Tuesday, December 30, 2008

flip baby flip

Merry Christmas and almost Happy New Year! My favorite Christmas gift this year was a Flip video camera that I got from my parents. So I decided to become even more of a blogger-type-internet-loving-techno-geek and start my own youtube channel (the camera can upload them directly onto the site for you, so I figured why not?). It took me a while to figure everything out, but I have uploaded my first video from the holidays, mostly of my sisters and I being silly at the ice forum. What can I say... I've got mad skills. Or is it "skillz"?

Friday, December 19, 2008

ying and yang

I found a small part of our home together that serves as an excellent illustration of the difference between me and my husband. And why I sometimes want to kill him.

This is my bedside table.


And this is Joe's.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

nostalgia

I found myself in a certain mood the other afternoon that requires looking at old pictures and reading old letters. There's a box that I keep in my closet just for when I get in these kinds of moods. Mostly, it has my London memorabilia in it (posters, letters from friends, programs, my IDS portfolio). I found my travel journal that I actually did a pretty decent job of keeping up with for my semester abroad, and I have been reading it for the past day or so now. It's funny to read about things that I did as though it was someone else that did it... I guess the passage of time can do that. The strangest parts to read are when I write about little details or funny things that happened that I don't really remember. I guess that is why I kept a journal. But anyway, I had a written a note to myself (what an odd concept... "dear future me, check this out!") to look up a certain poem that I discovered while in London. I couldn't remember much about it, nor had I written it anywhere in the journal (other than the title and author) so I googled it. I still love the poem... maybe even more now because of the feelings and the memories it brings with it. Here it is:

Possibilities

By Wislawa Szymborska

From "Nothing Twice", 1997
Translated by S. Baranczak & C. Cavanagh

I prefer movies.
I prefer cats.
I prefer the oaks along the Warta.
I prefer Dickens to Dostoyevsky.
I prefer myself liking people
to myself loving mankind.
I prefer keeping a needle and thread on hand, just in case.
I prefer the color green.
I prefer not to maintain
that reason is to blame for everything.
I prefer exceptions.
I prefer to leave early.
I prefer talking to doctors about something else.
I prefer the old fine-lined illustrations.
I prefer the absurdity of writing poems
to the absurdity of not writing poems.
I prefer, where love's concerned, nonspecific anniversaries
that can be celebrated every day.
I prefer moralists
who promise me nothing.
I prefer cunning kindness to the over-trustful kind.
I prefer the earth in civvies.
I prefer conquered to conquering countries.
I prefer having some reservations.
I prefer the hell of chaos to the hell of order.
I prefer Grimms' fairy tales to the newspapers' front pages.
I prefer leaves without flowers to flowers without leaves.
I prefer dogs with uncropped tails.
I prefer light eyes, since mine are dark.
I prefer desk drawers.
I prefer many things that I haven't mentioned here
to many things I've also left unsaid.
I prefer zeroes on the loose
to those lined up behind a cipher.
I prefer the time of insects to the time of stars.
I prefer to knock on wood.
I prefer not to ask how much longer and when.
I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility
that existence has its own reason for being.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

FDX, baby!

This weekend Libby and I went to our first flyball tournament, the Jingle Bell Jump in Talladega, Alabama. We carpooled down with the captain of our flyball team (Double Dog Dare), Dana, and one of the other long time members, Angie. Between the two of them they have SIX dogs: Josie the greyhound, Huey and Dustin the whippets, Siren the staffie mix, Bailey the american eskimo, and Ivy the border collie. Angie also owns Rooster (who is Libby's twin, except he is a red heeler mix instead of blue) but he didn't come to this tournament. If you go here, you can see the dogs. Rooster is in the far right column. Anyway.

So in our van there were 3 people and 7 (SEVEN!) dogs. It wasn't as bad as it sounds. Dana had taken out all of the seats in the back except for one captain's chair in the middle. Three dogs were in their kennels in the far back and the rest were loose. They all behaved very well.

Let me preface the rest of this post by saying that I had pretty low expectations for Libby. Everyone had said that the dogs usually freak out at their first tournament. It's loud and crazy, with about 200 or so dogs all in one big room barking their little heads off. Plus, the days are long with racing usually starting at about 7am and going as late as 8:30pm.

