Monday, March 31, 2008

I Could Have Danced All Night...

...but I didn't, I worked my ARSE off instead! Let me apologize in advance that this post about a day spent taking photographs has none in it. On the other hand, I could write a book about all of the details from my 8:00am - 12:00am workday with team Browers on Saturday, but I'll see if I can sum it up for you:

-I look tres chic in all black.
-I drove a truck for the first (and second and third) time. I'd say I parallel parked it too, but that was really more of an attempt.
-I'm sore in places I never knew existed on my body.
-PSA to all future brides: Budget plenty of time for yourself to get dressed on your wedding day!
-Arriving at your church with 5 minutes to spare before the start of your wedding ceremony is stress-inducing, for you and for your photographers!
-You can coordinate 50 formal family shots in 15 minutes AND make them look damn good if you know what you're doing.
-GPS is a glorious invention.
-Ted Drewes offers free custard to bridal parties!
-I don't completely suck at taking pictures when armed with a mack daddy camera!
-Bee Tree Park is so far away that I'd have sworn we had driven to Arkansas.
-P'Sghetti's sandwiches are delicious - what have I been missing all my life?!
-The bathrooms at the Ritz-Carlton are more beautiful and smell better than anyplace on earth.
-I take back my stance on wedding videography (it's actually kinda cool!)
-I feel cool carrying around photography equipment, even if I don't know how to use any of it!
-If you use a video light, you can get amazing pictures through the back window of a Rolls Royce.
-The Ritz serves truly amazing raspberry creme brulee.
-Congratulations Bridget & Carl!

I seriously had a ball and am now even more impressed with Michael and Lajuanna after watching them from the other side of the camera. They are absolute work horses, and are so genuinely concerned about making the day perfect that you'd think each wedding they shoot was their own. All I can tell you is that if you're planning a wedding, book them. Book them now. If you've already done so, you probably already know this, but you are in for an amazing day!

I also have to give a ton of credit to a couple of the other vendors, some of whom I had the pleasure of spending 15+ hours with:

Joe and Jeff from Switzer Films
are amazing at what they do and hysterical.

Mighty Big Band - this was the first time I'd heard (or even heard of) them, and while it pains me to say this because I've always been partial to our wedding band, Galaxy, I think these guys (and girl) might be the best I've heard. Galaxy is still phenomenal too, though!

All in all, I learned a great deal even with limited training time, and Michael even encouraged me to play with their Canon 1D Mark II (forgive me, but I don't even remember what lens I was using)! I'm fairly confident that Michael will want to feature each and every shot of mine on his blog
, so watch out for those :)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Bitch is the New Black?

Oh, why not...let's ruffle a few feathers!

Recently, Tina Fey appeared on SNL with the following commentary:

Without delving too deeply for the purpose of this blog into my own political views, I will simply say that I have always identified most strongly, in most areas, with the Democratic party.

I must say that the strong pro-Obama bias that's been evident since the beginning of this campaign is somewhat disconcerting to me. His linguistic skills are indisputable, yes. I also believe that what he has to say is extremely important for our country to hear. What I mean to say is that I am not anti-Obama; I am just more inclusively pro-Democrat.

I am curious as to the reason behind the intense hatred that plainly exists for Hillary. I mean...what did she do? Maybe it's my gender affiliation that compels me to defend Sen. Clinton. I mean I suppose I get that she doesn't exude an overly warm and fuzzy presence, but do we expect that of our male leaders? Someone please cite for me a claim that Abraham Lincoln was ever warm and/or fuzzy. Even beloved Barack, while affable, is not quite what I would label sensitive.

I don't mean to come off as an embittered misandrist, but I really do feel that there are still different expectations of women in politics (and everywhere...different post)...the glass ceiling remains. For instance (not that we should pay any attention to attempts to distract focus from real issues), is it just me who feels like Sen. Obama's recent adversities, such as the surfacing of the Rev. White videos, have created far fewer reverberations than any Sen. Clinton has sustained? Indeed, they have provided him with opportunities to emerge even stronger...yet I'm not convinced that this necessarily makes him the better candidate. Meanwhile, she lied about arriving amidst gunfire 13 years ago (when in fact video footage showed her de-planing rather peacefully) and she is torn to shreds. I just find it interesting that Sen. Obama emerges a hero and Sen. Clinton is painted as a lying shrew.

Maybe I'm simplifying things too much by boiling them down to gender...maybe it's an issue that, as has been suggested about the discussion of race, we need to just "get over".

