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Monday, April 30, 2012

Art Night 2: Wild, Crazy & Noisy

Tonite, I really made Art. I painted half a tree.

I got mad skills.

wild art skillz

Last week, I painted my canvas blue and white. Today, my teacher showed me some trees and we decided on this wild tree that reminds me of the moors of Wuthering Heights, even though there weren't too many trees there. It also reminds me a little bit of the 'nature gone wild' bits in Macbeth. Love it.

I had to trace it, project it and copy it because obviously I can't do it on my own in an hour. But I'm not too shabby. This tree was one that Teacher really likes, and she said it reminds her of NL. Steph and I cracked up laughing, and Steph said that maybe it could be on the Avalon peninsula. The other trees we were looking at, the skinny little birch trees, were more like the ones from the west coast, where we are from.

The tree actually extends all the way up to the top and all the way across. This is just the beginning. There is all kinds of brown and black paint in there, all mixed up together. Teacher comes by and as quietly as mouse, leans over my shoulder and while I am intensely concentrating, has a little chat with me - what a fright!

I gotta hand it to my teacher - she certainly can see things in a piece of work that I don't, at least not until I can view it from a different perspective, like through the lens of a camera. This photo makes the painting look so different.

When I am painting, I have a system: black paint, water, dab on plate, brown paint, canvas. Brown paint, canvas. That's my routine. Otherwise, my tree looks funny. If I knew what I was doing, I would be dangerous!

Meanwhile, Steph is starting at square 1 again (literally). She loves starting over. Or she loves working on the 'B', I guess. That girl is crazy.

this makes Steph's hand look very manly

This time, she is working with India Ink. We decided that she should put on gloves in case she got it on her hands because that stuff stains so badly. So there she is, looking like a tattoo artist for paper.

Man, does she ever like the letter B.

Maybe she likes to put off the exciting stuff. By the time she gets to putting the silver stuff where the actual letter is, I'm going to pass out from excitement. You see, there are three steps to the lettering:

1. India Ink on the dark spots (only she is after using every dark type of thing she can think about so far... grape kool-aid, blue pen, coffee, black paint, now India Ink)

2. silver foil on the letter itself

3. colouring the flowers

At this rate, she might not have the four letters done by the time her wedding rolls around NEXT August. Look at her face - she sure is happy about the whole situation!

woohoo! B!

What happens if she gets Steps 1 & 2 done on all 4 letters, and then decides she doesn't like the colours she puts on the flowers? For the love of God, I bet you she will start all over. Then: Art Night OFF. No more Art for Steph - she will be kicked out of class for wasting supplies.

Steph's plan last week was to finally try sushi. I told her that she should try eating 'bait' because it was so good. She told me tonite that she tried it and loved it, so she will be going back. I love eating 'bait' too. Hopefully she won't get it in her head to eat real fishing bait when she goes back home for her wedding.

Erin, one of the other girls, had to put on her iPod tonite. She said she gets easily distracted, even by the sound of too many voices. As soon as I came in (of course, I was late), she came over, and she said, "I want to be here, I love Art Night, but seriously, I need to concentrate!" I said, "Bust out the iPod." "Good idea," she said, "but I have no earbuds!" Off she went to the school lab to get some, but of course we don't have snazzy earbuds, we have the big old-school head phones that came out with the 1980s walkman, so she had to wear those with her iPod. 'Excuse me, the 80s called, they'd like their headphones back!' But she rocked out with the big old earmuffs on, and it was all good. She is doing a picture of the Eiffel Tower and it is very pretty. Maybe she will let me take a picture of her art one day. It's not like she refused; I just didn't think to ask.

It will be fantastic when we all have our work done - I don't know where I will put mine. I don't really have anywhere to hang it but I'll figure it out. At her wedding, Steph will probably specifically point out her pictures to make sure everyone notices them. Or maybe they will be in picture frames ON the head table, right at the very front where no one can miss them.

Steph, to her guests, "Yeah, this is how I roll: handmade silver-foil lettering surname on my table, b!tches. What did you have - oh, nothing? ... a streamer? ... a Congratulations sign? Hmmm. Should've planned better, I guess."

Then she will just sit, all smug behind her 4 letters, and not let anyone know that it took her almost a year and a half to make them because she had to start them 4 or 5 times EACH.

Me, sitting on my couch, looking at my picture every now and again, "Yeah, I'm awesome. Look at those branches!"