But Libby was a CHAMP! Her first race she didn't do too hot, but still better than I would have thought. She was definitely excited and knew that her goal was to get the ball and come bring it back to mom. She was really calm in her kennel, but barking and howling like crazy in the ring waiting to run. She never balked at the hurdles on the way down, but we had to pull her halfway through the first race because she kept skipping the jumps on the way back. Fortunately, though, she stayed in our teams' lane and still came right back to me. She just didn't want to jump. I would have been happy if that was all she did- she was focused on the ball, she didn't even notice the other dogs or people, she came right back to me and would stay with me and wait for her next run... it was way more than I had hoped for!

For warm-ups later, we put a gate up by the box to make sure she would come back over the jumps. The next two races she ran PERFECTLY in all 5 heats per race. The first one got her her first title (FD). The next ones she ran got her her SECOND title (FDX)! We figured out that for some reason she only skipped jumps on the way back in the left lane, and unfortunately her last race of the weekend was in the left and she had to get pulled again. And unfortunately, a lot of other dogs were having meltdowns on our team, so it was kind of a disaster near the end of the weekend anyway. But I was super excited that she had gotten two titles her first weekend (apparently that is really rare and everyone was really impressed). Hopefully we'll be going to our second tournament in January. If we can fix the left lane problem, she'll be up for her third title!

So for now you can call her Libby Caldwell, FDX.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

ho ho ho


Don't they look full of the holiday spirit? I think they got pissed that I made them sit and stay for so long with no perceived reward.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

phobia implies irrationality

I just wanted to let everyone know that I am not alone in the world. There are others like me. They move about in the world pretending to be able to do what others do so well and so easily, but they know deep in their souls that if they try (or even think about trying) they will be seized with a fear that roots them to the ground. I have been made to believe for most of my life that I was strange and unique in my fears, but now I know better.

These people can not order pizza. Or at least would rather not. They don't always answer their cell phones even if it's right beside them and they have thought many times about calling the person whose name is showing up on the caller ID at that very moment. They have a difficult time making appointments or RSVPing to parties. They are grateful to people who like email and facebook. Yes, phone phobics. I didn't say it made sense, I didn't claim that it was a good and normal thing to avoid in life, and yes I take steps to overcome my silly little phobia now that I am an adult. But please educate yourselves and read this. And then read all of the comments following. And know, like I know now, that I am not alone.

Monday, November 24, 2008

it's beginning to feel a lot like christmas...

The holidays have snuck up on me this year even more than they usually do (but I probably say that every year, so who knows... maybe it's just the same). Part of it may have been this crazy Georgia weather and the fact that it is just now starting to get consistently cold and it's the week of Thanksgiving. But regardless of why it is, I feel very unprepared for the holidays that are literally just around the corner. Fortunately for me, my family still takes care of the preparation for Thanksgiving- all I have to do is show up and eat and be thankful. And then decide if I want to brave the madness on Black Friday... (should I do it? is it worth the fear?). But Christmas...

Now, Christmas is definitely my favorite holiday. I love seeing all of my family, I love giving gifts about as much as receiving them, I even love the ridiculous commercialism of this time of year. So in a sense I am ready for it because I have been wanting to put up my tree for weeks already (someone in my apartment complex already has theirs up, so I don't feel so ridiculous now for planning on putting it up this weekend). But I have no idea what I am getting anyone for Christmas this year. Usually by now I have a working list and a couple of brilliant ideas for at least a few people... but no. This year I am stumped on just about everyone. Fortunately Joe and I got a tip from his sister that Best Buy got a shipment of Wiis yesterday and we managed to snag one, so that is our gift to each other. But of course I will still feel like I need to have something to give him on Christmas morning (although we learned last year that that feeling of obligation is in no way mutual...). And then there's Mom and Dad and sisters and pets and uncles and aunts... oh my. I guess I will be going shopping on Friday.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

best invention EVER

One of the members of my flyball team sent out an email with this video. I have decided that I will contact the inventor and commission 3 of them for myself. One for my home, one for my parents' home, and one to be installed at the dog park. Sorry, Chuckit! inventor, but this one-ups you. Also, I will work with said inventor to market this lovely little contraption... for a certain percentage of the profits of course.


video

Monday, November 3, 2008

quick question

Why do dogs seem to think it's a fabulous idea to rub themselves all over dead things? And/or carry them around in their mouths? Gross.

PS- I voted! And I didn't have to wait in line at all! I think the entire process took all of... maybe 15 minutes? Lucky me.

um... well...

