Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wigged Out Wednesday

Traffic horseI know someone's looking over my shoulder.

Freakfest t-shirtBring it on.

ConvertibleBut it will have to wait until I get back.

Fire-Chief gasAfter I get skunked at the pump.

Superman LunchboxAnd pack a lunch.

PopeyeAnd take off.
Will keep you posted. Get it? Posted.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Morose Monday

FunhouseMy neighbors are jerks. They smoke so much it comes through the walls. The other night I dreamt I was trapped in a house fire. This morning it invaded my emergency what's the point of getting out of bed bubble bath.

Red Yogurt DOTI ate my last DOT.

Miller ParkNo home games this Saturday, so keep on driving.

Troy GardensAnother birthday coming up. Doom. What should I do:
Vision Quest, Nitty Gritty, Look For Snakes Down By The River.
Look for snakes living in vans down by the river?
I'm leaning toward snakes.

Vixen, Roscoe PupMaybe I'll just stay in bed.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Yogurt DOTS

Yogurt Dots BoxI've been rat holing Yogurt DOTS for over a week now, and thought a college Lacrosse game on a so-called April afternoon was as good a place as any to shake them out. 46 degrees my frozen tundra. The wind alone could freeze DOTS to a metal railing. Especially if you licked them first.

Dots at a Lacrosse gameYogurt DOTS come in Orange, Blackberry, Lemon-Lime, Strawberry, and Banana flavors. The lackluster banana blended in with the orange, so it missed the photo op. Or maybe it got blown out onto the field. Who knows what's going on at a lacrosse game anyway. Certainly not I. It looks like a bunch of guys smacking each other across the knees with sticks. And then the game is over. They're like loan sharks with cute legs.

Dots on a railingEveryone who tried the Yogurt DOTS liked them.

Nitro Nanci and I liked the orange the best. Even though she's holding green. Did I mention how cold it was?

NanciI've been eating them non-stop as I post, first biting off their little heads, then lining them up and finishing off their vanilla "yogurt" bottoms. There's a kind of Hannibal Lecter/Oreo Cookie thing going on and suddenly I crave fava beans sprinkled with Chianti flavored cookies.
I ate them into an overall feeling of self-loathing. But that's okay because it is yogurt after all. Well, no, no it isn't. Not a drop. Not a scosh.
There is, however, a handy DOT DROP on the side and a movie quiz on the back.
Don't eat Vanilla blanks while watching Vanilla blank or you'll upchuck the Vanilla yogurt blanks into your Vanilla colored blank.
Blank, I'm out of DOTS.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sweeter Than Candy

Vixen Learns To JumpHer first time out she got it. No edging down the middle of the ramp like a wuss. She was smart and fast and brave. Miss Vickers was a quick study who saw her role as head of household rather than dog. She could have claimed deductions.
The first time I met the old girl, we hit it off. I didn't know Phil and Karen had a dog, let alone this dog. It was early in the morning and I wasn't getting up early in the morning then. (Then, who am I kidding? You could dangle Brad Pitt on a sugar coated stick full of hot morning buns and I wouldn't get up until the sun was warm.) No loud barks from Miss Vickers that morning, just a wagging tail built to carry a Black Hawk.
Whoppa whoppa whoppa.
She kept running around the house—through the living room, back through the dining room, stopping at her water dish for a few sips of water and a crunch of food, then another lap through the house until she landed at my feet.
Whoppa whoppa whoppa.

Vixen by chairShe must have seen the expression on my face when I walked through the door and saw her that first time. You know the look. Remember when you thought your parents forgot your sweet sixteen until you saw a shiny new Boxster RS 60 Spyder wrapped in a giant bow in the driveway?
Me neither. My old man snagged me a swamp green dodge in a fixed raffle when I was in my twenties. That was cool.
I was elated, Vixen was elated. Phil had had another black lab named Luci (short for Lucifer) when our families lived next door to each other back when Michael Jackson still had a nose. Luci used to sneak through the window of my parked '68 mustang waiting to be taken to the park, then pop up from the back seat once we hit the Beltline. She loved water so much she once jumped out of the car window after sniffing Lake Wingra from the top of Park St. Crazy dog.
That was the first time I was in a doggie ER.
Vixen (that's her given name, which I think Vince spells "Vixon") was born on or around Christmas. They got her the same winter Bug was born.

