Monday, March 23, 2009

Warning: Geek Alert


Disclaimer: this post is SERIOUSLY geeky.

I have spent most of my March Break (yeah, yeah, I know: March Break is one of the reasons people think teachers have an easy job. Whatever. Maybe you're all right.) fixing up my sewing room. Yes, the sewing room about which I have dreamed for YEARS. Having the Best Fella in the World means I also now have my OWN ZONE. A zone in which my sewing machine (newly tuned up!) can live openly, uncloseted, all set up and ready to go. AT A MOMENT'S NOTICE. That means no schlepping all my stuff up to the dining room, setting up on our bizarrely tall dining room table, making a huge mess of said dining room, then cleaning it all up and having to put everything away at the end of every day, only to start over again the next day. Repeat until project is finished. Now, it's all ready and waiting: I just swan on down and START in on whatever I am doing. It's all set up, it's all there. Bliss. Sheer bliss, I tell you. LUXURY!
I started by bullying M into making me a looooooooong storage zone and forcing him to agree to installing shelves above it. (More shelves to come, as the budget permits.) Then, I painted my parents' old dining room table (and some of my hair...) in Ralph Lauren's Lisbon Blue, my current colour obsession. (It is the same colour I painted inside the drawers of M's old dresser and which inspired the vintage glass knobs I ordered online and made K schlep home from Boston- thank you for being my knob mule, K!) I painted my granny's old side table black and then I made panels of ticking to hide all the ugly (but necessary!) crap stored under the countertop.

Inspired, I moved on to using some of my many fabric scraps to make cushion covers for old, unused cushion forms, tied with ribbon scraps. Other bits of ribbon are stored in vintage mason jars from my great aunt.

Pieces de resistance, however, include my delicious French stamps, the ribbon storage/display, the sewing machine cozy and the sweet cupcake garland.

I am so inspired and my soul is so well-fed-- I can't wait to make something else! I wish there were a way to make things and to make a living from doing it! Though maybe it would not be so much fun if I HAD to do it... Still, I can't help but think it would be more interesting than correcting essays....

There is more to be done: some trim to be painted out, a rug and a pad to keep my feet warm and my back healthy, more shelves and some frames for old family photos. All in good time. In the meantime, all I want to do is hang out in my pretty, pretty room!
Thanks, M, for spoiling me rotten!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Healthy AND Yummy?

Today at work we had a series of workshops about being healthy. Don't ask-- it is a long, sad tale. BUT, while I hate being forced to participate in mandatory workshops when I could be getting my work done, today's mandatory workshop ended up being worthwhile. (I cannot tell you how surprised I was!)

The workshop was run by Peggy Kotsopolous and was about making changes to the way we eat in order to be healthier. I hear you: "YAAAAAWWWWN." Not at all, as it turns out: this woman was so enthusiastic and passionate, so into her work and so down-to-earth that she was irresistible.  Her ideas, such as substituting mashed bananas for eggs and white flour in cookie batter, or mashing up an avocado (!) with cocoa powder and agave syrup to make "pudding", are completely reasonable and taste delicious. All the health, without sacrificing yumminess! There is no sense that you are "tricking" yourself into thinking something dry and sprouty and grainy tastes better than it really does. I LOVE IT! Healthy food that tastes as good as junk food!

Now, I am the last person who will EVER tell you to give up butter, wine, sugar, bacon, etc. because I believe that the French have it absolutely right: all things in moderation. But I also think that a treat that is both healthy AND as yummy as its processed, chemical-filled alternative is a no-brainer.  Because giving up treats is NOT an option: life is too short. So, eat!  
Here is the cookie recipe we tried today. I can't wait to try them out at home!

Peggy's Perfect Cookies

There are no quantities here-- just scoop a bunch of stuff together and when it tastes right, you are ready to bake it. Could it be any easier? The "recipe" below is just a suggestion. Try substituting oats for the coconut, dried fruit for the chocolate chips. Or just add both! Experiment-- all the best cooks do! 

