Friday, February 20, 2009

The Domesticated Maya

Dust. Ragweed. I guess that something along those lines was the answer I expected all along. Instead, I found myself staring at a two page list of foods, plants, insects and words that even Webster’s Dictionary cowers in the face of, accompanying six tiny color coded vials. My tiny, sweet, little pug, Maya, has been suffering for nearly two years with chronic allergies affecting her skin, ears, and paws. Due to various moves and environmental changes, we have had to wait for what has seemed like an eternity to get her vaccines made so that she can start having some relief that I don’t have to wrap in a snausage for her twice a day. I was expecting something easier than giving her shots for the rest of her life. I thought they would tell us to buy a better air purifier or be more diligent about dusting… or even to closer examine our outdoor plant life. Now I found myself feeling bad for Maya yet again.
Maya is the sweetest creature on the planet. There isn’t a bad bone in her body. Her nick-name, Mia-Pia, means “My Contented One” and it couldn’t be more perfect. When things are going badly for her, all she wants is a warm lap and a nice nap. The same could be said for anyone having a rough day and there is nothing better than laying your head on the pillow and feeling her warm little face snuggle up against yours. Why this poor little thing suffers so constantly with allergies is a constant source of grief for my husband and I. My relief is that now we know what is wrong and are looking at the culprits printed up on paper. I am hoping beyond hope for a more comfortable existence for her and I can’t help but wonder what would become of her in the wild.
As it is, pugs don’t strike me as the type of dog that would ever have had any sort of survival skills. Lap dogs to the core, they were bred to adorn the thrones of Chinese royalty and they haven’t come much farther on the ol’ career path since. But weren’t all dogs “wild” in some form at one point? Poor Maya, with her allergy to chicken, turkey, and any other bird one could imagine, would probably have to develop a taste for vegetarianism. I can’t imagine my “barely as large as a shoe” dog wrestling a cow to the ground. I’m pretty certain that unless she somehow managed to lick the cow to death, a beef meal would not be so easy to come by. I can, however, imagine her using her adorable little face to coerce a lion to bring her a herd of dinner (Because in my fantasy world, lions, pugs, and cows share a habitat). If nothing else, she has a way about her that results in her getting exactly what she wants from people and pets alike. Maya has never had to fight for treats, bones, or the best spot on the fluffiest pillow. Born the only puppy to her litter, she had her little pug mama all to herself and spent her evenings nestled in the bed of the dog breeder… not something you hear of happening often. When she was placed on a dietary dog food that she detested, my other dog would actually bring her mouthfuls of his own food. Truly, no one can resist the charms of Maya.
We look at animals as if they are stupid—lower forms of life. But what do we really know, anyway. Every being on this earth is equipped with a natural instinct and a way for survivability. I just can’t imagine what Maya’s is. After all, she is allergic to a dogs easiest outdoor meal and the Planet Earth, in general. So what am I to make of this list of reactionable offenses from Bermuda grass to Palm trees, from ants to soybeans? I suppose for Maya, survival would come to her as it does to a busty blonde in need of a fancy home and small fortune supplied by a dwindling, but lucrative older man. Lucky for her she will always have someone to take care of her and love her and keep all the evil chicken away. I hope to report in the coming months that she has improved ten-fold with her new allergy injections and is a happy, healthy, itch free girl once again.

The One(s) That Got Away

The One(s) That Got Away

They say it is better to have loved and lost and it is a cliché that many have pondered over the years. Recently I have been thinking of some special loves in my life that have gotten away. Remembering their loss and feeling their absence is a constant reminder of those feelings of sadness, frustration and anger. Sometimes it is more than even fond memories can tame.

1. Softlips Lemon Sorbet Chapstick.
It arrived in a welcome package from Holmes East dorms at Michigan State University in 2001. I don’t remember a single other thing that came in that gift basket. All I remember is a slim-line tube of chapstick that I swore tasted like Lemon Pledge. Despite its wood polishing aroma, I quickly grew to love this brand of lip balm. It was tingly and lemony and perfect. I must have bought a hundred tubes and of course I lost all of them. But of all the chap stick that has ever come into my life… it is the ONLY brand that I threw away at the end because I used it all before losing it. Nothing replaces that kind of sentimentality. Now, Softlips is still on the market, but they discontinued the Lemon Sorbet flavor and instead have a bunch of silly, floofy flavors like Strawberry Margarita and Cherry Vanilla. I would do anything for another tube of that chapstick.

