Friday, September 30, 2005

Find your city, find yourself a city to live in.

On my post below where I bitch incessantly about LA and traffic someone named Mary commented that I should try the quiz at It was kind of a fun quiz and I’d recommend it if you’ve got some time to kill. Some of the suggested cities are worth further investigation, others are a definite no. Here are my top 24 cities:

1. Portland, Oregon Rain, rain go away.

2. Honolulu, Hawaii I’ve never been to Hawaii, but then again I’d never been to California before I moved here.

3. Little Rock, Arkansas Ummm, Arkansas? Really? I think of the south as a wonderful place to visit, but not so much a place I would ever live. I think I would feel a bit out of place and alienated so deep in the red country, if you know what I mean.

4. Baltimore, Maryland Spent some time there when I lived near DC in Bethesda, MD. Wasn’t too impressed. Blue collar city to the max, not my kind of thing.

5. San Francisco, California Never been, but an interesting possibility.

6. San Jose, California

7. Hartford, Connecticut Huh?

8. Providence, Rhode Island Umm, no.

9. Washington, DC Been there, done that, and no.

10. New Haven, Connecticut Connecticut, is there something I’m missing?

11. Boston, Massachusetts I visited the airport there once. It snows there plenty, right? And the traffic is just as bad, right?

12. Oakland, California Sounds boring?

13. Las Vegas, Nevada Good god no! Another one of those wonderful-to-visit-never-live-there-in-a-million-years places.

14. Santa Barbara, California Been there once, it was very nice, but maybe the pace of life there is a bit slow for my taste.

15. Santa Cruz, California

16. Seattle, Washington I’d love to visit, I do like coffee, but then again not so much a fan of the rain.

17. Eugene, Oregon

18. Corvallis, Oregon

19. Ventura, California

20. Sacramento, California

21. Fayetteville, Arkansas Hey Becca, your hometown!

22. Cincinnati, Ohio Just say “no” to Ohio.

23. Knoxville, Tennessee Are you kidding me?

24. Norfolk, Virginia Yeah, I don’t think so.

Lots of west coast cities to choose from here. Maybe I need to get some travel going on. Yeah, like when I have vacation days and spare cash. Let’s aim for 2012.

I’d be interested to hear what all ya’ll’s (maybe I do belong in the south?) dream city is.

*BTW the title of this post is in reference to the song Cities. Good song!*

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

What's in your closet?

I got tagged by Jen this time. So here you are, from the deep abyss that is my closet:

Three Random Facts About My Closet:
1) I share it with Jason
2) There is a sea of shoes and handbags and I don’t know what else on the floor
3) Dexter (my dog) knows how to open the doors and has been known to steal my clothes off the hangers.

Three Items I've Never Worn But Still Haven't Tossed:
1) A light blue linen button down shirt that’s too small
2) A sleeveless longish brown sweater jacket thingy that my aunt knitted (it’s a keepsake, she passed away over six years ago. If I were a little slimmer it might be more flattering. Then again, I could say that about almost everything in my closet :/ )
3) A simple but flattering black dress just waiting for the right occasion (It was part of my Halloween costume last year, but an unfortunate fall down some stairs early in the evening (thank you rum and coke) prevented me from actually wearing it anywhere, so I’m gonna say that doesn't count.)

Three Items I'll Never Get Rid Of, No Matter How Ugly They Get:
1) My Hudson Swimming sweatshirt
2) My Wolfridge Environmental Learning Center t-shirt. (It has paint on it and a small tear where it got caught on the slide at a playground, but I still wear it to the gym.)
3) A dashiki shirt I got a garage sale for less than a dollar. It’s getting a bit threadbare in places but it’s got such pretty colors and big front pockets.

