Sunday, August 30, 2009

love/hate relationship...

I wonder sometimes about Mother Nature.

Is she really that mean? Does she hate us delicate humans and like to see us suffer? Or does she just have a wicked sense of humor...

Earlier this year I made a pact to myself that I would last the entire summer without the use of air conditioning. Not a huge thing to accomplish in my estimation. My century old home isn't outfitted with central air. So if I want the benefit of air conditioning, I have work for it and install window units. It's not just the flick of a switch to get cold air circulating, you have to do some rather heavy labor. I hate lugging those cumbersome things up from the basement and installing them. I'm always fearful that I'm going to drop them and a.) smash my foot all to hell; or b.) watch the damn thing tumble down the stairs making gouges in the walls as it goes.

If I do manage to get the unit to it's destination without creating havoc, I then start to experience anxiety about dropping it out of the window when trying to place it precariously on the window sill. There are those few weeks of the year that are so hot, humid and miserable that Mother Nature has forced me to cave and put them in. At least in the bedrooms.

However, this year I wanted to see if I could make it through the entire summer without installing said air units. My daughter and I agreed that it would be our contribution to being more energy efficient. Our small way of helping our planet Earth. Plus, it sounds better than admitting it's just my being lazy. I really didn't want to go through the hassle and trepidation in dealing with it.

But a few weeks ago I was forced to a decision. A decision that I had promised myself I wouldn't do. But after getting out of the shower one morning, I was so hot that I immediately started sweating. I just couldn't take the heat anymore. I needed the air. I craved it. I had to have it.

The master suite in my house is up on the third floor. With the sun beating down on the roof combined with all the skylights, it can get a bit warm and stuffy in the middle of summer. I broke down. I couldn't go one more day without some cool air. So I installed one of the units into my bedroom window. After completing the installation I stood naked in front of it and reveled as the frigid air caressed me. At that moment I couldn't have cared less about the 100 degrees temperature it had reached outside. I had cold air. And it felt good.

That was three weeks ago. I ran the units for a total of two days. In those measly two days my electric bill increased by $40. $40! I'm glad I didn't need the air conditioning any longer than that, because it would have been my monthly budget that would have gone out the window.

So as the cooler weather started to roll in, I welcomed the change. My armpits were happy. My sinuses relieved and my wallet was glad.

That coupled with my love of sweaters, bonfires and the crisp chill of fall's all good. Except I prefer to ease into a season change. Not have it immediately dumped on me like a truckload of bricks.

When I awoke this morning, shivering under my down comforter, I was not elated to find that the temperature outside had dropped an entire 30 degrees overnight. Thank you very much, Hurricane Danny. According to Weatherbug and the Farmers Almanac this season change is supposed to have been a week away. Did Mother Nature lose her copy? Why didn't she check the calender? Is she trying to make us all sick?

Normally when I hear people complain about weather, my response is, "Deal with it." My routine is to take a look outside in the morning, check the Internet for the weather forecast and dress accordingly. If it rains; I grab a raincoat or umbrella. If it's cold; I grab a jacket. If it's hot; I head for the beach.

I'm a little shell shocked today. I'm not ready for the weather of fall. Really. I'm not.

My bedroom is presently getting a little face lift. I needed to do some ceiling repair in my dressing room. Since I needed to move all my articles of clothing from the room for the work, I thought it prudent to go ahead and renovate the entire space. Smart thinking, right?

But...I can't get to my sweaters. I can't find my pants or long sleeve shirts. I only have access to shorts. My closed toed shoes are God knows where, so my tootsies are freezing in my flip-flops. Usually a planner, I unfortunately wasn't prepared for all.

All of my clothes are in piles on their hangers in one of the spare bedrooms. They are stacked on top of the containers that hold my shoes and my sweaters. So I'm pretty much SOL for the next few days. Up the proverbial creek without a provided paddle.

I wish that Mother Nature would have been a little more timely in her delivering fall on my doorstep. Had I known, I would've pulled out a few things before packing all my belongings into Rubbermaids. I don't have an unlisted number. She could have easily called to let me know. Perhaps she might have asked Danny to take a little longer in his stroll up the coastline that has delivered to us this unseasonal chill.

I guess I'll just have to take my own advice and "deal with it". That or spend numerous hours digging through the piles of stuff to find something that will keep me relatively warm. It sure is a good thing I've finally got that air conditioner installed. Although at this point it doesn't appear that I'll need it any longer this year.