2. Ohm Ginger and Citrus Body Lotions and Soaps
This didn’t stay on the market for very long. Apparently, I am the only person who found this to be the absolute most perfect smell for any sort of bath product. It just smelled so clean! It wasn’t flowery or spicy…. It was just a nice, fresh smell. Even the packaging was appealing. They arrived in fresh green colored bottles with graphic circles reminiscent of orange slices. It is the kind of product where you buy the soap and the lotion to match because you can’t stand the idea of not having that scent with you all day long. I still have a bottle of the lotion left and I only let myself use it on special occasions.

3. California Pizza Kitchen’s Thai Chicken Pizza
I have never been a big pizza fan but this pizza is out of this world! They still make it. You can order it in their restaurants as far as I know. But all of a sudden every grocery store I know has stopped carrying the Thai Chicken frozen version of the California Pizza Kitchen’s masterpiece pie. It may be a hard sell to some people, peanuts, arugula, and carrots on a pizza, but I assure you, it is the greatest tasting thing I have ever tasted and I am truly saddened by its disappearance from grocery store shelves. What is this world coming too?

4. Express Black Bar Pants
This is sad. I had this pair of black bar pants from Express. Several pair actually. I wore each of them until they were pits of string held together with staples and fabric glue. They went with everything. They looked dressy if you wanted them to. Casual, if you felt like going that way was a simple shirt or even a t-shirt and sandals. They were magnificent. And the one day, they just weren’t to b e found anywhere. I remember how I ruined the first pair. I was wrapping Christmas gifts and sliding the scissors across the wrapping paper and snipped a big whole into the leg of the pants. My back up pair I wore all through my first and second years at Ringling and by the end had stitched together several holes and even tried gluing frayed edges at the heels. It is very rare, indeed, that I become attached to an article of clothing. I loved, loved, loved those pants. R.I.P.

5. Naturalizer Brown Sandals
I’ll try not to harp too much on my forlorn sandals that have often been mentioned in my blog. I had them for many, many years and I wore them until they disintegrated and I bit the big one in the office supply aisle at Walmart where I took out a side-cap of scotch tape and received some nice bruises. In all they were the greatest and most versatile pair of all-purpose footwear known to man. I will give my life savings to the person who locates me another pair post haste.

6. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Pizza Crackers
These little crackers were shaped like pizza slices and had a biting “pizza” flavor. They were really pretty awful. I would never want to eat one of these things again, but just somehow knowing that they were out there somewhere would make me a happier person.
the cookies:

7. Ponds Face Dots
These things were great! They looked like little round, clear bandaids. You stuck them on your “acne problem spots” before bed, you woke up and the situation was always much improved. I found that they worked really well. Even my husband liked them a lot. Now, they cannot be found anywhere. I find it hard to imagine that mine are the only zits responding to them. But maybe my pimples are special. I like to think that they are.

8. Snap bracelets
Where the hell did they all go? Are they still in our teacher’s drawers, snapless for all eternity? What a waste of sheer joy. I used to think that they were made out of mini-blinds.

9. Annie Chun’s Hot and Sour Soup Bowls
Possibly the greatest freeze-dried hot and sour microwave soup in existence, this product is disappearing off store shelves faster than I can snap it up. If I find one day that they have stopped carrying it, the HEB has HELL to pay.

10. McDonald’s Old School Chicken Sandwiches
Yeah, I’m sorry but they used to taste different. And better. I would be so happy if they would go back to the 1980s happy version of the chicken sandwich. Nothing fancy just grade E poultry on a bun with some mayo and lettuce. Make it happen guys. Come on. I found this very version of said Chicken sandwich once in Canada on a school trip to Stratford. I know we saw a play that day… but all I remember is a Chicken Sandwich laden with memories of the old days.

There is a lesson to be learned from all of this. When you find something you like… maybe splurge and keep a few spares around. The corporate marketplace is an evil place where many a product is swallowed whole and never spit out again. Best of luck in keeping all of your loved ones close at hand.

Pay Attention: