Thursday, August 23, 2012

I Cannot Cook Without Supervision: Why You Should Worry About Me Living Alone

My dog, Giovanni (he does not require a pseudonym as he is a dog, so yes, that is his real name) and I went over to my parents' house a few weeks back, just to hang out and allow him to play with their two golden retrievers for a bit. It was nice for a while, but my parents have jobs or whatever and couldn't just hang out, so I got bored after a while. And hungry. I started to boil some water to make some pasta for lunch while I watched some TV, but then I decided that I'd rather go downtown with Giovanni, who was getting restless, and get some coffee or something. So, I called my best friend, John Hamm, and asked her (Yes. She chose the male pseudonym "John Hamm" because, let's face it: it's funnier that way.) if she wanted to meet me before she went in to work at the restaurant. Of course, she agreed, because John Hamm loves me. (Yeah, I'll be having fun with that name.)

So, Giovanni and I started our pleasant fifteen minute walk from my parents house to the downtown shopping area. It was perfect: the sun was out and the birds were chirping, people avoided eye contact with me whenever Gio stopped to go to the bathroom... a perfect day!

So when John Hamm showed up, Gio and I were already settled at a nice table outside. John Hamm put down her purse and started digging through it for her wallet. 

John Hamm: I'm gonna go grab some coffee. Want anything?

Me: Nope, just some water for Gio would be nice. Thanks! 

John Hamm: Okie dokie.

John Hamm returned a few minutes later with some coffee and a scone.

John Hamm: Want a bite? 

Me: No, I'm good. I started to make some lunch at home, but decided not t--HOLY SHIT I LEFT THE STOVE ON AT HOME!!!!! (Did you notice, reader, how I never mentioned turning the stove off earlier? If so, congratulations for your close reading!)

John Hamm stared at me, her mouth full of scone, while an anonymous woman sitting at the table behind me started laughing. I did my best to ignore her and convince myself that she was probably reading and extremely humorous book - or my blog.

John Hamm: Are you freaking serious?

Me: Yes! Crap! Can I borrow your keys?

John Hamm: Wait - you walked all the way here?? 

Me: Yes!!! Keys, please!

John Hamm: Oh my God... please don't crash my car. I'll watch Gio.

While I raced home and took turns far too quickly in John Hamm's car, I kept muttering to myself "Please don't let my mom have come home... please don't let my mom have come home..." I probably should have been muttering something more like "Please don't let the house have burned down...", but obviously that is not the nature of my true colors. A lot of self reflection has come from this experience. Trust me. 

I flew into the driveway (seriously, John Hamm's Toyota Corolla might have caught some air) and breathed a sigh of relief when I saw that the house was still standing, the air around it smoke-free, and, most importantly, my mother's car was not in the driveway. I sprinted inside, found both golden retrievers staring dumbly at me and a pot of evaporated water sitting over flames on the stove. 

As my blood pressure began to lower, I ran the pot under some cold water and tried to ignore how dumb I was (without success). I hugged and kissed the dogs, and then left my parents house to return to my coffee date with John Hamm and Giovanni. 

John Hamm: How's the house? Still standing?

Me: Yes! It's fine. There was only water in the pot in the first place, so nothing could catch on fire and the pot was easy to clean. Also, your car is fine.

I smiled at her. John Hamm shook her head at me and drank her coffee without another word. 

At that very moment my mother sent me a text: Are you still at home? I'm on my way back for lunch. 

Thank God for good timing... and my new favorite applicance after my coffee maker: the microwave.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Dear Diary: Greg's Letting Me Write About Him on the Internet!

One of my jobs is as a hostess at a swanky wine bar (frightened by the fact that they let me be the welcoming face of a fancy restaurant? I understand.) A few of my friends who work there started a game with one of our chefs, Greg - or rather, about him. Real quick, let me describe Greg: Greg is tall. Greg has tattoos. Greg wears the same hat every day.

You see, our lunch hostess, "Lemon", and my best friend, who has requested to be referred to as "John Hamm" in this blog, were working the lunch shift. Let me explain how boring the lunch shift can be: soooooooooooooooooo boring. If you are ever stuck working said shift (as Lemon and my best friend John Hamm usually are) you must find a way to entertain yourself.

On this particular day, Lemon had been writing in her notebook. What she was writing is not important, but Greg walked by and had to ask...

Greg: What's that, your diary?

Lemon: Yup. I'm writing about you. "Dear Diary: Greg is so tall..." 

Then Greg laughed like he didn't care and kept on walking (At least this is what I imagine he did. I wasn't there, so I have to go with my gut on this one). Lemon and John Hamm, however, just realized that they had discovered a new game - and thus "Dear Diary Greg" was born. 

