Thursday, September 07, 2006

Shutting down

“Shut down all the garbage compactors on the detention level! Shut down all the garbage compactors on the detention level!” Luke hollered into his communicator, as R2D2 and C3PO sought to help their human companions. It’s one of our favorite lines from the first Star Wars movie.

Applied here, I am shutting down this blog. It all started on January 22, 2005. This is my 200th post, so I’m happy about that milestone. I may start up again some day, but for now, I’m closing up shop.

Thus, My Life’s Work goes the way of Mirty, Stacy, Sister Golden Hair, Darlene (though she can still be found contributing to a group blog) and some others who have dropped off the radar screen.

If it’s OK with them, I’ll still follow my favorites, including Rebecca’s Thoughts, Suburban Lesbian, Maybe Expectant, Rabid Fun, Of Marathons and Other High Intensity Endeavors, It’s not Exactly Pepperland, Shake It Like a Polaroid Picture, Nettie Rules, One of Six, thestafflounge, and a few others I’ve discovered along the way.

I’ve enjoyed getting to know you all over the past two years and sharing your lives a little. I’ve appreciated your comments on my blog and wish you all the best.

Monday, September 04, 2006

42 Things About My Dog

1. He rarely steps in his own pee.
2. When we feed him he will wait for the command before he starts to wolf down his food.
3. He will wait for the magic words: “Go eat!”-usually.
4. He seems to be attached to me, since he follows me from room to room.
5. He came to us very well trained from our daughter.
6. During the day he rotates from a bed in the family room to one in the living room for no apparent reason.
7. If he can he will sneak into my chair while we are gone for the day.
8. Our walks go better when it is cooler out.
9. He plods along very slowly when it’s hot.
10. People always stop us to ask what kind of dog he is.
11. Great Dane-Lab is the answer.
12. Brindle is the color.
13. I didn’t know what brindle was until I saw his paperwork
14. He weighs 100 pounds.
15. Kathy wonders what will happen if he dies in the house.
16. After all, he weighs 100 pounds.
17. As big as he is, he’s afraid of thunderstorms.
18. When a storm rolls in, he’ll come into the kitchen and lie on the floor.
19. He’s not allowed in the kitchen.
20. At night, during a storm, he’ll scrunch up on the floor alongside my side of the bed.
21. He sees me as the alpha male or something.
22. He gets a treat every Saturday morning.
23. I keep his treats in the basement.
24. I tie him up outside for his treat because he gets all foamy when he eats it.
25. Whenever I’m home all day, he thinks it must be Saturday.
26. Whenever I tie him up outside, he thinks it must be Saturday.
27. Whenever I go into the basement, he thinks it must be Saturday.
28. We hide the kitchen trash can in the bathroom.
29. Thus, he hardly ever gets yelled at for making a mess.
30. Every morning we go for a walk around the block.
31. Every morning we see skunks in the neighborhood.
32. Apparently, he finds skunks fascinating.
33. Every night we go for another walk, much longer—about two miles.
34. There are lots of dogs in our neighborhood.
35. Our record for setting off barking dogs just by walking by in one evening is eighteen.
36. He does this head thing when he wants attention.
37. He puts his head in your lap and looks at you soulfully.
38. An ear scratch usually takes care of it.
39. He’s kind of dumb, but in a nice way.
40. He’s nine years old. We’ve had him for a little more than one.
41. He’s a chick magnet.
42. Let’s face it: he’s the best dog ever.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Coloring with the master

Uncle Greg of American Splendor fame gets a few tips on coloring from Max. Posted by Picasa

Beat up swallowtail

This little guy has been through the wars--
he's a little raggedy around the edges. Posted by Picasa

Annual Fall visitor

I came out one day and found seven flutterbys
on the butterfly bush--a new record for me. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 02, 2006

