Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Call me the Grinch, Scrooge, say it's sour grapes, whatevs

I always hate New Year's Eve. I've hated it for a very long time. I always want to stay home, be in pajamas by 9pm, watch a movie, and drink wine but in the end I worry that I'll feel lonely and sad if I stay home. Why do I think that? Most NYEs have proven that I'd be happier if I'd stayed home (and the outfits would be much less binding). Let's see...there was the NYE when my date had sex with a stranger in the bathroom at a party -that one was awesome. There was the party where a fist-fight broke out (and that wasn't even exciting enough to make the party interesting). There was the NYE where I went to a boring party at friend's house, while my boyfriend at the time spent the evening with his kids and ex-wife. That one felt good. And then there was last year, when I had a date with a man I'm pretty sure is a serial killer. Turns out you can hide a LOT of crazy in a 30 minute coffee date. it really sour grapes when your experiences have genuinely been bad??

I'm trying to change my attitude for this one. I'm going to a party with a few girlfriends and they have promised me that we can leave at 12:01 :)

Happy new year to one and all (or at least to the 6-15 people who read this!). I love fresh beginnings!!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Rescue Story of Callie (where Frannie was rescued too!)

I originally wrote this "happy tails" story for my blog on, but decided to post it here too.
First a little background on me...I had to have my dog Bailey put to sleep in November of 2006 (she wasn't a doodle, but another unusual mix - bassett hound/black lab). I loved Bailey and to this day have guilt about having her euthanized (even though my logical brain knows it was the best/only decision to be made). I wasn't ready to even think about getting another dog for a long time. In 2008 I was terribly sick for months, eventually getting a tentative diagnosis of Crohn's Disease. Once I started getting the CD under control, I started thinking about getting another dog.

I was SO torn...I was scared I'd have another flare up and wouldn't be able to provide excellent care to whomever I adopted, but I also felt like taking care of a dog would get me less focused on being "sick". Some friends convinced me that it was a good time, so I made a list (I'm a nerdy list-maker) of what my doggie wish list would be. I wanted a female (I love boy dogs too, I just like knowing where the pee is heading!), I wanted an adult dog, I wanted to rescue, I wanted a medium sized dog, and I wanted a dog who was very low shed. That is a very simple list if you are buying a dog from a breeder, but I'm just an ingrained rescuer though, so I had my work cut out for me. Three separate times, I found a dog at a rescue facility that I thought was just right for me, only to have them get adopted by someone else (the good part is that they got adopted, of course).

Then on Tuesday, April 14th 2009 I was taking my morning browse on and I saw this adorable dog at Dekalb Animal Shelter, which is a high-kill facility. Her name was "Pen 310" and they had her listed as a standard poodle (I guess they've never seen a standard poodle before). I kept trying to call the shelter and could never get through (later I found out that their phones were down that whole day). I left the office (thank goodness they are understanding about dog stuff!) and drove over to Dekalb Animal. I walked in and saw of the cutest, furriest dogs I'd ever seen...sitting at the feet of an older woman as she filled out adoption paperwork. I went over and pet the dog, who was indeed Pen 310. She immediately started wagging her tail and looking up at me with those huge brown eyes and I fell utterly in love. I did what any normal person would do at that point...I offered the potential adopter a $100 to let me take the dog. She said no (in a kind of snippy tone, but I couldn't really blame her...after all I was trying to bribe her). A woman that worked at Dekalb Animal asked me to give her my information, just in case something fell through with the other adopter. I did, not feeling hopeful AT ALL. I should have been listening to everyone who was telling me that "things happen for a reason" and had a little more faith.The very next morning, I got a call from Dekalb Animal...they said the other adopter called in and said she didn't think it was a good time for her to take on the responsibility and wanted to know if I was still interested (I have always had a sneaking suspicion that they rejected her so I could get her). I said "ABSOLUTELY" and left the office, hopped in the car and drove over there. The same lady was working there and said "oh I'm so glad you're getting her - y'all just seem to belong together".