Erin, at her house, "Wow, that picture reminds me of all those noisy people!"

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Be Normal

Today I was asked why I couldn't be one of those 'normal writers'.

I'm not 100% sure what a 'normal writer' is, but I am 100% sure that I have never been 'normal'. Are you a 'normal reader'?

'Normal' is a funny word (say it a few times). There was a cat named Nermal on the Garfield comics (remember that?), and that's what the word 'normal' always reminds me of... which is probably completely abnormal.

Nermal, from the Garfield wiki

And I'm 100% ok with that.

If 'normal' means 'average', who in the world really wants to be average? Do you? Below average means you have to work harder to be average, and above average means you still have something to prove... you have to keep your head above that imaginary bar that people have for you, just so you can always be viewed as 'above average'. Make sense?

Seems like an awful lot of work to meet someone else's definition of normal. Whatever. Accept yourself. Love yourself. I actually enjoy writing and reading this blog, and if you saw me writing and giggling, you would realize that I am definitely not a 'normal writer' ;)

Most people settle for average. No, thanks. I'm not settling.

So I will write what I write, and I will do what I do. I'm glad you are reading :)

Some days, our journey will be funny; some days it might be serious. Read whatever you want to read. Share, if you like it. 

Some days, it might be interactive. Who knows? Does it matter, in the grand scheme of things? Be crazy.

On my Twitter profile, I wrote "Have fun. Achieve something. Do what you want. Chase whatever you desire. Live." I mean it.

I like your face and I'm glad you come back every now and then. 

Let's not be normal, together.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Art Night 1: if it makes you happy

I started painting in an Art class.

Sweet love of God.

I don't know how to paint or draw, but that's what I am going to do.

I love it.

The Arse

First, Harley's arse almost made me late for Art.

I left work today and had to take my doggie for a walk. As I have been doing his whole life, I took him to the Snye and we booted it around the pond as fast as our legs could take us.

the Snye in February

He wanted to sniff every rock and actually wanted to poop outside, of course. He NEVER does that. So of course, I had to pick it up and I just wanted to barf.

Meanwhile, a guy was sneaking over to check out what I put in the garbage can and was furtively looking at me, much like one would do if you were trying to steal someone's treasure. Have at 'er, buddy. It ain't no treasure to me - I see lots of it daily. He didn't go to the garbage can, probably because he could smell dog arse from twenty feet away from the can. That could make anyone's eyes water.

Anyway, when we got back to the vehicle, I was trying to figure out what to get for supper and wasted a good ten minutes looking for a number online for the sushi place. Then I got vicious and decided to make rice and beans at home. So off I went to my house.

I was in such a rush, I had to take supper with me to Art Night.

Harley's arse is bad news. We wasted precious moments picking up poo at the pond.

No, there is no picture. There was no time.

The Password 

I got to the class and knocked on the door. The door opened and the woman said, "What's the password?" (I'm not kidding) and my mind went blank. Then, like a Rolodex (remember those? If not, Google it), my brain started flipping through the Art emails... but nothing... so I said, "Please" in the hopes that good manners would work, if nothing else.

I was admitted entry to Art class.


I almost cried.

Over the course of the evening, there were 6 of us doing various projects.

One girl was making balls but that story is for later.

The Painting

Our teacher is actually teaching us, and by teaching I mean teaching from the ground up. At one point, she was showing me what to do to blend in some paint colours, and I asked a question. Then I realized how cocky and snotty I sounded. If you read previous entries, you might remember how I really have an issue with my tone of voice and my facial expressions - I always look mad and sound snotty when I am not, in any way. That's just my face. Sorry about my face!

So I quickly clarified, saying, "I'm not being snotty, I really want to know why because when I do this again, I'll need to know every step." And the girls cracked up laughing at me because they said I did sound snotty (of course I did!) but our teacher said she didn't think I was being snotty. WHEW.

I took pictures of my progress (of course I did).

beautiful blank canvas: I can do anything

the first coat: this is how I Make Art

I am an artist. you may as well admit it

You may as well just say that I am fantastic. Look at that blending of colours. My teacher only did some of it, not all. We are eventually going to have white blending to blue blending to dark blue. This is the beginning. Man, you guys expect a lot for the first night.

I'd say I am on the ball.

The only 'bad' thing was that I started to swoop with my brush, and no swooping is allowed when you are painting. You have to make little lines. Our teacher is a pro, obviously. I am not a pro. But I am snazzy, even though I can't really see all the colours they said they can see. Whatever about it.

