In which my husband finally gets a hair cut

by Lorin Michel Thursday, October 16, 2014 8:24 PM

I get my hair cut every five to six weeks. I should always adhere to five weeks but that doesn’t always work. By the time six weeks rolls around, my hair is completely out of shape. The layers are grown out, the ends frizz a bit. And then there’s the color. Every six weeks I get to become a new woman.

My husband does not share my affinity for every five to six weeks. He stretches his out to four months, sometimes more. He has been known to drag it out to five or six months. He keeps his hair relatively short, and it doesn’t grow as fast as mine, but still, after several months, he looks, well, like he needs a haircut.

When we used to see Tammy, our friend and the woman who cut both of our hair for years, he would go fairly often. Not every time I went but every other time. Tammy did a good job cutting his hair. She never charged us for either cut or color because we’ve known each other for so long and because Kevin made a mean martini, something she loved to partake in on Friday nights when she could join us. We always left a huge tip, but my husband is frugal. If he doesn’t have to spend money, he doesn’t. I call it cheap. He calls it smart. The illusion that he didn’t really have to pay for his hair cut allowed him to get it cut more often. Plus, he liked to talk with Tammy. It was always a fun trip.

Now, we go through months of me saying “you need a haircut,” and him saying “I know. I’ll make an appointment.” That progresses to me saying “it’s starting to flip and curl at the ends,” something I know he hates, and him saying “I know” followed by a sigh. “I really need to make an appointment.” Finally, “Honey, do you want me to braid it, or would you rather pull it back into a pony tail?” Ha. “Fine. I’ll make an appointment.”

Today was the appointment. He left here just before 1 for a 1 o’clock appointment. He likes the lady who cuts his hair now because she’s cheap. I’m sorry; inexpensive. But she doesn’t do a very good job. It’s shorter, which is good, but it doesn’t have the same sense of style that it always had with Tammy. He also won’t have this new stylist color his hair and he likes to hide the gray, so I’ve been coloring it with L’Oreal Excellence. It looks pretty decent. When Tammy was visiting a few weeks ago, she actually commented on the color saying she thought it looked good.

I’ve asked him to try my stylist, but he doesn’t want to pay the money. And as long as he’s getting it cut, I’m fine.

He was back within 40 minutes, with shorter locks and a bit more style. “I had to tell her three times to take more off,” he said as he also informed me that he thought it looked pretty good. “Not as good as when Tammy did it. She knew what to do with this” – he indicated the top of the sides, where his hair is starting to recede. “But it’s not bad. She also cut off all the gray.”

I started to laugh. You can’t really cut gray off, I pointed out. Gray comes in at the root. “It does?” “Yes. That’s why women are forever having their roots done.”

A light went on. Of course.

“So this weekend, maybe you can color my hair?” he asked. “To hide the gray that didn’t get cut off.”

I’ll be glad to. Anything so that he looks pretty like he wants. And he does. He looks downright stylish with his new cut. Handsome. It will have to last another four or five months, too, so that’s a good thing.

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live out loud

‘tis Friday and tonight it means exactly what it used to mean

by Lorin Michel Friday, September 19, 2014 10:49 PM

Once upon a time, we would partake in a weekly ritual. After a long and often stressful, strenuous, and arduous week, we would gather with our bestest friends to commiserate. The commiseration usually only lasted a few minutes before laughter and story telling took over, washing away the previous days and leaving in their wake the clarity that is friendship. Along with the laughter, and probably what helped to facilitate the laughter, was Grey Goose.

Kevin has become known in certain circles as the master mixologist. He shakes a mean vodka martini. Ice cold, just enough vermouth as to hint at its inclusion but never so much that it can actually be tasted. Depending on who wants what, some martinis are vodka of the aforementioned Grey Goose variety, and olives. Some are gin, the original martini, which is what Diane prefers especially if it’s Bombay Sapphire. Sometimes martinis are dirty, which is a little extra olive juice to go with the olives. Sometimes martinis have a twist of lemon. That’s how Kevin and I like ours. Grey Goose martini, ice cold, with a twist. Roy and Bobbi, our bestest friends who are with us this weekend, like theirs dirty, with extra olives.

According to NPR, “there’s no cocktail more distinctly American than the martini. It’s strong, sophisticated and sexy. It’s everything we hope to project while ordering one.” H.L. Mencken, the satirist from Baltimore, called the martini “the only American invention as perfect as the sonnet.”