Then she told me the sad story of Pen 310. It's not as sad as some of the other stories you hear (there's one on atlanta pet rescue right now who had been starved and only had rocks in his belly when he was taken from the neglectful owner - that's criminal), but it's just so unnecessary. This adorable dog, who had obviously been someone's pet, was abandoned outside Dekalb Animal Shelter in the middle of the night. She was matted, dirty, and about 10lbs underweight, but was otherwise healthy. They estimated her age to be between 2 and 3. They knew nothing else about her, other than that she was a good dog. I can only imagine the confusion that she felt. Dekalb does a great job with their shelter, but it's not a place for dogs to's a warehouse of dogs waiting to die. I'm just so glad that they do care enough to put their dogs on to try to get them to good homes!The furry dog needed to be spayed, get her shots, and get a bath, so I couldn't take her home that day.

That night my friend Leigh and I went to Costco and Petsmart, where I bought beds, a brush, toys, treats, food, bowls, and a cute collar and leash. Friday morning, April 17th is when I got the call that my new dog was ready (I count 4/17 as Callie's "birthday"). The newly named "Callie" came back to the office with me and was an angel (ok, so she peed in the showroom, right in front of my boss, but she was in a new place!). I can say with great honesty that she's brought me unmitigated happiness, even on those rare occasions when she is naughty. I firmly believe that I would still be in my house, depressed about having a chronic illness if Callie and I hadn't found each other. We spend lots of time on walks and at the dog park making new friends, and plenty of time playing. A particular favorite of hers is on the early weekend mornings when I take her out to the community tennis courts and practice my serve while she chases balls. SO CUTE!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Phrases that should be outlawed from men's online dating profiles

I just rejoined jdate. Online dating is a good way to meet people, but you really can tell a lot about someone by what they write about themselves and sometimes it's not so good. I'm sure women say annoyingly banal things too, but I don't read their profiles. Here are some men's profile phrases that instantly make me (and other women I've polled) cease to see you as an interesting person.

"I work hard and play hard" - Sometimes, even I am rendered speechless

"I love to laugh" - you're the one! Everyone I know would much rather have daily root canals than laugh.

"I only get along with women who are size 4 or smaller" - so, when your waif is pregnant with your child, you've given her advance warning that you won't get along with her. Way to go!

"I love to have fun" - Fun is subjective. Jeffery Dahmer thought murder and cannibalism were super fun pasttimes.

"I'm looking for a woman who can go from jeans to a ballgown" - Dear Men ... all women can do this. It's called changing clothes. I hope that you're aiming higher than a woman who can dress herself.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Turns out I'm an intolerant hypocrite. Who knew?

I made a discovery last night...I'm super patient until someone keeps repeating a behavior that is stupid. Of course, I do stupid stuff repetitiously all the time, but it's WAY more annoying when others do it.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Veracity of Cliches

I recently bought a bottle of miracles. Technically, it's a product called Miracle 2000 and it is a liquid vitamin that you take like a vodka shot. I have to give the product props...I've been taking it for 4 days I really do feel a difference in my energy level (the B12 shot is assisting I'm sure). I've never been able to sustain this sort of happy energy downing vodka shots (vodka happy is fleeting. And very grinnie). That's the upside. The downside is the cliche that anything that is good for you must taste terrible. This stuff tastes like a dirty ass that has been put in a blender with some spinach. I haven't actually HAD dirty ass blended with spinach, but that's the closest flavor profile I can offer. The label proclaims it to be "cherry flavored" and I assume they waved a cherry over the manufacturing plant from a helicopter. There is a minor side effect of neon-hued urine and perspiring a faintly vitamin-y smell.

All that said, I recommend the results. It's the first vitamin I can take that doesn't upset my stomach. Upsets my taste buds yes, but that's fleeting.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Falling sleep.