The Drawing

ALSO, I was going to start a special drawing of Harley but I tried to print his picture and the printers may or may not have printed anything. So there may or may not be this random bunch of Harley pictures everywhere. I couldn't find them. Not kidding, and they are only partials of his face, which is even creepier. Three black dots in a triangle on a background of white... people are going to think it's Morse code, Braille, or a Rorschach picture.

Watching The Grass Grow

Stephanie is also Making Art, and she is doing an Extra-Special-Project, as hers will be featured in her wedding next summer. She is making gold-leaf letters of her fiance's surname, as she will be taking his name after their wedding, so this project is dear to her heart.

Her first task tonight was to pick the letters she wanted to use. She couldn't figure out what she wanted to go with, so I looked at her letters with her. 'Hmmm,' I thought, 'it's funny how she talks about gardening and flowers all the time, and a couple of her letters have flowers but some have grass... how strange that she didn't choose all letters with flowers.' So I said that to her.

"Why don't you go with letters that have flowers, since that is 'your thing', since you already have 2 matching letters, that way you have a whole theme happening and it will look good?"

I am brilliant.

"Oh, wow," Stephanie said, "I didn't even see that before! Look at that, I was picking the ones with flowers in the letters and I didn't even notice!"

And she didn't notice. Not at all. Funny how something can be right in front of you and it just needs to be pointed out so it becomes clear to you, too.

Steph's letter B

She was pretty happy once it was pointed out and the choice was made. Look at that smile ^. A flowery 'BURT' it is. That's the new surname, for those of you not in the know.

Then she showed me her new gardening supplies, which she was very happy about. Yee-haw for gardening supplies, I say.

I told her if it makes her happy to watch the grass grow, then have at it. All the power to you!

Before the night was over, she had her face full of whatever it was she was painting with: glue or paint or something. She looked like she had a Charlie Chaplin mustache for awhile. It's all good.

The Balls

The girl making balls has her work cut out for her. She has to make a lot of them. We helped for awhile but she was still at it when we left. She needs to use tiny clay balls for a multimedia project, and they will be the sand, as in a sandy beach. The balls I made were too big, 4x the size they needed to be, so I squished them all together again. She said, "the size of pearls" but mine were like blueberries. Oh well, pearls are pretty tiny - my hands got cramped making just blueberry size. Those were some little, tiny balls.


A couple of other girls were making similar projects there tonight. One was a painting and another is a drawing that will turn into a painting. That girl is a pro, though. She is all business. The other girl is doing a multimedia project, as well, and is off in her own little world. When I asked her how she was doing, she said she was good but couldn't really hear over the radio, and I think she asked if we were talking about perverts. I couldn't really hear over the radio in that corner, either, so I just smiled and nodded. Then we were both just kind of staring at each other, smiling and nodding in this awkward, 'Why are we talking about perverts?' kind of way. Good thing we are friends and when you are friends, it's ok if you talk about perverts.

Nut Cases

We decided, in the end, that we are like Kindergarten students. Another girl and I had to share a paint brush and we did pretty well, A+. Steph and I got our picture taken (of course), and if you can see, she has her paint brush in her hand, in a death grip. We are both grinning like nut cases. We are so excited and proud to be in Art Class that we have become the nerdiest kids in class, chatting and giggling like lunatics. We talked about grass for awhile, seriously.

Look at those faces.

pure nerds

You can't beat us in enthusiasm. We may only get baby-steps in a couple of hours a night but at least we are taking steps. I have a painting started, which is more than I had at 6pm this evening. When I have that painting done, I might barf from excitement. If I actually get a drawing of Harley done, I'll probably faint from pure happiness.

Unless I faint from the smell of his arse first.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Collaborative Government?

First, I love Canada. There is no other way to make it more clear than just saying it outright. I love my country and I am happy to be here.

I am happy and proud to have been born in a country where I have rights and privileges because I realize that many people in other places do not have those same rights and privileges. But with those rights also comes responsibilities, something many people forget.

Canada is a beautiful place with a lot to offer in so many ways. So, when we are unhappy with something, it is not our privilege but our right and responsibility to change whatever it is we are unhappy with. 

Alberta politics are in an upheaval right now. Voters need to make decisions and hopefully, the masses are not apathetic.

It seems to me that our whole country needs change. Not only do the parties seem to be changing, but the strategies and the very foundations of their policies seem shaky at times. Rolling with the punches, right?

