Monday, February 13, 2006

One of Those Weekends

Pardon me while I kvetch for a bit:

Saturday morning, I come into work to make up some hours and to use the Internet connection to file my federal student aid form. I have all my information at the ready. I go to fill out the form, and I discover that I need some special PIN to sign the form. And because it's the federal government, I have to apply for the PIN and wait three business days to get it. Grrrr.

I also need to send copies of my tax return to the university, so while I'm a work and no one else is around, I might as well make a quick copy. Quick being defined as taking more than a hour because the copier jams. Badly. Very badly. And because it's my tax form that's jammed in there, I can't really leave it for someone else to fix on Monday. I do eventually liberate the copy, but not until I've spilled half a cartridge of toner on myself and the carpet.

Thanks to the copier adventure, I've stayed much longer than I had intended and the bank is now closed. I'll have to wait until next weekend to open the savings account.

Next up: Taking Rowen to the dog park. For whatever reason, they* are landscaping the dog park, which means that the big, flat, dirt area where the dogs used to play is now covered in mulch. Here and there the mulch is dotted with wire circles protecting newly planted native plants. All of which leads me to believe that there is some plan for this park to be a doggy park no longer. Because why would you put down mulch and plant things in the middle of a dog park? As a result of this, the dogs were crowded onto a grassy slope, which makes it really hard to play fetch. So disappointment number one.

Disappointment number two: the other dogs. Some people just shouldn't bring their dogs to the park:
* Those with dogs under 3 months old. Any younger than that and the dog won't have the proper vaccinations. Why would you put your dog at risk like that? Also, at that age, most dogs just aren't ready for the rough and tumble ways of the dog park. Yes, the little puppies are cute. And, yes, you might be having fun. But is your dog? I've seen your dog, and he's not so happy.
* Those with dogs who aren't fixed. Intact males are at best annoying: Just because my dog can't get pregnant doesn't mean that it's okay for your dog to hump her. At worst, they are aggressive and mean. And if your female is unfixed, every intact male will be on her like white on rice. Which is stressful for her and for you.
* Those with aggressive dogs. Do I even need to explain this one? Well, yeah, apparently I do. I'm not talking about aggressive breeds. I've seen plenty of well-behaved, sweet-natured Rottweilers, pit bulls, and Great Danes. Rowen has played with them without incident. I've also seen mean-as-spit labs, poodles, and pugs. I don't care if your dog "just needs to run out his energy." Do it in a way that doesn't put my dog at risk. And, yeah, your dog probably does need socialization. But it should be done with proper supervision in a controlled environment. Get a clue and a trainer.
* Those with highly nervous dogs. Or who are highly nervous themselves. Dogs are, by their nature, insane. They run; they wrestle; they occasionally smash into each other with a cringe-inducing force or roll over each other as they forget that their limbs are indeed attached to their bodies and within their control. They chase each other, steal each other's toys, and sniff each other in rather instrusive places. And I'm not talking about the aggressive dogs here. These are your normal, sweet, goofy dogs. If you or your precious Princess Poo-Poo can't handle the chaos of the dog park, then please don't come. And please don't ask or expect me to discipline my dog for being a dog.

After the dog park, I was ready to call it a day. My clothes were filthy, I was tired, and nothing seemed to be going right. But A called to ask if I'd go to a movie. Okay, that seemed relaxing enough.

We decided to go to the Alamo Drafthouse, which is sort of like dinner theater except greasier food and a movie instead of a musical. As I was pulling into the parking lot, there were only a few people in line. By the time I found a spot in the hinterlands of the lot and walked to the ticket window, there was a small crowd. And the movie we wanted to see---Walk the Line---was sold out. So I called A---who was meeting me there---and we decided to see Brokeback Mountain instead. The ticket girl is assuring people that there are still tickets for BM and there's only one person in front of me. Until . . .

This guy comes around the corner and oh-so-politely pushes himself in front of the other person. From what I could gather, his wife (?) had been in line but the movie she was getting tickets for was sold out. So she got out of the line. Apparently they had then decided to see a different movie and he thought that because she had already been in the line, they should be able to go straight to the front. You know: No. Now I try to be courteous. I let people merge in traffic; if someone only has a couple of items and I have a full cart, I'll let the person go ahead of me; if there's no clear line, I always make sure that the person who was there first gets served first. But once you leave the line, you've left. You've lost your place in it. You need to go back to the end, whether it's because you didn't have a second-choice movie picked out or because you forgot to pick up pickles. Unfortunately, the person ahead of me either doesn't agree or was too flabbergasted by the guy's gall to respond. In any case, the guy jumps the line and buys his tickets. To Brokeback Mountain. And the ticket girl promptly announces: "Brokeback is now sold out." Gah!

Annoyed, but determined not to have my evening ruined, we drive to another theater where we easily get tickets to BM. And, well, I have to say, I don't see what all the hoopla is about. It's a good movie. But I never really bought the relationship between Jack and Ennis. I mean, it was like it's cold, so let's have violent sex. Guess we're in love now! Heath Ledger was excellent in his role, though, and Michelle Williams rocked. I actually did buy into their relationship. But, overall, I wasn't all that impressed. It was a good movie with nice moments and some great performances from a couple of the cast.

Sunday wasn't much better than Saturday. I started out in a flurry of good housekeeping---scrubbing the bathroom, sorting through the piles of mail and magazines and assorted miscellany, taking out bags and bags of trash. Then, as I was heading out with yet another armload of trash, I pulled on the door knob and it came off. It just fell apart. No warning.

Okay. I'm a modern woman. I can handle this. I found my screwdriver---which for some reason was in my car---and fixed it. But it had broken my stride. So I said to heck with the piles of laundry---both clean and dirty---and the carpet thick with dog hair and I took Rowen for a walk, watched a DVD, took a nap, skimmed through magazines---basically wasted the rest of the day.

Until about 7.00, when I suddenly had another urge for productivity. This time: Cooking. And because I'm planning a whole other post on my adventure in the kitchen, I'll leave it at this: I had M&Ms for dinner that night.

And so far, the week hasn't improved from the weekend.

* I have no idea who is behind this landscaping project or why they are undertaking it.


At 10:12 AM , Blogger Liz said...

A couple of weeks ago Alex got bowled over by a pack of large dogs that were racing around together in the dog park. My poor littlle boy-- he was trotting happily along and all of a sudden, wham! He totally bit it. Whole side of his head covered in dust. :-)

Yes, I almost cried.

At 10:19 AM , Blogger Lisa said...

Rowen would have been one of the dogs bowling her over! She's had several mid-air crashes, has accidentally trampled a few teacup-type dogs, and routinely smacks dogs and people alike with sticks as she prances around the park. But those are the dangers of the dog park. Unless a dog is yelping or bleeding, I don't worry about it too much.

At 12:55 PM , Blogger Lora said...

After that weekend, I'm so scared to hear about the cooking adventure. Hope that the week in improving.


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