Just Buckle Up Already

Buckle up all your babies!

Buckle up all your babies!

Recently I was in a car accident.  Hit and run.  Totaled my car.  When all was said and done I was VERY lucky to walk away with nothing more than a concussion.  For those of you keeping track that is the second time I received a concussion from my vehicle.  It is obviously out to get me.  Well that specific vehicle is toast and is currently on some lot being stripped for parts.  Thanks to my WONDERFUL daddy, who did a lot of research and leg work, I have a new (well new to me) vehicle and a new appreciation for seat belts!

I have always been an advocate for doggie seat belts/restraints.  Still, even I was getting a bit lax.  I was piling in pups on top of pups on top of pups in my car and just assuming all would be ok.  Lucky for me the dogs were not with me during my accident.  It would be a completely different outcome had they been hanging out all around me while my car (going about 70) was rear ended (by a car going about 90) and put into a spin on the freeway.  Today all dogs in my car either have to be restrained or in the way back.  I have cheapy seatbelts I use for all those who don’t have their own but STRONGLY encourage all my doggy clients to get their folks to pony up the cash for a good safety restraint.  I wanted to share the new note I now include in all my “report cards” when a pup goes home from vacay with me.  Take a second to read some of these stats/facts and pass it on to fellow dog lovers.  Let’s keep everyone safe!

 Dogs in Cars   

BAD WENDY (I was parked when I took this pic but that doesn't help much.)

BAD WENDY (I was parked when I took this pic but that doesn’t help much.)

As you may or may not have known I was recently in a very bad car accident.  Caused by a hit and run driver my car was hit hard enough to cause extensive damage.  Enough damage to have it declared “totaled.”  It was a wake up call.  I haven’t been as strict as I should have been in restraining my dogs in the vehicle while driving.  For the safety of my pups and myself, that has changed, and I now do what I can to keep everyone secured (or as secured as I can given the tools I have available).  I’ve always suggested doggie seat belts but now I’m STRONGLY suggesting it be something all dog owners invest in.

A few scary stats:

  • An unrestrained 10-pound dog in a crash at 50 mph will exert roughly 500 pounds of force.
  • An unrestrained 80-pound dog in a crash at only 30 mph will exert approximately 2400 pounds of force.
  • Similar to a young child, the front airbag system in a vehicle can be deadly to a dog during a crash if sitting in the front seat, even if restrained.

 Luckily during my accident I was coming home from “human only exercise” so the pups were not with me.  If they had been there is a very real chance that I could have been hurt very badly, even killed by the force of a flying pup.  It is a guarantee that the pups in my car would have had substantial injuries as well.

A couple more things to remember:

  • An unrestrained dog can easily jump out of a vehicle.  Post accident when everything is chaotic and his/her owner is agitated or hurt a normally well behaved dog can panic and run.
  • An unrestrained dog can make it harder for first responders to do their job, which may include helping you.
  • Although not “illegal” to drive with an unrestrained dog, a pet in your lap or taking focus can cause you to be sited as “driving distracted.”

 

These two get buckled to the backseat now.

These two get buckled to the backseat now.

Riggins has used a harness seatbelt since he was 3 months old.  It is second nature to him.  If it isn’t something you have used before your pup may take some time to get use to it.  Be patient and consistent.  When you put the “restraint” on give lots of love, pets, and a high value treat.  When “buckling in” do another round of love, pets, and a high value treats.  Eventually your pup will consider the act of getting buckled in a positive thing and you can back out on giving treats.  It may not be easy but remember you are doing it for the safety of you, your pup, and your passengers.

What to get:

There are many options of doggie car restraints.  You may have seen stories recently that harness seat belts are ineffective.  Although it is true that some harness restraints do not pass human crash safety tests it still keeps the dog from becoming an animal projectile and causing damage to human passengers.  Don’t worry though.  There are some options that work great!

sleepypod.com – Their harnesses are crash-tested and perform much better than the other harness models. You can watch crash tests of both on their web site. The current harness they have available does require some extra buckling in the car but they have a newer version coming out in early Oct of this year which promises to be a little easier to work with.  Riggins has always had a Krugo seat belt but he will be moving to the Sleepypod brand as soon as possible.

Variocage – mightymitedoggear.com.  Crash-tested kennels which is the safest way for your pup to be transported in the “way back.”

 **** I now buckle up dogs that I have watched many times and were never restrained before.  I haven’t had a single problem.  All of them seem happy to sit in the back seat like they are supposed to.  Even those that use to ride shotgun!  Of course it is always an easier process after a long hike when they are too pooped to pop! ****

Advertisements

#GuardiansOfTheGalaxyEvent: An Interview With Vin Diesel {Groot} – Reblog

Recently I received a call from my sister asking if I was able to babysit my adorable niece and nephew for a few days.  “Sure!” I said.  Who wouldn’t want to spent time with those two cuties?  Turns out while I was watching her offspring she was galloping around Hollywood being all fancy and stuff.  One of the things she did while she was here was interview my boyfriend Vin Diesel about his upcoming roll as Groot in the Guardians of the Galaxy.  Check out her write up about Vin along with her other adventures on her  blog at All About the Giveway Train (or just read it below).