I eventually started contributing as well, though I must say that most of the classics come from John Hamm and Lemon. After many weeks of humoring ourselves and making Greg feel uncomfortable, he has given me permission to publish all of our diary entries here on the internet for all of you to read...even though he has no idea what any of them are. 

Here are the best of the "Dear Diary Greg" entries that we have come up with... enjoy!

Dear Diary: I had a dream that Greg couldn't say the number 3. What does it mean, Diary?

Dear Diary: I had a dream that Greg wore a cape and had whisks for hands. What does it mean?

Dear Diary: I just watched Greg tear a box in half with his bare hands! He's so strong!

Dear Diary: I just watched Greg twist the heads off lobsters. Should I find this strangely erotic, Diary?

Dear Diary: Greg just called me weird. ... Do you think it means he loves me?

Dear Diary: What would mine and Greg's kids look like? Would they be born with hats and tattoos?

Dear Diary: Greg came into work mildly grumpy today. I hope everything is ok. Should I send him an edible arrangement?

Dear Diary: A customer came in tonight with a hat just like Greg's! Could there be two of them, Diary?!

Dear Diary: Do you think Greg has an entire closet full of the same hat?

Dear Diary: Do you think Greg's hat gives him superpowers? Or do they just come naturally?

Dear Diary: Do you think Greg hides things under his hat? Maybe a pet marmoset?

Dear Diary: Do you think Greg would wear a grey hat if I bought him one? Or is it too edgy for him?

Dear Diary: Should I start calling him Gregory? Could it be our thing?

Dear Diary: I wonder where Greg got his tattoos done. Maybe he just willed them into existence?

Dear Diary: Do you think Greg's tattoos are sentient?

Dear Diary: I had a dream that Greg fought crime on the back of a flying, sassy camel. What does it mean?

Dear Diary: I had a dream that Greg assaulted 80s screen idol Eric Stoltz with a sack of cupcakes. What does it mean?

Dear Diary: I had a dream that Greg was in the brat pack classic "St. Elmo's Fire." He played every role. What does it mean?

Dear Diary: I dreamed Greg was Jareth in a Spanish reenactment of "Labyrinth." It was rather disturbing, Diary. What do you think it means?

Dear Diary: I had a dream that I was snuggling with hundreds of puppies, but they were all wearing Greg's hat with ear holes and they had puppy tattoos just like his! Do you think this means that Greg likes to snuggle, Diary?

Dear Diary: Greg's mean. >:(

Dear Diary: Greg apologized. He's so sweet, Diary... :)

Dear Diary: Greg wasn't at work today... Do you think he's sick? Should I bring him some homemade soup or are we not there yet? What do you think, Diary?

Dear Diary: Greg thought I was mad at him today even though I wasn't. Does this mean he loves me, Diary???

Dear Diary: Did you know that Greg lives on top of cupcakes?? He's so cool...

Dear Diary: Greg asked me a question today and I answered him. It was awesome.

Think you can come up with some more Dear Diary, Greg classics??? Post them in the comments box for all of us to enjoy!!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Explosive Diarrhea is Good for Every Relationship!

My boyfriend, who sarcastically has requested to be called "Dragon" in this blog in place of his real name only to have me take him seriously (you're welcome readers), is a guy who is only slightly more than tolerant of my insanity, and for that I applaud him. Secretly, I think he is just as crazy as I am, but he hides it better in public - for example, right now he is sitting on the floor of my kitchen, fixing his bicycle, and speaking to it in different variations of Australian and other accents. See what I mean?

Anyway, Dragon is staying with me for a few weeks while he is homeless. Not legitimately, but he is between leases - and not in that way that unemployed people say that they're between jobs when really they have no future plans as of yet. It's been a real help having Dragon around, though, because I also just recently adopted a one and a half-year-old Siberian Husky named Giovanni, and Dragon has been wonderful in helping the pup get adjusted to the new home and new people. It's been nice watching the two of them bond. The three of us have built up this great relationship where Giovanni snuggles and gets excited to see me all of the time and sits by my side loyally until he does something wrong and Dragon yells at him. Don't get me wrong, Dragon (who is now speaking in a German accent to his bike pump) loves the dog and the dog loves him right back. It's just turned into a stereotypical "good cop, bad cop" scenario. Basically, Gio knows that if he wants something, don't ask Dad.

One of the funniest things about Giovanni is that he has very little traction on the hardwood floors in my apartment. Some of you might say that it's cruel to laugh, but I'm a vegetarian, so I think I can get away with this one. Besides, have you ever seen a dog try and run without being able to make any progress? It's hilarious. And if you're still disturbed, take comfort in the fact that it only lasts a moment or two before he gets his footing and is completely fine. So there - let yourself laugh. It's good for you!

