Sunday, April 02, 2006

Goodbye Blaine...Hello Grandpa, Shorty, Timmy & Silverlake?

My mom talks to her mom (my grandma, Big Mom) every Saturday morning. Big Mom and Papaw live in Florida--you know, next to all of your grandmas and grandpas. Papaw's had some health problems in the past year and my mom's spent quite a bit of time--weeks and weeks at a time--in Florida to help them out--driving him to appointments or, when he was in the hospital, driving Big Mom to him and generally keeping them company, being a support. I thought he was doing better, so was disturbed when my mom called me early one Saturday morning.

"I hope I didn't call you too early. I just got off the phone with Big Mom."

Hardly awake. Oh God, Papaw. Something's happened to Papaw. "No, I'm awake. Is everything okay?" I winced to imagine her response.

"They want to give you Papaw's car."

Silence. Disbelief. My mom continued.

"I told Big Mom about you being rear-ended. She turned to Papaw and said 'Emily's been in an accident and it wasn't her fault, can we giver her the car?'"

More silence, disbelief, and heaping doses of relief: Papaw was okay and no more worrying about impending car payments.

As it turns out, Papaw doesn't drive anymore. His car had become unnecessary and they were planning on giving it away anyway.

There are no accidents.

I got off the phone with my mom, called Big Mom, tried to express the gratitude I felt. Still feel.

My parents are now in Florida. They are retired and fabulous and were totally game for flying down to get the car, drive it cross-country, visit with me and then fly home. Now that's a pretty worthy use of insurance money. That, and the brand new massage table that is sitting in the back seat of Blaine.

Blaine. He's still here (sigh) and still the greatest vehicle I'll likely ever drive, but that he'll be replaced by a fairly late model Mazda Millenia also with leather seats and a moonroof certainly isn't too shabby. And that it is a gift from my grandparents makes it all the better. So, though Nancy will be missed (RIP) and Blaine will be missed to such a painful extent I'm not prepared to deal with just yet, I will now have Grandpa.

Before announcing the other fairly major changes that are afoot here at Camp Starpower, I'd like to send out a great big thanks to all you fine folks for weighing in with your great advice. Truly. It means a lot. I'm just thankful that it was all useless--in the best way possible.

Okay. Other Changes Afoot:

Some months ago, my drunk roommate suggested that I get a dog. She was all, "No seriously! Dogs are allowed in this building and I LOVE dogs. But it could be yours and I'd totally help out, I just don't want the responsibility of owning one."

It got me thinking. I've had dogs before. I love dogs. I missed having one. The next day, she and I looked on for possible dogs. Window shopping, really, nothing serious.

About a month later I started to really want a dog. I mentioned it to my roommate. She looked at me, blank. "Really? A dog? Here?"

"Uh, yeah. Remember?"

Her blank persisted so I did not. Though I did begin to be a little freaked out about her.

By this point, I'd told most people I knew here that I really wanted a dog. Not a puppy, but a nice, trained adult who just needed a new home. Plug and play. Ready to wear.

After this weird exchange with my roommate, though, I begged off. I could only imagine too clearly her "helping out" one day and letting the dog run away or get hit by a car with some weak, 'Oh it's not supposed to be off the leash?'

Then, about three weeks ago, I got an email from my massage therapy school teacher asking if I was still looking for a dog. Her friend's mom owns a dog grooming shop in the South Bay and routinely takes in/finds dogs needing homes. She currenlty had two Chihuahua mixes.

So one--Timmy--is actually a Chihuahua mix. At fifteen pounds, he looks exactly like a Chihuahua, but augmented to be two times bigger. Like an LA boob.

The other one is Shorty and he may be more of a Toy Fox Terrier/Dachsund mix. Who the hell knows? He's only about a year, so will require some training. We've got a little toughy attitude to get through, though mostly he's very sweet. And Timmy's a lump of sugar. He just wants to sit in your lap, lick your face and play. Shorty, though, he wants to rule the world. And sit in your lap and play. And pee on things.

Needless to say, I am a sucker and getting them both. Are they brothers? No. Did they come to the grooming shop together? No. Have they bonded since they've been there and sleep in the same crate and feel more comforatble with each other around? Yes. Do I love them both and do they both love me? Yes. Will it be better for them to be at home together while I'm at work all day? Yes. Did my roommate give the same blank look when I let her know that I'd like to go meet the dogs? Yes. When I asked her if it'd be okay to have a dog here, did she say it would be? Yes. All gajillion (3) times I asked her? Yes. Did I sense that she wasn't actually that comfortable with it but pretended that she was because it suited me? Yes. Did she keep saying that it was okay and that she was comfortable with the idea, making my delusion that much easier to facilitate? Yes, yes, yes. Did I use this permission to visit the dogs a couple of times and tell my new dog groomer friends that it's on and I will, in fact, get one or both dogs? Yes. Did my roommate--seeing that this dog-adoption business was reality and not blah blah--then FINALLY come clean and tell that she was, in fact, not that comfortable with the idea after all? You bet. Do I want the blank-looked wet noodle to help me watch these vulnerable little pooches? Hells no.

And so the apartment search began. All while Timmy and Shorty wait patiently at the dog groomers in the South Bay, which means many drives down there for me for visits and lots of gratitude to the fine folks at Pup-E-Tails (2050 Artesia Blvd, Torrance 90504, 310-329-9344) for their willingness to watch, feed, deworm, vaccinate and neuter them in the meantime. I only wish these dogs were hairier so I could give the groomers lots of business for years to come.

Sooo, the search for a dog-allowed apartment by the beach with washer/dryer and parking has devolved into a dog-allowed two bedroom in Silverlake for cheap rent and no real amenities, but a hardwood floor in the living room and a big square kitchen with a corner window. (And the hottest landlord ever. Whoa.)

I am still looking in Venice/Marina del Rey, but it occurs to me that--between crazy landlords and crazy roommates--that I haven't had the greatest luck around these parts and that maybe life away from the ocean could be a little sweeter. Who knows?

Of course today was bright and sunny and I went to the beach twice and went to the new board shop in the nabe and got a super cute t-shirt made from bamboo and flirted back with the cashier fella and walked out with the new tight blue t-shirt on, shedding the boxy black turtleneck sweater I'd been wearing, thinking it would be cool, but no, no of course it's gorgeous and warm right when I get comfortable with the idea of life away from the ocean.

So, the living situation, that's still an issue. But the good news is I have a mom, a dad, and Grandpa on the way, several possible apartments in great parts of town that are great contenders to be homes to me and a random (hopefully not crazy) roommate and--yay!--my! new! dogs! Timmy and Shorty.

Perhaps, best of all, I can start writing in this joint more regularly again. And said writing can be concerned not with Starpower's Marathon O'Change, but with things more pertinent to your own lives, like Starpower's Gummy Children's Vitamin Review. Stay tuned folks.


Blogger ross_vegas said...

i'm glad the car thing worked out and way to go w/ giving the pooches a home. silverlake is kickass. no fog and a great gay leather and bondage shop near sunset and alvarado.

6:43 AM  

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