Thursday, April 30, 2009

Turning On The Sun

A cold and stormy spring has been
Our legacy this year
Inclimate from west to east
From Halifax to here

My baby puppy raised in rain
Is content to play inside
My younger girl’s insane to run
When Environment Canada lied

But my old grey veteran is sad
Summer has not begun
My sweet old man just simply wants
Me to turn on the Sun

Another cloudy day has dawned
He goes out in the run
But the dark brown eyes that see my soul
Say “Mom, turn on the Sun”

For you, my man, I’d do anything
To make your life a happy one
But I have no way to tell you
I cannot turn on the Sun

It’s summer now, the sky is blue
The young whips frolic and run
Nike reclines upon his chaise lounge
And his eyes thank me for the Sun

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Oda to Hoda

Okay, so I'm on Facebook. Me and most of the rest of the world. Facebook allows you to keep in touch with people you know and select to be your "friends". I'm apparently not very popular, cuz I only have 105 "friends", most of whom I barely know, but that's okay.

You can also become "fans" of popular cultural figures, events and causes. And, sigh, though I'm also a fan of Gerald Durrell, Amelia Earhart, Grace Kelly, and Jasper Fford, it's the Hoda & Kathie Lee thing that I end up taking heat for.

"Get a life" I get told. "You really need to get out of the house more". Apparently it isn't chic or vogue or something to like Today Show hostesses of my own age who manage to alternatively entertain, annoy, or just plain crack you up. Or maybe I just need new friends.

My real reason for becoming a fan has to do primarily with Hoda. (Sorry Kathie Lee). Hoda and I both went through a serious illness at the same time. While we both had the support of loving families, we did not have families of our "own", or significant others who gave support and a shoulder. We both listened to Jo Dee Messina over and over on our car radio. And we both came away from our illness older, wiser, and changed by a sense of the value of life. That message to always move forward aids me now as I battle another serious illness. We do not take things for granted, Hoda and I. She gave me strength when I needed it most, and continues to do so. I am grateful to her for sharing her story with me, and the rest of the world. So, yes, I am a fan of Hoda.

We both also love a great glass of wine. It's eleven o'clock somewhere.

PS - click the "Pink Ribbons" box on this blog to support mammograms for women in need.


It will be a quiet day at Jenn And The City. Wednesday is house-cleaning day. And drawing day. And I may try to market some more articles. I need to find rocks for my herb garden and get the herbs in, as well as put in sunflowers and my wildflower garden.

A quiet, pleasant, domestic sort of day.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Toy Story

I'm not a mommy, remember? Blogged about that previously. However, yesterday I spent the day at home with the "kids". Three dogs, two cats, and a goldfish. I cleaned up one "accident" (on the carpet), one cup of spilled coffee (on the carpet), two regurgitated blobs of grass and rawhide (on the carpet). I rescued two socks and a slipper from a Fargo-like demise by puppy teeth. We went through one entire roll of paper towels. I broke up three games of puppy bowling. I vacuumed up half a box of kitty litter that one or the other of the cats decided to remove from the box. I saved Stan from becoming Morgan's next chew toy. And I picked up approximately 39 dog toys and returned them to the toy box. Six times. I begin to see the charm of a Barney video.

In my spare time, I did five loads of laundry, poop scooped the yard, made chicken for dinner, got the puppy his lunch, prevented Tara and Nike from eating his lunch, prepared the family calendar for the next two months, played frisbee with Tara, continued work on my website, submitted five article queries, and wrote a blog and a poem.

Thank God Ringo stayed out of trouble. I don't think I could have managed a fish emergency.

And, I supervised when Morgan discovered "Nick's Room". "Nick's Room" is suppposedly off limits to the menagerie when Nick isn't home. And I draw the line at cleaning in there. Too scary. Remember "Sid's Room"? From the Toy Story movie? "Nick's Room" gives it a run for its money.

I'm calling in sick today. Oh wait. Never mind.

