Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Since Rocco's out of the Picture...

Alice has a new celebrity boyfriend!

She doesn't think Pabst is ugly; in fact, she can't decide if he's the George Clooney or the Daniel Craig of the underbite-sporting dog world.

In any case, Pabst makes her smile.

Monday, June 29, 2009

A Great Gift.

I'm getting waaay backed up on posts for this month, but I wanted to post a quick one on something cool I got this weekend.

My birthday present from my folks arrived this weekend. Yes, my birthday was a month ago-- it took longer to make than anticipated. And it was absolutely worth the wait.

It's an Alice necklace! My mom ordered it from BabyFaces Pets. I opened it on the street outside the Post Office Saturday morning, and started crying and ooh-ing so much that I embarrassed myself in front of the whole block. I think, though, that if anyone passing by had gotten such a great present, they would've done the same.

Thanks for the wonderful present, Mamala and Popsy!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Big Hugs for DC Today.

Today was a pretty blue day in DC. The city was both subdued and running very late. With the red line in two pieces and all the other lines delayed as a result, people seemed to be averaging about 30-45 minutes late. Which, in the scheme of things, isn't too shabby. While Metro doesn't typically handle the daily broken trains the best, when there's a big emergency, they can keep things running fairly well.

Overall, it seems as if people aren't too upset about the delays. Delays always happen; be it for a train, traffic, protest, bomb threat, or motorcade, it's just a fact of life down here. And at least in this situation, it's actually understandable. What seems to be the bigger issue is the media.

It started yesterday, when the national news outlets had more information about what was going on than the local stations. I actually found out about the incident from CNN. More than once today, someone mentioned they learned about what happened from an out-of-town relative checking in on them (the best story I heard was from a girl that works in my office building, whose brother called her after she finished up at the gym. He asked her if she was okay, and, unaware of the situation, she responded with "Dude, it was a rough workout, but I think I'll make it."). Part of this might've been because when the accident was originally reported, the severity might not have been clear-- as in, the early first responders were under the impression the cars bumped together. It wasn't until they saw what had actually happened that major back-up was called in. Additionally, Metro's automated alert system isn't equipped for situations like this. Metro's Twitter feed said there was a train with "mechanical difficulties" at Fort Totten long after the accident. Yeah-- mechanical difficulties.

Then today, the national media's going nuts, trying to pin blame on something, anything at all. Was it the old car Metro didn't check when they were supposed to? Was the driver inexperienced? Was she doing something she shouldn't have been doing?

I'm so angry with the media. I do appreciate them sensationalizing something that was initially seen as minor so that the word got out yesterday, but that's about it. What's particularly upsetting are the articles trying to malign the conductor because she hadn't been on the job for decades.
For crying out loud, the woman just passed away-- show some freaking respect!

Truthfully, I think very few people in DC could care less what caused it. I think the main concern lays in the people who passed away, those injured, and how everyone's going to get to work/home. As much as I feel DC can give Mos Eisley a run on the wretched hive of scum and villainy title, I also think people here are pretty loyal and protective of one another (at least those off The Hill). Remember a couple of weeks ago with the shooting at the Holocaust Museum? Not everyone who left flowers and visited once it reopened were tourists. In many different ways, I think when the city's down, you start to see the best its people have to offer.

One great example of this are the interviews with the conductor's friends saying that she would've done anything in her control to prevent this from happening (later backed up by a report stating that not only was the train was running on automatic, but also showed signs of the emergency brake being pulled), and Mayor Adrian "Badass" Fenty's nimble smackdown of Matt Lauer when he tried to get him to admit that the conductor didn't have enough experience this morning. So priceless.

I have to add in my two cents-- Ms. McMillan used to drive my bus route. She was as kind and friendly to her passengers as the article implies.

Today calls for another silly Alice picture. Here it is:

I love this photo. Sure, it's a little blurry, but it's an action shot. This is from the Walk for the Animals event at the beginning of May. Look at that happy little face! She had such a good time that day.

Monday, June 22, 2009

DC needs smiles.

We've gotten quite a number of calls about the Metro accident today. The Human Male, Alice, and I are fine-- along with everyone we know. It happened on my train line (the red), but on the other arm of the U.

The city seems stunned. One of the local news guys on the scene was on the verge of tears. The people they're interviewing from the trains are absolutely shocked. No one can figure out how the train car got on top of the other-- the cars are enormous and pretty flat. Honestly, seeing it and knowing how the cars are arranged inside makes it amazing that anyone could've walked away. It just doesn't make sense.

