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A Holiday for ye ole Irish

Keep in mind, all posts are stream of conscious entries with little or no edits or rewrites.

We did. We braved the wacky world to take our five year old to a BAR where she would get to see and hear Irish music performed live. At night. I'm of mutt pedigree with enough racial diversity in every drop of my blood to make me wonder how my current family could be so racist when obviously our ancestors weren't. The parts I know about are Jewish, Irish, Cherokee, German, English, and Chinese. I identify with the Irish, Cherokee, and to a certain extent, Jewish. My husband hails from Scotland, England and that's about all he knows, but as we know from Braveheart, the Scotch and the Irish see themselves aligned if not kin, so we both wanted Nila to feel the ignition of her Irish coding on this Irish holiday. This morning we took her to see children Irish dancers perform at the children's museum and loved watching her head bob in time with the music, her face showing rapt attention in the tribal moves of the children's feet.

Tonight we hoped to get a chance to practice some of that dancing at a local bar where it was rumored irish music would be a playin'. We were brave to think of leaving the house with a five year old after 7 pm at night, but it's been one of those confidence inspiring days. A good day, with no temper tantrums and we're nearing the end, I'm hoping, of battling the mange. Fortunately for us, the mites you catch from Dogs isn't quite as pernicious as the human form of scabies, but this has been a week from hell, none-the-less. Though, I went for a hike yesterday and as I perched on the highest rock I could climb using good reason, and soaked in the sun, then sound of the birds, the different hues of green on each individual pine needle, I reflected on the events of this past week. Finding out we had caught the mites from the dog, taking the dog back, finding out how hard it was going to be to get rid of these bugs, feeling the tide turn in our favor...saying it's been an emotional roller coaster just doesn't really even cover it. Imagine knowing you have little bugs burrowing under skin and laying eggs...Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Here's the thing, though. We've been wondering the whole time if we should keep that dog. He's been sick since we brought him home with illnesses that could be transmitted to us (unbeknownst to us at the time, obviously), but since we already had him for three weeks and had become rather fond of him and wanted to pull him through, even if we decided he wasn't the right dog for us. And he wasn't. He was already too big to play with Nila and once we pulled him over the threshhold of death's door and his energy renewed, he accidentally hurt her every time he tried to play with her. He chewed constantly and couldn't be trusted to be left alone, even for a few minutes, and several other issues. For over a month Darren and I had several, intense conversations trying to figure out if we should keep him, but we just couldn't come to a decision. it didn't help that every one of these conversations occurred under the watchful gaze of his doleful eyes.

it had actually gotten to the point that I was so conflicted and confused that it was causing a lot of agitation and one night I prayed, intensely, begging God to help me make a decision one way or the other. Then the thing the vet said couldn't happen, happened. First I got the mites. Still wasn't sure I should get rid of the dog. Darren got the mites. Still, we just weren't sure. Nila got the mites the next day, he was out of here and i took him myself, which I would never have thought I could do. So when i was atop my rocky perch, I thought about the battle with the scabies mites and all of a sudden it hit me: Without this final plague, I wouldn't have been able to do it. I wouldn't have been able to take him back to the animal shelter (don't worry folks, it was a no-kill shelter and he's already been re-homed). Then I remembered my prayer and I just started laughing. God answered my prayer! it wasn't in something as sweet and subtle as a message in a dream, that wouldn't have been enough for me. I would have second guessed the hell out of that. But giving us all mites? Giving my daughter mites?? Oh there was no question after that.

Thailand: Tigers, Sharks, Elephants, and a Leopard

On Tynan

On the last day of my last trip to Thailand, I learned about two things that I could have done if I had more time: pet a tiger and swim in a shark tank. Ever since then, I've been looking for an excuse to go back.

My excuse came this year when I discovered that flying from Tokyo to Berlin would cost about $600 one way, but that a one way ticket from Tokyo to Bangkok and another one from Bangkok to Berlin would cost $500 combined. I wasn't getting a free trip to Bangkok-- I was getting paid to stop there.

Bangkok has some amazing malls- the apparent king of them being Siam Paragon, at the Siam skytrain station. Besides a movie theater with fold-nearly-flat leather recliners complete with pillows and duvets, a Lamborghini dealership stocked with cars, and one of the best food courts I've ever seen, it also has an aquarium. A big aquarium.

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