Saturday, July 28, 2012

Making up with Summer

I was reading through some old posts looking for inspiration when I came across this one about summer and “West Coast” by Coconut Records came up on my Summer playlist on my iPod and I immediately teared up and got so homesick I could die.

I know that it’s just PMS (I just counted on the calendar), but the pictures of my favourite beaches combined with the fact that I was just talking to my neighbour about how she just spent the month of July at Bear Lake in her bathing suit and I was already so jealous of her, and that great song and… well, tears.

I just love summer so much. I love the doing nothing aspect of it. I love being able to go out at night and that it’s still warm. Summer is so easy and mellow.

Fortunately for my state of mind, summer has not been so bad this year. July is usually the worst month of the year and it’s almost over and I have that over-the-hump feeling, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I think that I actually may just survive this summer! It’s rained a few times and we’ve had some thunder and lightning, and Dewey and I spent the afternoon at Lagoon-A-Beach, a local water park, and got some awesome water sliding in. As a family, we went to the drive-in and took a cooler and sleeping bags in the back of the truck and I wore my jeans rolled up to my knees and flip-flops and a cardigan and it was the BEST time. My roses in my front yard are blooming like crazy and my DH bought me some Shasta daisies this year and I see them every day as I’m coming and going and I love it. I bought some Haagen Dazs Ice Cream bars and I have been eating them every day. I made a Summer playlist on my iPod and that’s been helping me get through too.

I’m so relieved that I made up with Summer. This fight we’ve been having for the last fifteen years has been really bad for my psyche.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Cheaters Never Prosper

I have always had really strong opinions about cheating. I just don’t understand why anyone would cheat. Why would you do that to someone and then expect them to take you back? Before we got married I informed DH that there were only two ways he could get rid of me; he could cheat on me, or he could hit me. Those are the deal breakers.

Anything else can be worked out in my opinion, but having your partner step out on you is the ultimate betrayal in my opinion. How could you do that to a person that you are committed to? Especially someone that you are married to? Extra-especially to someone to whom you are married and have had children with? In my experience, having children with the man I’m married to has been extra-bonding and I love him all the more for it! If you are having feelings for someone else, then you need to take a serious look at your relationship and have a good talk with yourself and figure out why you are feeling this way. Then you need to decide if you are going to stay or if you are going to go, and AFTER YOU LEAVE, if that’s what you decide, then you pursue a relationship with someone else. You finish one relationship then you start another one, that’s how it works. No piggy-backing allowed. YOU DO NOT START A NEW RELATIONSHIP WHILE YOU ARE IN YOUR CURRENT RELATIONSHIP JUST TO SEE IF YOU’LL BE ABLE TO LAND ON YOUR FEET BECAUSE YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT ENDING YOUR CURRENT RELATIONSHIP. If this person you are considering cares about you, they will let you work out your issues before starting a relationship with you.

Has history, literature, and Hollywood taught us nothing? Cheaters always get caught! The truth comes out one way or another, and everyone ends up getting hurt – sometimes including innocent bystanders like children or friends. No one wins from cheating, especially when the truth comes out. No one. Devastation is the outcome. Every. Time.

That being said, I cheated. Once. A long time ago and before I was married. I had been dating this really lovely guy who adored me and worshipped the ground I walked on. I didn’t respect him because I didn’t think of myself as highly as he did and therefore thought he was a complete Bozo for thinking I was so incredible. He was my first boyfriend to have his own place and he had gone camping with his buddies and let me “apartment-sit” for him. An old boyfriend – my first love – had come into town and as was his usual M.O. called me up to say ‘hi’. I invited him over to Current Boyfriend’s apartment and we listened to music on CB’s awesome stereo and ended up in CB’s bed. I’m not proud, but in my defense, my feelings for XB ran as deep as the valley is wide, CB and I were not married, and even though our on/off relationship had been going on for five years, and I loved him so very much, that was my first time with XB. That experience combined with another wake-up call made me realize that I was most definitely not in love with CB and I needed to end things to avoid hurting him further. I never got caught and XB and I did not see each other for a long time after that one time, but I still ended up breaking the heart of a really nice person that did not deserve to be treated like that, and will have that mistake on the list of things I regret for the rest of my life.