Three Items People Wouldn't Expect To Find In My Closet:
1) A bunch of Jason's photography equipment
2) His and hers jester hats (for some reason I have an awful lot of hats. I wear maybe two of them on a regular basis)
3) Abandoned knitting projects

Three items that made me go, "Oh Lord, what was I thinking?":
Ummm… I think I've gotten rid of most of these types of things and tend to have better fashion sense these days. But here are some blasts from the past:
1)Orange polyester mini-dress with a polo shirt type collar (It was very retro-chic at the time. I wore it with platform sneakers)
2)A silver spandex top with some random screen-print art on the front.
3)Plaid pants (for some reason these were so cool in high school. Mixing and matching plaid was also acceptable.)

Three things that I have a surprising number of:
1) Shoes
2) hand bags
3) button down shirts

Three dominant colors in my wardrobe:
I have a rainbow, I like colors

Three items that never fail to put me in a good mood whenever I wear them:
1) cords
2) my pink shirt
3) my pajama pants

I tag Leah, TWAM (what do men keep in their closets?) and Ms. Felicia Beans (haven't seen hide nor hair of Beans since Rita, so I hope she is alive and well and can post this meme at some point). There, I actually named names, so you better do it or the curse of the meme gods will fall upon you.

I love you…I love you not.

Oh Los Angeles. How do I love/loathe thee? Let me count the ways.

There are many things I enjoy about Los Angeles. It’s diversity, the beach, the no winter, the wonderful day trip destinations, the laid-back atmosphere. Not to mention this is the place where I finally found my first post-college job worth not quitting. (It only took a little over two years! Yeah, the job economy is doing great!)

But now that I’m commuting by car the great distance of 10 miles to and from work, that infamous LA traffic is really getting to me. I spend waaaaay too much of my day in this:

I think the fall and school season has made the traffic even worse than usual in the past couple weeks, if you can imagine that. It is a hassle to go anywhere. Anything further than 5 miles from my home is “too far”. Commuting makes me a not-so-nice-person. Me, the “too nice for your own good” type. I have found myself suffering symptoms of road rage. The smog also gets me down. It’s just gross that you can actually see that grey veil on the horizon some days. Not to mention the cost of living is god-awful-ridiculous-expensive. Why oh why is there no viable public transportation system? I would love to take the train to work. If only there were a rail station, you know, closer to my home than my office is.

So, what to do? Nothing for the time being I guess because I cannot deal with moving or finding another job just when things are starting to go on the up-and-up. It’s such a love/hate relationship I’ve formed with this city in the last year and a half.

All this gets me to thinking though, is there really any place I could live where I would be completely content? I am open to suggestions. I’m looking for a place with year-round great weather, none of those cookie cutter built-last-year made up communities with no personality, blue-state relatively liberal minded territory preferred, great job opportunities, nice friendly people, affordable living expenses, low congestion and traffic, beautiful natural environment, a good variety of cool bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues, and somewhat cosmopolitan. Basically I want to move the city of Madison, WI to the SoCal coast. If you know of this mythical place please let me know and I’ll look into moving there in a couple of years.

A friend of mine sent this to me a while ago and it amused me. Thought I’d share since it’s related to this post.

You Know You're From L.A. When . . . . .

You go to the beach and see that real lifeguards actually do look like the lifeguards from Baywatch.

You begin to "lie" to your friends about where you are (i.e. "Yeah I'm like 20 minutes away") - when you know that it'll take you at least an hour to get there).

You eat a different ethnic food for every meal.

You know it's best not to be on the 405 at 4:05 pm.

Getting anywhere from point A to point B, no matter what the distance, takes about "twenty minutes".

You've inadvertently learned Spanish.

In the "winter", you can go to the beach and ski at Big Bear on the same day.

You know what "sigalert", "PCH", and "the five" mean.

If your destination is more than 5 minutes away on foot, you're definitely driving.

Your TV show is interrupted by a police chase.

You know someone named Freedom, Rainbow, Persephone or Destiny.

You don't stop at a STOP sign, you do a "California Roll".

You've ever bought oranges, flowers, cherries or peanuts on a freeway off-ramp.

You drive next to a Rolls Royce and don't notice.

Calling your neighbors requires knowing their area code.

You have a favorite Thai restaurant.

You eat pineapple on pizza.

You've been to Disneyland more times than Downtown.

