Sunday, January 23, 2005

Winter Redux

Well, the weather forecasters were right---seems we were graced (or cursed, based on your outlook) with close to 18 inches of snow or so. Our plow guy came and I diligently tried to move our cars out of the driveway so he could do his job. True to winter form, my wife's car failed to start and we just had to work around it. A balmy 19 degrees, I feel fortunate after having received an email from a blog reader in Ottawa where it is minus 18. I cannot respond to this person as I do not have her actual email, but want to thank her kindly for her response and for making me count my blessings---or rather, my degrees, in that it is at least above zero in our neck of the woods (unless you count the 20 below wind chill, that is.)

Sparkey the dog always likes to accompany me while I shovel and clear the snow but I worry about him as he becomes increasingly deaf and suffers from growing cataracts. Needless to say, he avoided getting hit by the plow and I succeeded in not running him over when I moved the car. He usually gets in the back seat when I'm shuffling cars in this situation, but his arthritis seems to be kicking in and he winces when he tries to jump in the back seat now. Poor old guy. I will post a photo of him doing a "sit-down strike" on our front walk, silently demanding more outdoor time in this lovely sub-zero windchill. Naturally occuring fur must be so convenient (except when you live with compulsive humans who are forever trying to brush you and illogically decrease your natural insulation, something you really need at this time of year as a canine). Dogs must find it odd that we brush them down and remove extra fur insulation, then we dress them in embarrassing coats and sweaters, making them the laughing-stocks of the neighborhood mutts.

On that note, I came out of Whole Foods Market yesterday (as I and several hundred other people tried to maniacally stock up on food before the storm, as if we would be stranded for days) and my wife said she had a surprise in the car. She had been in the pet store with our dogs and I didn't know what to expect. What I found was Sparkey in a new yellow rain slicker (complete with small hood) and Tina in a slick black full-body jacket that looked something like what the Italian teenagers used to wear down in South Philadelphia when I was a young art student in the early 80's. (You know what I mean--shiny cheap black polyester, red stripe on the arms and collar, cloth cuffs). I expected Tina to whip out a cannoli, latte and a cigarette and talk like Sylvester Stallone. She disappointed me on that one, but my laughter was genuine and they both looked ridiculously adorable, or perhaps adorably ridiculous.

As this cold day continues, we hunker down to work on our laptops, think about starting a fire, and then look forward to watching a DVD of the 2nd season of "Curb Your Enthusiasm", enjoying Larry David's ability to offend pretty much anyone who crosses his path. I recommend it highly---if you have any social skills at all, Larry David can really make you feel quite good about your own public persona, unless of course you are as offensive as his character, then it will just make you feel like a total loser and motivate you to enter psychotherapy.

Enough of my wintry digressions. Back to creating a lecture on therapeutic diets in the treatment of gastrointestinal disease (no kidding!)
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