I need to warm up. Pronto. I'm freezing here. Maybe I'll make some tea and light a fire in the fireplace. I'll stand in front of it like I did with the air conditioner a few weeks ago.

Except this time...I'll keep my clothes on.

Friday, August 28, 2009

first week at school 'Whammy'...

It's the first week of school.

And nothing says, "WELCOME BACK Students!" as well as the ginormous amount of paperwork that the parents get in the first few days.

It's a veritable mountain of papers that need to be filled out, signed and returned by a certain date. You have the medical release forms, the hot lunch menu and sign up sheets, the "OK" forms for photos and addresses and such to be published. The list goes on and on, enough to kill several forests (if we weren't using recycled paper). In today's world, everything needs to be on file and double checked to make sure there will be no litigation if something were to happen to your child on school property.

I get that. It's an unfortunate, but I understand.

I try to stay on top of all the papers, so I make a point of filling them all in and sending them back right away. A. To assure I don't lose them between Monday and Thursday; and B. To insure that my daughter's new teacher AND the office staff won't think I'm one of "those" parents.

You know the parents I speak of...the ones that don't reply or at least by deadline, don't follow by the guidelines given by the school, don't use the drop-off/pick-up line in the fashion for which it was intended and in turn mess up the whole thing, or apparently have no consideration for others. If you have a child, I think that everyone has come across one of 'those' people at one time or another. It's inevitable.

But the best of the 'Welcome Back Students' form came home just four days into the new school year...

The distressful "Letter to Parents-Head Lice Procedures" form.

It came home today.

Apparently one of my daughters classmates, who for his tender age shouldn't be named (Josh), was itching his head during class. Health class, which is quite fitting. He found a bug and showed it to one of the girls so he could gross them out, which it seems he was quite successful at. And then the ball started rolling.

The girls screamed.
The teacher came over.
The teacher inspected the bug.
The child got sent to the nurse.
The nurse inspected the head.
The head had lice.
The parents were called.
The entire school then had to be inspected.
A letter was sent home with the students.
And my daughter was passed as having a clean head.


However, as I type this, she is in the bathtub. I scrubbed her head like nobody's business...just to make sure. The thought of little crawly bugs in my hair, or her hair, or the dogs hair just grosses me totally out. Have you seen them? Ick.

I recently watched the South Park episode, Lice Capades, where they climbed the 'trees' to get away from imminent destruction of the conscious world. (and we find that they have been able to live in Angelina Jolie's minge for generations...that's so damn funny) Trust me. I don't want those bugs living anywhere near my home. They may look cute with their hair and sideburns and baby larvae in the episode, but the thought of them just makes me cringe.

So she'll have to deal with my scrutiny of her scalp and the extra scrubbing. Which is okay. Because her hair is blond. That color of blond that can even the best colourist cannot duplicate. And with it being squeeky clean now, her hair will glisten like golden silk this evening.

And it's looking extra special coincides with the big event. You see, she's going to the Jonas Brothers concert tonight. That's a big deal, a big event, perhaps even the highlight of the summer for the tweener set. The seats are 13th row center near the runway "right by where they do the flips". It would be a little girls dream to catch one of the Brothers attention. But since she is only 10, whichever brother it is, Kevin, Joe or Nick that eye-spies her will just have to keep his promise ring on a little while longer.

They've all got the bankroll I'll okay the romance and let them wait for her.

Mommy wouldn't mind retiring soon, and I'm not against being supported by my daughter's famous husband. The timing would be just perfect. I'll start planning the wedding over tonight's dinner.

And I will NOT be ordering lice...I mean rice.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

people watching, part two...

So the people watching spectacle continues.

Not as if it ever really stops, but some days/weeks/months seem to bear more people to comment on than others.

Over the weekend I was going to head up to Cedar Point. Ride a few roller coasters to celebrate summers end. It's close by, I'm a season ticket holder and it was raining. At least in Cleveland it was raining. That is normally translated into, "No one will be at the park today." Because visitors from the nearby areas won't go on icky days. Only the destination people would be there. They go no matter what the weather, because it was planned.

My reverse psychology, that usually pans out, this time...didn't.

When we arrived, the parking lot was full. I mean REALLY full. I suppose everyone had the same thought I did and was trying to squeeze in a last summer vacation trip before school starts. After cruising the lot (just to be sure) and not finding an acceptable parking spot, I realized that it would be pure madness to go inside. Good people watching it is, but not if you have to park a gazillion miles away from the entrance. Yeah, pass.

