March 6, 2007

The Many Things That Make Me Happy

1) The website suggestions. I’m not a graphics person and I couldn’t tell what would actually WORK IN A BANNER FORM, so I called my web designer (aka MY FRIEND JILL) and cut her loose upon them. I also could not tell which ones were actually possible to do in photoshop as opposed to, you know, scouting locations and hiring models and photographers and acting like I have a budget of tens of thousands of dollars when really my budget is more like... "a speck of money and probably a really nice fruit basket from Harold and David." What happens now is in Jill's good smart hands.

2) My stupid dog. I love him and he is SO dumb and sweet and good. Although it has come to my attention that ONE dog is a LOT of work. He gets an energy buzz in the middle of the day, so I put him in the yard to romp it off, and then as I am PUTTING him, he BENDS down at the waist so his butt is way up and he waggles it while the tail just GOES AND GOES and looks all PITIFUL and HOPEFUL until I say OH FINE and go out and play soccer with him.

It’s FUN, except he is REALLY still mostly puppy and therefore I get tired LONG before he does. In fact, it is probably more accurate to say, I am a panting heap of sweaty desire to lie down in a puddle and call for death to take me long before he is. It occurs to me that what we need is an AUXILIARY dog who can be tagged in and finish the game for me. A BEAGLE! I was thinking, because Scott LIKES beagles and I think I have a higher chance of success lobbying for a breed he already favors. If it was up to ME ALONE, our small auxiliary dog would be a mastiff.

3) One of my HOT STOCK SPAMS for today was titled “A of Burp!” I have no idea what that means but it gave me the here-to-fore unprecedented desire to open a spam. “HOT ALERT,” read the inside of A of Burp, and then the spam advised me to aggressively buy a stock with the “S.umbol” of ARSS. I’m not sure what an S.umbol is, but I can’t bring myself to shell out good green foldy money for a stock that, phonetically speaking, looks like British slang for a butt. SORRY, A of Burp! It was a GOOD TRY!

4) The Southern Living Weekend at the Biltmore! IT WAS DECADENT AND AMAZING and I have at LEAST two more stories to tell. But since I have not yet had breakfast, I want to say NOW that, speaking of A of Burp, the food was ESPECIALLY amazing. Everything on the brunch buffet came DIRECTLY out of the lastest Southern Living cookbook, and OH. DEAR. LORD.

For breakfast I had a scoop of sort of fancified velevet grits casserole that CLEARLY had met up with butter and cheese and bacon and some more kinds of cheese before being baked. Honestly, it would have done less damage to my arteries if I had gotten a syringe and INJECTED it directly. Then I had something called an Egg Nest that had an egg, I am sure, hidden somewhere deep under the butter, and THEN I ate a monstrous pile of bacon cut SO thick that when I bit it, my teeth SUNK into glorious crispy-edged BACONESS, and it had been broiled with brown sugar and it is not an exaggeration to say that between bites, I put my head down and wept at the beauty of life.

The people were AWESOME----readers for really true, and it was SO SWEET how many mother-daughter and sibling pairs had come together. As a REMINDER TO ME, I need to tell you about THE SPECIALNESS OF HOW SPECIAL WRITERS ARE. (In our pink socks) NO, NO, I really will. But right now, the dog is bugging me, and I have to go earnestly explain to him that I am not playing soccer at stinkin’ 5 am.

Dude, we need a spare dog.

Posted by joshilyn at March 6, 2007 5:06 AM

Or a pair of them, like training wheels. A brace of beagle puppies -- because if one beagle puppy is cute...

Posted by: rams at March 6, 2007 6:20 AM

The food sounds absolutely divine! I plan all my vacations/trips around where we're going to eat.

Posted by: Leandra at March 6, 2007 6:29 AM

I'm sorry, did you say something about the part about the bacon?

Posted by: Mir at March 6, 2007 7:38 AM

Ha! Mir is such a sucker for bacon! *snickering*

A spare dog? If you do that, you must hope they will want to play with each other and not so much with you, otherwise Scott will probably be scooping the spent remainder of yourself into a dustpan for later re-hydration into a human-like substance.

Also? Mmmmmm....bacon....with syrup! *goes all glassy-eyed*

Posted by: David at March 6, 2007 8:24 AM

I think an auxiliary dog is a brilliant idea!

I also think eating cheese grits and bacon is a brilliant idea, especially if someone else is cooking them, and if you're eating them away from home, when the calories and things clearly don't count.