When giving directions , you follow up with the phrase: "With/Without traffic."

Driving along, you see a high-speed police chase approaching in your rear view mirror. You don't panic or even flinch. Instead, you call your friends on your cell phone and tell them you're on TV.

You know that if you drive two miles in any direction you will find a McDonald's or a Starbucks.

You never, ever go into the water at the Beach. You barely touch the sand.

It is not unusual for your waitress at a restaurant to have blue streaked hair, a dragon tattoo and tongue piercing.

You are awakened in the middle of the night by a moderate earthquake. Your reply: "That ain't even a 5-pointer" and go back to sleep.

You think you are better than the people who live "Over the Hill". It don't matter which side of the hill you are currently residing, you are just better than them, for whatever reason.

You live 10 miles from work. It takes you 60 minutes to get home.

You go to Las Vegas for a weekend getaway and the whole trip cost you $50.

You know what "In N Out" is and feel bad for all the other states because they don't have any.

You know that not everyone in Beverly Hills is a millionaire.

You say you live in LA when really you live in a subsection of a subsection of a subsection of southern LA.

It's sprinkling and there's a report on every news station about "STORM WATCH '05"

You call 911 and they put you on hold.

You actually get these jokes and pass them on to other friends from Los Angeles.

Friday, September 23, 2005

More of the tag game

So, I got tagged by Aarwenn again. Wheee fun:

Ten years ago... I was 15. I was a sophomore at Hudson High School. I was on the varsity swim team, I was spending a lot of time in choir groups and just hanging out in the choir room with other music junkies and my favorite teacher of all time Ms. Holmes (later resigned due to a scandal involving an “inappropriate” relationship she had with a male student many years earlier. So sad). I was playing the clarinet and rivaling that uptight Nikki Beavers for first chair in wind ensemble. I spent a lot of time at my second home the Phipps. That year I was part of “Funtastic Fairytales”, an improv theatre troupe that performed for kids (along with my big crush of the day, my piano teacher’s son), and I played an evil stepsister in a musical version of “Cinderella”. I hung out at the local coffee shop/book store, where I drank black coffee, had deep philosophical discussions with the students from UW-River Falls, and listened to whatever musical act was performing there on the weekend (usually Swing-A-Way, the keyboardist was another of my piano teacher’s sons. We were sort of their “groupies”). I started my application and interview process to be a Rotary International exchange student (which landed me in Finland for my junior year. Good times.)
This was also the year that a freshman in one of my choir groups committed suicide. That sucked a lot. I was pretty good friends with her older sister who was kind of prone to depression anyway, so yea. Not cool. A few months later a girl I was on the swim team with and another girl I knew from the theater both died in the same car crash. That was a pretty big downer on the end of my sophomore year. Wow, it’s been like, forever since I thought about that. Moving along…

Five years ago... I was 20. I was starting my junior year at UW-Madison. I was living in a teeny-tiny efficiency apartment right near campus and the Memorial Union on lake Mendota. Great location, not so great apartment (really, it was a room with a bathroom attached. Not even a proper kitchen, and the landlady was a crack head. At least I had AC). I was partying it up with my friends and going to my classes (sometimes) and enjoying college life in general. I worked part time at the UW Foundation Telefund (I worked there for 4 ½ years). This is the place where I met friends for life. UW was the best. I remember this being a very happy time and I miss Madison dearly. Love you Madtown <3 At the end of my junior year I finally declared my major, Communication Arts with an emphasis in broadcast and film.

One year ago… I had been in LA for about 6 months (moved from DC) and was working in fundraising for right-wing-propogandist-non-profit-organization-in-downtown-LA-which-shall-remain-nameless and hating it sooooo much. I commuted by bus a total of three hours each day. I got the job about a month after I moved to town and sold my soul because I needed the money. I was about to be fired in about 2 months time (though I didn’t know it of course) on the heels of my boss, the department head, and a peer co-worker. They basically gutted the department, firing 3 of the 4 people in it. Good riddance, I suspect they had no idea how badly I wanted to quit anyway. I collected unemployment checks for the next four months, I lived at Venice beach with my boyfriend Jason and two of our good friends from Madison, and I hung out with my dog and conducted my job search and landed in my current position (where I’m much happier) last March.

