The Frolick Dogs gym in Alexandria, Virginia is 6,000 square feet, has two treadmills, balance balls, a cross-training space and an agility course. Frolick is Washington’s area’s first sports club for pets. For $50 a month, dogs get unlimited access to the facility. At the gym dogs get a greater variety of exercise, social time and a solid workout.

I’m curious if a photo ID is required at this doggie gym, like the gym for humans. What if dogs, like their owner (who joined the local gym January 2 as a New Year resolution and lost interest January 3) loss interest…what happens? Will a dog be forced to go? Since they can’t talk there’s no way for you to know your dog thinks this is a big waste of your money. He’d rather be home eating the dinner scraps that fall on the floor and chasing his tail than walking on a treadmill. If you really want him to get a workout, open the door the next time the mailman pulls up and watch him run. The dog can’t help it if your child, the one you bought the dog for, the kid who promised to walk it, doesn’t want to walk it when it rains or snows or their favorite show is on television. The dog would be happy to sit, eat biscuits and get fat right along with your kid than take a walk and have to wear that ridiculous sweater he got for Christmas. The poor dog’s embarrassed to wear such a sweater and gets taunted at the dog park. It’s a blow to a Rottweiler’s ego to be picked on by a little hotdog.

There have been times when walking I’ve seen a dog owner holding the dog and when I’ve asked, “Why” given the reply, “They like to be held.” Call me crazy, but I think holding your dog when they should be walking for exercise, maybe the reason the need for dog gyms originated.

I wonder how the dog gym policies will compare to human gyms. Will dogs be required to shower before entering – if so are the showers coed? Will they be required to walk certain directions on the track, depending on the day? Will they have to wipe down the equipment? Will they get a locker for their clothes? Oh, please, now that we have doggie gyms, doggie exercise outfits can’t be far behind.

Anarticle in USA Today reported that Target is offering ‘curbside’ service at select stores starting in SanFrancisco. The customer orders and pays for their purchase with a free app launched for Apple and Android devices. Your order is then packaged and waiting for you curbside when you arrive. The app taps into location services letting Target know you’re on your way.

I think, in theory, this is a great idea, especially for those who would benefit from this service, but in reality, I think it could become another story. Allowing curbside service at a store that already has pedestrian and car congestion can turn into a nightmare.

On my last trip to Target, I saw a car parked curbside (really, it was the middle of the road) with a driver at the wheel and thought he was dropping someone off. When I came out of Target, the same car was still there and finally left when the lady who was walking beside me got in the van. Turns out he waited for his wife and made curbside his park –n- wait.

Traffic in front of Target is bad enough, add curbside service and come holiday season you’ll have angry, ugly shoppers.

Will curbside service be offered to the customer who orders a cheap $5 gift or will there be a minimum price requirement?

The article also mentioned that on-line retailer Sears recently added returns and exchanges to it in-vehicle curb services. It’s bad enough being in a store, stuck behind someone in line with no receipt, returning a 100 items… now we’ll be waiting behind them in a car? I could just smell the trouble. Wait too long and the ugly, angry customer/motorist will accidentally tap the person in front of them; a lawsuit waiting to happen.

I think because of all the inconsiderate people who park in the middle of the road (rather than curbside) and because of all the people who think curbside is their parking spot and all the people without a receipt, that curbside service should be at the stores back for backside service.

I fear that with curbside service the inevitable ugly news report will come, “Shoppers scrambled for safety when shots were fired today during curbside service. Santa was heard to have exclaimed ‘**** **** ****’ instead of Ho Ho Ho when his cap was blown off his head; poor Santa, an innocent victim in a case of curbside service gone wrong.

USA Today’s snapshot showed that 32% of people showered in the morning and 89% showered at night, before bed. I don’t know why people who bathe weren’t included. I feel as though in order to bathe one needs the luxury of time. Some people light candles, play soft music, drink wine and read a book. Just filling the tub requires time and takes longer than the average shower. I wish a shower was a pleasant experience for me, but it’s just a means to an end – getting clean. When I’m in the shower I’m not fully engaged as my mind is somewhere else.

When you shower in a hotel there’s always the fleeting, irrational thought you toss like a piece of garbage – should I wear flip-flops? Because even though the shower looks all clean and sparkly, we’re suspicious. Thanks to shows like Dateline or Primetime we all know looks can be deceiving.

I think a follow-up question to – when do you shower, should be – do you pee in the shower? The people who pee in a pool are the same people who’ll pee in the shower; people who don’t pee in a pool, won’t pee in the shower. This is why we should pray for the little boy who pees in the shower and hope he doesn’t show off what a good speller he is by writing his name on the wall. You’ll need more protection than flip-flops can offer. I wouldn’t want to soak in a bath after him.

I went shopping for my daughter’s birthday which is in October. In one store I saw Frozen Christmas tree ornaments and I got them for her. Why wait? She’ll be able to admire them hanging from the tree before Christmas day. It can be confusing shopping this time of year as the Christmas decorations mixed with the Halloween decorations have you rushing the holidays.