-cooked (cooled) quinoa
-ripe banana
-unsweetened dried coconut
-agave syrup (in the health food section of grocery stores)
-chocolate chips

Mix it all up together, mashing the bananas and quinoa together first.  Plonk spoonsful of the batter onto a cookie sheet and bake at 350 F for 8-10 minutes (or until they are browned a bit).

Make some apricot tea and have yourself a cookie!  They are even better when they cool off.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Latest Obsession - Glasvegas!

Check out this band. They are mere pups, but their music sounds like they have been listening to Gen X and Icicle Works, with a bit of Clash thrown in for the punk guitar sound. There is definitely some Oasis and maybe even some Pulp (BMad!) in there, too. BRILLIANT. Plus, their drummer is a girl and I am wondering if it is too late for me to be her when I grow up?

I can't stop listening to Geraldine-- so sad and so catchy, all at the same time. I have spent much of the last two days blasting the album and dancing around the house, singing at the top of my lungs. M says this band appeals to my "inner Morrissey" because their lyrics are dark. I say, "Is that a bad thing?"

I have tried to embed the video, but the band has asked that youtube not enable embedding. So, click on over and take a look and a listen; you won't be sorry, I promise!

(Tip: singing along is a must and should be done in a raging Glaswegian accent for full effect.)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Size DOES Matter

So, feeling particularly guilt-ridden after an unseemly Gumdrop Incident (we are talking fistsful of gummy, sugary goodness), I squeezed into my walking gear and headed out for a brisk trot around the 'hood. Never mind that I would have to walk to Sydney, Australia and back to undo the damage wrought by the Gumdrop Incident, Rome was not built in a day, people. (And no, walking to Rome would not be far enough.)

Off I headed. I was woman, hear me roar. Or at least hear my thighs rubbing together, whispering gumdrop-flavoured recriminations with every step.

After a brief stop at the Gladstone to get a copy of their Harvest Tasting schedule (off to do some tasting with my honey, BP and SB in October-- we don't trust the food at the Gladstone enough to commit to a prix fixe, so we have to wait for the October tasting event), I strode purposefully onward. Until I saw it. A NEW SHOP. Yes, just the kind of gem that appeals to wannabe hipsters like me: exposed brick walls, groovy driftwood in place of racks for the clothes, funky stuff designed by two local arty types, all of it ridiculously overpriced. In short, if they had carried shoes, it would have been my version of crack cocaine. As it is, it was pretty close.

Inside, it only got better: I liked the clothes and even an elderly lady like me could get away with wearing some of it. It looked edgy, sort of street, but also sort of French. My ardour cooled only slightly when I began to suspect that the uberhipster owner/designer woman was not going to deign to speak to a walking-gear-wearing schlub like me.

I soldiered on. Before long, I had fallen for a very high-waisted, sculptured skirt in black. Unable to find a price tag, I scoured the racks for another one so I could see how much it cost. After several fruitless minutes of searching on my part, during which time, Uberhipster Girl studiously ignored me, I wandered over to her and forced her to make eye contact with me. Yes, me-- the ONLY person in the store besides her. I inquired politely as to the price of the skirt. Making clear that she really did not want to trouble herself to find out, she did eventually let me know it was $160. Perfect! Totally pretentiously overpriced! Yay! This store was getting cooler by the second. Next, I asked if there were more (as there were only two left, and only one looked like it would fit me).

Arching her eyebrow and curling her lip simultaneously, she said, "They fit really SMALL."

Um. Okay. Not the answer to my question, though, is it?

A bit taken aback, but full of a raging tide of guilt and self-loathing as a result of aforementioned Gumdrop Incident, I managed to gulp, "Uh. Okay. This one says it's a ten?"

Continuing to sneer (clearly my very presence was causing her serious pain and suffering), she drawled, "Weeeeeeeeeelllllllll, it miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight work........."

Right. Okay.

