Ripley and me

Posted by: on Aug 28, 2010 | 10 Comments

I didn’t grow up having any pets but Linda had always insisted that we would have a dog once the kids were of age. In January 1998, after a few years of renting, we finally bought a home of our own and within days of moving in, Linda had begun the search for our first dog.

Sunday morning of that President’s Day Weekend, she called the Mount Pleasant Animal Shelter and was told there were 2 puppies up for adoption: Becky and Parkway (named because she was found abandoned on the Garden State Parkway). We drove over to the shelter, filled out all the required forms, went through the required interview and were put in a room to wait for Becky to be brought in as Parkway had been deemed to skittish for adoption at that time. All the while, I was still actively stating that I really didn’t want a dog but Linda and the kids out basically told me I was out of luck.

Jill, the adoption supervisor, brings in Becky, a mutt who looked very much like a German shepherd puppy and all I saw was a big ball of molting dog hair. Becky hits the ground and proceeds to put her front paws up on Zach’s shoulders and lick him for the next 5 minutes. Tiring of this, she walks over to Allie, sits in her lap, curls up in a ball and goes to sleep. Ladies and gentleman…game, set and match! I state this is only the first dog we have seen and we don’t have to get this one but at that moment, even I knew that this was the one.

We were told to come back Tuesday with proof of residency (Monday was a holiday so no mail or bank access), at which point Linda whips out a file with our mortgage, utility bills and other assorted papers to prove we owned the house. 30 minutes later, our family had a new member.

Becky now becomes Ripley. Why Ripley?  Glad you asked. I’m a  big SciFi fan and had always wanted to name my dog Bailey after Elijah Bailey who is a character in several Isaac Asimov books. Either that or Spock but you couldn’t really name a girl dog Spock now, could you? So we need a girl SciFi name and right when we went  to the shelter I was watching Aliens. It was the Sigourney Weaver character, Ellen Ripley that served as my inspiration. I didn’t really want a dog but I certainly was going to get the honor of giving her a name.

The rest is history. Ripley was a great dog. Loved by all, even my parents who didn’t really like dogs all that much. She continued to be a great licker, would bark whenever she was commanded to “speak Ripley” and a wonderful companion. 3 years ago, we got Cosmo (as in Marshall Street in Syracuse) and she proved to be a wonderful friend for Ripley and gave her new life.

But dogs don’t live forever. About a month ago, Ripley started showing signs that something was really wrong.  After a couple of trips to the animal hospital, Linda and I decided to try and make her as comfortable as possible. Over the last couple of weeks, she appeared to rally as if she knew that Allie and Zach would soon be leaving and she needed to put her best game face on.

Yesterday, Linda and I returned from dropping Zach off at SU and helping Allie get settled her in new apartment there. In the 3 days we were gone, we could tell that Ripley’s rally had ended. It was if she knew she had done her job – to get the kids off without to much concern for her own well being.

This morning, she could get no longer eat and movement was next to nothing. I picked her up, carried her to the car and than into the vets office. She barely moved in my arms. A few minutes later, we put her to sleep. I petted her as she took her last breaths and I kissed my sweet princess good bye.

As I write this, you can just imagine the tears streaming down my face but I know the sorrow will end and only the wonderful memories will endure. I only wish she had had the strength to speak to me one last time or give me one last lick because nobody will ever lick me like my Ripley.

Random Airport Thoughts

Posted by: on Aug 22, 2010 | No Comments

You all know how much the airport and air travel inspires. Wouldn’t you know I’m stuck at Palm Beach International in a 2.5 hour weather delay.  Here’s what has caught my attention so far.

Going through security, the TSA agent made a passenger go back to ticketing and check one of his carry-on bags because they both needed to go in the overhead bins and you’re only allowed one. I have never seen that before. Almost jumped out of line to hug the guy but figured that wouldn’t get me through security any quicker.

The major source of entertainment so far was the wheel chair races for the departing passengers coming off some flight. Pretty sure the elderly lady with the grey hair won!

Some really, really obnoxious guy is trying to blame Continental for the “air traffic controller in Newark” delay. Dude, it’s called mother nature and I don’t think Continental Airlines is any happier about it than you are. Mother Nature if you are listening, I give you permission to have lighting strike this guy right in the kisser.

