A Side of Rice

Hopefully Humorous (and sometimes R-rated) Musings About Life


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Ode to Our New Dog Jake

                                                                                      Ode to Our New Dog Jake                                                                                         (in the style of the nursery rhyme, “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe”)

One, two…he ate the other shoe

Jake thinks the shoes could use more salt

Jake thinks the shoes could use more salt

 Three, four….he’s destroyed the screen door

"Honey, we need to go to Lowe's"

“Honey, we need to go to Lowe’s”

Five, six…can’t you just chew on sticks?

Furniture: Expensive Sticks: Free

Furniture: Expensive
Sticks: Free

Seven, eight…let me get this straight

Image: Shutterstock

The fuck?

Nine, ten…he’ll get over this when?

Not. Soon. Enough.

Not. Soon. Enough.

Eleven, twelve…the clean laundry basket is not the place to delve

Socks must taste like chicken

Socks must taste like chicken

Thirteen, fourteen…humping Mocha is not a-courting

At least he cuddles Mocha in addition to humping her

At least he cuddles Mocha in addition to humping her

Fifteen, sixteen…stop counter surfing in the kitchen

Jake! Would you please let Alex eat his cereal in peace.

Jake! Would you please let Alex eat his cereal in peace.

Seventeen, eighteen… for you to drop something, I’m a-waiting

Jake! Stop trying to look so innocent...I know it was you who ate that stick of butter I had put on the counter.

Jake! Stop trying to look so innocent…I know it was you who ate that stick of butter I had put on the counter.

Nineteen, twenty…I know your food bowl is empty

Original version: source Wikipedia

One, two, Buckle my shoe;

Three, four, Open the door;

Five, six, Pick up sticks;

Seven, eight, Lay them straight:

Nine, ten, A big, fat hen;

Eleven, twelve, Dig and delve;

Thirteen, fourteen, Maids a-courting;

Fifteen, sixteen, Maids in the kitchen;

Seventeen, eighteen, Maids a-waiting

Nineteen, twenty, My plate’s empty.


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Jake!

One of my favorite movies is Sixteen Candles. And while not everyone agrees with me, the movie does make me laugh out loud. Plus, my sisters think this girl from the dance scene in the movie is my doppleganger:

Me?

Me?

Here’s my high school senior pic – what do you think?

High School Photo

Perhaps we have the same mullet?

During one scene in the movie, a panicked “Nerd” yells out to the party host to help him out of a tricky situation:

The Nerd ended up drinking martinis and talking girls underpants with Jake. In my life, it’s not nearly enough martinis and playing chase-me-and-try-to-get-your-underpants-that-I’ve-swiped-out-of-the-laundry-basket with Jake.

Jake is the newest addition to the Rice family. My husband had decided our dog Mocha had no one to play with and needed a pal. So we loaded up our alpha female dog and headed out to an adoption event at our local PetSmart. We had gotten Mocha at an event two years earlier, and she was excited about the possibility of a new dog to boss around.

On the way to the adoption event to find a new chew toy...er...furry friend

On the way to the adoption event to find a new chew toy…er…furry friend

We had checked Jake out online before the event and we were looking forward to meeting him. Since Mocha is an alpha female, we needed to be sure the dogs would get along. They did. And we were the first people to adopt a dog that day.

And since we brought him home, it’s like we are living that scene in Sixteen Candles. But we’ve added some dialog to the script:

Jake! Did you really need to chew up the $35 crate pillow we bought? The first day you used it?

Jake! Did you really need to chew up the $35 crate pillow we bought? The first day you used it?

Jake! Do you really need to put your ass in Nick's face?

Jake! Do you really need to put your ass in Nick’s face?

Jake! Would you please let Alex eat his cereal in peace.

Jake! Would you please let Alex eat his cereal in peace.

Jake! Stop trying to look so innocent...I know it was you who ate that stick of butter I had put on the counter.

Jake! Stop trying to look so innocent with all the tail wagging…I know it was you who ate that stick of butter I had put on the counter.

Jake! The blanket my aunt crocheted as a wedding present is NOT your pillow!

Jake! The blanket my aunt crocheted as a wedding present is NOT your pillow!

Jake! You already snuck a loaf off of the counter -- do you really need to eat the recipe too?

Jake! You already snuck a loaf off of the counter — do you really need to eat the recipe too?

Jake! Of course you're going to be banished from the kitchen after you eat a stick of butter AND a loaf of Orange Dreamsicle bread!