BugMaybe that's why she loved snow so much. I remember one winter, nothing like this one, when there were only a few patches of dirty ice crystals left on the front lawn and she tore out the door (which she could open with her nose) to roll in them. I can think of worse things to roll in.

Vixen this winterThe first time I got to take care of Miss Vickers, we both got into shape and one of us was fit enough to jump from a ramp into the water.
"Don't go painting her nails or anything," Phil said.
As if.

Vixen scarfSo I put away my scarves and bottles of shimmering nail polish and took her to the ramp.
The ramp. The wonder of it all. Sure she was a great swimmer, but she'd somehow missed the whole air dog craze.
Have you ever seen pure joy warmed up and poured over fur?
We don't need no stinkin' Porsches.
Whoppa whoppa whoppa.

By the bushA tennis ball in any condition, ground to stand on, a full water dish, and a pocket full of treats is all she needed. Water to swim in? No! Bonus. And her people of course. Man, she loved them all. She was responsible for bringing me closer to family I hadn't seen in years. Then she made me part of hers. She wouldn't have it any other way.
Pet my lily white ass.
No, wait, I didn't mean pet my—never mind.

Vixen in the grassI was ready to file a story on Irish dancing Monday night, it was either three hours late or four-and-a-half hours early, depending on how you look at it. I'd just hung up with a final source, went back to make sure I had the right files attached (riveting stuff isn't it?) so I wouldn't accidentally send my editor a list of Your Momma jokes instead of 450 words on Celtic dance and a sidebar.
The phone rang again, and it was Phil. I started yammering how I wanted to go out for a beer since I was three hours late or four hours early with the article. He stopped me. Then I had a pen in my hand and was frantically taking notes on an already full piece of scrap paper. I looked down at it and didn't recognize the words. He called back two more times and not until he used the word "Brewery" did I know where they were taking Miss Vix. (No, they weren't taking her to a brewery.)

Roscoe Vixen floorShe'd stopped breathing and Karen had intubated her with a turkey baster. Karen drove ahead with Vix and Vince. Phil had made a gurney with Vixen's blanket, then followed with Bug. That was the last time Roscoe saw his Miss Vickers. The roles had reversed in recent weeks, and he began watching over her.

Roscoe and VixenRed eyes, counting cat versus dog pictures (4 cats, 3 dogs, dog clock in the bathroom). Trying to be funny with a joke I stole from Seth Meyers about "total cat replacement."
They finally wheeled her out. She was drugged and tried to get up from her worn blanket and metal gurney. She knew us. Somehow she managed to give me kisses. Forever the mom, she knew I needed them. She knew I was the wuss edging down the middle of the ramp.

Vixen snowDecisions had to be made, a family discussion. And then there's the matter of the bill. I just kept petting her and kissing her head. It wasn't my place to say anything. Two helpless creatures.
They didn't know why she stopped breathing and were going to give her a tracheal wash to find out more. They'd see if surgery was needed, but neither Karen nor Phil wanted that. Chances were she wouldn't pull through. Was it an infection, was it viral? I remember when they wheeled her out to us, she reminded me of royalty. The dog queen. When they wheeled her away from us the room drained.

Vixen SnowI was shopping for a combo DVD player at Best Buy when Phil called me the next day.
"Vixen's gone," he said.
He went to pick her up and bring her home, hoping that prednisone would work better this time. No sooner had they said how good she was doing when a doctor came into the outer room and said she stopped breathing. In the end, they put her to sleep rather than have her keep going through the trauma. There were no answers for her, just pain and uncertainty.
When I talked to Nitro Nanci last night, she asked me if we were having a wake. I said "no," but Phil, Bug, and I had gotten out in the fresh air of a little league field, and were able to come back and tell stories. Our family is good at that.

