Tuesday, April 21, 2009

On loving dogs.

I know you're not supposed to admit who your favorite kid is, but anyone who knows me will tell you I am obsessed with our dog Noodle, and I enjoy our dog Aldo. We waited a long time for Noodle to arrive once we decided we'd keep her. We had talked about getting a dog long before Noodle came, and we paid a pretty penny to fly her and her former mom (my cousin) out here for the drop off. There was a lot of build-up, and we instantly fell in love with her.

Aldo, on the other hand, was rescued from the street, literally, and we didn't think we'd keep him. He was stinky, filthy, and covered in dry, itchy skin. He lived with us for a good two months before we started allowing ourselves to get attached to him. And while he has healthy skin now, he is still stinky, and he is still not 100 percent housebroken. And while I admit freely that I might not feel the same way about him as I do about Noodle, I really do love him. He has turned into such a great dog, a dog that doesn't even need a leash outside!, and I feel like I forget that a lot.

Today, we got him a haircut. For some reason, Noodle always manages to smell delicious, but Aldo is funky. So we've decided to get him groomed a little more often, because he smells so handsome when he's fresh from the groomer. He loves riding in the car, which is a huge relief, because Noodle gets car sick.

Here's Aldo on the way to the groomer, before the haircut.

He was so confused, being at the groomer's without Noodle, but he managed okay - the groomer even finished early, and Aldo got a jaunty bandana!

It costs $47 to get his hair cut, but when he's done, he looks so sparkly white and smells like Christmas morning. As we were waking out of the groomer's today, I was looking at how sweet he is, and I was thinking how he really is such a good boy, and we're so lucky to have him. As my heart was filling up with love for him, he promptly threw himself on his back on the dirty asphalt, and rubbed fervently, scratching the itch I'm sure he'd been waiting to scratch the whole time the groomer had him. He flipped back over and his freshly washed white hair was dark gray and gritty.

I can't help but think this is the universe preparing me for the chance that our first child will be a boy.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Naturally, on 4/20.

It seems overdone to post about the legalization of marijuana on 4/20. So I’m going to take this one step further and post about the legalization of all drugs.

I haven’t really cared one way or the other about the legalization of marijuana. It has always seemed to me that it should be legal, but I wasn’t one to argue for it because I just didn’t care. It was easy enough for me to get it whenever I wanted (which was never very often), and I was never in danger of “getting caught.”

Lately, however, I have been learning more about the business of marijuana. I heard somewhere that marijuana is a twelve billion dollar industry in California alone. Twelve billion dollars. BILLION. Twelve billion dollars that never gets taxed, that never sees the light of day. That just seems counter-intuitive at its best, stupid at its worst.

While a lot of people, especially in California, would argue for the legalization of marijuana, I wonder how many people would argue for the legalization of all drugs. That’s right – all of them. Heroin, crack, cocaine, meth, whatever. I never thought I would be on board with this, but I’m starting to feel like the anti-drug campaigns of the 1980s and 1990s were less than truthful with me and the rest of my generation about what the dangers of these drugs were. I tried to do some research on the internet about the true dangers of each of these drugs, but it’s all scary propaganda.

Look, I know drugs are bad. I know that. I know meth destroys the part of your brain that allows you to feel. I hate drugs. They are ruining my sister’s life, and thereby doing a number on my life and the life of my family. But I also know that I’m terrified to go to Mexico right now. I also know that all of these drugs are cut with stuff that are in some cases more dangerous than the drug itself. And to be blunt, drug dealers are making a hell of a lot more money than teachers, and that’s not okay by me.

It is all of these things and many more that have made me start to think, why not legalize everything? At least then, government will force regulations on the drugs. Users will know exactly what they are putting into their bloodstream when they snort, shoot, etc. Furthermore, it would seem reasonable that regulated, legal drugs would be safer in general, because they would be REGULATED. And maybe then drug use would be treated more like alcohol abuse or tobacco abuse – as an addiction, and one that you can’t always kick on your own. We would clear out prisons, redirect portions of the police force, and tax an industry that thrives while the rest of the country is suffering. I’m not saying gangs would be eradicated, but the whole landscape of organized crime would change. The Mafia was at its strongest during prohibition. Whoever controlled the liquor controlled the city. Most importantly, we would be able to be honest with future generations about the dangers of these drugs, instead of just scaring them into not using, because the scare tactics? NOT WORKING.

