Monday, March 18, 2013

DOGS – They are awesome, funny and cute!

HI!  I want to make this post my little tribute to the awesomeness and hilariousness of dogs and will include various dogs I have seen recently.  And my dog too, naturally.  ;-)
A couple Sundays ago, hubby and I took Otto for a walk to Piedmont Park.  I really like the park for several reasons, but the best part is that it’s about a 10-15 minute walk from our house.  Sunday was so beautiful outside that it felt like spring.  Absolutely loved it!  The park was extremely crowded with both people and dogs.   I mean who would want to miss out on getting out in the fantastic weather.

Back to the topic at hand.  We talked to this one couple with 2 Boston Terriers.  The lady said that several years ago, she had a Rhodesian Ridgeback named Clemmons who liked to eat bars of soap.   The dog actually ate soap!  (Whether he said a curse word that day or not.  Hahaha!)   She said that he never got sick from it and that he would walk into bathrooms expressly seeking out that little gem of an unusual treat.  This, of course, made his breath fresh like Irish Spring, his mouth as clean as a Dove and full of Zest.  Hehehe!   When she realized he did this, she took him to the vet to be checked out.  The vet did not believe her and therefore put liquid soap on his hand as a test to see what Clemmons would do.  Clemmons licked up all of the liquid soap.  Weird but funny!  Then the guy of this same couple said that he had a Great Pyrenees years ago that would sneak cupcakes off the counters and only eat the ones with frosting.  I am guessing that to his professionally trained cupcake-eating palate, the cupcakes without frosting were just bland, not worth eating and a waste of time baking.  And even more surprising, he did not eat the cupcake wrapper; they were left on the floor unharmed.   I am sure these dogs were absolute characters and full of funny antics.

Then we saw 2 guys at the park throwing a football to each other while their yellow labs chased the ball.  As far as I could tell the dogs never caught the ball, but they seemed to be having the time of their lives just chasing it from one guy to the other.  Even from a distance you could see the real joy on the dogs faces ‘playing’ football.

In the past several days I have seen some super cute puppies.  Some at my dad’s house and 2 at Piedmont Park.  One park puppy was a cute Boxer female, and the other park puppy was a chocolate lab girl.  They were so stinking cute!  I, of course, had to pet them, and they loved the attention.  Both puppies were named Lola.  How adorable. Naturally when I petted both Lolas, my dear sweet Otto got jealous and made a quick, low growl informing me that he was not pleased with me.  Of course it is ok for him to have other humans pet him, but when I pet other dogs, oh, it is so wrong.  Such a one-way street, hypocritical dog.

The other day Otto tried jumping onto our bed from the foot-end rather than the side.  The foot-rest rises a few inches above our mattress and there is a small gap between the end the mattress and the foot-rest.  So Otto jumps up and over, but his front paws land in the gap and his back feet are off the ground; he is effectively stuck with this look of helplessness and confusion on his face.  I burst out laughing and was incapacitated enough from laughter that I could not help him.  It was up to Caleb to rescue the pitiful thing.  After that he just lay down, looked sad and did not want to play for a little while. 
And one more Otto story.  When we go walking in the park, he loves picking up and carrying sticks like many other dogs.  But his favorite thing to do with them is to play tug-of-war with Caleb.  Otto will grab a stick by one end, and then bump Caleb with it until Caleb takes hold of the other end.  So then the play tug of war begins.  More times than not, the stick gets broken by Otto into several pieces.  Then it becomes my mission to find a durable stick from a hardwood tree so they can play longer.  Otto jumps and flails around like a fish out of water when he has a stick; his happiness with a stick is equivalent to a kid with armloads of candy.  He actually prances when carrying a stick.  Absolutely funny!  And on occasion, Otto will find a large limb on the ground and try to carry it.  That never works but he is determined to try.

So to summarize, dogs are fantastic additions to our lives!  They love you (as long as you love them back), bring you joy, make you laugh and are a good comfort for when you are feeling blue.  If you have any stories you want to share of your dogs, I would love to read them.   You are welcome to leave the stories in comments.  Cat stories are welcome too.
Today's pun:
A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was ticketed for littering.

Saturday, March 9, 2013


 – is it really “fun for all and all for fun?”
The week of Feb 18, 2013 hubby had to go on a work cruise on the Carnival Elation ship.  His industry was holding a conference to create new opportunities for business growth and development.  This was hubby’s 3rd cruise and my 2nd with him.  So for him, it was not much of a break-from-work cruise and for me, it was supposed to be a vacation.  Let me just say right off, that cruising is far from my ideal idea of a vacation.  I was so freaking glad to get back home; I can’t say that enough.   Getting sick during the trip did not help ease my misery.