#GuardiansOfTheGalaxyEvent: An Interview With Vin Diesel {Groot}

 July 25, 2014 by  

 

What would you do if you got to interview Vin Diesel?

Would you clap? Would you whistle? Would you fall out of your chair? I held my breath in anticipation as I heard footsteps outside the conference room. As Vin turned the corner 25 bloggers cheered with such excitement, it blew Vin away! Seriously…he had a huge grin on his face, and sat down…only to say “Wow look at this wonderful reception. You guys! You didn’t have to make me feel that good. My God! This is like…I need to walk in again.” So he did! He got up out of his chair and walked back into the hallway, turned around and reentered to even louder applause (and 1/2 of the room gave him a standing ovation!).

20140723_635

 

What a fantastic way to start an interview!

We all had a chance to watch Guardians of the Galaxy the night prior to our interview, so we couldn’t wait to talk to Vin about his role: Groot. I just love Groot. He is a tree man of few words, voiced by a man of many! As Vin says, “Groot is nature’s ambassador.”

How did Vin become Groot?

Vin humbly gave all the credit to his fans on social media. He said,”First of all, the people that get the most credit for me playing Groot are those people on my Facebook page. Because they manifested this union between myself and Marvel when nobody had an idea of what we could do.” The persistence of the fans on social media somewhat forced Marvel to be creative. Kevin Feige (Marvel Studios President) reached out to Vin after Comic Con. THANK YOU FACEBOOK FANS!

Vin was currently shooting “Fast and the Furious 7″ (which took a little bit longer than anticipated) and he didn’t think he had time for a 6-month role on the “Guardians of the Galaxy.” So, Kevin Feige sent over a huge book of conceptual art to show Vin what he was thinking. This was the first time he had seen anything on Groot, “which is not like anything you have ever seen in any of the comic books. It’s an original Groot.”

The conceptual art peaked Vin’s interest, so he went into the living room to ask his kids which character they thought Daddy should play. Within seconds they answered and pointed to Groot! His kids thought Groot was cool. (As do I!)

Vin told us, “When my kids are in the back seat, we’re driving, whenever they see trees they say, ‘Look, Dad. It’s your brothers and sisters.’ You can’t beat that. I mean, nothing I would try to teach them about life and respect for nature could have been as effective as them seeing Daddy as Groot, and them thinking — and how appropriate.”

Vin never thought he’d be so proud of his role in “Guardians of the Galaxy.” It’s a role that he is very proud of and can talk to his kids about. He said, “It’s been really special… I do movies that are not necessarily for kids. So, to do this and to be able to share this with the little ones, and for them to be so excited about it and so proud of it, and to think of trees differently. They will never look at a tree the same way. No one will, after this.”

GOTG vin interview

Being more than just a voice.

Vin was full of life and energy that shot like a wave through the conference room. He shimmed and danced in his seat…excited to talk about this movie with us. Unlike doing tours for Riddick, he is having a good time just having fun and being goofy.

In order to incorporate the actor’s mannerisms and bring live to the characters, the special effects guys will film an actor while they are recording. So to gather inspiration for Groot, Vin went in to the recording booth wearing jumping stilts so that he would be seven-and-a-half feet tall tree. He says you just need one or a few thing to really get you into character. Vin really kept it about being a towering, innocent character. The innocence of the character is what’s so attractive. “So, yeah,” Vin says. “It was my idea to go above and beyond. And I guess people were like, ‘Damn, this guy’s taking this serious. It’s only three words, dude.’ I have worked more days on this than I have words. Surreal.”

What’s next for Vin Diesel?

Vin’s next project is a movie called “The Last Witch Hunter.” It’s about a 700-year old New Yorker. Jokingly Vin said, “And I feel sometimes like I’m close to 700 years old.” He is very excited that they just Michael Caine. Vin continued, “…it’s always a big deal when I get to work with people that I’ve been such fans of for so long. So I’m just so excited to see what happens when the camera starts rolling, and it’s me and Michael Caine. You just know it’s gonna be good.”

A perfect ending to a perfect interview…

Time was running out, but Vin agreed to take a group photo with us. As he got out of his chair he started singing “HOOKED ON A FEELING” … which we all chimed in and it became a group sing-a-long! How many people can say they got to sing and dance with Vin Diesel?!?! I know I can and so can 24 of my blogger friends!!!

Vin then said to us, “I love the mommy bloggers. You know mommies are the first super heroes you guys.”

One of the 3 male bloggers said, “And some dad bloggers!”

Vin agreed, “Let’s give one for the dads! And that’s tweetable! Thank you so much guys. You guys made me feel so good!”

20140723_629

Be Social:

Like GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY onFacebook: www.facebook.com/guardiansofthegalaxy

Follow GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY onTwitter: https://twitter.com/Guardians

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY opens in theaters everywhere on August 1st!

guardians of the galaxy poster

Disclosure: Disney invited me on this press trip and paid for all of my expenses (except travel). All opinions are always 100% my own and honest.

