Well, hello there.

It’s been some time since my last post, and maybe you were thinking…MY GOD.  THE YARN KILLED HER!  KILLED HER DEAD!  Well, I’m happy to report that I am very much alive and the yarn has been handled.  Valerie got a special yarn-baller that made each wad into a handy flat ball that stored neatly in her craft closet.  I balled the shit out of that yarn for a good couple of weeks until it was all stacked and tucked away.  Take that, yarn motherfuckers!

I’ve not been writing much because I’ve been really caught up in life.  Moving Valerie in was difficult because it provoked a lot of anxiety when there was already a lot of that going around because of a certain medical issue I will not disclose here.  Needless to say, shit was getting hard and this exciting moment of moving in together was taken over by the harsh realities of feelings and life.  It’s like how when Tiny Michael was still a baby, he’d gently stroke your cheeks and be so sweet and then suddenly and without warning he would squeeze and scrape his fingernails down your face like a rabid raccoon.  THIS IS HOW LIFE HAS BEEN…like a surprise raccoon attack.

We’re still slowly settling in to life together and because of the undisclosed medical issue (UMI) there have still had to be some periods of separation.  The separations have made it difficult to hit our rhythm, but we’re both working hard on getting there, and it’s still infinitely better than only seeing one another on the weekends.  Because without living together we would not have had the opportunity to argue over who farts more, decide to keep a fart log and then discuss the rules around which farts to tally.  This is very complicated couples work we are doing.  SINGLE PEOPLE – this is what you have to look forward to:  Arguments over who is the most prolific farter in the relationship.

I won’t go into great detail about the farting other than to let you know that two days in, I have two farts to Valerie’s none.  This is because I was farting the farts I normally would while Valerie saved hers for the bathroom (bathroom farts don’t count).  I had to argue today that the fart log’s purpose wasn’t to see who could fart the least but is supposed to be a realistic portrait of our farting habits.  In my fervor, what I ended up doing was to encourage Valerie to fart around me more.  While this may reflect poorly in the fart log for her, who is the real loser here?  Is it Valerie for being proven the fart leader or me for enduring all those potential farts?  Relationships are hard.  Filled with traps.

In addition to the fart log, Valerie and I have also agreed to foster a small dog.  Bella, a Chihuahua mix, belonged to Valerie and her ex.  They adopted her from a shelter that rescued her from death row in California.  When they split, Valerie took Lucy and the ex took Bella.  Well, the ex broke up with her girlfriend and had to move and wasn’t able to have Bella in her new housing arrangements, so we agreed to take her on for two months while she worked on getting something more permanent and dog-friendly.  Well, that was in August and it’s now January and Bella belongs to me YOU GET AWAY FROM HER.  I like to joke that we horde small dogs.  But it’s no joke because WE DO.

Three dogs is a lot of dogs, even if they’re small.  In early August I lived with Gus and then in mid-August I lived with Gus, Valerie, Lucy, Raffy (cat) and Bella.  That’s like…a 200 percent increase (thank you, Kim, for doing the math) in roommates.  So whereas Gus and I would spend our weeknights enjoying jazz music and some philosophical discussions over a cocktail, we now have what amounts to a fraternity house…just complete insanity all the time.  One dog on it’s own is mellow and sweet but three dogs is like a herd of drunken assholes with the disagreements over feeding time, who had what treat, who continues to have a treat someone else wanted, who has any treats at all when one dog feels she should have all of them, who gets what toy, where they get to play with their toy, who they play with when they have the toy, who lays on which couch, who gets to drink water first, where in the bed they sleep, who sits on my lap in the car, who gets to begin CPR on me after we crash the car into a tree during the tiny dog fight over the lap thing (hint: sounds like a couple of angry squirrels) and so on FOREVER.

The lesson here is that three dogs are WAY too many.  One is perfect, two is manageable and three is just fucking crazy.  I made the mistake of taking them to the dog park on my own (two times because after the first time I guess I decided I wanted to ruin another perfectly good Saturday afternoon).  Getting three dogs in the car is a feat in and of itself.  First, we had to leave the house and as soon as I put my shoes on, Gus knows that someone is going out the door and he’s pretty sure it’s him because I take him everywhere and he’s come to expect that.  By the time the keys rustle when I pick them up, the other two have caught on and the barking begins.  The excitement, the panic and, sometimes, the shitting.  So if we get out of the house within 20 minutes of when I started leaving the house, this is an accomplishment.  Next we have to get into the car, which sounds a lot like this: GUS.  GUS! Get in the car.  Up!  Up! Up! Up! Lucy, up!  Lucy.  Lucy…Lucy?  LUCY GET IN THE CAR.  Gus! Gus?  GUSSY?  GUSSY?  Where’s Gus? GUS?  GUS?   GUS GET IN THE CAR!  Bella…get out of my seat and get in the back.  GET IN THE BACK.  No.  No.  No, get back in the car.  Up! Up!  Back.  Get in the back.  GET IN THE BACK.  Eventually we make it to the dog park and the real shit show begins when I try to get them the six feet from the car to the gate of the park.  Since Gus is a runner who thinks that your frantic screaming and chasing him down the street is the BEST! GAME! EVER! I need to carry him.  Since Bella has a habit of wandering like a flying mosquito, in weird and nonsensical, jerky patterns, she needs to be on a leash.  Lucy is a pretty good listener so I let her follow because in this instance, she is the dog I can trust.  Once we get inside the dog park, however, it’s a completely different story.

The off-leash park means something very different to each of the dogs.  For Lucy, it’s her moment to play referee for every other dog.  This mostly involves a lot of barking.  A lot of constant barking.  Like regular barking, but forever or until that great dane turns around and looks at her, which is when she runs away very fast while growling and then barks some more when she is far enough away.  Gus thinks the park is the greatest place ever.  Not because he can run free with wild abandon or play with some awesome new dogs.  Oh, no.  The park is for smelling.  There are logs and trees and rocks and fences and wood chips and brooms and poles and garbage cans what need sniffin’.  I like to refer to this as “checking his pee-mail.”  He will spend as much time as he is able slowly wandering the entire park smelling anything he can.  Throw in a few other dogs trying to hump his face and there you have it.  The best hour of his day.  Bella thinks the dog park is amazing until she gets inside when it becomes the scariest place in the world.  Suddenly THERE ARE DOGS EVERYWHERE.  It’s like she forgets that she is one and WHAT ARE THESE MONSTERS?  The only fun she has is when I lock her in the small dog area that no one else uses and she stands inside wagging her tail and staring at me like…THIS IS SO FUN!

Since it’s now winter and it’s too dark to take them to the park after work, we’ve spend a lot of time inside at home.  This is great for Lucy because she spends her whole day wrapped in a blanket and sleeping.  Gus thinks it’s the worst because there is nothing left to smell.  Bella is just fucking nuts because now we’re all trapped inside where she can constantly bombard us with toys and balls to throw for her which she will bring back to you and bark and scratch at the carpet  until you throw it again, repeat for all eternity.  If Bella were Sisyphus, she’d be one ecstatic motherfucker.

In short, there are too many dogs in this house HELP ME.

I have more to share…but later because DOGS EVERYWHERE.