Message received.

Skirt replaced on rack with a promise from me that I would be back for it when more appropriately equipped and attired for shopping, I continued on my way.

You know that scene in Pretty Woman in which the snotty salesladies on Rodeo Drive spurn Vivian and all her sugar-daddy credit cards? Then, Hector Elizondo's character sets her up with the personal shopper and Vivian goes back to the store and reminds the bitchy ladies of who she is, pointing out that they have made a "Big mistake. Huge." ?

Um, Uberhipster Girl? Big mistake. Huge.

Interested in the store? So you'll know where to go when self-flaggellation is not enough and you need some complete stranger to not want your money badly enough that she insults you? Check them out at www.leagueofloversandthieves.ca. At least online, they can't be rude to you.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Tiny, perfect purse





So, this is a response to Rodwellian's post about the (biggish) purse inserts she has just discovered. I, too, am a handbag addict, but I also experience the same reluctance my BFF expresses when it comes to dumping the contents of one bag into another. Which is why my discovery of SILVER as the colour of choice has been so life-changing: SILVER GOES WITH EVERYTHING, so I never have to change my purse! This does mean that all my pretty bags languish in their cupboard, however. (see photo above)

Another part of my handicap is that I am an inveterate accumulator of crap. If my purse and I had ever had the opportunity to go on Let's Make a Deal, Monty Hall would have been shelling out the dough to me by the handful. "I've got $50 here for anyone who has a chainsaw in her purse!" he'd say. "Step aside, ladies," I'd say, "I've got three different kinds of chainsaws in here. Just give me a minute to find one....." Ask anyone who knows me-- I am forever upside down, with only my feet visible sticking out of the top of my capacious purse, as I rummage for whatever it is I need at any given moment (whatever it is is, of course, NEVER accessible, despite it having been the first thing I have pulled out of my purse the previous 78 times I reached into it....).

I lack the discipline to carry a teeny weeny purse: I've got STUFF. In case there are UNEXPECTED CONTINGENCIES. Like being trapped in an elevator, or whisked off in the TARDIS on the rare occasion when the cosmic screwdriver is on the fritz and the Doctor must turn to me for assistance in saving the planet-- something in my purse could mean the difference between life and death for a whole species and I would hate to have to say to David Tennant --er, the Doctor-- "Oops. I brought my LITTLE purse. Sorry." It's not elegant, it's not chic, it's not sexy, but it's the truth. I am Irma Bombeck reincarnated-- what can I say? In my own defense, however, I urge you to ask yourself this: with whom would you rather be trapped in an elevator(or the TARDIS) for hours, Audrey Hepburn and her tiny, elegant bag or me/Irma and the giant handbag full of all sorts of MacGyver-ready bits and bobs which could very well be used to get you OUT of the elevator/save the planet? Or at least keep you amused/fed while we wait to be rescued...Or, in the case of the TARDIS scenario, while YOU wait to be rescued. Because I'm sticking with the Doctor, thank you very much.

But, for the right handbag, I could change. I could kiss the ridiculously heavy, gargantuan, so-big-I-could-sleep-in-it purse goodbye, and with it, the bursitis in my shoulder, the oh-so-swellegant patch of sweat on my side from where the H&M vinyl comes into contact with my body, the hours of my life spent rummaging fruitlessly for whatever I need at any given moment. I always knew I could do it, if only the right little, streamlined beauty came along and wooed me away from my humungous-tote toting ways.

Which brings me to my latest love: the tiny, perfect, SILVER bag in the photo. I got it in Boston (I cannot stress often enough that THERE IS NO TAX ON CLOTHING IN MASSACHUSSETTS), and have been using it non-stop ever since. It goes with everything (have I mentioned that?) AND it fits easily inside larger bags, making the ol' purse switcheroo eminently do-able, thereby saving my languishing lovelies from handbag purgatory. Everybody wins! Perhaps most importantly, this teeny-tiny, pewter beauty says to the world at large, "I am the sort of girl (ahem) who is unhindered by STUFF; the sort of girl (stop laughing!) who can pick up and go at a moment's notice; the sort of girl (CUT.IT.OUT.) who can save the Doctor, the TARDIS and a whole planet depending on only her wits, spunkiness and derring-do as resources!"