In an extremely simplified version, I feel like our 4 main parties now are NDP, Liberal, PC and Wildrose. I think there is some real concern from some about the NDP and Liberal side of the spectrum - some worry about things being too easy-going. There is some real support in that area when the country is concerned with the well-being of all, especially when they are unhappy with the current government. Do we want the NDP and the Liberals joining forces in order to put out the current PC government? Maybe. Will they be strong together? Yes.

Bringing in an extreme right party in one province opens the door to having similar parties everywhere. The current PC party here then seems to move closer to the left because they don't look as extreme anymore, and now they end up a little further centre, therefore closer to the Liberals. 

If the Libs were to join another party in the hopes of gaining some footing and leadership, who better to join - the NDP or the PCs? The PCs are currently the bigger group, and if they moved away from the Wildrose at the right, therefore closer to the Liberals, that leaves the majority of voters falling dead centre - with the Liberal/PC group. A minority falls with the NDPs and another with the WR. 

NDP - Lib+PC - WR
NDP+Lib - PC - WR
NDP - Lib - PC - WR
and definitely not
NDP - Lib - PC+WR

And our political spectrum seems to be evened out again. Overall, the NDP will seem too 'light-handed', the Lib/PC mix (who will then need a newer name - the Liberal Conservatives?) is evened-out centre/a little-right, and then we have the right-wing WR, who seem too 'heavy-handed'.

I think our last elections showed the PCs that people are unhappy with being too right-wing, so the more 'liberal' PCs need to break away from the extremist group.

I don't know. Maybe I'm out to lunch and I have everything wrong. As I said, it's a simple version but it would even things out.

Initially, I was thinking that all of this makes me wary of the future of Canadian politics. I feel like things are going to get meaner and nastier. 

But at the end of the day, I think all of this craziness, the arguing and fighting is fantastic because people are truly fighting for their beliefs. No group is elected in a landslide, no one is getting the job because people don't care enough to vote or because it is an expectation, so "Why bother trying to change?" 

Maybe all forms of government working together for awhile would be a good thing - the collaboration might do us good. Maybe candidates would cross the floor if they see other parties in action. Maybe some people will follow the lead of others' in exhibiting better behaviour.

As public figures, candidates' lives will be combed through; the things they say or do will be scrutinized. So it goes. I'm not saying it is right, but any public figure knows that this is part of the game. Don't try to be a star if you don't want anyone to look at you.

And if you want to be a star, if you want to be the leader, you'd best have it together. You'd best be trustworthy. You'd best have our interests at heart. You'd best be real and keep your promises. You'd best listen to... hear... what your people are saying.

Make us want to follow you. Make us want to hold you up as our shining star, our symbol of Canadian democracy.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Super Savage

I am absolutely vicious, pure savage.

Last night, I wrote a post and tried to preview before publishing it. I was going to add a picture so there would be a little thumbnail to entice readers, BUT the preview went crazy and wrecked the whole damn thing.

Doesn't the program know that these ramblings are pure literary genius?


Then I just wrote a whole post about how wonderful last night's post was but I deliberately erased this evening's post because there really was no point to describe the whole thing in detail.

You will just have to take my word that they were both wonderful and would have changed the way you look at the world.

Seriously. I'm not kidding.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Oh, Relax!

So I had a boatload of trouble signing up for a photography course awhile back but eventually I just traipsed on down and signed up in person. Because I get so frustrated when things don't work out after 100 attempts and I realize that multiple attempts are Karma's way of teaching patience to an impatient person who has a tendency to exaggerate just a bit, I decided that speaking to a human while signing up for the course might be beneficial to my well-being.

I then ordered the books online because I like shopping online, and I got 2 books for the price of one on Amazon. Everything is now set to go. Every now and then, I crack open the books and get a big rush of excitement at the thought of learning something new.

I intend to go home to NL (ack! da woods!) for awhile this summer... tickets for me and the boy are already bought (hopefully he has a fluffy tail by then)... and I am excited to take pictures of all my childhood places.

We didn't take pictures when I was growing up. I guess it just didn't occur to us. We were too busy running around in da woods, camping and swimming and playing and building camps and having bonfires and dancing.

I certainly didn't appreciate the beauty around me. I didn't appreciate the beauty in the smallest of things. I didn't realize then and sometimes still forget that I grew up in one of the most picturesque places in the world, between a mountain an an ocean, in a forested area. I lived an hour and a half from a major city but there was a small town only twenty minutes away. A majority of my family still live there.