I do know that ultimately, what we need is someone who can mend deep and badly frayed divisions. If Sen. Obama is that person, then he has my full support and attention. I just wish that Sen. Clinton, the first woman with a real shot at the White House, didn't have to be cast as a treacherous villain in the process. I believe that right along with Barack, she has our country's best interests at heart.

That's all. No more political blogging for awhile. Oh, and Tina Fey is hilarious :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

An Answer to a Prayer...

Last week, I had e-mailed the woman who runs the rural Missouri rescue facility from which we adopted Gordon. I know that she takes an active interest in where and how her dogs end up, so I wanted to let her know about everything. I hadn't heard anything back right away.

Over the weekend, on a whim, I decided to check to see if maybe - just maybe - one of the two female pups that were left of the litter when we adopted Gordon were still in need of a home.

I was surprised to find that there was a new listing at the same rescue for a puggle litter of 4 males and 3 females, born on Feb. 3. I didn't want to get my hopes up, but they are such a rarity to find in rescues, especially at this one in the middle of nowhere. Just the idea that these could possibly be Gordon's siblings was enough to pull me out of the sadness of the first few days.

I finally heard from the rescue owner yesterday, who was of course very sorry to hear about what had happened. She has been in contact with the owners of the other pups from his litter and all of them are excellent. She went on to tell me about the new litter. While they have a different pug dad, they are indeed from Gordon's mom!!

We had wanted to wait awhile to recover, but we both agree that Louie needs a companion sooner rather than later. Moreover, if we were to add another member to the family eventually, we would definitely want it to be from a rescue. Finally, Gordon is absolutely irreplaceable, but if given the choice, wouldn't we rather have a pup related to him than any other?

As these puppies are only 7 or so weeks old, and our schedules are too busy right now to consider throwing a puppy who needs 24/7 care into the mix, we'll take some time to make a decision and then go see them maybe by next weekend. In the meantime, she will be holding at least one of the males for us until we can make it out there :)

I'll keep you all posted...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Gordon is in good company...

I read yesterday that Oprah's beloved Sophie, her 13 year old cocker spaniel, has passed away due to kidney failure.

Poor Oprah...I know how she feels :(

Gordon, can you please make friends so I can say I have a connection? Thanks buddy!

Go, Matt!

I just have to brag a little bit about my husband's big debut in St. Louis Magazine!! He was named, based on client satisfaction ratings, one of St. Louis's Best Real Estate Agents for 2007, and you can find the article listing the winners in the April edition!

This is the second major recognition he's received this year, the first being Keller Williams' 2007 Rookie of the Year Award, which is presented for outstanding service and sales volume.

Anyone who knows Matt knows what a well-deserved honor this is, so congratulations! I couldn't be more proud and I know that this is only the second of many awards to come :)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Good Grief

Long post alert, sorry!

So...the survival mode we were in following the first 72 hours after the initial news about Gordon has slowly given way to the acceptance that life has to go on, which is obviously not to say that it's been painless. Gordon's absence is a staggering one, felt by everyone from my dad who's not really a dog person, to neighbors we barely know.

For now, it's good to have each other. As hard as it is to see how sad Louie is, I don't know what we'd do without him, and we're squeezing him extra tight and letting him kiss us like there's no tomorrow...he's eager to do it, so it works well for everyone.

This has probably hit him the hardest, and I suspect that he has developed some separation anxiety issues as a result. I don't blame him one bit: one day, his best friend disappears with no explanation...what's to stop the same thing from happening to one of us? He was absolutely ecstatic when I returned home to him Thursday night after just a few hours, but not in his usual, happy way. It was more like he was saying "I-was-so-afraid-you-were-never-coming-back!" We've been arranging our schedules so that he is left alone as little as possible and to allow him as much playtime with familiar friends.

As for us, I have to say that the way everyone has been there for us this past week has really reopened my eyes to how awesome our friends and families are, even though some are far away. We even received beautiful flowers from Stacey & Chris in NYC:
and from Sar & Jon out in CA:
How can you help but smile when you walk past these cheery colors? Gordon would have loved to chew them up!

The weekend was packed, and it's the first time in awhile that I've been glad for that. Here's a rundown of how we've been staying busy:

I finally decided to take the plunge and get my hair hacked. I decided that there was no better time to make a fresh change, and that maybe it would make me feel better. I was all set to walk out of there looking like Katie Holmes, but a wise friend cautioned that in my fragile emotional state, going too extreme might be a mistake. So true. My 'do is far more boring, but I still had 4.5 inches cut off!!

