Saturday, August 21, 2010

Serve Me

I've been feeling distinctly under-served lately. This theme has been going on for several months and I'm struggling to think of any example lately where I've felt adequately tended. My biggest complaint is certainly with restaurants. I actually walked out of one on Tuesday when people who walked in after me were tended first -- despite my attempts to get the staff's attention.

That I live in a college town does mean that servers rotate quickly and probably are undertrained, but isn't something like eating out so ubiquitous at this point that most of us, even if we are only 20 and even if we aren't given much training, know what good service is? Of course, the ubiquity of eating out and purchasing services may have dulled our (societal) expectations. We just have our meal, maybe grumble a little that our water was never refilled or that the food took forever to come or that the bacon we asked for on a separate plate came in the pasta, and then move on, knowing that we'd be eating out again the next night or the night after that. Eating out is rarely the treat it was for my family when I was growing up, so I think we expect less.

Since my gig as a single parent has started, however, I'm finding that I crave a bit more out of my out-in-the-world experiences. My kids help with food planning, prep, and clean up only grudgingly. It is a chore to get them to do anything and, frankly, 95% of the work of a meal falls to me. I'm working to shift this dynamic a bit this summer, but for the time being, couldn't someone run and fetch for me? I'm happy to pay for the service. I'm just tired of feeling like I have to police the service.

And I could use a good long foot rub. But that is a whine for another day.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hank, Jr.

So, I finally got the report on the MRI that was done on my back at the end of July. "A persistent right hemilarminectomy defect is redemonstrated." In other words, "a focal cyst is again seen along the medial aspect of the right facet joint extending into the lateral recess and subarticular region abutting the right L5 nerve root."

Yeah, yeah, you know all this, Hank came back, but listen to this:

"The size of this cyst now measures 5x3mm compared to 7x6mm on the prior exam [of 3/31/10]."

So there ya go, Hank, Jr. has gotten smaller. And I found myself saying to the doctor, "as long as I can still have the ibuprofen to turn to when the pain level creeps up, I can live with this." No second surgery for me, thank you very much.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Those eyes

Boone has settled in rather well. In fact, it is kind of like he's always been here and I have to remind myself that some of this is new to him. Tonight I took the kids, a kid friend, and the dog downtown for the Crossroads music festival. While the kids played with the EMU footballs being handed out, Boone and I checked out the crowd. He did try for a few quick licks of passersby, but then settled in and discovered that by sitting politely, cocking his head and wagging his tail, he could lure in people to give him pets. There was one woman who was so taken with him, she plopped down next to me on the curb and encouraged him to cuddle up. She had some physical issues and I couldn't really understand what she was saying, but she obviously found some peace in stroking his head and he was very patient to let her even though there was a lot of action going on around us. When it was time for her to go, I helped her up but she still had a hard time tearing herself away and kept letting him give her kisses on her forehead. He is really a sweet dog.

While I was sitting alone with him and he was taking in the sights, I pondered his face. I now realize that there is something very familiar about it. I've never had a black or black and tan dog and neither of my previous dogs had ears like his, so I'm thinking there is something about his eyes. I wonder if this is why I was drawn to him in the first place. He has quickly become my shadow. He sleeps behind my desk chair when I'm working, follows me to the garden, and, at least so far, sticks close when I wander across parks. I'm excited to take him places and let him play with other dogs. I can't wait to watch him run at the cottage. I have to keep reminding myself that he is still new and I don't know what he will do -- does he like water? will he chase deer? will he try to be dominant with the other dogs at the park? will he come when called even when there are distractions? -- as he has slid into his place here so easily (so far).

The Summer of New

Well, the new dog didn't fit well in the old car. Okay, it wasn't really the dog so much... we were all feeling cramped in the sedan. We've managed three camping trips and one cottage trip in the Saturn, but now there is a pooch riding along and it was already awfully tight. So, because summer is when I have time to research such things and the next cottage trip is looming, I bought a new car.

Diesel (excellent fuel efficiency), 6 speed (fun), sliver (practical)... Jetta Wagon.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Shenanigans in Public

AB and I, who share an extreme distaste for TVs in public, came across this little gizmo at the Makers Faire at The Henry Ford. While I was underwhelmed by the festival in general, I couldn't resist this gadget. Seeing as it was Saturday night, we changed into respectable clothes and headed out to a couple of the places where TVs seem wrong, wrong, wrong -- like fancy wine bars, nice brew pubs and trendy restaurants -- to perform some guerrilla anti-TV action. We did also hit a sports bar/restaurant-type place, not because TVs are wrong there so much, but because there were so many targets. This place even had a TV in the bathrooms. I loved killing that one!

It is not a perfect device, we did not get all the TVs we saw and we had no luck turning off TVs from the sidewalk, but we did have some success. In the wine bar, the two we turned off, the two that were very much in our space as we drank and ate, stayed off the whole time we were there. In two other places, bartenders and staff rushed to restore the ones over the bar, but left off the ones away from it. We remained stealth in all this. I'm not quite ready to boldly point my gadget and declare my hate for TV. I am, however, very much looking forward to my next visit to doctors' offices, however, where I just might whip it out for all to see as I kill The View or whatever drivel is on to placate those who wait. Be prepared. Bring a book.


Boone, our new pooch.

He is a mellow 55 lb. black and tan mix -- playful and snuggly, but super well-mannered and easy-going. He was a stray brought to the humane society. The vets estimate that he is about 10 months old.