I often write about my home, 'da woods.' I rarely publish anything but that will change. I enjoyed my childhood. There were tough times but I believe everyone has their own story. Our story is interesting, extraordinary, worth telling and worth reading.

You might be interested to read about the time my cousin fell and became suspended between a tree and a shed until we could get her rescued.

Or the time a horse chased us because she thought we were her missing foal.

Or maybe, you might like the story about the time the police were chasing a bunch of us kids on the beach. Interesting, right?

In the meantime, I am reading students' stories. I am getting caught up on their lives and their work so I am able to be guiltlessly free during break.

Spring/Easter Break is only 2 days away. I have these days to get caught up on all my marking so my break is actually free and clear of marking, as well as worrying about marking.

All I want to do on break is read books, take pictures, and throw away garbage from my house. I have a lot of 'garbage'... aka pack-rat supplies.

And then, 10 beautiful days to relax.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Out of Control

I am a bit forgetful. Just a little bit. For example, I remember to go to work and I remember to make post-its for the really important things like Doctor appointments.

But, sometimes I forget things like going to bed at a decent hour, and lunch dates, and birthdays, and names, and getting out of bed before noon, and other assorted details.

So, on Sunday morning, I received a text that read, "What are you doing today?" and I automatically sat bolt upright in bed because the time was 11:43am and I was lazing around, reading and snoozing. Such is the life of a rockstar who goes to sleep at 5am on weekends.

I thought I was missing lunch, or a party or something. My friends probably would say something a little snotty like that as a reminder, rather than just ask why I wasn't where I was supposed to be.

Then a flurry of other texts started arriving, culminating with the plan of moving my friend out of her apartment.

Whew. I wasn't being a delinquent friend. In fact, I was off to be a good friend.

My friend was in a pickle. Her current living situation was less than ideal. Among multiple other issues, the person she was renting from insisted on entering her apartment (something he repeatedly told both of us he was doing, so this isn't hearsay!) so he could turn off the lights she was (allegedly) leaving on when she left her apartment.

Hmmm. In the words of Jim Carrey, "Alrighty, then!"

We started packing.

We were in such a state of 'let's get this done & get out of here now' that we decided to use garbage bags as suitcases.We weren't being pretty. We weren't being nice. We were being efficient. We were getting it done.

Jenny's package of suitcases (on the table)

It didn't take us long. We packed her apartment in less than an hour. During that time, we took multiple phone calls and a visit. We were all business.

One of those phone calls was from the Apartment Enterer. I answered the phone because my friend was in the corner, being dramatic with her arms over her eyes, all hysterical, stressed out, and we didn't want him to be harassing her anymore.

He started harassing me! What a bugger.

He yelled, "Put Jennifer on the phone!"

I said, "I'm sorry but Jenny isn't available right now. Would you like to leave a message?"

"I know she is in my basement right now. Put Jennifer on the phone."

"She isn't available. Would you like to leave a message?"

"The police were at my door at 11:00 this morning and I want to know why. Put her on the phone right now."

I don't like to be told what to do. In fact, I am quite defiant. If you tell me what to do, there is a good chance I'm not going to do it. So I said, "Sir, if the police were at your door this morning, they should have dealt with that matter at 11:00 this morning. Jenny isn't well right now, so if you would like to leave a message, I will make sure she gets it."

She could hear him yelling at me, so I didn't need to write anything down. I'm sure I forgot some of the stuff he yelled at me, because I am who I am, but she would remember. In fact, she reported it all to the police.

She was in panic mode.

We continued packing...

"Do you want the stuff in the fridge?"
Into the garbage it went.

"Do you want the stuff in the cupboard?"
Into the garbage.

"Do you want the stuff in the bathroom?"

Pack, pack, pack. Wipe, wipe, wipe.

"Do you own the dishes?"
Into a bag.

"Do you own the crock pot?"
Into a bag.

"Do you own the toaster?"
Left on the cupboard to rot.

We called my cousin, who is the boss of everything and pretty much knows everything (not kidding, she always knows the answer to my questions or can find them). She came over with her truck and we started moving Jenny's gear out of the house.

After the first bags into the truck, the 'Harasser' told Jenny to 'come into the house right now to talk' to him. It felt like we were in the Twilight Zone. She said "No." That conversation was repeated a few times.