There is a plenty of oversized people in the waiting area. I really hope they are sitting nowhere near me.

Oh, and here’s another guy with 2 pieces of luggage that look like they are going in the carry on bins. Where’s my new PBI carry-on guru when you need him.

Some lady just sat down across from me and sucked down a bunch of Rolaids. Not a good sign for the rest of us, unless of course she’s going to Houston. If so, sucks to be them!

I think that’s if for now.  If I see anything else newsworthy,  I will edit and repost. Live from PBI, it’s IraSez. I now return to your regularly scheduled kvetching.

Left lane dick

Posted by: on Aug 13, 2010 | One Comment

In the past week, I have done a lot of driving. Last Friday we went to Buffalo via Syracuse than back home on Sunday. Technically, I didn’t do the driving as my friend Barry handled those duties but I did ride shot gun the entire time, which gave me plenty of time to observe. Last night, I drove up to the Berkshires for dinner with an old camp friend as we were both picking up our kids today from camp. After picking up my son this morning, the drive home.

All totaled,  4 days of driving covering 5 states and over 1000 miles. I can state without question that left lane dick syndrome has run amok on the roads of America. For those of you that don’t know what I mean, a “left lane dick” is someone who puts their butts in the left lane and stays there defying one of the primary rules of driving:  Pass on the left, drive on the right.

Driving up to the Berkshires last night on the NY Thruway, I’m pretty sure I passed as many people in the right lane as I did in the left. Admittedly, I can have a heavy foot but I passed many of these people who were in the left lane barely driving the speed limit…if that. My opinion is if you driving 75 or even 85 in the left lane and the right lane is open, move over and if I’m coming behind, than move the fuck over.

Left lane dick knows no borders. I encountered dick in all 5 states traveled over the past week. There were dicks with license plates from 2 countries, at least 3 provinces, and more states than I can remember, some as far away as Alabama, Florida and Montana.

I have a lot of complaints about the way folks drive and the things they do while driving.  I’m sure if someone followed me while I was driving they would have a thing to two to say about they way I drive (just ask my wife and she’ll be happy to give you her list). I drive to fast…sometimes; overly aggressive….sometimes; and I have been known to show borderline road rage mentality…but very, very rarely. Do something to piss me off and I have been known to ride my car right up your ass until I can see the whites of your eyes but I am not a left lane dick. I pull over to the right lane as soon as it’s possible. If I’m doing 80 and the guy or gal behind me wants to do 85, than over I go. As a matter of fact, some blue haired little old lady did just that Thursday on the NY Thruway. Was quite shocking to tell you the truth.

I have often stated that I’d like to have a sign in my car that I can hold up while passing someone in the right lane. It would say “You’re a left lane dick.” That or “Your mama’s a Hoya.” Depends on my mood.

Ew de cologne

Posted by: on Aug 5, 2010 | One Comment

Ew de Cologne

On my list of people I don’t want to be anywhere near is the person who wears too much perfume or cologne.  It’s up there right after the person with really bad body odor, just a completely different offense on the olfactory.

Last week, I was in the city for part of the day. It was hot, it was humid, it was sticky and some of the people really reeked but not because it was hot, humid and sticky…it was because they poured the whole dam bottle of whatever it is they wear all over themselves. Dude, it says a little splash not a little bath!

I remember when my son and his friends reached the age where they started wearing cologne. Everyone of them wore Axe (stink-a-roo) and everyone one of them used way more than a splash. When one particular young man was in our car (no names, no names) it took a week to get the smell out. You’d have thought he spilled the whole bottle on himself while he was sitting in our car.  It could be the dead of winter, 10 degrees out, snow blowing in all directions and I had my window open. It was either that or drive blindly as the tears rolled down my cheeks from the stench.

Those boys had an excuse. They were young, they had raging hormones and they had no sense of good taste (or sense of smell apparently). But when you are an adult and you are supposed to have some sort of refinement, I don’t think you want to be walking around smelling like the inside of a taxi cab that has one too many of those scented cardboard trees dangling from the rear view mirror. Just because you are wearing expensive cologne or perfume, doesn’t mean you need to let the whole damn world know about it!

Ladies and gentleman of all ages, here’s my advice. When it comes to how much perfume or cologne you think you should be wearing, a small splash or mistful will do. Remember, the nose you save maybe your own.