Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Today is a very important day, Tex and Maggie’s 13th birthday. Tom said it best when he informed both pugs that at this point in their lives, they can have any damn thing they want.
If you're a dog person you’ll understand that they’re the heart and soul of our family. Here are a few things about the pugs you should know:
- Tex was the runt of the litter - when told he was a throw-away dog we immediately knew he was meant to be our boy.
- A famous pet psychic once said that Tex was a lion in a previous life.
- If I had a daughter I would want her to be just like Maggie - a free spirit, strong, independent, determined, generous, in touch with her feminine side.
- Tex has always been a wise old soul, aka the Dali Pug.
- Maggie’s faced turned white at a very early age, we like to think of her as the Spirit Pug of False Creek.
- Maggie is a kisser and has been know to jump up and French kiss unsuspecting strangers who stop to pet her.
- When the pugs were babies they meet a West Highland Terrier that nipped Maggie - from that day forward Tex and Maggie hate all Westies and insist they're the “real” axis of evil.
- Tex went through a few dark years when we referred to him as the incredible humping machine and friends called our house the Love Shack.
- Both pugs refuse to do tricks and have perfected the “you talking to me” look when encourage to roll over, shake hands or play dead. Safe to say they will never be circus dogs.
- Tex is fixated on things that fly and has given us a new appreciation for birds.
- Both pugs once slept through an earthquake - so much for the idea that animals predict natural disasters.
- Tyler’s buddies used to come over to walk the dogs, who they refer to as the Babe Magnets.
- Both pugs get very upset when seeing animals on TV and bluff charge the screen.
- They howl like coyotes.
- Have always slept with us - when we have family and friends staying with us it isn’t unusual for them to wake up next to a snoring pug.
- We woke up one Christmas to find that Tex had opened all of the presents during the night.
- They love pancakes, frozen yogurt and always get a few McDonald's fries after visiting the vets office.
- Maggie loves snow and thinks she is Nanook of the North - Tex hates it.
- Maggie is the easiest pug to give medicine to / Tex is by far the most difficult.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Writing this letter is surreal, something I never thought I would do. I woke up this morning looking for news of the Copenhagen Climate Summit and was dismayed to find all of the major networks doing a non-stop Tiger marathon. I had an epiphany - the real story is less about you and more about our need for dirty laundry.
Perhaps it’s easier to focus on fallen celebrities as it allows us to avoid thinking about the real issues of our day - war, climate change, and the fact that we are living in an era that Scientist now refer to as the “sixth mass extinction”.
Tiger, I have no idea what your life is like and truth is I’m not even a golf fan - but considering everything we’ve put you through, I feel it is only right to offer a few words of advice.
You’ve spent your life learning how to be a great golfer, this is your chance to look inside and become a great man. None of us are without sin, the real test of character is how we choose to deal with these defining moments.
One doesn’t have to be a psychiatrist to see that you’re looking for something. Truth is your beautiful wife, kids and numerous girlfriends will never be enough to fill that void - it can only come from within. Learn to be alone and at peace with yourself and you will be a better husband and father.
all the best,
Sunday, November 29, 2009
I pride myself on being street smart, way too savvy to fall for the latest con or be anybody's bitch - which makes the story I’m about to share with you all the more embarrassing.
It happened several years ago as I was walking home from work, one of those beautiful summer days that seemed to attract all of the out of town tourists. A young man stopped me on the sidewalk, asking for directions. He was from the UK, and as part of his graduation gift his grandparents had given him a trip to beautiful British Columbia. He said it had been a wonderful journey, except for the fact that he had somehow confused his departure date, missing his flight home. Like most young travelers he had spent almost all of his money and was trying to figure out how he was going to find the means to get to the airport - and pay the required penalty for having to reschedule his flight.
I admit, there was a part of me that wondered if he was scamming me – but like most things in life timing is everything. My son Tyler had just returned home from his grand adventure – 6 months exploring South East Asia with a group of friends. While in Cambodia he was swarmed by a group of children, who somehow managed to take his ATM card, credit cards and money. Even though the majority of people living in Cambodia are very poor, they gave new meaning to that old adage “if not for the kindness of strangers”. The good people of a small Cambodian village came to my baby boy's rescue, providing him with food, shelter and even loaning him money to hold him over until Tom and I could help sort things out. Considering everything we had been through, is it any surprise that I had sucker written across my forehead?
The young man and I went to my bank, where I took out $100. When I gave him the money he started to cry real tears. He seemed to be genuinely touched and even asked me why I was being so generous with a total stranger. I explained that he was the same age as my Tyler, and rambled on about the importance of karma and returning good deeds.
Of course when I got home and told Tyler and Tom my story, their immediate reaction was utter disbelief. Months passed and I never heard anything from the young man, who had insisted on taking my business card and promised to pay back every penny.
