Monthly Archives: July 2015

What Netflix has Done to Me, or The Summer without Satellite

As an adult, I’ve never been much of a TV watcher.  Sure, I like to find something to entertain myself while I’m eating lunch, but in general I feel like watching TV is too unproductive.  When I did watch a program, I usually found myself on the edge of my seat, but not because the show was suspenseful.  No, I was waiting for the next commercial, when I would hop up and commence a hyper-speed cleaning session in the living room.  Why?  Because watching commercials is such a big fat waste of time, even worse than watching the shows themselves.  If I wasn’t doing commercial cleaning, I was busy in some other way.  I would cross-stitch during comedies, paint my nails during the news, or blog during ball games.

This makes me sound like I’ve got adult ADHD, doesn’t it?

No, the truth is just that I hadn’t found much that made me feel it was worth wasting my time for.  Even during all those DVR’d episodes of Once Upon a Time, I held my finger on the fast forward button in anticipation of the ads.

Then we decided to suspend our satellite service for the summer.  (There’s a tongue twister for you!).  The kids were mostly watching Netflix and  the satellite channels were only showing reruns for the billionth time, so why pay the $100+ per month?

Even though we’d had Netflix for forever, I never bothered clicking over to it and using it.  Why?  Well, because I’m not much of a TV person, right?  But that is swiftly changing.  My next book is going to involve time travel, so I decided I needed to watch shows and movies that revolved around that theme as well.  First up was Continuum.  I’d never even heard of the show, but it turns out that a story about a policewoman who accidentally travels back in time and has to use her knowledge of history to prevent crimes makes for a darn good story.  There were a few good movies, some other series that I tried out and got bored with.

Then.  Came.  Doctor Who.

I know, I know.  How on earth could I not have watched this show before?  How did I not check into this fantastic series earlier in my life?  How can I not have been a Whovian all this time?

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Well, I don’t know.  Perhaps it’s because I spent my childhood as a Trekkie (not convention-level Trekkie, just enjoyed the show and had a huge crush on Will Wheaton) and thought I was done with sci-fi for awhile.  Perhaps I figured I could never love any time travel story that didn’t start with the words “Back to the Future” (still huge on those movies, by the way).  Perhaps I should just claim ignorance.

But it’s all changed now.  I’m only in the second season, but I’m completely hooked.  My latest fish is named The Doctor.  I have a huge crush on a TARDIS teapot I found at Barnes and Noble.  I have a feeling this is only the beginning…

And it’s all your fault Netflix!

(Oh, crap.  Now I found Sherlock.  And Torchwood.)

What’s your favorite thing to watch on Netflix?

 

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Shelter Snobs, or The Many Ways to Save a Life

 

Adopting a pet from a shelter is the popular thing to do these days.  I’m not saying that makes it a bad thing, not by any means, but it’s becoming compulsory.

“Hey, check out this picture of our new dog!” is immediately met with “Did you get him from a shelter?”

They say that adopting from a shelter saves the lives of two animals:  the one you adopted and the one that can take his/her place at the shelter.  There’s no denying that logic, but it seems that people are becoming so skewed towards shelters that they don’t realize there are numerous ways to save an animal.  The brief conversation cited above is one I’ve had before, and it’s amazing how hateful people can get when they ask if your animal is from a shelter.  I understand the passion, folks, I really do, but you don’t have to make me feel like I did the wrong thing because my pet didn’t come from a rescue.

Nermal was found trying to cross four lanes of rush hour traffic when she was only three weeks old.

Porkchop was left at a foreclosed home in an outdoor pen so covered in weeds it was barely visible.

Porkchop was left at a foreclosed home in an outdoor pen so covered in weeds it was barely visible.

Annie was shuffled through five different homes before she was four months old, a series of people who didn't want her because she wasn't the 'right kind' of dog or who couldn't keep her.  I don't have her original Craigslist photo anymore, but she looked absolutely terrified and miserable.