But since we were already in the Sandusky area, what to do now?

Why, head up to Put-In-Bay!

3 miles down the road, we picked up the Jet Express ferry boat to zoom us across the lake to one of the preferred summer destination spots here on the North Coast on beautiful Lake Erie.

The downtown area is full of bars, restaurants, shops. You can rent golf carts, bicycles and mopeds to get around the small island. There is a airstrip that some people fly in on, but most of the visitors come by ferry or on their own boat. It's considered the 'Key West' of the North. The island itself only measures 2 by 4 miles. It only has 200 year round inhabitants, but during the summer months it is under constant barrage from tourists to the tune of 2 million a year. Can you imagine? In the winter the island closes down and is isolated. Supplies are flown in for those staying behind in the frozen tundra. It may drive some mad, the solitude, but I would think that would be something close to total peace...

The visit there was calm enough. There were some tall ships sailing in, an amphibious car taking a spin around the bay and many families about. Since it was overcast and on the chilly side, the usual scene of wasted bimbo with little clothes on wasn't high on the radar. There were a few around. They were the ones with blue lips, shaking profusely because the refused to don a sweatshirt to cover their cute tube top or halter. That might reduce their ability to get hit on...which seems to be most of the patrons on the bar fronts agenda: Get wasted and and try out your newest pick up lines. The crowd of girls looking for a chance to show their ta-ta's and the guys to flex some muscle. Some of the bars even sell a 8 hour marriage license. Yup. It's true.

The real people watching ended up back at the Sandusky Habour. Being one of the ferry drop off's, you either have to get to the island from Sandusky or Port Clinton. when people were returning from their visit to Put-In-Bay. Some of them are families that just head back to their vehicles, others stumbling off the boat ramp off into the darkness and yet others beeline over to local pubs to continue the mayhem.

For instance, there was the girl at Pat Daly's Bar that was playing corn hole over on the old dance floor. A room connected but set apart from the main rooms. When glancing over she appeared to be playing a form of strip corn hole. Oblivious to anyone else besides her immediate companions, she was baring one part of her body or another. We thought about sending over a shot or two to see how many it would take before she would just fall over. She was truly a mess.

Or the two guys that showed up from Columbus that were in a golf tournament at the Elks Club. Hint fellas: Maybe after the tournament you might want to change the matching white visors and striped golf shirts for something a little less...well, matching. And who knew people still do beer bongs in bars? Not a great look. To add insult to injury they even got beat in the bong match by the little blond bartender. Interesting.

Or the extremely, but kindhearted drunkard Freddie, who lifeguards at Kalahari during the day and drinks himself silly at night. In truth at first I was laughing at the guy. But then it became MY turn for him to talk to and we had a very interesting conversation.

Because of the recent tragedy at Kalahari (click here for complete news story) where a 3 year old boy died in the outdoor pool while being left with the 6 year old sibling while the mother lounged in a deckchair poolside, Freddie said that he,"never want to have children". That the idea of losing a child, whether it be to an accident, cancer, or the endless possibilities with all the kooks out there, that he wouldn't be able to bear the pain involved. I a point.

We proceeded to converse on a bevy of topics and I found him to be drunk, yes. Extremely drunk? Yes. But also a gentleman and surprisingly well spoken. Lots of emotion behind the tough guy facade, even a few tears as he spoke on some subjects. I tried to covey to him that although there are 'bad things' that happen, that you can't NOT DO things to protect yourself from being hurt. You can't stifle your life by not experiencing it. What would be the point? Why even bother 'living'?

It was at that point he divulged to me his thought about suicide. But in with a show of strong religious background, he just couldn't...due to his Catholic upbringing. But the pain he felt in losing a brother to a car accident; his father to cancer and his mother to drugs, makes him too fearful that he too will befall tragedy. Or worse, someone he loves.

Heavy stuff.
Especially at bar. In Sandusky. With a total stranger.

My friend Will over at Searching for Shangri-La had a quote on a post the other day that really hit home with me. "People will inevitably make choices they regret, but following your heart will never be one of them."

Or Jillian at Sometimes I feel like a Blog had a thought of the week that also captured my attention. "Enjoy who you are. Don't hate yourself for what you aren't."

Genius! Both of them!

