15 April 2010

Field Trip

Sonny has a vet appointment in Collinsville tonight. I thought it would be easier to leave him and Dolly at Michiko’s house in my old neighborhood for the day. Then, after work, it would be more convenient for me to pick Sonny up at Michiko’s house, and go to the vet, instead of driving to my house, getting the dog, driving back to Collinsville, and trying to get to the vet appointment by 5. This way, I don’t have to leave work an hour early to do all that driving, I only have to leave work about 15 minutes early. This not only seemed like a time efficient plan, but my friend Michiko would love having the dogs at her house for the day.

Simple enough, don’t you think?

Getting them to Michi’s was a bit of a circus this morning, far more complicated than simply putting them in the car and going.

It went something like this:

First, I went down the basement steps to the garage myself, to put my purse and my coffee and my bag of miscellaneous stuff in the car. I opened the car and garage doors, stowed my gear and went back for the dogs.

Next, I let Sonny down the basement steps. He had been prancing around me expectantly since I first uttered the words “bye-bye” and “car” earlier in the morning. He runs down the stairs and he is free, racing out of the garage at top speed like a gazelle being chased by a lion, literally zooming over the yard and driveway, and then clattering back up the steps and into the house to check on my progress, “are you ready to go yet?” Zip! “Come on! Follow Me! It’s pretty outside today, let’s run! I love to run, see me run? I love to run fast! Come on, let’s go! Are we there yet? are we there yet? are we there yet? Hurry! Run! Let’s Go!” This is Sonny.

Secondly, I must get Dolly to the car. Dolly is far more composed than Sonny. We have a ramp for Dolly at the back door which leads to their fenced area. But when I open the door and tell her to come, she doesn’t want to go out back, because whenever I leave for work in the morning she always goes out to the front yard to go potty one last time, and besides that, her look tells me, you KNOW I prefer the front yard, where are you taking me? She hasn’t realized that I am going to take her someplace for the day. So, I walk down her ramp to the fence gate and open it, to indicate she isn’t STAYING in the back yard, we are going bye-bye, and she is going to have to come with me through yard to the gate to walk down the hill to get to the garage and the car. Dolly sees that she isn’t going to be left stranded in the back yard and finally follows me down her ramp and out the gate. She saunters leisurely the entire way down the hill to the car. It takes forever.

And finally, we are all together in one spot in the garage, ready to get in the car and head out. Dolly goes directly to the passenger side so I know she wants to sit in the front with me. She is willing enough to try to jump into the car, though she can’t do it completely on her own and I always have to boost her the rest of the way from behind after she gets her front paws up on the floor board. Sonny is already settled in his spot in the back seat and more than ready to go, but when he sees her getting in front, he jumps over into the front seat and plomps his butt down behind her. This action squeezes her out and she doesn’t have any room. Undeterred, Dolly just keeps on moving out of the way to give him room, over the console and into the driver’s seat, where she sits looking out the front window over the steering wheel, waiting to get this show on the road. Meanwhile, Sonny won’t budge from the passenger side. I try pulling his collar, swatting him to move, but he won’t stir. So I have to trick him. I choose the excited sounding, “Come on Son! Look at what I have!” while standing next to the open car door and patting the back seat, as though I have a treat for him, so that he will move back to his place.

When I get Sonny situated in the back seat, it is time to get in and go. But Dolly is still sitting in the driver’s seat. Mine is a small car and Dolly is a lot of big black lab. It takes major shoving to push her out of the way so I can get in and drive, because I am just too flustered to employ the same ruse I used on Sonny, to walk over to the other side of the car, open the door, and see if excitedly saying “Come on Dolly! Look what I have” in an animated voice while patting the front seat will work on her, too. Finally, she clumsily moves back to the passenger seat and sits rigidly, because she wants to look out the OTHER way and needs to turn around, but it is awkward for her to shift positions in such a tight spot. She finally readjusts and makes herself comfortable, she sighs in relief and/or exhaustion and drapes herself over the gear shift and console, her head in my lap, an ear dangling in my coffee. We are finally ready so I start the car and drive. She remains this way next to me on the front seat with her head in my lap, all the way to Michi’s house, while Sonny rides in back with his head blissfully stuck out the window biting the wind.

