Archive for July 2008

July 31st, 2008

Gimme Shelter

Steph and I have bought a house!

I don’t know how I’ve resisted the temptation to write even one entry about this for the past two-and-a-half months, as we applied for loans and negotiated prices and had inspections. Every little step seemed like it could have been a novel (or at least a novella) in and of itself. I suppose I was fearful that posting about it would take the process, which went quite smoothly considering this was a for-sale-by-owner/for-purchase-by-two-confused-indecisive-wrecks situation, and place a dreaded “jinx” (one of the official real-estate terms I now know) on it.

It’s a done-deal now though, as we went to a real-life lawyer’s office this morning and closed. (Actually that last sentence is a perfect example of the other reason I didn’t write about this earlier. I think if I were granting a loan or selling a home to someone, and I were looking around online and found that they felt a need to call an attorney’s place of business a “real-life lawyer’s office” I’d start to have second thoughts…but that’s so where we were, you guys.)

As the house you’re buying is all you can talk about with anyone while you are buying a house (it’s in the sales contract) most of my readers have heard this before, but here’s the basic run-down of what we got:

  • A 1000-square-foot brick ranch,
  • In East Raleigh, pretty close to downtown (about three miles from where we were living),
  • In an out-of-the-way neighborhood that was built in the early ’60s when there were still manufacturing jobs in that general area, and now hosts a mix of working-class inhabitants, college kids, and middle-class folk (including our dear friends Jerry and Andrea, who are now our next-door neighbors),
  • On a .25-acre lot with some very nice landscaping (that I will be silently worrying about every waking hour from now on, as it is indisputibly mine and thus, I am convinced, declining into a pile of shriveled vegetation), a fenced-in backyard, and a dog-door for Lilly.

We’re going to take just over a week and do some painting on the interior before we move in. We want to cover every single room in the place. We’re confident1 that we can get it all done before August 9th (MovingDay!™)

I’ll let you know how it goes.

1 completely uncertain

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July 30th, 2008

Chipping Plaster


  • 1920×1200 (works at 1920×1200, 1680×1050, 1440×900, and 1280×800)
  • 1600×1200 (works at 1600×1200 and 1024×768)
  • 320×480 (works on the iPhone and iPod Touch)

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July 29th, 2008

Bloodthirsty Liller

They’re all over, people. The days of having a fantastical blend of the two most desirable breeds of dog ever are all over. The days of parading my Lab-slash-Boxer down the street and meeting people and, when they ask what kind of dog I’m walking, staring off into the distance and proclaiming “a Lab-Boxer mix” are all over.

I took Lilly to the vet two weeks ago for her very first check-up (as our dog). She behaved commendably and was found to be in perfect health. I was taken aback slightly, however, when it wrapped up and the veterinarian hadn’t mentioned how I was the lucky owner of a fantastical blend of the two most desirable breeds of dog ever.

“So what type of dog do you suppose she is?” I fished around nonchalantly as the vet and her assistant lifted Lilly off the table.

“That’s really hard to say,” the vet responded.

The SPCA told us Lilly was a Lab-Boxer mix. I accepted this as truth because those people see every conceivable concoction of dog all day, every day, so they should know, right? But more importantly I accepted it because it just made so much sense to adopt an animal that was a combination of such great breeds. Having just completed Lilly’s top-notch physical and feeling in decent form myself — a young man, active and svelte from walking his Lab-slash-Boxer all over creation — I announced “The SPCA told us Lilly was a Lab-Boxer mix,” trying to keep my heading-into-the-Golden-Future-Barack-Obama gaze short, as I knew our time in the feces-stained exam room was up.

The vet and her assistant exchanged knowing glances. “The SPCA tells everyone that!” the assistant exclaimed to the vet in exasperated surprise, as they both knelt down and scratched my dog, who was suddenly looking slightly more mangy.

Hehe. Wha?

The assistant turned to me. “If the SPCA doesn’t know what breed a dog is, they just label them ‘Lab and Boxer.’ People think ‘it just makes so much sense to adopt an animal that is a combination of such great breeds’.”

“If the SPCA doesn’t kno….” Wait…. Wha?

“If she came from the SPCA…” the vet paused and searched my face for a certain level of open-mindedness, which apparently she thought she saw, “she’s got a good amount of Pit in her. Then maybe some Lab and Boxer. And who knows? Maybe four or five other breeds.”

I hadn’t considered the possibility that my dog was part Pit, and though I’m a largely accepting and tolerant person, I must say that I have an old-fashioned (i.e based mostly on fifth-hand accounts and superstition, but steadfast nonetheless) prejudice against Pit Bulls. I mean, these are Pit Bulls, right? Yeesh.

“But that doesn’t mean anything’s wrong with her. Pit Bulls are actually very sweet if you raise them properly” the vet said, taking an excerpt from the paragraph-long answer that Pit Bull owners have to give you when you ask them what kind of dog they have. You know the one.

“Hehe,” I think I said, as I subtly backed myself up against the wall, avoiding eye contact with the wild animal the vet had just finished petting, who was trying to scratch behind her ears with her hind legs and repeatedly losing her balance. I was the owner of this mauling machine!

That night, as I watched her lug her 12 pounds of fury around the apartment from on top of the kitchen table, I made a break for it and grabbed my laptop. I escaped with my life, as Lilly was mostly invested in chewing her plastic squeaky squid we had bought her at Target. She cast her steely gaze in my direction, but for whatever reason decided not to tear me into puppy-kibble sized morsels and eat me for supper. I noted that whenever Steph strolled in from the other room to grab a book or CD, she was left unscathed as well.

I had to investigate this “…she’s got a good amount of Pit in her. Then maybe some Lab and Boxer. And who knows? Maybe four or five other breeds” thing further.

Here’s what Lilly’s looking like these days:


Here’s what Google Images pulled up for “Lab-Boxer Mix.” (You have to admit, these are really close in appearance to Lilly. Of course, these dog-owners could be wrong about their dog’s breed too.):



Here’s a “Lab-Pit Bull Mix.” (Hmm….):


On the left is a pure Pit Bull, which doesn’t really resemble Lilly, but also isn’t as ugly or as mean-looking as I thought Pit Bulls were. On the right is a “Boxer-Pit Bull Mix” (Hmm….):


Here’s a “Boxer-Pointer Mix.” (Lilly often lifts a front paw and points to things.):


Here’s some of what came up when I just typed in “dog.” (Those last two look just like her!):




Conclusion: My dog is a mix of every breed of dog in existence, ever. Including Pit Bull. But that doesn’t mean anything’s wrong with her. Pit Bulls are actually very sweet if you raise them properly.

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