Thursday, August 20, 2009

Living Large, Online

Here and there, the Matron heads over to Dooce, largely so she can see how the other, more successful half lives.

Today's post was a special treat -- in which Heather Armstrong mentioned both her assistant and her new lawn furniture.

This gave the Matron pause. You see, neither Heather nor her husband, John have a job. Well, they do have a job: it's Heather's life. Her life --and writing about it--not only supports four human beings and two dogs, it has now acquired new lawn furniture and an assistant.

Jeez Louise. The Matron just got $29.72 from BlogHer. Her life can't even support her peanut habit. That's probably because she is the MATRON and says things like Jeez Louise. More than once.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Informed Citizen

(check out the guy with sun-glasses in the middle)

To the people concerned about government getting overly involved in health care: too late! Can you say Medicaid, Medicare, Minnesota Care, Federal Drug Administration, Social Security (supporting the aging and disabled), and all those government agencies that monitor and regulate health insurance and health care corporations.

Don't EVEN get her going on this or she might start up on the whole privacy issue too. It no longer exists -- privacy, that is -- at least not in its traditional definition. We are all five minutes (or clicks for the seasoned) from complete unvieling.


Sorry. She just fell off the soapbox.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

History Lesson

The main curricular thrust: It is all her Fault.

As the Matron was coming upstairs after running some errands, midmorning, she asked John if Scarlett was awake . . . as in from the night before. He said, "I wanted to wake her but didn't because I thought you wouldn't want me to."

Hmmm . . .the Matron sees that she is calling the shots even when she is not around.

Gingerly (because God only knows what will happen next) the Matron roused Scarlett who screamed, "It's 10:30! How can you wake me up at 10:30!" She had no alternative time line. The Matron was simply erring. (but did she mention that they are trying to fix the midnight bedtime problem with this one?)

Later, the Matron and her offspring happened to get stuck in traffic. As in jam, accident, the whole catastrophic event. Stryker ranted and raved: he had computer action to tend to. There was craigslist to peruse, e-bay to haunt, new hulu offerings every instant. But here HE WAS STUCk -without wi-fi---in a minivan.

Stryker: "WHY DID YOU GO THIS WAY? Couldn't you have picked a better route?!!"

A student from her online summer class sent her a message, complaining that her (poor) grade was the result of a semester that was, in sum, "super confusing." It appears the Matron was confusing this poor student all summer long, but was just notified of her sloppy teaching when that C arrived.

Grandma Mary called to complain that her dog had recently become sort of yappy and unpleasant: "She picked that up at your house, you know."

Considering the day, the Matron is going to have a wild good time tonight--she'll tally her carbon footprint and then catalog everything she owns made by starving children!
Because it is all her fault.

And What Are You Preparing for Dinner?

urban wildlife video shot by Stryker. . ..

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Matronly Day in Dogs

This is Satan's Familiar, resting Cloven Paw upon his preferred patch of creamy white carpet on which to poop and pee.

Recall that not long ago, Common Sense became a foreign country, wherein the Matron may never reside again? Yes, she signed on the entire family as volunteers with Small Dog Rescue Minnesota, meaning that instead of Satan's Familiar and one ailing geriatric dog, they now have two ancient (and decidedly needy) creatures.

Here is Abby the foster dog, perched upon a chair for more refined attack. Yes, attack (move? she attacks). More on this later. First, please note that the chair is missing a cushion.

That's because he of Cloven Paw destroyed the cushion by mistaking the most expensive piece of furniture in the house for his own personal kitchen table, suitable for the pound of raw hamburger he jumped ONTO the kitchen counters to retrieve. Lest one laments the Matron's lack of textile fortitude -- surely, one can clean those meat-soaked covers--know that once hamburger juice seeps deep and saturates the stuffing, well, that cushion starts to smell as if it might indeed be edible itself!

So Satan's Familiar ate (most of) the cushion, as well. Is there a Canine Hall of Fame for Bad Behavior?

Then there's Jekyll. He is 16 1/2--totally deaf and blind.

He spends his time sleeping or getting stuck--in chairs, against walls, in corners or at the top of stairs.

This morning was not an atypical start for the Matron (how's that for roundabout prose?). She hauled her fine self out of bed just before 7 am. Her tiniest bathroom movements alerted S.F. who was immediately at her side, demanding breakfast.

First, she picked up Abby (who can't jump up or down very far) from whatever child's bed on which she was sleeping (because this is like a dog HOTEL). Then she tiptoed downstairs to find Jekyll tracking his nightly accident across the hard wood floors.

While the three dogs are outside (two must be carried), the Matron cleans up the mess and mops the floor. She then carries two dogs back in, separates Abby and makes THREE SEPARATE MEALS for each (just like dinner for the children!!) and feeds them.

Sated, they are quiet for about 15 minutes which-today--was the highlight of the Matron's existence. The rest of the day was Dog Chaos.

Because, sadly, while Jekyll spends those remaining minutes getting stuck, he keeps bumping into Abby as part of that process. He has NO idea she even exists. So while she's sitting in the middle of the floor, here:

This guy, doing his circular swing through the kitchen and living room, simply walks into and over her

Causing Abby to attack. As in biting. Which she will also do if Jekyll paces near the chair she prefers, previously pictured. The chair allows her to all the more effectively case Jekyll, monitoring his shuffle until he's within biting range and then. . . . leap!

Between all the dog fights, there is also a lot of this. Here is poor Jekyll, battling Nature. You can see, Nature is winning.

Much of the time now, this old man's back quarters simply fail him. A child or the Matron will sort of lift those haunches up . . . or give him a lift, which he needs now, the other part of much of the time.

Sort of makes the days of whippin' up dinner with a baby in the sling seem easy. The Matron thinks that Jekyll -- who doesn't seem to even SMELL anymore and whose snout must be located directly INTO his dog dish in order for him to understand the concept of eating -- she thinks that he is operating entirely under the influence of some kind of Energy Heat Sensor. Because if anyone is in the room, he of no vision immediately does this.

Also making that toddler-underfoot while whippin' up dinner era seem like the good ole days, too.

Today, when she wasn't tending to Jekyll or breaking up fights, she was battling Satan's Familiar, who discovered (or created) a HOLE in the fence between her yard and the neighbor's, meaning he can stick his ugly snout through and engage in Barking Festival with the two german shephards next door.

Bark, bark, bark, bark! Then she hears the neighbor -- who is actually completely incapable of genteel anything -- SCREAMING at the all three (now four! here comes Abby!) dogs at the top of her lungs but never actually leaving her back door to come and physically haul her dogs home, which of course, is what the Matron ends up doing, one dog under each arm.

So she can bring them back in the house just in time to trip over Jekyll before Abby grabs his thigh, again.

Here is what her personal Greek Chorus sings. She imagines the tune goes something like, this.

"Mom!! I forgot the turkey wrap so the dogs are fighting over it and now Scruffy is in the neighbor's backyard and there is pee in the living room and vomit on the deck, and Abby is on top of Jekyll and her actual teeth are in his neck, and there is a pile of poop on the the third floor why doesn't anybody pick up garbage around here? and MOM!, Jekyll fell down the basement steps and his head is caught in the desk, and Scruffy is barking through the fence hole again only this time Abby is trying to get out, and now Abby is doing the potty dance and MOM can you please carry the old dogs to the third floor so we can play Jail with the dogs, and is this pee or vomit or water that I'm walking in?"