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Archive for the ‘Raleigh’ Category

Some back story: Since our adoption of Finley in February of 2009, Suz’s mother has been sporadically insistent upon us obtaining dog booties to prevent Fin’s feet from getting too hot/cold on the blue stones of the Holy City.  In its intent, the idea is probably a good one, as Fin has encountered a couple nagging blisters and booties may help.

But there have been issues.

#1.  I despise the word “booties.” Say it aloud to yourself right now. Booties. It’s an awful word.  There is no way around it.  I feel insanely dumb even enuciating it.

#2.  Finley, at least in part, belongs to me, a male specimen of human origin.  As far as I am concerned, men don’t dress their regal canine companions in anything more than a bandana.  No sunglasses, no sweaters, nothing.  But especially not booties.

In response to Sally’s requests, I have issued a resounding ‘no’ on numerous of occasions.

But I wasn’t exactly tight on phrasing my decision on what is and isn’t appropriate for Finley to (shudder) wear.  Sally picked up on the fact that I was particularly against booties.  She found a weakness in my position.  And she exploited it.

Fast forward.  I had arrived in Raleigh the day before New Year’s Eve with ogre in tow.  Within seemingly milliseconds of our arrival, Finley noticed a peculiar object under the Christmas tree.  It was a package mysteriously wrapped in both paper and a rope toy.  I’m pretty sure she immediately realized that the whole thing, including the box underneath, was for her, as if the rope didn’t give it away.  After a day of palpable anxiety resulting in several sniffs and nudges of the package, Finley had endured enough waiting.  She wanted the contents of the package.  She would have the contents of the package.

We found her under the dining room table carefully disassembling the paper cocoon that shielded the identity of her ultimate prize from her gaze.  And then, finally, she saw it.

There is a saying that “good things come to those who wait”, and that is probably particularly apt for this situation.  Inside the mystery box resided two pair of baby socks.  Not booties.  Socks.  A loophole had been found.  I peeled away the packaging as Finley eagerly attempted to figure out what type of fun she would soon be having with her gift.

As it turns out, the answer was “not a whole heck of a lot.”  Reluctantly, I placed the socks on her paws while non-verbially giving her a solemn look of “I’m sorry…I’m just..sorry.”  Turns out, she was too.  She was very sorry she had been so anxious to find out the contents of the package.

So there she sat in the middle of the living room, engulfed in some mixture of despondency, annoyance, and humiliation.  Baby socks nestled around her regal beast feet.  It was hard to watch.  But I learned something about my dog that day.  She doesn’t like dressing up.  She doesn’t like wearing ridiculous human things.  She knows better.  And that comforted me.

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This is one of those rare occurrences where I’ll let Suz’s lame placeholder title remain.

I’m not exactly sure what Suz’s uber-productive mentality when I’m in absentia says about our relationship.

Does my semi-slothlike presence hinder her naturally occurring sparks of ingenuity and creativity?

This girl makes lists when I’m gone.  Projects galore.  Baking to excess.

When I arrived in Raleigh after a visit to the Bluegrass on the 30th, her enthusiasm for all that she had accomplished in the days prior was palpable.  A light box had (nearly) been constructed, multiple parties had been hosted, and pounds of deliciousness concocted, simmered, and spiced.  Then I settle into the family home and we spend a day lounging around watching Mad Men.

Was it me?  Did I suck the life out of the room of this productive family?  Or was I welcome reprieve, a counterbalance?

Yeah, I’ll go with that for my own self esteem.

I’ll be making my return to Charleston this afternoon.  Hope you got your shot at partaking in Suzanne’s creativity while it lasted.

Perhaps changing this whole situation should have been my worthwhile New Year’s resolution.

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In my ripe old age of 27, I can probably count on one hand the number of chili dogs I have consumed in my lifetime.  July 4th weekend comprises 3/5 of those instances.  Despite my relative lack of encounters with this American classic food staple, I feel very confident in stating that the dogs at Roast Grill in downtown Raleigh are probably the best you can find in at least the Carolinas, if not elsewhere.

Conspicuous by its old-school projecting sign for “Hot Weiners”, Roast Grill has been operating since the 1940’s with the same tried and true formula:  they serve only hot dogs with a super limited variety of toppings.  Your dog can come with a choice of 4 total toppings:  onions, slaw, yellow mustard, or their famous chili.  No relish, chips or sides are available, no pitchers of iced tea are to be found (a true rarity in the South), and if you have the gaul to request ketchup, a 3 oz bottle of Heinz will set you back a ripe $12.95.  Roast Grill’s success has been predicated upon keeping it basic and they do the basic extremely well.  Adam Richman of Man vs. Food recently had his bout with the Grill’s tasty chili dogs and I was fortunate enough to overcome the Chernobyl-like tragedy that befell my palette thanks to an absurd amount of grape flavored Big League Chew in time to savor its chili goodness.  A must visit if you are ever in the downtown Raleigh area and a place that I now frequent often in my dreams.

Back to roaming Charleston instead of roaming Raleigh tomorrow.

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