Silas hates bath. HAAAATES bath. He tolerates showers better (my theory is that he’s used to rain, but not being immersed in water).
But my dog has a skin infection. Much like his mother, Silas has thin skin. That makes him more susceptible to skin infections, says the vet. Last time Silas had a skin infection, he was on antibiotics. But he’s a selective genius and learned how to eat the meat flavored pill pocket without actually eating the pill.
So this time around, Silas was prescribed a medicated shampoo. That has to sit for 5-10 minutes before being rinsed. Silas typically tries to jump out of the tub at minute two, and then puts on a martyred expression and whimpers and shakes for the rest of bath time.
Time for a new strategy. I decided to throw Silas in the shower with me and wash both our hair at the same time. And he was so well behaved, like a fake dog in a commercial. Like Eddie from Frasier. He actually sat down instead of hanging his head over the edge of the tub, gasping for air. I’m proud of him in a way that owners of mellow dogs could never understand.
This is what happens when you combine years of reading mommy blogs, a deep love of dogs, and a generous glass of wine.
Silas and I are celebrating our second adoption anniversary together.
Our second year has been easier and smoother than our first. He’s really mellowed. I mean, he still jumps around like he’s on speed when I come home, but now he leaps in circles instead of scraping my thighs with his claws. Duke’s been a calming influence on him.
In our two years together, Silas has cost me $3,960— an average of $5.42/day. Almost half of that is dog sitting and boarding. Plus his poodle-y fur needs grooming. (Yeah, I could attempt to do it myself, but he gets so… excited… by lots of attention that I worry I’d castrate him.) And then there are the vet visits and shots and heart worm and flea/tick meds. He likes to eat, too. And I should confess that my Mint account shows that I’ve spent $13 on “pet clothing,” as they categorize it. (It was a Halloween costume! Is that better or worse?)
For people without pets, four grand is an absurd amount of money. But he’s been worth every penny. Every single day he makes me happy. Who wouldn’t pay $5 for that?
So far I’ve played with my phone for two hours, gotten a pep talk from Georgia’s only Latino judge (according to him), and gone to Chick-fil-a. I hope that I get to go through the juror selection process because I love answering questions about myself, but I really don’t want to end up on a jury. I don’t like arguing with strangers unless they’re the Comcast customer service rep.
Hypothetically, let’s say you devote an entire month to one single story, betting the house on it. In the very best circumstance, a viral hit heard round the world with a big traditional media push, you’d do maybe 800,000 uniques. And then you’d have to do the same thing the next month.
At this point, my mother looked annoyed, gave a roll of the eyes and refused to answer the question, which later on was the source of some debate between Max and me about whether her sarcasm and humor remained even as her memory and focus faded or whether she was simply irritated at being treated like an infant.
Amy Bishop shot her own brother, after all. She punched a woman at a pancake restaurant. She stood accused of mailing a bomb to one of her supervisors at Harvard. Red flags don’t get much brighter than that. Yet, nobody stepped in. Why not?
Even in the midst of the adultery scandal, he was still leaning on Jenny for political guidance, calling her right before the press conference to consult on the most politically expedient thing to say. (Her advice: “Be honest and get it over with. Whatever you do, don’t talk about your heart.”
The lies slowly escalate, pile up, and create an improbable whole. Then one day, you realize you’re friends with a 15-year-old chronic migraine sufferer online who also happens to be a fourth-year medical school student who plays drums in a band at night—despite those crippling migraines—to pay his med school tuition because his deaf mother and alcoholic stepfather have no interest in his baby-genius education. Oh, and since he’s not yet old enough to drive, he skateboards three miles a day to get to class.
The efforts of a few thousand employees at Facebook’s Menlo Park campus pale in comparison to those of the hundreds of millions of users meticulously tweaking their pages. Corporations used to have to do research to assemble our consumer profiles; now we do it for them.
One of the officers threatened Shelly with prison—a particularly terrifying prospect for a transgender woman, who would be sent to a male facility—and then offered her a way out: she could set up her dealer, Qasim Raqib, and walk free that same day. She agreed.