Here's me before (about a month ago):

Here's me now (apologies for the weird staring off into space look):I like it, even though when I walked out of the salon in my head-to-toe J.Crew ensemble, complete with sweater vest, I felt like I'd officially assumed the role of suburban wife. My mother in law promises that's not how I look, and I can usually count on her to shoot straight. In any case, the cut itself is pretty versatile, giving me plenty of ways to funk it up a little when I want to.

On Friday evening, after dropping Louie off at Matt's parents' (for play therapy with his doggie cousins), we first met friends for cocktails at D's Place in Soulard. The highlight for me was the pair of fluffy little dogs of one of the patrons who walked around like they owned the place. I made my embarrassed husband snap pictures of me talking to and babying them:

Then we met my parents for dinner in celebration of my Dad's birthday at
Revival, which opened last fall in the space that used to house King Louie's (one of our favorites).

My food was just ok (I chose the stewed-rabbit ravioli with spinach and sheep's milk cheese - I know, I was asking for it by ordering rabbit two days before Easter), but I devoured it nonetheless. I must say that grief is excellent on the figure. Once I had really taken time to consider it, the only "food" I had consumed since Tuesday afternoon was half of a vanilla shake (and you KNOW there's a problem when I can't take down a shake), and a wheat bagel with cream cheese. Not once during that entire time did I experience even the slightest pang of hunger. I'm joking of course about using bereavement as a dieting tool, and was actually really glad that my appetite returned with a vengeance on Friday. That was the first step back to normal.

Back to our experience at Revival, everyone else really loved their meals (my mom had the grilled trout, my dad went for the seared scallops with parsnips, and Matt enjoyed his beef tenderloin). Personally, I don't think I'd go back for awhile. It appeared to me that they were still working out the kinks as far as service went...or maybe it was just our waiter, even though as a dead ringer for Ryan Gosling, he wasn't hard on the eyes. I was most disappointed with the fact that the reason we decided to try Revival in the first place was that
Erin Bode was scheduled to perform and never did! Not only that, there was no live music at all. Luckily the conversation was just as good, my dad enjoyed himself, and it was an escape from the trauma of our past week.

We spent Saturday trying to keep ourselves and Louie occupied. Matt finally took Gordon's crate to store in the basement, and poor Louie followed him and then sat in it. That night, our best friends showed up with drinks and dinner to take our minds off of life and keep us company while we watched basketball. Thank god for them! I was dreading that night, since weekends had recently become lots of fun with the dogs. Gordon seemed to have kicked his bed-wetting habit once and for all, so we would all sleep together the whole night (as opposed to crating him and then bringing him to our bed after he went out to potty around 5:30 or so). He was just starting to sleep through the night, and was quite the snuggler. Last Saturday, I woke up to Matt laughing because Gordon had affixed himself to my face and was snoring comfortably there :)

We made it through that by watching Knocked Up for the 20th time, and then spent a busy Easter yesterday with my parents and aunt for brunch, Matt's extended family for a late lunch, and then finished off the day at my in-laws' with just the immediate family (plus dogs, of course) for dinner.

We played Apples to Apples, which I thought was a kids' game but turns out gets pretty hilarious after sucking down a few Captain + Diet Dr. Peppers :)

Matt's mom informed us that at the suggestion of Bobby Flay, she had hard-cooked the eggs this year instead of hard boiling them. To hard cook, you bring the water to a simmer, add the eggs and immediately turn off the heat, and allow them to cook for 15 minutes. In case you were wondering, the verdict was that the yolks were more moist, but the eggs themselves were possibly harder to peel. We took turns showing off our egg-peeling skills: Louie's cousins Ernie...
...and Violet

All in all, Louie was kept as distracted as possible from missing his buddy all weekend, and we had a lot of people taking it upon themselves to make sure that we were, too.
I really only have one complaint: SNOW on Easter? Really?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Goodbye, Gordon (you and your smelly little nose)....

After we received the news that Gordon's seizures were increasing both in number and severity this morning, it was obvious that his condition was not going to improve and although we were reassured he was in no pain and had no conscious idea what was happening to him, we wanted nothing more than to stop his suffering as soon as possible.

We also wanted to be there, so we arranged to come in at noon. Since the doctor performing the procedure was going to be awhile, we were asked if we wanted to visit with Gordon privately beforehand, and we agreed. Unfortunately, I hadn't adequately prepared myself. The tech brought him in, wrapped in a blanket and a pad, because he'd been incontinent for awhile. The tube had been removed from his throat, and he was barking - involuntarily, spastically, loudly, and constantly. His whole little body thrashed each time and it is a vision that I am sure will be in my nightmares for a long time to come. I tried to hold him, but he was stiff and his yelping got worse, so we just stroked his fur and whispered into his ear that we were there and that it was almost over. He still wagged his little tail so I hope that he knew on some level that we were with him. This was obviously difficult to see, but I'm glad that we did, because I knew beyond a doubt that we were doing the right thing for him. I had such an immense feeling of relief when he finally did fall silent, which is not to say that I felt good.