So, off you go, Rodwellian, buy the handbag for your handbag and then, go forth and show off your collection of handsome handbaggery!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Pioneer Daze



What is wrong with these pictures? Keep looking. Hint: faucets turned on full.... bottle of Purell next to the sink....

Last night, as I finally dragged myself away from petiteanglaise and set out to make a healthful, nutritious dinner for M and I, I found myself saying, "What the {colourful expletive}?!!" as I turned the kitchen faucet and got.................air. Not even a cough, splutter or hiccup. Just. Air.

On our street, whenever something like that happens, we go outside and ask the neighbours. Within three steps of exiting my house, I heard my next-door neighbour ask, "Water off?" Looking around, I saw most of my neighbours, milling around and all looking west, toward the southern end of the park where several trucks and a hive of city workers in orange jumpsuits were clustered around a gigantic hole where the sidewalk used to be. I am sure this is NOT what Shel Silverstein was thinking....

The workers, when queried, responded with, "A flyer was sent out, telling you the water would be cut off!" Um, note to City: Next time, send the flyers TO THE HOUSES ON OUR STREET. Not one neighbour had had any warning. All the charming gents could tell us was that the water would be off "for a while." That was 7 p.m. It is now 12:26 p.m. and I, for one, am tired of playing pioneer woman. If I had wanted to rough it in the bush, I would LIVE in the bush.

I have called the City. Helpfully, they told me that they DID get the water back on (sometime in the dead of night), but that, conveniently, it "broke again" (???) almost immediately thereafter. And that they have had "nothing but problems with it" ever since. Equally helpfully, the woman to whom I spoke passed the buck, I mean, passed me along to a "Supervisor" whose number I called only to find, surprise, surprise-- he was not answering the phone.

I have just spent the last 45 minutes trekking to the big, blue truck the City finally provided (after one of my elderly Portuguese lady neighbours went postal on the workers), filling up former CAT LITTER buckets with water. We have a sinkful, I have "flushed" one toilet (saving the other for later-- ooh! the excitement of having something to which to look forward!), and the bathtub has a good 20 litres in it.

Thing is, where the guys are digging the hole? It's right over the buried CREEK. Apparently, they can't figure out where all the water is coming from that keeps filling up the hole.... Rocket science, it ain't.

Right, off to churn some butter and weave some linen from flax I have grown and harvested myself.

Susannah Moodie, eat your heart out.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Paint it Black



Okay, Interweb, I am posting this because I have worked all day to disassemble, paint and then reassemble these two (previously Kelly green) lanterns from Ikea and, while I love my 'hood, I have no illusions about my 'hood. In short, I am not sure how long these lovelies will actually last... At the very least, I figure I am going to be replacing the pristinely beautiful, creamy white pillar candles sometime soon-ish. It is with no fondness at all that I recall our first summer here and the Evil Begonia Thief who, with surgical precision, extracted one of my pricey (but gorgeous!) orange begonia plants from one of the window boxes on my porch railing...

This year, I decided not to go with hanging baskets on the curvaceous iron hooks (that I risked a return to singledom for when I forced M to hang them for me two years ago) on either side of our front steps. I can never find baskets I like, I hate transplanting them from the cheap, hideous, white plastic, eye-offending pots they sell them in to the more aesthetically-pleasing and visually harmonious black wire hangers I have. No matter what I plant, it dies (because I am a lousy gardener) and all the dirt runs out everywhere when I water them, and a whole series of other whiny reasons to opt out of hanging baskets.

