Saturday, August 15, 2015

Puppy Training...


Rory is the second dog I've ever owned. In fact, she's only the second pet I've ever been personally responsible for. The first was my girl, Pepper Potts, who had to be put to sleep. Kate and I miss her. Isaiah won't remember her, which is depressing in a another way.

But Rory is totally different. We got her at around three months. I'm not exaggerating, she fit in the palm of my hand.

Rory is a baby. coming up on five months. Pepper was almost a year when we got her. Kate and I have had a hard time adjusting. But she's our dog now, or, as Kate calls her 'My' dog.

Side note; Her name is Rory because Kate loved Gilmore Girls, and I love Doctor Who. It's a good gender-neutral name. (I always try to slip some of my fandom into naming procedures, i.e., Pepper Potts, Jedi, and Rory).
Kate warned me that I have no idea what I was getting into, training a puppy. But, being the cocky shit that I am, I didn't listen. Training a puppy is hard. Like, super hard. So far, we've mastered (for the most part) peeing and pooping. Unless she's crazy excited, she waits for us to takep her out back. She also (for the most part) responds to her name. And when I tell her to 'Sit', she sits. I think she understands the command because she knows she'll get a treat if she complies.
The problem is, her puppy behavior. She chews on everything. In the last couple of weeks she chewed through a phone charger cord, the baby monitor cord, and my tablet's cord. She got too aggressive with some small children. She almost tackled a poodle-mix smaller than her. (I'm amazed there's a thing than smaller than her.)
It's partly because of Pepper, and partly because of Rosie, my brother's dog that got run over on my watch. I'm terrified letting Rory out to potty. On walks she wants to jump off the leash. Besides annoying me, I'm afraid she'll brake her back jumping on my lap. And what if she tries to chew the wrong power cord and gets electrocuted? I know I'm being ridiculous. Kate hates that I think of the worst case scenario and describe it in detail.
But, again, I haven't had many pets I love. I don't want to love Rory, and right after I was attached, lose her.
I got great advice from Jenny, an old friend, on puppy training. Thanks, my white sister. PAWS Chicago gave great advice and recommendations.
From now on the dog is going to know this is our house, not hers. She will socialize with other small dogs, so she can play, and remember how tiny she actually is. She will not chew on things in the house because we're going to douse everything important in bitter apple spray or tobacco. (The tobacco part was my flat-mate's suggestion. Thanks, Josh.)
Thanks, as always, for wasting 90 seconds of your life.

Sunday, August 9, 2015


My grandfather was born in 1926. My son was born in 2103. Needless to say, there are many years separating these great Smith men, 87 to be exact. So it was very important to me that my son got to meet his Great-Grandfather before my Papi passed away. Not many people get to meet a great-grand dad. Isaiah is lucky to have done so, even if he never remembers it.

As a result of our trip we also got to stay with my Uncle Ronnie and my Aunt Mikki Smith. They were a total blessing and took fantastic care of us. I can't thank them enough. My cousin, Stacey, also deserves our thanks. She helped organize our entire trip.

Stacey is a flight attendant with American Airlines. Amusingly, while we were in Texas, she got called to Chicago. God must have been messing with us. I drag my wife and son to #DFW, only to have my cousin get stuck in Chicago, Miami, Philly, and San Diego. She visited us last time she was here in Chicago, and she has an open invitation.

I have been, and still am, unsure how to refer to Mikki. She's been my Uncle's wife for most of my  adult life.  She's also one of the sweetest people I have ever met. What do you call her, Stacey?

Kate and I did not sleep well at all. Kate snores like a chainsaw, I talk in my sleep like a maniac. Most nights, Kate can't even tell me what the hell I'm babbling about.

The best part of the trip was my son hanging out with his cousin, David, and his Great-Grand-Nana.

Nana, is one of the best storytellers I have ever known. If you ever have a chance to meet her, she won't let you down.
We also got to visit Globe Life Park, in Arlington, TX. It's an absolutely gorgeous place to watch a game when it's not a hundred degrees out.  Inexplicably, it was the first ballgame my cousin had ever attended. I can't explain it. Her dad, uncles, and grandpa are all hardcore baseball/Yankee fans. How the bloody hell she didn't end up a baseball fan is a total mystery. I, myself, only brought only one hat on the trip. I usually bring 4. And it was a Chicago BlackHawks cap.
I love my Papi, I love my Nana. I love my cousins. My wife thought my oldest cousin was youngest uncle. I love my wife. I love my son. I love my readers, though I have no idea why I have any.
Thanks for reading,


Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Princess Bride

My last blog post being total garbage, I planned on writing this one about our family trip to Texas. But, on our flight, I started reading 'As You Wish', a semi auto-biographical novel by Cary Elwes, about one of my favorite movies of all time. Since starting it, and now, finishing it, I haven't been able to get the movie out of my brain.

Even as I write this, I have the movie on in front of me, and want to quote every line I have memorized to anyone possibly reading this. For the record, I have been able to quote every line in the movie since I was

As You Wish

This is my second attempt at blogging about my favorite movie ever. Last night I tried. Minutes before I posted, my tablet crashed and I lost everything. So it's with major annoyance that I write this.

According to my Mom, the first movie I ever saw in a theatre was #ET Apparently, I cried the entire time. I was only two years old. You can bet your ass, I'm not taking Isaiah to a movie any time soon. But, my first memory of going to the movies is seeing 'The Princess Bride', in 1986.

It was guy's night out with my father and I, Uncle Paul, and cousin Nathan. They aren't actual blood relatives, but Uncle Paul went to college with my dad, and I grew up with Nathan.  To me, that means family. I have no problem referring to close friends as brother, sister, uncle or aunt.

The reason I have "The Princess Bride" on my brain is because I just finished "As You Wish", by Cary Elwes, 'The Man in Black'. Brilliantly written, my only complaint is that it was not a video documentary. I absolutely loved the stories and anecdotes by Cary and cast.

So what do I say about this movie? It's also one of my favorite books, second possibly only to 'The Catcher In The Rye' and 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest". I am forever in love with Robin Wright. I have eternal man crushes on Cary Elwes, Rob Reiner, Mandy Patinkin, and Wallace Shawn. If no other movie was ever made again, I'd happily put 'The Princess Bride' on a loop. I know ever single word, from every scene.

I have, in fact, watched the movie three times in the last 24 hours. No regrets.

If you've never seen it, you're cray. I recommend you drop everything and watch it this weekend. Cancel everything. If you don't fall in love, I'll buy you a copy, then force you to watch it until you do.

Good luck, and thanks for reading,

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Story Idea

Go ahead and steal my idea, if you must. But remember, I posted it on my personal blog. If you make it into a billion dollar movie starring Jason Bateman, this interweb thing will show I thought of it first, and I'll use it in court.

1. A young(ish) wannabe writer takes his dog for a walk in a major metropolitan area.
2. As a writer, he's broke and has only his journal stolen. He has great writing stored in said journal.
3. Instead of protecting him his dog hides and cries.
4. The mugger is also a starving artist.
5. The mugger sells the young(ish) wannabe writer's material as a book/movie and makes a ton of movie.
6. Young(ish) wannabe writer fights to get his material/royalties from back from starving artist/mugger.
7. Hijinks ensue.

Even as I write this, I realize it's totally cliché. It's probably derived from a movie I've seen that was so forgettable that I forgot it.

So, nevermind. Go ahead and steal it. Leave my name out of it.