In all this commotion, I completely forgot to bring my lunch from home, my coffee had Dolly hair in it, Sonny ran around their yard in joyous lunacy when we got there and I was afraid he would run out into the street and get hit by a car, Jim and Michi were still in bed and I had to wake them up, Dolly pooped next to their driveway then wandered off into the neighbor’s yard in a daydream, and I think I forgot my checkbook and might have to drive back to my house to get it after all before I go to the vet ….. To top it off I am hungry for my forgotten lunch, and I feel fairly certain that we might be facing this exact sort of pandemonium, in reverse, in order to get home later on tonight!

And THAT was the simple act of taking my dogs on a field trip to Michi’s house for the day.

14 December 2009

Office Stories 12/14/09

8:30 a.m.
There is a heating problem in the lower level of our building. A maintenance man has been called. He has been sauntering in and out of our front door a number of times. He looks bored. He looks nonchalant. He looks like he is looking for someone who will not show up. He has come back through for the umpteenth time. Left hand in left pocket, moseying. He confidentially says to me as he wanders by, “Up and down”, as though he is weary of climbing the stairs to get from the furnace problem to his vehicle. Why is he always going to his vehicle? He is chronically empty handed when he returns.

He has just driven away. Perhaps he has realized that there is a door on the lower level.

I don’t expect him back this way again.

Pally, just fix the heat.

10:49 a.m.
Fed Ex has come to see me again. Not the delivery man. This is the Fed Ex AGENT who is still looking for a package they say I signed for, they think that it was delivered here. On Friday. December 4, 2009. By a substitute driver. Even though yes, that is my signature, we don’t have the package. I feel guilty that I can not produce this package. I feel I must have really put it somewhere and lost it. On purpose. And I don't remember. And I am responsible for it. I SIGNED FOR IT,that's the proof. Even though for real, I check the packages when they arrive, to make sure they are for us. I take the packages to Carol downstairs. Sometimes I email Carol and she picks them up from my desk. Sometimes I take them down to her at lunch time. I have already asked Carol if there are any Fed Ex packages that are not for us, lying around down there. She reports that there are not. I feel like they need to go look again. I need to produce this package for Fed Ex.

This is an important package. An International Package. From the country of Jordan. The intended recipient has already stopped in. Her name was Margaret. She told me it contained important legal papers. The papers are full of vital information, like social security numbers. She lives a couple blocks from here, and she is concerned because she can't find her package. Fed Ex told her they delivered her package to us because she was not home. That sounds odd, doesn’t it? We are pretty far from her house, I think a neighbor would have been more convenient.

The Fed Ex agent says the package contained divorce papers that are not easily duplicated in a foreign country.

I think Fed Ex is in big doo-doo, and I think poor Margaret might not be divorced from Mr. Al Badandi quite yet .

11:13 a.m.
I am the face of MC Industrial, I am the receptionist. I have plenty of spare time all day long. My dear daughter has forwarded many clever websites for me to look at, to help me wile away my hours. I am currently a fan of Hulu, and I have a long list of Christmas Release movies that I am keen to see.

Now it is 11:14 a.m.

This is going to be one happening Monday.

11:20 a.m. My earlier prediction was wrong: the furnace man just returned through the front door. He went to see our office manager. He has walked back out the doors. He is backing out of his parking space. He is driving away. On to his next appointment. Presumably. NOW I think I shall not see him again, for real. Until the next heating emergency.

11:30 a.m. Time for lunch. I'm not so much hungry as I am very bored.

11:58 a.m. A call from our Operations Secretary. She has to leave, a call from the school nurse and a sick kid. If any packages come for her, will I stick them under her desk? Sure. Got ya covered.

12:28 p.m. Chad wants to know where are the Solo brushes he ordered? I say they were in a box on top of the mailboxes last week, with no-one TO THE ATTENTION OF box. I look for them, but they are not there now.

Chad is not in the office, he asks will I send out a company wide email for their return. Certainly, is my eager reply.

The response to my email is that they are in the box that is leaning up against his office door in the hallway on the lower level, waiting for his return.

Another hot dilemna expediently extinguished by The Face of MC Industrial.

12:31 p.m. I want to loot the bag of Hershey's Miniatures of all its Mr. Goodbars.