Look at that! I just pushed myself off my soapbox! Suffice it to say that cheating is bad, okay? It’s dumb, it’s not a good idea, and people always get hurt. Trust me, I would know.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Summertime Playlist

Boys of Summer – Don Henly

Summertime – Will Smith

Boyfriend – Best Coast

West Coast – Coconut Records

Pipeline – Lively Ones

Deadman’s Curve – Jan and Dean

Anything by the Beach Boys, but my favourite is Girl Don’t Tell Me.

The INXS “Kick” album

Paul Revere – Beastie Boys

Next Girl – The Black Keys

Sinister Kid – The Black Keys

I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You – Black Kids

I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor – Arctic Monkeys

Try – Blue Rodeo

No Aloha – Breeders

New – No Doubt

Girl From Ipanema – you name the artist, it’s been covered fourteen million times.

Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol

Crushcrushcrush – Paramore

Kool Thing – Sonic Youth

The Red Hot Chili Peppers “Blood Sugar Sex Magik” album

Underwhelmed – Sloan

Little Bones – The Tragically Hip

Sneakernight – Vanessa Hudgens

Wipeout – The Surfaris

Hawaii Five-O – The Ventures

Volcano Girls – Veruca Salt

Bigmouth Strikes Again – The Smiths

Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley

Duran Duran’s “Notorious” Album

I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll – Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

It’s the End of the World as We Know it – R.E.M.

Strange Currencies – R.E.M.

Raspberry Beret – Prince

Phantom Planet – California

Fade Into You – Mazzy Star

Holiday – Madonna

I Send a Message – INXS

Kids in America – Kim Wilde

Paradise in the Dashboard Lights – Meatloaf

Jump Around – House of Pain

Connection – Elastica

Go Fish – Cub

Machinehead – Bush

Mad About You – Belinda Carlisle

Love Shack – B-52’s

June Bug – B-52’s

Deadbeat Club – B-52’s

King of Pain – The Police

Some of these songs are so obvious, others remind me of something that happened one summer, others came out in the summer so they make me think of summer and the rest just have the vibe of summer.

What are your favourite songs of summer?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Interview With the Vampire

I have always been fascinated with vampires.

When I was in high school, I used to dream of becoming a vampire. I thought it would be so cool to be frozen in time and be able to live forever and never die. Drinking blood? I’d be cool with it. Never having to eat again? Awesome. Partying all night and sleeping all day? The best! My friends and I would hang out in cemeteries and pretend we were the undead. We would fantasize about what we would do if we were vampires. How we would live undetected, etc. We would be so rich, it would be so rad, etc. I was enamoured with Bela Lugosi and the Lost Boys and Fright Night. I hate scary movies, but I love vampire movies.

Vampire is the only Halloween costume that I repeated when I was a kid. Since then, I’ve been a vampire many times.

When Twilight came out, I realized that it was the first vampire book I had ever read. I have seen numerous vampire movies, but I had never read a book. Thinking myself lacking, I decided to read some vampire books.

I read Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I had seen the movie when it came out in 1992, but the book seemed so tame in comparison. I enjoyed it, but not nearly as much as I liked the movie. I guess I was expecting more from the book.

I read John Polidori’s The Vampyre. It’s supposed to be one of the first vampire stories. It's okaaaay, but - meh.

On to Anne Rice and Interview With the Vampire. I haven’t seen this movie, but was aware that Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, and Kirsten Dunst were in it. I was so excited to read this book because it was so popular so it must be good and there’s a whole CHRONICLE of vampire stories for me to read and YAY for vampires!!

O. My. Gosh. I could not pull myself through this book. It was so boring. It took forever for anything to happen. The ending was weird. I just couldn’t get on board with Louis and his self-loathing. I had to renew it from the library three times in order to get through it. It just seemed to take so loooong to read. I was not sucked into the story at all. (no pun intended) I didn’t understand the whole thing with Claudia. I definitely did not love her, but she was my favourite character because she was not boring. I drudged through to the end with the hope that it would get better and it never did. I can’t not finish a book because the ending is the most important part and so this became more of a chore. This made me mad because I so love to read.

