsnips, shallots…the usual) tonight for dinner with a bottle of Molly Dooker, The Boxer. Mmm. (And the roasted veggies were good, too.) And then the puppies destroyed a stuffed snake. Also, Lucy has decided she is ‘above’ playing with Li and Sal.

This pic is to show that Li is wearing a sock again. Dog woke up in the middle of the night and licked his paw till it bled. Awesome. Not at all neurotic.

Check the living room for the remaining 4/5 of this snake.

Sally taking a breather

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