12:45 p.m. As I open the mail I realize I hope that the guy who looks like Santa doesn't come in anymore. Frankly, he's weird, overly familiar and freaks me out.

12:31 p.m. Brad wants to know


What are solo brushes??


Liz responds:

"'Solo' is either a brand name or the brushes are very lonely.


I hope Brad gets my joke. (he did)

1:55 p.m. Jerry has just stopped at my desk.

"Liz" says he, "You are very sweet."

I say, "What do you want, Jerry."

Jerry replies. "No, I mean it. This is the time of year you say what is really in your heart."

Jerry turns away. "You won't be hearing this from me anymore, come January."

Give it a rest, Jer.

02 November 2009

Goodbye. Hello.


Jim and Michiko’s house looks so lonely, I know they aren’t home. I wonder how they are?

Those friends of Kate’s are never home, the lights are always out!

Oh, those people must have had a bonfire for Halloween, look at the portable fire pit sitting out front. I remember when they had their daughter's wedding in the front yard.

Those people will never sell that house FOR SALE BY OWNER, it’s a piece of junk.

I wonder who the visitation is for at Herr? Hope it’s nobody I know….

Oh look, there ‘s a nice new wreath on the front door of Blum House.

I remember when the library was closed on Sundays. They did a good job on the Pan fountain.

Look at the fat lady coming out of Curves, not working for ya, is it?

I wonder if anyone will ever buy the old Ostle Family Pharmacy building, it would make a great ice cream shop.

Jim Stehman the Dentist. I bought his childhood home from his mother’s estate 6 years ago.

We had lunch from the Sandwich Shoppe yesterday, it was good!

What’s going into the old Glik’s Department Store place? The sign says something about Art Co-op, I wonder what that will be?

Lucky it’s nice out today for those smokers out front at Friday’s.

I love the paint job on that big old house on the corner, where the lawyer is.

That other corner is where the fat girl mooned me when we were driving to Home Depot!

The ketchup bottle’s looking good.

That’s the place that made my new countertops, I still have the guys’ tape measure that he forgot. I should stop and return it someday.

Remember when this was such a beautiful strip of road, with trees bowing over the way like a tree tunnel? We drove under it on our first drive in to live here. It was so peaceful and cool green on that August day, after such a long trip.

That used to be where the old strip joint ‘Dotty’s Body Shop’ used to be, what was it my brother said about tipping cows after they went in there?

Maybe we should try the Turkey Shoot at Hollywood Hts. some Sunday afternoon this fall.

Where the new gas station is, I remember when the old one was there, Jeffy threw up in the back seat when we stopped for gas. Then, we didn’t go to the mall.

And on I drove.


I turned the new corner, with the last load in my back seat, and I’m home.

20 July 2009

On Pop

I think I'll have a can a pop. That's how I say it.

People really notice when I say pop. Boy, is it ever an attention getter. Because around here, everybody says soda.
As in Soda Pop.

They say the soda part, I say the pop part.

I'm not a soda gal. A soda is something you go down to the malt shop for, in your bobby sox and saddle shoes.

I was raised a little farther north than here, and I just can not call it soda. It's just wrong for me. Oh sure, I SAY soda sometimes, but it doesn't fit my mouth quite right, ya know? It's like calling a dear old friend, Miss or Ma'am or Sir. Soda sounds too formal to me. It's like saying the full name, Pepsi Cola, Coca Cola, Mountain Dew, Cool and Refreshing Doctor Pepper, 7 Up the Un-cola. Did you listen to that? Stiff sounding. WAY too formal.
That's not the relationship I have with pop. We're old friends, we hang out, we eat pizza, me and pop. Pop.
When I do refer to pop as soda, it sounds forced and unnatural, as though I am saying it just to fit in with the other soda sayers. But really, I don't want to fit in. I must stay true to my roots.
and say pop. I must resist saying soda. Forever.
When we lived in the south they called pop a cold drink, and you were a dirty suspicious northerner if you said any different. Of course it's a cold drink. It's POP! Who drinks pop warm?

On the other hand, I think I am going to start referring to the water cooler as a bubbler. That's just fun.