I realize that Gordon was with us for a short time - just under 2 months. Even so, I really cannot remember life without him. The irony of the fact that we were unsure about keeping him those first few days is not lost on me, either. But for a tiny puppy, he developed SUCH a big and fun personality. He quickly burrowed into our hearts and lives, and we never looked back. He was such a part of our family's routine and my thoughts throughout the day, that he might as well have been with us our whole lives. I never thought I'd have a reason to regret complaining about waking up in the middle of the night to take him out, or being annoyed when he licked my face too much...
I am sitting here in disbelief at what a difference a day makes...that things could be so different now. I don't often get too philosophical or spiritual, but I've had nothing but time to think today and I can't help but want to make sense of this. What lesson is this experience trying to teach me?

The only thing I can come up with is that Gordon got to be a part of our lives to change us for the better. He pulled Matt and me out of our own little worlds at a time when I can see that we had gotten just a little too preoccupied, complacent and maybe self-absorbed with mostly unimportant things. He challenged us to pay more attention, to go out of our way to care for him and teach him, and to open our hearts enough to let him make us really, really happy :) Louie was against the idea of a brother at first, too...but it was so sweet to watch the change in him as he fell just as in love with Gordon as we did. I am hoping that all he knew and felt was love in his short life, too.

I keep feeling silly for mourning the loss of a pet I've had for less time than I've had the jar of pickles that's chilling in my fridge door. I think of people who have lost parents, or my parents, who have lost children, and it makes me feel like I need to just snap out of it. But as many people have told me today, no one's loss is more or less significant than another's...Gordon was so loved, it's impossible not to acknowledge the void that his loss is leaving in its wake.

I am comforted knowing that he's got a bunch of friends to welcome him: Teddy (Matt's Golden Retriever), Jaxx (Meg's Golden), Baron (Kate's family's dog), Muffin (my overweight childhood cat), and many, many others. I know that he is somewhere where he will be a funny little puppy forever, and where he knows how much we love him.

Something told me on Monday night to make time to take some pictures of the boys (since we don't have nearly enough of those), even though I was tired. These are really painful to look through right now, but I'm glad that I have them and hopefully someday soon I'll be able to look at them without crying:

Bye, Gordy...we all love you and miss you!
The sun just came out...I'd like to think that it's Gordon's little way of showing us he heard me and he's ok :)

An Update

I'm sorry that this isn't a good one.

Our visit with Gordon last night was pretty horrific. He had just had a small seizure before we saw him, so they had given him Valium to stabilize him. I had convinced myself that seeing him one more time was better than not, regardless, but now I have to wonder if having my last memory of him laying there with a tube down his throat and his tongue hanging out is really better in any way. The vet basically couldn't tell us anything other than what we had heard before, which was that it could go either way, but things didn't look good.

We went home pretty upset and tried to keep our minds on anything else, which didn't work so well. Especially since Louie finally started acting weird...he went and sniffed around Gordon's crate and then looked at me, like "where is he?" He also brought Gordon's favorite toy to bed and slept with it all night...God, dog...way to break my heart! :(

After clearing it with one of our best friends who happens to be a pharmacist (I NEVER take pills - not even Tylenol for a fever), I popped two Benadryl to help me sleep and luckily they worked like a charm. Otherwise I wouldn't have gotten a wink.

The latest is that I spoke to one of the doctors this morning right before I left for work, and he had more doom and gloom. He said that Gordon had a rough night and sustained several more seizures. They had him stabilized for now, but I could tell from his tone that he wasn't all. He did say that he's seen these things go either way, and he could still make it...but it would be pretty close to a miracle at this point.

I asked point blank if we were at a decision-making point, and his answer was not yet, but that by this afternoon, if the seizures continue and nothing has changed, we will need to decide how much more to put him through. So we're both preparing ourselves to have to say goodbye later today, and I can't think of a worse feeling.

Thanks again to everyone who is thinking of us...I know a lot of you are as upset as we are :(

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

"I just didn't want to live without my balls!"


Thanks everyone for the thoughts and concern you've been sending our way, and please keep it coming. Things do not look good...not good at all.

We've just spoken to the vet again and Gordon is still breathing and his heart is still pumping. The positives pretty much end there. He is in a comatose state, and she fully expects for him to remain that way for at least the next 24-48 hours, if not longer (possibly even MUCH longer or permanently).