But, I have to admit that I AM glad for who I am and for the most part, enjoy it. I'm rather a positive person, if you haven't garnered that already.

And I am SOOOOO glad that I don't feel the need to play strip corn hole in a public bar.
Or wear matching outfits with a friend.
Or wear skimpy tops and freeze because I think I look cool.

I'm just me.

And yes, again, all the crazies talk to me.
HOW else would I get all this information?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

crazies at the mall...

I work freelance for a prominent upscale haberdashery.

They just happen to be located in a downtown mall. And the main display window is on an aisle that is fairly packed non-stop from people going from the train to the bus and beyond. Or visa versa.

When I do the windows this puts me in a precarious situation.

I'm in a fishbowl. A double wide double paned window just dressing the windows. No big deal. Who really cares? I like what I do. It's a creative outlet for me and I'm good at it. Without sounding braggy, I'm great at it.

It's all in the details.

And I see details. All the time. No matter where I go.

Like yesterday. While at the mall, I was following behind a group of ladies. They were obviously headed for the Caribou Coffee for a little mid morning java. Dressed in the typical, pointed shoes, trouser slacks and french cuff fitted shirts they 'thought' they had it going on. They walked like they thought they had it going on. They talked like they had it going on. Little did they know that I was walking behind them.

Contestant #1. Her shirt didn't fit properly. A cheap knock-off of a classic, it buckled in the back and the buttons were popping. Plus her heels were worn down and had that clickclickclick that worn out shoes make when the nail head from the heels are wearing through. Lose about 40 pounds sweetheart and your shoes will last longer.

Contestant #2. Pants too tight that had that grab across her ass. Not a bad thing in certain situations, but at work, at an office, during the day without a film crew isn't one of them. Pant hems dragging about 2" too long as well. She tried hard with the platforms to make up the extra length...but just go see a tailor. He (or she) can help you with the fit of the pants across your ass cheeks AND the length.

Contestant #3. She had previously had a blazer on, but with the humidity she took it off and slung it over her arm for her coffee run. Also, it was rather obvious she was flirting up a storm with the java dude, so she thought the extra cleavage would work to her advantage. Yeah. Hello. He's damn good looking, but he's gay, sista. But even with that faux pas, your tag is still hanging out the back of your cami and your hair is a total mess.

Do these people have mirrors? Have they heard of tailors? I can see that they are religiously buying fashion magazines and trying like hell to scream sensual that only confidence can project. That AND good fabrics and good tailoring. Trends? Sure. Use some of them...but don't become a whore and sell your individual style out. But you girls? You are a couple of dollars and buttons short of making this work for you. Trust me. I'm a professional.

But pardon me...I digress.

When working in the window you would be surprised by the amount of people that feel it necessary to knock, wave and lean on the window to watch me work. Now, I don't dress the mannequins IN the window, they are already dressed when I bring them in. So there aren't going to be any naked body forms. Ooohhhh. I'm just the arranging of the props, the extras, the banners...and these people watch me doing it. Like it some sort of live art. It's weird.

Visual display IS art, in a form. What I do directly impacts the traffic in the store and increases sales. It also makes a 'Brand' statement for the store. People recognize the clothing by the brand, the look, and the lifestyle that it exudes.

So when I was working, I decided to tape old banners to the windows so no one could see in. I was painting. I wanted to change the background of the window itself. There was about an inch or two on each side of the window that the banner didn't cover. I thought I was pretty well hidden. I was wrong.

When I knelt down to paint the lower edging, as I dipped my paintbrush into the can I happened to look over at the window. There was a guy purportedly tying his shoe and staring right at me. He was peering right under the 2 inches that the banner didn't cover. Staring at me. Painting. In the window. Kneeling on the floor.

And then he smiled. At me. And waved.

This totally creeped me out.

Maybe he thought he was being friendly. I thought it odd. No bizarre. I went to all this trouble to conceal myself behind a barricade; to protect myself from the voyeurism when I work in a fishbowl and here this guy is blatantly staring at me while I paint?! How long has he been watching? Did he notice when I pulled my jeans out of my crack? When I corrected my shirt? Please God, did I do anything I didn't want anyone to see while he was watching?

I kept the questions running in my head, and then thought. F*ck. Can't I even work in private? I Put up BANNERS! Leave me alone!