 

#selfie

Tags

, , , , , ,

As you know I’m a supporter of the Selfie.  I love them!  I don’t care if people think they are egotistical or unnecessary.  They always make me smile.  I think you should keep pointing the camera at yourself and clicking!  As an international trendsetter (a title I gave myself just now) I have tried to get folks on-board with the #DogSelfie.  Adoption has been slower than I had hoped and frankly, given my ridiculously high social status, expected.   Therefore, I’m looking to you for help in spreading the word.  Go out.  Take a photo of you and a dog … any dog.  Tag as #DogSelfie and start uploading to social media sites.  Together we can change the world. 

I used Studio to make my #DogSelfies into pieces of art.  You should too.  It’s a great app.

photo 4 (1) photo 5 photo 1 (1) photo 2 (2) photo 2 (42) photo 1 (40) photo 4 photo 3 (1) photo 3 (31)

 

Chip Rich

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

I COULD MAKE IT RAIN POPCORNERS! I’M CHIP RICH MO’FO’!

photo 4 (25)Let me back up a bit … I have a new obsession. Groupon Goods. You know Groupon right? It’s one of those deal sites where you purchase coupons or deals for a restaurant or gym (or whatever). One of those things I would purchase and then ignore and never use. I’m horrible at using gift cards or Groupons or Living Social deals or anything like that. My dad reminded me I have a gift card my mother and him gave me last Christmas for El Cholo. I LOVE

For the kids

For the kids

El Cholo and yet that gift card is still sitting in my wallet. I’m going next week … for sure … maybe … I did recently use a Subway gift card but that is because I was hungry, I had it in my wallet and was driving by a Subway. All the stars aligned! Somehow last month, I don’t remember the details, I magically stumbled upon Groupon Goods. It’s so exciting. It’s the most wonderful thing to hit my iPhone since Happier!

Groupon Goods is where you can purchase actual physical items at a discount. It’s like a mixture between SkyMall and Target but at the tip of my fingers. There are so many amazing deals and at the same time so many things I didn’t know I even needed. It’s just amazing and I demand you download the Groupon app (or go to their website) and check it out right now. I like the app because I

Thanks Internet!

Thanks Internet!

can lie in bed and scroll through amazing item after amazing item and if one strikes my fancy I hit “buy” and it’s all mine! ALL MINE!!!!!!!!! There is some stress involved since most items are limited quantity and deals only last a few days. Therefore, it is mandatory you check it nightly, like me, to make sure you don’t miss something fabulous!

Last month there was a deal for a large number of individual sized PopCorners (25, 50 … I don’t remember … it was a wonderfully large number)

For the men.

For the men.

for a great price. What a perfect thing to bring to my sisters for the fourth of July, I thought. BUY! Then I forgot all about them. I got home from my sisters on the 6th. Do you know what was on my doorstep on the 7th? A GIANT BOX OF POPCORNERS! Perhaps my timing was off but it’s still the most wonderful thing ever to be delivered to my house. It’s a giant box and is taking up my entire counter. I have Popcorners for days! Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Making it rain Popchips!

They just don’t sell food on Groupon Goods. Need a dog bed? They have a few options right now. There is an amazing array of vibrators … so many options. You want to feed your yoga pants

obsession? No problem! Towels, teeth whiteners, batteries,

I want this.  I don't know why.

I want this. I don’t know why.

dresses, perfume, cameras, and so much more! Seriously … you gotta go check this out. 120 hair ties? What? I don’t have long hair but I feel like my zillions of PopCorner bags could use a friend or two or 120! How do you pass up a deal like that? BUY!

Blue Hair Don’t Care

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

photo 2 (31)Man I wish that title was accurate.  I do indeed have blue hair but I care …. so very much.  Life would be so much better if we didn’t care, wouldn’t it?   We could all just go around like Ayn Rand cult followers caring only for ourselves and not giving a damn about anyone else (I may have just simplified Ayn Rand’s philosophy a bit but I don’t like her nor her thinking so I’m cool with that.).  If I could just be fine with a job where I go in, make my money and ignore most of the people I come in contact with, not care about my clients, not care about the company itself, and then go home and do it all again the next day my life, or at least job hunt, would be so much easier.  Sometimes that’s what I think employees want.  Moldable drones that they can send out with their corporate message written out word for word on 5×7 cards.  Don’t think, don’t care, just get those numbers in and move on.  Not all companies, of course, but certainly the one I met with today.

photo 1 (31)I am getting ahead of myself … I have blue hair.  I’ve wanted bright and colorful hair for about 1 1/2 years now.  I just haven’t pulled the trigger because I was looking for a job.  It seemed irresponsible of me to take my “natural blond” (naturally from a bottle) to a nice color that is seen on Easter eggs.  Last week I said, “fuck it … I’m doing it.”  I happened to be at the beauty supply store and they happened to have fun colors on clearance and one happened to drop into my basket.  That’s a lie.  They don’t keep the fun colors out and about for just anyone to grab and stuff in their bra.  For the fun stuff you have to actually ask someone behind the counter to cough it up.  The act of dying my hair is an entire blog post on its own so I’ll skip the details and just let you know that the next day I was called for an interview.

