Saturday, July 31

Paris, Love

Oh Paris, how I love thee!

You’ll be happy to know that I was able to put aside my puppy problems and really enjoy my time in gorgeous, romantic, magical Paris.

Want some highlights?

Of course you do!

Instead of camping out at the local Best Western (because I’m pretty sure there was one in Paris) Papa decided that a family of 5 needed more than 2 standard rooms—we needed an apartment. So we rented a 3 bedroom, 3 bath apartment with 2 sitting rooms, kitchen, dining room and laundry room overlooking the Seine and Pont Sully (one of the bridges that leads to Ile St Louis).

Pretty freaking fantastic, right?

Another little tidbit about the apartment that’s worth mentioning—the woman who lived below us.

Ever see people with dogs in little suitcases on airplanes? Well most of the time (when people can afford to shell out the $100 for a bag and $120 each way to bring the dog onboard) those bags are Sherpa Bags and the woman who lived below the apartment—Gayle Martz—just happened to invent them.

All the celebrities carry them, so you know she’s made a pretty penny. Actually I’m positive she’s made a pretty penny because she made a point of telling us that she owns homes in southern California, NYC and Paris.

Life outside the apartment was pretty great, too.

We wined.

We dined.

We champagned.

We strolled down small cobelstone streets lined with adorable shops selling everything from glass figurines (Twin’s present), wines from a vineyard in Dirty Dirty’s sister city in France, every kind of kitchen dish and utensil imaginable (including knives that say “pizza” in the blade), to mountains of spices.

Though my favorite store was easily Shakespeare and Company.

It's quite possibly the most famous English bookstore in all of France and was once a favorite spot of Hemingway's.

We saw the last stage of the Tour de France, which was lovely despite the fact that Contador won.

No one likes a bitch, Contador.

And I even got to drag the family through the Louvre for a few hours, all the while impressing them with my newly acquired art history knowledge.

^On the other side of this wall is only the Mona Lisa. That attention whore.^

Though the highlight of my trip was my personal picnic in my favorite park—Place de Vosges.

What made this picnic so wonderful?

I got to explore the city by myself in search of a pita full of falafel, which I ate on a bench in the sun while watching some of the cutest kids run around the park.

Why is it that children screaming is so much less annoying when they’re speaking French?

Overall, it was a fabulous trip that I wish had lasted longer, especially since the real life that I returned to is far from thrilling or even pleasant.

Mother refuses to do anything about Luke. And I have to miss a trip to ChiChi’s beach condo with all my friends because I’m having my surgery then.

Super fun, right?

Thursday, July 22

Brotherly Love

So I’m in Paris. The City of Lights. The City of Love. One of my favorite cities on earth.

But still I’m a tad down.

Why you ask?

Puppy problems. No, this is not my way of saying trouble with puppy love or anything of the sort. I’m talking about my dogs—Rocky and Luke.

As I’ve said before, these dogs are my loves, but especially Rocky. The more he ages the more he becomes the cutest, disgruntled old man-dog. He walks around and sulks. He barks. He won’t let you help him on to his chair when his hips hurt him too much to jump, no matter how badly he wants to get up. He sleeps a lot. But the second I get on the couch with a certain blue blanket he’s right there by my side, curled up in the nook of my legs with his little head resting on my knees. And the second I get out a treat he’s the first one sitting at my feet, looking up at me with his big blinky eyes.

I’ve had him for ¾ of my life.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Luke, too. He’s one of the happiest, most charming dogs ever. He’s always excited to see you. Always willing to play. And not nearly as neurotic as Rocky was at his age.

^Yes, this is a supper old picture. He has gotten much better looking since then.^

That is why what happened Tuesday night absolutely breaks my heart.

Rocky and Luke got into a fight. But this wasn’t their normal fight where they bark and growl and nip a little until one of them walks off. This was a big, huge, ferocious fight. But the worst part is it was completely unprovoked.

Luke was lying on his pillow. Rocky and Mother walked past. Luke lunged at Rocky and grabbed him by the throat.

I’ll skip the details because, frankly, I can’t bare to think about them. The gist is that the fight went on for about 15 minutes and I honestly thought Rocky was going to die.

I had never seen this side of Luke before. Sure, I knew he had a ferocious side based on the multitude of dead chipmunks and salamanders he was constantly leaving on our doorsteps, but never in a million year did I think he would turn that on my beloved Rocky. But as I sat in Mother’s bathroom, where we had Rocky sequestered after the fight, watching him shake and pace and refuse to fall asleep despite the Benadryl we gave him, I was informed that this was not the first time this had happened. A week or so earlier Luke had done the same thing. It was not nearly as intense of an attack, and a few quick hits with a magazine and Luke released. While the details of the first fight didn’t scar me too much, the knowledge of it and the fact that this behavior of Luke’s was becoming a habit was traumatizing to no end.

So Tuesday night while Mother, Brother and I were gathered in the bathroom watching as poor Rocky walked in circles, boasting a bloody eye, cuts in his ears, puncture wounds on his quickly swelling neck and a tail that was firmly tucked between his legs, we made the heart wrenching decision that we couldn’t keep Luke.

At the time the decision wasn’t too difficult. I was mad at Luke and only concerned with Rocky’s health and wellbeing. Not a single other thing crossed my mind. So of course it seemed reasonable that since it appeared Luke was going to continue attacking Rocky we should protect the obvious (vulnerable and pitty-worthy) victim.

But then Tuesday turned into Wednesday. And I saw Luke out in his yard lying by the gate, just waiting for us to come get him. I saw him start jumping with excitement anytime we walked out the door. And when a potential adopter came over to meet him I saw how wonderfully charming and good looking he is. And my heart broke even more.

