Thursday, April 30, 2009
  Gretchen, post dog park

Gretchen, post dog park, originally uploaded by estacey.

Snyder Park in Fort Lauderdale has, like, THE best dog park. Not only does it have the usual run/play area, but there is a wooded, dirty area inside. And the best part? There's a lake where the dogs can go swimming.

I took them the day before yesterday. Since it was a weekday, there were very few people at the park, and NO ONE in the pond area. I like other dogs to be around, but it sure makes it less stressful to know I don't have to watch the girls like a hawk to make sure Maggie doesn't get provoked and Gretchey doesn't bark at other dogs and drive them crazy (she is, like, the police dog now - barks and barks at anyone "fighting".)

So anyway, Gretchey swam around, biting at things in the water, and even Maggie got in on the action and was wading in chest-deep to play. I waded in myself and pulled her a couple of feet out, so she had to swim back in. She swam all the way back in... even though the water was only like a foot deep. It was really funny.

The two successes were that Maggie got bullied by a big rottie mix who ended up standing over her as she was laying belly-up on the ground, and she just submitted. That and Maggie came in the water. I was so proud!

Then they ran in the dirt and got all dirty before we got back in the car. :) Gretchey looked so cute with the dirt and the water and all that, I had to get a pic before we left.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009
  the books i'm keeping this semester
out of the MILLION (approximate) books i had to read this semester, i have just ruthlessly scoured them to decide which ones i want to keep. i thought i'd share it in case anyone needed a good book. i'm sending some of them to amanda, too, if she wants them.


j.m. coetzee - disgrace, soon to be a movie.
"Middle-aged professor David Lurie shuffles numbly through the shifting landscape of postapartheid South Africa. After he gets fired for sleeping with one of his students--and refusing to express remorse--Lurie finds shelter with his grown daughter and is exposed to a social reality that threatens more than his own sense of security. Winner of the Booker Prize, Coetzee's eighth novel employs spare, compelling prose to explore subtly the stuttering steps one man takes in a new world."

j.m. coetzee - elizabeth costello.
i'm saving it for the part of the book called "the lives of animals" (the part we read in class) which is thought-provoking to the point that i want to re-read it a couple of times.
"Billed as fiction, this puzzling book by the new Nobel laureate in literature is more nebulously a collection of essays, all but two previously published, embedded within the story of an aging novelist, Elizabeth Costello, as she goes on the lecture circuit. Costello first appeared in Coetzee's slender 1999 volume "The Lives of Animals," in which she delivered a college address on animal rights, and that text is reprised here as part of eight "lessons" that she must give or receive, ranging in subject from literary realism to the problem of evil. Coetzee's work has always been distinguished by cerebral rigor, which in his strongest novels propels narratives of claustrophobic and often savage intimacy. But here he seems to have lost faith in the power of storytelling; his heroine's journey takes place almost entirely in the realm of the mind, and the effect is that of exploring a cold, depopulated planet."

darwin: a norton critical edition. critical anthology about the impact of darwin's work on the world at large.
this is, um, not exciting... but i do actually want to get through it for my intellect's sake. we only had to read selections from it for class.

moby dick! i read this really reluctantly, but it turns out it was good. at the very least, i am super happy that i "get" moby dick references now. like the opening of the article on darwin a few months ago in national geographic that had the story's writer talking about how sometimes he longs to go to the sea... also, i find the scene with the mama whales and their calves.. memorable.


if you're interested in the holocaust, two books that stood out in my holocaust lit class were:

night by elie wiesel. you should know this one.

this way for the gas, ladies & gentlemen by tadeusz borowski. this was even more disturbing than night, if you could believe that.

oh, and maus, but i had read that a while back. it's seriously awesome.

this book was pretty good too, one of the few i really enjoyed in my asian american lit class:
stealing buddha's dinner. it's a story of a young vietname girl's assimilation into american culture as a child in the '80s. i found myself identifying a lot with the character, which doesn't happen particularly often.


i'm not big on poetry, but i loved:
to a mouse by robert burns
for my cat jeoffrey by christopher smart
and please, i implore you, if you have not read the rime of the ancient mariner by samuel taylor coleridge, READ IT! don't you wonder what all these cultural references to the albatross mean (and yes, they're out there)? what do they MEAN? read it (or listen to it) and find out! like i said, i ain't big on poetry, but i still have this audio file on my phone and listen to it on occasion.
Monday, April 27, 2009
  a girl named marijuana pepsi
when i was 10 or 11, i had a friend with a real hippie, young mama. her name was serafine. you think that's strange, she said, well my mom knows a lady who named her daughter marijuana pepsi.

when i saw the headline today when bouncing around on the internet in order to avoid studying, i thought, "oh, so it was just an urban legend kinda thing."

then i read the story. and it takes place in wisconsin. milwaukee - where we visited serafine's mom's family. (it was actually pewaukee. we had fun with that one. pewaukee!)

small world, even after 20 years. i'll have to drop serafine an email. :D
Sunday, April 26, 2009
  no, seriously
why i love dogs
and, ya know, the internet

Dog Eats Air @ Yahoo! Video
  i should be writing a paper
so OF COURSE i'm watching videos like this:

Leash Chaser @ Yahoo! Video
Thursday, April 23, 2009
  Just one paper to go!

