Friday, November 18, 2005

The dog blanket

My husband has this prized possession that causes me to shudder every time I look at it. It’s this god-awful flannel blanket that he received as a gift many years ago. In addition to being dingy and pilly, it has this horrible-looking Aztec print in red and blue.

My husband uses this blanket all the time. No matter that we have a very warm microsuede comforter. He covers himself up with the blanket underneath the sheets and comforter. Never mind that I bought him a nice new very soft flannel blanket to take its place. That sits folded up on the back of a chair in the living room.

He tries to be chivalrous and cover me up on cold nights with this thing. “But, hon, it’s a native Indian print,” my husband pleads when I tell him to get it away from me.

“No, it’s a fake Indian print, similar to that awful wall paper that was up in our bathroom when we first moved into the house,” I reply. “You know what we did with that, right? We got rid of it!”

I call it the dog blanket. That’s what it looks like. Something a very large dog uses when it comes in from the cold. The funny thing is that we were dog-sitting for his sister’s one day, and my husband was laying on the floor, covered up with the blanket. The dog came over and started humping the blanket.

“See?” I said smugly. “It’s a dog blanket. Please get rid of it.” It didn’t work.

The problem is that because it was a gift, he has to use it. Just like the 20-year-old T-shirts and boxer shorts he owns. He feels bad throwing or giving away anything he got as a gift. Recently, his mom brought over a box of old books and toys that he had when he was a kid. In the box was a tiger figurine. Not ceramic or metal. But a plastic figurine with velvet fur that had pretty much worn away.

“Do we need this?” I asked.

“Yes, someone gave that to me,” he replied.

“Who?”

“I can’t remember,” he said. So why can’t we throw it away? I don’t know.

Someday, I’m going to go out in the backyard and build a bonfire with the dog blanket, the plastic tiger, the worn-out T-shirts, the too-small boxers that he never wears, and the countless other items that have collected in drawers and cabinets around our house.
Until then, I have to sleep on the edge of the bed to stay as far away from his cherished blanket as I can.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

An Apple a day

We finally got a new computer. After 6 years, our little Gateway PC is finally ready to retire. It’s been a good little computer, never had any problems, but I think computers have double the number of life-years as dogs, so our little 84-year-old has worked hard. We’ll find a good rest home for it, to live out the rest of its years.

Now that the eulogy is over, it’s time to celebrate the new computer. I brand new iMac G5! It is awesome. I’ve never owned a Mac, but I used to work on them while in college, laying out newspaper pages, writing and editing copy, and at my first marketing job. It’s great to come back home to a Mac. It has so many cool features, the best of which is a video chat. Em got the same computer last week, so we were able to log on and video chat with each other. Because we don’t talk enough at work.

We can also take pictures with the photo booth, and do some cool distortions with our pictures, which Boogie absolutely loves. She just sat in front of the monitor and watched herself making silly faces while the distorter twisted her face or made it look like it was in the middle of two mirrors.

We haven’t even begun to look at all the new features. I think the best part is that we don’t have a separate tower. Everything is built right into the monitor. So little Dak can’t crawl under the desk and turn off the computer.

I can’t wait to play on it some more. At work I have an even older PC that makes a Commodore 64 look modern. I’m supposed to get a new computer soon, but it definitely won’t be as cool as our new little addition at home. Excuse me, big addition. Did I mention it has a 20-inch monitor? It’s so cool to finally think different.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

A comfortable 65 degrees?

I hate cold water. I've never been the kind who could run and jump into a cold swimming pool. I was the one who painstakingly stepped inch by inch into the pool, rubbing water on the next part of my body to get wet. I know people say that it's worse than just jumping in, but it works for me.

I spent 12 years in Florida, living near the Gulf of Mexico. The water there was always warm, sometimes too warm to be refreshing on those ridiculously hot and humid days. But I loved hanging out in the water, floating on a raft and soaking up the rays.

Here in California, not so much. The water here is freezing. And people seem to like it. My sister-in-law has a pool and invites us over in the summer. She says the pool is heated. I don't think so. I can hardly do more than sit on the side with my legs dangling in the water. This summer was record-breakingly hot, so I did actually submerge myself on a couple of the days when I could no longer stand the heat. Having no air conditioning in your house can tend to raise your body temperature enough to withstand the cold, excuse me, heated pool water.

But I guess in her defense, the pool water is still warmer than the beach water. In the six years that I've lived here, I've only gone into the water at the beach once. I just can't take it. Luckily my husband loves it or little Boogie and Dak would never know what it's like to body surf or splash in the waves.

This morning they played the surf report on the radio. We're having amazingly warm weather right now, low 80s during the day, so they said that the water at the beach is going to be a comfortable 65 degrees. Comfortable? Doesn't that kind of temperature cause hypothermia? Seriously, it can't be good for a body to be exposed to that kind of cold! To be fair, I know that the surfers typically wear wet suits. Maybe I need to invest in one of the full-body versions for the hot summer days when we visit the beach. Or my sister-in-law's pool.