Open Thread

This Open Thread Is Mourning The End

Queen bees, I mean the end of the week, the end of today, the end of well…*sniff*…Drag Race, Season 5.

Yes, it was a torrid season, and now it is officially Monsoon season. Now if you are looking at this, confused as a bird in the cheese aisle in the last Piggly Wiggly in town, fret not. While we mourn the new queen, let us celebrate with the old.

Dorian Corey is like a godmomma of drag queens – rest in peace, she went out in style and with a dead body in the closet (el scandal!). Well, Ms. Corey was the peas and carrots, and if you have seen Paris is Burning, then you know. An inspiration for many to come, you may not have agreed with her, but dammit, you were gonna  know her.

So this Friday, lets all bask in the glow of the queen – and kittens, while we bask, let me know: who is your queen, your idol, your inspiration– the one who paved the way? Tell me all about it, dears. Tell me all.

21 replies on “This Open Thread Is Mourning The End”

My weekend adventures have been food-related.

Yesterday I spent basically all day separating pasta, box by box, into portions (in zip baggies). I have SO MUCH PASTA. Eight boxes of spaghetti, six of various shapes. But I won’t overdo pasta now, because each baggie is a meal.

Tonight’s dinner is one baggie of pasta plus part of what I made for dinner last night: I threw a can each of diced tomatoes, peas, corn, green beans, lima beans, mushrooms, yellow squash, kidney beans, and chili beans together, added some red pepper, and cooked it for about an hour. Then separated that from the brothy part (which I saved and am using part of for this meal). Tasty goodness.

Well, Daisy is officially mine. Which is great and wonderful and stressful. She’s a little high strung, which I’m Chalking up (at least for now) to just leaving the shelter which is a stressful experience, and she was only brought to the shelter from an apparently really loving home only two weeks ago, which is an even more stressful experience. As such, she freaks whenever anyone leaves the house, and literally went through the door to her crate the first time we left her in it. Any advice about a dog who is convinced you’re going to abandon her?

I agree with QoB–when you are leaving or returning, ignore her. About 5ish minutes before you have to leave, stop fussing over her/petting her/etc. When you leave, don’t pet her or say goodbye or anything like that. Just walk out the door. This way she won’t have a cue to start freaking out. It was be VERY tough to do at first and you will probably feel like a bad mom but she has learn that you leaving is not a big fanfare type situation.

Likewise when you return, don’t acknowledge any jumping/crying/freak outs. She will get greeted and cuddled when she calms down and sits quietly/quiet-ish. Obviously this takes time and on paper, probably sounds horrible and the exact opposite of what you will WANT to do (cuddle, comfort, etc) but she has to associate attention from you with calmly greeting you.

You can buy a bungee clasp to use to keep her crate door shut or use her leash to clip the crate door shut so she doesn’t escape. Is she destructive when left uncrated? If not, I’d recommend leaving her enclosed in one room. If she does well with that, allow her more access to the rest of the apartment/house. If she has an episode of destruction, she goes back in the room. If she has another episode of destruction after that, she goes back in the crate and starts the process over. This will possibly take several (or more) tries so don’t get discouraged!

A large portion of her anxiety is likely temporary and will abate in a few weeks/months but in the meantime, keep her well exercised. If you have the time before you have to leave for work or wherever, take her for a 20 minute run/jog. A tired dog is a happy dog and a happy dog is a good dog. A nice run will help her release some nervous energy and will make it more likely that she will nap during the day instead of wondering where everyone went without her.

Distraction is another tool. Does she like peanut butter or cream cheese? Buy a Kong, coat the inside with either, freeze, and give to her during the day while you are away. This will only really work if she is food motivated and like freckle said, runs the risk of her associating food with you leaving.

You can leave a radio or the TV on low. The background noise may help to block out noises from outside that stress her out. Just make sure whatever channel you leave it on is not a channel that will play something that will stress her out (i.e. Animal Channel). One of my clients leaves PBS on for her dog. Another leaves NPR on. Something soothing like that.

Are you guys out of the house long enough and have the money to hire a dog walker? Most companies charge $10-15 for a half hour walk which might help break up Daisy’s day and also give her more exercise. Check Yelp reviews and request a consult with the walker before hiring anyone–it will give Daisy a chance to check them out and give you a chance to see if they are a creep or not (unfortunately not everyone is a star dog walker like myself ;-p).

There are pheromone diffusers like Feliway for Dogs and Comfort Zone. I’ve had clients who swear by them but I’ve also had clients who wasted their money and saw no change in their dog. It varies from dog to dog but it is a better alternative to medication and is relatively inexpensive (usually $20-40 online). There are also calming treats that you can buy, but I doubt those last very long and are typically a bit pricey for treats.

A last resort is medication which a vet will need to prescribe. I’m adamant that this be used only for extreme cases in which the dog is so distressed that it is in danger of hurting itself while alone, has extreme depression, etc.

If her separation anxiety is manifesting in barking/whining and you have neighbors, let them know that you are aware of the issues and are working hard to find a solution. Two years ago I had to move out of an apartment that I had only been in for 3 months because some douche bag was not doing ANYTHING about his dog, who would bark literally from the moment he left for work until the moment he returned. I learned from other neighbors that this had been happening for at least 10 months before I moved in. 8 straight hours of barking, sometimes starting at 5:30am and I was about to murder the world. Your neighbors, if you have any, will appreciate the heads up and may even offer advice/help of their own.

I’m sure most of her issues are just a matter of her getting comfortable with a new environment and will diminish quite quickly :)

Ventured down to a gym today and it was an unpleasant experience. They had a weight room with no Olympic bars and no squat cage, so I couldn’t do the programme I had lined up, so I had to improv it, and then I felt like an eejit.

Also! I was the only woman in there, and I couldn’t stop myself giving the side-eye to guys getting ‘spotted’ on the bench i.e.: having their friend lift half the weight for them.

On to the next one…

I’ve never had to audition gyms before (I’m a newcomer to training with anything but hand weights) and I didn’t think it would be this difficult!
And I also am a bit annoyed at myself for being intimated by all the giant men, but I was, so that’s something I’ll have to get over… argh! Women-only gym sounds great :)

It was great. I actually wasn’t too sure about it at first, but the gym was run by the hospital I used to work for (which was also ladies-only), so I got a big discount. But yeah, it didn’t take me long to fall in love with the place. I never thought I was intimidated by all of the giant men at my previous gyms, but clearly I had been because I never felt the need to do serious weight training.

So don’t be too annoyed with yourself! I think a lot of us feel that way, whether we like it or not. :)

Dolly Parton 4 evah!

Also, big news! I may actually be able to move out of my parents house soon! I have a friend who wants to live in the same area as me and who has a similar budget. We are actually looking at places. Ahhhhhh! I might actually move out before I hit 27 and start feeling like a total failure as an adult.

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