The cruise left the Port of New Orleans on Monday and arrived back on Saturday.  We flew into New Orleans on Sunday and walked around town on our own.  We went down a portion of Bourbon Street, and I quickly discovered, with absolute certainty, that place is not for me.  I was so uncomfortable while walking that street (during daylight!) that I quickly realized I would not ever want to go there during the night, and unquestionably would not want to get drunk in that area.  I absolutely did not see the appeal of the place.  We thought it best and safe to eat at the hotel’s café for dinner after seeing Bourbon St.

Anyway, I digress.  Let’s get back to the question at hand.  CARNIVAL CRUISING – is it really “fun for all and all for fun?”  As you read this, you will be able to determine my answer.

The ship was old and small.  Can’t really fault the ‘old’ part.  The ‘small’ part – well there were too many people on board for its size.  But one part I can find fault with is the décor.  OMG, it was sooo tacky.  The décor was truly awful – it kind of looked like the 80’s and 90’s exploded in and then meshed with your grandma’s old-person’s home.  Bad colors, bad style, bad execution – just tasteless.   Another outrageous thing they did was to tip the hell out of patrons for their drinks.  While out on sea, you could not sit at the bar and open up a tab, and then, when finished pay up and tip on the whole amount.  NO!  With every single drink you ordered, you paid and had to tip on it.  Really???  Really???  That is just insane.  (Now keep in mind this was only my 2nd cruise and my 1st was 3 years ago on a different cruise line.  So this offensive tipping policy may be standard practice and I am just unaware).  Also, the food was bland; some of it was fine, but mostly just some tired thing to keep you from starving.  I did enjoy the 24 hour pizza bar, the ice cream machine and the Mongolian Wok though.  Those were delicious.  And the biggest factor I did not like was having my schedule set for me for a vacation.  When I go on vacation, I want to be the one to set it, with hubby’s input of course.

There was one thing on board that greatly amused me – the Hairy Chest Competition.  One afternoon the assistant cruise director hosted this funny contest on the Lido Deck.  There were 7 men ranging in age from late 20’s to late 50’s.  The oldest of these had on a santa hat and a santa boxers.  Three women were the judges for the competition.  Some of the things the men did to these women to try and influence their decision just made me cringe.  Eww Eww Eww!  The men really got into this contest and did some really silly/slightly embarrassing antics to try to win this most prestigious of awards.  In the end a 30-something man with a very hairy chest (and hairy back and arms) won.  He was the most fun to watch as he knew how to shake his booty enticingly.  ;-)   The other thing 3 things I enjoyed the most were the 2 comedians, playing roulette in the casino (and ultimately losing) and late-night dancing at a lounge.   Two of those nights I was out until after 2am.  I do not stay out/up that late in my normal life, but hey, I did not have to be anywhere the next morning.  And the comedians on board were great and really funny.  I enjoyed their shows and witticisms very much.

The cruise stopped in Cozumel and Progresso, Mexico.  Hubby and I only got off at Cozumel and walked around for a couple of hours, though some of that time was spent in Margaritaville for lunch.  Lunch there was really tasty and so were those large margaritas.  ;-)  After much window shopping, I did buy a beautiful statement necklace and a couple of normal touristy junk things.  The store peddlers really really really got on my nerves. I know they were doing their jobs, but I was starting to hate them and their pestering ways.

So all in all, the trip was just fine. I would not be excited about doing it again anytime soon.  But I will look on it as an adventure and of going to 2 places I had not visited previously – New Orleans and Cozumel.  And I got to fly to/from NOLA in first class!  I do love flying and traveling. 

But back to the question in the title - “Is it really ‘fun for all and all for fun’?”  I very strongly say NO.  Hubby and I were so happy to get back to New Orleans and even more excited when our flight got us back to Atlanta and ultimately home.  Despite the 2 comedic shows, hairy contest, roulette and 1 night of dancing, there was really nothing much else that delighted me.  I was bored a good deal of the time.  When we debarked in NOLA and were making our way to customs, I heard a few older people say how much fun they had and wanted to turn around and walk right back on the ship for another cruise.  My thought was ‘what the f---  cruise were you on?’  But as I said earlier, I got sick during the last ½ of the cruise and was miserable.  Anyways Carnival, thanks for giving me something to do that week other than going to work.  I hope I have a more satisfying vacation later this year.

I did get some pics though during the trip – here you go:

view of ship from hotel room

mounds of what would become semi-bland food


in cozumel

love towel animals!!


And today’s pun, courtesy of the interwebs (sorry I have not included one recently)
“The butcher backed up into his meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.”