I've been waiting for some kind of inspiration so that I would actually have something interesting to blog about, but it's taking too long. I figured that this is how I always end up dropping the ball... I rationalize my way out of writing something for weeks and then I just kind of forget to ever go back to it. So, boring blog entry it is.

Let's see... this weekend. Halloween was Friday. I realized that it is just not a fun holiday when you're no longer under the age of 15. Up til then you can get away with trick-or-treating. But no more. And I know a lot of people still like the costume partying and the excuse to drink more than usual, but I just don't get into that. Plus, we went to one of Joe's friends "birth-o-ween" party a few weeks ago, so I got the costume wearing thing done early. Although I did wear it to my ballet classes on Thursday, which was fun. Although a handful of my kids didn't know who Waldo was. Sadness. But most of them knew at least once I gave them the name. My senior apprentice class (probably my favorites, but don't tell anyone) got in on the dressing up fun... can you find Waldo?


Saturday was the Ga-Fl game. And as my friend Stephen has said, we're just not going to talk about it. Suffice it to say, it was embarrassing. And not fun to watch.

Sunday we went back to the church we went to last week. I think we're going to make this our "home church", which was important for me to find now that we've basically decided to stay put for a few more years. Most of the congregation is young families (the number of kids in a service is insane... and there has been a baptism every time we've gone!), plus Joe's cousins are members.

This week, very important stuff going down. Make sure to GET OUT THE VOTE!!! I'm totally psyched about Tuesday. We're going to go to some MBA friends' home and watch election coverage until we're pulling our hair out. Love it.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

putting on the winter ritz

I realized a few things today as I attempted to dress myself like a real human being for not only one but TWO "dress nice or be socially inappropriate" events.

First, I do not often dress like a real human being. My life lately consists mostly of going to three place: the dog park, the gym, and the studio. All of these places have a uniform of sorts: dog park attire is jeans that are already dirty and a t-shirt or hoodie; gym is yoga pants or bike shorts and some kind of athletic top or t-shirt; and the studio is dance clothes or something similar to the gym. None of these places require me to look "nice" or wear anything vaguely resembling slacks or dresses. So my options have grown somewhat limited when it comes to clothing that is appropriate outside of these venues, and perhaps Target.

Second, and more applicable to the general public, is that it is so much more difficult for women to dress nicely than men once the weather gets cooler. Now, I will admit that it is unfortunate for men that they have to wear clothing that is hot during the summer. But they consistently have go-to wardrobe items that can work for any event at any time of the year. And there is always the polo shirt for the warmer months when extreme dressed-up-ness isn't required. But when I look in my closet trying to get ready for church in the morning on a chilly October Sunday, I sift past all of the sweaters and jeans, veto all of the summer-y dresses (even with my ugly old black cardigan they just don't cut it), sadly bypass my nice wool dress pants from a million years ago that I am in the process of trying to fit back into, and I am left with about 2 options. If that. What is a woman to do? It seems that my options are either to freeze to death or look frumpy. Maybe I should just stick to the dog park.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

featherpalooza

If it seems like my blog is often about my dogs, then that is because my life is often about my dogs. I'm guessing this is how I will be once I get pregnant, only times... like... a million. But anyway, this is truly a dog story worth sharing because it has illustrations. And a video. If I can figure out how to import a video...

A little backstory: Refer back to the post about the couch. Remember the uncomfortable arms that are lacking in fluff? We made up for this by having three throw pillows. Two are stuffed with cotton and one (I now know) with feather. Libby had done some work on the cotton pillows in the past by chewing on a corner until she had access to the fluff and then strewing it about. So those get put up when I'm not home. But they seemed to have no interest in the other pillow. Until yesterday. This is what I came home to:

Note:
1. The excellent husband I have cleaning up the mess.
2. The trash bag behind the excellent husband already full of feathers.
3. One sad looking dog in her kennel behind the excellent husband.
4. I tried to upload the video, but there was a Blogger error. Not my fault. I'll try again in the future.