Just one paper to go!, originally uploaded by estacey.

And I get to get rid of (most of) these books! Yipee!

For those of you not familiar, check out J.M. Coetzee's work. We read The Lives of Animals and Disgrace this term, two books I will actually keep. Disgrace is soon to be a movie starring John Malkovich, so get it in while you can so you can complain about how much better the book was than the movie. :)

I was up until 9 a.m. today working on the paper due today at 5 p.m. I got five hours of sleep, then had to deliver the paper to my professor's office. Ugh, what a wasted day.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009
  kids, kids, kids!
i've had a whole bunch of time to watch tv while being unemployed and procrastinating schoolwork. so now i'm familiar with all these cable shows i didn't know before.

jon & kate plus 8. for those of you not familiar, they're a couple who had twins and then wanted to try for another and ended up with sextuplets. so they have eight kids. they argue a bit.. the woman, she seems smart and cool, really, but she tends to nag at her hubby a bit. which may be why he has been spotted at college parties flirtin' it up with coeds and bitching about the poopy butts he has to go home to.

kamille said that when she watches that show, she thinks of chris and i... i guess because he's asian and she's a pain in the ass? i dunno. she says because she can picture us having a whole bunch of kids (plus, obviously, the asian + blonde pita thing). i find myself watching it and then wondering why the hell i'm watching it.. i mean, really, do i have the time to watch a tv show about someone getting new carpet installed? apparently i do. but i think it's also.. i dunno, they're attractive and likable and the kids are adorable and, you know, so numerous.

i seriously cringe during the opening credits every time they show kate's pregnant-with-six belly:

oh, wait, that's octomom. here is kate:

this image is better when from the side... it honestly makes me feel a little sick to my stomach every time i see it.

people give kate a hard time. i haven't watched it too many times, but.. i dunno, she's not PERFECT, but she's taking care of EIGHT KIDS. full-time. i think she's entitled to her meltdowns and her frustrations with her husband, particularly in light of aforementioned coeds.

then there are the duggars? anyone seen these guys? i've only watched the show once, and then a clip here and there, but they are just... CREEPY. 18 kids? on purpose? REALLY?

they wanted to have as many children as the lord wanted to give them. now their oldest kid is having a baby or something with his wife... and they are saying the same thing. i have a hard time believing that at least some of the children do not think it's insane to have so many kids, that just because you CAN doesn't mean you SHOULD. so while jon & kate are appealing, i think the duggars have a show because it's like a trainwreck. you don't want to watch, but it's disgusting and engrossing at the same time. when i've watched it, i have been absolutely perplexed, wondering why anyone would do that to themselves or even their other children.

while i'm at it, i'm going to go on the record and state my love for bbc america. they always have cool shows like plastic surgery addicts and, ha, the other night there was a show about two american men who had a sexually gratifying relationship with.. THEIR VEHICLES. i only watched it for about a minute, but.. like, honestly, bbc? awesome. even their "how clean is your house?" show is engrossing. emphasis on the gross. anyway, check 'em out if you have the (too much) time. :D
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
  She was walking up this ramp, and then the next thing we knew she was laying on the ground.


Been a while, right? I wouldn't bother, only it turns out Kelli is actually reading this from time to time, so I shouldn't disappoint. Kelli = my sister. She got laid off and she could not be happier about it. She gets to spend time with her four-year-old son and her baby girl, so she's loving every second of unemployment. :)

I'm not going! It's a long story. Mostly to do with lack of funds and a boyfriend who suddenly didn't think I should go (due to aforementioned lack of funds). You know, I have a bill to school coming due soon that will be $800 and a bill for that ER visit for another $1400, so dropping a grand to go see my sloths suddenly made my $250-strong bank account seem depressingly weak. (No, really.) Anyway, we have it all worked out now... I'm not stressing about money right now and have loose plans to go to Costa Rica later in the year, with the sloth people's blessing. :) This is good, because before I resolved to go later, I was heaving and crying every time I thought about Costa Rica or someone faved my Fozzie pic on Flickr. The timing really was insanely better now, but what can you do?