Five snacks…
Rye crackers
Chips and salsa

Five Songs I Know All The Words To:
Yellow Submarine (the Beatles of course)
The Three Fine Daughters of Farmer Brown (Eddie From Ohio)
Me & Bobby McGee (made famous by Janis Joplin)
Down With Disease (Phish)
Send in the Clowns (Stephen Sondheim – A Little Night Music)

Five Things I Would Do With $100 Million
Pay off all my debt (and some debt of close friends and family)
Buy a home
Travel everywhere
Give lots of money to worthy charities
Buy a politician (just kidding…maybe)

Five Places to Run Away To:
The beach, a lake, a river. Any body of water really.
The mountains
Scandinavia (it’s really nice there. And so clean!)
Bed (I could use a nap right now in fact)

Five Things I Would Never Wear
Those ruffled mini-skirts
Pants under a dress or skirt (this fad needs to die now people)
Capri length pants with tall boots (ditto)
Ultra-low-rise jeans (I see way too much ass-crack and love handles on the ladies these days)
Stiletto heels

Five Favorite TV Shows
Animal Cops
The OC (ok, I admitted it)
The Daily Show

Five Biggest Joys
My sweetums (is it embarrassing if I call you that here Jason?)
My friends (real life and IFF, I love you all)
My family
My dog Dexter
Living in SoCal and knowing I never have to live through another winter again if I don’t want to

Five Favorite Toys
Internet (they have it on computers now!)
My cell phone
GameCube (too long since I had any MarioKart action)
My car (’03 black Nissan Altima)

Five People To Pass This On To
I hate this part because I never know who’s done this and who hasn’t, so I just like to keep an open invitation to let people carry in with the meme if they want to. Let me know if you do it and I’ll link.

I bet no one was expecting my life story, but look what you got. Way more than you wanted to know probably. It’s Friday! It’s on the verge of 5pm. Freedom!

Everybody's working for the weekend

I went to a planned giving seminar (a.k.a. "how to get money from people when they die") at the Center for Nonprofit Management downtown yesterday with a couple of co-workers. The instructor read aloud this touching story about the founders of Stanford University to illustrate the “can’t judge a book by its cover” factor (i.e. unless you know otherwise treat everyone as though they have money).

The President of Harvard made a mistake by prejudging people and it cost him dearly.
A lady in a faded gingham dress and her husband, dressed in a homespun threadbare suit, stepped off the train in Boston, and walked timidly without an appointment into the president's outer office.
The secretary could tell in a moment that such backwoods, country hicks had no business at Harvard and probably didn't even deserve to be in Cambridge. She frowned. "We want to see the president," the man said softly. "He'll be busy all day," the secretary snapped. "We'll wait," the lady replied.
For hours, the secretary ignored them, hoping that the couple would finally become discouraged and go away. They didn't. And the secretary grew frustrated and finally decided to disturb the president, even though it was a chore she always regretted to do. "Maybe if they just see you for a few minutes, they'll leave," she told him. And he signed in exasperation and nodded.
Someone of his importance obviously didn't have the time to spend with them, but he detested gingham dresses and homespun suits cluttering up his outer office. The president, stern-faced with dignity, strutted toward the couple.
The lady told him, "We had a son that attended Harvard for one year. He loved Harvard. He was happy here. But about a year ago, he was accidentally killed. And my husband and I would like to erect a memorial to him, somewhere on campus." The president wasn't touched; he was shocked.
"Madam," he said gruffly, "We can't put up a statue for every person who attended Harvard and died. If we did, this place would look like a cemetery."
"Oh, no," the lady explained quickly, "We don't want to erect a statue. We thought we would like to give a building to Harvard."
The president rolled his eyes. He glanced at the gingham dress and homespun suit, then exclaimed, "A building! Do you have any earthly idea how much a building costs? We have over seven and a half million dollars in the physical plant at Harvard." For a moment the lady was silent. The president was pleased. He could get rid of them now.
And the lady turned to her husband and said quietly, "Is that all it costs to start a University? Why don't we just start our own?" Her husband nodded.
The president's face wilted in confusion and bewilderment.
And Mr. and Mrs. Leland Stanford walked away, traveling to Palo Alto, California, where they established the University that bears their name, a memorial to a son that Harvard no longer cared about.