The position was a for a Sales Manager in a national B2B company.  I don’t want to give more details than that since it was such a horrific experience.  I’m not writing this to hurt them, although they deserve it, but instead to point out that this is not how a company should conduct itself and how not to get talented people to work for you.  I will mask the company name as well as those I came in contact with … because I’m cool like that.  People with blue hair usually are  … cool that is.

Corporate Mermaid

Corporate Mermaid

In all honesty I did research on the company over the weekend to prepare for my meeting and it did not seem like it was going to be a good fit for me.  The company seemed overly sales-y and even included a “formula for success” on their job post that made me cringe.  Any salesman who has had to deal with a VP or C-something who demands that there is a “formula for sales success” knows what I mean.  The time wasted by upper upper management trying to put together the perfect “script” or “meeting numbers” is mind numbing.   Here is the secret – hire good people, train them well, give the unfiltered knowledge of what they are selling, and then LET THEM DO THEIR JOB.  There are little nuances like, “make sure your sales team is diverse to cater to all types of clients” or “put a time limit on all sales meetings” or “don’t be douche-y to those who work for you” but hire good people and let them do what they do, is really the key.  Still I had a meeting with the VP and wanted to come prepared with enough knowledge of his company to make sure all the questions I had about the position could be asked … and hopefully answered.

After picking out a work outfit that color coordinated with my new hair color I was transformed from a festive and magical mermaid (which is how one of my supportive friends described my new look) to the Little Mermaid gone corporate.  Blue hair or not I was the best thing that this company could ever hope would walk in their door.

Here is how it went:

* I got to the building and happily introduced myself to security.  I was warned I’d need to show ID to and that they would have my name in the security computer allowing me up to the correct floor.  I did indeed need my id … they did not have my name in the computer.  After numerous phone calls the security agent finally got someone to answer.  That person was going to talk to Bob (not his name but remember I’m protecting the “innocent”) and call back if I was indeed on his calendar.  Finally I was given security clearance and allowed up to a higher floor.

* I found the suite thanks to the suite number I had written down from my conversation with the assistant, who I had made my interview appointment with.  The name on of the company I was interviewing with was not on the door … another company name was … which wasn’t helpful.  I assume they are related.  Holding company or something.  Although never assume …

* There was no lobby.  I walked into a cubicle farm (you know what I’m talking about) and stood there.  A woman, let’s call her Lacy, came out and told me to have a seat in one of the two chairs in need of some TLC in the form of reupholstering or the trash.  After handing over a copy of my resume I did what I was told.

* I sat there … and sat there … considered lying on the floor to take a nap, decided against it … and sat there.

* Lacy came back to inform me I would be meeting with the sales manager, Joe.  I may have rolled my eyes and said “really?”  This all had “waste of my time” written all over it and in the meantime my car was in a lot costing $2.50 every 20 minutes.  Time is money … more specifically my money.  If I had money to toss at car lot attendants I wouldn’t need a job in the first place.

*  After more waiting Joe came over to introduce myself.  Joe had an unconventional hair style so I didn’t feel as uncomfortable about my blue hair.  Who am I kidding?  At this point my blue hair was the one thing I wasn’t uncomfortable with.

*  After being shown to an office … not Joe’s but an office, Joe turned to me and said, “Why have you come to see us today.”  Ummmmm …..

*  I’m not going to lie … Joe didn’t seem to like me at all.  Probably because I looked at him like he was insane after each one of his questions.  Of course it became obvious to me QUICKLY that something was wrong.  Either there was a huge misunderstanding or my friend Joe & company perform the ol’ bait and switch on poor helpless souls that need jobs.  You know, advertising one thing and then giving another.

* Turns out I wasn’t interviewing for a Sales Manger job but a Sale Representative job.  Something even Joe found odd given my background.  Let’s remember they called me for an interview after seeing my resume and yet Joe seemed to be looking at my background for the first time that very second.

* Turns out the job isn’t for an “employee” but an “independent contractor.”  For those not in the know that means a 10-99 job.  Usually no salary, commission only (which was true here), and no benefits.  There is nothing wrong with a 10-99 job but it was not what was advertised.  There are positives to a job like this, freedom (usually) in your schedule (although that didn’t seem to be the case here), being your own boss of sorts (although that didn’t seem to be the case here), unlimited income if you are the type of person that works well under these conditions, etc.  It is also a huge deal breaker for a lot of people and given my current employment needs, one for me as well.  It is certainly not something you spring on someone who fought traffic to get to the middle of downtown LA and is paying $2.50 every 20 minutes this conversation goes on.

* Their sales territory and plan made no sense and their travel reimbursement policy was built for suckers.  I don’t want to go into details right now.  You will have to just believe me.

* Travel 3-4 weeks a year.  For those that aren’t good at math that is 75%-100%.  The exact opposite of what I am looking for.  If there were any details about this kind of travel in their ad I would never have applied.  Of course there wasn’t those details disclosed prior to  meeting … “get them in the door any way you can, and then close them,” says every sleazy salesman anywhere.