Annie was shuffled through five different homes before she was four months old, a series of people who didn’t want her because she wasn’t the ‘right kind’ of dog or who couldn’t keep her. I don’t have her original Craigslist photo anymore, but she looked absolutely terrified and miserable.

You can’t tell me these animals weren’t rescued.  When we found them they were frightened, undernourished, and homeless.  I shouldn’t have to justify having them simply because they didn’t spend any time at a shelter.

There are many ways to save a life.

 

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Home, a new short story by Ashley O’Melia

I’m very pleased to announce that my short story “Home” is featured on The Penmen Review today.  Please go take a peek and let me know what you think!

http://penmenreview.com/ashleyomelia/

This story was inspired by very true events.  I have to think my dear sweet Porkchop, without whom this story and this opportunity would not have been possible.

 

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Why Senior Shelter Dogs Piss Me Off

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This is Leo. He’s eleven years old and very much feeling his age. He has arthritis so bad that you can hear his hips cracking and popping when he walks. He only has three legs, so when you throw in the fact that we have hardwood floors the poor guy moves at a pretty tortoiselike pace. The other day he lost his balance and fell off the porch into the gladiolas (he was fine). Yesterday evening he fell out of the front door and face planted into the concrete porch (again, he was fine).  He has horrible skin allergies that make him greasy and stinky. I have to lift him in and out of the bathtub when it’s time for a wash.  Leo can’t stay in the same room with my other dog, Porkchop, because they are both extremely territorial. He’s going deaf, so he randomly barks at the cats when they walk through his room and scare him.  Or, we think sometimes he’s barking at his own foot.  He’s old; he’s allowed to do that.

Recently, Leo had to have surgery. He’s at that point in his life where he’s covered in tumors. Most of them really don’t bother him, but he developed one that was hanging off his lip. The vet determined he was healthy enough to undergo surgery and removed the one from his lip, one by his ear, and one from his leg while I waited. Half an hour and several hundred dollars later I hefted all 54 pounds of him into the back of my Subaru and headed home.

There is an amazing amount of room back here!  (Don't judge me on my dirty car, just look at his cute tractor bandage instead. :) )

There is an amazing amount of room back here! (Don’t judge me on my dirty car, just look at his cute tractor bandage instead. 🙂 )

I had to give him his antibiotic every day (as well as his allergy pill and arthritis medicine), wrapped in a slice of American cheese. I checked over his stitches on a constant basis to make sure he wasn’t picking them open.  I ran to PetCo and got him this super cool (and expensive) collar to help keep him from scratching at his wounds, and apparently to humiliate him.   I once woke up in the middle of the night with this panicky feeling that I just had to check on him (once more, he was fine).  In short, I fussed.

I must be the meanest dog mommy ever to make him wear this awful thing.

I must be the meanest dog mommy ever to make him wear this awful thing.

Are you exhausted yet?  Cause I’m pretty worn out just thinking about it, and I live it. I absolutely adore my animals, but I’ll still admit that they wear me out sometimes.

But you know what? I’m not going to give them up. I’m not going to dump Leo off at some shelter and tell them I “just can’t take care of him anymore.” He might take up lot of my time, but he needs us. He needs to have my youngest daughter curl up in his bed with him even though he stinks. He needs to know that once the kids have gone to bed, I’ll let his grumpy butt come into the living room and lay in front of the couch while I watch reruns of Doctor Who (he’s not allowed on the couch for safety purposes; see above notes about falling all the time). He needs someone to tell him he’s a good boy just for being there, and to give him a treat just because.

He wouldn’t get that in a shelter. We have some great shelters here in Southern Illinois, and they do their best, but there just isn’t enough time for all that.  How could there be?

So if you’re one of those people that “just can’t handle” your dog when he gets old, don’t be surprised if I tell you just what I think about you.

He’s been part of your family since puppyhood. He’s guarded your house, laid his head on your lap when you were sad, and been a playmate to your children. He not only needs love, but deserves it.

Leo with one of his favorite girls!

Leo with one of his favorite girls!

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