My Summer Reading List

1. The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren
2. Tristan Betrayal, Robert Ludlum
3. Oblivious, (I must have been, because I never noted the author’s name)
4. Whisker of Evil, Rita Mae Brown
5. Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich. A writer takes a series of minimum wage jobs to see what people do in order to get by.
6. Twisted, Jonathan Kellerman
7. Sea Change, Robert B. Parker
8. The Broker, John Grisham
9. A Catskill Eagle, Robert B. Parker
10. The Mad Cook of Pymatuning, Christopher Lehmann-Haupt
11. The Mermaid Chair, Sue Monk Kidd
12. Marker, Robin Cook. Disappointing.
13. A Year in the World, Frances Mayes. I rushed through this, wanting to get to the travel parts. Much of it revolves around food, but enough is enough.
14. All Our Yesterdays, Robert B. Parker
15. Smashed, Koren Zailckas. Apparently she’s not an alcoholic, but sure lived like one for a few years.
16. School Days, Robert B. Parker
17. Sea Glass, Anita Shreve. Several different threads of different points of view are brought together in the end. Key word: foreshadowing.
18. The Godwulf Manuscript, Robert B. Parker
19. God Bless the Child, Robert B. Parker
20. Mortal Stakes, Robert B. Parker
21. Eat the Document, Dana Spiotta. Wonderful story of a radical gone underground, and her life through the 70’s-90’s.
22. The Hunt Ball, Rita Mae Brown
23. Predator, Patricia Cornwell
24. Wilderness, Robert B. Parker
25. All He Ever Wanted, Anita Shreve. Hey—it’s Anita Shreve—great stuff.
26. An Almost Perfect Moment, Binnie Kirschenbaum
27. The Pilot’s Wife, Anita Shreve. Didn’t see what the big deal was with this one.
28. The Judas Goat, Robert B. Parker
29. This Book Will Save Your Life, A.M. Homes. Or not.
30. The Great Influenza, John M. Barry. I never knew how horrible conditions really were: sick people having to lie in bed with the recently deceased since there was no one well enough to carry out the dead.
31. A Savage Place, Robert B. Parker
32. The Footprints of God, Greg Iles. Something about computers becoming intelligent.
33. Pale Kings and Princes, Robert B. Parker
34. There are Worse Things I Could Do, Adrienne Barbeau. C’mon, she was pretty cute, you must admit.
35. Looking for Rachel Wallace, Robert B. Parker
36. The Widening Gyre, Robert B. Parker
37. Let Me Finish, Roger Angell. Well written stories from the fiction editor of The New Yorker. I think I’ll have to find his baseball writings now.
38. Man in the Shadows, Efraim Halevy. Former director of the Mossad. You would think it would be really cool, but it plods along with little in the way of secret insights.
39. Ceremony, Robert B. Parker
40. Death in Dublin, Bartholomew Gill. I loved it since I’ve actually been in some of the places described in Dublin, and some of the action takes place in Dun Laoghaire, where daughter Ann and her husband Peter live.

As you can see, quite a run of trashy reading with the occasional redeeming serious work. My goal is always 50 books, so I’m a little short this season. I could extend the summer on through September, but I still wouldn’t hit it. Time to tackle the mountain of magazines that accumulated over the past few months.

Let them eat yogurt

For the past month I've had to fight off bronchitis with two rounds of antibiotics. The second one kicked its butt, and I started to feel better. Then one evening, Kathy cranked up the air conditioning, and I was sitting in my shorts (summer shorts, silly, not the other kind) and the cold air chilled my poor little legs and I got sick again.

Now people (you know--doctors, nurses--that kind of people) say that is not how one becomes ill. Well, it's how I get sick. Walk outside with wet hair: sick. Walk outside in a cold wind with no hat: sick. Sit in an icy movie theater without a sweater: sick! I think she must be doing it for the insurance money, but I've foiled her plans.

I went to the doctor today, though my regular guy was not there. I talked to this younger doctor who was rightly concerned about all the antibiotics I've been taking. He talked about how the drugs were killing all my bacteria, including the good ones. He suggested that I eat yogurt to get some more bacteria into my system. Sounded wacky to me, but Kathy said he was right. She even went out and bought me a bunch of Yoplait containers. Blueberry. My favorite.

Maybe she's willing to wait for the insurance money.