(Liz Scholz went to Lakewood High School, if that means anything to you)

13 July 2009

Dream Reading


After many long years of waiting to be in the right place at the right time, that moment has arrived. Rich and I have bought a new home for ourselves. We will be moving in within the next couple of months.

Unfortunately, I will have to give up the single most priceless commodity one can have in the neighborhood where one lives. Great neighbors.

Jim and Michiko have been my neighbors and friends for a couple of years. There have been many times I have called Michiko "My Angel". They have been people I can always depend on in any way. One of the very first things Michiko said to me in conversation was that she thought I was ok, but she was REALLY crazy about my dog. I think I have grown on her a little more than that since then.

Michiko had a dream about me.

As I stood in my driveway yesterday afternoon, hosing off 8 muddy dog paws for the third time of the day (Tucker is visiting; digging’s his game) Michiko called to me from across the street, “Liz-San, I had a dream about you!”.

She came over to tell me the tale….

THE DREAM: For reasons undetermined, I was away on a trip to Italy, and then to France. While I was gone, a large shipping box was delivered to my home. Michiko contacted Rich, who instructed her to open the box. Inside, there were two beautiful antique chairs, very beautiful. Very expensive. Very precious. I had found these chairs while traveling overseas and had shipped them home.

The dream subject itself is rather bland and unfantastic, though the chairs in her dream were beautiful and Michiko attested she would love to have them.

What makes this story worth listening to is the message of the dream.

Michi believes that to dream about a chair means that person (me) is in a good place in life. Able to rest after a long journey. I have been on a very long hard journey for several years. I think this fits for me.

I think this dream also tells me that, even though Michi is happy for Rich and me, and the forward path our life together is taking, Michi is going to miss me. She has dreamed about me traveling, and that travel will take me out of her daily life, to a place where I will be content and realized.

I believe in dream reading. I believe Michi’s dream was meant as a confirmation that where Rich and I are going, it’s the right place to be.

So, I think I am going to pull up a chair and take a seat.
It’s going to be a most enjoyable ride.

IN YOUR DREAMS: From the Dream Dictionary

Dream Subject: Rocking Chair
To dream that you or someone is sitting in our rocking chair, signifies friendly surroundings and jovial pleasures. You are in a comfortable and pleasant place in your life.

Dream Subject: Antiques
To dream of antiques, represent your time honored values, tradition, wisdom and inherited personal characteristics. It symbolizes something genuine or proven. Some things in your past are worth holding onto or worth keeping. If you do not like or appreciate antiques, then is suggests that you are moving away from outdated childhood conditioning or old modes of thinking. On a negative note, you may be discarding or rejecting something of value that you should really be embracing and heeding.

Dream Subject: Traveling
To dream that you are traveling, represents the path toward your life goals. It also parallels your daily routine and how you are progressing along. Alternatively, it signifies a desire to escape. If your travels come to an end, then it symbolizes successful completion of your goals.

22 April 2009

Reception Reflections - Mars –vs- Venus and the Coffee Machine

There is a Flavia coffee machine here in the kitchen by the reception desk. You can make one cup at a time, fresh brewed, in the morning for a treat, or at the end of the day when the regular pot has been cooking all day long.

It’s a popular machine. There are flavors and all types of specialty coffees. Espresso. French Roast. Hazelnut and French Vanilla. Make a Decaf. Make a Cappuccino. Green Tea. White Tea with Orange. English Breakfast Tea. Exotic Chai.

And there are toppings, too. Choco, Creamy Topping. Latte Swirl. Mocha. Milky Way. You can flavor your coffee like Candy.

Special Coffees.

The packets of coffee and toppings are shiny with a plastic tip that fits into the machine's grip opening. When you insert the packet and close the door, you put your cup under the slot and the coffee comes out hot and fresh brewed. Yummy.

Yesterday one of the guys was in a hurry and didn't place the plastic tip in the right position and the coffee packet got jammed in the machine.

I, as a woman, tried to delicately wiggle the stuck packet loose. I gingerly put my hand up inside trying to push the plastic top out, the way it went in, but I do not want to break a nail, so I withdraw my hand. I pulled on the shiny packet to get it out. It does not budge. I decide to call for Service and wait for Our Technician.