The history of this “American invention” is kind of fuzzy, and memories of its origins were equally fuzzy, probably due to the imbibing of one or two. Some attribute the ‘tini to a miner who struck gold during the California gold rush. Said miner walked into a bar and asked for a special drink to celebrate his new fortune and the bartender concocted something special with what he had on-hand, namely fortified wine, also known as vermouth, gin and a few other goodies. The bartender called it a Martinez after the miner.

Others say that San Francisco is where the martini was truly born, right around the same time. Another claims that a New Yorker created it in 1911. Vermouth was marketed under the name Martini in Italy in 1863. But the name Martini is actually an Arab name, which maybe is why there are so many martinis consumed in Syria. But maybe that’s because the French occupied Syria from 1920 thru 1946. Which explains Grey Goose, a French vodka, but not the martini because it’s traditionally made with gin, and Grey Goose is our choice, not necessarily everyone’s. Some people prefer Kettle One, or Belvedere or just a speed rack vodka because it’s cheaper in a bar.

Then there is Bond, James Bond, who drinks martinis shaken not stirred. We assume that he drinks gin martinis because he doesn’t order a call liquor, but perhaps he drinks a vodka martini. And he’s British.

All I know is that tonight is awash in martinis and friends, good food and laughter. It’s why it was dubbed, once a long, long time ago in the land of Oak Park, Fritini. It has returned for the first time in a long time and it has brought with it all of the wonder and joyous reunion that we knew it would. Fritini is friends. I think it’s interesting that both words begin with F-R-I, as does Friday. Friday is fritini for friends. And we’re celebrating it tonight. Cheers.

What is it about Friday's and pizza?

by Lorin Michel Friday, March 14, 2014 11:11 PM

I realize that the above question may be a bit rhetorical but these are the things I wonder about. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about it; it doesn’t keep me up at night or anything. And the truth is, I probably even know the answer to the headline’s question. That’s not going to stop me from writing an entire post about it, though. Don’t think you’re going to get out of this that easily.

Here’s my theory. By the time Friday rolls around, people are tired. Younger people go out drinking after to work – bar hopping in certain cities – to release the stress of the week and to prepare for the weekend. I’m not sure that drinking on Friday is a good way to prepare for days off since drinking too much can lead to little enjoyment of the next day. But that’s between those people and their chosen glass.

For those of us who aren’t into bars, and long ago outgrew the going out on Friday night and fighting the crowds thing, we like to celebrate the end of the week by simply kicking back on the couch, maybe watching a movie, having a glass of wine.

After a long week of working 10 hours a day, I’m in no mood to cook. The easiest thing to do is order a pizza. Hot melting cheese, garlic drenched sauce, fresh sautéed ingredients, preferably only veggies, atop a hand-tossed pizza crust. Pizza is also the easiest to eat. If the place we’re ordering from delivers, even better.

So that’s it. Pizza is easy. And it tastes good, especially since we’ve discovered Rocco’s Little Chicago.

When we used to have Fritini, the late afternoon would roll around and I’d be tired. On one hand, I’d dread the evening a little just because I was exhausted from the week; on the other hand, I looked forward to unwinding with good friends. Laughing and talking, having some great wine together. We always cooked though usually something exquisitely easy like pasta. Or we threw something on the grill. At the end of the night, I was always glad we’d done it. The ultimate way to release the week is through laughing with best friends.

The second best, then, is ordering a pizza and just rockin’ the couch. I know Roy and Bobbi used to always have pizza on Friday nights. When we had Fritini, that stopped. But now, without Fritini, I think they’re back to ordering pizza. I’ve gotten chats that say simply: gotta go. Pizza’s here.

We don’t have pizza every week. In fact, sometimes we still cook. But I am particularly tired today. It’s been a long week of 11 plus hour days, five of them in a row. The sad part is I didn’t even have enough 11 plus hour days. I could have used one more. Maybe I’d be further along on my to-do list.

So I’m pretty beat, as well as hopelessly behind. And it’s Friday. And we’re having pizza tonight, from Rocco’s because it’s easy, it’s good and it’s fun. Which is ultimately what it is about Fridays and pizza. As they say in Italian, finire di mangiare. As they say at Rocco’s, eat up. As I say, live it out loud. 

