Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Shopping Safari with Mark

"I need garlic."
"Umm... okay. Could you move? You're standing in front of the television."
"No, I mean I need some garlic or there won't be any dinner for you."
"(sigh).. Now, you want to go now?"
"Take me to Tony's Market, and then you can go back to watching whatever it is you're watching."
It was actually nothing. I had the Cubs on, but I was doing more dozing off than watching. It didn't matter, Mark needed his garlic. So I hauled myself out of the big chair, put on my shoes, and we left for Tony's. I dread going shopping with Mark. Sure, it was just garlic, but why would he grab a big shopping cart when we got to Tony's for a bulb of garlic? Because garlic was just a ruse. He also needed noodles, Chinese broccoli, soda, some sweet roles, lemons, and a bunch of other crap. Not only that, but on the way to Tony's he announced that he wanted to stop at Target "For just a minute." So after Tony's we wasted thirty minutes at Target wandering aimlessly up and down the aisles. But wait, there's more. As we were leaving Target I heard this, "Can we stop at that antique store on Olive Street? For just a minute?"

So Mark needed some garlic. He got me out of my big chair, out of my living room, and out of the house for some garlic. And once again I was tricked into one of his shopping safaris. That's what I call it when Mark hijacks me like that, Mark's Shopping Safari. You would think that after nineteen years I would have caught on. You would think that when Mark tells me that he needs some garlic, that I would say "Sure, I'll go get it for you." Then leave the house alone so that I could return within less than three hours with a garlic bulb. But Mark is clever, he pleads fear of driving in the big city. He'll whine and nag until I give in. Goddamn, I hate shopping... but that lasagna he made with the sweet, savory garlic flavor is so damn good.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Braving the Big City

It's funny how easily the whole Chicago thing has come back to me. For instance my driving, I have reverted back to my taxicab driving style. I squeeze through impossible openings, honk at cars that take more than three seconds to react to green lights, and I've been exercising my middle finger freely when morons cut me off, much to the dismay of Mark. He thinks I'm going to wreck his car. It's possible, considering how crazy people drive around here. They run stop signs, speed down sides streets, and turn from the wrong lane all the time. After driving around here now for almost six months, I've come to the conclusion that the Chicago Police are not enforcing traffic laws. The city is, with cameras (I got a speeding warning from one of them), but not the police. I have not seen one cop pull anybody over for anything since moving back here. You would think the city could close that big deficit in the budget with traffic fines... if the cops would oblige.

Another thing that I noticed about living here is that I have acclimated to the weather. Just this morning I walked the dogs around the block in shorts and a tee shirt. If I was still living in Florida, I would have been bundled up in three layers with my nice warm hoodie as the top layer. But not here, not in Chicago. I proudly walked down that sidewalk at six in the morning dressed like it was ninety degrees out, even though it was a brisk, sixty six degrees.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Chewy, Chewy, Chewy..... Always got a mouthful of such sweet things.

I know that most of my posts have been about dogs and kitchens lately. Sorry about that, but that is my life right now. A new dog and a new kitchen, and neither of them is perfect yet. The kitchen is nearing completion, they tiled the backsplash yesterday and all the plumbing is done. The dog, however, is another story. Pee free in the house is the ideal, and she is almost there. Other than wanting desperately to pee on our bed, Scout has been perfect in the pee department. Not so in the chewing department. Yesterday she chewed a hole in one of Mark's decorative pillow cases and in the bed spread that goes along with it. She's holey hell with the chewing. Just the other day I walked into the living room to find bits of white wire spread across the floor. There, hanging from the USB port on Mark's computer, was his iPhone charging cord... or what was left of it. Seriously, I found some of it in Scout's poop later in the day. But wait, there's more! As I was sitting at my computer last night, I was lulled into complacency by the sound of Miss Scout chewing away on a rawhide strip behind me. Hmm... and then I remembered, I hadn't given her a rawhide strip. I spun around to see her chewing away on a Schick, double blade, disposable razor. I was horrified as she gnawed on the business end of that thing. Prying her mouth open, I feared the worst. Blood, a sliced tongue, maybe her lips shaved off her face. But no, she was fine, and she was a bit perturbed that I had taken away such a delicious and chewy find.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Chicago: Best Big City for Bicycling

Chicago has been named the best city for bicycling in America by Bicycling Magazine. All I can say is, the rest of the country must be pretty dismal for bicyclists if this is the best. I see those morons all the time riding around Chicago, and it does not look all that great to me. Just last month a semi-truck ran over a rider and squished her dead. Sure there are little lanes alongside the car lanes with arrows and a drawing of a bicycle on the pavement. All the city did was make the car lanes more narrow and squeeze the bike lane in there next to them. So I don't see how it is that great for the cyclists. And speaking of them, they are mostly assholes who think traffic laws do not apply to them. From what I understand they are supposed to follow the same rules of the road as cars. Stop at stop signs, stop for red lights, and stop for white Ford Fusions looking to beat the yellow light. Those assholes weave in and out of traffic as if the cars are just soft bumpers that won't hurt them. Just the other day I got behind two of them riding abreast taking up the whole street. They're very lucky I was driving and not Mark. Scariest of all are the people who ride at night and don't use lights. I always assume they are muggers if they have no lights. Kind of like the idiot who was speeding down our street last night. Black bike, black clothes, no lights. I did not see him until he was right on top of me and the dogs, and that was only for a brief millisecond. Because before I could say "No! Be a good boy!", which usually calms Chandler, I was yanked to the ground by 115 pounds of angry dog muscle. Both Chandler and Scout felt that the guy on the bicycle was intruding just a little too close to their turf and took off after him. I was spun around and flung to the ground with a hard thud. And because I refused to let go of the leashes, I was dragged across the sidewalk and into the grass. I could feel the skin peeling away from my elbow.

I would like to thank the neighbor lady who came out to help me, and Mark who also came out and tried to pick me up off the lawn. That didn't happen. I just laid there like a wounded elephant until the pain subsided enough for me to pick myself up. Even more, I would like to thank Mark for dressing my wounds, considering he usually faints at the sight of blood... if he doesn't puke first.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Scout Strikes Back

Seven weeks now with our newest member of the family, Scout. Seven weeks of intense house training, and it is amazing how much she has learned. Such as the fact that Chandler is here to entertain her, and Mark is here to also entertain her. Especially when she pisses him off and he goes into one of his arm waving, high pitched screaming frenzies. Scout thinks that is the best. I doubt she has ever had such an energetic daddy like Mark before. I am apparently considered the leader of the pack because she follows me all over the house and tends to get underfoot. I have to be very careful not to step on her because she blends in with all the dirt and dust of the remodeling.

My biggest accomplishment has been her potty training. I have to say, I am proud of her. I leave her alone in the living room with Chandler when we go out, and when we return there is not one drop of pee, and no chewed valuables. In fact, other than this morning, she has been completely pee free in the house for two whole weeks. So what did she do this morning to break that streak? I was laying in bed watching television, Mark on the other side of the huge bed, Chandler at my feet. Along came Scout, leaping up onto the bed (She's not allowed) and paying me a visit. Okay, two weeks without pee I thought, I can trust her. I mean, look at that adorable face, that sweet demeanor. How could I tell her to get off the bed? So I lay there quietly while just a few inches away from my face, Scout squatted and peed. Right there in the bed, she peed! All hell broke loose. Mark began screaming and waving his arms around, while I grabbed Scout and bum rushed her out to the back yard, and Chandler... well he just laid there. With a smirk on his face.