There is a very real chance of him suffering a seizure right now, and the chances of a puppy of his age and size making a full, 100% recovery from a trauma such as this are extremely slim. But, she's "seen it happen." She would also not be surprised if he did not make it through tonight.

She said that she is not ready to give up on him yet if we're not, which did not make me feel good at all. How long is long enough to wait for our puppy to regain consciousness? If the odds are that even if he does wake up, he will not be loveable, happy little Gordon but a dog with no quality of life, what does that mean? I hope and pray that this does not come down to a decision on my part and that whatever is going to happen does so naturally...

She encouraged us to come up to visit with him, which sounds both like a good idea (I want to see him one more time if this is it), and a really, really bad one. I don't know how I'm supposed to function normally not knowing what the outcome of this is going to be.

Sorry for the Debbie Downer post...I was really hoping to be able to say he's fine and they're just keeping him overnight as a precaution, but who knows. Something could still change and Gordon is quite a special little dog...he may just be able to pull this off :)

Keep us in your thoughts if you could...thanks.

It may be too early to joke about this, but it's the only thing making me not fall apart entirely...

Matt called me at work around 3:30 to see if I could come home, because there had been a complication with Gordon's surgery. Needless to say, I freaked, made an ass of myself in front of relatively new co-workers (not that I care one bit), and tried to rush home, although the excessive rain made for a particularly agonizing drive.

Apparently, the little guy had been fine during the surgical procedure itself, but stopped breathing just as they started to transport him to recovery. Luckily, they caught it right away and put him immediately on full life support. They were warning us at that point that even if he did pull out of this alive, he could very likely be blind, or have suffered brain damage...

For a gut-wrenching hour and a half, we waited helplessly until we got the call 30 minutes or so ago that Gordon had started breathing on his own. While he was still unconscious, at least he was not in need of assistance of any kind, which was a check in the positive column. We are expecting another update soon, but the game plan for now is to get him to ICU, keep him intubated and closely monitored in the event that he should have more problems.

They will definitely keep him overnight, but I don't know yet whether we'll be able to go visit, or they'll keep him sedated, or what. So we're not out of the woods just yet, but this is so much better than the initial prognosis.

One thing the last 2 hours have taught me? I'm not ready to be a "real" parent in any way, shape, or form for a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG time, if ever.

Excuse me while I go start breathing again...

Gordy's Bits and Pieces

The little guy's day of reckoning is here :( Poor Gordon was in the vet's care as of 8 a.m. to prep for his neuter surgery and to have his umbilical hernia fixed.

Not only did he not want to be awake in the first place, but to add insult to injury, he didn't even get breakfast! Man, if he only knew that's going to be the best part of his day...

I know that these are completely routine procedures, and that he should be fine and ready to come home by 4 p.m. Still, a mom can't help but worry!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Weddings and Birthdays and Crepes, Oh My!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I had myself quite an interesting weekend, one that left me mostly nauseated :) I'm sticking with the argument that since I have to work (the audacity!) and will miss out on today's celebration with the rest of the family in Dogtown, I earned the right to live it up over the weekend instead.

On Saturday, we watched friends exchange vows at St. Francis Xavier and then partied amidst a St. Patrick's-themed reception at the Franklin Room in Soulard. They made the best of a fairly yucky early spring day, looked fabulous, and are such a sweet couple! Congratulations! I know that most of the people who read this blog are into weddings, and I regret to tell you that I don't have a single picture of the bride and groom, flowers, decor, etc. Nope, but we did manage to snap more than a few of yours truly and her drunk companions...stay tuned for those...

We rounded out the night with an appearance at a St. Pat's party hosted by some friends, and let's just say that their offerings of particularly strong lime jello shots, while delicious, did not exactly complement the bottles of wine plus 10 or so cocktails I had already imbibed over the course of the afternoon/evening. Praisefully, all photo documentation ended around 10pm, before things got too compromising. Nevertheless, you might get an inkling from the following photos about where the night was headed:

Oh sure, things look ok right now...

Harmlessly silly...
Oh, dear...

I'd better stop right there with the pictures. I do have one other thing to get off my chest, though: my damn dress! This is only the second time I've worn this number, yet it's also the second time I've had MAJOR zipper issues. Of course, I had no plan B and was forced to attend the wedding ceremony wearing my coat to cover the fact that my dress was only halfway zipped! Luckily there was plenty of time before the reception for one of my friends to sew me into the thing, but come on, J. Crew!