I don’t want to give him up (or worse, put him down if we can’t find a new family), but we don’t have any other options. Mother knew all along that Luke shouldn’t be with other Jack Russells (his breeder apparently warned the rescue, who warned Mother’s friend, who warned her). And it is in no way fair to make Rocky spend the last few years of his life as Luke’s potential punching bag.

All this heartbreak is why I spent the entire 1.5-hour car ride to the airport, the 2 hours of waiting at the airport and various parts of our 8-hour flight crying. I’m trying to persevere (and find a home for Luke from overseas) for the sake of my trip (and Papa who is constantly concerned with our fun levels), but it’s difficult.

These dogs are like my brothers.

PS-I'll try to make my next post more upbeat and about Paris.

Thursday, July 15


Limbo over.

I got the call yesterday and now I know—severe cervical dysplasia.

Without getting terribly technical or scientific this means that I have the most advanced and developed stage of precancerous cells. Doc recommends LEEP—Loop Electrosurgical Excising Procedure—but I haven’t agreed to anything yet. I’ll definitely be having a chat (or 2) with Doc, and maybe getting a second opinion, before anything is scheduled.

But for the moment I’m just going to sit with it and let it all soak in. It’s a lot to take in.

Mother keeps saying that this shouldn’t be happening to someone so young, which isn’t comforting to me in the least. When I told Father (who had been completely kept in the closet up till this point) he took it surprisingly well. He said he would be doing some research. And speaking of research, Mother has a friend, ML, who has gone through similar procedures so I’ll be relying on her for advice and support.

I’m going to get through this.

Tuesday, July 13

Uh Oh

I realize it’s been quite a while since I’ve updated you on my summer shenanigans. That’s not for lack of excitement, though. Believe me, there has been plenty going on.

Papa and co came for a birthday/Father’s day visit.

We laughed. We cried. We went out to dinner and Papa didn’t trust that where I told him to park the car was safe so he moved it half way through the meal.

Only a few short days after Papa flew back up to VAB Brother, his friend Spencer Pratt* (SP) and I hopped in Brother’s sensible Volvo sedan and drove the long 10 hours (it was 11 hours for us because Brother loves to stop a lot) up to join him. The next day the 3 of us and Papa jumped in his equally sensible, but slightly more masculine Rover and drove up to DC to pick up Westchester and take in a Mets v Nats game.

The Mets won. We were happy. We were tired.

The next 2 days (which included the 4th) were spent getting too much sun on the beach with the neighborhood families.

I think everyone of Sister’s posse got (or pretended to get) stung by a jellyfish. While this was going on the parents were drinking coconut rum.

It was a good day.

Brother and SP drove home the next day while Westchester and I did some shopping and entertained LilBro** and a friend of his in our hotel room. By entertained I mean drank a handle of Sailor, no sexual favors included.

Westchester left a couple of days later and I made my way down to the Boro.

Just like last time I invaded the Minimalist’s castle (which is the same borrowed castle as last time), but without any of the silly fears. And once again we spent (probably) far too much time laying in bed watching Deadliest Warrior. And once again, we were quite happy with that.

Once difference from last time is that this weekend was full of belated birthday celebrations. The Minimalist’s 21st birthday was the 5th so in honor of the momentous day I gave him a nice bottle of whiskey. And in honor of my less momentous birthday he swallowed his masculine pride and walked in Victoria’s Secret to buy me a gift card (because he knows I love undies but also knows that if he had bought me any it would have been a tad creepy [and probably the wrong size]). After that he also swallowed some fake chicken at Boba House, my favorite vegetarian restaurant. He swore he would never go there, even refusing when ManLove wanted to go.

I was grinning like a fool, to say the least.

I returned to the Dirty Dirty Monday after 12 days away.

And that night was spent hanging out on Adult’s porch listening to Grill Master teach ChiChi’s Frenchie*** incorrect English. Or just say outrageous things to here. My favorite:

GM: “If you hang out here too much you’ll shoot your friends and bury them in the backyard.”

F: looks confused

GM: “Why am I like this? Maybe because when I was younger my father put dimes in a sock and beat me with them. But don’t worry, I got used to the bruises and learned to hide in the closets.”

Why that’s not exactly something to joke about it was ridiculously funny because all Frenchie understood was “dimes,” “father,” and “hide in the closest,” leading her to believe Grill Master was Looney Toons because his father hid his money in the closet.

I think you just had to be there.

This all seems like fun, but not terribly noteworthy summer fun, right?

If this was the whole story it sure would have been, but there’s more.

About a month ago I went for my yearly physical, which revealed that I had abnormal cells on my cervix. This find lead to another test, which turned into a biopsy, the day before leaving for Vagina Bitch. I was supposed to get my results the 7th, but that date has come and gone and I’m still waiting. And I’m still nervous.

I probably shouldn’t be (I’m young, healthy with no known family history of cervical cancer), but I am. I can’t help it.

So during all this family, friendly, sunny fun I’ve had this little gnawing thought at the back of my mind. Not fun.

But really more than nervous I’m just ready to know. Once I know I can get out of this horrid limbo situation I’ve been living in. And we all know how I feel about limbo…

*Spencer Pratt-I call him this not because he shares any of SP’s qualities, but because they once both sported flesh-colored beards.

**LilBro-a fellow GuilCo sophomore-to-be who reminds me unbelievably of Brother, especially when drunk

***Frenchie-ChiChi’s mother is the definition of Francophile and somehow managed to find a teenage French girl to stay with them for a month a few years ago. Well, the girl has come back for another month-long visit.