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live out loud

Finding good in disappointment

by Lorin Michel Wednesday, November 27, 2013 12:10 AM

There is no one who hasn’t experienced disappointment in one way or another in their lives. Even small children experience it when a toy is taken away because it’s deemed dangerous. Older people experience it when they can no longer do things they were always able to do with ease, like rake the leaves in the yard. Even animals experience it, though in much lesser ways. I can see it in Cooper’s eyes every time I take a bite of my food and don’t give him a bite as well.

Disappointments happen all the time. A hoped for job offer goes to someone else. The possibility of a beautiful day ends up drenching you with rain. An idea for the next great invention has already been thought of. The story you thought was good goes unpublished. A trip you were going to take can’t happen because of scheduling. A friend you were looking forward to seeing gets sick. The family you were hoping would come for a visit can’t.

Disappointment is part of life. It’s an intricate act of maneuvering through the maze of each day. It can be as mundane as there’s no coffee left in the pot to something as huge as the bank telling you no on a loan you were hoping to get.

Is there any good that can come from disappointment? It’s hard to know in the moment because disappointment is a very self-centered feeling, rightly so. This has happened to me. Why did this happen to me. It’s not fair this happened to me. Who can I slap?

This Thanksgiving, we were having a houseful but most everyone has had to cancel, all for very good reasons that I completely understand. In the same circumstances, I would do the same; anyone would. But I’m disappointed. I was looking forward to sharing and enjoying and laughing and talking and eating and drinking and laughing and talking some more. Our best friends were joining us. Everyone was going to stay here. It was going to be a big slumber party and so much fun.

I decided, though, that I can’t make this about me because it’s not. The reason our friends can’t come has nothing to do with me but rather is about issues that are personal and consuming and understandable. It got me to thinking about finding the good in disappointment.

There is sadness to be sure. We miss our friends; we’ll miss them on Thanksgiving. But they are still our friends. We don’t have to spend time together to solidify that because it is a fact. Spending time is a bonus. Breaking bread is a bonus. Giving thanks is what matters. We have wonderful friends who fill our lives and our hearts with joy. They are inside of us and nothing will dislodge that whether they are beside us or not.

There is some good.

Disappointment allows for re-evaluation and re-examination. If something didn’t work out, it can be opportunity to try something new, to think differently, to explore an alternate possibility. If the people you love can’t be with you, it’s not an opportunity, but it is still a reason to embrace them. Our friends, like our family, are the most important people in our lives, regardless of how often we see them. They are part of us, and while disappointed that we won’t see them, we are so very thankful they’re in our lives. Them not being with us does give us an opportunity to realize how much they mean to us, now and always, in person or long distance. It gives us the chance to ponder.

People are what matters. People are the only thing that matters. 

Damn that was fun

by Lorin Michel Monday, September 16, 2013 10:49 PM

Every once in a while a weekend is so good that when it’s over you’re even more blue than when a regular weekend ends. Such was the case with this past when we played host and hostess to our best good friends and family, Roy and Bobbi. They arrived late Thursday and we proceeded to spend the rest of the weekend visiting, laughing, enjoying wine and art and our friendship. They left this morning and I admit to being a bit blue. But instead of wilting and allowing the blue to completely envelop me, I’ve decided instead to embrace it just as I embraced my friends, literally and figuratively.

In my world, friendship is the glue that holds me together. Because I’m so far away from my family and because I’ve lived west for the majority of my life, friends are what I have out here. People I’ve chosen and who have allowed me into their lives; people who have been with me through some of the darker times, of first husband, of job changes, of the loss of beloved pets; and my father.

There are some people who have a lot of friends. I’ve never been one of them. I used to wish I were, back in high school. I was envious of the populars who had seemingly dozens of friends. I thought that was what I should have; I’m not sure why. Somehow a lot of friends would mean that I was more normal I suppose; more accepted for who I was.

Who I am.

After I graduated from college, I realized that it wasn’t the quantity of friends that mattered. It was the quality. Since then I have gone about collecting some of the finest people in this world as my friends. There are not many of them but they are the best. I hope they know who they are. They are my people, my confidantes, my west coast family; my lifeblood. It’s why after such a lush weekend – and I do not use the term to describe our wine consumption, even though it was plentiful – I feel a little down and lonely.

