Saturday, September 29, 2007

Little Gus

We have taken so few pictures since Wolf died that poor little Gus is camera shy. Mr. Fritz is a natural ham and he poses perfectly but Gus seems intimidated by the camera. As soon as the digital clicks, signaling that the shutter will soon close, he puts his ears back and turns his head.

Wolf, before him, just wouldn't stay still for a picture. He was always moving. He couldn't understand why he should stay seated at a picture-taking distance from his mama and look at her while she took his photo. If I was a foot away from him that was just too far and he had to move into my lap immediately, camera be damned.

Fritz, as Milly before him, understands that he is beautiful and he sits perfectly, posing in all his glory for the camera.

Today, because I needed to do a page bio of myself -- and what good is a bio without a lot of pictures (much better than words), I took pictures of the boys. Here are some of the better ones.

Fritzy has the uncropped ears while Gus has the golden eyes. You can clearly see that Fritzy is a much bigger boy, also. Fritzy is nearly 10; Gussie just turned three.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Autumnal Joy

Just like the grand dame before him, Fritzy is experiencing the joys of autumn. When Papa takes him to the park he loves to rustle the leaves and chase the squirrels who are so busy hunting for acorns to store away that they at first ignore him, but most of all he loves to roll in the grass, soaking up the blissful warm rays of autumnal sun.

His snout burrows in the grass and we know that soon he will throw caution to the wind, flop over, toss his paws in the air, and wiggle his back in whatever stinky he has found in the grass. He never does this on overcast, cloudy days. He only flops in the bright sunlight -- possibly because the warmth has brought out the smells that are so appealing that he must wallow his whole body in them. Whatever the reason, he abandons himself to the joy of the moment while his humans look on longingly, wishing they, too, could toss off the cares of the world, tear off their clothing, and wiggle joyously in the autumn air.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Hair -- or lack there of

For the last 11 years I've gone to the same beautician. She gave a fabulous hair cut and she listened when I explained my philosophy on permanents. It took her a good three years to totally understand that I really meant it when I said that my hair was never to move during the day. Wind through my hair gives me the willies. I want hair that's been stuck on with super glue. I use Adorn hairspray, popular in the 1950's, to stick my hair in place -- and the environment be damned. Because my hair is very, very, super-fine, I want a perm that gives other women frizzies -- me, it gives body.

In the last two years my beautician has taken up with a very handsome man while still married. She sent her oldest off to college and sent the husband and son off to live in an apartment -- and she proceeded to tell me the excruciating facts of her life in long detailed discussions every time she did my hair. The mother and father no longer spoke to her. The husband filed for divorce and left her with the house, car, and business -- plus all the bill. Because her life was now wrapped up in the new bloke, she began to see her clients at very erratic times. I found the times inconvenient, the conversations uncomfortable, and the fact that frequently it took days to get an appointment frustrating.

Meanwhile the short hair continued to grow, the permanent from last June faded, and the hair began to move about my hair. So today I Googled the salons in my zip code, as well as the more up-scale zip code just to the west of me. I called seven salons and only one answered my call -- all the rest had answering machines and complicated lists of names of people I could leave a message for. The one salon only worked on hair extensions. When I asked about a cut and perm, they wanted to know if they would be working on real hair or synthetic.

So I called Fantastic Sams. Nothing upscale about that. $41 for a cut and perm. Walk right in, no problems. I drove around the block and just up the street and walked right in. Because I had dyed hair the cost was five bucks more. Because I bought a moisturizing setting lotion the total bill came to $51.78. I've been paying $135 for a perm and hair cut -- plus a pedicure. This time I didn't get the pedicure, but I also didn't have to listen to someone tell me about their love life. Instead of three hours, I was back home in ninety-five minutes.

The cut is not quite the same quality as my old beautician -- but she's had eleven years to get it perfected. The perm is lovely -- just what I wanted. The new beautician listened to me, did not argue about what I wanted, and stopped to ask questions as she went, especially as we kept getting the hair shorter and shorter. She is not tell me her life story. She did not ask me. We did not need to chat, gossip, or exchange pleasantries. I tipped her big. She gave me her card and told me to come back.

I most certainly will.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Being Positive

The folks I work with have developed a collective negative attitude. I find it exceedingly depressing to listen to them kvetch every morning -- and then throughout the day. My boss, however, is Mr. Positivity and I've learned that, since he makes me feel happier to be around him, I'm better off adopting the positive attitude myself. Even when I don't feel particularly joyful.

"Good morning. How are you today?"
"Great! and you?"

This exchange usually causes a stare -- or a positive response. Once in a while I get the "awful, this day is hell" reply, but usually folks respond in kind.

The kids tell everyone they have the "happy teacher" -- you know, the one who smiles all the time. I hadn't realized they had noticed how hard I was working to be positive, but I feel good that they think I'm really a joyful person.

I'm not really -- at least not more joyful than the next person. But life is so much easier for everyone, if instead of griping all day long, you try to look on the bright side of things.

Just call me Pollyanna.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Monday, September 03, 2007

Humor From a Friend

Thought, on this Labor Day, it might be fun to inject a swish of humor into what have lately been fairly serious posts.

I actually belong to a group of people who for nearly 10 years have sent e-mails to each other as, wait for this . . . their dogs.

Yes, we adopt the voice of our dogs and we talk to each other. Weird as it may seem, we are a group of 10 or so constants, with a small satellite group that interjects here and there, and we share our lives through the eyes of our dogs.

This is a picture -- completely separate from our dogs' lives -- that was sent out to us today from one of our members.

It certainly deserves a small chuckle.