I heart my extra hour of sleep in the fall AND the fact that it will be light out when I wake up. It's hard to get up and at 'em when it's pitch outside and while you walk your dog, you have that eerie feeling that you're the only person left on the planet (in a less fun way than "Night of the Comet", for anyone who enjoys a little 80's cheese in their movies).

Basic Autumnal goals - fall back into getting adequate sleep. Fall (even if it's a forced fall, or if I have to ask a friend or a Sissi to trip me) into better habits, like getting rid of stuff I don't use and exercising more. Why do people only make resolutions at New Year's? Why not for daylight savings time, when you are getting something you can work with, like an extra hour of sleep???? As WSP might say...Makes sense to me, I must confess.

Friday, October 30, 2009


I am not what one would call a fashion plate. Generally, I'm happy enough if I'm clean, my clothes fit, I'm showing a tasteful amount of cleavage, my shoes are cute, and I don't want to sit in the closet and have a good cry. That said, I read magazines, watch TV, and live in society, so I have a basic understanding of what is "in", even if I don't follow it (I'm a big believer is anything that looks crappy on you is out of style, even if you bought it off a runway during fashion week) . I also have a full length mirror, which tells me with heart-wrenching honesty when I'm making a mistake (unlike the mirrors in Nordstroms, which magically make me appear tall, thin, sans muffin top, but with a tush).

This leads me up to a woman I saw at Publix today. I was so fascinated by her garb, that I followed her up and down several aisles. She was wearing fabulous wedge heel boots, the kind I've been coveting FOREVER but seemed to have missed the portion where she looked in a full length mirror. Or down, even. On the first aisle, I thought she had on black skinny jeans, tucked into the yummy boots, but with something weird, so I kept watching. Then, on the next aisle, I realized they weren't skinny jeans, they more like leggings with almost tuxedo-pants seams going up the side. On aisle three I got close enough to see that they weren't even leggings, but moderately opaque pantyhose. They weren't providing enough coverage to be termed "tights", and when she bent over a shelf, I could see that she wasn't wearing anything under them (a lesson that nothing good comes from stalking). Did she not notice that her skin was clearly visible through the hose? Did she pose in the mirror this morning and feel awesome about herself? I really wonder about that and while I utterly celebrate those with the confidence to wear whatever makes their little hearts feel happy, I sometimes ponder over where confidence ends and delusion sets in.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


No, I don't just look extra fabulous today (unless you think bloated and kinda squishy looks great). I would conservatively estimate the temperature in my office is 985 degrees. Farenheit. I am shvitizing my balls off. I have a fan on, and it's just moving some tepid air around. No one else seems to find it overly warm. 38 would be too young for hot flashes (and they don't last for two hours, right?). It's OCTOBER 28th...where is fall??? Here fally fally fally.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


No, I didn't leave off the "e". It's just URG (hard "gee" sound at the end). That's how I feel. Just a rainy, stressy, icky day where I would be PERFECTLY happy to be snuggled on the sofa with the furry monster, watching asinine TV, and eating a snack that would both make me fatter and send my intestines into an uproar.

Monday, October 26, 2009

I look GREAT in Green.

Today I was parked in front of my house idling the engine while I checked my email and it occurred to me that I would need a size 67 shoe to contain my carbon footprint. I don't get the newspaper (I hate how they smell) and I don't drink soda so I figured that I was already helping by limiting my post-consumer waste. I even buy the recycled paper towels and toilet paper, occasionally remember to bring my own reusable shopping bags to the grocery, and understand how 20oz plastic Coke bottles become fabric (which is crazy cool!) so I'm practically Captain Planet, right? Turns out that I'm not. Without even thinking about it, I threw away two yellow pages and a fat stack of phone books in a cleaning frenzy, I don't think to recycle my work papers unless I happen to be standing in front of the recycling bin, and I do things like sit in my car with the engine and ac/heat (depending on the season) and read emails and talk on the phone.