Lying awake, night after night, tortured by the design dilemma before me, I finally had an epiphany: LANTERNS. I have been craving big, rectangular lanterns but have had NO REASON to buy them. Suddenly, it all became clear: I would get (two!) such lanterns to hang over our new, sleek black planters on either side of the porch. They would look elegant. They would make me feel happy every time I approached the house. They would be welcoming when our (imaginary) guests arrived to attend our many (imaginary) dinner parties. Perhaps, just perhaps, they would distract passersby from the scraggly, Sanford & Son-esque field of dandelions that passes for our front lawn... They would, in short, be perfect.

But where to find these elusive epitomes of front porch elegance? A girl on a budget knows that the rich folk scamper off to Angus & Co, or Elte, or UpCountry Garden and, with a flash of their gold cards from within their Louis Vuitton or Birkin bags, find themselves in possession of (two!) $300 lanterns before you can say, "I'd like a grande skinny latte to go with my Lululemons," but such was not to be for a bargain-savvy downtowner like me. And it was important that the SCALE of the lanterns be right: no dinky, too-small lanterns would do. And so, off to Ikea, Swedish for "I'm no Lululemon-wearing fashion victim sucker with a bottomless decorating budget," where I discovered the cheekily-named Sommar line of goodies for cheapskates like me. Among said goodies was the perfect lantern.

In Kelly green, dingy white or galvanized tin.

NOT GOOD.

BUT, never fear: one too-small slipcover returned for incredibly small, 1/3 of the original price, credit note later, and I was whisking off with my two Kelly green lanterns, on my way to Crappy Tire for two cans of spray paint, and back home again in a jiffy. MacGyvering the glass out of the lanterns, I headed for the paint cans and, one afternoon and a whole lotta spraypaint on my feet and inhaled up my nose later, I have (two!) sleek black lanterns of JUST THE TYPE I had envisioned!

I have zip-tied them to the curvaceous hooks, optimistically (& foolhardily) styled them with lovely pillar candles and, lastly, written this long, dull-ish post as an homage to their beauty (as long as you don't get tooooooooooo close to them, anyway.....) so that, when the maruading crack addicts or the Begonia Thief Redux decide that THEY want my perfect black lanterns, there is some record of their fleeting perfection.

Monday, June 2, 2008

R.I.P.


One of the first items I heard on the news this morning, as I blearily fed the cats, concocted coffee and shot up Z with his insulin, was that Yves St. Laurent died in Paris earlier today. His own fragile beauty and the enduring beauty of his work came to mind and made me feel sad. He was one of a dying breed, I think; the art of elegant dressing is lost, I think, and YSL's work had a glamour and sophistication seldom seen today.

Later, when I got home from work and flipped the daily photo on my calendar, the photo was of a gold snake-motif YSL sandal from 1997. What are the chances? So, I felt like I had to jot a quick post about YSL and his genius.

That genius brought us, among other things, "Le Smoking"-- the gorgeously sexy (intended only for the tall and willowy among us-- the rest of us just look like stumpy little men should we be foolhardy enough to try it...), androgynous tuxedo for women. Think Marlene Dietrich. Insanely glamorous and confident, a "can-you- handle-the-incredibly-confident-and-sexy-woman-that-I-am?" look, if ever there was one. The Village Voice pointed out that "Le Smoking" was widely adopted by "the Sapphic set", but I think that diminishes it's appeal by narrowing it too much. ALL women, not just our Sapphic sisters, love a great pair of trousers, and YSL started it all. Think Kate Hepburn (or Cate Blanchett PLAYING Kate Hepburn) in wonderful, gorgeous, wide-leg trousers: what could be more fantastic and sexy and 1940s glam?