Monday, October 20, 2008

shower the people you love

I am throwing Katie a baby shower in November and have finally gotten the invitations together. All I have left to do is address the envelopes- which in my opinion is the worst part- and then stuff the invites and instructions. I decided to throw a "Baby Through the Ages" shower (My idea, not a websites. I'm very proud of that.) where people will be assigned a certain stage in the baby's first year and then bring a gift that somehow accompanies the milestones in that stage. To help explain the theme and give people their assigned stages, I am including a little poem inside the invitation that I am exceedingly proud of (maybe a little too proud...). It goes as follows:

Baby Through the Ages
Newborn clothes are cute: tiny shirts and teeny booties,
But welcoming a baby includes many other important “doodies”.
There’s keeping baby entertained, as well as clean and dry
And making sure she sleeps and eats so that she does not cry.
So for this baby shower we are helping our friend Katie
By making sure that she’s prepared for all aspects of Baby.
You’ll be assigned a certain stage from Baby Girl’s first year
And that way we will know the Bridges have all the essential gear.
So think about the milestones that accompany your stage
And to find the things that Katie likes, visit Target’s webpage!

Oh, and speaking of showers, there is still a hole in our ceiling. And it's getting moldy. And they came to fix it and said it's still too wet. DUH.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

holy...

Ceiling. Yes, that is the update to the rusty-colored, nasty smelling, molding, leaking bathroom ceiling. They cut a huge hole in it. The note maintenance left for me said something to the affect (or is it effect? one of those grammar rules I can never get a hang of...) of "we THINK we found and fixed the source of the leak, will be back to patch and repaint ceiling". THINK?? They certainly should have found it since they now have complete access to the inner workings of the bathroom ceiling. Oy. But it has stopped dripping and causing a nasty rusty mess all over my bathroom floor, bathtub, walls, toilet, etc.

Also, to update freak dog's condition: Baxter "tumor" is getting better. I have to put a warm compress on it a few times a day to keep blood flow going to the area so it does not turn into a cyst... or something like that. What a good mommy I am. The itchiness is due to allergies that have led to some form of doggy acne (I know right). So he gets some Benadryl for that. And a bath.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

bad and good

Things that are not so good:
1. Our bathroom ceiling is leaking. Again. Granted, the first time it did this we had been out of town for the weekend and it was actually raining in our bathroom when we came home, whereas this time it is more of a steady drip... But still. Oh, and the water is strangely rust-colored. And it got all over my bathroom cleaner bottle. Gross.
2. Baxter has some kind of weird tumor thing on his cheek. I just noticed it Friday and decided to wait to see if it went away over the weekend but it hasn't. So, back to the vet we go. I'm hoping it's allergies or something.
3. I can't remember if we have flyball this week and the director dude isn't answering my emails. Plus it looks like it might rain. Not looking good for flyball.

Things that are good:
1. Meghan came in town this weekend. I didn't realize that I hadn't seen her since the cruise (well, technically we saw each other once in between, but it was brief enough as to not really count). It was nice to have the wonder-threesome together again and be able to catch up and hang out.
2. I think I may have found some apartments that meet both mine and Joe's requirements. The property manager site didn't list prices, but they had lots of apartment, condos, and houses so I emailed them for more info. Some of our friends live in one of the apartment complexes and their rent is pretty cheap for a 2 bedroom. So we'll hope they have something we like available in about 5 months.
3. The weather has been beautiful today. I am all about some fall.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

sofa

I've decided that I want Ikea and Real Simple to collaborate and decorate my house. Here is the (fascinating) story of how I came to that conclusion.

Joe is in love with our nasty old couch. This couch had spent a great deal of its life out on a porch during Joe's college years (yes, they were those guys). We cleaned it pretty well (and by "we" I mean more like "I") before we moved it into our apartment and also bought a decent, neutral color slipcover since, in addition to being gross, it is ugly. And you can't clean enough to get rid of ugly. But regardless, Joe is in love with it in all of it's nasty ugly glory. When I suggested/insisted that we would need to think about replacing said couch in the not-so-distant future, I really thought he might cry. So being the kind, loving, considerate wife that I am, I agreed to look into getting it reupholstered. To Joe's (and that sofa's) credit, it is relatively comfortable and a good length for napping. I also don't really have a problem with the construction of the couch so much as the fabric and lack of padding in the armrests. I figured reupholstering was a good compromise, and hopefully cheaper than buying a brand new couch.

WRONG.

The woman that emailed me back from a reupholstering company in Athens gave me an estimate of $450-500... for LABOR ALONE! Not to mention that we would have to pay for (and find ourselves) 18-20 yards of good, sturdy (read: expensive) upholstery fabric, an extra fee for pick-up and delivery, etc. So boo to reupholstery, and goodbye to old nasty couch.

