Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Entry #56 - It'll be a Snow Day in Hell...

Dear Diary,

I shall at length complain about my champagne problems. If you want something uplifting, it isn’t this. There is no only a smidgeon of crying though, which is a refreshing change from the last 3 entries.

The Januarys

     Knowing there is a 100% chance that I will sound like Cathy from the horrendous comic strip of the same name, I will come out and admit that I have a serious case of the Januarys. God, I hate this month. If you were born in January I will apologize right now for slandering it, for I am aware that we all have a special love in our hearts for our own birth month. You can defend your garnet birth stone and your “I got my driver’s license first” rationalizations, because none of that will help me get past how cold, dark, and tired this month is. “But Hannah,” you say “January is all about new beginnings and starting fresh!” - to which I reply, “enjoy using that new gym pass for three weeks”. January feels like an extended holiday hangover; one that starts on New Year’s Day (when you wake up reminded that every New Year’s Eve is a giant let down) and just barrels through the next four weeks. Christmas lights (like an aged prostitute) have lost their allure, Boxing Day sales are over, your credit card bill from Christmas arrives along with your Netfile tax info, and worst of all - the stat holiday in this Godforsaken wasteland of a month falls on the first day of the month, leaving an eternity until Spring Break (for me and my teacher friends) and Easter for the rest of you poor bastards. Thank Government that we are getting a “Family Day” stat in February of 2013; I already look forward to spending it with Gus and the entire series of Star Trek the Next Generation on DVD. 

I have had a lot of time to ponder how much I despise January, for this month, much like September, is not a busy one in my line of work. Most teachers are rested after Christmas break and therefore don’t fall sick and require substitute teachers. Also, they recognize that it is January after all, and even if they have a cold they might as well tough it out and go to school - there is nothing like adorable children to take your mind of the cold, dark, tiredness of this month. Children also take my mind of such questions as: “Why won’t the Browns across the road take down their friggen Christmas lights, already!?”; because Christmas lights in January are (thank you Daniel Handler for my new favourite metaphor) “the glitter in the gutter when the parade has passed”.

Russian Roulette Dog Sitting

To compound the bleakness of the Januarys, I am dog/house sitting for Vanessa and Scott. This means two things:

1. No Vanessa or Scott - All alone in a house of fun, summertime memories. Heck, even wintertime memories. Before S&V left for Palm Springs we had a “family mystery puzzle night” where we did two five hundred piece puzzles, the pictures of which made up the "before" and "after" of a crime scene. In case you were wondering, this magical puzzle also comes with a story you must read so you can "solve the mystery" from the clues in the completed puzzles.*cough*dying alone*cough* This of course meant the two rooms pictured were almost identical... including more floral pattern that you can throw a doily at. Did I mention there was no picture of either puzzle?  And that all the pieces were mixed together in one bag? The family that puzzles together, stays together.
Yay, family puzzle time!
3 hours (9 collective hours) later...

And more frighteningly..

2. I am solely responsible for the well being (keeping alive) of Scott and Vanessa’s fur child, Apple the Shih Tzu, for ten long days. God help me.

In case you haven’t noticed, I am a cat person. I love cats. I love their independent nature, the sound they make when they purr, and even their tendency to act like cold, judgemental Russian spies most of the time. I feel about dogs the way some people feel about human infants:

-I don’t know what they want and I find it off putting. “What are you barking at?” *looking around desperately*
-I am not your butler, tiny tyrant! - This dog rings a bell when she wants to go outside, sometimes (albeit very rarely) at 3:30am. Ironically, I now have a pavlovian response to this sound. “I’m coming! Oh God, please don’t crap on the floor!”
-I am far too lazy to entertain them constantly. “Oh look, you brought me your drooled soaked toy, again, for the 4056th time...lucky me”.
-They look at me with contempt and disappointment because I am more "no nonsense" than their unconditional love giving parents. “take a number”
-Dealing with fresh poo is completely disgusting and degrading. “I am walking down the road carrying a bag of dog feces, what part of this is dignified?”