Fast forward to last week - a middle age man stops me on the street to ask directions – different details but the same routine. Reality check, I finally had to admit that the young man probably conned me.
I've had a few days to think about it and strange as it may seem, I’m okay with it. In hindsight I'm not sure I would do anything different. I still believe in helping strangers.......sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith and trust people.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
I've recently stumbled upon an interesting new trend. Over the past few years, while staying at hotels in Miami, Guadalajara, London, DC, NY and LA, everyone from bellboys to housekeeping staff have proudly told me that "Obama stayed here". Barrack must be racking up some serious air-miles.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
My friend Carol is one of the best communicators I know. One of those people who can get to the crux of the matter in a few simple, eloquent sentences. So much so, that my secret nickname for her is the Oracle. I can't tell you how many times we've been in a meeting, when I've been tempted to say "yea, what she said".
Thursday, August 13, 2009
This week marks the 4oth anniversary of Woodstock - an event that has come to symbolize the 60's for many of us. For some reason, this has left me with an urge to pick up the phone and call my son in Thailand - but how does one describe the importance of the decade of peace, love and great music?
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Tom recently bought a t-shirt that says "F*#k you, you F@#king F^#k - which basically sums up his philosophy on life.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
I've always been a huge fan of Julia Child, so I'm really happy to see a new generation of wanna-be chefs discovering her.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Friday, July 3, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Our neighborhood is mourning Annie, a sweet little Yorkie who recently passed away. Like many tiny dogs, she had a really big personality - and very fancy hairdo. Annie had the canine equivalent of a Napoleon complex. Everyone adored her.
Annie’s person (note to people who don’t have dogs, most of your neighbors will never know your name, always referring to you as Rover's mom or dad) is a lovely older woman, who lives a wonderful, full life. Several years ago, after being diagnosed with cancer, she confided in me that she wasn’t going anywhere, as Annie needed her. I’m so happy that she was able to hang in there, holding her little friend peacefully in her arms as Annie passed from this earth.
All of this talk of death has my family debating what will happen to us when our time comes. Not to sound like a Drama Queen, but I want to be cremated, and have my ashes scattered with Tex and Maggie's ashes someday. Our son Tyler agrees that cremation is the only way to go.
Thing is, even though my husband Tom is not very religious (anymore), he still carries around the baggage that comes with growing up in the Catholic church, he still feels that burial is the only option. Our good friend Josie has assured him that the church has loosened it’s rules, allowing cremation under certain conditions. Truth is, Tom isn’t really sure why the church of his childhood banned cremation in the first place, and on one level he just feels it’s better to, you know, Cover Your Ass...... just in case.
Tom's thinking reminds me of the Jesuits who said "Give me the child, and I’ll have the man for life."
Some things just never leave us.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
While walking the dogs this evening, we were so happy to see around 30 geese, an assortment of adults and gangly teenagers. You see, over the past few years our little hood has been divided over these beautiful birds. The community seems to be split into two groups - those who see them as pests - and those of us who feel they have every right to thrive.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
I recently had a discussion on romance with a group of friends. I’m not a girl who is easily impressed by the usual cliche's; flowers and candy on Valentine’s Day just don’t do it for me. Here’s the story of one of the most romantic things Tom has ever done.
I blame the whole thing on Nina, my BFF, who called me one day to elicit my help in rescuing a poor, down trodden pug. In hindsight, I’m not even sure how Nina got involved in the whole thing, let’s just say she’s a cat person at heart. Not to mention that once she reeled me in, she was nowhere to be found (knowing Nina, she was most likely enjoying a fabulous meal in a chic sidewalk café, flirting with a handsome waiter named Raul.)
The long and the short of it goes something like this - Bobby belonged to a young woman who was moving out of the country asap - she desperately needed to find him a new home. It soon became apparent that while she may have had good intentions, Bobby had lived something of a hard life. He spent 90% of his time in a crate that was way too small for him, and when he was fed, it was usually either a happy meal or slice of pizza. Worst of all, the young woman had a biker boyfriend who liked to get rough with little dogs. Guess it made him feel like more of a man. As a result, Bobby had lost most of his hearing, due to the fact that he was repeatedly hit upside of the head.
I took one look at poor little Bobby’s sweet pug face, and took him home with me. The problem was all of this happened in a matter of 24 hours, while Tom just happened to be in the backwoods of BC, well out of cell phone range. Poor Tom...... for years he's been roped into my numerous animal rescues, often having to drop everything in order to drive a wounded bird to the closest wildlife rescue centre. This time I had a funny feeling that coming home and finding a new dog sleeping on his side of the bed, might not be Tom's idea of a good time.