So I turned to that wonder-world of cheap yet trendy furniture, Ikea. I figured I could easily find a couch there for around $500. Plus, Baby Bargains, a book I borrowed from the woman I babysit for, says that it is the best place to find a crib and other nursery furniture that is safe, practical, and inexpensive. As I was looking at the website, taking virutal tours of all of the living rooms (and nurseries...) I decided that they should just supply the furniture for all of my house. Then I'll have people from Real Simple come and help me organize, color coordinate, arrange, and just generally make my life better. Good plan.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

20-something manual

Stolen (and altered slightly to fit my own blog, which is admittedly not nearly as funny or clever as hers... I'm working on it...) from one of my favorite blogs, Adventures in Chaos, written by the editor of my favorite magazine, Real Simple.

Things not in the manual for post-college young-adulthood:
-- how to convince your husband to replace a coffee table that has been chewed on by a rescue dog
-- how to convince your husband to rescue said dog in the first place and then continue convincing him it was a good idea when the dog remains ill and costs money
-- finding new friends without the benefit of classes, clubs, meetings, etc.
-- how to make a 600 sq.ft. apartment feel homey without feeling cramped
-- how to keep that same apartment clean when some people don't know how to use hampers
-- cleaning out dog kennels when a dog has... digestive issues
-- craziness experienced during the onset of baby fever
-- actually using all of the yummy produce you buy at the grocery store before it becomes a science fair experiment in the fridge

Come to think of it... maybe this is the book idea I've been trying to think of. Maybe I should write a manual for twenty-somethings... hm. It's probably been done. I shall research. Amazon.com here I come!

Monday, October 6, 2008

dibs and bax attack

My mother and I were discussing the difficulties of transporting lots of people and stuff in a small automobile. I believe what brought this on was that I was telling her how a friend of mine was wanting to get 3 play-yards before the birth of her daughter so that there could be one at both sets of grandparents' houses as well as at their own house. The reasoning is that the fewer bulky large important items to stuff in the car the better. My concern is that I have a small car and two dogs. What happens, I asked my oh-so-wise mother, when I have to squeeze a baby in there too? And all the baby's crap for that matter? My mother explained to me that I will not be as concerned about the dogs once I'm pregnant, and especially once the baby arrives. In fact, I might not take them with me at all when I travel.

WHAT???

Now let me explain that usually to me my mother's word is law. The two of us are ridiculously alike (just ask my poor terrified husband). We agree on pretty much everything. BUT. I simply can not believe that I would suddenly be willing to just forsake my precious pooches. Not that I am saying that my child will not become my first priority. I know that the dogs will sometimes have to take the back seat, pun completely intended. But I can not imagine, at least as I sit here on the couch listening to my two little loves growling and squeaking at each other over possession of a bone, that I would not want them to go everywhere with us as they always do. They are as much a part of my family as... well... as I am! And I want them to be a part of my children's lives as well. Am I over-reacting? Am I wrong?

PS- Did I mention that Libby is a flyball prodigy/champion? I'll have to dedicate an entire entry to that, I think...

Friday, October 3, 2008

bloggerific!

I'm back!

So I've been looking at other blogs... doing research I guess. I was trying to find a blog about a 20-something, married, dog-loving, liberal, artistic woman. Or at least someone who met a few of those qualifications. I really couldn't find any! And then I realized... I was looking for my own blog that I never write in. Maybe someone else is trying to find a blog about being confused about how to transition from having a life map to having to google-map yourself from one place to another. So here we go. Back in action. Greerblog take 2.

Joe and I have been considering buying a house since it is looking more and more likely that we will be staying put for at least another couple of years. Now I know that the real estate market is perfect for buyers right now, but that does not make it any less terrifying that we might be becoming one of those buyers. I really do want a house... well really, I just don't want this tiny apartment which is a bit close to the ghetto for my tastes. And I want a yard and a washer and dryer and an extra bedroom or two... and a dishwasher would be nice. But in all of the research I've done, it's going to be a challenge to find something that meets both of our standards (read: Joe- cheap, Greer- liveable, safe, cute, etc.) while being in a good location and being in our price range. And we have to really start looking in January, which is really not that far away when you get down to it. I guess I should just wait and see what's available then and what has been on the market for a long time by that point. I have a problem with getting ahead of myself. Anyone else find themselves wanting to fast forward to the future even while you're wishing for life to slow down?