I also bought her Christmas socks. Why wait? This way she can wear them the entire holiday season and not just Christmas day; although if she’s like the people who leave their lights up until Easter…she’ll wear them long after.

At another store I was looking for pajamas and instead got her a holiday sweatshirt. Why wait? Now she can wear it the entire season and not just on Christmas. I’ll bet you Santa gets miffed being recognized only one day out of 365.

I also bought her festive, holiday earrings. Why wait? Snowflakes are symbolic of winter and Christmas time. Now she can wear them the entire season and not just Christmas. 

When I went to buy ingredients to make her cake I bought the nuts needed for my Christmas cookies. Why wait? They were on sale and I needed them…eventually.

When I went to buy her jacket, I came across holiday wreaths and bought one for myself. Why wait? Sure it wasn’t on the birthday list, but I wanted it so – why not?

Now that her birthday’s over I’ll have to start thinking of Christmas; it’ll be here before you know it. I knew I should have bought the wrapping paper I saw. Oh, why did I wait?

 

I received a reminder card for my dental appointment. Part of it read ‘please take note of the time as it may have been modified.’ Isn’t it nice that doctors have the privilege to modify your appointment without first consulting with you? It sends a loud and clear message that their time is important and yours isn’t. If the shoe was on the other foot I don’t think doctors would appreciate the time modification.

Doctor: So, Mr. Smith, why were you late for your appointment?

Mr. Smith: Well, my appointment was at eight, but I felt like sleeping in, so I modified it to nine. You don’t mind do you, doc?

Guaranteed doc will mind.

Yesterday I went to a restaurant that modified my regular sandwich by decreasing the amount of meat. I wondered if they decreased the amount of meat, then why they didn’t decrease the price. Maybe they thought no one would notice.  

Has anybody else besides me noticed how Chips Ahoy has modified the chocolate chip cookie? Very gradually it has been getting smaller and smaller. If it gets any smaller they’ll have to be called chocolate chip minis. If you’re a dunker who uses the same glass you will find a whole lot more room to swish the cookie around in. Try it. Perhaps Chips Ahoy thinks that just because people’s butts are getting bigger and bigger our vision is impaired and we won’t notice their cookie getting smaller and smaller. We notice.

Last time I went for my haircut, I told my stylist, “Do what you did last time. I loved it.” I was unhappy to realize that clearly she must have taken that to mean –‘modify it.’

And we all know a person who modifies the truth. Every time you talk to them they have a different story. They give some version of the truth depending on who they’re talking to. Only, the truth doesn’t have versions. It shouldn’t be modified like a chocolate chip cookie. Don’t mess with truth and don’t mess with the cookie. You hear that Chips Ahoy?

Did you know there’s a new service Bridesmaid for Hire? It caters to all price ranges. For a price the bridesmaid plays the role of: personal assistant, social director, on call therapist and peace-keeper. Since this is also the role of a wedding planner, I fail to see the difference; except the wedding planner doesn’t get stuck wearing a hideous dress they’ll never wear again. The dress and financial burden is why some girls decline the prestige of being someone’s bridesmaid.

Hire a bridesmaid and you don’t need to fret when those nearest and dearest to your heart turn down the offer. Since you’re hiring a stranger you don’t need to fret about hurting her feelings the way you may a friend.

You won’t need to fret about calling her in the wee hours of the night, telling her your life’s woes because she’s paid to listen.

You won’t need to fret that she got a black eye breaking up the fight aunt Ethel and your grandmother had at your shower because she’s paid to be the peace – keeper. She’ll cover it with makeup and nobody will notice.

You won’t fret that uncle Buck got fresh with her after he drank too much because she’s paid to direct and she directed him out the door.

You won’t fret that pre wedding jitters had you go to the bathroom, your veil fell in the bowl and she walked behind you up the aisle, wringing it out. She’s paid to assist and she assisted.

She won’t fret about any wedding fiasco as she cashes your check and flies off to Vegas with her fiancée to elope. They’ll be no bridesmaid and no fretting at her wedding.

‘Salvage supermarkets’ sell foods past their expired or use by dates. The shelves are stocked with food that expired within the past few months. With all the high-fat, high-sugar, artificial ingredients, processed foods that go into our diets is there still a need for expiration dates? If a Twinkie had been buried with King Tut and eaten today, it would still ooze the same artificial, sugary, no nutritional value sweet flavor.

Sometimes it’s hard to tell when certain foods are bad. If there’s no mold on your cheese – be brave and eat it. But some foods are tricky. For instance, how do you know when cottage cheese goes bad? How do you know when yogurt goes bad? You have to take chances in life.

Some foods, like milk, need the sniff test. When I got married, I vowed to, “Love, honor and be the family sniffer.” I’ve since become a smell expert over the years, dishing out advice on everything from milk to body odors. 