To make matters worse, a few days after Bobby moved in with us, the biker boyfriend called and threatened to take the pug away if I didn’t give him $500. Seems the reason they were making a quick exit is the boyfriend was going to court - where the most likely outcome was an extended holiday in the big house - hence the plan to leave Canada on the first red eye. Once they realized they didn’t have enough money to get the hell out of dodge, boyfriend started making the rounds, trying to come up with extra cash.
Tom came home to a hysterical wife, extra pug, and a scary biker dude leaving cryptic messages on our home answering machine. Instead of getting mad, he hugged me and assured me that everything would be okay – he would take care of the biker dude – as long as I promised to find Bobby a good home - pointing out that this wasn't an episode of 101 Pugs.
Tom ended up driving his scooter (no kidding) to a tough biker bar on the wrong side of town, paying the pug ransom, and making tough guy sign an agreement that he would never contact us again. Thankfully it was the last we heard of him, as I imagine that kind of contract might be a just little difficult to enforce.
It doesn’t end there………it soon became apparent to Tom that I wasn’t really trying to find Bobby a good home. What can I say, I really fell in love with the little guy. So on top of everything else Tom was the one who ended up finding Bobby a forever home, where he lives with another pug, two little girls, and has birthday parties and Christmas presents.
Now that's what I call romance.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Anyone who has met my Tom will tell you that he's a big personality. Not only is he a big presence, but several years ago we noticed that he also had a strange effect on our electrical appliances. I know this is going to sound strange, but when Tom is around, our computers crash, light bulbs blow, the stereo and TV will suddenly start playing. It's sort of like living with a force of nature. I realize that if your reading this you're probably starting to question my sanity - but strange as this all might sound, there are several scientific studies dedicated to studying people who wreak havoc on electro-magnetic fields.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
We have new neighbors, a lovely couple and their 4 year old daughter Emma. Like most children, Emma is going through a childhood rite of passage - begging her parents for a pet. This basically means that our pugs Tex and Maggie are her current obsession.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
- Okay, I admit there was a lost year, when for some unexplained reason I snored. But those days are behind me, I did the work and kicked the habit.
- Notice that Tex doesn't move. Do the math - he's a pug and pugs snore.
- Not to brag, but see how hard it is to wake me up? What can I say, it's a gift.
- Pity Party moment - notice my reaction to waking up? Thing is, I'm pretty sure this the result of living with Tom and Tyler, who have a strange idea of funny. As a result I frequently wake up like this, even when on airplanes.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
I recently came back from NY and DC, one of those rare trips where the stars align and everything goes according to plan.
- Seeing South Pacific at Lincoln Centre with my good friend Bob. Not only did we go backstage and meet the cast, but Bob's friend Loretta let us go onstage after the show was over. Loretta is starring as Bloody Mary, after being discovered by the Director in her native Hawaii. I love it when good things happen to good people. Tom is really enjoying my many renditions of "Some Enchanted Evening", and plans to send Bob a special thank you.
- A behind the scenes tour of the Today Show, courtesy of Natalie Morales, who is humble, beautiful and a pleasure to work with.
- A girls night out with Suzanne and Ellen, good for the soul and better than years of therapy. We went to PDT - a secret little club that can only be accessed through a telephone booth in a hot dog shop.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Sunday, April 5, 2009
I knew something was seriously wrong, when I came home from work and Maggie wasn't at the door waiting to greet me. Tex was there, happy pug face and wagging tail, but where was Maggie?
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
It's been a tough couple of weeks, seems like I'm always struggling to find my groove. Today I may have bottomed out.
Monday, March 30, 2009
This morning started with a bang.......literally.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
This evening I was startled by a knock on my door. Imagine my horror at finding a group of neighbors, there to inform me that my lights were shining during earth hour. A polite way of saying "get with it sister".
Sunday, March 22, 2009
It’s been a crazy week - too much work and too many politics......... exhausting.
In-spite of feeling like a hamster, running like mad on my little wheel, three beautiful moments stand out. Reminders of all that is important in life.
Words of Wisdom
While confessing to gal pal Darlene that I’ve never had a life plan - comparing my journey to floating down a river, always going with the flow, but never really steering- she assures me that knowing what you don’t want, is just as important as knowing what you do. Thank god, at least I’ve got that covered.
The Beauty of Youth
Seeing two rough looking teens helping an elderly woman who’s taken a tumble off a curb. In spite of being at an age that most of us remember as being awkward, their calming voices and gentle manner seemed so full of grace. Maybe the next generation will be more aware and mindful then we’ve been.
Birds of a Feather
Coming upon a wet pigeon while walking down the street, poor little dude was all feathers and attitude, with such a small fragile body. Now that I think about it, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a wet bird before, and wonder what they do when it rains? He was hanging out with his posse / flock, who all seemed to be dry, which made the whole thing seem all the more mysterious. How truly amazing life is, a reminder that even the life of a pigeon is a wondrous thing.