These Are the Dogs in My Neighborhood (for Now)

June 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

We like dogs, the friendly kind moreso than the snarling, growling kind, particularly some of the dogs who live very nearby. They feel like familiar friends, just like the local kids, from the two-year-old two doors down who once followed me home, to the pre-teen who I found sobbing and hiding underneath a chair in the hallway one Saturday night.

Our dog neighbors run the spectrum, from the pricey purebreds to rescues. She’s pretty new, but we’ve started to run into a Shar-Pei, who always looks like she’s late for an important meeting. All business.

The first time we saw her, Scott squealed,
“Where are your ears?!”
The dog’s owner rolled his eyes.

And somewhere my brain, my synapses switched tracks so that my memory transformed this exchange to, “Where are your eyebrows?” and I have often chuckled at the memory because dogs? DOGS DON’T HAVE EYEBROWS BECAUSE ALL DOGS HAVE EYEBROWS. I brought this up recently and Scott pointed out my memory’s trick and that no, by the way, he isn’t an idiot. But still, whenever I think about dog eyebrows, I chuckle.

There’s also a standard black mutt, probably part German shepherd and part lab? Long hair, all black, as close as you can come to a wolf. One morning recently, Black Dog came around a corner in front of her owner, and I didn’t see the leash and I thought to myself:

Oh. This is how it ends for me.
But luckily split-seconds pass quickly, and the owner appeared and off he and Black Dog went, though Black Dog did look back at me and lick her lips, and I know she was thinking Yes, you do look delicious.

My favorite dog is Ginger. I don’t actually know anymore if her name is really Ginger, or if my brain just decided that she looks like a Ginger so she must be a Ginger (and I think I’ve already demonstrated that lately, my memory is a little unreliable, though I’m not quite Leonard Shelby, yet). She’s all greyhound, long spindly legs and pointy nose.

We also call her The Supermodel.
She’s leggy.
She’s thin.
She prances.
All that’s missing is a designer bag and a famous boyfriend.

The best part about The Supermodel a.k.a. Ginger is I can wind her up. From down the hall, or across the parking lot, a quick side-to-side shake of my head, and Ginger’s head cocks and her muscles coil. From that far away, she’s alert enough to know that I WANT TO PLAY. Sadly, I don’t think her owners would be cool with me wrestling her to the ground, as much as I want to.

The hard thing about living vertically is that the dogs come and go without warning. There was a pug before, and a Pomeranian, and one day both were just gone. When that happens, I’ll be a bit sad, because I’m emotionally attached to The Supermodel.

Oh, but I Beg to Differ!

June 14, 2012 § 1 Comment

The March Madness Event NO ONE Saw Coming

March 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

My bracket doesn’t suck.

I mean, as soon as Kansas loses I'm screwed but I'll enjoy this not-sucking while it lasts.This never happens.

Prepare yourself for Armageddon.

I Love Being in My Thirties.

March 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

Life has changed a lot in the past several years, no more notably than the way I spend my recreational time with friends.

The Roaring Twenties: Weekends involved bars, high heels, makeup, short skirts, strangers, lots and lots of drinks, at least one fight, 3-1 odds that someone would fall down and skin a knee, and 50-1 odds that someone would get kicked out of the (strip) club. Half of each weekend day was typically lost to a hangover.

The Quiet Thirties: Weekends now involve getting up early to hit the farmers market, the gym, and maybe even the 10:30 a.m. matinee. Hangovers are rare, and only one cup of coffee is needed per day. Sweatpants are common. (In fact, so common that my thighs haven’t seen the inside of a pair of jeans for a full day since at least mid-2011.) Meals are often prepared, from scratch, and filed into the freezer for later enjoyment. Books are consumed in hour-long sittings; conversations are largely remembered.

It is heavenly.
It is indulgent in productive, lovely ways.
It is grown-up and responsible and rewarding.
It also leads to conversations that go a lot like these two.

Friday, 9:30 a.m.
BFF: I must admit something to you. It’s a biggie.
Me: Uh oh. Are you watching Breaking Dawn again?
BFF: I like Whitney. A lot.
Me: Dude. It’s one of my favorites.

Friday, 5:40 p.m.
Me: You know what movie isn’t terrible? Just Go With It. There. I said it.
BFF: I AGREE!
long pause
BFF: Who are we?
Me: I have no idea who we are anymore. But I like us.

Because, with this thirties mellowing out seems to have sprung patience. Give something a chance and you discover it’s not so bad. Sit on the couch, watch the show, watch the movie, sip that wine. Chill. Sure, maybe it’s lower standards, but maybe it’s also relaxing. In my twenties, I always felt like I was clenching; gritting my teeth, forcing myself to like the things I felt I should like because they were intellectual or respected. Screw it. Not everything always has to be crazy, dramatic, a whirlwind. It’s so much better. (Clarification: The Roaring Twenties weren’t awful or anything. They were confusing and slapdash but necessary to arrive here. If you’re in your twenties, enjoy them.)

On an unrelated note, coming soon, a long post called: Everyone Should Stop Hating Whitney.