  • “Yes, the milk’s bad.”
  • “My God, whatever you’re eating stinks. It’s bad. Throw it out.” “But, I’m not eating anything.” “Oops, sorry, Honey,” I tell my husband. He can’t be a sniffer because certain smells don’t bother him.
  • “Eat that this morning and you’ll wind up at the doctor this afternoon; and when you go bring a magazine.” We all know when we go to the doctor to bring our own reading material if we want something current.

I think as a society we should shift our focus from foods (that can’t expire anyway) to getting rid of outdated magazines in a doctor’s office. I’ll bet ‘cha if they keep outdated magazines around that their fridge is stocked with all kinds of expired foods. Something must be done.

An article in USA Today reported vacation rental services that allow travelers to stay in private homes rather than hotels are going after business travelers, who may want the comfort and convenience of home. People who try it are hooked. The article mentioned that having a business meeting in a home with a lake view rather than a boardroom gives a whole different atmosphere.

Since the whole idea of staying at a home is for the guest to feel at home, I have some concerns. Does this home provide housekeeping or are the guests responsible for their mess? If there’s no maid service and your guest is Felix Unger there is no problem. However, if your guest is Oscar Madison things can get messy (literally.)

If the guest throws a party and possessions are taken or broken – who’s responsible? Is it covered by insurance?

When you travel and things are as they should be, you get a comfy, at home feeling.

When my husband and I visit my mother, I feel like I’m home, but things are not as they should be. Staying in a room with twin beds I feel like a twelve year kid again. I feel like Lucy from the I Love Lucy show. Ricky could hover over Lucy’s bed, but he never got access to it. If he sat on the bed, one foot had to be firmly planted on the floor. When Little Ricky was born you stopped yourself from questioning the conception to believing in modern days miracles and believing he too should have been born in a manger.

At my mother’s, in bed, at night, talking is in hushed tones and laughter is smothered in pillows. In the morning my husband may sneak into my bed for a morning kiss, leaving one foot planted on the floor, of course.

My husband and I ate at a restaurant that had such an extensive menu it was divided into Volumes 1 and 2. After reading Vol. 1 I needed a break to rest my eyes. Have you ever noticed the higher the prices, the dimmer the lights? Anyway, the lights weren’t so dim that I didn’t notice the strand of hair in my food. I stopped eating. At last night’s dinner the dead bug in the kale made me stop eating. I’m assuming it was dead – it was on its back, legs suspended in air. When I poked it, it was crispy – just like the kale. On the heels of this I read an article in USA Today that reported some restaurant chains are cutting the number of menu items. The theory is less is more. More quality. Faster service. Hotter food. I just hope it’s less hair. They say, “Too many choices make it hard for consumers to make a choice. I agree.

I don’t know why restaurants have never adopted the limited children’s menu for the adults menu. Basically every restaurant offers the same items: chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, hot dogs, hamburger and pizza. Why? Because they know that’s what kids like and will eat. They don’t thread into uncharted waters. They stick with the tried and true.

When our kids were little and we gave them something to eat they didn’t like, we served it on their favorite Disney plate, giving the illusion that it was likable. They could be excused once they ate the beets covering The Little Mermaids mouth. They could be excused once they ate the meatloaf off of Simba’s tail. Who knows, maybe if I had eaten off of a Lion King’s plate I wouldn’t have noticed the hair in my food. It would have blended in with Simba’s tail.

 

As a parent the excitement builds the night before. You’re so giddy with anticipation you can’t sleep. You toss and turn waiting for morning light and the hope it brings. You replay all the Staples commercials in your head and agree that it is The Most Wonderful time of the Year. On the first day of school a parent’s expression resembles a kid’s expression on the last day of school.

On the first day of school a parent jumps out of bed like a kid on Christmas morning. Miraculously, overnight the aches and pains that usually slow them down in the morning have vanished and they’ve adapted a new personal mantra – the world is great, the kids will be gone at eight. It is this mantra they play over and over in their head as they float down the stairs to assemble lunches. It is this mantra they sing as they get the kids dressed and fed. It is this mantra they sing as they fling open the front door and wait to hear the roar of the school bus.   

It is this mantra they’re singing twenty minutes later for the bus to come whisk their children off to school. It is this mantra they’re still singing (be it) a little less enthusiastically 45 minutes later when calling the bus company to find out where the hell the bus is.

An hour later, putting on socks and shoes to take the kids to school they’ve made some changes to their mantra – the world is!!***!! And why the!!***!! are the kids still here when it’s after eight? Excitement is replaced with puzzlement as to how a bus driver can get lost with all the electronic devices available to them today. There’s a wonderful device called a GPS. Get one! Use it! If the bus isn’t equipped with a GPS, the driver should use the one available on their phone. With a GPS buses would run on time and parents could go back to chanting – the world is great, the kids will be gone at eight!