Speaking of feces, because that transition is always welcome, 

Spinster Reccommends

I would like to confess proudly announce that I own a Litter Locker. NAY, a Litter Locker II. You might be saying to yourself... isn't that like a Diaper Genie for cats?And you would be 100% correct. Since I will never have children, thus denying myself the opportunity to ever own a Diaper Genie, I thought I'd give the cat version a try. Adding to the already overt spinsterlyness of the situation, I should add that I picked it out and Mimama bought it for me when she was here in August - like all mothers dream of buying for their daughters in their late twenties.  
I am whole heartedly embracing the Litter Locker II. If you own a cat (or three cats *cough*Sara*cough*) you need to go and get yourself a Litter Locker immediately. Also, you should probably combine the Litter Locker II with Arm & Hammer's Essential Naturals litter, for two reasons; One, it works really well, and two, it's made of corn and so weighs way less than the regular cat litter. This might seem a silly reason to choose a litter product, but when you are a spinster who doesn't go to the gym, you might find that not being able to lift the heavy-ass litter product out of the shopping cart and into the trunk may result in weeping tears of lonely frustration.  And don't even begin to think I am getting paid to promote anything, we all know this blog makes 26 cents per entry. Who knows, I might actually get sued for that 26 cents. 

                      These two things > picking up dog poop with your hand and a plastic bag


Back to the dog..

Apple is genuinely sweet natured, and what minuscule amount of love I have set aside for dogs in my grinch-sized heart is shared equally between her, my friend Meg's dog Libby, and Boo, the world's cutest dog. I really enjoy Apple when I am not in charge of keeping her alive. Her name is Apple, but she is a bit of a lemon, a dud. 
She is allergic to wheat
She cannot go out in the backyard alone
She has pharyngeal gag reflexes 
She stepped on spear grass one summer and ended up needing surgery
and once, just once, and perhaps this is urban legend...
her goggly eye popped out of its socket.

 Just typing the list out strikes fear in my heart. 

My Wordfeud friend, Elizabeth, is also the assistant general manager who takes over for Vanessa when she is away. We often compare notes of how things are going. She is running a multi-million dollar business and managing over 50 employees; I am keeping alive one 10lb dog. We both agree that my job is harder. 


So, because work has been so slow, Apple and I have spent much of the last week alone together; she wishing I was Scott and I wishing she was Gus. And now, thanks to the snow day, I think we both have a little cabin fever. I have now read three books, cooked a meal that was not pancakes, dismantled Vanessa's Christmas tree (her most hated), researched vacations I can't afford on the internet, watched four episode of Urban Suburban back to back, and last, but not sane, cleaned the wireless keyboard for S&V's Mac with 28 Q-Tips. 


  1. Dude, not to crap on your Litter Locker (although, wouldn't that really be appropriate?)... but I looked it up, and it's basically just a storage bin. You still have to hand-scoop the poop out of the litter box. I was expecting at the very least something that would comb the litterbox for you and THEN store the stash. Eventually, you have to lug a bag of crap that's been sitting around for (the ad says TWO MONTHS?) a long time. Dunno about your cats, buy my two cats crap and pee a lot, and the clumped litter is pretty dang heavy. Scooping the box once a day into a small grocery bag, tying it in an airtight knot, and tossing it in the regular kitchen garbage seems a lot easier than lugging two months' worth of excrement to the garbage can at one time. Just sayin'. Oh, and to add to this heartless critique of your litter situation, I tried that corn litter (and the wheat litter, and, and, and...) and it's so light that it sticks to my cats' feet when they get out and they trail it all over the house. My antique sofa, my oriental rugs, EVERYTHING had wispy little pieces of all-natural litter attached to it. So, back to Fresh Steps for me. Also, that corn/wheat/pinebark stuff doesn't clump the pee so well, it just makes big damp patches that remind me of the days when I used to clean out horse stalls. Good times, good times.

    Just so I have one positive thing to say here, it's sweet of you to take care of someone's dog when you're a cat person. I have to say that dogs that one could mop the floor with are not my favorites, either. If I have to deal with a dog, give me a pit bull or a Dobermann any day of the week. I like 'em BIG, if at all. Preferably the kind that don't bark... they let the burglar come in and then take his face off. 8-)

  2. Will you watch my dog when we go away? She too is lovable but more in an in-your-face-and-smelling-your-crotch kind of way. But mostly I want you to stay here so that you will clean my keyboard, because I do not want to do that but have a deep desire to have it done for me. S and V are so lucky to have such a loyal friend who will sacrifice her own sanity to watch the lemon, ahem, Apple.

    You are lovely and hilarious and will you be my friend?

  3. I also have a case of the Januarys. Why is this month so bloody long?

  4. So, I know this is a way late comment, but rereading your blog is high quality entertainment for this partiucular spinster, and I have to say: the Litter Locker II and Arm & Hammer litter is my personal favourite combo, as well. And, I agree, a MUCH better experience than cleaning up after dogs! :)