Raqib was arrested after Shelly arranged the sting. Several hours later, he was released. He then tracked her down and, with the help of James Matthews, strangled, mutilated, burned, and dismembered her.
Hanging out at the Cuban coffee shop and traipsing over the syringes and windblown trash of upper Broadway, I was under the impression that I was, in a certain way, slumming. And even though I was having a great time and becoming a better writer, the truth was that the year I entered graduate school was the year I stopped making decisions that were appropriate for my situation and began making a rich person’s decisions. Entering this particular graduate program was a rich person’s decision. But it’s hard to recognize that you’re acting like a rich person when you’re becoming increasingly poor.
My bachelorette weekend begins tomorrow! I’ve been reminiscing about the five bachelorette parties I’ve attended to date. Unfortunately, I cannot share those reminisces with you in full as I would like to continue to be semi-employable.
However! A few snippets…
July 2007, Nashville: I used a sorority sister’s expired driver’s license to go honky-tonking.
March 2009, Atlanta: The only bachelorette party I’ve attended with penis accessories. Just the one! See, I’m classy.
December 2009, Nashville: Last bachelorette party before meeting Matt. The matron of honor made “skinny” margaritas, but turns out that’s just tequila and lime juice.
Those with fast-acting dopamine clearers are the Warriors, ready for threatening environments where maximum performance is required. Those with slow-acting dopamine clearers are the Worriers, capable of more complex planning. Over the course of evolution, both Warriors and Worriers were necessary for human tribes to survive.
Pro tip: Buy your wedding jewelry just before Valentine's Day.
Matt’s gold wedding band was 30% off. Ditto for my earrings. And my bridesmaids are getting nicer-than-budgeted-for presents thanks to Valentine’s Day discounts. That adds up to serious money saved on things I was going to buy anyway.
The downside of choosing a first dance song is that plenty of great options go unused. And I spent a lot of time compiling options! Someone needs to use these. Ideally someone I know so I can be there, but an internet stranger will do just fine, too.
Rated very high for criteria #4: A message that’s sweet, simple, and realistic. And it’s The Beatles! Who doesn’t love The Beatles? (Matt.) And if it matters to you, this is the song that Phoebe from Friends walked down the aisle to (played on the steel drum).
"Is This Love" - by Bob Marley, but the version sung by Corinne Bailey Rae (verrrry different)
This was a close second for me. But again: Definitely the Corinne Bailey Rae cover, which is mellow R&B instead of reggae.
I threw this in the mix as a wildcard, and was surprised by how totally it into Matt and I were. It’s not easy to dance to. It’s kinda weird. But it’s so goddamn fun. We spent a while looking at each other going, Are we the kind of couple who could have this as their first dance song? Eventually we concluded that sadly, no, we are not that couple. We are not going to arrive at the ceremony via canoe, and I am not going to wear a brightly colored dress, and we are not going to mime walking 500 miles for our first dance. Some ideas you have to let go.
The demand for ways of predicting future criminal behavior has spawned a cottage industry of actuarial instruments, which predict sexual violence about as well as the S.A.T. forecasts freshman grades. Neither correlation is particularly strong. But the instruments confer a stamp of scientific precision on a judgment that psychologists have proved ill-equipped to make.
My sister was always the really beautiful tall ’70s fox, and I was the short little matron that looked like I was 50 when I was 13. Her journal was always like, “I went camping with Bill. I think I might be pregnant,” and mine was always like, “I changed the grid in my rock tumbler today. The amethyst is really looking good.”
The Times has another hand-wringing article out about millennials dating in the age of the hookup. I usually ignore these (as well as any other article including the word “millennial”), but this one especially annoyed me.
Regarding the death of dating among young people:
I call bullshit. The plural of datum isn’t anecdote, but since these articles consist of anecdotes + a quotation from a psychologist for gravitas, I’ll share mine.