Friends are like air. And Roy and Bobbi are the freshest air. We have traveled together, we have helped each other move. We have consumed wine and started businesses together, sometimes over wine. They are the original Fritini participants. They are Justin’s official west coast aunt and uncle. When we lost Maguire, they were nearly as heartbroken as we were. They were there the night we brought Cooper home for the first time. They are my oldest friends in California. They are the truest of people, the kind that leave footprints in your heart.

We are lucky to have them. We are lucky to have all of our friends. And we celebrate each and every one with each and every waking day. While we can’t always be physically together, due to the circumstances called life, we are always together spiritually, emotionally; online.

This weekend was about friends and family, about discovery and good times. It was relaxing and easy. It was perfect because of our very good friends. And while I’m sad that I won’t see them in person for a while, I am blessed to have them in my life. I am honored to call them – all of you – good friends.

Groucho Marx once said this about a good friend: “When you’re in jail, a good friend will be trying to bail you out. A best friend will be in the cell next to you saying, ‘Damn, that was fun.’”

It was. It was.

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friendly celebrations | live out loud

It's always a good time for wine

by Lorin Michel Wednesday, August 21, 2013 1:26 AM

As you know, dear readers, I am a wino. I make no apologies about this. I am actually quite proud of my status. I flaunt it whenever and wherever I can, usually with a bit of inky dark syrah or cab franc swirling in my glass. I have come to the realization that wine is life.

Not meant as a biblical reference at all, though if Jesus Christ really could turn water into wine, I might have to rethink my no-religion mantra.

Tonight, I was texting with my friend Pam who mentioned that she had been nursing an emotional headache for about two weeks. I know she’s hurting, in pain, and I wish there was something I could do to help. I also know that no one can really help; something she also knows. It’s all a process, this grief/healing thing, and she’s getting through it as best as she can because as she likes to point out “what choice do I have?”

Wise woman, my friend Pam.

I asked her if wine helped and mentioned that wine is always a good idea. She graciously responded that this was but one of the reasons we’re friends. Pam, it should be told, was the first person I got drunk with. We were stupid kids, 15, who had finished just one year of high school before we decided that we needed to know what it was like to have a cocktail. We went to a liquor store near a mall if memory serves (and it doesn’t always) and managed to get some guy to buy us a six-pack of beer and a bottle of wine. The beer I believe was Michelob. Or maybe it was Coors. The wine was Boones Farm Apple.

We were very sophisticated for 15 years olds.

We had no idea that mixing cheap beer with cheaper wine was a bad idea. We knew absolutely nothing about drinking and even less about wine. We proceeded to drink both and promptly got sick.

It’s a fond memory.

This was my first introduction to wine and one would think it might have soured me on the attributes of this finest of beverages. It didn’t. I went through many years of drinking Lancer’s. I just hope it was the one in the red jug and not the white jug. I honestly don’t remember. I do remember drinking Riunite in college. It had a screw top. Even in college I knew it was horrible but it was all I could afford.

Eventually I moved to California and discovered that wine can be better than that, much better, even though while I was in San Diego I remember drinking a great deal of something called Blue Nun. I think it was a Gewurztraminer. It was sweet and I loved it, but I was 22 and didn’t know any better. Witness the Michelob and Boones Farm episode.

I don’t know when I began drinking red wine but I was still in my 20s. I eventually discovered that red wine can be an amazing thing, a life-altering universe of flavor. Some still say that red wine gives you a headache but I contend that it doesn’t have to. In fact, if it’s good red wine, it will never give you a headache.

Unless you drink too much. And anything you drink too much of will give you a headache so you can’t really blame red wine.

The point is, and I do have one, wine is a good time and it’s always a good time to have it. Especially if you’re having it with people you love. In fact, I’m not sure there’s anything much better in the world than sitting with friends on the back patio, with a couple of exceptional bottles of red wine on the table, a menu of tapas, and a conversation laced with laughter.

That’s the kind of drunk I do now. And it’s the best kind there is. 