Isn’t that just amazing? Well, turns out it’s complete bunk, but a nice sentiment anyway I guess.

Speaking of fundraising, I know you all have been meaning to get around to SPONSORING ME in the upcoming AIDS Walk LA. I am nearly half way to my fundraising goal! Muchos gracias to everyone who has supported me so far. Don’t worry if you haven't yet, there is still time. You may also be interested to know that APLA is using some of the money raised through the walk to fund grants for three AIDS organizations in the areas affected by Hurricane Katrina.

It has been such a long week. Work has been insane and we have been very busy celebrating Ben's birthday this week. The Redskins won just for him and his birthday week on Monday (wasn’t that nice of them?). The Maceo Parker show we saw on Wednesday night at the Hollywood House of Blues was awesome, but I think I'm getting too old to be up until 1:30 on a work night. It was worth it though. I met a senior sales manager for the HOB at the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Business Expo at Hollywood and Highland last evening (I was there for work, what else). He was nice and we chatted about the show, and they have a team for AIDS Walk. Awesome. Happy Friday! Hooray for the weekend!

Monday, September 19, 2005

I'm a little fruity

You Are a Strawberry Daiquiri

You're a fun, playful drinker who loves to party.
You may get totally wasted, but you're always a happy drunk!

This was a fun little quiz, but I must point out that beer was not even on the poison of choice list, so results may not be 100% accurate. I do fancy myself quite the happy drunk though :)

Friday, September 16, 2005

Celebrity Sighting

Anyone who watched the short-lived but fabulous TV show My So Called Life will recognize this charming young man as the character Rickie Vasquez, played by Wilson Cruz. He also played Angel in Rent on Broadway but I never saw it. Turns out Mr. Cruz was at a reception I attended for work last Tuesday at The Abbey. He was the MC during the speaking program, and girlfriend, he was TEE-rashed. I guess he took advantage of the complementary sour apple Bacardi cocktails at the bar (which were delicious by the way. I got a drink that tasted just like a candied apple with butterscotch schnapps. Yum!). He made comments about how tipsy he was, and it was evident by the swaying and gushing. He loved everybody in that place. Amusing but a tad unprofessional if you ask me. It was fun times though, the Abbey is an amazing space (they have booths with beds in them that you can lounge and drink in, outdoor patio, dance floor and DJ booth, and the décor is pretty cool) and it was a great crowd. I should hang out there on the weekend and pick up hot chicks.

The weekend is almost here, the end is in sight. Badgers play Tar Heels at North Carolina tomorrow night. Go Badgers! Hopefully we can get a group together to go watch it at Maloney's with cheap PBR on tap.

Also, now that we’ve all got natural disaster on the brain, I find this a little terrifying.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

What you lookin' at?

This little man is too cute. What a punim <3

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Crisis averted…you may now return to your regularly scheduled chaos.

So, it’s been a while since I rapped at y’all. Here’s an update on life in general and some surprises I’ve encountered.

I usually like surprises. If they happen to be good that is. Like last Thursday morning. I was tired ‘cause I stayed up too late with my good friend TiVo the night before. I was in a rush, so of course I had to return to my apartment twice from the garage because I forgot things. I was late, traffic was horrible, and I was starving. As I’m hustling towards my office building I see that everyone is outside standing around and chatting. Unannounced fire drill? Anthrax scare in the mailroom? No, it was in fact the best possible scenario. There was no power in the building! We couldn’t use the elevator and there were no lights in the stairwell, and what can you really get done at work without electricity anyway? We killed about 45 min. at Starbucks while they were waiting to hear from the LADWP if we could expect the power back anytime soon. The executive decision to send everyone home was made! And the people rejoiced as they headed home at 10am! I got to spend the whole day with Jason. We went to lunch, walked the dog, and napped. OK, maybe it doesn’t sound too exciting, but in my book nothing beats spending a lazy weekday not at work. Also, the power went out for about an hour on Friday, so we went and took a long lunch to wait it out. FYI – these blackouts seemed to be contained to the vicinity of our office and the surrounding few blocks.