Anyway... When I first adopted Gio, he was slightly underweight due to the fact that he is apparently an extremely picky eater. For a girl who grew up with golden retrievers, this was the strangest experience. For those of you who don't know, golden retrievers will eat themselves to death if you let them. These dogs inhale their food as if it might be their last chance to ever eat again before we drop them on a deserted island with sand as their only source of nutrition - which they would probably eat without question. Huskies do not operate on this level. Meal after meal, I would present him with a different form of dog food only to watch him sniff at it, look up at me in question, and then walk away and lay down. I finally found a brand of wet dog food that he liked, so I would mix it in with dry food and he would cautiously nibble way until he was finally finishing entire bowls of food. It was a glorious victory in my life thus far with him.

One day, however, the pet store was out of the particular flavor of canned dog food that I had been feeding him. I took my chances and grabbed some cans of Beef & Gravy flavored food and hoped for the best. Everything seemed fine, however. He ate the food without question or any sign of complaint and Dragon and I felt a sense of relief that maybe he wasn't as picky as we'd thought. Maybe he just needed adjusting to the new home and the new parents. Maybe we were right, but we were wrong, too.

That night, Dragon, Gio, and I all went to sleep in my tiny apartment. I'd like to add that we went to sleep peacefully and quietly and then woke in the morning to sunshine and pancakes, but that is not the case. Dragon's allergies were bothering him and it was apparently far too warm in my apartment that night, so I fell asleep to Dragon's sniffling and constant complaints. At about 3:30 in the morning, I woke up to an entirely different sound however: I could hear Giovanni's scuttling feet on the floor, but this wasn't just the normal scuttling that occurs when he jumps of the bed and slips a bit before getting his balance and calmly walking across the room to lie down. This was the scuttling of pure panic.

Here is the conversation that ensued:

Me: What the heck is that?

Dragon: Where is he?

Me: Oh my gosh - he's under the bed.

Dragon: What the hell is he doing under the bed??

Me: I don't know! He must be stuck!!!

Dragon: Oh my me lift the bed.

We then lifted the bed and Giovanni shot out from under the bed and Dragon chased after him. It turns out that because of Dragon's allergies, he had never fallen asleep, so he was not groggy in the slightest. I flopped down on the bed because I was still not completely awake and was laying on the bed, listening to Dragon yell at Giovanni.

Why is he yelling at Gio? I thought. It's not his fault he got stuck under the bed... Why was he under the bed? Whoa - why does it smell like poop???

That's when I shot up and looked around the room. No poop anywhere. I went out to the kitchen. Poop everywhere. Now it all made sense. My questions were answered. My apartment smelled terrible. As I surveyed the scene, Giovanni cowering in the corner, crap all over my kitchen floor, Dragon continued to yell, but now at me.

Dragon: Just go back to bed! Go back to bed!

Me: Why? He's my dog! How can I help!

Dragon: Emelie, just please go back to bed! Why the hell was he under the bed?

Now I started laughing at the absurdity of the entire situation, while Dragon grabbed a cardboard box to use as some sort of shovel. He continued to yell at the dog for having explosive diarrhea and then back at me to tell me to go lay down and sleep because he was already awake anyway. He took all the poop outside, filled a mixing bowl with soap and water and then grabbed one of my white bath towels. I tried to find a way to help, but Dragon just kept holding me back from doing anything and telling me to go back to bed while he took care of it all. So I just stood there dumbfounded. He was like the Tazmanian Devil, whirling around my apartment in a cleaning frenzy. And I still just stood there- while my boyfriend cleaned up my dog's explosive diarrhea from my kitchen floor. The man deserves a medal. He then immediately put the bath towel in the wash, told Giovanni to come back into the bedroom and lay down, and we flopped on the bed and laid there, both just exhausted by the past five minutes. It was then that I turned to my wonderful crap-cleaning boyfriend and said to him for the very first time, "I love you, Dragon." He sighed, affectionately squeezing my arm, which laid gently across his chest and said "I love you, too."  And then we fell asleep.

Around 5AM, I woke up to that same frantic scuttling from beneath me and luckily got the dog outside before he exploded again, but this time Dragon slept through it all and I sat outside while my dog ran around the yard in panic as the sun began to slowly rise - and in this strange situation, I smiled, because I finally knew - thanks to my new dog's explosive diarrhea - that my boyfriend loved me and I loved him, too.

I also knew that my dog would never eat Beef & Gravy again.