Just then, one of the associates came to say someone was there to see me. I thought, "Oh please." Would be this weirdo who's been watching me? I was afraid to leave the display area. But when I came out, it was just an old friend stopping by to say "Hi". She said, "I saw the banners taped in the window and thought you were working today".

What a relief.
So we left for a coffee.

That's when I saw those three girls.
Please someone...reach out. Tuck their tags in and give them a business card of a tailor.

How much more of this can one visual gal take.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

the lake o'zen...

You ever sit by a quiet lake early in the morning?
It's silent. It's mesmerizing. It's zen.

I planned a quick escape up to my brothers house in Michigan. He lives on one of those inland lakes that are perfect for water sports. It's big enough for small power and ski boats to pull tubes and water skiers. The sound of laughter and joyously screaming children permeates everywhere through the summer months. The sound of ducks quacking and swans snorting rise over the lake as more people take to the water throughout the day.

He lives in a gorgeous 3 story structure that he helped design and build. Tall, multi level windows facing south give a panoramic view of the lake. His house is austere and uncluttered. There are a few personal items about, but it's graciously appointed yet bare bones. I like that the photo I gave him years ago of the two of us as children adorns the living area. It's a comfortable place to descend upon and he was quite accommodating for allowing us to do so.

Saturday I awoke earlier than usual. The rest of the house was still. Deep sleep murmurs from the girls and no movement from upstairs, so I went out to the dock to sit, with Sienna by my side. Just a girl and her dog sitting at waters edge. Everything sparkling with fresh dew. Watching the sun rising and the mist off the lake. Little prisms of light dancing off reflective surfaces. No sound. Just a few birds, nothing. Peace. And quiet.

It was beautiful. I enjoyed the time sitting alone with my thoughts.
And to watch and hear the world come alive.

It started with a lone ski boat on the far side of the lake. And then a jet ski. And another. Then add two more ski boats, 8 pontoon boats and next all you see and hear are the whining engines of boats. And the joyous sound that emanates when children and water are mixed together.

By mid morning the sand bar is full of boats with their occupants on various inflatable devices consuming the contents of their coolers. It's a all day party affair that happens every warm day of summer. I wondered if that's why they call it a sand 'bar'.

My daughter brought a friend with her and Uncle Chuck was willing to do the girls bidding at every turn. And turn he did on the lake with them dragging 30 feet behind on the Bonzai tube. Round and round and round the lake we went with the girls asking for more each time we went to stop. I wondered how young girls don't ever seem to tire. Did I once have that much energy? That much gusto? I suppose I did. And some days I still do. They just don't seem to be as frequent as they once were.

We all had a wonderful time on our little 'vacation' up to my brothers abode...swimming, tubing, and blowing up multiple floaties to play on. One raft, reminiscent of the one I saw down at Mohican on the river...palm tree, back rests and cup holders. The other a 6 foot high hamster wheel for the water. It's much more efficient to use on land, as while on water it just spun in the same place landing the girls each and every time on their chins. No one seemed to mind too much, the pleasure of being IN a human size blowup hamster wheel was worth any pain that said falling might bring on. It was the perfect place to spend a few lazy days of summer when the temperatures soared above the 90 degree mark.

After last weeks discombobulation, it was good to have a place of zen to go to. Sometimes it's just good to get away, even if for a short time. I had such a relaxing weekend that I actually brought home with me a little of the lake mud and water in an empty wine bottle. If I feel the need to get back to the solitude, the zen, the peace of the lake...I can just pull out the bottle and swish it around. If I put my ear up and listen closely, the sound of laughter can be heard.

I just have to think about it.
And it'll be there.

Zen in a bottle. A wine bottle.
Maybe it's not zen after all...
but kismet.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

something happened along the way...

e⋅piph⋅a⋅ny - (i-pif-uh-nee)

  • a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.

Have you ever had an epiphany?

When it seems that everything in your world has finally come into focus? Akin to a Claritin Clear commercial?
When all the planets seems to align itself and shine down upon you?
A time when all the questions you have about your existence all seem to make sense?

When you feel as if even the Dali Lama may call and ask YOU for advice?

I haven't.
At least not recently.
I'm totally discombobulated today.

Normally pretty organized, I can't seem to even make an errand run without forgetting something. Starting with leaving the list of things to get, at home on the kitchen counter. I did go back for it and then at the store, I left the list in the car. But once that error realized (again), this time I didn't go back for it. I figured that if I manage to hit every department in the store that I'll 'remember' what it was on the list. It'll be okay, I'll get everything that I need.
Nope. Didn't work.