As you can imagine, the power going out yesterday was less than a surprise for us. We wandered around Koreatown for a while before we realized the extent of the problem and that we may not be able to eat lunch. This was unacceptable, so four of my co-workers and myself piled into my car and we risked our lives driving to Larchmont for lunch at the Avocado Grill. It was worth it. I don’t think I’ve ever elaborated on the dangers of driving (or walking for that matter) in the neighborhood of my workplace, but it is some scary shit on a regular day, let alone when there are no operating traffic lights. I actually stopped taking Western Avenue because I almost got killed at intersections two days in a row while driving into work. I am not making this up. When we got back to the office after another long lunch yesterday we had power, but the network was down. That means no internet, no e-mail, and I couldn’t access any of my electronic documents. Not a heck of a lot to do, but we were not sent home. I have a very clean desk now and my files are in very good order.

Bad surprises: Dexter had another case of diarrhea last week :~( I found way too many stinky surprises on my carpet over the 4 days or so that he was sick, but Pepto came to the rescue and worked its magic once again.

For those of you who may have missed this comment on my previous post by the ever helpful Anonymous:

Anonymous said...
Does Dexter respond to negative operant conditioning?
Do you consider a shock collar cruel?

I’m gonna take a wild stab and guess that Anonymous has not been a regular reader of my blog, so I’ll clarify my stance here. I would not subject my dog to anything I would consider as cruel or unusual punishment for a human child. And a shock collar would definitely fall under that. Dexter is a part of my family and I would not electrocute a family member. Not only would I consider it cruel, but I would bank on it being completely ineffective and if anything it would make the problem worse. So to sum it up, punishment that does not serve the purpose of eradicating the problem behavior and thus the need for further punishment = senseless animal abuse.

My cousin has a dog that he keeps chained up in his yard for the most part. The dog has adequate shelter (in the garage through a doggy door) and isn’t starved or really explicitly deprived (other than the fact he is woefully under-socaialized and untrained, but that is not a crime in our society). They put a shock collar on their dog because he barks all day, I expect because he is lonely and/or bored. This does not stop the dog from barking. Over time the dog has probably become accustomed to the shock and finds barking gratifying enough to keep up the behavior despite the deterrent. Why they continue to put the shock collar on the dog I don’t know. My dog has a serious anxiety condition that was probably caused by some traumatic event that he experienced while alone, or has just come to associate being alone as being traumatic in general for some reason. Does it make sense to give someone an electric shock to calm them down?

I am familiar with negative operant conditioning, and I’m guessing you’ve taken a few psychology classes if you’re using the term. My dog has a brain stem, and is therefore responsive to operant conditioning and we have used clicker training with him for a number of things. The key to operant conditioning is that the subject must be able to make a connection between their actions and the predictable effect their actions will have. For the shock collar to work the dog has to be in a state of mind where it can make the connection “barking = electric shock”, and also find the shock more aversive than the barking is rewarding. Once emotions have taken over to the point where this type of intellectual processing isn’t possible, operant conditioning is also not possible, and therefore operant conditioning techniques are useless. Desensitization on the emotional level is the only treatment that seems to be considered effective for Separation Anxiety. This is a very common condition that is probably misunderstood by far too many dog owners who think that punishment is the best way to handle it. This excerpt gives a good general overview of proper treatment for the condition:

Successful treatment requires patience, consistency, and praise. "Praise is an important part of treatment, because dogs inherently want to please," says Dr. Dodman [Dr. Nicholas Dodman, director of the Behavior Clinic at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine]. "Positive reinforcement gives your dog the confidence to tolerate longer periods alone. Conversely, punishing a dog for separation anxiety behaviors that occurred earlier makes the dog more anxious because it doesn't connect the punishment with the undesirable behavior."

