Monday, September 25, 2006

Kiss my face but leave my soap alone

I love the Kiss My Face product line of soaps with natural oils and other good things, but they have gone to the dark side with something akin to crack in their new fragrance of grapefruit and bergamot. I wash my hands probably 30 times a day anyhow but now I'm going to the sink just to huff the soap.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Nana has landed

My mom arrived tonight after a day of airport-hopping - who knew that getting from Spokane to Anchorage required not only a visit to Seattle but to San Francisco too? Anyway, the arrival itself was inauspicious; she came off the plane pale and shaky, and that's when I determined that the diabetic hadn't eaten at any point in the trip. After we got her bags and headed out to the parking garage, she swooned and tumbled backward right off the escalator step - thank god I was right behind her and braced her weight in a very undignified manner up what felt like an awfully long stair climb until she was dumped off unceremoniously at the top. We dusted off, put her shoes back on and out to the car. I live very close to the airport, so it was only minutes until I could put a healthy sandwich and milk in her and then it was pretty quickly that my more recognizable mother appeared.

Hunter is doubly thrilled because Auntie Kari was over earlier and cuddled him for almost two hours, and now Nana has cuddled him for nearly that long. Now that Hunter is not coming to work with me (because of the young puppy - who is now named Madison, by the way) he's been spending long days alone. Now they both have some company.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Tail end of a dog tired day

Either I have hit on the perfect prescription for post-Dog Tired recovery, or maybe I am just getting a little physically stronger despite only doing it one day a week... As soon as I got home last night I got into a very hot shower, then comfy clothes and over to Keith's for his first try at homemade margaritas. (Two out of two researchers agree that the experiment merits repetition for statistical validity. However, I must ask: What the hell took us all so long to know how easy these are to make?) Stretched out on the couch with a heater cat on my legs, sipped multiple beakers of the experimental solution, forgot about the cat on my legs and rubbed my eye, drank more of the experimental solution medicinally to help me forget how badly my eye was messed up from cat mojo, home by 10:45, in bed by 11, slept well until 7:30 and wasn't even hungover.

Then the moment of truth. I always arise gingerly on Saturday mornings because generally I hurt like hell after 12-13 hours of dog wrangling the day before, having stiffened up overnight and also given the day's accumulated bruising time to achieve its bold and bright potential. This morning I got up and even walked down the stairs with nary a pain anywhere. So that's either the right cooldown routine, or maybe it's just that I have had margaritas three nights this week so am finally reaching tequilibrium?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Four generations

Today my mother made the first half of her journey here, landing in Spokane to be with brother Matthew and the Idaho family for the next week before arriving here in Anchorage. I am smiling to think that the oldest member of our family (Mom turned 80 on August 20) is meeting the youngest member of our family (her great-grandson Zachary, born August 29).

Oh, and yes, I did ask for photographic evidence of this alleged baby, and Matthew gave me the hospital pic - apparently mom Kaci has been too occupied to email pictures? What's up with that?

And speaking of air travel, I am now officially a big fan of wheelchair escort. It has relieved my mind so much both in sending Mom back from Anchorage to Harrisburg in January, and now on these two return trips west, to know that she is getting gate-to-gate service. Given enough time, I have no doubt that she could do it on her own, but I am just glad to know that it's up to the airlines to make her gate connections for her instead.

Movie: The Illusionist

I was entranced by this film set in Vienna at the turn of the last century, where a childhood friendship between a cabinetmaker's son (Edward Norton) and a duchess (Jessica Biel) is reawakened in later life when he returns as a master illusionist. Their story unfolds against the backdrop of a planned coup within the imperial family, into which the duchess is about to be married. I've always loved Edward Norton for his intensity and for his chameleon quality in a role, but up to now I've thought of his range more in the scrappy, wiry, blue-collar or less-than-legal vein. As an intelligent, elegant, romantic hero? Oh my god, the man is just plain HOT and I never knew it! Okay, part of me says there has to be shoe-lifts involved, but everything about his physical portrayal has this hint of restraint such that you understand that the illusionist Eisenheim's whole life is about knowing secrets that others do not. His showmanship is artistic rather than crass; he weaves the legerdemain with the grace of a dancer, and I'd never had reason to notice before that his hands are absolutely beautiful. (I'm way into hands)

