Monday, January 30, 2006

Dog Days

A few thoughts from a relatively new dog owner. With all of two and a half months of dog parenting under my belt, I figured I’d throw together a short list of observations:

1 – Pockets of Kibble: I’ve found I seem to have a little kibble or a few liver snacks in the pockets of every coat and pair of pants I own. Around the house this is actually kind of nice, as I can readily award Jäger for good behavior. At school, however, the doggy treats have not been quite as handy. Oh… and in case you were wondering, kibble doesn’t hold up well in the laundry.

2 – Crowded Bed: At first we crated Jäger every night. We actually had little choice; he had a taste for power cords and wasn’t very discriminating in when and where he relieved himself. He’s a quick learner though and it didn’t take him long to finagle a spot at the foot of our bed every night. He’s had little trouble wrapping us around his little paw, but in this case it’s worked out alright; he keeps our toes warm and loves to sleep in, just like my wife.

3 – Spontaneity Killer: No more road trips on the flip of a dime. Even planned trips present a bit of a problem these days unless we’re bringing Jäger along. In fact, we can’t even hit dinner after school and work without skedaddling home first. We feel bad making Jäger hold his bladder for more than 8 hours, which is a good thing because he can’t seem to hold it for more than 6.

4 – Michael Moore Lover: Yup. That’s right. Our boy loves the mighty Michael Moore. My in-laws gave Jäger a Michael Moore chew toy for Christmas and it’s become far and away his favorite thing to chew on. In fact, he’s gnawing on it right now.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Rose Colored Glasses

So I finally got around to watching a movie my wife has long pushed me to see. Labyrinth. For those of you unfamiliar with it, this is the premise: Sarah (Jennifer Connolly) wishes that goblins would kidnap her screaming baby brother. When they actually do, she is forced to find her way through a massive labyrinth in order to rescue him. She has all sorts of adventures along the way and befriends several mystical creatures (Jim Hensen Muppets) who give her the self-confidence to eventually confront the Goblin King Jareth (David Bowie). Clearly, as you can tell, it's an edge of your seat thriller.

Bewildered as to how I managed to escape the eighties never having seen it, Melbo put Labyrinth into our Netflix queue the moment we signed up. "Mysteriously", in almost two years it's never managed to find itself in the "on deck" circle... that is, until last week. Melissa pulled a fast one and it ended up in poll position. She assured me, however, that it would be 101 minutes well spent. In hindsight, I'm convinced she's sporting a pair of rose-colored nostalgia glasses. After all these years, she still knew every word of each musical number and couldn't stop laughing at the farting bog of eternal stench.

Don't get me wrong, I didn't think it was all that bad... just over-rated. It certainly didn't bowl me over with a rush of childhood memories. Maybe to fully appreciate this cinematic opus, I needed to see it as a youngster. Perhaps then I'd be the one sporting those rose-colored glasses and would rank Labyrinth right alongside my own childhood favorites like The Goonies, The Princess Bride, The Secret of Nimh, or Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Who knows, it may well be that others who didn't see these films when they were young might regard them much as I do Labyrinth. I think it's either that or, much as I might hate to admit it, I'm losing touch and becoming an old fart.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Top Ten Reasons Why Gargantus and Melbo Are Great

Among my New Year's resolutions is to make good on a promise I made during finals last month. So without further adieu here are my top ten reasons why Melbo and Gargantus, respectively, are great.

10. Like I said - She comes through in the clutch (see promise above)
9. Gives a hell of a massage (be forewarned though... at times she's borderline sadistic. It's almost as though she enjoys seeing me writhe in pain)
8. Has truly come into her own as a cook... Nothin' like coming home to a Melbo cooked meal
7. Always up for spooning to a good movie after a long day (she's my cuddle-bunny)
6. Ever willing to accompany me on all sorts of little adventures (whether they be to a small art exhibit in Georgetown or an out of the way tavern in Munich)
5. Tolerant of (if not an active participate in running) what seems like another family hotel (my parents run the original)
4. Loves NPR (this makes her a true kindred spirit)
3. Drives me into school on occasion (even though it's a minimum of forty-five minutes out of her way, round-trip)
2. Dreams big (someday, among other things, we're going to own a spa and a small printing company)
1. Occassionally leaves improvised ditties on my voicemail sung to the tune of whatever song she's listened to most recently (these are then re-saved every forty days by me).

10. He's always good for a laugh... anytime, anywhere, about anything
9. Never have to worry about offending him
8. It's fun to "brag" about a friend who is professionally racing in Europe
7. Everyone needs some attractive friends, it helps one's self-image
6. Much to his own chagrin, he's pretty damn smart and one a hell of a writer
5. It's nice having a "hot" friend I can set girls up with
4. One of his nipples is rather large (see accompanying photo)
3. Someone I can hang out with in Europe… or at least talk about hanging out with, but never actually meet up with
2. His uncanny ability to turn virtually any comment into an inneundo
1. He's a great resource for helpful tips on dating and romance

* This list is in no way intended to be comprehensive... It is merely ten of the many reasons why Melbo is great
** This list may or may not be comprehensive... I didn't put much more thought into it after coming up with ten

Monday, January 02, 2006

The Best Two Years... So Far

Some have said that the first two years of marriage are the hardest. If that's the case, I say bring it on. Here's to two years of wedded bliss and to the woman I hold wholly responsible for it. Happy Cotton anniversary Melbo... I'm already looking forward to the Leather.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Blueberry Memories

Atop my desk sits an unorthodox memento of sorts. Not one you’d normally expect to see on an office desk. Odds are, you probably wouldn’t know quite what to make of it if you saw it. At first glance you might mistake it for an old, moldy bagel. But in fact it’s actually an old blueberry bagel. My wife has tried to throw it away or pack it out of sight on a couple of occasions. She doesn’t seem to grasp the sentimental value that this almost petrified baked good holds for me.

A good friend sent me this bagel on my mission. He had saved a couple of bagels from a dozen I’d sent him while he was in the Missionary Training Center himself (I worked at a Bagel shop at the time). Both of our missions were unbelievably challenging, but extremely fulfilling experiences, and, for one reason or another, the bagel just struck a chord. It seemed to represent for me the deep and abiding relationships that were, in large part, why I chose to serve. I kept it on my nightstand in every one of my mission apartments. One glimpse of it would bring me comfort and remind me that I wasn't alone.

This rock hard, boiled and baked, lil' New York wonder bun has come to symbolize my evolution from high school slacker into… er… young adult slacker. It signifies a rite of passage and embodies a friendship that has seen me through as I've struggled to find direction and meaning in life. It typifies my religious awakening, a series of refreshing highs and discouraging lows, a difficult, but deeply rewarding journey. Can’t you see it?