* Speaking of … remember Bob, who I was supposed to talk to?  He was there.  How could I tell?  Well he was the one wandering around the office hall on a portable phone barking out as many sales clichés as a person can jam into a conversation.

To Joe’s credit upon realizing I wasn’t going to work out for him … aka drink the kool-aid he informed me that he was going to “conclude this interview.”  Upon walking me the very short distance from the “lobby” he asked me to hold on.  He went and spoke to Bob.  I assume to tell him I was there for the Sales Manger position and was supposed to talk to him.  Alas Bob didn’t seem to have the time to stop discussing funnels, deals, and “what do we have to do to make them move” tactics to check me out.  Joe returned to tell me they had my resume and would call if they wanted to talk to me further.  Joe did apologize for the misunderstanding but pointed out their assistant was gone that day and things happen  Sure … blame the poor missing assistant.

Read my lips car ride home "What a f**king waste of time."

Read my lips car ride home “What a f**king waste of time.”

I smiled, thanked him, and left.  Then I muttered “what a fucking shit show” as I walked to the elevator.  The way I see it this company owes me $21 in parking fees and $4 for the delicious icy beverage I had to purchase at Starbucks on the trek back to my vehicle to cool off from the horrid experience.

I realize it is a “buyers market” and employers have the upper hand right now but come on guys.  Please tell me you are all better than this!

P.S. – Some folks were concerned that my new and brilliant hair color could harm my chances of getting hired.  I’m afraid we can blame this “lose” on my brain and conscious.  Even with my blue hair I do care.

The Untouchables

Tags

, ,

photo 3 (19)There is a really sweet little chihuahua sitting on my lap right now.  Well … he isn’t really little, more like top heavy.  And … I suppose he isn’t really sweet, just to a select few humans.  Yesterday I took the pups, four in total, on a local hike.  The chihuahua and her sister weren’t going to go far so we followed the path long enough to hit a fun watering hole and hung out so everyone could burn off some energy.  The “little chihuahua” decided he was going to spend as much time as possible holding court in the middle of the trail.  He just stood there giving the ol’ stink eye to each and every person as they passed.  Honestly I’m not sure that many people even noticed him.  At one point a gaggle of teens came trotting up and one asked if he could pet my dog.  “Sure,” I said.  The tall gangling kid reached down to touch the little chihuahua and that dog flipped the fuck out!  He went chihuahua crazy on the crowd.  Barking his tiny little mouth off and waddling around chasing them.  I was laughing so hard I almost fell of the boulder I was perched on.  It was hilarious.  The teens ran off without touching a dog even when I yelled at them that one of the other ones was nicer.

Not all dogs like people.  It’s just the way it is.  I’ve come across my fair share of these untouchables.  I had a dog for one day on Dec. 23rd.  She came into my backyard and I suggested her dad take off her harness for me and was told she doesn’t even let him do it.  Once the dog’s folks left I was stuck with a dog that wouldn’t come near me, under a bush in my backyard.  I finally got her leashed up and took her, and the other pups I had with me, on our adventure for the day.  By the time she was picked up at the end of the night she was my BFF.

photo 1 (24)Recently, due to a family emergency, I took in 3 dogs all of different stages of socialization.  One, a terrier mix, loved everyone … all time.  The second, a shepherd mix, loved most people almost all of the time.  The third, a chihuahua (sensing a theme)/dachshund liked no one ever.  When I was called and asked if I could take the pups for a few days I was warned that “Freddie” would most likely have to be isolated from the rest of the pack.  In fact I had heard about Freddie before.  He was a notorious “bad dog.”  How bad could he be?  I assured the worried party that it would be fine and I’ve worked with unsocialized dogs before.

Then I went to pick up the threesome … and realized Freddie was indeed an “issue.”  It took me forever to get him on leash to even leave his house.  Each time I reached photo 5 (3)down to secure his lead he would try to bite me (I learned later that he had indeed bit his most recent trainer).  I finally made his leash into a slip lead and put it over his head.  He managed to be perplexed about what was happening long enough for me to get his leash attached to his collar.  “Okay!  Downhill from here.” — or so I thought.  It then took me FOREVER to get the threesome in the car.  Dog 1 jumped up like it he was going to Disneyland.  Dog 2 eventually let me hoist her up into the way back (I had other dogs in the back seat).  Freddie wasn’t going to let me do anything to him at all.  Once again he tried to bite me.  I managed to grab him and toss him into the front seat without his teeth making contact with any part of my body!

I got in the car, wiped off the sweet, and headed off to a local hike.  I walked those dogs until I was confident they were all pooped.  Getting Freddie back into the car wasn’t that difficult this time.  Exercise is always the answer!

photo 4 (16)At home I ignored Freddie until he decided to come to me.  By the next morning he wanted to be next to me all the time.  By midday he wanted to be in my lap all the time.  By that evening he was sleeping in my bed.  I had no problems with him trying to bite me again.  I could attach his leash to his collar without hesitation.  I could pick him up and cuddle him without being worried of getting a few extra holes put into my body.

