Thursday, July 18, 2013

They're heeeeeeeeere...

Perhaps writing about my dog’s stomach issues the other day made my own stomach jealous that it didn’t get to participate in all the gastrotechnics, I don’t know for sure, but what I do know is that my body is rebelling against me and I’m not OK with it.

I’m feeling much better today than I have the past two days, which is good, because I’m not sure I could have taken another day of sitting uncomfortably on the sofa while watching Roseanne reruns and Marriage Boot Camp: Bridezillas WHICH IS A THING I HAVE NOW SEEN PLEASE BURN MY EYEBALLS.

Yesterday I managed to put in a DVD, which was a major improvement on the day before but that could have just been my choice of DVD which was Casper. As in the friendly ghost. As in the movie that introduced the star of my teenage dreams, Devon Sawa.

Devon Sawa’s picture, torn carefully from the pages of BOP magazine, held valuable real estate on my wall when I was a tween. I didn’t love him as much as I loved JTT but WHO COULD COMPARE I MEAN REALLY.

Pretty sure I had this exact picture on my wall.
By the time Idle Hands and Final Destination rolled around, I was all, “stop trying to make Devon Sawa happen, he’s not going to happen,” but the mid-90s were the Devon Sawa sweet spot (ew). Now & Then and Casper came out in 1995 and I was fairly obsessed with both of them, mostly because of Devon Sawa. Sawa. Saaaawaaaaa. I really wanted to watch Now & Then yesterday but Netflix took it away and for some reason I don't own it on DVD. WHO AM I?

Luckily, Joe and I were at Target a few weekends ago and when saw Casper in the $5 spot I picked it up without even quite knowing what I was doing. Anyway, my point is, here is my Casper recap:

The movie begins with two young boys breaking into Whipstaff Manor, a creepy ass mansion that’s supposedly haunted, because all creepy ass mansions are haunted. Are these our heroes, who will bravely lead us through a tale of ghouls and restless spirits?

No. We won’t ever see them again, which is a shame, because one of them is Squints from The Sandlot.

Anyway, a ghost shows up and offers to take their picture. Very polite ghost! But the boys are still scared so they run away screaming.

Cut to...Carrigan Crittendon. Carrigan is the terrible human being who has inherited Whipstaff and she is NOT pleased to find out that it’s haunted. She and her assistant, Eric Idle (what are you doing, Eric Idle) call in various people to do some ghostbusting, including an actual Ghostbuster, but none of them can get rid of the ghosts.

That night Casper is watching TV (sure) and sees a story about a ghost psychologist, Professor Harvey, and his daughter, Kat, on Inside Edition. He falls in love with Kat through MOVIE MAGIC so he manipulates Carrigan into calling the ghost psychologist and I can’t believe I just typed “ghost psychologist” twice in the same paragraph. Three times. Whatever.

This is fucking creepy, Casper.
Professor Harvey and Kat are soon on their way to Maine. Kat doesn’t want to go because TEENAGE ENNUI. We learned earlier through EXPOSITION that Harvey’s wife died unexpectedly, and that’s why he has such a hard on for ghosts. LITERALLY (probably). But Kat doesn't believe in ghosts, not even the ghost of her dead mom.

They arrive at Whipstaff and soon find out that, this time, the ghosts are really, really real, specifically Casper and his uncles, Stinky, Stretch, and Fatso. Yes, really. Harvey battles the uncles that night and, even though he sucks them up into a vacuum cleaner, they eventually come to a sort of peace later on because Casper is super nice and the uncles are disgusting and dangerous, sure, but also mostly just rascals. Rascals, I say!

The next day, Kat meets the requisite cute boy at school, who is attached to the requisite bitchy girl who hates Kat for pretty much no reason. STANDARD. When Kat’s class finds out she lives at Whipstaff, they decide to have the school Halloween dance there because SURE. This makes the bitchy girl hate Kat even MORE because now everyone likes Kat.

Meanwhile, Harvey is obsessed with getting Stinky, Stretch, and Fatso to “move on” so the house will be clear and he can get paid, but the uncles would rather fart and burp and mess with Harvey and can you blame them? Eventually, though, they realize they like Harvey and, thinking he needs to have some fun, they take him out to get drunk with the intention of killing him so he can be a ghost, too. OK SURE. They change their mind but wait OH NO he dies anyway. Don’t worry, it’ll be OK. I SAID DON’T WORRY THIS IS A MOVIE ABOUT A CARTOON GHOST.

While this is all happening, Kat is helping Casper remember who he is because I guess when you die, you forget everything about your life? Bummer. He remembers that his dad had a secret underground laboratory that can only be reached by chair-roller-coaster, which I was super jealous of when I watched this as a kid.

They find the Lazarus Machine in the lab which, you guessed it, brings the dead back to life but there’s only enough life-juice (not semen) left for one person. There’s a lot of convoluted stuff about Carrigan trying to kill Eric Idle so he can become a ghost and fly through a vault door in order to get some treasure, but she dies instead and steals the life-juice. Casper and Kat trick her into crossing over, leaving the life-juice for Casper, yay! But no, then Kat’s dead dad shows up and Casper gives HIM the potion because Casper is such a good guy. Kat's really grateful, so maybe this is part of Casper's master plan?

While all of THIS was happening, Kat’s classmates arrived for the dance. Kat goes to join the party and Casper goes to his room to pout, where he is visited by the ghost of Kat’s dead mom, Judge Amy. Judge Amy gives him a “Cinderella deal” and turns him into Devon Sawa, but only until 10 o’clock. He uses this time to ask Kat to dance and then make out (OK just kiss) with her on the dance floor, before turning back into a ghost and scaring the party away. UGH I’M EXHAUSTED.