It's going to be a blue couple of days here, and I think DC could use all the smiles it can get. So here's a funny picture of Alice. This was from the Blessing of the Dogs last month. We got more pictures of her with a goofy grin on her face.

Sending much love to those on the train, their families, and the first responders!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Studs with Pugs: Happy Father's Day!

About a month ago, I was going back and forth with my mom on some pictures for Studs with Pugs. She sent a few over, but there's one that was particularly good. Especially today.

Behold, Studs with Pugs: my dad, Popsy.

There are a thousand reasons I could list about why my dad's the best: the hours spent driving me to music lessons; the gajillions of dollars spent on both important and frivolous items; the hours of disciplining and comforting. just being an all-around great guy.

Here's a short story and new story to explain the kind of guy my dad is. Yesterday, The Human Male and I went to the movies. After we came out, I went to turn on my phone ringer again, and discovered there were seven messages on there, including five missed calls from Popsy and one from my bro Pedro telling me to call dad immediately (the seventh would've answered everything). I was panicked-- I rarely get that many calls in two weeks, let alone within a two-hour period. I instantly think someone happened to Mamala. We hightailed it back to the car as I dialed, and my dad answers with a calm "Hi, how are you?" Long story short, my dad had been calling to find out if my mom would like a lemon bundt cake for her birthday (which is also today-- HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MAMALA!). Yes, cake is an emergency in my family.

One thing to know, my dad works in Cleveland and Chicago, while my folks' house is in Michigan. He lives in one or the other place during the week, and then comes home on the weekends. It's tough, but he does it.

When Mamala sent the picture, she had this message with it:

Gotta admire a guy who will drive for 5 hours after 12 hours of work that day to get home every week. That's stud-ly.

I couldn't agree more.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Is it Ever Too Late to say Thank You?

I sure hope not! About a thousand years ago (give or take a month), Riley over at Riley's Mis-Adventures gave me this award.

Thanks very much, Riley! That was incredibly thoughtful of you.

One thing I want to mention, particularly this Father's Day week: Riley's owner's dad is awaiting a new heart. I'm a huge proponent of organ donation-- my feeling is that I won't need anything where I'm going, and I might as well give it to someone who could use it. I understand that not everyone's comfortable with being an organ donor, but if you're on the fence, please visit Donate Life America and read up on it. If it's something you might be interested in, follow the links to your state's instructions on registering, and-- very important-- tell your loved ones your wishes.

Sending warm and fuzzy wishes your way, Riley!

Weird Berdina Update.

It's been a very strange week with Berdina sightings. It started last Friday, when there was a report of a dog being hit by a 7-11 near the area where Berdina's been hiding. The searchers made calls and visits to all of the ones they could find, as well as to Animal Control, but with no luck. No one knew anything about the dog, which I guess is good.

Then the tracker dog went out again later in the weekend, and she was traced into a courtyard. Oddly, her scent disappeared, which made everyone suspect that perhaps she was taken in. Unfortunately, Prince Georges County has breed specific legislation and bans pit bulls.

Then this morning, it was reported on the news that two badly decomposing bodies had been found in that area, in the woods right behind Rosa Parks Elementary. Not much was being reported on it (other than it was foul play) so I'm not sure if it was random or targeted. I just found a report that says that they arrested someone in connection with it.

So now there's reports of a dog hit by a car, Berdina's smell disappears, and two murders... and then two reports from kids on recent spottings on different days but both in the same area, including one on Tuesday.

Hey, Berdina-- are you done running yet? Everyone's ready to go home.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Change of One Wall.

A couple of weeks ago, right before we went to Chattanooga, we packed up Alice's cage and noticed a long line of black hair along the floorboard and on the wall. It was pretty gross, so we grabbed the vacuum to suck it up.

When it didn't budge, we knew it was even grosser. It was mold.

We cleaned it up, left town, and came back. To more mold.

I left town again for a week (I'll tell you about that in an upcoming post) and came back to a mold mecca. Despite The Human's attempts to clean it up, it just kept coming back. And even more fun, the wall on the other side had started bubbling.

So we called maintenance, and they came out today. It ends up that a pipe was leaking in the bathroom of our upstairs neighbor. We had some minor trouble with dripping from upstairs in the past, so this wasn't too much of a surprise. The fix wasn't like this, though.

The Human Male called me when he got home and gave me the report. They cut two holes in the wall and left us with the largest dehumidifier ever, trying to dry out the wall before they patch it up.