I’m a millennial, born in 1987. After graduating college, I joined a tennis league in a fairly transparent attempt to meet guys. It worked. I met Matt. We flirted for a month at practices and matches. He called and asked me to dinner and a comedy show. I accepted. We had an awesome time. We continued going on dates until it was obvious we were headed toward exclusivity, and then we moved to the more casual, “Hey, come over, let’s hang out.” Given that we’re very happy and getting married, I’d call all this dating a success.
Maybe I’m an outlier, and the Times is correct that “women in their 20s these days are lucky to get a last-minute text to tag along.” Let’s consider my girlfriends who graduated college single:
Two of them meet men exclusively through dating websites. They send a few messages, upgrade to a phone call, and set up dates then.
Another has a social life that makes my head spin, and regularly meets single friends-of-friends. If there’s interest, the guy asks for her phone number, and later contacts her to arrange a date.
Another moved to a new city not knowing anyone, and joined various clubs and organizations to meet people. She’s had two serious boyfriends come out of this. Each followed the same pattern as Matt and me: Flirt, ask on a date, go on a date, keep going on dates.
Then there’s my friend who met a guy out and about. He got her number. There were a few days of texting. Much like the gentlemen in the Times piece, he invited her over to chill while he was hanging out with friends. She was annoyed by the lack of one-on-one time, left early, and cooled things off. He got the message, and shifted to pre-planned solo dates. They’re married now.
Maybe this is a Southern thing, this expectation that romantic relationships begin with clearly expressed interest and scheduled plans.
NOPE. These friends were raised in and live all over the country: Northeast, California, Midwest, and the South. The main trait they share is a desire for a long term relationship.
And this is where I call bullshit on the Times and all the other publications that’ve run trend pieces on millennials and hookup culture replacing dating post-college. Though dating worked out well for me, I don’t really have a problem with relationships beginning with hookups. (I’m thinking with particular fondness of the spring break fling still going strong six years later.) What I very much have a problem with is millennials, journalists, or anybody else acting like hookup culture is the only option. That’s only true for people who are too busy projecting an aura of laid-backness to reject half-assed invitations.
Allison and Davis were married in Nashville last weekend, January 5. That’s two years running that I’ve attended a wedding in the first week of the new year (last year: Amelia and Curtis). Everybody, keep this up, please. I like partying when it’s cold. It feels festive.
I don’t really know what to say about their wedding, except that it was lovely, and perfect, and I can’t believe that after a 20 month engagement they’re actually married. Of course, the priest was a no show so that was not ideal. But everybody handled the situation gracefully. The musicians continued playing, her dad kept us updated, and another priest was called in to do his first wedding in the United States after emigrating from Africa. I did a reading from Ruth and did not fall walking to or from the podium (my biggest fear). And then the reception was so fun. Almost all my favorite Nashville people were there. The band was solid, the cake was delicious, and Ben agreed to DD. Really everything I need for a good time.
Wedding details, for posterity: Modified, Mass-less ceremony at the Church of the Assumption, reception at the Hermitage Hotel. Allison wore a simple strapless ballgown with a natural waist and straight neckline, a crystal on taupe ribbon sash, a cathedral train edged in lace with a blusher, and a fur wrap for going away. Her hair was half-back and down with a crystal barrette and loose curls. Bridesmaids wore pine colored strapless chiffon dresses with varying hairstyles. The band was Burning Las Vegas. The food was passed hor d’ouevres and a carving station with mashed potatoes bar (highly recommend), and the bar was wide open. Centerpieces were white and green. The cake was tall and white with their monogram; some layers were strawberry and some were fudge and vanilla with peanut butter filling. They’re honeymooning in Jamaica.
At the Rio, a man’s cell phone disappeared from his jacket and was replaced by a piece of fried chicken; the cigarettes from a pack in one man’s breast pocket materialized loose in the side pocket of another; a woman’s engagement ring vanished and reappeared attached to a key ring in her husband’s pants; a man’s driver’s license disappeared from his wallet and turned up inside a sealed bag of M&M’s in his wife’s purse.
I just stared. Would it be rude if I told him that I never really thought of him as a friend? I mean, if one person thought of another as a friend, and the other person denied it, that would be hurtful. But Tom had no memory of me one way or the other.