I'm going to work on that.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Callie, the Furry Monster

At PetSmart the other night, a woman told me that Callie is the most beautiful dog she's ever seen. I had no choice but to agree completely. I love my dog. Let me rephrase that. I LOVE my dog. I've attached some pictures because she's just that cute.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Ramblings from a semi-sane person

I don't really have a cohesive "theme" today...just some random musings (musings sounds better than bizarre stream of consciousness that I'm trapping you into reading). Also, I like the band Muse a lot. They really appeal to my remaining teen angst. That's right - I'm now thirty-eighteen and therefore entitled to my teen angst. I may re-read the Twilight saga. (don't add it together, thirty-eighteen is now a word in the lexicon of frannieland and I'm WAY not ready for 48). I do feel a bit of angst for my rapidly approaching forties, but I felt a solid year of stress about turning 30 and my 30s have been nothing short of amazingly wonderful (so here's hoping).

I woke up this morning at 5:30. It's SATURDAY. Why don't I wake up perkily at 5:30 (or 6:00. or 6:30. or 7:00) during the week? I can barely drag myself out of bed during the week and I'm lucky enough to like my job so I don't really see a connection there. I had a very productive morning...some quality Callie time, got an oil change, went to the Garden Hills yard sale (40 homes had yard sales - it was a buffet, buffet lamps, and an urn for sticks). Then I came home and took a surprise nap (It wasn't really all that surprising though...I took off my shoes and curled up on the sofa with a blanket). Then I got my fabulous neighbors to help me bring the buffet in. Many kudos to Katie, for never being offended when I knock on their door and tell her that I need a man. Even more gold stars for Nick, who not only helped with schlepping and didn't seem horrified by how messy my house is (I'm having a bad goldfish in a cowboy hat week - if that reference doesn't make sense to you, watch this youtube link - unfortunately, this sometimes sums up my house., but noticed that there were SPIDER EGGS - you read that correctly - SPIDER EGGS festooned on the underside of the buffet and he went and got his super-heavy-duty vacuum and got rid of all of them. Now that's more than neighborly!

After getting the buffet spiffed up, I took Callie to get micro-chipped, and then just took her on a nice long drive. The dog park was too muddy and empty, so I just hit the road with the windows down and let her ears fly in the breeze. She looks so happy with her head out the window that thinking of it is still making me feel all warm and smiley inside.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Balloon Boy (aka BB, because it now nauseates me to use the word "balloon")

Really America?? Really? As evidence that America is going the way of the once-great Roman Empire (you know, that area with lots of ruins that doesn't even prented to be a superpower?) there is this bizarre media obsession with this freak family who wants to be on TV. Hey family - you were on TV. Big whoop. If you polled 100 people I bet you would find that lots of them have been on TV or in a movie at some point, even briefly. BB & co - take your 15 minutes and disappear gracefully. Media outlets - please allow this to happen.

There's lots going on in this country and in the world (both good and bad) that doesn't involve fame hungry parents who whore their kids out. Tune into the real news, or at least don't tune into the dumb stuff like BB. Listen to some music. Read a book. Have a deep conversation with your sister about why you're so screwed in the head (a personal fave of mine). Just stop paying credence to the BBs, Gosselins, Ocotmoms, unfortunate people in persistant vegative states, and Elian Gonzalez so MAYBE the media will clue in.

Rant over. Thanks for listening!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Why am I so screwed in the head?

While this heading could apply to MANY areas of my life, I have a particular topic on that tonight. Books. Sweet, comforting, friendly books. As part of my "change the house around without going crazy redecorating and spend money I don't have" initiative, I'm working on decluttering myself. Here's hoping that this will (somehow) also lead to a less cluttered mind. My biggest clutter area is books. My townhouse is approximately 1500 square feet. I own approximately two billion books. That math does not work out harmoniously. I get that. I know that paperback books aren't lovely additions to any decor. Here's my sticking point...I completely HEART my books. Until I started to really weed through them, I didn't realize the extent of my attachment.