Freddie was also great with the rest of the pack … and he came into contact with a lot of dogs.  The ONLY dog he snipped at was my dog nephew but that is because my sister’s GIANT puppy got up in his face and needed to be scolded.  It turned out Freddie was no problem and the anxiety meds that his family had given me to use sat in my car untouched his entire visit.

I’m not saying I’m magic or crazy good at my job … I’m just saying dogs tend to like me.  That and exercise is magic.   I’m sure there are exceptions to that rule.  I hope I never meet them!  I prefer to believe no one is untouchable!

The F Word

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

photo 3 (11)Format Format and Format.  Man it makes me crazy.  I just spent 3 hours today re-formating my resume.  Recently one of my ex-employees sent me his resume.  I didn’t really read it I just glanced over it and the only thing I thought was, “wow my resume makes me look old.”  His was just so smartly formatted that I couldn’t help but be impressed.  I’m one of those people who think resume format is BS.  I never cared about it when I was a hiring manager.  As long as it wasn’t horrific I was good with anything.  I did not hire you (or not) based on what font you use or if you found a way to paraphrase your life goal and objective in one to three sentences at the top.  I’m doing recruiting for a company right now and the people I am looking at come to me via one or more of the popular job sites.  I rarely look at the resume and if I do it is only because the applicant has annoyed me and hasn’t filled out their phone number on the job site itself.  I’m usually just looking at the words on the resume that have been all pushed up into a paragraph of zero formatting when the site spits out what it sees. photo 4 (8) Font size, formatting, etc play zero roll in my calling, talking to, interviewing and/or hiring you.  It’s the content on your resume that is important to me.

I’ve been hesitant to reformat my resume …. again … it’s a constant and ongoing process for one reason … you can never make all the people happy all the time.  It’s just not possible.  For every person you show me that doesn’t like something on how my resume is styled I’ll show you a person who loves it.  I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting an HR person who didn’t have a strongly held opinion one way or another and unless you have some superhuman mind reading skill you aren’t going to know what each person wants.  You have no choice but to put together something that makes you happy and hope that whoever sees it is logical enough to realize using Arial vs. Tahoma doesn’t mean you are incapable of doing whatever job they are hiring for.  For photo 2 (14)the record my new format uses Trebuchet MS.  I read somewhere that Trebuchet MS is a clean font that allows you to stand out since it isn’t used as often as other fonts.  Of course in the same article I read that one HR woman prefers Arial over all other, while another is fond of Calibri because, apparently, studies have shown it shows confidence.  Are you kidding me?????  Am I truly being hired or not based on the font I choose for my resume?  Do people really have strong opinions on this.  As long as you don’t use Comic Sans I think you are a-ok.

Another thing that I would never read and was a giant waste of time for anyone that applied for a job through me was a cover letter.  I get it.  You want the job.  I don’t need to read a paragraph of how great you are followed by a paragraph of generic ass kissing.  I’ve got your resume in front of me.  I’ll figure it out … thanks.  AND YET MANY companies require a cover letter while many articles suggest without it you will be passed over completely by most.

photo 1 (13)Well …. I have my new formatted resume ready.  It actually is very reminiscent of a resume a used 2 years ago.  It’s like I’ve come full circle while following different people’s advice.  I’ll take a look at my cover letters and see what I can do to punch them up then I’ll send some off and let you know if it has made any difference at all.

The other day I received an email from a company I had applied to letting me know that I had attached an excel sheet vs. my resume when I applied for an open job there.  That means a random old call sheet on my computer has gotten more response than my actual resume has in the past 12 months.  Perhaps I should just start using it.

(Pictures of cute dogs from our hikes over the past few days because pictures of resumes are even more boring than discussion of preferred fonts.)

Super Sweaty Wednesday

Yesterday I hit a new level of Wendy sweaty-ness.  It was pretty impressive if I do say so myself.

photo 4 (5)In the morning the pups (Riggins, Asscher & Shadow) took off to Griffith Park for a hike.  This trio is really easy to hike with and are great together which gave me the freedom to explore a couple new trails.  We took a trailhead I had been eyeing but never tried before.  About 10 ft. in a teen passed us going the other way.  After the appropriate “hi” we passed and kept walking.  A few seconds back and he called to me.  It was as if he had been thinking if he should say something and having an inner fight with himself on if it was a good idea or not.  Here is how the conversation played out:

Teen:  Umm yah.  Have you gone that way before?

Wendy:  Nope.

Teen:  Ummmm … it’s really steep.  You should turn back.

Wendy:  We will be ok but thanks.

Teen:  Ummm …. but the dogs.

Wendy:  Yah.  Thanks for the heads up.

Teen:  Ummmm …. Especially with the dogs.

Wendy:  We will be fine.  Thanks.