One day, several years ago, I was in Paris with my mother, my grandmother and my grandmother's sister. Completely by accident, we discovered a sweet little restaurant behind the (then-closed-for-renovations) Theatre Odeon in St-Germain des Pres. We had a quick bite, as we were on our way to see an opera (Les Noces de Figaro) in the Jardin Luxembourg, but we liked it so well that we made reservations to dine there on our last evening in Paris. On that night, we got all dressed up. I felt thin and confident. There was a ridiculously hot waiter. The staff treated us like we were the most important guests they'd ever had, making a fuss over "The Ladies" (my grandmother and her sister). The food was good. The wine was good. The decor was all Jean Cocteau murals. And, as the evening got underway, the maitre d' came over to our table to chat-- we were the only non-Parisians in the place and I think the staff were curious about how the hell we'd managed to find them. Part of the chat went a bit like this (except in French):
Maitre d': Do you the designer, Yves St-Laurent?
Lola's Sister: Yes, I do.
Maitre d': Well, you know, this restaurant, that table right there (points to corner table), used to be his favourite.
Lola's Sister: Really!?
Maitre d': Mais, oui-- he used to come here with his old boyfriend, every week. But now they are no longer together, so he does not come here any more. [conspiratorial wink that I do not, at first, understand]
Lola's Sister: Oh, that's too bad. [great conversationalist, no?]

At the table where he had pointed, there was a handsome, very chic, silver-haired, older man and a gorgeous, very chic, very young man.... It didn't take me long to start to wonder whether the wink and the story and the handsome older man were connected-- were we dining mere metres from Yves St-Laurent's former flame?

Hmm. This has ended up being a bit of a post about me. Go figure-- it's my blog.

RIP, YSL.

Friday, May 23, 2008

WE ARE NOT ALONE!

Click here to see more Nancy Sinatra tributes.

(With a mighty 23 views on youtube, Z is beginning to rival Hugo!)

Should I be worried that, along with the above link, the other videos listed as "related" to Z's boots flick all have headings like "Fat Cat'?

Bathing beauty


Bathing beauty
Originally uploaded by OblioZen

Of the many and various drawbacks to being obese, one is the inability to properly clean one's own undercarriage. Combine this unfortunate circumstance with a whole lotta fur, and Z's hind end occasionally (though not AS occasionally as I'd like....) gets to a sorry state which necessitates EVERYONE'S favourite sport: Giving Z a Bath. This extravaganza involves both M and I, the locking of the bathroom door and a military strike-style, guerilla bathing tactical manoeuvre. All the while, O paces and yowls outside the door, imitating someone being MURDERED, in accompaniment to Z's piteous mewling and squeekling from the bathtub, where he is pinned in place by those of us in the room blessed with opposable thumbs. M and I attempt to put those thumbs to good use, holding Z IN the tub, while scooping pitchersful of increasingly murky water over him, following haphazard attempts to rub shampoo into those areas that are the most offensive. Use your imagination...

It is a merry, merry game and everyone is VERY HAPPY when it is all over. Well, okay, maybe we are just happy that it IS over. The reality is, once it all ends, Z smells slightly better (or slightly less bad) than before it all began, M is off to post the cat on Freecycle and Craig's List and I am busy pacifiying the hysterical O while Z slinks pathetically off to nurse his wounded pride. All in a day's work.

And you people wonder why we don't have kids.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Proof positive that I will never be an intellectual...

Just in case anyone was wondering, I now have definitive evidence that I am not now, have never been, nor ever will be an intellectual. The penny finally dropped today, after I read some email from Rodwellian, my co-bloguiste (you can link to her blog from the menu at right). These were the content of her email: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fuzzy/2242738394/in/pool-kittywigs She sent them in response to my first post, in which I document the inflicting of BOOTS on one of my cats.

Here's how I know I am not an intellectual [in case ANY of the above did not prove that fact pretty well beyond all dispute....] :

I have spent the 30+ ensuing minutes since being exposed to the wild and wonderful world of kittywigs THINKING ABOUT KITTYWIGS! Yep. Wondering about such stumpers as,"Why would anyone put a wig on a cat?" and "Where do you get such a diminutive wig? Is kittywiggery a legitimate sub-culture, with factories in China producing hairpieces designed to be purchased by kittywiggery enthusiasts the world over?" and "How on EARTH did ALL THOSE PEOPLE manage to get their cats to submit to the shenanigans in the first place, never mind sitting still long enough to be photographed in the ensuing compromising positions...?? Do those people have some sort of specially bred dignity-free cats?" (says the woman who put BOOTS on her cat, photographed him and posted him on youtube....)

