Saturday, December 30, 2006

Emma the Dog

For those who know me knew that a post about Lil Emma was inevtible!

"My little old dog, a heartbeat at my feet." Edith Warton

I love this quote. I know it may seem silly, but I feel priveleged to own this precious little dachshund (aka Emma the Dog.) Chad and I have this small little animal that lives with us, and sleeps with us - we feed her, bathe her, walk her, play with her. I know some people feel that attributing human characteristics to dogs is wrong, but it is so hard not to. When you spend years caring for and communicating with a dog, it's hard to keep that "me master, you dog" mindset.

One theory that I've been developing over the past few months touches on why we tend to view domesticated animals as if they have human characteristics. For most children of my generation (I'm 23, who the heck knows what this generation is called) we were raised on Disney movies. We watched the trials and triumphs of the 101 Dalmations. We sang along with a young lion cub who just couldn't wait to be king. Our bodies were racked with sobs as we watched the final scenes of Homeward Bound. These animals spoke English to one another, they understood love, fear, loyalty, compassion, and joy just like I did. Sure, I've never seen a singing hyena or tap-dancing rat in real life, but I have seen and experienced the joy that comes from the unconditional love of a puppy.

When my twin sister and I were in 3rd grade, my parents got us an Australian Shepherd/Border Collie puppy from the Houston ASPCA. When my parents finally had him put to sleep last summer at 14 years old, it was like losing a little brother, not a dog.

When we took Emma to get spayed, I couldn't even bear to watch the Vet Tech take her back into the surgery room. I went out to the car and sobbed as Chad finished the paperwork. Recently, we flew home for a few days and had Emma boarded at a local kennel. I wasn't strong enough for this either - Chad had to do the dirty work of dropping her off. I would much rather have my last image of Emma getting scrubbed down for surgery in a shower cap and backless robe, or running around with her pals at the kennel, than the reality of her frightened brown eyes looking into mine with such a helpless look.

It is past 10:00pm and I'm getting delirious so I should probably cut this short.

From the Brooks family to yours, here is Meredith, Chad, and lil Emma signing off.

Friday, December 8, 2006

Will Work For Mexican Food

I first recognized my addiction four years ago when I was on my way home from college for Christmas break. Sure, I was excited to see my family and friends - but what made me really put the pedal to the metal was the thought that each mile towards Houston put me one mile closer to Taco Cabana.

I cried when we moved from Dallas to Houston. Was it because I would miss my friends? Not really, I could always make new ones. Was it because I was moving away from my older sister? No...I knew she would visit eventually. What kept me awake at night was the fact that I would be leaving my beloved Taco Bueno.

While I was in school in Ruston, Lousiana my love for mexican food further blossomed. I had three great restraunts at my fingertips - Tia Maria's, Cactus Jacks, and my personal favorite Old Mexico. Now, Old Mexico was not for those with weak stomachs. The only one brave enough to steel their stomach and venture into Old Mexico with me was my cousin Emily. We knew there was always a risk of contracting food poisoning or malaria, but boy were those cheese enchiladas worth it.

Here in Lexington, Chad and I have tried scoping out some of the local mexican digs. Chad knows that I could eat mexican food 3 meals a day, 7 days a week and still not satiate my lust for cheese enchiladas. And he is ok with that. That is just one of the reasons why I love him.

So, for now I will spend my days working at the office and my nights searching for Lexington's best cheese enchiladas.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" used to warm my heart and soul, but now it just kind of gnaws away at me. While I once applauded Sears for their donations and generosity to the families in need, I now wonder if being philanthropic is simply the next generation of advertising campaigns.

I'm still a little concerned that I would much rather watch America's Funniest Videos (my favorite show of all times) in which segment after segment is shown of people getting injured.

This weekend I have started a new fitness regimen. I am training for a marathon - and these new regimens usually start out with a bang and then fizzle out as the weeks go by. I've taken my poor little miniature dachshund on so many walks around the neighborhood and in the park that I have run her ragged. I have so much fun exercising with her - but I often forget how teeny her little legs and lungs are. Chad always reminds me that she isn't a golden retriever. With or without my little exercising buddy, I plan to be ready for the marathon by next October.

Friday, November 24, 2006

The Birth of Mere-Maw

I've had many nicknames throughout my life: Mere, Mer-Mer (what my niece affectionatley calls me) Mersey (a term my dad most often uses...sometimes even taking it as far as "Mersey Wersey from Jersey")...but none of them ever stuck.

However, before we were even dating, my husband coined me with the nickname "Mere Maw." Now, this was a new one for me, yet perhaps the most appropriate. I've always had a penchant for going to bed early (8:30 or 9:00), some of my favorite publications are Reader's Digest, Southern Living, and Ladies Home Journal, and I've always had an affinity for Luby's.

As I said, Chad gave me this new nickname before we were even dating. One night, four years ago, Chad and I went out with some friends to a haunted house. After we finished traipsing through the haunted house, we decided to go to one of our friend's house to watch Monthy Python and the Holy Grail. At this point, it was about 9:30 and my eye lids were getting pretty droopy. Putting me in front of a movie late at night is like putting a baby in a bed with a pacifier. But, since I was with a group of friends (and a boy that I had the hots for) I told myself to stay strong, stay alert, and for goodness sake's, stay awake. Fifteen minutes into the movie, I was knocked out and snoring like a 60 year old man with a sinus infection.

I awoke, startled at the sound of their collective laughs. Above the sound from the movie and the hum from the air conditioner, my snoring had rattled throughout the room like the buzz of a high powered chainsaw. Yes, I was embarrased, but I was also kind of relieved that my secret was out. I simply cannot function past 10:00pm. Chad made a crack about "Mere Maw" and it stuck - Chad and my friends have been using that term for four years now.

Fast forward two years later to our honeymoon in Charleston, South Carolina. As Chad was taking a shower, I browsed through a few of the complimentary magazines that were in our hotel room. I was engrossed in an article when Chad came out of the bathroom. "We're on our honeymoon and my wife is reading AARP magazine!" he exclaimed, shaking his head in shame. "But there is a fabulous article on Cybil Shephard!" I tried to explain. He just didn't understand. That is one of my favorite things about Chad - even though he is four years older than me, he keeps me young.