Over the past few months, Matt and I have completely changed how we do dinner by subscribing to a meal planning service that provides recipes and a grocery shopping list. It has been mostly awesome, and since it’s been taking up brain space I thought I’d write about it.
Then I got hungry and distracted and googled “clean eating side dishes,” and read a couple of blog posts from people about making tofu “steaks” “toothsome” (what does that even mean) and whole grain pie crusts and how good they feel without dairy, and was reminded that holy hell, discussing eating habits is literally the least interesting thing in the world. I challenge you to think of something less interesting or to name a time when someone detailed their dietary choices and you didn’t mentally check out.
This post was going to include a list of things more interesting than eating habits, but that list began and ended with, “1. Everything.”
We are having a heated discussion over which dog managed to shit on the rug next to the couch while we all watched The Godfather. I discovered this occurrence by stepping in it. Obviously Millie, but Mom swears it was Silas. Matt says it must have been Ben because he’s been awfully silent during this discussion.
I guess I was too stoned to put two and two together, and math isn’t my forte even when I’m sober, so it wasn’t until I pulled up to the run-down Craftsman house, smack-dab in the middle of Hollywood, that it hit me that I was interviewing to actually work at a Medical Marijuana Dispensary.
Merging with another person until you become each other’s spirit animals subtly changes you in a bunch of ways that quietly annoy everyone else. The metamorphosis chips away at any individual quirks that might abrade the relationship. Gone is the part of you that used to make up silly songs in the shower or found kombucha kind of disgusting. Instead, there’s this new you, smoothed-out and cocooned. You forget what you’re really like, having opted for what one person likes you to be like.
When it comes to governing the school — whether it’s deciding what lessons will be taught or setting curfew — the decision-making rule is “one person, one vote.” A teacher’s vote counts the same a student’s, whether that student is six or 16.
"I’m going to jump out of this car right now and kill myself."
That was it. After the knife incident, I told him that if he ever said those words again, I would take him straight to the mental hospital, no ifs, ands, or buts. I did not respond, except to pull the car into the opposite lane, turning left instead of right.
JUDD APATOW: Part of the problem of the show was it should have been on HBO. Everything that’s popular now you might call “independent television.” Mad Men is a little like indie TV. But there was no home for us in 1999. It wasn’t niche television—you were competing against Regis Philbin hosting a game show.
But to call everyone a troll, even those who are advancing their true beliefs, is to let genuine trolls off the hook. If you don’t like something I’ve written, don’t assume I’m punking you. I’m not. I really am that stupid, trust me.
Liston operated so fast that he once accidentally amputated an assistant’s fingers along with a patient’s leg, according to Hollingham. The patient and the assistant both died of sepsis, and a spectator reportedly died of shock, resulting in the only known procedure with a 300% mortality.
In fact, the inquisition may have only hastened the process. The question lobbed at prospective soldiers during the Second World War—“Are you homosexual?”—raised consciousness rather than suppressing it. (Wait, am I?)
The manual, which all S.M. employees are instructed to learn, explains when to bring in foreign composers, producers, and choreographers; what chord progressions to use in what country; the precise color of eyeshadow a performer should wear in a particular country; the exact hand gestures he or she should make; and the camera angles to be used in the videos (a three-hundred-and-sixty-degree group shot to open the video, followed by a montage of individual closeups).
Duke can fit Silas’ entire head in his mouth. Can’t believe I forgot to share this discovery earlier.
Cyber Monday sales should occur on the first Monday of December. None of this four days before pay day bullshit.
I can already tell that my second tumblr, Kate Has Questions, is going to be more revealing than I mean for it to be.
I’m on Macy’s website constantly since we have a registry there, and believe you me, I am never paying full price for anything from Macy’s ever again. Besides their many sales for anything that could be called a holiday, they also have codes that are sent to people with registries and store credit cards. At minimum it’s 15% off; recently I got free shipping and 25% off (for brands that usually don’t have allow sales and coupons, like Waterford). You can find these codes on retailmenot.com. You’re welcome, by the way.