(not the teenage kind)

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Rudy's Are The Best

Well, he may be bad but he sure is popular. Here's the latest invite that showed up in my inbox:


Rudy has invited Rudy to join the Dogster Group called The Rudy Club!

Here is the group's welcome introduction:
Hi and welcome to the Rudy club. Open to all dogs called Rudy
because Rudy's are the best! Please feel free to share everything you
love about your Rudy to all the other Rudy's!

Here is the group's description:
Any dog with the name Rudy.

Here is the group's tagline:
Rudy's are the best!

Well, I guess there's nothing to say but "yippee!"

Friday, December 29, 2006

End of the Year

The cleaning of my office went so well that the purge continued through last week. Things accomplished:
-Eliminated 26 bags of clothes
-Got rid of the Sony black and white television that was bought for my Grandfather before he died. In 1968
-Jewelry is now displayed in a way that I actually know what I have...necklaces are hanging from a tie rack, rings are with rings, bracelets with bracelets and everything now fits into one jewelry box
-Scarfs are hanging from a scarf hanger, shoes are in a shoe organizer
-Hats, gloves, handkerchiefs,and purses are all in separate labeled containers
-Seasonal stuff does not have to live in the house all the time. They are now in labeled containers in the garage. That would include Rudy's Chanukah bells and his "Fleas Navidad" scarf.
-Dishes that I did not want to use because they are too pretty are out of their boxes and being displayed and used

This is a key point so I will repeat. I was not using things because I liked them too much. I now understand that I need to use them, enjoy them, and if they break, remember them fondly.

I have rearranged some furniture. Because I no longer have clothes from the 1980's, I do not need the huge chest of drawers that was in my bedroom, taking up lots of room and semi-blocking the closet door. I swapped it out for a smaller piece from the same set (my grandparents) that I had moved from my dad's place into the garage.

Can I even begin to describe how nice it is to go into the New Year with so much less junk and feeling so much more organized?

My dad's assistant, who was the mastermind behind all these changes told me that I have so many neat things in my kitchen that I should have more parties. So last Friday I had a little birthday party for Stephanie who turned 60 at the beginning of this month. It was me, Steph, and don dokken and Rudy. I brewed some mulled cider, added brandy, served some snacks. We tried for several hours to think of just one movie that any of us were interested in seeing. We even pulled out the computer for research. Sadly, there are none.

The next day a company called Shred-it came to implement the final stage of the purge. They took all my bags and boxes of shredding which included papers from the 1980's, court documents for my CASA work that were supposed to be destroyed when the cases ended, and confidential client paperwork that I no longer needed. Shred-it pulls up in a big truck and then you watch as they shred your papers in a huge machine that lives in the truck. The machine is so powerful that they don't bother taking the paper out of the boxes - they just throw in the boxes in and the machine shreds the boxes and their contents. The paper is then all taken to be recycled. And they handed me a letter of certification which I can show my clients and proof that their documents were sensitively handled.

don dokken and I spent Christmas with his mom in San Diego. On Christmas Day night we sat out on her patio, played ball with Rudy, and watched the sunset while drinking a glass of wine. Then we had Chinese food.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Rudy Bad

I did promise in my December 2nd post that I would talk about the bad thing that Rudy did. I think that might be why I then gave up posting. Talking about the bad thing Rudy did is quite painful because it reveals my weak parenting skills and my failure at raising him right.

I am sure I have told the tale before about how he is the only dog I have ever had and he came to me at three months old having previously been abused. He was an energetic little puppy with many fears and my dad one day was watching PBS and saw a show with Uncle Matty, the dog trainer, and suggested I call him. I did and his organization sent a trainer named Rosanne to the house. On Rosanne's first visit everything went well, she said everything a parent would want to hear about how smart Rudy was, blah, blah, blah. But on the second visit she noticed that he was very shy and worried that he might become "fear aggressive."

She gave me so many great tips for training him that have kept him under control. For example, she told me to periodically take his food away from him while he was eating which would make him less possessive of his food which can be a issue with a rescue dog who has had to worry about when they are going to get their next meal. This really works. When another dog is around and there is food or the other dog takes one of his toys, he really does not care. We also worked on making him know that he can not leave the house until I say it's okay. So I can leave the front door open and unload groceries from the car and he will not run out. That is truly wonderful.