Moving along to the birthday behind the title of this post, yesterday was that of a dear friend, so since I can't be in California to do so in person, I'm sending a shout-out her way: Happy Birthday, Meg! Hope you found some green beer to drink :)

I, on the other hand, avoided even thinking about alcohol on Sunday. Before my hangover had taken complete hold of me, I naively agreed to meet my friend Lindsey, who recently moved back from Phoenix, for crepes in the CWE and then for a quick walk around Forest Park with the dogs (my 2 puggles and her German Shepherd mix). After about an hour of back and forth about whether or not to bring additional canines into the mix (specifically, her parents' mutt and 6 month old Lab puppy), it came down to the fact that neither one of us is capable of saying no to our four-legged counterparts and that everyone should get to enjoy the park.

Let me just give you a mental picture of the scene that I arrived upon while parking near the Art Museum to meet our companions. There was Lindsey, barely visible among three of the largest, furriest dogs I have ever seen stuffed into her...wait for it...VW Beetle.

To her credit, Linds is a badass trainer and she had those dogs wrapped around her finger. Pretty soon, she was walking a mile a minute with all 3 under control, calm as can be. Meanwhile, Louie (all 30 lbs of him) was pulling me so hard that my hand had started to cramp, and Gordon managed to wrangle himself out of his collar and bolt. I carried his ass for the rest of the walk, and the little punk was still exhausted afterwards!

I'm not proud to say it, but my dogs are awful walkers. It's gotten embarrassing. It has been recommended to me that the pronged collars which I think look like torture devices are actually both humane and quite effective, so the boys will definitely be fitted for those before their next visit to the park.

We decided that crepes would have to wait for another day, which was painful considering that I've been trying to make it to Crepes Etc. for weeks now and because I was convinced that a nutella and banana (my favorite) would have promptly settled my stomach. Instead, we picked up bagels and then headed back to our house so that the dogs could run around and play freely for awhile.

One thing's for sure - our backyard is much smaller with 5 dogs in it...

The whole gang (Please excuse the hideous yard...not much can be done in the winter, unfortunately!)
Mom, I'm a little tired...

You and me both, and me both!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Time to lighten up for spring...

Forgive me for what will likely be a boring-ass post, but I need help! Go ahead and skip it if talk of fabrics and paint colors puts you to sleep...

It's spring, and I want to get my house up to speed. To that end, I want new throw pillows for the living room, but because I hate Crate and Barrel's fabrics this season, and because Pottery Barn's covers do not fit the Crate and Barrel-sized pillows I currently own, I've decided to enlist good old Mom's help with sewing some instead. I've found several fabrics that I love, but I can't decide.

Ooh, quick aside on the living room: Matt recently re-painted the "focus wall," as the previous owners dubbed it. Focus wall? I'd say so. It's a massive surface, and the first thing you see when you walk through the front door. After several major faux pas on my part in the area of paint color selection, I no longer have the privilege. I always have the best of intentions, but they never quite translate from my mind to the wall. In any case, he chose the perfect shade: Behr's Herbal Garden. It's a vibrant green and I'm shocked that we lived in relative contentment with the indigo monstrosity that it replaced for as long as we did. Here's the color chip:

And here we have photos to show you before and after two coats of the stuff...

Before: Do you feel like you're submerged in an ocean? That's the effect it often had on me. Sorry for the angle of this one...I was being art-y...or maybe just having a seizure:

After: vast improvement, n'est-ce pas? Nice that in both pictures, taken months apart, I still have all of the pillows piled onto the same chair. I do this since they wrinkle easily and then look like crap. I put them out for show of course, but god forbid someone actually use them...
So now, instead of having to decorate around an inky blue when the range of colors at my disposal is at its peak, I can base my palette on a springy green! It's thrilling stuff, isn't it?

Anyway, here are some of the loverly patterns I've found:

Grass Trellis by Serena & Lily: possibly my favorite so far, but is it too plain? Too much green?

Chippendale Fretwork in Kiwi by Waverly: another favorite, but I'm having the same issue with the greeniosity:

Dandy Damask in Avocado by Michael Miller: Ok, I like green. I also love damask and its heaviness is lightened up by the bright color used in this pattern, but I'm not sure it goes well with the style of the living room, which is decidedly contemporary. Do you think it even matters?