If it's Friday it must be

by Lorin Michel Saturday, February 23, 2013 12:04 AM

Time to celebrate the end of the week, and more importantly, the beginning of the weekend and especially my favorite day of the week – Saturday, a day when we don’t have anything we have to do and can happily spend our time doing anything we want to do like relaxing a bit, cooking something exotic and different, tasting our wine and eventually opening a bottle crafted by someone else;

A day to relax a bit, a day when the emails slow to a trickle and the phone doesn’t really ring and work gets done but surfing takes priority and the laziness sets in and all I want to do it take a nap even though I don’t;

All about the countdown to the Oscars taking on hyper-kinetic, wall-to-wall media coverage, even more so than usual, complete with Live Team Coverage from in front of the whatever-it’s-now-called theater as preparations are happening and the red carpet is shown still rolled and in plastic and giant Oscar statues stand at attention to greet the beautiful and the glittery, and I’m already bored;

A beautiful day for a walk, or three;

The start of warmer days, at least according to the weather dudes on KABC who keep telling us how horrible the cold is and how equally horrible the rain is even though we desperately need it and to hang in there because “there’s a big change coming in the weather, folks, and I think you’re going to like it;”

Almost time for a motorcycle ride;

Time for a trip to Costco to pick up some necessities, like coffee beans and Grey Goose because yes, Grey Goose is a necessity when it’s Friday and there’s company coming, and because it’s another great way to waste an hour or two;

Time to make a plan to wash the cars;

Time for some bad-for-us Mexican food or some Wendy’s also bad-for-us chili with everything just because every once in a while we have to – really;

Time for penne pasta with pesto and garlic bread made with melted butter and grated garlic toasted on fresh sourdough and topped with Romano cheese, served to our guests as Cooper moves from one to the other, putting on his best cute, begging for some pasta or even better, a crust of bread, just like a Dickens’ character only with better hygiene;

Time for good wine, good friends, lots of laughter and sharing of stories of hopes and dreams, of disappointments and sorrow, of dogs and cats, of memories and of the future;

A wonderfully perfect time to welcome the return of Fritini;

Time to live it out loud.

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live out loud

Crossing over into the downside

by Lorin Michel Wednesday, July 18, 2012 11:28 PM

I have a philosophy. I know; I seem to have a lot of philosophies. I think some of them are even almost if not entirely valid. Plus, in my selfish way, I figure that it's my blog and I'll philosophize if I want to, which is, incidentally, a derivative of it being my party and crying, updated for the 21st century.

Where was I? Oh. Philosophizing. Again. Here's my latest: at noon on Wednesday, the week officially flips toward the weekend. In the morning, it's still early in the week, the weekend is still a very long way off. But miraculously it crosses over and the weekend starts to come into view. I've dubbed this "crossing over into the downside." Clever, don't you think?

This amazing thought was actually verbalized today on our walk, under a very strange sky, dirty cotton clouds stretched thin, the sunlight trying desperately to pierce through. It was humid but the breeze was cool. It felt almost as if it might rain but it didn't and it won't. Still, the threat was nice. We were on our way up one of the nasty little hills here in the 'hood, one we affectionately call lil' EBH (for energizer bunny hill because it keeps going and going and going). Kevin was being uncharacteristically quiet, which didn't keep me from rambling on about my morning, my phone call with my sister, what was coming up for the afternoon. I was getting mostly grunts and one-word responses.

"Did you leave your conversationality on the floor of the salon last night?" I asked. He finally got a haircut yesterday. His hair was so long he was starting to need barrettes and banana clips.

Grunt.

"Are you having a bad day?"

Grrrrrr.

Hmmmm. "What time is it?"

"1 o'clock." He speaks!

"It's official, then. We've crossed over into the downside." Coincidentally we were also crossing over the crest of the hill and were finally starting on the downside of lil’ EBH. The analogy was not lost. My husband looked at me out of the corner of his eye. We used to call it the side-eye when Maguire would do it. I knew that meant "what are you talking about because if it's this hill, you're kind of stating the obvious." We have a nice short-hand, my husband and I.

"We're more than half way through the week."

Philosophy is defined as love and pursuit of wisdom by intellectual means and moral discipline. It's also defined as the investigation of the nature, causes, or principles of reality, knowledge, or values, based on logical reasoning rather than empirical methods. In other words I see therefore I know what I see when I see it so there.

Midway through the week is Wednesday at noon. Once one has gotten past 12, the slide toward the weekend begins. The downside. In this case downside is a good thing. It represents the upside of working hard and steady and strong. It elevates what was groundward; it gives rise to even greater optimism and cause for celebration. I could almost see us skipping down lil’ EBH, hand in hand, shouting “the weekend is coming! the weekend is coming!”

Luckily, we don’t skip. Which is a whole other philosophical discussion to have at another time in another post. For now, I leave you with a humid, cloudy Wednesday afternoon and two of the OPs most intrepid residents, sliding – but definitely not skipping – toward Fritini.

