Wednesday, July 21, 2010

It's almost beach time!

In just a few short days, I'm heading to VA Beach with the fam. This includes:

Dave and his pink bike rack

My drunk dad

My soberish mom

My clean-for-now sister

My super-DUPER drunk grandma

My sun-avoiding brother

My super sober father-in-law

My awesome mother-in-law

My fun, fun, fun sister-in-law

My CAPTAIN AMERICA brother-in-law & his girlfriend

My princess niece

My bull-in-a-china-shop nephew

This crazy crew is about to invade VA Beach. We'll go deep-sea fishing at the ass-crack of dawn, drink way too much alcohol, soak up the sun, have Bocce tournaments, play video games and play poker. I can't wait.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I'm a parent to a teenager

Rocco's family reunion was this past weekend, so we threw him in the car like good parents and took him to the crazed event.

I say "crazed" because there were, oh, 20-something dogs running around like maniacs, sniffing each other's butts, barking loudly and generally spazzing out. There was even a hump or two. For Roc, it was heaven.

Pups everywhere

Sitting contest -- we're on the right

Me, surrounded by dogs

With all that stimulation, I guess it's not reasonable to expect your 18-month-old pup to be on his best behavior... and he wasn't. Yes, he almost won the sitting contest, but good lord, does my boy have a mouth on him. He kept barking every time another dog barked and even when everyone was silent.

In fact, during the raffle announcements, they announced the winning ticket for one prize and whose dog decided to bark? Mine. "No, Roc, you didn't win anything," I told him. He slumped down as if he understood English. But I know he doesn't because otherwise he would understand "GET THAT SLOBBERY TOY AWAY FROM MOMMY BECAUSE IT'S GROSS AND I DON'T PLAY."

Anyway, he was a bit of a hellion at the reunion, but so many other dogs were too. Seeing his behavior, we cornered the trainer who was there and bombarded her with questions to help figure out why he is an ass.

"How old is he?" she asked.

"About a year-and-a-half," I told her.

"Oh yikes," she said. "Worst age ever."

"Yeah... Wait, what?"

"Yep, this is a HORRIBLE age for a dog. You're basically raising a 15-year-old."

Oh. My. God. I hate teenagers so much. I don't want one! As I was absorbing this info (and some of her great training tips), I kept an eye on my little monster. Of course, he behaved like an angel when the trainer was near. Go figure.

When we got home, it was a different story. He did something that he has NEVER, EVER done. Something I never thought he would do in his lifetime.

He peed on my bed.

On purpose.

Right in front of me.

Fucking teens! I just know it was a spite-pee. I wouldn't play with him while I was eating dinner and when I went to go fold laundry in the bedroom afterward, he came with. He sat next to the bed, waiting for permission to come up.

What a good boy, I thought. Permission granted!

He got up there, started pawing and kicking the covers to create his own little "bed" and then promptly started peeing. Peeing!

I screeched, startled him enough to make him stop mid-pee and threw him off the bed while shouting obscenities. (My neighbors love me.) Roc knew he was in deep shit. He crawled out of the room with his ears back and his tail between his legs. I continued to rage. I told Dave what happened and he joined in on the rage with me. BAD BOY, ROCCO.

And to top off the evening, he decided he didn't want to go in his crate. Oh, sure, Roc, why don't you just sleep with us, since you've been soooo good. Guess again, jerkface. It was a bit of a battle, but he eventually accepted his fate.

But seriously, where is this behavior coming from?? I will not tolerate it in my house. I used to only have two house rules: No biting and no rapes. He obeys those. But it looks like I'll have to amend the rule to: No biting, no raping, no peeing.

Gah, I thought that was a given, but I guess not.

Welcome to the teenage years. They suck.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Yeah, I could drive an Infiniti

Since The Big Green Monster is on it's last leg (uh, wheel), I've been paying extra-special attention to the cars I rent. Even as someone who hates driving, I have to say that it's been kind of fun experiencing different vehicles.

Here's what I've played with in the last few months:

Luxury: 2009 Infiniti G37x

SOMEONE BUY ME THIS. Not surprisingly, I fell in love with this car. Smooth ride, comfy leather seats, great sound system, convenient nav system, bluetooth, plenty of room, heated seats, AWD -- what's not to love?

Nothing. Seriously. I would live in this car if I could. And if I were made of money, I'd rent it every single time I go out of town. California? Hop in the G37, friends, it's a short 35 hours away! Love, love, love.

Mid-Size: 2009 Toyota Corolla

Everyone talks about the great gas mileage on this car, but seeing it in action is a whole new level of amazing. We made it from Chicago to Cleveland without even filling up!

This bad boy didn't have cruise control. THAT made for a fun 5 hours on the highway. Also, there was no real room in the back seat. If we had been traveling with my brother or anyone else, it would have been totally uncomfortable.

Full-Size: 2009 Hyundai Sonata

Holy gas mileage. Maybe I just have super-low expectations after driving an old school SUV for years, but this Sonata was awesome. Went from Chicago to St. Louis on a little over half a tank of gas. Also, it had a USB port and aux input for my iPhone, plenty of room in the back seat and a relatively smooth ride.

No navigation system. My sense of direction is horseshit and the Goog sometimes steers me wrong.

Big-Time Luxury: 2010 Acura MDX

Pros: This is mom's new car -- since I met her in STL, we used her car for everything. I couldn't stop driving it. Awesome nav system made for confused drivers like me, USB, aux input, heated seats, comfy leather, sunroof, back-up camera... even the seat remembered my settings and automatically adjusted itself before I turned the car on. It's a far cry from her minivan, for sure.

Cons: Gas mileage, duh. And you can't change the navigation voice accent to something fun like Australian. It also felt a tad too big to drive in the city, but, believe me, I could get over that hurdle. Ya know, if mom wanted to gift me another vehicle sometime in the near future...

Anyway, the next car I'm renting is another full-size for our road trip to Virginia Beach in T-minus 11 days.

As much as I'd love to get the Infiniti again, it's dangerously close to costing the same as a month's rent for the week, so... no. The Corolla's out, since the lack of cruise control and space is way too big of an issue for a 15-hour trip. And the Sonata, well, that'd be a great ride, actually. We're not renting from the same company though, so god only knows what they'll give us. Here's hoping for a lucky upgrade.

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