So Much For My Vacation Plans

I'm SO disappointed. I cannot go nude hiking in the Swiss Alps anymore. One used to be able to do so, apparently a popular activity with German tourists, but the politically correct and clothing-obsessed Swiss have put a ki-bosh on the activity. These are the same people who brought us fine chocolate, first-class time-keeping devices, and a banking system that is the envy of the world. Isn't Switzerland also the home of peaceful neutrality?

Well, yes. But only if you're dressed.

The fine for hiking with only boots and socks is roughly $176 US dollars. But what if I wanted to hike in my bulletproof bra and Vickie's Secret boy shorts? Would the Swiss object?

Suspiciously, the state in Switzerland imposing this ban, Appenzell, voted in their public square by a show of hands. Now I have a theory here. I think someone should check and see if the Wenger and Victorinox people were in town. Because they're the folks with the bias. Could extortion be at work? Did the citizens of Appenzell have their sensibilities influenced under duress? I think an investigation in order.

Wenger and Victorinox need people to have pockets. Or at least a belt, in order to use their product. Because no good hiker leaves home without their Swiss Army Knife. And hiking nude with a swiss army knife just can't be a good idea.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

No Blog For You Today

Because I am whippet racing in Canada. Or, more accurately, the Tara-rizer is training to race, Morgan the Bold is enjoying some bonding time with his litter-brother, Cruz, and I am line-judging the race meet. Nikeinstein stayed home with Rob.

And, as usual, Environment Canada lied again. It's been bleeping cold. Yesterday afternoon did manage to be sunny and pleasant, just about the time we finished up. At least it isn't SNOWING!

Hopefully today will be warmer.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Borborygmus & Other Things My Nephews Love

It has come to my attention that y-chromosome blessed humans enjoy a peculiar sense of humor when it comes to what we shall call "bodily functions".

I envy this. I really do. Can you imagine how delightful the world would be if every fart cracked you up? Or to be so fortuitous as to be able to belch the alphabet? These gifted individuals are the Andy Warhols of the ESPN set.

I can't even whistle. Appropos of nothing relevant here.

This brings us to the case of a West Virgina man, originally pulled over for a broken headlight and smelling of alcohol, who was further charged with battery after farting in the direction of the cop who administered the breathalyzer test.

According to the MSNBC story, all involved originally remained true to their genetic predispositions and found the matter hysterically funny. For some reason, however, the police later decided that the incident in question was actually insulting and provoking and brought the battery charge. Perhaps the suspect was unable to belch the alphabet into the breathalyzer. Andy would have understood the fleeting nature of such success. Borborygmus will only get you so far.

Borborygmus - noun: A rumbling noise caused by the movement of gas through the intestines.
I have nothing further. My tummy is rumbling.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Underwires - Not Just for Support Anymore

I've always needed underwire bras. And I hate them. Lets face it sisters; bras aren't exactly winning any comfort awards regardless of construction, and adding a support wire contrived of what suspiciously looks like piano wire doesn't help. Later in life, when I started test-driving for Victoria's Secret I still required underwires, but since my 35 year old boobs looked darn near perfect in them, I could put up and shut up. Never mind that wearing an underwire bra is a bit like undergoing a 20-year mastectomy without anesthesia. No worries about breast cancer here! In a few more years they'll have been amputated by the coping saw blade-like wire and be gone. Stiletto heels fall into this category too. Yes, I could quite possibly fall into the nearest storm drain and break my leg, but dammit, my calves rock!

Note to the diva readership - should you ever need to know what a coping saw is, it's the one that has a blade resembling bra underwire.

The actual point here is a Reuters news article yesterday informing all us underwire slaves that the boob hanger actually does credible double duty as body armor. A woman in Detroit (where body armor is not a bad idea) was saved from perhaps fatal injury when a bullet struck the underwire of her bra. Apparently, her neighbors house was being robbed, and when she went to investigate, one of the robbers fired on her. She was saved from serious injury by, yes, the underwire in her bra.