Grunt, sayeth the husband-unit. But then, just for a minute, I’m pretty sure I saw him skip.

A gray Mercedes, three golden retrievers, a mutt and a woman named Donna

by Lorin Michel Saturday, May 19, 2012 1:36 AM

Friday afternoons tend to be quiet. Most of my clients – and Kevin’s, too – are busy wrapping up their weeks and looking forward to the weekend. Starting around 1 pm, the emails begin to taper off as do the phone calls. People don’t want to review anything or discuss anything new; most everything can and does wait until Mondays. This is true in most businesses whether you’re self-employed or not. By Friday, the week is done. By Friday afternoon, the weekend has begun. For this reason, I often schedule our hair appointments on Friday afternoons. Today was such a day.

Around 2:45 we both put on jeans, grabbed a lightweight leather jacket from the hall closet, a helmet of choice from the garage (open face for Mr. Michel; closed for Mrs.), climbed aboard the big Nomad and jetted off into the Valley for 3 o’clock appointments.

The day was lovely, the sun warm, the air cool. Naturally it was warmer once we got into Woodland Hills, often 10º hotter than where we live. Still, it wasn’t so warm that we were uncomfortable in our leathers. We arrived at the salon just after 3 but it wasn’t a problem. We were the only clients Tammy had today because two weeks ago she fell and broke the wrist and elbow on her left arm. Makes it difficult to cut hair. Still, she was offering color and though we both need a haircut, me somewhat desperately, we decided that color was better than nothing. Kevin had his painted on; mine scrubbed in. For my hairdresser and salon friends: is all men’s hair color painted on? Or is it just painted on for those who have – how shall I put this magnanimously – thinning hair and receding hairlines? I mean no disrespect; I love my husband’s hair.

When we were freshly shampooed, I blow dried my own hair. Again please see broken wrist and elbow above, and we chatted for a bit longer before climbing back on the bike and journeying home. We had talked about stopping at the grocery store on the way. There’s no Fritini tonight since Bobbi has a mock test tomorrow for the second part of her testing to become a licensed therapist. Next weekend is Memorial Day so perhaps we’ll do something then; we’ll see. I had mentioned that we could just go home since there was no rush and it was still fairly early, shower and then go to the store in the car. But Kevin decided that since we were out, we should just go past the turn for the house and continue on to the light, turn left and hit our favorite neighborhood grocery.

He drove up and around the top of the parking lot, turning down toward the store at the end, looping around to the next aisle and then coming to a stop next to a gray Mercedes sedan. I slid off toward the car and started undoing my helmet strap. That’s when I saw a big blonde head, mouth open in a silly grin, big floppy ears perked forward, nose against the glass watching me from the safety of the nice leather back seat. And then there was another one, this one a little redder. They were crawling over each other, peering at the strange visitors, obviously from another planet. But they weren’t scared; rather just curious. The redder one stayed in her prone position while the blonder one stood, tail swooshing back and forth over his redheaded little sister. I was thrilled as I usually am when I see dogs in a car. I want to stick my hand through the open windows, and this car had all four windows down slightly and was parked in the shade. I want to pet them and kiss on them. But I’m smart enough to realize that that’s stupid. Instead, I grinned back and said “hi, beautiful!” and the tail wagged more.

Then, two pointy ears appeared in the lower part of the front passenger seat window. “Oh, another one!” This dog was much smaller, and hard to determine as far as breed. I suspected mutt. It would later be confirmed that my suspicion was correct.

As I was fawning over the dogs, Kevin came up next to me, a huge grin on his face as well. He started making his usual hand-gestures, sort of pointing/waving/beckoning them to come to him even though they were in the car. He wanted, like me, to just pet them, rough up their ears, smell their fur. He moved toward the back of the car so he could see them through the back window. The red one had her paws up on the back of the car and her head leaning on the back seat as she gazed out with adoration at my husband. Then Kevin made a discovery: “There’s a third one!” On the far side of the backseat, another big blonde bear of a head appeared. Three golden retrievers in the back seat of this gray Mercedes sedan and one smaller, pointy-eared mutt in the front seat who didn’t seem to want to be bothered with his brethren in the back. We smiled and laughed and talked to them as they put up with us. They were waiting patiently for their person, and I think both Kevin and I were lingering a bit, hoping said person would come out.