I know this is a kid’s movie but the plot really started zooming out of control right around the time Casper remembers who he is. Kat’s dad dies super suddenly and I don’t remember being as horrified by this as a child as I was yesterday because poor kid SEES HER DAD AS A GHOST AND HE DOESN’T REMEMBER HER. That's some Arya Stark level trauma right there. Also, why does Judge Amy only give Casper, like, 10 minutes as a real boy? What a bitch. Also also, are Kat and Casper going to have a relationship now? I have a lot of questions about where this whole thing is going. Do you think there’s Casper fanfic? OMG THERE IS CASPER FANFIC. STOP. YOU STOP IT RIGHT NOW, INTERNET, YOU ARE TOO BEAUTIFUL.


This movie was the most romantic shit I'd ever seen when I was but a sweet, innocent tweenager. Come on! A poor dead boy falls in love with a lovely live girl and because he is pure of heart, he gets to become alive again for one special night while the cheesiest song ever plays in the background. I’m pretty sure if I’d recapped this when I was 13, it would read: Haunted house, ghosts, Bill Paxton Pullman, a lot of boring shit happens, DEVON SAWA KISSING.

Seriously, you guys. I can’t even with this:

Monday, July 15, 2013

[this is gross]

A couple of weekends ago, Maxenwald Baxenwald (credit: Heather Anne Hogan) scared the shit out of us.

(WARNING: This will not be the last time I reference shit. This might be too gross for those of you with weak stomachs but I'm not sure there are any of you around here anyway so never mind.)

I woke up around 7:30 that sunny, Saturday morning, got up to go to the bathroom (thinking I'd go right back to bed) and was greeted by a frantic Max whining to go outside. On my way to let him out, I glanced down the stairs to the basement and noticed that he'd pooped on the floor. OH JOY, I thought, WHAT A PLEASANT SATURDAY MORNING ACTIVITY IT WILL BE TO CLEAN UP DOG FECES.

Such is the life of a dog owner, however, so I let Max out and went downstairs to inspect the damage. That's when I saw everything else. Not only had he pooped just...all over, but he'd peed and thrown up twice. I was worried, obviously, but the real gut-punch was when I noticed the blood.

I gasped (like, LITERALLY GASPED) and rushed upstairs to wake Joe. My first impulse was to run into the room and scream, "WAKE UP SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH MAX OH MY GOD WAKE UP WAKE UP WAKE UP," but I didn't want Joe to have a heart attack on top of whatever was happening with Max, so I took a deep breath, gently shook Joe's shoulder, and calmly said, "hey, something's wrong with Max, he has blood in his poop," which is still probably not the best way to wake up but seemed better at the time than my first plan. Joe jumped up and went outside to make sure Max was OK while I called the vet to make an emergency appointment. I had to give Joe the phone, though, because I couldn't stop crying long enough to make the call.

Situations like this really highlight that the whole marriage thing (or couplehood thing or partner thing or WHATEVER THING) is a partnership, a delicate balance of strengths and weaknesses. I was hysterical, worried that something was terribly wrong with Max, while Joe remained calm and tried to calm me down. Considering I don't show emotion if I can help it (unless the emotion is, I don't know, sarcasm?), my breakdown took both of us by surprise.

Joe offered to clean up the mess in the basement, which was very chivalrous, but after I heard him dry heave a few times, I sent him upstairs so we wouldn't have to clean up human puke on top of everything else.

(I suppose this means that if our kids ever do something disgusting with bodily fluids, which I think is a given, I'll be in charge of clean up. Looks like kids are off the table!)

You guys, it was really, really disgusting. I'm pretty OK about stuff like this, blood and puke and snot (oh my!), both from my years of baby-sitting and from having cleaned up Phoebe's barf for years. Hell, once a kid threw up into a bucket while sitting on my lap and I was fine. But the rivaled the time the basement in my college apartment flooded with sewage and the stench seeped its way into every bit of space available, so there were a few moments where I had to stop and try to think about happier smells. Lilacs and freshly baked pies. Laundry! Sweet, sweet laundry!

Joe and I talked about it later, as we sat in the vet's office, like we were sharing war stories. I explained to Joe how I'd packaged the samples for the vet (they always want poop, what's up with that?) and how I was surprised I'd managed to be so methodical about it (poo in bag in container in another bag PLUS PAPER TOWELS EVERYWHERE), since I'd been sobbing quietly to myself the entire time.

"Well," he said. "You were upset, sure, but you're still a Baxla."

Baxlas are a very logical species, you see. We are methodical in everything we do, whether it's making sandwiches or paying bills or apparently collecting poop for the vet. This logic overpowers even extreme pet-worry-related hysteria and, I can only assume, other emergencies as yet unforeseen, which I think makes us a bunch of Spocks?

Spock loves animals, too.
Max is fine now, of course. He did not enjoy his vet visit (I mean, would you enjoy it if some stranger stuck his finger up your butt*?) but I think he enjoyed recuperating since we fawned all over him even more than usual.

Loving animals makes us fucking stupid. We adopt these pets, bring them into our homes, spend almost as much time with them as we do our significant others, and we do this with the knowledge that this unconditional love is only temporary. If we're lucky, we get our pets for 15 years. If we're very lucky, our pets are healthy for most of those 15 years. And if we're very, very lucky, those 15 years don't fly by at the speed of the Millennium Falcon, which, as you know, made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs. So, you know. Make of that what you will. 

*please don't tell me if you would