Amsterdam Olive/White : I think I like this one better than the damask:

Lime Finery from Freespirit Fabrics' Freshcut Collection: See, I do like more than green! This is so pretty and I think yellow accents might be the perfect way to go in this room. Then again, these particular hues still have a lot of green in them...dammit!:

Mingei Floral in Pumpkin: I love the corals and pinks. It's feminine without being overly so, I think...I need to consider these things as I am outnumbered 3-1 by males in my own home, you know:

Pottery Barn does sell (at an outrageous price) fabrics by the yard, so a PB pattern may be a possibility after all. I love this one, "Nora":

Hot Pink Paisley by Doodlefish: Um, I don't even think it requires stating that this would be instantly vetoed:
Groovy Petals from Freespirit Fabrics' Freshcut collection: Hmm. I like this one in general, but it might be too vintage looking, and the pretty cream background somehow just looks dingy to me. Maybe for a girl's bedroom or something other than the living room?

I'm also thinking that in addition to patterns, I could do a few solids to break things up. For those, I am loving the idea of some butter-colored matelasse, kinda like the fabric of the bottom coverlet from Neiman's:

Aside from pillow covers, I might spruce things up by actually making use of the centerpiece glassware that I was thankfully too lazy to sell after using at our wedding reception. I love these simple redbud branch designs:

I realize that you can barely see the branch centerpiece in this photo, but don't you also love the chairs? They make me want to hit up the nearest antique shop for something cool to paint and reupholster!

Just thinking about all of the bright, fresh changes makes me happy!!

What do you do to ring in spring? And do you have any budget-friendly ideas that I can steal? :)

You're a hot mess tranny...and not in a good way

Sorry about another cop-out video post, but I'm performing a public service here, people.

This one is brought to you courtesy of my little sister Sar, and it features Amy Poehler from SNL as Christian, winner of this season's Project Runway:

Spectacular! I think Amy Poehler's Christian is even more accurate than Christian's, if that's in any way possible. This woman is hilarious, doubly so because she's married to Will Arnett. There's another couple that Mr. and Mrs. Pardon My French could get down with:

Thanks, hot mess!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Le printemps!!

C'est vrai: my favorite season, not to be confused with the jaw-droppingly fabulous store Au Printemps, is almost upon us!!

Will you just LOOK at what is popping up all throughout the beds in front of our house?!

A sure sign that warm weather is on its way for good? HOSTAS!!!

In other spring-related news, my mesclun, basil, cilantro and rosemary seeds have all sprouted and are well on their way to establishing sturdy root systems in their little "greenhouse". I think I still have time, so I may just go completely wild and add some oregano and chives into the mix! Maybe even some dill weed and mint? The possibilities are endless!

I know, I know...BOOOOOOORING...but I'm pretty damn excited about not having to buy lettuce or fresh herbs all summer long:

Can I get a woot woot for Mama Nature?!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

12-hour Workdays are Miserable

I'm exhausted, so I'm letting someone else do the heavy lifting for tonight's post.

I don't know about you, but I find Sarah Silverman to be hilarious. It seems that either you love her or you hate her, and I'm not ashamed to admit that her crass, immature humor appeals to me on some level. She's offbeat and smart. And harsh? I'm sorry to be a pill, but if you're Britney Spears and out of your frigging mind, and choose to present yourself to the world in nothing but underwear at a major awards show, then comedians somehow don't have the right to make fun of you? Come on!

Well, whatever your feelings about Sarah, you cannot in good conscience lie and tell me that you don't find this piece of work, in honor of boyfriend Jimmy Kimmel's 5th anniversary show, downright hilarious. Unless you've been living under a rock for the past month, you've probably seen it, but you know it's worth watching again!

I love it! Hearing the f word come out of Matt Damon's wholesome mouth makes me cackle. By the by, does anyone else love the fact that he found himself a nice, non-famous woman to settle down and start having babies with? Because I do. I love it a lot.

Jimmy Kimmel decided to up the ante with this retort. Oh, you have time!

While I have to give him points for having more star cameos than an Austin Powers movie, hers was funnier.

One thing's for sure: they make a funny pair. Can you imagine the things you'd see and hear if you spent a night out with these clowns?!

Monday, March 10, 2008

I've been tagged... the lovely Mary, so here are my 7 weird/random facts, in no particular order:

1) I have done some psychotic things to my hair. We're talking everything from blonde to pixie short (Remember the Gwyneth Paltrow cut from when she was engaged to Brad Pitt, anyone? Awful.), and I even had a short bob 4 years before Posh and Robot Holmes-Cruise made it cool! Looking back at photographic evidence of some of my more unfortunate choices has scarred me into boredom. My color is now completely natural and I'm afraid to get any of my length cut! P.S. - I still love you, Gwyneth!