I dunno, I just thought it was lame and boring and nothing happened and nothing came to conclusion and I wish I had never read the book.

What is wrong with me? For someone who has been a vampire lover her whole life, I think it’s really disappointing that the only vampire book that I’ve enjoyed so far is Twilight.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What summer is

Blackie Spit, Crescent Beach, B.C.
You wake up early in the morning and the window is open gently blowing the curtains with a cool breeze. The sun is already up and it’s very quiet.

You open all the doors and windows and let the breeze cool the house down. The breeze is the definition of “breeze”: just gentle and quiet enough to flow through and air the house out.

You eat delicious fresh fruit for breakfast and drink fresh squeezed orange juice.

There are fresh cherries and raspberries and strawberries and oranges and bananas at your fingertips.

Around noon you close all the doors and windows and shut the blinds and curtains shutting out the noise and heat outside. In the distance you can hear the muffled sounds of children running through sprinklers and the tinkling music of the ice cream truck.

You hang your laundry outside to dry. When you bring it in at the end of the day it smells of hot breeze, the baking sun, fresh cotton, gold, and sunflowers.

You go to the beach or the pool and lay outside until it’s so hot you can’t stand it and the sweat runs around to the back of your neck so you jump in the water and play around long enough to get cold so you get out and lay on the ground and let the sun warm you up again until you can’t stand it any more. Repeat.
Kihei beach, Maui, HI

The heat is a deep, penetrating, soothing heat that goes right through to your bones. It makes your muscles completely relaxed and at ease. You feel all elastic. It’s like sitting in a sauna in the most relaxing, peaceful way.

When it rains, no one complains.

Your toenails are painted.

You grill something and you eat salad and corn on the cob. You eat watermelon for dessert.

At the end of the day the shadows are long and look like photography from the seventies.  The sun sets and casts a liquid glow on everything. You put something light and cotton on over your swimsuit which you have been wearing all afternoon. The feeling on your hot skin is fresh and you feel like your skin is breathing in the scent.

The smell of Noxema.

The Pina Colata smell of sunscreen.

You have a bonfire on the beach or in your backyard and maybe you eat ice cream cones or maybe you roast marshmallows or maybe you don’t. You lay on the sidewalk or driveway or basketball court that has been roasting in the sun all day warming your back and making patterns out of the stars whose constellations you don’t know.

It’s cool enough to wear a sweater, but warm enough for shorts and flip-flops.
Franklin Covey Field, home of the Salt Lake Bees

You stay up late. You go for walks on the boardwalk, the beach, the pier, along the path to the beach. You rarely wear shoes. You hardly wear anything more than your bathing suit. You never have to take a bath because you’ve been in water for a good portion of the day. Walking barefoot is a natural exfoliant. Your skin is darker and your hair is lighter and you have a smattering of freckles across your nose.

The Drive-in is open and you go in a huge group to the all nighters where they play three movies and you play Frisbee and hang out at the snack bar and maybe see one of the movies and go from car to car chatting with your friends and flirting with boys. You can wear your jammies and no one cares.

Day or night you can lay in the backyard on your grama’s old quilt and close your eyes and know everything that’s going on around you just by listening.

There are Creamsicles and Fudgesicles and Drum Sticks and Ice Cream Sandwiches.

You drive with the window open at night (or the top down if you’re lucky) and you can feel the air.

Even the air is sunkissed.

Nothing feels heavy.

There is no school, and there is camping in the backyard.
Water Park, Provo UT

There is no place to go and nothing to do and no schedule and you eat when you’re hungry and there’s always lemonade.

There is getting together with your family and going away on vacation and road trips and going into the mountains and camping where you don’t bathe for a week and you’re so happy to come home to your own bed.

There is time to write in your journal and sketch and read and read some more.