Yeah, since I'm not going to Costa Rica, I'm job hunting for the first time in years! I am looking for either something I love to do full-time or something I am satisfactorily willing to do part-time. Either will do. I actually prefer something part-time or temporary so that trips I have planned for this year can actually happen. I wanted to go to Wisconsin, and I want to go to Costa Rica and we want to, you know, get married. So yeah. I gots plans! But if I find a job I really would love to do, I'm going to go for it and figure all that stuff out later. I really want to find a job I will feel good doing, rather than just something to pay the bills. I'm lucky enough to have that option right now, so I'm going to try to take advantage of it.

Remember that name? You know, my sister's step-daughter had a son and she named him Raiden. After a Mortal Kombat character? She originally wanted to spell it Radon but my sister pitched a fit and they changed the spelling. They try to pass it off as a Hmong name, which is hilarious but Hmong names are more like Sua and Fang. Not RAIDEN. ANYWAY. We were at Disney last week and my niece Amanda wanted to get Raiden a pair of mouse ears with his name embroidered on the back of the little hat. When she said the name out loud to the Disney lady, I laughed out loud. The lady looked at me. The exchange went something like this.

HER: Is that a real name? Because we can't put any non-formal name on the hats. No nicknames or anything like that.

ME: Oh, it's a real name. It's also a Mortal Kombat character, mind you, but it's a real name.

HER: Um... We really can only do real names. I think I have to go talk to my supervisor about this.

ME: It IS a real name. It's just that his mom is 19 years old.

Kamille heard us at this point and came over and asked what was going on. I recapped it quickly for Kamille, who said, "That is my grandson's name." As serious as a heart attack, sounding kinda pissed really.

I figure the Disney lady must be laughing at the Midwesterners about now. First a kid named Raiden, second his grandma is in her mid-30s. Wheeee!

Almost done! I have a paper due tomorrow, then two tests and a paper due Tuesday. Then I'm done! Oh, this summer I'm taking my last two courses, an online class and a lit class later in the summer. Then I'm a degree holder, baby! Well, I guess I am a degree holder - I have my A.A. - but this is his big brother, and it's great. I'll be the first one in my family to earn a Bachelor's. My immediate family anyhow.. I have a wonderful smart cousin named Kimmy who went to school to be a nurse and is doing so awesome now for her and her family.

I'm trying to get her to visit this summer. I enjoyed torturing her during her visit by making her jog - twice! (This prompted her afterwards to say she was having "the trip from hell." Um, you're welcome!) So I am trying to get Kamille to send her here for a month or so. No, really, I'd like to have her here and I think she could use a bit of time from under her mom's wing. So, let's hope!

Um, I think that's all. :)
Sunday, April 19, 2009
  Macy: Look surprised.

Macy: Look surprised., originally uploaded by estacey.

And she did.

See why I like taking pictures of her? :)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

100_6338, originally uploaded by wa40cpl2001.

a random search tonight made me find this picture. well, no, actually, it was ANOTHER much WORSE picture of this lady.
(i should be finishing this paper, you know. ah well.)

is it me, or does she have an ass in the front?

bless her heart. it does appear that she is having a very good late-middle age. go check out her photostream if you want to see what i mean. but, like, it's totally NSFW.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009
  How we found Macy

How we found Macy, originally uploaded by estacey.

Chris was watching her for us for a few hours. We got home and he was reading on the couch. "Where's Macy?" Kamille asked. "I think she's sleeping," he answered. We went in the bedroom and found her like this. I guess the girl was tired. Kamille wanted to cover her up, but I insisted on some pictures first.

Yes, the Macy pictures will be coming for a little while...

  Macy, chewing on her leash.

Macy, chewing on her leash., originally uploaded by estacey.

I love this picture! This kid is a fun one to take pictures of - she's adorable and is always on the move, making faces, etc.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009
  I love this picture because I love how Macy is looking at Chris.

  quite a week!

Macy, photo subject for the week, originally uploaded by estacey.

the family goes home tomorrow.

i got quite a few pics.. none of 'mille or amanda since they both hate having their pics taken so kamille makes this sultry/goofy look anytime you point the camera at her and amanda either looks away or looks pissed.. so yeah, i'll be uploading lots of MACY pictures soon.

we went to disney. went to the beach. outside in the pool. we had ice cream like three times. chris was an absolute DEAR with macy, like.. amazing, really. she treats him so sweet now, wanting to hug him and hold his hand and stuff. my chris! such a good boy! incredibly incredibly patient.. this girl, see, she's CRAZY. take your normal 3 y/o and add like 14 espressos, and that's macy. you literally cannot let go of her when you're in public.. i did let go of her for a second in the hotel and she ran right out the front door.. i caught her just as she was entering the valet area. she's just crazy. so when she channels that energy into PLAYING, she's hard to keep up with but chris did.. they gave the cats catnip and the dogs treats and had the dogs do tricks and on and on and on. it was really impressive.

anyway, ok, i need sleep!