You know I have an issue with being told what to do and CERTAINLY wasn’t going to let some punk tell me the dogs and I couldn’t do something.  He had no idea what we were capable of.  I had a rough idea where the trail was going to end up and figured we were going to be a-okay.  A little bit in, the road got steep and I mocked the punk in my photo 3 (8)head, “Ha!  This is nothing … I can do this AND still hold on to 3 leashes.”  A little while later the path got steeper but worse than that the ground got soft and unstable … ummmm …. We all battled our way up until we came upon a log that had fallen across the path.  I pushed my butt up and flipped my legs up and over and looked down at the dogs.  I let go of their leashes and Shadow jumped up without even thinking.  Asscher and Riggins stared at me like I had finally lost my mind.  I showed Asscher how to get up around the log and she made her way up.  It was Riggins turn.  His answer was “no.”  I called.  I offered treats.  I offered water and kisses.  I showed him the easier Asscher route and he just stood there and gave me a look like not only was he not going up and over but this adventure was now officially over.  He turned around and started heading back down the path.  Just like in a scary movie when that one kid decides he isn’t brave enough to enter the haunted house and hightails it out of there.  Sigh … I had to follow with Asscher and Shadow, back over the log, on my heels.  We caught up with Riggins and I gave him a good talking to and dragged them all back.  By then they were all thinking Riggins had the right idea.  I WASN’T GOING TO LET THAT PUNK WIN.  WE WERE MAKING IT TO THE TOP.  This time everyone got over and around the log with no problems and continued up.  It would have been easier if I could have let go of everyone’s leashes.  Something I would normally do but I gathered them back up after log jumping simply because it is rattlesnake season and I know they are out there ready to ruin my day.  After a break in the shade we made it to the top!!!  We were all filthy.  It wasn’t that long of a hike but we looked like we had rolled up the hill vs. walked up.

photo 1 (10)After a water break we took a steep windy path down.  A new one to me too.  I cautiously held on to 3 dog leashes and more than once had to tell Asscher to slow down so she wouldn’t drag me down to the bottom.  Lucky for me they are all such good dogs they knew that it was high alert time and listened to every thing I said very carefully.  We eventually got back to the car.  Everyone was beyond pooped.  The hike wasn’t the longest we have taken nor the hardest.  It wasn’t the steepest and not the hottest of days.  It was hot, it was steep and it was hard but nowhere near anyone’s limit.  Still we we all looked and acted like we had been through war.  I think it was a mixture of the soft dirt that we had to wade through and the fact that we were all on a heightened alert.   It was exhausting!

After a nap I headed off to Bar Method.  I had planned to help my friend that evening unpack from a recent move so I juggled my schedule to attend an earlier class than normal.  This meant a (gasp) new instructor.  You know my feelings toward new teachers at my Bar Method studio.  I don’t like them.  (****** Now let’s pause here for a second.  The new teacher is VERY nice, super sweet and a dozen or so other positive descriptive words.  Give me a month or two and I’m sure she will be one of my favorites.  ******)  This was my second time with this instructor and after my first I had sworn I would never go back until she got some more classes under he belt.  Unfortunately I had no choice.  It was her class or nothing.

My first time with her the class was brought to you by the letter W.  As in there were so many Wendy corrections being called out I felt like it was the letter of the day.  My second time I tried to go in with an open mind and within the first 5 minutes wanted to walk out.  I had to give myself a stern talking to.  “Stop being such a barre prima donna!”  I hate barre divas.  You probably have something similar in whatever work out class you take.  That one person who is so good he/she doesn’t need instructors.  He/she does what she wants even if his/her form is off because he/she knows better.  He/she will go into random stretches for no good reason just cause she/he feels like it photo 2 (11)or jumps into the next exercise before the instructor has even gotten the name of the exercise out let alone the set up.  They annoy me.  I’m proud of my non-prima donna status.  I try really hard to not anticipate what the teacher is going to say and instead follow his/her set up instructions for each exercise.  After all they are constantly being tweaked and updated to make them more effective and/or safer.  I don’t want to miss out on anything new.  I’m also constantly trying to get better and better form and going through the set up each time helps me do that.

I was a little better after my self inflected scolding but still caught myself rolling my eyes more than once when being corrected.   I think the new girl caught my eye rolls because her tone with me changed dramatically 1/2 way through class.  I also wanted to paint Right and Left on her hands.  Isn’t that horribly mean of me?  Every instructor I have ever had (and every student I’ve ever watched … myself included) mixes up right and left now and then.  Usually there is some self teasing and you move on.  This poor girl is so afraid of making a mistake she just plows through despite having said left when she made right.  I wasn’t paying attention and did what she said and …. had to be corrected.  I can’t think of what leg I should be on …. I’m too busy trying not to pass out from my labor like breathing and the pain.

No worries though.  New girl or not my body ached post work out just as much as it would with any other instructor.  Today I can definitely feel post work out pain in my thighs and triceps.  I suppose that means she really does know what she is doing.  Even if I don’t want to admit that she does!

photo 5UPDATE:  I just received a text from Asscher’s mom that Asscher had foxtails stuck in her skin along with ticks.  NOPE …. NO… UH UH… FORGET THAT.  Foxtails are asshole weeds and are a pain in the butt to any dog owner.   They can cause big issues but are almost unavoidable if you go outside in So Cal this time of year.  Ticks?  Ticks can go f*** off.  I HATE ticks.  Blood thirsty gross ugly bugs.  Why do they exist?  Why?  They serve zero purpose except to creep me out.  Bastard bugs  That’s what they are.  Asscher could have gotten both of these things on our new trail hike although she did go swimming for a long time in a friend’s pool last night so it is also possible she got them at the dog park we visited today.  To be safe I will be banning both from my list of activity locations for the foreseeable future.  Now excuse me while I go check the other dogs, change my sheets, and burn the clothes I wore the past few days.