There is the heart break from breaking up with your school boyfriend because you know you won’t be able to see him over the summer and the anticipation and excitement of the summer love that you met on the beach. There is the freedom of knowing that it’s just for the summer and not forever so you don’t have to take yourself so seriously.

You always look your best in the summer.

There are roller coasters and summer fairs and open markets.

Everything is green leaves backlit by the sun and warm grass and hot sand and blue sky with fluffy clouds.
Ke'e Beach, Kauai, HI

When summer is like this, summer is the best time of the year. I always lived for summer and was at my happiest in summer. My relationship with summer has changed so much since I moved to Utah that I feel like we’ve broken up and my heart hurts.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Burrowing Seed Pods are my Enemy

Prince Orso in his natural habitat
We moved into this house in April of 2006 and still have not landscaped our backyard. We have had extenuating circumstances, and no money. Due to the lack of landscaping, we have a “natural” backyard.

“Natural” = weed infested.

There are these weeds (fox tails) that have seed pods that are shaped like arrows. They get on the dog and the boys and get tracked into the house and burrow themselves into my carpet, the boys’ socks and therefore my underwear because they are washed together in the laundry, and just recently, Orso’s paws.

This is also the time of year that Orso sheds and sheds and sheds and then he sheds some more. I vacuum and vacuum and vacuum, and brush and brush and brush the dog, and just when I think that I’ve conquered the dog hair beast, Orso sheds a few more million times.

At this time of year, the weeds irritate Orso’s belly, so in addition to the shedding, he can’t stop licking himself. It drives me nuts.

This year Orso decided to add his paw to his licking regimen – much to my joy and elation.

Orso has one paw that has two white toes with coordinating white toenails thus making him not "show quality" and costing us less at the breeder. This was the paw that he would not leave alone. I kept trying to look at it to see what was bothering him, but I couldn’t see anything and he would not let me touch it let alone look at it for more than five seconds. DH helped me hold him down because he said he saw a seed pod in the fur above his large pad, so we pinned him down and I pulled the thing out with tweezers feeling as triumphant as the mouse that pulled the thorn out of the lion’s paw, and I thought we would be done with it.

That’s when the limping started.

I thought maybe he just needed time to heal and stop licking the thing so that it could get better.

Then the swelling happened.

After much cursing and swearing and complaining about how much money that dog has cost him and what a waste of money and we should just have him put down, DH took Orso to the vet.

One overnight stay, some sedation, shaving, $750.00 and a cone of shame later, Orso is as good as new. He had his paw wrapped for a night and had to take antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs for two weeks, and wear the cone of shame if he couldn’t leave it alone. Dumb dog (or Smart Dog) figured out that if he stood up, he could bend over and get to his paw, so I left the cone off unless he was in his crate where he can’t stand up. I had to watch him like a HAWK to make sure he didn’t lick it. The vet said they found seed pods in all four paws, but the one with the white toes was the worst.

They instructed us to check his paws daily for seed pods. Having been on the receiving end of his reaction to me messing with his paw when it was hurt (teeth), and being the owner of a ninety pound dog, my resolution to this was to not let the dog in the back and burn down the backyard. Orso was pretty out of it the first day, so not letting him out the back was an easy task. I would let him out the front to do his business, and started walking him morning and night. After a couple of days of this, my schedule became overwhelming, and summer happened and it was fourteen thousand degrees every day, so I had no choice but to let him out the back to run around and do his business. (I did not burn the yard down. The fact that half of Utah is on fire has nothing to do with me.)

In order to check his paws, I have Dewey sit by his head and scritch his ruff while I pick through his paws wearing DH’s headlamp that he uses in lieu of a flashlight when he’s camping. It works like a charm and I can pick out every one of those suckers. Since we’ve been doing this daily for a few weeks now, Orso is pretty tolerant of the routine, so I don’t need Dewey’s help any more.

It’s still a hassle and depending on how many seed pods are in the fur around Orso’s toes (average ten), and how many times he jumps up and runs away from me (average two), it can take me up to half an hour to go through all four paws.

Don’t those dumb seed pods know that they will never be able to grow in my carpet? Or my underwear?

I hate this time of year.