Thursday, January 31

heart-shaped box

This was a novel written by Joe Hill. Joe Hill's real name happens to be Joe King, otherwise known as son of Stephen. This novel definitely reminded me of his father's early writing style, which I love so much. There was plenty of creepy stuff, too. In fact, there was this one thing that was so creepy that I made Brian read it. A lot of good concepts in this book, too. Good stuff. If he keeps this up, I'm going to have another favorite author. I'm already looking forward to his next novel.

zoning request: approved

Surprisingly, our zoning meeting went off without a hitch today. Now, we're trying to schedule the closing so we can take ownership of the building and get to work (goodness knows, there's a lot of work to do). But, at least things are finally moving forward.

Tuesday, January 29

for your consideration

I'm a big fan of Christopher Guest's movies, but this one was so-so. Unlike his previous movies, this one was not a 'mockumentary'. It definitely had some funny scenes and I do really like all of the actors that appear in his movies, but the ending was kind of depressing (particularly if you were one of the characters). I guess he was trying to make a statement about Hollywood, but I could do less with the statements and more with the laughs.

Monday, January 28

so tired

Having a puppy is like having a baby around. Exhausting. Buster is only getting up once or twice a night now, so it's an improvement, but still very tiring when you do it day after day after day. He's doing great with the house training, though. Yesterday, he didn't even have an accident. Really, I guess you could say I'm doing good with the house training because that's what it comes down to--how closely I can monitor him.

Back to the subject at hand. I'm especially tired today because last night at 3:15am, when I had to let Buster out, Alice was pacing the living room and shaking her head. I took a look in her ears and they were both inflamed and messy. By the time I got them cleaned out, gave her a Benadryl, and she went back to sleep, over an hour had passed. By that point I was wide awake and didn't get much sleep for the rest of the night. I was hoping to catch a nap before supper, but I ended up having to take Alice to see the vet and that didn't happen (double ear infection--I'm really starting to think this pet insurance thing might not be a bad idea). Then I wanted to take one this evening, but life got in the way. What can you do? I look forward to the day when Buster starts sleeping through the night. Hopefully it will happen before I start my new job (yeah, I got a new job--I start in three weeks).

Friday, January 25

evan almighty

We had our monthly family movie night this evening. This was an enjoyable enough movie. We all liked it. I thought Bruce Almighty was better, but this movie definitely served its purpose. I would like to know why all of Steve Carell's movies end with a weird lip-synching dance scene, though.

Thursday, January 24

puppy, puppy, puppy

Puppy all the time.

I'm not getting a thing done thanks to Buster. Actually, I can't place the blame entirely on him. I spend most of my time keeping him away from the other dogs. Alice is quite tolerant of him (Buster has crowned Alice with the title of 'Mom', unfortunately for her), but Lizzy is definitely not interested in playing with a puppy. Things are improving, though. He's only getting up twice a night to go out (the one night, he only got up once). In general, he's doing well with the house training. I'd say he goes outside over half the time, though I haven't been keeping a formal count. Bear in mind that the little guy only turned 7 weeks old on Tuesday. So, I think that's pretty good. I'm sure things will be much better in a month.

He made his first visit to the veterinarian yesterday. As suspected, he has a belly full of worms. Blech. This is apparently our first dog that has been infested with roundworm because I don't remember seeing anything quite so disgusting coming out any of our other dogs. The vet also said that he should put on some weight. That much, I knew--he's not much of an eater. Hopefully once we get rid of these pesky worms, his appetite will improve. He's already gained a little weight since we brought him home so I guess he must be eating enough.

We've been keeping him in the office while we work. He sleeps most of the day, which is convenient. By the time work is over, he's raring to go.

We're still working on the crate training. I've been feeding him his meals in the crate and have started to leave him in there for a few minutes after eating. The three of us haven't left the house as a group since we got him so we haven't had to lock him up anywhere yet.

I've started an online photo album of Buster. We'll be taking a photo of him each week and noting his weight. I always wish I would've done this with Ripley because she grew at such an amazing pace. I'm sure Buster won't get as big as she was, but it'll still be fun to watch.

Sunday, January 20


This was a pretty good movie. I was a little distracted while watching it due to the puppy trying to steal our alcohol, but I got the gist of the story. I probably would've liked it even more had I been able to devote my full attention to the movie. It was a love story (sort of) between two musicians. I say sort of because they never actually hooked up in the film. The music they played was acoustic-guitar driven and there was a lot of it to be heard in the movie. Not my usual style, but some of the songs weren't half bad. Surprisingly, Brian liked it too, so it's not like it was a chick flick or anything. Simply put, it was a good story. If you like a good story, this one's for you.


Last night, Brian and I settled down in the living room with our drinks so we could watch a movie. Buster almost knocked my margarita over (it was sitting on the arm rest of the couch). I moved it to the coffee table and didn't have much better results there. He didn't discriminate either--he was equally interested in Brian's beer and margarita. Though he's not showing any interest in my cup of coffee this morning.

It was actually quite funny and it reminded us of our first dog, Snuffy (a miniature schnauzer). She used to knock drinks over and then lap them up. We're trying to avoid that with Buster. We don't like to waste alcohol around here. While this was funny, it's going to keep us on our toes, particularly when he gets bigger. At least we don't have to wonder what breed he is anymore for it is quite obvious he's a full-blooded Boozehound.