 

How To: My Little Pony Costume

photo (25)My sister and her family came down last weekend.  Since my niece’s birthday is on the 9th I decided to celebrate it with her while she was staying at my house.  Like all little girls Kira is madly in love with Frozen.  Like all family members with Frozen lovers I learned very quickly that most of their merchandise is sold out and can only be found on Ebay for approximately 1 zillion dollars.  I had no choice but to fall back on her next love, My Little Ponies.  The Hub and Hasbro were one of my clients when they brought back the show and merchandise from the 80s.  Of course I thought it was a horrible idea.  Who was going to watch that?  Apparently every little girl in the US who has access to cable and/or Netflix … that’s who. 

I stood in the pony aisle at Target for a good long while just starring.  What to get?  I knew she had a ton of ponies already but which ones and what sizes?  It was all too overwhelming.  Then I saw something that both scared and intrigued me.  My Little Ponies turned human (actually titled My Little Pony Equestria Girls).  Apparently there is an episode where the ponies (Pegasus’ and unicorns) turn into teenagers.  They are very similar to Mattel’s Monster High crew and I assume that is on purpose.  “Well heck,” I thought, “I’ll grab me one of those.”  I figured she didn’t have those and what little girl (besides me) wouldn’t want a Barbie style teenage doll that is a human version of a magic horse (or Pegasus or unicorn)?  I chose Fluttershy.  Who I managed to call Shutterfly and Flutterfly more times than Fluttershy.  I knew she had a little Fluttershy horse (actually a Pegasus) so figured I was safe getting the doll.  The doll is all yellow (like the horse/Pegasus) with long pink hair (like the horse/Pegasus mane).  She comes with wings (of course … Pegasus … duh) and a hairbrush.  Did I mention her ears?  She has horse ears.  I told you it was creepy.

photo (24)When it was all said and done I wasn’t overly happy with my purchase and figured it was a real gamble if she would like it or not.  To help bump up the present a bit I decided I’d make her a headband that would have horse ears and a mane just like the human-ish doll I got her.  That spiralled into needing to add a tail (The doll doesn’t have a tail but should don’t you think?  After all she has friggin’ horse ears.  She does have a chunk of hair that hangs down longer than the rest.  I suppose that is supposed to represent a tail.).  Last minute I went back to get more materials for some wings.  Why not?  Here is how I put the thing together:

WINGS:  Easy peasy puddin’ pie.  I cut two foam sheets into wing like shapes.  One smaller than the other and glued them together with foam glue.  I decided they needed some glitter so took them outside and added that.  I didn’t have the correct glue so just used the foam glue.  It worked fine although Kira was quick to point out she could see the glue strokes on the wings.  I told her that was how it was supposed to look.  She loved the glitter and particularly like mushing her hands against it so the glitter would come off and she could wipe it on Riggins.  Riggins loves Kira more than anything so seemed fine with being turned into a glittery pony dog.  I poked two holes in the back and pushed through a woman’s elastic headband that would then hook around her arms.

Excuse the lack of focus.

Excuse the lack of focus.

HEADBAND:  I had purchased 2 of the skinny boas.  My Michael’s had the boas in two places.  One was hanging with a more elaborate boa in one aisle while the other was wrapped around a piece of cardboard in another aisle.  Same exact size and look.  The one wrapped was over a dollar cheaper so keep you eyes open.  I had headbands at home but wasn’t sure if they were too big for a little head.  Luckily they had $1 glittery pink ones in the check out line.  I grabbed one faster than you can say, “dolls shouldn’t have horse ears.”  I cut ear shapes out of two different colors of foam sheets and glued the small (inside of ear) to the big.  I then swapped out the foam glue for a glue gun because I don’t have time to sit around and wait for glue to dry.  I took the ear shapes and folded the bottom ends on top of each other to make them cone like (at the bottom).  That made a great base to glue straight onto the headband.  After I got the ears on I took the two boas and cut each into 4 pieces.  I took 5 pieces and glued them onto the headband between the ears.  I choose to make small loops at the top of the headband for bangs that stood up (like a mane) and then just let the rest fall off the back.  Oh … forgot to tell you … I did add a dot of glue to the cut end of each boa strand to help keep it from unraveling pink feathers everywhere.

TAIL:  I grabbed a piece of thick ribbon to tie around the waist and two skinny ribbons to use for attaching.  I took the last 3 pieces of boa and tied them together then tied them to the ribbon.  I added some glue for extra security.

The last day I painted her face so that she had butterflies on her cheeks.  Fluttershy’s cutie mark (that special little picture on the ponies bum).

TA DA … PONY GIRL!

Thank goodness I did make the costume.  Kira loved it and wore it a good part of the time she was here.   She loved being a pony!  Good thing I don’t work for Hasbro or the Hub’s new idea lab!  I was really off the mark on that “no one will like the ponies again” thing.