Monday, April 06, 2009
  I'll take that as a yes then.

I'll take that as a yes then.
Originally uploaded by estacey
Maggie does CIRCLES whenever she's excited. And it's the one "trick" we can have her do on demand to earn treats while Gretchen is doing high-fives and rolling on the floor (good for her self-esteem, you see).

Chris had just gone outside in his BLACK SHORTS which means DOGGY JOG. I was still gearin' up, but Maggie had no patience for that.

I've been taking Maggie Moo jogging a lot more lately. How can you resist when it makes her THIS HAPPY?

I uploaded a few dog videos to Flickr tonight. Flickr is kinda my fail-safe backup for stuff like this. Someday Maggie'll be too old to do circles, so I have to make sure I have it memorialized. :)
Saturday, April 04, 2009
  Time for a laugh

My Ride
Originally uploaded by Back in the Pack

  Bitch about PETA all you want...
But they get the job done.

In Bolivia, they were training on live dogs. By stabbing and abusing them. They said it was to get soldiers used to the bloodiness of war. I saw this video was released a couple of weeks ago.. I didn't watch it... I usually just trash the PETA emails before opening them because when I read them I get so angry and so disgusted that I feel sick..

Anyway, tonight I got an email which said they had victory -- Bolivia agreed to prohibit these exercises in the army -- so went to read the story. And I clicked on the video. And OH MY GOD. They were stabbing the dogs while they cried out in pain... Ripped their hearts out.. One of the guys stuck his face into the then-dead dog's abdomen.

I really cannot understand how people can be so fucking evil. The dogs were yelping and crying! How could you be so cruel?!

So anyway. I'm glad PETA, the buncha maniacs, are around to draw attention to this sort of stuff. They're trying to get the U.S. army to stop doing something similar -- medical personnel apparently use dogs to practice amputations or something. Gah.
Thursday, April 02, 2009

  or Maldives... which would you pick?

You know, if you had your choice, where would you go?

Keep in mind that it takes ten hours longer to get to the Maldives.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009
  the friendliness of south florida
I walked across the street to get a coffee and on my way back, I was walking through the parking lot and there was a car I was walking behind and it just started backing up at full speed … like, not slowly backing up, but AT FULL SPEED.. and curving to the right, where i was walking. I had to jump out of the way so she wouldn’t hit me.

I looked back and made a WTF face at her, like HELLO. as she pulled away she rolled her window down and flipped me off and told me to F&&& off. some guy was out there and was like, what is her problem?! I said, she almost hit me - and then she's yelling at ME. i've done stupid things on the road before, cutting people off without realizing it on the interstate because i forgot to check my blind spot, and i felt BAD. this lady? she yells at me. and flipping me off.

she was at the intersection when I was walking up towards my house and she was yelling again. I couldn’t hear what she was saying, but i just yelled back, exasperated, "you almost hit me!!!" and then she was laughing and then she goes " YOU FAT F&&&!"

i'm not that fat. :(

i know she's crazy, but it's hard to not come away from something like feeling really bad. i would've been fairly shell-shocked from nearly getting hit, without her insulting me on top of it. don't people know that that's like the WORST insult? you don't go there. (timely, though - i decided today would be the day i started eating better so i don't go into lack-of-sugar shock when i go to costa rica.)

anyway, florida is great, right? blah.

I'm Stacey. I'm a 31(!)-year-old Wisconsin girl living in sunny South Florida. The highlights in my life are my lovely boyfriend, my aloof cats, my adorable/adoring stepdogs, my two lumbering tortoises, select family members, being outside, being underwater, taking pictures, yadda yadda. Stay tuned for lots of babbling!

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States


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Making a difference

A small boy lived by the ocean. He loved the creatures of the sea, especially the starfish, and he spent much of his time exploring the seashore.

One day the boy learned there would be a minus tide that would leave the starfish stranded on the sand.

When the tide went out, he went down to the beach, began picking up the stranded starfish, and tossing them back into the ocean.

An elderly man who lived next door came down to the beach to see what the boy was doing. Seeing the man's quizzical expression, the boy paused as he approached. "I'm saving the starfish!" the boy proudly declared.

When the neighbor saw all of the stranded starfish he shook his head and said: "I'm sorry to disappoint you, young man, but if you look down the beach, there are stranded starfish as far as the eye can see. And if you look up the beach the other way, it's the same. One little boy like you isn't going to make much of a difference."

The boy thought about this for a moment. Then he reached his small hand down to the sand, picked up another starfish, tossed it out into the ocean, and said: "Well, I sure made a difference for that one!"

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