All and all he is a good dog. The few times he has escaped from the backyard, he did not run away but instead ran to the front door. He is very loyal and protective of our house. His deficiencies are my fault I know. For example, Rosanne did not like that he jumps on people when they walk in the door. But to cure him of jumping would mean that he would not be allowed to jump on me or don dokken either. Since there is nothing more joyful than his enthusiasm when we walked through the door, I did not have the heart to break him from it.

Another problem from the beginning was his reaction to the mailman. Rosanne explained that it is very common for dogs to hate the mailman. They are generally noisy and they invade the premises when they leave the mail. Also, the mailman comes, Rudy barks ferociously, and the mailman goes. So Rudy thinks he is being successful in protecting the house. Rudy thinks that if not for him the mailman would not go away. He is just doing his job and doing it well.

If I had known how Rudy's hatred and viciousness towards the mailman would increase, I would have asked that Rosanne and I spend a good deal of time working on it. Rudy is generally a very sweet dog but I do believe that if given the opportunity he might actually attack the mailman.

When the mailman Rudy actually gets frantic. He runs to the living room window which involves him jumping on the couch and then to the mailbox and then back to the living room window all the while growling ferociously. A couple of weeks ago he was doing this routine and he actually knocked out the front window. He was not hurt as he was running around so crazily that he was already away from the window before the glass actually broke. The mailman too was fine and said "Do I owe him money or something?"

It was bad. Very bad. The only thing in his defense is that the windows are very, very old and should have been replaced years ago. I think I need to call the Dog Whisperer.

Friday, December 15, 2006

I'm A Loser and A Liar

Okay, I know I promised in my last post of December 2nd that I would be posting every day. I know because I have received emails and calls - some polite, some frantic - wanting to know what happened. What happened is that I am a liar? Really, I thought if I said I would write every day than I would have to. That didn't work but, ironically, Crazy Aunt Purl last week said that she was going to take a break from blogging over the holidays and then ended up posting every day. So I guess I need to try the reverse psychology.

My big topic today is about how the oddest things get into dreams. Last night I had a dream that my family was attending a wedding of unspecified relatives in an unspecified very tiny eastern european town where everything was ridiculously inexpensive. Before the wedding, my sister got on stage to sing in a huge auditorium where there were many people in the audience. Unfortunately, I was in the very back row because they insisted she sing this song and she did not know the words. Sadly, I did but I was so far in the back that I could not help her. And, just to clarify, in real life I do not know all the words to Steve Forbert's "Romeo's Tune" and I can not believe I even remembered that Steve Forbert was the artist to find the lyrics for you all and I do not have any idea how that song got into my dream.

More oddities in the same dream - my brother in law asked one of the eastern european wedding hosts if he could wear his uniform (huh?) to the wedding. The answer was that the custom was that his mother in law had to give him permission so he had to ask my mother if it was okay. Also making an appearance was my Grandmother Eva who died twenty years ago. Her hair looked great and she was wearing some really nice earrings and I told her so.

And one more follow up note. About two or so weeks ago I watched an episode of Nip/Tuck with John and Cameron (more on that to follow in another post although since now I may not ever post again - reverse psychology - this might be an empty promise) which ended with Art Garfunkel's song "All I Know" playing over an extremely powerful montage. Since that time, I have not been able to get "All I Know" out of my head and it has been driving me crazy. Thanks to my wacky dream it is gone but sad to say replaced by "Romeo's Tune." Someone needs to get me a new song quick.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Getting Away

I tried to write this post from don dokken's mother's house over the Thanksgiving weekend but it came out so boring that I put myself to sleep. We had a really nice Thanksgiving weekend including a hike in beautiful Torrey Pines pictured right there on your left. My favorite was the couple who, instead of carrying their baby on one of their backs or fronts, brought the baby in a stroller. Yeah, it's true, they went hiking with a stroller.

I promised many people that after my mad rush of work leading up to Thanksgiving I would start posting every day. That was my Thanksgiving resolution. I know it hasn't started out well but I am still going to try. Stay tuned for tomorrow (or if not tomorrow, the next day) where I will talk about how I am so mad at Rudy that I would not leave the house to get him his dog food today.

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