Book background...I love to read. I never disliked reading, but somehow when I hit Judy Blume age, my brain completely latched on. I escalated quickly to Danielle Steel novels (not sure why this was considered appropriate reading material for a 9 year old, but young adult fiction didn't really exist in 1980 and once you were out of picture books you kinda graduated to whatever your mom had around). I realized sometime in college, when I was re-reading some of that delightful trash, that there was no way I understood the somewhat veiled "adult" content of the love scenes (of course by that age I found them laughably mild). My entire adult life, I've read everything I can get my hands on, 3 to 4 books a week, with a heavy emphasis on fiction (I have reality for my non-fiction, so I don't always feel compelled to invite it any further into frannieland). I have been in more book clubs than I care to count (they don't seem to be for my experience they have generally been exercises in pretension. Come on people - read the good stuff, but don't act like you're too good to pick up a James Patterson novel).

Now I have books spread all over the floor of my bedroom, the bed in the guest room, and I really want to safely bundle them all back up onto their respective messy shelves and let them be. However...I have to keep reminding myself that change is good (right? RIGHT??)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Weekend (not in New England, but that's a fave sappy song)

I'm a planner by nature. Sometimes my plan is to do nothing, but I'm still making a plan for that (I've stopped putting "sit on sofa and mindlessly catch up on dvr'd shows on an actual to-do list though). This weekend, I had a vast assortment of plans, ranging from fun/social to drudgery. See Friday night's post for part 1 of the drudgery. Part 2 has been today and consisted of going to the office for 4+ hours, cleaning it up (I was mildly surprised that I didn't find a pack of wolves in was looking like their natural habitat). I've also been baking, but am doing it more clumsily than I normally would, so I'm dialing back that ambition a bit. Now I'm wondering about my planning nature. Perhaps if I planned to be tidier, I would be tidier. I do like to follow my to-do list. Hmm. Food for thought. I haven't started on laundry or cooking yet. Still plenty of time for that. I did do my very favorite part of Sunday...changing my sheets. It's not so much the changing (I'm not on crack) but it's the sliding into bed Sunday night and being ensconced in cool, crisp, sweetly fresh sheets. That is just toe-wiggling good.

On Saturday afternoon, a home re-designer came over. Her name is Stacey Murphy and I thought she was terrific. Her entire business is making the stuff already in your house WORK, not figuring out a way to impose her taste and collect large fees. It was so incredibly beneficial to me to have a fresh non-family/non-friend eye on my stuff. I can't wait to start implementing her suggestions. I do feel a bit embarrassed that I needed some of the common sensical suggestions, like putting a basket on top of the fridge to conceal all the miscellany up there. Why didn't that occur to me on my own? What decorating/organization gene am I missing that made me need to pay some one (a fabulous deal from, but still) to tell me something that should be bred into the bone? Perhaps I won't question that and just be glad that Stacey is out there and that I now have her in my arsenal! Since I'm shamelessly plugging Stacey, here is her website: Stacey - if you read this, I'm really going to work on thinning out the books, but it's HARD.

Friday, October 9, 2009

This is a first. Actually, it's THE first.

My first blog, that is. I'm not sure why tonight is the night. If I was smart, I would have gone to bed a half hour ago. Lots of things in frannieland seem to start with the phrase "if I was smart" (explanation of frannieland for those not yet in the know....frannieland is the world I live in. It's the same world everyone else lives in, just from my POV. It's pretty normal, except for when it isn't) . It's Friday night, 10/9/09. I stayed in tonight and assigned myself the ambitious job of cleaning out my bathroom cabinets and drawers. Yeah, I'm that kind of cool. Turns out I don't need to buy soap for about 4 more years. Lever 2000 doesn't go bad, does it?