Now first off, good thing she was wearing one. Due to aforementioned comfort issues, many of us shuck the bra first chance we get when we're home. (I'm just sayin...) My second question has to do with the brand of bra. Are we going to see ads for Maidenform, or Bali, or La Perla, touting the life-saving characteristics of their bras? "18 hour support AND deflects most calibers of handguns". Sports bras, notoriously absent in the underwire department may have to add them to keep up with modern marketing. Would an underwire sports bra have saved Monica Seles? Oh wait. She got stabbed in the back.

That's it. Comfort be damned. I'm ordering myself a chain mail bra. Ain't no gangsta out there gonna take me out because I got a wimpy lace bra. This model ought to do.

Just two more things: Take a moment to click on my icon that donates free mammograms to women in need.

And, please visit This is a terrific program to recycle gently used bras to women in shelters and safe houses.

Karisma and Kids: A puppy post and a talent show!

I'm sorry, but Karisma has the second cutest puppy on the planet....

Karisma and Kids: A puppy post and a talent show!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

NOT your Mommy-blog

I do admire bloggers who can label themselves. Mommy-bloggers, career bloggers, doggy bloggers, product bloggers - the list is infinite.

However, if you want the mommy-blog community, you'll be disappointed here. When I started, I was definitely Jenn and the City. I loved my commute to the land of sky scrapers, street people, upscale specialty stores, and back alley purveyors of everything imaginable. I loved shopping for Jimmy Choos and Nicole Miller. And I loved the homeless man who gave me his daffodil during the Spring Celebration. I looked forward to living with the Nike in a Belltown flat.
I am still Jenn and the City. I can still spend an hour ogling the spring line of Christian Louboutin and window shopping at Neiman Marcus. I can also spend another hour or so viewing Corin Hewitt at the SAM.
But life twists and turns, and I don't have life in the city anymore. I live in the middle of nearly nowhere. I have three dogs, two cats, a goldfish, post-traumatic stress disorder, a step-son and a car I can't back out of its parking spot without hitting the fence.
Some days I'm sure that none of this is particularly interesting or validating. No cute kid stories. No great back-stabbings from the water cooler. I have a clueless woodpecker that thinks he can get insects out of a metal light pole. I have a badly traumatized brain that understands where the woodpecker's coming from. But I do love to write, to draw, to create. And when it's allowed to surface, my brain is full of some pretty wacky unique stuff. I'm a published author, comedienne, artist and essayist. Not a mommy, but a 40ish modern woman, comfortable in my own skin (except when I'm wearing an itchy sweater) and I have a twisted take on just about everything.
So this is not a mommy blog. Not "The Office" blog. Not a doggy blog. Not always a funny blog. But I admire those who write such blogs - they are some of my favorites. In fact, like much of my life, this blog doesn't fit in a box. And I'm okay with that. New trails ablaze here. Since I've given up the rat race, I need to use my wit and my words to support myself. I've started that by getting published in a major magazine. (Woo Hoo, still leaping with joy!) I will continue with this blog. Find out what I'm doing. Soon (I hope) I'll be on radio. So tell your friends. Sign up people you don't know to get it by email. (If you can get stupid feedburner to work - it seems to have signed up my whole contact list without my consent.)

And btw I still product test for Victoria's Secret. While I pull the cat out of the dryer and burn the linguine prawns because I have to take the puppy out to potty. In my pearls and push-up Angels bra. Take that, soccer moms.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

In Honor Of Earth Day

Tip - toe through the tulips. For the full effect, click the title when you're done...(she says, rubbing her hands together with evil glee.....)

Ode to a Whippet Puppy

I used to have a family room, with fashionable d├ęcor.
Leather sofa, leather chair, a large t.v., and more.
There was a leather ottoman, destuffed by puppy past
But now my gracious family room is depreciating fast.

Where once the chairside table stood, the laundry basket rests
Dog toys litter floor space, where they are attacked with zest
The trash bin has moved up in life, to a better ‘hood
And I need to find new real estate for the wood stove wood.