Girl Scout Cookies Are $4 a Box!

February 20, 2012 § 1 Comment

Which is why, when a coworker brought his daughter to distribute boxes earlier today, and mentioned that they brought extras, I went over to her with $21 and said, “Can I have a box of Thin Mints? I’ll give you $21 so you can just give me $15 change.”

She was sweet and adorable and shy, and off I went with my Thin Mints.

Ten minutes later, I was sitting at my desk, STUFFING MY FACE with Thin Mints, and my coworker and his daughter stopped by with $2.

“You gave her $21, and she only gave you $15,” he said politely. “She got the math wrong.”

I won’t lie: I couldn’t do this math in my head, but rather than question him — I was PRETTY SURE he was wrong — I just nodded and planned to whip out my calculator later.

And then he said to his daughter: “$21 minus $15 is $17, sweetie.”
And I said: “Sadly, I did the math. I told her to give me $15 change.”
I couldn’t let this sweet little girl take the fall.
When she handed me my $2 I looked her in the eye and said, “Study hard in math class. Don’t end up really bad at math like I did.”
She nodded solemnly and walked off.

STUDY HARD IN MATH, KIDS, FOR REAL.
Otherwise you might end up a writer type like me, using your and you’re correctly, and stringing sentences together properly to “make stories.” Nobody wants that.

An E-Mail I Recently Received From a Former Colleague

February 11, 2012 § 2 Comments

Via Linked In, post-connection.

Hi Meredith,

You’re still legendary around here for hip-checking someone (Gregg?) through the drywall.

I hope you are well.

Phil

I have NO RECOLLECTION of doing this. However, after settling back and thinking about it for a few moments, it sounds entirely like something I would do, therefore I have no choice but to accept that this is true and feel proud.

Cults @ Black Cat: The Concert Project (January)

January 15, 2012 § 3 Comments

I was a little bit worried on the drive to this show. Normally, I prep for shows. I’ll re-listen to albums, I’ll look up band’s past setlists, I’ll even look up lyrics. It’s all part of what it takes for me to get to know a band and really enjoy them live, and I just didn’t have time to do that this week.

I was pleasantly surprised.

The Cults are fairly new (only about a 7 months old by their own admission) and they’ve got just one album, which I’m guessing they played in their entirety last night. There was never a moment where I felt like they were playing a bad song or a song I didn’t like. That makes me really excited for what they’ll do next.

Highlights of the show (I’ve included Spotify links to specific, available songs for the curious):

  • Abducted — They opened with this song, which has a lovely back-and-forth between Madeline and Brian. One point against the show overall was that it seemed like both of their vocals needed to be turned up, especially through the first few songs.
  • Never Heal Myself — There’s a lovely point of this song where all the instruments fade and Madeline sings, “Yeah I try to heal myself, and turn around cuz someone else, but I can never be myself … so fuck you.” You were really able to hear her voice — which is so clear and so gorgeous — and the expletive made the crowd go nuts.
  • You Know What I Mean — The band introduced this song as their “slow jam.” So much screaming and angst, I beg to differ.
  • Everybody Knows — If you’ve only got one album, you’ve got to do a cover. They went with a prettied-up version of this Leonard Cohen song.
  • Go Outside — They saved this one for their encore, and very politely told the crowd that, no, really, this was their last song — they didn’t do the thing where they pretend to leave the stage, we all yell, and they come back. This is probably my favorite song on the album … mostly because I like to pretend my cat is singing it.
  • The Crowd — The band played two shows at Black Cat, a 6 p.m. and a 9 p.m. We were at the early show, and I realize I’m old and crotchety, but the crowd was polite, calm, and sober, which was a treat. I’m not sure how often we’ll encounter that through the year. (Also, getting to go to a show AND be at home on the couch in my PJs reading a book before 9:30 p.m.? SCORE.)
  • iPhones — It’s funny to watch people try to take photos of bands with their phones, all the pinching and stretching and fumbling and holding up in the air and the end result is never good. Though, Scott got a few decent shots with his new camera:
Cults at Black Cat 1/14/12

Cults at Black Cat 1/14/12

Cults Overall Grade: B+

Opening Band: Dirty Fences
You know how, when you go to the movies, the trailers usually match the genre of the full-length feature you’re there to see? If you’re at New Year’s Eve, you’re seeing other comedies. If you’re at Haywire, you’re seeing action.

The opening band for Cults, then, ran completely opposite of genre. Dirty Fences describe themselves as “soul punk rock and roll” and it was a bit jarring — we learned the first lesson of The Concert Project:

Always bring earplugs.

Where Cults are pop and all sweet, twee, Urban Outfitters in their presentation, Dirty Fences are all black leather jacket and swagger. They played fast, with no breaks between songs — almost like they wanted to get it over with (which I appreciated). The second and third songs they played were pretty good — they’ve only got two songs on Bandcamp but I don’t think either is what I heard and liked. Maybe I’ll kick myself for saying this one day, but: I wasn’t a fan at all.

Dirty Fences Overall Grade: D

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