Paul Giamatti's considerable chops are not used to any new capacity in his role as a police inspector aspiring to be Vienna's mayor under the new regime, but we get his trademark eyebrow-twisting concentration and his wide laugh when all is eventually illuminated. And I have to admit that when put together with real actors, even Biel delivered a passable performance that some other young scrawny ingenue would not have carried as believably as her healthy, real-woman quality. The movie is photographed beautifully with a palette of color and light that maintains that sense of distance and time suspended. I was so charmed by the story that it had to lead me into the reveal... and then I was doubly charmed for realizing the spell I'd been placed under.

We were in the theatre with a bunch of (drunk?) louts who apparently thought it was a comedy and guffawed throughout, so I'll be going back to get the lines I missed to audience misbehavior. But ultimately it's one for the DVD shelf, because I'll need private time and a pause button............

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Yeah, like I needed the computer to tell me

My existential Vectra just flashed me a minute ago "You are operating at 97% of your quota..."

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The new hire

The junior executive at Nancy's has arrived to help Emma in the HR department. This little girl doesn't yet have a name. She's just eight weeks old, so unfortunately this also means that Hunter has been laid off (well, I guess that would be FURloughed) from the company until the little girl is old enough for full vaccinations. And by then Hunter's nana will have arrived so he will probably stay home to keep her company. I've been so grateful to Nancy for letting me bring Hunter to work every day, and he's been such a good boy there.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Staff pix at Dog Tired

Kari updated the staff page on the website and is there any doubt that I am happy in this job?

The dog with me is Foxy, who should have a staff photo of her own. She's a husky/elkhound mix - the latter being rather ironic, since it was in fact a moose who relieved her of the sight in her left eye. She is one of the best canine communicators that I have ever seen. She has a wonderful sense of equanimity about her and has the respect of every other dog in the place without having had to muscle about it. If a puppy gets over-exuberant, she explains things with only the amount of emphasis needed to make her point. If there's something the staff needs to know, she has a wonderful wooooooo with nuance and diction. She's truly a teacher and a role model to the other dogs, patient and affable but with clear security and strength. I would be well served if I had half of her qualities of self-possession and elegant interaction with my own species.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


I don't know why I did this, and I surely don't know why I'm blogging it, but probably the answer to the latter is that I hope by the time I finish this post I may understand why.

I couldn't sleep last night and was reading some back emails from the online magazine Slate, and one of the international features I was reading led me to think about the case of Nick Berg, an American who was abducted and later murdered by beheading in Iraq two years ago. And somewhere in there, too, was some contemplation of the events of 9/11 as that anniversary approaches, with the sense of the great momentum of fury that is growing toward our country and the certainty that more attacks are coming.

Well, I don't recommend any of this as a cure for insomnia, but I thought quietly about these things. And then I watched the Internet videotape of Nick Berg's decapitation.

I was not compelled to do this by morbid fascination. I thought I knew what the images would portray, and I was correct. But there was in me a sense of deep gravity and responsibility, that as an inhabitant of this planet being torn apart by rage, that I needed not to turn away from the reality of the clash as it urgently and hopelessly changed the story of one human life.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Happy birthday, Shane

Pedro says, "Wish Shane a happy birthday and all of your wildest dreams will come true." Love ya, kiddo.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Almost makes it worth coming back to work

Nancy has installed these cool keyboards with Contour Design's RollerMouse Pro, and I am loving it! I thought it would take time to learn (the 'trackball' is a bar just above the buttons that rolls and goes side to side and can be pressed for a mouseclick also), but it is so intuitive and I can already feel how much better it is for my hands.