When I got back to the car and checked the list to see how my memory fared in the store there were about six of the items that I forgot. Not bad overall, I suppose, but don't have the time now to go back to complete the list. It'll have to wait for another day.

I needed to stop at four different places. Normally, this isn't a big deal. Pre-thinking my course, I normally make the stops in a circular fashion so I don't go out of my way. I go from point A through point D and then back around. I don't jump between points thus backtracking and wasting time and energy. Today, I jumped around from Point A to Point D then back to Point C over to Point B. It was quite inefficient by my standards. Normally, this doesn't happen.
But today it did.

Today does not seem like a normal day.

I look the same. Feel pretty much the same. Seem to be the same. But something just

And I can't quite get a grip on what it is.
Hopefully this condition won't last too long. I need to find those damn rose colored glasses. Where, pray tell, did I put them...

So if you have any idea how I can align my planets, force an epiphany and figure out what I'm supposed to be doing...could you take the time to enlighten me?

It seems that I am definitely not in the Dali Lama's speed dial top 5.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Lakewood and their view on dogs...

Meet Stuey. He's my dog. He's an American Bulldog. He's a great pet.

I live in Lakewood, Ohio.

It's a nice suburban area of Cleveland, Ohio on the beautiful shores of Lake Erie.

It's a rather tranquil place. Enough bustle going on to keep us busy. We've got the Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Browns and the Cleveland Cavaliers. We have a world renowned philharmonic, an award winning Museum of Art, several smaller museums and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. There are numerous other attractions around the area such as Boston Mills for skiing and Blossom Music Center. We have a park system that runs for 60+ miles, so you can bike or hike to your hearts content. We have four seasons so we can enjoy all nature has to offer. We even have a pretty good cost of living compared to other cities, so you get all this for less money.

But with all these benefits, we have a city that doesn't really like dogs. And now we have National Media coverage of an event that happened last week. We now have Otis, the Boxer. And the policeman and animal control warden who felt it necessary to taser the poor animal...twice.

I saw the blurp on the news, but was doing other things and didn't pay much attention to it. Then it was on the news again. And again. And again. And now it's world news.

Lakewood has (amid numerous objections from many of its residents) a 'Dangerous Dog Ordinance'.

If you own a Pitt Bull or a Canary Dog, Lakewood considers them to be 'dangerous dogs'. There is a grandfather clause in place for dogs of those breeds, but they must be registered as such for a $50 fee. No one within city limits can now own one, or any mix of one. Any 'dangerous' dog must be on a leash at all times and be muzzled if walking or out of it's home. If not, the city will round them up and destroy them.

So in a nutshell, this is what happened last week with the Boxer, Otis.

Otis's owner fell asleep.
Otis got out of a mislatched screen door.
Otis took himself for a walk.
A neighbor called the police.
The police called the animal warden.
The cop pulled a gun on the dog and then thought better of it. He was 'afraid the bullet may ricochet and hit something other than the dog.
The policeman tasered Otis.
The animal warden had the loop around Otis's neck.
And then Officer Terry Lowther proceeded to taser the dog...again.

As Otis was on the ground, whimpering, still and looped by animal control, the officer continued to taser the dog. Even as animal control dragged unconsciuos Otis over to his vehicle and tossed the dog in like a bag of trash. Only then did the officer stop using the taser gun. The policeman said the dog was 'aggressive'. The animal control warden had no comment. The video shows otherwise. Before Otis was tasered, he appeared nervous. Dog trainers have looked at the raw video and said that the dogs mannerisms do not show an aggressive dog, at all.

The video from the taser gun is disgusting. (You can watch it here if you'd like, warning: it's disturbing.)

The video shown initially on TV was just a portion of the raw footage. And it didn't have the sound. This is the video from the taser gun. You can hear the warden and officer calling , "here puppy, puppy" and yelling at the dog to "go home." No wonder the dog was confused. They can also be heard agreeing that neither knows what breed of dog Otis is. And then you hear the dogs cries of pain.

It's shameful.
And I live here.

WITH a dog that could be taken for a 'dangerous dog' since all the police and animal wardens seem to think ALL dogs have Pitt in them. Imbeciles.

In Lakewood, Ohio we have beautiful parks. But no one is allowed to walk their dogs in them. We have beautiful beaches, but dogs are not allowed to go to the water because they are not allowed on the beach in the parks.