Jake! Of course you’re going to be banished from the kitchen after you eat a stick of butter AND a loaf of Orange Dreamsicle bread!

But, truly, most of the time our dialog is: “Jake! Thanks for joining our family”:

We encourage anyone looking for a new furry friend to check out rescue sites or shelters first. We adopted Mocha and Jake from Lab Rescue LRCP.


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Do You See What I See?

Our new family pet — an 11 month old chocolate lab named Mocha — has incredible vision.  And by incredible vision, I mean that she sees the true nature of anything.

Take, for instance, the wood piece that was under our king size bed as an additional support.  This is that wood piece:

Gnawed to perfection

Gnawed to perfection

But here’s what Mocha saw:

Love that "wood-y" flavor. Get it? Wood.

Love that “wood-y” flavor. Get it? Wood.

These are my new leather clogs:

On the arm of the couch - because the floor looks like a giant placemat.

My new clogs on the arm of a chair after being rescued — luckily with no damage.  Because to Mocha, the floor is a giant fucking placemat.

But here’s what Mocha saw:

A pile of leathery goodness

A pile of leathery goodness

This is the window sill in our bathroom:

"Why enjoy the view, when I can enjoy the chew" - Mocha

“Why enjoy the view, when I can enjoy the chew?” – Mocha

But here’s what Mocha saw:

"That sill was Kong-licious!"  -Mocha Rice

“Treats? In a chew toy? That’s arf-some!” -Mocha

Mocha isn’t the only one with a special gift for seeing the true nature of anything. For instance, this is me every night because of my sleep apnea:

Darth Vader meets Horton Hears a Who. And best birth control ever.

But here’s what my husband (tells me he) sees:

I know, I know. Jessica's boobs aren't as big as mine.

I know, I know. Jessica’s boobs aren’t as big as mine.

If you ask me, both Mocha and my husband are pretty damn insightful.


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Rice with a Side of Mocha

We had lost our family pet back in May, after 12 wonderful years with her.  Our boys had recently been talking about getting another dog, and my husband and I decided we would do just that. It would be a surprise Christmas gift for the boys.

Last Sunday, we told Alex and Nick we were going to Bed Bath and Beyond because I had some things to pick up.  Oh, the wailing and gnashing of teeth that commenced.  “Geez!”, Alex cried out.  “Do we have to go? Mom takes FORever in that store. She looks at EVERYthing — some things more than once.  It takes her HOURS to make a decision about what to buy. And it’s filled with boring stuff like kitchen crap.  Cookie and cake pans — like, who cares?”.  Nick offered this succinct suggestion, “Can us boys go next door to Sports Authority with dad instead, because Bed Bath and Beyond is stupid for kids”.

As we pulled into the parking lot that morning, I said “Boys, we have a surprise for you. We’re not going to Bed Bath and Beyond.  We are going next door to PetSmart because they are having a dog adoption event.”  There were whoops of happiness from the backseat as we parked the minivan.  I can’t be sure — were they more excited we were getting a dog, or that they weren’t going to be dragged into Bed Bath and Beyond?

We ended up selecting a 10 month old female chocolate lab, whose name was Galaxy.  Our first order of business — after dropping a bunch of money at PetSmart — was to rename our new dog.  Later that evening after careful consideration and a number of helpful outbursts from my husband like “holy crap, that’s a ridiculous name for a dog”, Alex came up with the name Mocha.

However, after a week of living with the not-yet adult dog, it is clear we could have come up with names that are more clever than another name for chocolate. And a more appropriate description of her behavior. Here’s my list of suggestions:

  • Get that out of your mouth
  • Get off the couch
  • Husband: "No way is this dog getting up on the couch."   How's that working out for ya, honey?

    Husband: “No way is this dog getting up on the couch.” How’s that working out for ya, honey?

  • Stop licking yourself there
  • Stop licking yourself there while you are on the couch
  • Socks are not chew toys
  • Christmas decorations are not chew toys
  • Shoes are not chew toys
  • I am not a chew toy
  • Why can’t you chew that ugly “disco snowman” decoration we got from our in-laws?
  • Drop it
  • DROP IT
  • DROP IT, DAMN IT
  • People food is not for dogs
  • She must be a chocolate lab, based on her interest in the ice cream all over Alex's face

    She must be a chocolate lab, based on her interest in the ice cream all over Alex’s face

  • Paws off the counter
  • Paws and snout off the counter
  • Get your snout out of the pizza on the counter!
  • Just move the cheese around and give that slice to dad since he didn’t see anything
  • Get off the bed
  • THIS is your bed.  Not the one I sleep in.