She did, holding two small bags of groceries. We told her how beautiful her dogs were and asked if all four were hers. Three were; the forth, the redhead with her head on the back, was not. She was puppy-sitting. The puppy’s name was Abby and she’s seven months old. As we talked to the woman we also laughed as Abby tried to push her nose through the back window. Evidently Abby had been hit by a car and left on the road with a broken leg. She was rescued, surgery was performed, they weren’t sure she’d recover, but she did and she’s a happy, healthy little girl.

The woman is part of a Golden Retriever rescue group here in Ventura County. She lives locally but she’s been rescuing goldens for over seven years. We told her about Maguire, how he was part golden/part Australian Shepherd, a big boy, the love of our lives, and I started to cry, as I do every time I talk about my beloved boy. She gave me a hug. She also gave us the card of the group, Forever Friends Golden Retriever Rescue, and said that if and when we were ready to let her know.

Her name was Donna. She was on her way to the dog park. We wished her and her herd well and good “parking,” and went into the store. I was still in tears but I felt better. I’m not sure why.

Perhaps it was hope. 

All in a day's work

by Lorin Michel Thursday, April 12, 2012 10:28 PM

Today started with a bang, or at least a melodic twang as my cell phone announced a text message. It was about 7:45. I’m usually up by then, but today, I was still in bed. The last few nights have crested nearly into morning and I’ve been out-straight every day, my brain running in overdrive, my life moving at mach two with my hair on fire. I was asleep; I didn’t reach for the phone. I thought about who it could be and immediately deduced that it was my darling sister. I had sent her a text yesterday that she hadn’t answered. Sure enough, when I finally did reach for the phone just a couple of minutes later, it was the sister-unit.

The day progressed from there. I dragged my tired, miserable little butt out of bed, slid into some sweats, raked a brush through my lopsided hair, made the bed, and stumbled toward the kitchen. My husband, whom I had asked to make sure I was up no later than 8, met me in the doorway with a steaming cup of coffee, the perfect honey brown color. He swears he has a PMS color chip to make sure it’s exactly perfect.

Is that redundant?

I took my computer, which was on top of the chest in the bedroom and tucked it under my arm, pushed my cell phone into my pocket, slipped my glasses onto my head. With my coffee cup in my right hand, and my computer under my left, I trudged up into my office, plugged in my Mac, moved the pile of papers off of the PC, fired that up and sat down to stare at both as they sprang to life. The Mac got there first, as it always does. I opened iChat first, followed by Safari, checked the headlines on MSNBC, pulled up iGoogle, checked my mail and the Daily Puppy, looked at this blog to see if anyone had commented, then started opening programs. Word, Acrobat, Photoshop. I looked at my To-Do list and settled into work. It was 8:30.

Throughout the day I careened from Word docs to the Internet to Acrobat to phone calls to emails to the internet to the VPN so I could work on my hospital websites in a secure environment to Facebook to to to to to to…

In other words, it was just another day at the office.

Each day, I make a list of things I need to accomplish. Some days I actually get to cross some of those things off; mostly I just add to the list. I’ve been known to put things on the list like “start laundry,” or “empty the dishwasher” just so I have something to cross off. This week, though, I’ve been on fire if I do say so myself. I’ve started most mornings much the same as I did today as detailed above. But I jammed. I cranked. I got lots accomplished, some of which I could actually cross off the list.

In addition to work, I also talked to my sister. She got her hair done, and then called to tell me that she and Shawn may have to postpone their trip. They’re supposed to be here a week from tonight, but she has a health thing she’s dealing with and I completely understand. I want her to be healthy; I want her to be able to enjoy herself. I worry about her. She’s my sister, my friend. I love her so much, and I celebrate her wondrous spirit every day.

Ditto my beloved Shawn.

I talked to my mother who had a half hour until she wanted to watch something on TV. We hadn’t had a chance to talk on Easter, or over the weekend in general. I felt like I had just talked to her but I realized that it was probably at least a week. It’s been so busy that the days have flown by.

My husband and I got ourselves ready for date night, socialized a bit, tasted some wine and came home with Chinese food to watch some TV. Nothing good was on; just mindless entertainment which is sometimes just fine.

It’s 10:15. I’m just now getting to my blog. I opened a fortune cookie. It was empty. Is that a sign? Or is it just a mistake? Maybe it’s just lazy.

Regardless, it’s all in a day’s work. And tomorrow, Scarlett… is another day.

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Happy end of the week!

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