It has become a non-pet friendly city. They stopped allowing dogs in the parks in 1973. The residents have started to petition to have that removed. The city says that it will cost too much money to post signs and waste stations, so they want it to remain in place.

But having this 'Dangerous Dog' ordinance just instills fear into people. They are beginning to automatically think that if it looks like a Pitt Bull, it is a Pitt Bull and it is vicious. Otis isn't even a Pitt Bull, he's a Boxer. The city wanted to destroy him. But they settled with the owner that Otis is just banned from living in the city. I own an American Bulldog, and now just because he has a big head, people automatically think he's a Pitt or has Pitt in him. That would qualify him by Lakewood standards to then be a dangerous dog and vicious animal.

Stuey is not vicious. Or mean.

It's not the breed of dog that's dangerous. It's the owners that raise dangerous dogs! I've met a few Chihuahua's that'll take your arm off. So if they ban Pitts, what's to say that they won't ban Bulldogs, or Labradors, or German Shepard's? Once they start doing this, it's a slippery slope. Who has the power to control it, and why wasn't the animal control employee able to identify correctly the breed before going to such extreme?

Granted the owner of Otis, Daniel Kier, has some explaining to do. Why didn't the dog have an identification tag. He wasn't a registered dog. But he wasn't a Pitt Bull either. So why then should he be banned from the city?

I recently watched from my car as some kids were hanging out on the sidewalk in front of a local park. They weren't doing anything. Just standing there. A police officer pulled his cruiser over because they had a dog with them. It's possible that the dog was a Pitt Bull, but looked like a boxer or bulldog to me. I watched as the officer made the kid show identification and talk with the officer for quite awhile. But he let them go.

Since this ordinance has been put into place, there have been many instances reported that the police are out looking for people with 'dangerous dogs' within city limits. There have been many others that have come forward and expressed concern because they felt harassed by police because of their dogs. Many have had their dogs DNA tested to prove that it isn't a pit bull terrier. Isn't that a case of guilty before proven innocent?

I have the Invisible Fencing system. I've had it for years and it works great. But since my dogs have the run of the backyard, who's to say that someone isn't going to come by while I'm gone and take my dog. He'd bark or growl like crazy if someone was aggressive with him, but he's really a little lover. Ask any of my friends.

The whole thing bothers me.

For instance, while out for a walk yesterday afternoon with my dogs several people stopped to ask their breeds. I'm used to it because both Sienna and Stuey are interesting, handsome dogs. And friendly. But the people today when they asked seemed wary of Stuey until I told them that indeed "he is not a Pitt Bull". Only then did the approach and were liberally drooled on.

So how long will it be before I have the police coming to my doorstep and asking for Stuey's identification papers. I have them all, he IS an American Bulldog, but it's the principal of the matter.

What do you think?
Should a city be able to ban certain breeds from city limits? Should an ordinance for Dangerous Dogs be in place?
And if you want a little drool, stop on over.
Stuey's got a lot to share.
What Can YOU Do?
If you are so inclined, below I have listed some contact information for some individuals in Lakewood, OH.
MayorEdward FitzGeraldMayor’s Office
12650 Detroit AvenueLakewood, Ohio 44107(216) 529-6600email –
City CouncilLakewood City Hall
12650 Detroit AvenueLakewood, Ohio 44107(216) 529-6055email:
The seven members of the city council include:
Kevin Butler – Ward 1(216) 221-7953email:
Thomas Bullock – Ward 2(216) 337-1318email:
Michael Summers – Ward 3(216) 228-6905email:
Mary Louise Madigan – Ward 4(216) 228-9578email:
Nickie J. Antonio – At Large(216) 221-4421email:
Michael Dever – President – At LargeHome (216) 221-6737email:
Brian E. Powers – At Large(216) 496-3238email:
Police ChiefTimothy J. Malley(216) 521-6773email:
Animal Control(216) 529-5020

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Premium MeMe award...

Oh! How fun for me!
The accolades cometh! And the accolades will be spread forth...

I must Thank the Queen of HighWasp at Privilege for this most wonderful award. Although upon accepting said award, I need to point out that my friend is in need a office visit to her optometrist.

You see, she mentioned in her blog that she gave me this award because, and I quote, "This award goes to: f8hasit for the best About Me photo ever."