Rather than reversing the specific "bad" behaviors, treatment for separation anxiety focuses on reducing the dog's panic level just before and after the owner's departure. Because dog behavior is relatively complex, treatment usually entails a combination of methods: behavior-modifying desensitization (gradually increasing the dog's exposure to situations that produce anxiety) and counter-conditioning (training the dog to expect pleasure, not panic, when left alone). In difficult cases, anti-anxiety medications, "pharmacological shoehorns" as Dr. Dodman calls them, may facilitate behavioral treatment.

(I found this at and reposted here. Go check it out for more info if you like.)

I know that this is probably more than anyone ever wanted to know, but there are far too many well meaning but clueless dog owners out there. Dogs, contrary to popular opinion, are not furry little humans that walk on all fours. They need us to come work on their level.

This concludes this longwinded post with no coherence, much rambling and much ranting.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

In the Dog House

Our dog has problems. He has had a condition known as Separation Anxiety (SA) for as long as we have owned him, which is going on a year and a half now. We suspect his previous owners were pretty shitty, and the shelter system probably didn’t agree with him either, hence he’s a bit off kilter. We have tried many, many things to convince him that it really won’t kill him to be alone for a few hours, including three different prescription drugs and consulting a professional dog trainer. While I like to be optimistic and think that his lack of recent suicidal/escape attempts is a positive sign, I know our neighbors are probably annoyed with the crying and the barking. It’s hard for me to say how bad it really is, as I am never home when he’s making a ruckus. Such is the nature of the beast.

I’ve pretty much resigned myself to keeping up our routine and hoping it would peter out over time with the treatment, and don’t give a whole lot of thought to it any longer because if I did it would drive me insane. But it would appear one our neighbors has a problem. There was an anonymous post near the mailboxes when we came home last night that went something like



This is paraphrased from memory, but you get the gist. I understand that my dog may be an annoyance, and I feel badly about that. But this just pissed me off for several reasons:

1. It was anonymous.
I firmly believe that neighbors should talk to each other if they have problems to work out. I know, it’s old fashioned, but I think it just might work if everyone can be adult enough to have a reasonable conversation about whatever is bothering them.

2. It was posted in a public area of the building.
We can only assume it is our dog they were referring to, but our dog is not the only chronic barker in the building. He may be the worst offender for all I know, but we had to guess based on “end of the hall” and the fact that the note appeared when we came home after we were out for the evening. Pathetically, we almost never go anywhere at night, so our neighbors are usually spared the racket during the evening hours. When we do go out, we often place him with our neighbors for dog sitting, but this is not always possible.

3. It’s greatly exaggerated
Our dog only makes noise when we are not home, and I can assure you that is not all hours of the day and night. In fact, Jason is able to be home with Dexter most of the day while I’m at work. Dexter’s alone time is usually limited to a couple of hours a day.

To sum it up, these people chose to post an inflammatory, rude, anonymous note making a threat against their neighbors rather than make themselves and their problem known in a constructive manner. I called my landlady this morning, whom we have a rather good relationship with, and she said no one has contacted her about a barking dog problem in the building, although she did mention that there is a new tenant. I suspect it is the newbie who posted the note. All our other neighbors must be used to whatever it is that Dexter does while we’re gone and it either doesn’t bother them or it doesn’t bother them enough to make a fuss about it because I certainly think they would have done so by now.

While it was tempting to post a snarky retort to the anonymous, threat-making coward, we took the high road and posted a tasteful note explaining that our dog has a condition and that we’re doing all we can to correct it. We signed our names and apartment number and invited whoever had a problem to come and speak to us directly about it.

Whoo, needed to get that off my chest. Rude people suck. Also, Dexter pooped on the carpet yesterday and this morning. I hope he isn’t sick again. Maybe his nerves are getting to him. *sigh*