On one of her trips to the truck, she almost broke her arse by sliding under the truck on the ice. Ridiculous. We are a travesty.

When packing the truck, we were slinging things over the tailgate. As fat girls, we would have to lie on the tailgate and roll into the back in order to make our way into it. In fact, Jenny needed a 'spotter' to make sure she didn't hurt herself on the way down from the tailgate.

My cousin is like a wood nymph. She nimbly hops up onto the tailgate as if she has been taking gymnastics all her life (she hasn't) and practices for 20 hours a day (she doesn't).

She springs down off the tailgate the same way. I thought she was going to do a double handspring for a minute. If we had known, we could have made placards with the number 10 on them so we could have given her an appropriate score on her landing.

We had to stuff some things into Jenny's car in addition to the truck. These things included this odd assortment: a TV, a wire bookshelf, a Swiffer, packages of clothes, a nightstand, a full length mirror, a toaster oven, and an ice chopper.

Honest to God... an ice chopper - for your driveway. She doesn't even own a driveway.

Who in the name of God owns an ice chopper thingy when you don't own a driveway? Jenny.

Ah well. We stuffed it all in there.

Oh, wait a second. We also had to stuff in a garbage can with a disassembled coat rack inside it. Do you know where that lovely piece of gear went? It hung out in the front seat, where there isn't a whole lot of room to begin with, especially since I was there. Jenny drives a little car. A TINY car. I discussed Jenny's car in an earlier blog called Blueberry Jam, where we were nearly squished by a truck. The Blueberry is not much bigger than an aquarium; it isn't exactly as roomy as a U-Haul.

Mirrors, choppers, coat racks and bookshelves. And us. In that little car. It was like a clown car, with only two of us clowns.

But we didn't forget anything.

Except to turn off the lights, maybe?

I can't remember.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Hairy, Snaggly Paw-pits

Harley does what he wants.

You may not know him, so you may not know that, therefore it needed to be made clear.

I can't say that Harley has 'fur' because his 'hair' gets tangled and matted, almost like dreadlocks, if I don't brush or comb him daily.

And I'm not too good at remembering to do that. So his fur/hair was tangled under his little armpits. Or pawpits. Legpits. Whatever.

So I traipsed on down to WalMart and bought clippers so I could cut his fur because I can't get a groomer appointment for another 2 weeks. I thought, "I've cut his hair with scissors before, so clippers should be easier."

Sure, they are.

First, he doesn't like me doing anything like cleaning him.

Second, he doesn't like getting his hair cut.

He also doesn't like having his eyes or ears cleaned.

He doesn't like getting his toenails cut.

He likes to be a piglet.

So he certainly didn't like it when I busted out the clippers.

My hand went numb from all the buzzing.

It's hard to hold a wiggly little dog in one hand and a buzzing clipper in the other.

I could hardly get at his pawpits.

He looks like I took a WeedWhacker to him.

My poor little boy.

He got mad, he snarled, he cried, he flipped backwards and sideways, he did everything. He tucked up his legs, he twisted, he squirmed, he gave kisses. Eventually he gave up and leaned sideways and ignored me. Still, it is too difficult to clip or snip dog fur when they are not cooperative.

Look at that flip of hair in the picture. You should see his beard, in person. One side of his face is longer than the other. His paws are snipped so closely, they look like twigs. You can see his pink skin. All the fur on his face sticks out at unnatural angles. I want to use hair gel to make it smooth down.

The whole procedure was so difficult. Harley eventually just snuggled into me, much like a hedgehog. He is a smart dog. I can't untuck him with one hand and keep him spread-eagled while trying to wield a clipper or scissors with the other hand.

His poor hair.

We gave up on the clippers.

I took him to the bathtub, where I took out the scissors and started snipping.

I want to grow his fur. I want him to look like one of those beautiful, long-hair-freely-flowing Maltese that hop around and look like they are so carefree.

Harley hops around and he is carefree. But if his hair is long, he will not be carefree because he will be in pain from the tangles and snaggles in his pawpits. That's no good.

It's not like he is deprived of anything - he gets EVERYTHING. He has more shirts, sweaters, jackets, harnesses, leashes, toys and treats than even I can find on most days. He even has a different collar for every day of the week, and each collar has its own name tag so I don't have to be switching them around.

C'mon, the boy has gear. He is used to being groomed, just not by me.

He looks rough now. He wouldn't look at me last night. He's ok today so he must have forgotten about the haircut trauma. Poor dog.