He also said that Alice, who was hanging out in the bedroom as they removed the wall, was a bit of a basket case. By the time I got home, she was doing a lot better. Just a little clingy. And very curious about the big, creepy noisy box.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Let Me Explain...

So a few weeks ago, I got a wonderful surprise birthday party. It included a dozen balloons. It also included 30 cupcakes, which you might imagine takes a lot of hands to carry. So I tied the balloons on Alice's harness to help carry them back to the car.

She was perfectly fine with them for about ten minutes, even posing for a number of pictures.

Then she decided that they were following her, for some reason. She flipped out and started tearing around in circles, trying to run away from them. Somehow we managed not to drop the cupcakes while trying to stop her and untie them.

Alice got a vanilla one as a reward.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Studs Who ARE Pugs: There's Some Skill Involved in Being This Handsome.

I think most people who read this blog also read Mr. Puggle's, so you likely know about this already. So in my best Barry White voice, I'm sending this one out to those of you who don't-- in particular, those of you who don't need to flee to The Cleve, because you're already (and very fortunately) nearby.

A few weeks ago, someone* had a link to
HistoryMike's blog, a guy near Toledo whose family is fostering a puggle for a local rescue called Planned Pethood**. The puggle's name is Atticus Finch***, and he's very, very handsome.

This picture is NOT from the cover of GQ, but rather the Planned Pethood Website. Now go there and find a new friend!

Today, Mr. Puggle had a posting on him-- apparently Atticus has received no applications so far. What?! How is that possible? Look at those eyes! I swear, if he was a singer, girls would through their skivvs on stage at him. And then give him treats.

So this week, I've decided to award Atticus the Studs Who Are Pug(gles) title this week. Because a glorious moneymaker like that is deserving of champagne wishes and caviar dreams-- or, at the very least, a forever home. Even better, it sounds like Atticus has a personality that surpasses his glorious looks. He sounds good on the
Planned Pethood Website, and that he's improved even more on HistoryMike's blog.

Atticus can be adopted through
Planned Pethood in Toledo, OH. They do try to adopt locally, as they require a home visit, but it does say on their website that if you're not in the area, that you can set up a visit with a shelter in your area.

Because really-- who couldn't use more handsome in their family?

* I can't remember who it was. If it was you, let me know and I'll give you credit.

** Which may be one of my favorite rescue names of all time.

*** Yet another great puggle name, but this does bring up a question: What's with puggle owners and their obsession with To Kill a Mockingbird? I'm not complaining, it's one of my favorite books, I just find it interesting. And has anyone met a girl puggle named Scout yet?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Found: A Brick Piano.

And by "brick piano", I mean a piano actually made out of bricks.

Alice, The Human Male, and I just got home from a very quick jaunt to
Chattanooga, Tennessee. We spent just about 36 hours there and didn't get to see much of the city, but what I did see, I'm completely in love with. We've already started talking about going back. And after seeing that the cost of housing here is 323% more expensive, I'm going to start packing up the house, too.

This morning we went over to a place called The Stone Cup on Hamilton Place Boulevard for some coffee on our way out of town. Across the street from there is this incredible monument, dedicated to "The music and musicians of Chattanooga". What's super cool is that you can sit right down at it and "play" it, if you want.

The only word that can describe this is awesome.

Monday, June 1, 2009

If you're in the Hyattsville area tomorrow...

A couple weeks back, I wrote about Berdina, the pit bull from the Washington Animal Rescue League that went missing on April 21st. There's been some GREAT news with her just today-- there's been about five spottings, including one by one of the people who's been searching for her! YAY YAY YAY!

The sightings today were right in the area where we found the paw prints a couple of weeks ago, so hopefully this means she's been spending a lot of time right around there and they'll be able to catch her soon.

If you're in the Hyattsville, Maryland area and can spare some time around 7A or 5P (it sounds like her spottings are around food times) tomorrow, there's a group of searchers who are going to go out and comb the area. They'll be meeting by the playround at the park across the street from Ager Road Station Apartments, near Ager Road and Nicholson Street by the nursery (if you come out of the West Hyattsville Metro, go to the path and turn right-- it's not too far down).

View Larger Map

They're asking that people bring a leash and some good, smelly treats. I've heard she likes cat food, hot dogs, and pupperonis.

Oh, Berdina-- I'm positive that if you went home, you'd get aaaaalll the pupperonis you could possibly dream of having!