Tag: personal

It's been five years since I lost my beloved beagle Rocky. In his memory, I'd like to repost a little something I wrote about him after my family and I were forced to put him to sleep:

Written June 6, 2007

On Monday morning, I got up, I showered, I clipped my fingernails, I ate a blueberry fruit pie, and then I paid a man to kill my dog.

It was all legal and everything. A veterinarian with a white table and a syringe. All very humane and professional. But that's really what it boils down to, isn't it? I took out a hit on my beloved beagle for 74 dollars. Oh, and I'd like to put that on my credit card, please.

His name was Rocky. A name I wasn't incredibly fond of, but he started out as my nephew's dog, so the choice was entirely out of my hands. As the years passed, though, the name conjured fewer Stallonian images as the dog made it his own. Besides, the name was easy to play with — Rock, Rock-o, 30 Rock, Rock-a-doodle-doo. Though I usually just called him Stinky Dog. ... Continued

As with so many of my adventures, last night's began with an unusual odor. A burning odor. An odor like a bug caught in a halogen lamp. You know the kind — a choking, full-bodied aroma that makes you yearn for the fresh scent of bovine colon.

At first I thought it was my space heater causing trouble again. But that wasn't it. I traced the smell out into the hall, then into the bathroom. And that's where I discovered smoke. Not a lot of smoke, but enough, say, to reveal a flashlight beam. It seemed to be coming from the exhaust vent.

Now, most exhaust vents exorcise offensive odors. Mine invites them in. I've smelled neighbors' cooking wafting through the bathroom before. And, on occasion, their baking, if you know what I mean. So, it was no stretch to me that the same fan grate was the origin of this faint and mysterious smoke.

I threw on a sweater and walked around to the other side of my apartment building to find an answer. I figured it would be a logical assumption that the smoke was coming from either the apartment directly behind my john, or possibly the one below it. ... Continued

Thirty-two. Not a birthday that calls for much celebration. When you're a kid, they all count. Six, seven, eight, nine: every one of them is a big deal. But at this age, it's just the denary numbers anymore: 40, 50, 60 ... Unless you reach a hundred, then everyone starts counting all the single digits again.

For most of us, though, there are really only a handful of watershed birthdays. Thirteen is the first one, when you're officially a teenager, or for our Jewish friends, an adult. Then comes 16, when you're allowed to drive. Fifteen, from what I recall, meant you could get a learner's permit, but that just meant you could drive around the neighborhood with your dad.

Next up is 18, which seems to be a milestone beyond the fact you get to vote, though I never really figured out why. I think it may have something to do with consensual sex, but that was hardly an issue for me in high school. Or most of college, for that matter. Was it cigarettes? I don't know, I wasn't cool enough for those, either. ... Continued

When I started running a saved search over at eBay for a Fun Fountain, I never expected to see one pop up every 2 weeks or so. I'm surprised so many of these guys survived the '80s. If you don't remember what a Fun Fountain is, that's no surprise given the sadly generic name. Remember the sprinkler toy shaped like a clown's head that would shoot a stream of water into the air, levitating the clown's hat until you ran through it, thereby giving yourself an enema and often knocking the hat off-balance so it would fall eight feet and konk you in the head? There you go ... the Fun Fountain!

Unfortunately, people with more money than I can spend on nostalgia are running the bids up a little too high for these things. So I keep having to let them go. ... Continued

My parents finally sold their old house today. The call came this afternoon when my older brother and I were helping my dad move out the last few items. The big move was several months ago, but there were still some scattered things to be collected.

This is the same house I grew up in. I wasn't born there, but we moved in shortly thereafter, perhaps just to complicate the paperwork for that year. You know, to aid in the obfuscation of my adoption. In any event, most of my pre-college memories, and a few from the agonizingly slow couple of months following my stint in California, are associated with the place.

Regardless, I haven't really felt much of a connection with the house for some time. I moved out more than a decade ago, my bedroom no longer looks the way I remember it and the den where I watched all my important TV was repurposed as a guest room years ago. Even the surrounding neighborhood has become, let's say, disenchanting. The house I lived in seems to exist only in a technical sense. The address is the same, but my bunk beds and Dr. Who posters are long gone. ... Continued

I really am getting old. All I wanted to do for St. Patrick's Day this year was stay at home and watch Battlestar Galactica DVDs.

I'm still drinking beer, of course. Went to the store to pick some up. I decided I should do something in the spirit of the holiday, so I grabbed some dye, too.

Can you believe people had rummaged through the $2 food-coloring boxes and stolen most of the greens? Really, guys? Stealing the greens?

Come on, people. If you want to turn your beer green for St. Patrick's Day, you steal the blues.