Dana came by. Dana tried to free up the machine. Dana is a very resourceful woman. She looked up at the stuck packet from underneath. She put her hand up inside even farther than I did. She prodded the packet trying to make it come loose. Dana also does not want to break a nail, plus she is getting coffee grounds on her hands. Dana can not rescue the stuck packet. Dana also decides to let us wait for Our Technician.

Greg H. came by. Greg H. always has one of these coffees when he is in the office.
Greg H. really wanted a coffee.
He opened the door. He Pulled. He Groped. He Yanked. He Twisted.
Greg H. fetched a pair of Scissors and cut the bottom off of the packet that is stuck inside the drawer of the Flavia Coffee Machine. Now there is nothing to grab on to because he has cut it off, and coffee has spilled all over.
Greg H. failed to unstick the plastic tip left inserted and stuck inside the coffee machine. Greg H. got a coke from the fridge and walked away.

Chad T. came by.
Chad T. doesn’t drink coffee, but he really wanted to help get that coffee machine working again.
Chad T. is helpful that way.

Chad T. opened the door.

Stop, I say, you’re going to make it worse.

He Pulled.

Quit it, I say, you’re going to break it more.

He Groped.

Cut it out, I say, I’m telling, if you don’t stop.

He Yanked.


He Twisted.


Chad T. got a Letter Opener.

You’re going to get Electrocuted.

Chad T. dug and dug into that stuck plastic cap.

But Chad T. could not relieve the coffee machine of the stuck plastic cap. Chad T. gave up.

Chad T. walked away. He is not a coffee drinker anyway.

Aramark sent out Our Technician to help us get our coffee machine working again. Our Technician asked me, what’s up? I apologize to Our Technician that other amongst us have already tried and failed to get unstuck the plastic cap from inside of our coffee machine. I fear they may have made the problem worse with their tinkering.

Our Technician did not stick his hand up inside the coffee machine.
He did not Pull. He did not Yank. He did not dig or gouge.

He did not fetch scissors or get a letter opener.

Our Technician popped open the door.

Our Technician popped the door right off.

Our Technician turned our coffee machine off, counted to 10, and then back on.

Our Technician pushed a button to simulate the closing of the front door.

Our Technician made that stuck plastic cap pop right out into the bin.

Our coffee machine is working again.
Come on up for a cup a joe.

Sonny Deals With Boredom

As a rule, he doesn't usually chew things up anymore.

But, with neighbors Jim and Michiko gone on vacation for 10 days, Sonny and Dolly are going to be left to their own devices all day long, at home alone in the doggie room. I didn't know how they would handle not going across the street to doggie daycare every morning at 10, to laze around at Michiko's, being spoiled and pampered, petted and walked, cooked for and fed, played with and groomed, and let out to the yard whenever they desired. I would just have to close the door, go to work and let things happen as they may.

I was more afraid Sonny would get his paws up on the buffet where I am sorting seashells, or the bird cage table, or my computer desk, so I shoved everything further back, out of reach, blockaded with chairs in front. I was thinking about letting them free to roam the entire house to ease their boredom, but thought better of it, mostly because of the potential potty issues. I decided, best to leave them corralled in the doggie room, where we can concentrate any damage.

The first day I expected to open the door to mayhem, Sonny mayhem, (Please refer to previous posts found in this blog, most especially, 'Bad Decision - the first installment', February 2008) but was pleasantly surprised to find just a little yellow puddle from poor old incontinent Dolly.

Day two brought different results.

When I first got home I didn't pay much attention to him because I was in a hurry to get to my aerobics class, so I just let him rush through the gate and out back.

When I let him back in, I noticed he was naked.

I went hunting under his blankies in the kennel for his collar.
Somehow, Sonny had been able to shrug out of his collar. His very first collar. Aw, the paw print one, the one he has been wearing since I got him from the rescue place, his sentimental puppy collar!
I just laughed and laughed when I saw the poor mutilated AND SOGGY collar. Obliterated.

I put on him one of Dolly's old collars, a red one, and it's a bit more snug than the other one was. It doesn't have his tags on there, maybe I will shop for a brand new collar for him, a Second Year Collar, I haven't decided yet.

In the meantime, this morning I left out plenty of durable chew toys.... we will just wait and see what today brings.