Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Daily Mile and Other Random 7am Things

I have a couple of posts of things I found cool or horrifying or interesting on my trip...mostly to keep track of them myself. I TRIED to journal while I was there, I swear I did. I faithfully brought one with me and even made 1/4 of an entry on day 1...and then I fell off the wagon altogether. Some writer, I know. But I do have loads of pictures and a couple pages of phone notes of odd stuff, like the City of the Dead in Edinburgh and the fairy tree in Ireland. Sadly, I have a desktop computer about a decade old, and I'm having some technical difficulty loading pictures from my phone.

In the meantime, while in the UK a particular news story caught my attention, because if this isn't happening here in the states it really should be. For background, this post is not being written by your usual lazy sleep-in-Jess, but by the alien pod replacement who took over Jess's body somewhere in Ireland or Scotland and suddenly is WIDE AWAKE at 6am with no prompting from an alarm and gets up to walk the dog instead of rolling over with a grunt and sleeping until 7:59. Also, apologies for the horrendous run on sentence. Feel free to blame my lack of practice with your oddly archaic human language that uses punctuation and dangling participles instead of easier routes of communication, like telepathy or color coded fruit loops.

So, one of the BBC channels, which are conveniently numbered BBC1, BBC2, BBC4, and DAVE (Yes, there is indeed a DAVE channel in the UK. I was baffled too.) had a story about a Scottish teacher who had an idea to help her students get better grades. She started in her school, then her district, then her country, and ultimately internationally, including some schools in the US according to the website. She calls it The Daily Mile, and it's possibly the easiest thing to give children of school age to help them learn, get fit, and focus: outside walk/run every morning for 15 minutes. This little thing she started has had such an effect on kids she's been recognized for awards and is invited to the royal wedding next week. For adults, walking a mile every day gives us more energy...I think sometimes we forget kids already have tons of energy and need to burn some of it off in order to focus and learn better.

I may not have any spawn myself, but I'm one of those people who think a good education is one of the most important things we can give kids, which is why I never bitch about school levies on my property taxes and thoroughly believe teachers should make more money and have better benefits and support.

Anyway, if you're a teacher or parent or (like me) an aunt/uncle or otherwise have kiddos in your life and want to know more, the link is here: The Daily Mile.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Living Up to Viking Stereotypes

This is obviously my fault. I'm the idiot who chose a Viking legend as the appropriate name for my puppy. Yes, I know there has been WAY more important world events lately, but I'm not a news source, and I'm tired of death, so this post is focused on destruction instead.

Things Ragnar Ate: 

  • The heel of the only pair of tall boots I own that actually fit my calves. Because he's an asshole who has no respect for my wardrobe. 
  • Two packages of incense. Luckily for him, it wasn't the expensive incense: it was the single-use sticks. I expect his poop to smell like recycled lavender for a while. Does that mean cleaning up after him will make me sleepy? 
  • A ruler. Yeah. A wooden ruler with a fucking metal edge, which I managed to get away from him before he cut anything but after he lost another tooth. 
  • The carpet. There are so many carpet munching comments to be had here...at least if he's going to do the viking stereotype he's choosing the right activity? 
  • The wall. The WALL. HE ATE THE MOTHERFUCKING WALL. He picked at the edge of a patch until he could get his little needley white puppy teeth on it, and pulled it off the goddamned wall. I actually have nothing funny to say about this, because it's just infuriating. Related: does anyone know a good sheetrock person? 
  • Angus. In neither an inappropriate cat / carpet euphemistic way (gross) OR a deathly way. Let me explain. 
So here's how the daily fights in my house break down. Ragnar gets all worked up with UBER PUPPY ENERGY and starts chasing Angus. 

Angus, being stubbornly convinced he's the biggest badass in the house, swats at puppy snout instead of running. Inevitably, this results in Ragnar grabbing the big black puffball cat's lemur-ish tail and attempting to drag him down the hallway. Have you ever heard a cat so pissed off he suddenly morphs into the Alien facehugger? Because that's what he doe: he wraps that lemur tail around the back of the puppy's head and latches onto his face with all four sets of claws. Instead of the creepy throat-egg thing, he just grabs Ragnar's ear in his formidable no-longer-kitten jaws and bites HARD. 

Scream-whining ensues, and Angus rides a bucking puppy through the entire household, doubling down in his grip with both claws and teeth until Ragnar cries uncle. They separate for a few minutes, then Ragnar sniffs kitten belly, Angus licks Ragnar's forehead, and they snuggle until the WILD PUPPY ENERGY starts the whole rigmarole over. 

Ragnar Lodbrok would undoubtedly be proud of my puppy's penchant for destruction. 


Thursday, January 04, 2018

And Then I Dropped a Chemical Weapon On Myself

Things Ragnar Ate:


  • The corner of a foam Yoga brick
    • Well, that's an unsubtle reminder. 
  • A stolen treat still in the wrapper 
    • Dog treats are gross. This one was rabbit sausage (presumably that would be a sausage-shaped treat comprised of rabbit bits, not rabbit penis, since it didn't say "pizzle" on the packaging. 
  • The rubber coating from a 2 lb fitness weight
    • He's right. I'm not using it anyway. 
  • One ballet flat
    • But WHY does he insist on keeping one of my feet bare? Just one? ASSHOLE.
  • 7 toilet paper rolls
    • at least he waits for them to be empty, unlike Angus who insists on unrolling all the toilet paper and murdering any new roll he finds
  • A small chunk of wood from the bottom of a nightstand
And this is where chemical weapons entered my bedroom. 

If you've had a puppy, you are already aware that they chew on FUCK ALL EVERYTHING. Those tiny shark teeth are always hungry, and much like a shark, puppy teeth are nearly always in motion until they hit a few months old and start losing those shark teeth. At that point, the sharks are ALWAYS chewing...even in their sleep.

Image result for great white shark
My teeth hurt. CHEW THE THINGS.
Photo courtesy of National Geographic
 As such, most pet supply stores offer various takes on icky things to spray/rub on items they don't want shredded.

So, when I moved back to MN I bought myself real bedroom furniture so I can pretend I'm an adult. This statement is not a non-sequitur.

At about 2:30am the other night, I woke to a giant furry termite making gross gnawing sounds that were unmistakably on wood. I'm not a fan of middle of the night sleep interruptions. By "not a fan" I do, indeed, mean I'm homicidally cranky.

So, pissed off and growling, I got up. I took that fucking bottle of bitter-chemical-chew-stop and sprayed it on ALL the dresser/nightstands/bookshelves in my room. And the lone sad remaining already once-repaired iPhone cord.

In my defense, at 2:30am when I'm naked and cold and ready to commit various bloody forms of murder on anything alive in my house who bothered waking me up...I MAY have overlooked the fact that spraying that shit all over means there is aerosoled chemical weapon floating around in the very air I breathe.

And that's how I ended up with bitter-no-chew-spray in my sinuses, eyes, and lungs for the next six hours.

FYI: Starbucks is NOT TASTY when mixed with bitter-no-chew-spray.