The agent says the water bowl is really “water front”
I wish that Morgan wouldn’t use it for his kong toy hunt.
Did you know that a cat scratcher can be dragged all across the blue?
Until it became a substitute for a puppy loo.

I have no time for writing more
The laundry basket must move up a floor
Morgan has found my underpants
And with the Stars he’s trying to Dance

I love this hoodlum puppy sh*t
But eating my Victorias is going to give a fit
Oh, wait, now there’s a couch to munch
Just go ahead, my little friend, and have the chair for lunch

Monday, April 20, 2009

Channeling Sunset Boulevard

Move over Tyra my friend! In preparation for my Dogs in Canada article, a photographer is coming from New York to do a photo shoot.

For everyone who thinks modeling and photo shoots are G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S (do you hear Fergie singing? "Flouncy, Flouncy"), think again. Since the article is running in a summer issue, my clean, groomed self, and my clean, groomed dogs are going out on the beaches of Puget Sound pretending it is summer. In shorts and a tank top. Flip-flops. Mind you, the ice-breakers only left last week. With the weather we've been having, I wouldn't be surprised to get hit with snow, sleet, hail, or locusts.
I shall have to wear a tank-top and shorts and channel a beautiful summer day. And sunglasses. How'm I supposed to find a geocache wearing sunglasses in April? This article is running in a Canadian publication for chrissake. The land of hockey and ice fishing. I should think July is anorak weather. Can't I wear a toque? (That's "hat" for our American listeners).

My photographer, who is immensely talented and works for many high-profile glossy publications is EXACTLY the career-connection I need to have. We'd like to make a good impression. I doubt she'll understand when my dogs refuse to get out of the car without gore-tex and fleece.

Wish me well. I'm ready for my close-up. It had darn well better earn me enough to support my shoe fetish.
(Editorial note - there's now a link near the top of the page where you can sign up for email notifications every time the blog is updated. I already signed up some of you, because, well, I'm a shameless publicity hog..... :-) )

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Reflections on pain, gender, and whippet monsters

I once (moons ago) went to my doctor, complaining of dizziness and nausea. So severe I could barely walk. Convinced that I must have St. Vitus Dance, the Black Plague, or at the very least, E-coli, I staggered into the exam room and threw up in the Hazardous materials bin. Very clever of me, considering my eyes couldn't focus enough to read. I thought it said "Toss Cookies Here".

Upon examination, Dr. Who looked at me kindly and explained. "You have labyrinthitis". An inner ear infection. This diagnosis always brings to mind the Minotaur, and a rather trapped, claustrophobic feeling that does nothing to help my symptoms.

To the point, I've had labyrinthitis many times in my life. It's my answer to a sinus infection. The hell with sinuses, say my viruses, lets really f*ck her up and go for the ear. We can whack out balance, nausea, brain function, and head pain all in one full swoop. Truly, one would believe that after several billion doctor visits I'd be capable of self-diagnosis.

I mention this to my long-suffering doctor. "Why don't I remember?" I say. "You'd think I'd know what it is by now."

"Oh, that's easy" says Dr. Who. "It's because you're a woman." Say wha? I reach for the cell phone to call my lawyer, the ACLU, my friend Deb who will come kick his y-chromosome butt. Dr. Who sees my expression and hastens to explain before neutering without anesthesia commences. "Women are genetically programmed to forget pain - you're supposed to block physical discomfort. Otherwise no woman would ever have more than one baby."

True or not, this seems logical enough to take Deb off speed-dial. But I am reminded of his words this week. After six days of chasing a whirling dervish whippet puppy about the house, I wonder what on earth possessed me to subject myself to this draining and exhausting ritual again. And I wonder too, if my long suffering tolerance of other draining, exhausting, and often painful experiences in my life is inexorably woven with this phenomenon.