And you know what? These thoughts are not really in any way UNUSUAL. Well, okay, they are unusual in the sense that, until less than an hour ago, I had no idea kitty wigs even existed so I don't usually think about them, specifically. What I mean is, the INTELLECTUAL DEPTH indicated by the fact that I have been riffiing (alone, in my private thoughts and now here, alone in my un-read blog) on kitty wigs for as long as I have is not particularly atypical. What I have recognized is that these are the kinds of thoughts that fill up my empty head. Thoughts about toupes for felines, whether or not I need to buy toilet paper, how many essays I have yet to mark, what colour sequins will be most prominently featured during tonight's episode of Dancing With The Stars..... There are people out there who think about how to stop the AIDS pandemic, how to bring literacy to girls in underdeveloped nations, how exactly Arthur C. Clarke's "space elevator" idea could be made to work (okay, admittedly I do think about that last one). But not me. Nosirree. I think about cat wigs.

And make my cat wear boots.

And now I have a blog.

Dear god.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Puss In Boots


For some time now, M and I have been toying with the idea of somehow getting something for Z to wear that would make his rear feet, well, "stickier". He has a hard time on the hardwood floors (though has adapted very cheerfully, mastering his own speed-skating style move with his hind feet and managing to motor around at great speed). A recent visit to my mother's, however, showed that his walking is actually a LOT better than we ever see here-- she has carpet and, therefore, more traction for his feet. He walked really really well while we were there. So, we decided we'd see about getting some of those (ridiculous) DOG BOOTS that you see everyone's poor, embarassed canines wearing here in T.O. (Incidentally, no one in St. Cath puts boots on their dogs... Come to think of it, for millenia NO ONE put boots on their dogs, but whatever....) Turns out dog boots are like people shoes: you've got your basic Payless-style el-cheapos, all the way up to the Christian Louboutins of dog boots, the "Muttluks". They are, in case you were wondering, utterly indistinguishable from each other. That's right, the makers of shoes for dogs have achieved the impossible: they have made shopping for shoes ABSOLUTELY NO FUN AT ALL because all the shoes are THE SAME. They must be made by the people who make those hideous black athletic shoes for humans... (insert shiver of revulsion here) We went with the Payless version-- after all, Z doesn't even like us to TOUCH his paws, so strapping rubberized fleecy things onto them was not likely to be what you'd call a hugely successful venture.

I got the first one on in no time flat-- no fuss, no muss, just a lightning-fast approach and before you could say "Nancy Sinatra", the left rear bootie was firmly affixed. You can imagine that getting him into the second one was a bit more challenging: he was on to me. After a brief tussle, however, the fact that I am approximately 20x his size and have opposable thumbs won the day and (relatively) soon he was jauntily clad in two red and black bootlets.

Was he pleased? Well, let's just say that "pleased" is a very strong word. He is Z, though, so he has basically been making the best of what he clearly deems a very bad situation. Initially he had a sort of goose-stepping quality to his rear legs, but has learned that, no matter how high he raises his feet, the damned bootlets are NOT coming off, so he is adapting. They actually do make a difference, but I feel very mean for making him wear them. We are trying one day with them and will decide whether to continue. I can hardly believe that I have drifted so far over the line into Crazy Cat Lady-dom that I am now at the point where I am DRESSING my pet. Further defying belief is the fact that M is right there alongside me-- in fact, HE was the one who reminded me to GET the booties on my errand run today! Wonders never cease.

When viewing the attached video, please feel free to hum "These Boots Were Made for Walking". ( I have tried to post slightly longer vids, but they will NOT upload on Youtube, so this one will have to do. Sorry!)