Saturday, December 29, 2007

Farewell, pretty Fiona...

It's incomprehensible, but Barb's beautiful dog Fiona is gone. I put all the photos I could find of her here as a sort of memorial. If I find more, I'll add them.

It doesn't compute, somehow, that she isn't still with us, that she really was hit by a car the day after Christmas. I can think it and understand it, but then I still expect her to come padding happily in from the living room when I'm sitting in Barb's kitchen.

She was only around for seven or eight weeks, but I had truly gotten to know and love her.

Damn. It's just not right.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Monday, December 17, 2007

"There is a duck stuck inside your front bumper..."

Friend and coworker Mike Burger had a hilarious run-in with a duck and the above duck-related note some time ago, and I urged him to submit it to Found Magazine. I just knew they'd use it, too. It was too good not to.

They finally posted it this weekend -- as a Pick of the Week!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Satan Claus

Clint's birthday party was as memorable as ever, and the cast-iron wood-burning stove on the deck was once again the hub of activity, presided over by the obstreperous Satan Claus.

The snow storm didn't slow things down for a minute.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Car ride with Fiona

There is very little in this world Fiona loves more than a car ride. Keep your walks and your leashes and your treats, says she. It's all overshadowed by the glory that is the car in motion.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

An important message for Tex

Tex turns 50 today!

Here we go (deep breath):

"Idag er det Tex' fødselsdag, hurra hurra hurra! Han sikkert sig en gave får som han har ønsket sig i år og dejlig chokolade med kage til! Hurra! Hurra! Hurraaaaaaa!!"See, you thought you could get away from the Danish birthday song. But no! And certainly not on a big banner birthday like this!

Hope it's terrific! Eat some cake! Heck, eat whatever you want!!


Happy birthday!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Reunion with Brian!

I've been meaning to post these photos for a couple of weeks, since the memorable evening we were happily reunited with Brian after many a year. The pictures are blurry: my camera does better with low-light than with flash, and Ashley's is pleasant but dim! In any case, we celebrated Brian's fortieth in style, and we're all staying in touch from now on. Hurray!

(Not sure why I'm including the one at the store. But there you go. The old gang - at the store!)

A mini-jaunt to Chicago

So I did indeed accompany Barb on a quick work-related stop to Chicago. Well, she was there for work. I was there for the fun of it.

With only one evening and one morning to spend in the city, we hit just a couple of hotspots. First, the famous Lou Malnati's, recommended by Aaron, a place where the atmosphere was local and neighborhoody and the pizza was deeeeeep dish!

The next morning, after her appointment, with two hours to kill while some paperwork was being completed, we wandered over to the obvious destination: the art museum. Nothing like hanging out with the likes of Van Gogh and Seurat for a couple of hours.

Just before heading back to collect the car for the long drive home, we had some traditional Russian grub for lunch within the cozy enclave of Russian Tea Time, recommended by Ryan. Blinchiki, pelmeni, and Baltika. All delectable.

Whoo-hoo! Chicago! Never disappoints. Even on a mini-jaunt.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Impulse road trip!

When a friend has to make a work-related stopover trip to Chicago, what kind of friend would I be to let her make the trip alone?

So I'm hopping along for the ride.

Chicago-style deep-dish pizza, here I come!


Monday, December 3, 2007

You know it's a good book when you read it in one day

Yesterday I started Amanda Eyre Ward's Sleep Toward Heaven. And finished it.

It's hardly a cheery read. It's about three people: 1) a recent widow, 2) the murderer who shot the widow's husband and who is now on Death Row in a women's prison, and 3) the prison doctor who is treating the murderer's advanced AIDS symptoms.

Sounds completely and utterly miserable, doesn't it? Yes, it was.

So then why was I chuckling so frequently?

How does Ward do that? She does the same thing in her novel How to Be Lost, injecting wry humor into the most abject of human circumstances. Suddenly someone in profound pain sees humor in the world and you see it, too. It doesn't change anything: believe me, there's no dramatic redemption through laughter or anything like that. But you find yourself giggling because sometimes being a human being is so downright bizarre. I guess that's the closest I can come to explaining it.

Time to check out her most recent one from the library: Forgive Me. More tragedy, more rage, more inexplicable snorts of amusement. I can't wait.