But then Morgan talks quietly in his sleep and curls closer under my arm. And I remember the words of Dr. Who, and I am grateful. The very thing that brings me the greatest pain also allows me the greatest joy. True or not, there is comfort there.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Morgan the Bunny Killer

Pharmaceutical Nirvana

Finally, finally, finally! We've found the right "eat me" from Alice. A drug I've taken previously in "baby" dose, now escalated to adult dosage. My doctor was reluctant at first, I tend to have a complicated and paradoxical relationship with most prescriptions. The effects range from "hey sistah, you want some of this rad aspirin - I sell cheap" to "valium, schmalium - what's the point". Interestingly, while on the new poison, I'm relaxed, ethereal and distracted externally, the internal brain is going a mile a minute, finding creativity and logical processing. So far, works for me. I'm comfortable in this skin. Except I'm still tired.

Loves ya!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Morgan The Bold

Myself, the cats, and Tara and Nike are In The House.

Not so Morgan. He deigned walls and roofs for a less sophisticated environment.

Jenn and the Walrus

Helps to know your Alice in Wonderland first.

With apologies to Lewis Carroll -

The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things. Of checked-out moms and poison schools, and bullies from cliche-y rings. And why no one was there for little me, so I grew my own wings.

The time has come, the walrus said, to remember things you've blocked. Like welts along your back from sticks, and hair pulled out your scalp. And being such the ugly kid your only choice was tramp.

The time has come, the walrus said, to find the wings you grew. They got you into college and away from the abuse. But wings require constant care, it's easy to lose the wind. So we find familiar life on land, and you find those paths again. You marry the weak bully, from the cliche-y ring, because that’s the safest that you know, that doesn’t need a wing.

The time has come, the walrus said, to re-live 13 years behind a veil, trying for perfection and at every step finding fail. The time has come to stop the search, for bodies every night. Has he killed himself, at best, but taken my dogs in spite? The time has come, the walrus said, to leave that guilt tonight.

The time has come, the walrus said, to find the wings again, to write, to draw, to laugh and smile. To splash through puddles, hear their song, and stretch and breathe and soar.

The time has come, the walrus said, to allow yourself to tear. To let the doctors offer help, though painful to bear. We will try this EMDR thing, to process what holds me back, in hopes that someday soon the walrus and I can find a single track.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

More Morgan...

Morgan - being "Tara"-rized.
But don't feel too sorry...

I am Morgan The Evil...

Take that!

Look here, evil puppy - that's enough out of you.

What's that you said Tara?

Every good fight needs a referee.

Open wide, say Ah.

Look here, you bugger, I'm BIGGER than you are.

Nike Unfinished

I gotta figure out a better way of posting these. They don't reproduce well by taking a photo of the drawing.


Imagine, if you will, a couch (or sofa, davenport, divan, whatever it is you call your furniture). A standard size couch, with three cushions. The far right cushion holds the decorative pillows. The middle cushion contains the Nikester, covered by a blanket, and my knee and elbow.

The laptop sits atop a pillow on my knee. I'm sitting on the far left cushion, with Morgan on my lap, and Tara has managed to squish herself between me and the left arm of the couch. Nike's head is in my lap with Morgan, Morgan's head is on Tara, and I don't know where Tara's head is. In fact, I don't know if she can even breathe. I assume she's alive down there.

I'm using Nike's butt as my mouse pad. The ergonomics of this arrangment are clearly appalling, and I can't say it's really comfortable physically, but we are all happy.

Except my right foot. It's asleep.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Morgan the Brave

Today we're welcoming a new addition to the household. Whimsy's Swiftsure Pyrat Pistol came home with me last night. Also known more commonly to his fans as Morgan the Brave. He's a beautiful, beautiful whippet puppy. It has been eight years since I had a baby puppy. Amazing how much you forget, and how much comes back to you. I guess it's like riding a bike. And he is brave. This morning he tried to climb in the dishwasher. He thinks the fridge is cool. (no pun intended) He thinks cats are very strange dogs indeed. His greatest wish is to be able to climb Mount Sofa with the other dogs. It will come eventually.

For now, he's Morgan the Tired...

Jenn and the City

An Award

An Award
Thanks Patience!

FEEDJIT Live Traffic Map