    THIS is your bed. I don’t want to share mine.

  • Get off my side of the bed
  • Get off my side of the bed if you are going to lick yourself there
  • Get the hell off my side of the bed if you are going to lick yourself there at 4:00am
  • Bring me paper towels
  • Bring me the carpet cleaner
  • This one’s a doozy…bring me the wet vac
  • Go outside and play with Luna – wear yourself out
  • Mocha and Luna have become fast fence friends

    Mocha and Luna have become fast fence friends

  • Who destroyed this baseball?
  • Who destroyed this frisbee?
  • Who’s brilliant idea was it to get a dog?
Welcome home Mocha

Welcome home Mocha

Thanks to Lab Rescue for our wonderful new family member, Mocha.


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Pepper, with a Side of Rice

My husband and I got married in October of 1999. One month later, I started to feel queasy — and not about married life. Turns out we had a honeymoon baby on the way.

10 weeks into the pregnancy, on a Friday, we found out we had lost the baby. When we got home from the doctor’s office, it was time for dinner so my husband asked “What do you want?” I immediately responded: “A Big Mac. And a dog.”

Pepper joined our family in January 2000 after a visit to the Maryland SPCA. She was wagging her tail and barking hellos at everyone who walked by her run. Her history: about 1 year old, a retriever mix, crate/house trained and named Raven. Given that we are a Steelers household, Raven was not going to work. So a bunch of paperwork, one name change, and an adoption fee along with a spay surgery later, Pepper was part of the family:

It always looked like she was smiling

Pepper was an excellent dog. In the first year, the only real problem we had was when she jumped up — excited to see me — as I bent down to pet her. The intersection of my nose and her head resulted in a trip to the ER and explaining to every health care worker we talked to that the dog had broken my nose. That didn’t stop every single hospital employee from eyeing my husband suspiciously.

Then there was the time she ate not one, but two pounds of ground beef. I had set one pound out to defrost for dinner. She ended up eating it (I still have no idea how she got it off the kitchen counter). After a thorough scolding, I pulled out a second pound and pushed it far back on the counter top. Not an hour later she came slinking into the home office. I ran to the kitchen to discover the styrofoam tray and plastic wrap were the only remnants of the frozen ground beef.

Pepper enjoyed her top dog status until February 2002, when our son Alex arrived on the scene. True to her good nature, she obliged us with silly dog and baby photos:

Pepper was probably thinking — What is with the squirmy loud thing that smells so bad?

Less than 15 months later, we added another new member to the family when our son Nick was born. Both Alex and Pepper embraced the new arrival with no jealousy. In fact, Pepper was finding that babies were an excellent food source if she sat patiently enough near the feeding location.

I’ll get it if it drops on the floor!

We’ve had many wonderful memories with her.

She loved to ride in the car, with her face in the wind:
A Ride and a Serenade

She would let me know that it was time to take the boys to school and that she was ready for the car ride:
Get Your Keys and Let’s Roll, Lady!

In November of 2011, Pepper started coughing. We took her to the vet for a check up. An x-ray showed a tumor on her lung. The doctor told us they could do a biopsy to see if it was cancerous. At almost 13 years old, we decided it was too invasive. The doctor gave us medication to keep the fluid on her lungs down. We were told to watch for the signs of deterioration — lack of appetite, lethargy and making attempts to be alone. We figured she might have a month left. But she was active and fiesty as ever for the next 5 1/2 months, before we started to see her slow down.

Over the weekend she really went downhill and this morning could not get up. She yelped when she tried to move.

My oldest cried all the way to the bus stop this morning. The youngest said he was very sad, like when Grandma Rice died. My husband stayed home from work and rescheduled a conference call so that we could take her to the vet together. She left us at about 9:50am on May 21, 2012.

There is truly a circle to life. It was a loss we had experienced that brought Pepper to us. And now, in the grief of having our beloved family pet leave us, we are in a state of loss again.

Here’s a photographic tribute to our good girl, Pepper. May she rest in peace. February 1999-May 21, 2012.

My boys and Pepper

Pepper and Alex Sizing each other up

Alex and Pepper enjoying the sunshine

Pepper watches the world go by and wishes she was outside

Pepper was always smiling

Alex and Pepper

Nick & Pepper

We could never lose her in the snow

She would always put her face in your lap when she needed to go outside

Pre-summer shave

Post summer shave

Nick and Pepper – November 2011

Alex and Pepper – the last photo I took of her about 2 weeks before her death