Dogs. And tacos. I mean, is there any more to life? Besides maybe dogs EATING tacos?
My husband was out of town this weekend, and so, like the scaredy cat I am, I fled for occupied places of residence, where I wouldn't lay awake all night long, praying for the sun to rise and thinking "Remember that one time you accidentally saw the preview for The Strangers?? I bet that's going to happen to you tonight."
Instead, I drove up to Ft. Collins at 10pm to spend a weekend with my wonderful friend Karen. Karen's house feels to me like a crafty refuge from the world. There are so many colors and fun twirly things and organic fruit. I love nothing more than curling up under a blanket with a cup of tea and just talking to her for hours. We can talk about anything and everything, and we often do. It's great to have a friend you connect with on such a deep level. It's a place of serene comfort.
Or, it was until I brought my dogs there.
My dogs are normally VERY lazy. They sleep all day. No one believes me, because when new people come over, the doxie goes bananas and doesn't settle down for at least 30 minutes. I feel sad, because it's not how she is at all. Sure, she's busy and nosy and hilarious, but she literally naps on the couch for at least six hours a day, and the Shih Tzu downstairs, well, she might not move for an entire day. When my Mom watched them a few weeks ago, she said "I worried that Peka's muscles might atrophy, so I moved her off the pillow, but she went RIGHT BACK." Such is the life of a 10 year old Shih-Tzu. The dogs are lazy, easy as pie to have, sweet and loving.
Until I took them to Karen's house.
Then they were THE WORST DOGS EVER.
Karen was already in bed when I got there, since I had gone to a movie with Katie first (Les Mis!! Yes!! I will see it probably five more times, and cry at each one. This one was special because I noticed that Hadley Fraser, one of my FAVORITE male Broadway voices, plays the Army Officer. Listen next time! His voice is lovely and his mustache is pretty intense) and then driven to up to her house.
Look for him!
The scene: a quiet, sleepy town home. We burst in the door like a traveling menagerie, or one of those old-timey instrument people who walks and bangs drums at the same time. Moxie sees the cats. Moxie has never been around a cat. Moxie gets slapped by the cat and screams - SCREAMS - at the top of her lungs. The cat is declawed. It's, as Karen said, "like being hit by a cotton ball." Peka is whining and crying, which is what she always does when she unsure. Both dogs are freaking out because they are in a new place, and normally I let them sniff around and relax and get the feel of the place, because then they just chill. Oh, they think, you are here, our stuff is here. We're cool. I like this couch. Instead of that, since Karen is sleeping and Michael has just gone to bed, I shove the dogs into the guest room with me and shut the door, hoping not to wake her. The dogs are losing their minds. They are sniffing and crying, and the cats are outside the door meowing and wailing and it's total chaos and I just want to sleep. I put the dogs in their crate and then I try to sleep, but every time someone moved, I would freeze up in panic and think "Oh no. Oh no. They are going to bark and wake up Karen and Michael. Shut up, shut up, please shut up!" Here's the sad thing: they never actually barked in the crate. Not once. But I still laid awake all night, just WAITING for it. I watched the sun rise through the blinds. My eyes stung and I was so tired, so tired I couldn't sleep. Rattling around my brain was a combination of paranoia about the aliens who had taken over my animals, the caffeine I had consumed at the theater, and an elaborate reworking of the plot of Les Mis to where Fantine and Valjean got married and no one died. It was not a good night.
The next morning, Moxie continued to antagonize the cat, who turned out to be sort of a scary/awesome tiger that put the dogs in their place. It went like this: Moxie cornered Katya. Katya hissed all scary-like, and then Moxie thought, "I think that means she wants to play." Moxie gets slapped and screams. Then it all happens again and again and again. For the first time, I thought: I bet this is why parents get all weird when their kids go to other people's houses. You are just trying to enjoy the company, but the whole time you are thinking "Don't do something bad. Don't do something bad." I don't even think K&M minded, but I was apologizing every 9 seconds. It was not awesome. I hate that moment when you are like, "They are really good at home..." because I can tell you that whenever I've seen a parent say that, I think "YEAH RIGHT!"
I was wrong. I totally get it now.
Other than my neurotic dogs who have added YEARS to my life, I had a great weekend. I prepared for the shoot tomorrow. Dyed my hair, got my eyebrows waxed by a guy who said simply "WHOA" when he looked at them. Apparently I am the daughter of Genghis Khan. I got a smoothie. Stayed up late with K&M, talking about PLI and LCMS and PH'Ds and MFA's.
I came home and could not be rid of the dogs fast enough. I found an outfit for the shoot tomorrow with the help of my sister via our phone and unflattering dressing room pics that will NEVER see the light of day. Tonight, Ryan came home (HUZZAH!) and we had taco night. Taco night is a big hit around here, and I'll tell you why: because we make the best taco meat. Here's our little secret: after you cook the taco meat in spices or whatever you use - simmer the taco meat for 10 minutes with a can of RED enchilada sauce. Oh my gosh people. I cannot eat taco meat without it now. Your tacos will be melty and hot and spicy and dripping amazeness. The red sauce takes a dry, tasteless, boring taco to something ridiculous delicious.
So.. that's all for tonight. I warned you what this was about in the first place. Exciting times.
I can only imagine my Pulitzer is on the way.