Posted by: DebR at March 6, 2007 9:25 AM

That's it! I need an auxiliary child!

Oh, beware. As cute as they are, I believe beagles are excellent diggers. I could be wrong, but I remember lots of holes in my parents yard, but no dog by the time I came along.

Posted by: Michelle at March 6, 2007 9:52 AM

You don't need another dog, you need a neighbor's dog you can have play dates with; all the joy of exhausting your dog without the added fur, food, and vet bills:)

Posted by: Chris at March 6, 2007 10:01 AM

Another thing about beagles, they are excellent barkers. Well, actually, it's more like baying, which if you haven't heard it, is a truly lovely sound, especially in the middle of the night!

Posted by: Leandra at March 6, 2007 10:53 AM

If you got with the whole spare dog idea, you might want to see if the Biltmore will send any leftover bacon for them to have.

Posted by: Roxanne at March 6, 2007 11:26 AM

Glad it was glorious at Biltmore while I was watching it rain in Florida! Next year, I'll plan better and be there. By then, I will have written enough articles about Biltmore that they might let me have a piece of brown-sugared bacon.

Dude, two dogs are always better than one!

Posted by: Edgy Mama at March 6, 2007 11:41 AM

I once had two dogs. I now have four dogs, a kitten/cat and two fish with lots of lobbying for a second cat. Oh, I also have a very full backyard pet cemetery. Because when soemthing happens to a dog, you must replace said dog or your children get really upset.

Posted by: Linda Sherwood at March 6, 2007 11:49 AM

I'm a firm believer in doing things double. Two dogs, two cats, two kids, maybe even two husbands. That way if you lose one, you have a spare. I actually have 3 dogs right now. And they DO love to play together. But they get dirtier together than they could possibly get alone. And they bring that dirt inside with them. Still, since we are not at home much during the day, it's nice that they have one another for company. Also I think that they encourage each other to do evil things. One of them talked the other into eating a hole in the dry wall recently.
But I can't prove which one did it.

Posted by: Cathi at March 6, 2007 11:50 AM

Okay, I tried to tell you to get a bassett, because they really do wear out before you do. :)
It's a lovely experience. Of course there is that whole not wanting to house break thing, but hmmm weight it out,

dog pee / energy

dog pee / energy

Did I ever mention what nice pets monkeys are?

Posted by: Cele at March 6, 2007 12:11 PM

I can't wait to see what Jill comes up with!

And *I* want to go away for the weekend with MY sister (speaking of sibling pairs). Right now I don't even care about the food (although I do love butter)... just the AWAY...

Posted by: amy at March 6, 2007 1:33 PM

Ah, yes.... the baying of the beagle. About 50 years ago, when I was a very small child, we had a beagle. Once, in the middle of the night, he got a Siamese tomcat treed in our backyard. Between Droopy's baying and the cat's yowling...yikes! I still remember all the neighbors standing outside, in their bathrobes, and waving flashlights around.

Posted by: Jan in Norman, OK at March 6, 2007 4:21 PM

I was at the Biltmore with my Mommy. I was the "pretty lady" (you're words for me - not mine!)with the audio books you autographed. Beagles - we had 35 at one time, my husband used to rabbit hunt. Love those pretty little dogs. Then we got into Labradors for many years. BUT BEWARE - getting two dogs at once, especially if they are puppies, makes for a very hard time to train either one of them. They are in constant competition for your attention. I agree with the person that said, borrow the neighbor's dog for playdates. The bacon WAS so good. But so was everything. And I have a couple of new stories, too.

Posted by: Rhonda at March 7, 2007 3:58 PM

I told you the Biltmore was de-vine! I loved their breakfast buffet. I would love,love,lovity to go back, but my husband could only get me out of the bed for food! How'd ya like them beds, girlfriend? nice, huh? Did you get to have Tea there? It was very nice also.

Posted by: Desi at March 7, 2007 4:16 PM

Oh yay for you at the Biltmore! And I should not say this but I once had something I know only as "Hungarian bacon," which was fat nuggets of bacon that were deep-fried with some sort of sugarness also. I am glad I do not know where my friend bought this in NYC, as I would no longer have a functional heart/arteries/miscellany of cardiac accoutrements.

Two dogs. Maybe they make inflatable mastiffs?

Posted by: Cornelia Read at March 8, 2007 4:05 PM