Roscoe Vixen kissBug talked about how Vixen one-upped Roscoe by refusing to sit in the way back seat. The younger dog had claimed the second seat, the one closer to humans with junk food. Vixen couldn't manage to get in either of the back seats, yet somehow had the strength and grace of a gazelle when hopping up front.
Roscoe has been lost like Flight 815. He's a Tennessee Williams play. He's Blanche in Streetcar. He didn't move from the spot Miss Vickers normally inhabits all morning. He temporarily forgot what he's supposed to do with a Frisbee (like Picasso forgetting what to do with a brush, Chong forgetting what to do with a pack of Abadies).
Yeah, I'm the wuss, and this is how I'm going to remember her:

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Gimbal's LavaBalls are one of those hot candies you've probably passed dozens of times at the Walgreens to get to the Snaps. Mmm, Snaps.
Not quite an Atomic Fireball, not quite a Cinnamon Gummy Bear, the affable little balls are pretty and hot. Yes, they're pretty hot. As when drinking 151, have a glass of water standing by.
I like the crunchy coat, which has a well proportioned thickness and breaks like a gumball. The shell can be dissected (if bitten just right) to reveal that the hot stuff lies more in the red jelly than the speckled shell. They remind me of those sour cherry balls you buy in bulk. Only they're neither sour nor cherry. But they do have a bit of marketing on the back of the bag talking about cinnamon eruptions, fire eaters, and can you stand the heat. It shows someone's trying.
Bonus: They're gelatin free, gluten free, dairy free, egg free, nut free, and pareve (neither meat nor dairy for those keeping a kosher kitchen).
Not a bad choice for something different, and it's a good bet you haven't had them in a while or ever.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Procrastination Sunday: National Licorice Day

KookaburraThe sugar coated Patti from Candy Yum Yum! pointed out that Saturday was National Licorice Day, and I missed it. Since I treat every day as if it's National Licorice Day I guess it's okay.
I was at Nitro Nanci's (cousin and Dish reviewer) eldest daughter's wedding.

Amy and Mike's Wedding"You know it's National Licorice Day, Mike."
"At least we'll be able to catch the Cub's game."

So it was drain the half barrels of beer and empty the wine bottles then lose your cell phone and car keys because you were too drunk to realize you were looking in someone else's coat pockets and your old ass knees cracked so loudly when you shouted "a little bit softer now" they could be heard over music pumped out on the dance floor like Spotted Cow until we drained the kegs dry Day.
A chewy gooey Procrastination Sunday to all.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Dashboard Dining Key

1. Chocolate
2. Soft Drinks
3. Jelly & Cream-filled donuts
4. Fried Chicken
5. Tacos
6. Chili
7. Juicy Hamburgers
8. Any Barbecued Food
9. Hot Soups
10. Coffee
Once again, the inimitable Chrissy got the most right. She may be tired of Madtown postcards, but she's got another one coming.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Dashboard Dining

Junkfood on DashboardCan you name the 10 Most Dangerous Foods to Eat While Driving?
If you can name at least *five in order, I'll consult our panel of sugar fiends, I mean experts, and we'll send you something really stupid from our favorite Web site,
If you bother to look it up and name all 10 in any order, you get a post card. Maybe. If I feel like it.
Good luck, you have until Friday, April 11.
*According to Madison & Dane County Public Health

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Good Sport

Roscoe VixenHow Many Licks?
No dogs were harmed in the posting of this photo.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Tootsie Pop Drop

KarenThey might not be in the groovy rolls they used to be, but Tootsie Pop Drops are back, and I came home to another large box of candy waiting patiently on my doorstep to drive home the point.
Point taken.
More free candy.
My cousin Karen here was quite excited. There's something about a bright orange box of candy which disperses energy like a freshly bathed hippie.
Our west side taste testers managed to rip open the box within the box in seconds. Dentist cringing crunching ensued.

Vixen Pop DropsI haven't seen the the Pop Drops in the stores yet, but know they're available online. I was a little disappointed when I saw them in a pouch rather than a roll. That roll of candy felt so right in the palm of my hand and somehow made me feel cool. I was a nerdy child. But the pouches are perfectly suited for the insanity which is now my life.
More from our reviewers later.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Ash To Ashes

Favre bumper stickerFunk to funky.
Dang, I missed my shot at Ash to Ashes Wednesday.
P.S. The boys are back in town and the Brewers beat the Cubs, so dry those manly tears, sports fans.