Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Dog Days of Summer

I want a dog.

At the beginning of 2013, I vowed to either move permanently to New York City or get a dog.  One is significantly more difficult than the other and since it's already July, I'm thinking that getting a dog is more likely to happen.

I have had a dog all through my childhood.  First, there was Jasper - a mix of some sort who we eventually gave away to friends who had a farm - no really!  That's not code for "put him down". 

Then there was an annoyingly loud beagle, Sam (who we kept for exactly three days) and finally the beloved Tessa - a purebred Australian Shepherd.

Tessa was awesome in every way.  She died in 2008 and I miss having a dog around.  I think I would get another Australian Shepherd - they're such a great breed.  The one thing I'm afraid of is getting a dog with a less-than-ideal temperament.  It's the same fear I would have about a child.  Sure, you can train them really well, but it's a bit of a crap shoot when it comes to their personality.

All signs point to dog ownership.  I have a fenced in yard.  I work from home so would have ample opportunity to train it properly.  My doorbell is broken so it would be nice to have a barking visitor announcement.

However, I am out a lot.  This is slightly worrisome as I don't want anything to cramp my social style.  But, maybe it's time for me to take responsibility for more than myself.  Hmmm.  I ought to give this more thought.

Another thing I need to think about is a suitable name.  A dog's name is so important.  For a while I liked the name Lemon, but then worried that people might think my dog is gimpy or something.  I also find human names really amusing - like Kevin or Mark.  Just imagine yelling, "Here, Mark, come on boy!"  Funny. 

However, the real question is - does a single girl getting a dog look the same as a single girl getting a cat?  Must avoid that at all costs.

Monday, July 8, 2013


I love bacon as much as the next person.  Or perhaps more.  But come on now - this is ridiculous:

I've even heard recently of pot-flavoured bacon.  Shouldn't this be the other way around?


I quite enjoyed the odd creativity of these umbrellas:


It was Tall Ships weekend in Hamilton recently and Bayfront Park and Piers 4 and 8 were bustling.  I decided to spend a particularly lovely Sunday down by the water and even ventured there on my bicycle.  On the road.  Without a helmet - errrr.

I have never biked downtown before, but with the Yes We Cannon initiative as well as my new knowledge of the arm signals, I decided to give it a go.  I got down there in less than 20 minutes with nary a car honking at me.

My friend Andreana was spending the day at the park preparing for the massive Canada Day celebration and I joined her on her VIP golf cart after lounging by the water and on a blanket with a book.  It was a perfectly blissful day, topped off by joining my parents for lunch on a nearby sailboat.

A great day to be a Hamiltonian.  Plus, by hanging out with Andreana in her VIP golf cart, I got a free soft serve ice cream.

The fireworks on Canada Day were incredible - just when you think they have tapped out all the possible firework creations, they invent another one!  There were at least three fireworks that I had never seen before.  And the greatest thing about Canada Day celebrations is that you get to stand and sing the national anthem.  Outside of grade school, we don't get to do this anymore.  I miss it.  Plus it's heartwarming to see all the punks and seem-to-be hoodlums remove their baseball caps and stand at attention.  Visible patriotism is the best.


I loved walking down James Street North and doing a double-take at this alleyway.  It reminds me of a small Caribbean country or back alley in New Orleans.  I love the effort at making their small area beautiful.


I love a good painting project.  There are few other chores that make such a visible difference and so quickly.  I have been known to paint over everything.  Forget sweeping spiders off the porch, just paint over them.  Forget dusting the stairs, just paint over it.  I helped a friend with her painting project the other day and it was a satisfying job. 

Several neighbours praised us as we worked, which makes me think they have all been hoping those unsightly stairs would be fixed.  Were they the neighbourhood eyesore?  That's saying a lot in our area of town!

"Excuse me...."

Asking someone to watch your computer at Starbucks is a strange exercise.  Naturally, after drinking a venti medium roast coffee, nature will call and it is necessary to choose someone suitable to guard your belongings while you take a bathroom break.

Over the last couple of weeks, I have carefully selected guardians based on the following criteria:

- proximity
- likelihood to steal my stuff
- level of weirdness
- age

Last week I asked an elderly lady to watch my computer and when I came back, I saw that she had fully turned her chair around and was intently staring at it, as if a thief could possibly swoop in and steal it at any moment.  I loved this.  She had made it her sole duty.

Today I asked a middle-aged man to take on the task and only after saying, "Excuse me" about four times did he grunt his acceptance.  When I thanked him upon my return, he ignored me.  Not quite the vigilant good Samaritan I had hoped for. 

I think next time I will put society to the test and not ask anyone.  I'm confident in our collective goodness.  Or take my laptop to the bathroom....