Friday, January 18

link party

We had a little get together with a group of people Brian used to work with. It was a nice evening. Everyone got to meet the new pup. He did pretty well considering the chaos. I got a great bottle of gin from Steve (I'll be trying that this weekend for sure). And, since I never leave the house, it was nice seeing and talking to everyone. They are a nice bunch of people. The one family brought their two kids so Jake had something to do all evening. And, our new pool table and bar got a workout--we're using that room now more than ever since we put in the bar and pool table.

more buster

I ended up taking today off. The puppy had me up half the night and I had a headache this morning, so I said the heck with it. I slept on the couch last night so I could easily let him outside. Of course, the last time he actually went to the bathroom outside was right when we got home last night, so, in retrospect, I'm not sure why I was so concerned with that. Tonight, he'll be tethered to the bed. We haven't progressed to the crate yet. Once we get to that point, things will be looking up around here.

Buster's doing well. This house training thing is going to be a pain, though. Winter is no time to get a puppy. Besides the fact that Jake or I has to go outside with him, he's not all that interested in standing in the cold snow.

Jake's off school today and Monday, so that was kind of good timing for this puppy thing. He'll probably be tired of playing with Buster by that point but at least I'll get some relief from my puppy duties for these 4 days.

Thursday, January 17


Meet the newest member of our family, Buster. What?!? Another dog. Yes. I claim temporary insanity. It seemed like a great idea until an hour after I got home. Then the reality set in. But, things seem to be going pretty well now that Lizzy and Alice have settled down.

It all started last year when a bunch of people we knew got puppies. Jake really wanted one. It got us to talking. We finally talked so much that we decided to get a puppy this year. The argument was that if a boy wants a puppy, he should have one. It's nice that Jake gets to grow up with dogs, but there's something special about getting a dog that's a puppy and having it all of your childhood.

I initially wanted to wait till summer to get a puppy, but things are up in the air at my workplace and Brian will be working at his new office in a few months. Since we potentially could both be working outside the house soon, we decided to speed up the process.

So I started looking. I saw some great doberman/border collie mixes at the Altoona Humane society. In the few hours that passed between me seeing the photos and deciding to call about them, they were gone. So, I've been keeping an eye open since then. Yesterday, I saw some coonhound mixes listed for the Humane Society of Westmoreland County. They were bluetick mixes so they had three that were mottled and one that was black and tan. Jake and I were partial to the black and tan one. I wanted to get a male dog this time, and we didn't know which ones were which, so I took a ride out there this evening (Brian and Jake had to stay home because they had a scout meeting) and checked out the male pups. It just so happened that the black and tan one was one of them. I did my puppy personality testing on both and was leaning towards the black one. The other one seemed a little timid. But, then the black one started yipping and he was loud! So, I called home for some advice. Brian said, do not bring that barking dog home and Jake said that he wanted the black one, so here we are. Let's hope he stops barking soon or I'm going to be in trouble!

Wednesday, January 16

the darkest evening of the year

Judy got me this book for Christmas this year. I wasn't reading anything else at the time I received it so I tore right in. I was a pretty good book. It followed the usual Dean Koontz formula, but since I haven't read any of his books in a while, that was ok. There was some weird shit going on in this one, though. It makes me wonder just what kind of childhood Koontz had (growing up in Bedford County, by the way).

The main character particularly appealed to me because she headed up a dog rescue. The book didn't revolve around the rescue, though he did get a little preachy at times (for good reason--it's ridiculous how many animals end up in shelters). There were a few dog characters in the book as well, but, unlike when Stephen King writes about animals, these dogs didn't have a "thinking" role in the storyline.

I enjoyed the book (I even stayed up late the past two nights reading it), but felt the ending was a little rushed. Other than that, it was a good read.

Friday, January 11

mmm...cinnamon rolls

Brian just finished this website recently for a mail-order cinnamon roll bakery, the Great Gourmet Cinnamon Roll Company, straight out of Altoona, PA. Let me tell you--these are some good cinnamon rolls. The first few times Brian met with the owner, he gave Brian some samples to take home. Delicious! While I'm a "Plain Jane" girl myself, the flavored ones weren't half-bad either. The flavorings never overwhelmed the basic taste of the cinnamon roll.

Anyway, these things were so good, I just had to post about them. Get 'em while they're hot. Oh yeah, the site's not bad, either.

Wednesday, January 9

global warming

Who says global warming is all bad? I was definitely liking the temperature on Monday and Tuesday even if I didn't get outside to enjoy it. It's kind of hard to enjoy the nice weather when you're chained to your desk until almost dark. But, we did open the office window and let the nice air in. It made me feel like gardening! Not that there's anything to garden in January, but that time will be here soon enough. Until then, time to start looking at all of the seed catalogs I've been getting in the mail and figuring out my planting schedule.

Saturday, January 5

building update

The update is that there won't be any more updates for a bit. We heard from the city yesterday and our zoning hearing is going to be on the 31st of this month. Everyone is sounding pretty positive about things this round so we're hopeful that things will work out. If the zoning works out, we'll be able to set a closing date for sometime in February.

So, that's the story. More on this subject later...

Friday, January 4

russian christmas?

We didn't manage to get together with Judy over the regular holidays, so we visited with her this evening. We got to check out her newly remodeled living room (she did a great job!) and see how Danika was fitting into the family. We had a couple of drinks and ate some brownies and opened gifts. Who could ask for anything more?

Thursday, January 3

writer's strike

The writer's strike hasn't affected me. Until now. I don't watch much prime time TV--just Thursday night comedies on NBC and the occasional episode of SNL--but I knew it would catch up with me eventually if it dragged on for very long.

I've been watching the repeats of the Thursday night NBC lineup. As much activity that we have around here on Thursdays (aka cub scout night), it generally takes me a few viewings of each episode before I get to hear all of the jokes. I checked TV Guide yesterday only to find out that tonight, they were playing a game show and a reality show in place of my beloved sitcoms! Oh, the horror. So, I've been sitting around tonight, drinking my rum and coke, and wondering what to do with myself.

Maybe it's time to increase the frequency of my subscription...