The only time I ever visit the bank is when I’m taking out a large sum of money before a vacation. Today was such a day. I don’t like the bank. Whenever I’m standing in line or waiting at the counter while the cashier helps me, I’m convinced security is watching me, thinking I’m about to rob the place. What the hell is that about?
In January, our beloved companion of more than 10 years, Abby the boxer, decided she couldn’t deal with another Minnesota winter and checked out. Four months later, I still think about her and miss her every day. In the days and weeks following Abby’s demise, Michele and I did a few things that would likely seem silly to anyone who hasn’t faced the death of a longtime pet. Michele put one of her blankets in a zipped plastic bag, sealing in her scent. I packed up most of her toys even though we planned to adopt another dog. I guess we were just trying to do whatever we could to keep her around.
About a month ago, we adopted Zoe. Like Abby, she’s a reverse brindle boxer. However, Zoe’s personality is very different. Abby was motivated by treats. Zoe is motivated by affection. Abby loved licking my feet. Zoe isn’t really into feet. Abby’s lifelong goal was to pee on every square inch of the nearest park. Zoe rarely marks anything outside of our yard.
Getting to know Zoe’s personality quirks has made the past several weeks a lot of fun. And even though I know someday I’ll probably find myself packing up her toys or sealing up one of her blankets, every minute between now and then will make the eventual sadness and grief worthwhile.
This afternoon, I heard someone say, “Rock on, crouton.” It remained the stupidest thing I heard today for all of 10 seconds, when the same person responded to a comment about killing two birds with one stone by saying, “Or we could kill two stones with one bird.” In the words of David St. Hubbins, “It’s such a fine line between stupid and clever.”
With a rather nice, spring weekend finally upon us, my mind has become increasingly preoccupied with thoughts of summer vacations. As luck would have it, we are planning three getaways in the next three months. That’s a pretty good ratio.
In a few weeks, we will make our triumphant return to Atlantic City, a hoppin’ town we previously visited two and a half years ago. During that trip, we saw Bruce Springsteen perform from the second row, strolled the boardwalk and donated a few dollars to some of the nation’s finest gaming corporations. Unfortunately, it was a rather short trip, and Michele missed an entire day of fun after coming down with the bottle flu. This is her chance for a “do over.”
Next up is a quick road trip to Oklahoma to visit Michele’s parents. The last time we visited was 1996, so I guess we’re a tad overdue. Our plan calls for a full day of driving followed by a day of visiting and enjoying all that Salisaw, Okla., has to offer (which shouldn’t take more than about 15 minutes). Then we’re turning around and heading back, dividing the drive home over two days. We’re planning to spend one night in Council Bluffs, Iowa, because it would be a waste to skip our chance to put in a few quality hours playing video poker at the Harrah’s location closest to our home. I also anticipate several stops at Sonic during our journey.
Finally, in August we’re going back to Las Vegas. With the Podcast Expo Portable Media Expo New Media Expo finally moving from Ontario, Calif., to the promised land, it has suddenly become a must-attend event. We’re hoping to finally get to meet some of the podcasting friends we’ve only known through e-mail, Twitter and, of course, their shows. There’s been a little talk of some sort of live Las Vegas podcast super event. Sounds fun as long as I don’t have to plan it.
So that’s the summer. My only worry is that it will be over far too quickly.