Saturday, May 17, 2008


Last summer, our gardening didn't go all that well. We had some upside-down tomato planters, which were cool, but Buffy ate all the green tomatoes off of them. (She shat seeds for a week.) Our herbs did okay, but they were in containers on the deck, which made them vulnerable to knockage by us and by animals, and the containers didn't drain well. And our solitary basil plant just couldn't keep up with our pesto needs. And all the decorative stuff I planted died an ignominious death from lack of sun and/or attention.

So this year, we are doing things differently. We bought all our ornamentals (except my morning glories) at a native plant sale. And we're doing our veggies and herbs in a square foot garden. This has been very nice so far, since our soil here is basically clay filled with little rocks. We have 3 tomato plants, 2 basil, 3 hot pepper (one mistakenly purchased from the bell pepper shelf), 1 bell pepper, 2 cilantro, and I just planted the seeds for sweet onions, parsley, and garlic chives. Ideally we will have a good enough harvest to make our own tomato sauces and salsa, and KarateMonkey wants to try hot  sauce (if the peppers turn out okay).

We also bought some trellises for our clematis (clematii?). Two are at the front of the house, and I just planted one in the back. The front yard one has been mowed several times, since KarateMonkey didn't realize I liked it. The one at the immediate front of the house is just a baby, but I hope by training it vertically I can get some really flashy flowers out of it. And the one in the back is, at the moment, wishful thinking. Ah well.

Friday, May 16, 2008

New dog

About a year ago, we adopted another dog. This was on top of our existing dog and three cats, as well as assorted fish. I wanted a friend for Emma (good dog), plus she's getting older, and I knew that I would cope with her eventual passing better if we had another dog around.

So we went to the shelter, just to look. Well, I knew better. KarateMonkey I think believed that was all we were going to do. But he made the mistake of reading their stories on their cages... Suddenly, instead of a medium-sized male dog, we were looking at an adorable female boxer mix named "Serenity", who was billed as shy and sweet. We took her out for a visit and liked her well enough. We decided to bring Emma by the next day, and if they got along okay, to adopt her. All went well at the meet-up, and we had a new dog.

Little did we know that Serenity was a terrible misnomer. While she may have been shy as a newly rescued stray, she got over it quickly. Suddenly we had a boisterous year old dog bouncing around the house! Her housebreaking was dubious at best, we didn't know any of her history, and she chewed. A LOT. That was tough.

She also went through a bout of terrible kennel cough immediately after she came home. This was followed by going into heat (we had to postpone her spay due to the kennel cough), slicing open a paw pad, eating a bottle of calamine lotion, and eating my two favorite pairs of heels.  Freaking dog.

But she is a sweet dog. Her entire body wags when we come home, and she adores Emma. She will play fetch or tug for hours, and is scary smart. (Unfortunately, she is also stubborn!) She can pick up a basketball in her mouth, though it gets stuck and she has to paw it out (she can't open her mouth any further!) And we adore her. 

BTW, Buffy is a Joss Whedon reference. Coming to us with a name like Serenity, what else could we do? Kaylie didn't fit, and Zoe was what my ex wanted to name a kid. And Fred would have made for too many explanations, but would otherwise be perfect.

I also just spent 5 minutes looking up whether or not tulips are toxic, as she proceeded to eat the petals off of several in the yard. Fortunately it sounds like the bulbs are the problem. Thank god for ASPCA poison control....

So, without further ado - Buffy Marie!


I like my new coworkers. Really, I do. They are kind to me, and understanding about how it can be hard to be the new kid, and enjoy my geeky humor. They are compassionate to our patients and clients, which makes me happy. And they do good medicine, which is ever so important to me.

But their casual cruelty in their language, in their thoughts, in their oblivious privilege, make me sick. I have had one person suggest (jokingly? I couldn't really tell, or bear to pursue it) that the earthquakes in China are "God starting some population control." Another has, on separate occasions, referred to Mexicans, gays, and a Jamaican in a way that assumed I would know he meant someone off. Wrong. Lesser. I just kept saying "And?" Trying to get him to say what he was implying, or at least make him think about it. My direct supervisor is DEEPLY evangelical Christian, as well as a Fox News advocate. He tried to tell me the other day that Fox just "balances out the rest of the liberal media, and that's why they're biased." I countered that, if you're going to be biased, at least own it. Don't pretend to be objective. I may have made some ground there. Maybe.

It's hard. Hard to censor myself every day. Hard to like these people sometimes, and other times want to scream and cry in frustration. I don't want to look for another job - in a lot of ways, it's a very good one. But I think I'm going to have to spend extra time at my favorite liberal blogs, just to remind myself that I'm not alone. Thank goodness.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

New Job

One of the recent developments in my life is (yet another) new job. Last summer I left my day practice veterinary hospital for a temporary job at a (somewhat) nearby zoo. It was amazing, and amazingly frustrating. Part of the frustration was the 75-90 minute drive one way; another part was being told that I was "too sarcastic". The biggest part was that, though I felt I was being responsible and staying in the hospital and doing work rather than going along and just observing procedures, this apparently made people wonder if I was "interested in animals." No, asshole, I drive this far 5 days a week so that I can be around things I hate. Christ.

When I left there I went to a multi-specialty practice much closer to home. A friend of mine was a doctor in the department I was going to, so I had high hopes. Unfortunately I had little -- actually, nothing -- in common with my coworkers, no patience for the BS in the rest of the hospital, and ethical disagreements with some of the things I saw being done around me. So I left there in mid-April.

So now I'm at yet ANOTHER specialty practice. However, it's a new specialty to me, and I'm learning cool stuff. My coworkers are nice, though at various places on the conservative spectrum. I'm working to change minds, though! I'm calling people out on blatant sexism and racism, and it seems to be working. So I have sorta high hopes. Which I worry about, because it's not unusual for those to get dashed, particularly when it comes to work.

Far too long

... since I've posted here. J. Goff noted this earlier, as he wished us a happy anniversary. From last year. The nice thing about anniversaries is that they come around at the same time every year, so it was still appropriate.

It was hard to blog there for a while. Part of that was simply lack of time. I was working too much, and unhappy when I came home, so I didn't much feel like writing. Part of it is also insecurity. There is very little that I can say that hasn't been said better elsewhere in the liberal blogosphere. So, rather than making this uberpolitical and trying to cover all the newsworthy stuff -- I'm going more personal. Stuff that pisses me off, that makes me happy, that I wonder about.

Why start back up? Well, I got some very good advice from an excellent blogger a few months ago. "Don't think every post has to be the next great American novel - just sit down and write something. Every day. It works."

So that's the goal. Every day. Something. I think I can do it. Especially if KarateMonkey helps, the lazy shmuck.