2) I've run 3 half marathons: one in St. Louis, one in San Francisco, and one in Memphis. To be honest, the St. Louis route was infinitely harder than the San Francisco hills. I clocked my best time in Memphis and was feeling great, only to return to our car and find that it had been broken into and all of our belongings stolen. We spent the rest of the day at the police station. I haven't run a race suck, Memphis!

3) I hung out a few times with Chelsea Clinton's ex-boyfriend from her Stanford days. He and his friend, who lived in our apartment complex my junior year of college, were members of the Olympic swim team (I'm pretty sure they won bronze and gold medals, respectively, at the '99 summer games) and practiced at the training facility in Santa Clara. I cannot for the life of me remember a) how exactly we met or b) why I stopped talking to him.

4) I have a severe phobia of public toilets and...well...#2 in public. I simply can't do either, and it horrifies me to know when anyone else does. I have been known to make myself quite ill because of it. For instance, I used to wait until 4am in college to quietly sneak my way down the hall to the communal bathroom (I still praise whatever god is responsible for granting me a private bathroom sophomore year!!!), I hold it during 10 hour transatlantic flights, and I hate outdoor events like Mardi Gras because of the Johnnies.

5) I was prom queen. Shut up.

6) I have a tattoo, which comes as a shock to most. I'm not disclosing what it is or its location, but I will say that you can't see it unless I want you to. For those interested, there is a picture on file at Marks of Art in San Jose. I am also a huge hypocrite, because I don't care for visible ones, and unlike many tattoo wearers, I have zero desire to get another.

7) I was randomly assigned a roommate my freshman year of college: a girl from Jersey who also happened to be named Meghan (with the h!), was also one of 4 kids, and was also left-handed. We declared the same major and took a lot of the same classes, and even professors started referencing us collectively as "The Meghans". We also befriended and eventually ended up living with another Meghan (h included), who had at one time nicknamed herself BMC (Big Meg on Campus). The three of us were soon known as Big Meg, Middle/Medium Meg and Little Meg, labeled by height. At 5'6", I am Middle Meg.

Well, that wasn't so bad. I tag (Little) Meg, since she's new to blogging, Jess, because I just learned of her sweet blog, and Kate. I'm interested to see how many of the 7 things I already know!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

My Hubs

I just want to give a shout out to my better half, who has been painstakingly working on a new real estate inspired blog of his own (doesn't the green background look GREAT, everyone?!).

He has personally bought, sold, rehabbed and invested in properties all over St. Louis, and it has made him incredibly knowledgeable about the entire "game". Trust me, I never would have survived the home buying process without him! He's an agent with Keller Williams and won their Rookie of the Year Award for's enough to make a wife beam with pride, I tell you. The blog is going to be awesome: it'll be loaded with tons of info about the STL market, special listings, financing advice, remodeling how-tos, and whatever else his overactive brain cooks up!

He rocks, so I know his blog will too. I say this strictly as an unbiased client :)

Reason #6,932 why I wish my dogs could talk

Because they have some explaining to do.

Earlier today, after a lengthy mid-morning romp in the backyard, the puggles bounded inside and from across the room I commented that Gordon looked dirty (not really worth commenting on, since it's characteristic of him). On closer inspection, I came to the stomach-turning realization that it wasn't dirt. Nope, try blood. Lots and lots of blood.

Given my previous history of working in a pediatric hospital, one might assume that I should be able to keep my shit together when it comes to gruesome situations. That's partially true. Level I traumas? No sweat. Looking at the x-ray of a kid who had severed his urethra in an ATV accident? Didn't even flinch! Witnessing a 2 year old undergoing a spinal tap? I barely broke a sweat. The morgue? Ok, scratch that one...that experience was faint-worthy. But seriously, I'm no pansy about this sort of long as we're dealing with a human patient.
Somehow, seeing my 3 1/2 month old puppy covered in blood, I couldn't keep myself from jumping around like a child and letting out screams that sent Matt flying in from the other room.

Gordon's right eye was swimming in blood - we're talking no visible sclera. The fur on his chest, right side, front legs, and right ear was saturated. We scooped him up and started frantically scouring every inch of his wriggling little body to find the source.

Twenty minutes later, we hadn't found so much as a scratch. Once it was wiped out, his eye was completely clear. After he was cleaned up, he was as good as new. Thinking that he had killed an animal, we decided to investigate the crime scene. There were traces of blood on the deck and on the siding, but no remains.

Louie had a small smear of blood on his front left paw, so our attention turned to him: "What did you DO?! He's your BROTHER!" He apparently didn't like that line of questioning and went to lie down for a nap.

They're both still acting highly suspicious, but no one's talking.

You be the judge - is this a guilty looking pair or what?