There are many very intelligent people – doctors and scientists – who say that a lot of these drugs are not as dangerous as we are made to believe. Let’s take my sister’s drug of choice: heroin. A normal dosage of heroin will most likely not kill you. Is it bad for you? Of course. Does it put holes in your brain? Boy, does it ever. Will one dose get you addicted? Hells yeah. But it probably won’t kill you. What is MORE dangerous than the actual heroin is the life you lead as a heroin addict. First up – malnutrition. You’re not that hungry when you’re high, so you lose A LOT of weight in an unsafe way, and your body gets little to no nutrients. Because you’re not eating, you will probably get constipated. We all know how fun that is. Secondly, the no-brainer – dirty needles. This is by far the dumbest things heroin addicts do: share needles. This is a surefire way to contract something horrific and die. Third – injecting ANYTHING repeatedly, even if it’s saline, will lead to collapsed veins. Fourth – even the most experienced drug users will overdose, because they are always chasing that first high, which they will OF COURSE never get. Too much of anything will kill you. And lastly, heroin addiction is so powerful, addicts will stop at nothing to score their next high (I’ll leave it to your imagination), and we all know when your inhibition is lowered, you are in much greater danger in general.

I have no idea if legalizing heroin and other drugs would change any of this, or change the manner in which users get high. But I feel confident that it’s a topic worth a lot of discussion, because at this point, in my family and in this country, we suck at this war on drugs thing. I also know that what we are doing now is not working.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


Gina and I joined a dodgeball league via The Eagle Rock Yacht Club. The E.R.Y.C., as it is known to us insiders, is a social group formed by some cool kids with the intent of finding stuff to do that is cheap and fun, and also to figure out ways to give back to the community. As if this weren't perfect for us already, the dodgeball games and most events take place within a mile of our house.

Dodgeball! It can't be that hard, right? After all, we all played when we were in middle school and it was on of the more fun games they had us play in gym class. You throw a ball, the other person dodges it or catches it, that's it.

Last night was the first game. It wasn't so much of a game as it was a meet-your-new-team and see who sucks and who doesn't. Gina and I? We suck. I don't remember the balls being that difficult to throw accurately. But we had a lot of fun, and drank beer afterward, so no one is complaining.

Well, that's not entirely true. There is the whole issue of our team name. A lot of these people have played before, so the other three teams came with good solid names and one even came in uniform. We seem to be the leftover team, strung together with all of the newer people. And that's okay by me, but the team name that had been chosen for us was Pearl Necklaces. I could probably think of a more offensive team name, a name that would be more alienating for gina and I, but it would be difficult. Gina and I are on the same team, and we were both sort of annoyed that it was going to be Pearl Necklaces, but hey, we were the new guys, who were we to say anything?

I started to realize how male-centric all recreational sports names are. Some friends of mine were on a kickball team named Wonderballz, that had a team handshake mimicking a testicle tickle. I think I heard of another kickball team named Family Jewels. And now Pearl Necklaces. It got me thinking... what is it with guys and their junk? Why is it so funny? And even for straight women, do they really want to be on a team called Pearl Necklaces? I can only imagine what the uniform would be. *shudder*

We didn't complain, but apparently some people did, because an email went around today asking for new team name suggestions. I wanted to be really sarcastic and try to think of stuff that would be alienating or gross to guys. I came up with Cervical Mucous. Sadly, girls just are not as gross as guys when it comes to their junk. I didn't share my suggestion, but instead shared suggestions that everyone could enjoy:

scarlet letter
sex on fire
hilarity ensues
grammar police

An email just came through with the suggestion "Incrediballs," which I actually kind of like, as long as there is no testicle tickling handshake.

I'll keep you posted.