Now. I know. I should say, "Thank You" and leave it at that. But accepting compliments has never been my forte. I'm rather critical of photos taken of me. I prefer to be behind the lens than in front of it. So when there is a photo that is able to pass my scrutiny, well...okay. One in four hundred I suppose isn't so bad!

So please, do go over and tell my friend Lisa at Privilege, that Nancy says "Hi!". She's been giving me my suggested daily dose of HighWasp that I truly enjoy. I might skip breakfast and even my daily fiber supplement, but never; ever my dose of Privilege.

The guidelines of the Premium MeMe award are to list 7 of your personality traits, as evidenced on your blog, and then pass the award on to 7 other blogs with notable personality. OK. Just an FYI, I had to confer with my ex-husband to get the seven I'm sure they are off, just slightly. He did mention #3 about 6 times!

Hang on, here goes.

1. Optimistic. (If you know me, or read any of my stuff, this has held true my whole life. No matter what.)
2. Grateful.
3. Stubborn. (six times? really?)
4. Insightful.
5. Generous. (ask any waiter!)
6. Opinionated. (so, shoot me. I like my opinion! I'll listen to yours but it may not change mine.)
7. Affable.

And now for my seven award winners! (que drumroll)

This award is humbly presented to Matthew at Resurrected Ramblings for his most insightful stories; Will at Searching for Shangri-La because if he lived closer, I'm sure we'd be great friends and I sometimes que up hisd blog just to listen to the music; to Carlos at the tired one because he wants to take a break from blogging and we don't want him to, this will give him something to do-he can't refuse!; at Chrissy at ishouldabeenastripper because through everything she's still my best friend and I love her; to Lora from Fever because she never fails to make me run for the bathroom before I pee my pants after reading her posts; to JennyMac at Let's have a cocktail...I just like her (and her blog name)! and she always makes me smile; and last but not least to HolgaJen at The Darkroom because I want to be as artistic, beautiful and talented as she is.

Please make sure to go to these talented people's blogs. Without them, I would have at least 2 more productive hours added to my day.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

time to smell the roses...

It's going to be one of those days.

Hectic. Busy. Out of Control.
I can feel it about ready to burst. I've got in my hands a list of all that needs to be accomplished today.

It's a long list.

And it's not one of those lists of 'want to get done', it's a 'NEEDS to get done' list. Perhaps I could have whittled it down a bit by knocking a few items OFF said list prior to today, but there were things that came up that prevented me from doing so. Important things.

Like go swimming with my daughter, and having lunch with my new mommy friends of my daughters classmates in one of their backyards. Things like reading a few chapters of my book whilst feeding the ever growing koi in our pond, take a bike ride and the dogs for a walk. Things like waking up early to enjoy a cup of coffee on the front porch before the masses awake. Things I don't normally do because I'm running on list hyper speed.

I brought my computer out with me with my coffee this morning to catch up on some other reading. To find out what my blogbuds (a phrase coined by the enchanting Kathryn over at From the Inside...Out) were up to and wrote while I slept. There was a thought provoking post over at DepressionRecession that got me thinking...

Do we really appreciate, or take the time to appreciate the things that life gives us? Where we are? What we are doing? We are all so programmed to run so fast that the ol' adage of 'taking time to smell the roses' just doesn't fit into peoples lives.

Many people that I know are so consumed by getting this done, or that done, or buying this, or saving for that...that it rules their lives. They are consumed by fear. The are ruining the 'now' by projecting their fears into the future.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm all about planning. I'm a list maker. Ask anyone who knows me...
I plan for my future, I try not to overspend. I try to be smart and think ahead. But I like to DO things. Things that will create memories... for me, and for those around me as well.

I like to slow down a bit. I'm trying to live not pressed by what others expect of me, but what I expect of myself. I'm finding that it's quite two different things. I'm trying to do a little more for me...

Which gets me back around to the busy day that I have ahead.
I've laundry to do. Bags to pack. Details to plan.

My daughter leaves for summer camp tomorrow and Mommy is going to be a mess.
No phone calls from boo. No mail. No hugs. No kisses.
For an entire week...

But right this moment, my coffee tastes good. The sun is rising. The world is quiet. And I'm smelling the roses...literally. I'm keeping my stress at bay. I've got one more day before she leaves. My daughter will be waking at any moment and calling my name. But then the cogs will start to turn and the list must be finished.

But right now. This is ME time.
And it's good.