Wednesday, April 29, 2009

But I Don't WANT to be Reincarnated

Last weekend I was home in Michigan to celebrate my dad's retirement. One of the gifts he received was a book about making the most out of this next phase of his life. I flipped through it and paused at a section that discussed how many people have to come to terms with their fear of dying once they stop working, as "getting older" and "retirement" obviously go hand in hand.

The authors said that they have psychologist friends who have helped thousands of people get over their hang-ups about death through the power of hypnosis. They explained that these thousands of patients often speak about their past lives while in a trance-like state. I can only assume their point was that once you realize death may not be "the end of everything," but rather just one experience in a never-ending loop of lives, you're more likely to stop worrying about kicking the bucket and start enjoying your golden years.

However, I had exactly the opposite reaction. I don't think I'd want to live any more lives. Don't get me wrong -- I actually believe in the concept of reincarnation... it's just that I'm not sure I like it. Let me be very blunt: if you're reading this web site, that means 1) you can read (duh) and 2) you have access to a computer that's connected to the Internet. That puts you in a very, very small percentage of the earth's living population. Odds are, if you come back as someone else, you're not going to have it so good. In fact, compared to what you've got going on right now, your future life is probably going to be pretty darn crappy.

So thanks for thoroughly freaking me out, retirement book! I've got a few more decades until my husband and I can stop working, and now I get to spend them fretting about coming back as some unlucky soul without a supportive family, wonderful friends and a cool dog.

Great. Just great.

- e

Monday, April 27, 2009

Look at That Face!

As some of you know, I was in Las Vegas recently. This time around, my husband and I stayed with our good friends, DP and LHP. They have an absolutely beautiful home, but the king of their castle is clearly their English bulldog, Bruno. We'd gotten to know Bruno before he moved out west with his family last year, and the warmer temperatures seem to be agreeing with him. You can tell from his smile that he's thinking, "I am one lucky dog!"

That one big tooth that sticks out just absolutely kills me!

Anyway, Bruno had me laughing all weekend, but his most interesting quirk is that it is nearly impossible to get him to go outside to go to the bathroom. And I don't mean that he isn't house-trained... he is. He just simply doesn't want to be bothered to go out to do his business.

I was absolutely stunned to see D and L commanding him over and over again to go #1 in their backyard before we headed out on the town for the night. If we so much as rattle my dog's leash or whisper the word "outside" within earshot, he starts jumping around like a freak... and he pees approximately every ten seconds once he's out of the house. But Bruno? Nope, he was having none of it. He would just stand there and do nothing, peering up at his owners with a look of defiance, challenging them to somehow make him go pee. It was unbelievable. As you can see from the picture below, he's gotten pretty good at holding his ground.

Lest you get the impression that Bruno is simply lazy or doesn't want to move around too much, I should probably mention that he gets into lively battles with his brother Jack (a spry cat), will run all around the place chasing his toys, and will back his behind into you so that you can scratch it as soon as you sit down. But for whatever reason, he may be the only dog on the planet that doesn't feel the need to, uh, make his mark every time he's outside. That's just how he rolls, I guess!

- e

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Pirates: Real and Fake

While in Aruba last month, I was looking out at the Caribbean Sea from a pier-turned-bar when this cool boat pulled up to dock.

I was pretty excited by its name, of course...

However, believe it or not, I didn't end up purchasing a ticket to sail with The Jolly Pirates. It's just better for everyone if I purposefully avoid situations where I'm bound to get seasick. 'Cause that's not very pirate-like.

Fortunately for me, there's another way I can live out my pirate fantasies... on land, and here in Chicago. When my husband and I were leaving the city a few weekends ago, I was almost too stunned by what I saw draped over The Field Museum to take a picture. (Luckily, traffic was moving slowly so I recovered before it was too late.)

Yes... I kid you not, there is currently an 8,400-square-foot exhibition called "Real Pirates" just a few minutes away from me. Its web site promises that I'll "get the chance to experience pirate life by hoisting the skull-and-crossbones, tying pirate knots, learning how to fire a cannon, and more."

This is almost too good to be true. You can bet that I will be going to this exhibit at some point before it ends in October... and you can also bet that, if allowed, I will take pictures of me acting a pirate fool while there. And then of course I'll post them here so you can all laugh at me.

But it will be a jealous laughter... don't deny it.

- e