Adventures in Housesitting

Things are changed up a little as Katrina and I are house-and-pet-sitting for some family friends in Chugiak for the week. Though, I suppose the biggest difference is I actually have satellite TV to watch in my spare time, which aside from the baseball playoffs (Go Giants!), I haven’t anyway.

So, we’re staying in a big, lovely house, going to work with less of a commute, and spending some time with a new batch of critters. This is more of a standard setup than the Rixes have (though there are chickens, but only a few low-maintenance-chickens), except these pets all have seem to have their own neuroses.

There’s the not-so creatively named Rex, the elder dog, who is given pills so he doesn’t have seizures, wants to sleep on people (not something I am fond of in a dog) and, as you can see, casually carries shoes (or pillows or whatever) around. He doesn’t chew on them, or want to play tug of war if you try to take them back, or anything destructive, he just likes to have something in his mouth, I guess.

The other dog is Shoni, who’s actually fairly laid back, except when she isn’t and resolves to loudly bark at nothing for twenty minutes. That is particularly unwelcome in the wee hours of the morning. The two dogs get along much better than Vitus and Griff, and are more “dog-sized” rather than “small-bear-sized”, which is a welcome change for me. Any “fighting” is clearly play-fighting, done gently, in slow-motion with great wagging of tails. It’s good fun to watch, until they come galloping over to get you in the action.

Then, there is the young cat, Molly. She’s one of those calicos with a sweet voice and huge eyes for staring into your soul. She’s also one of those cats who likes to drink water out of the sink, which was totally adorable the first time, but has become something of a chore as she ponders the running water, dabs a paw in it, looks at you, bends down, pulls back, tries licking from one angle, then another, all while you stand there like an idiot, wasting water. We’ve taken to nicknaming her “Owl Bait” because of her demands to be let out at night (which is expressly forbidden).

This week, I’ve started on one of my “bucket list” entries, and have begun learning how to play the guitar. Last Tuesday, software developer Ubisoft re-released their guitar-tutorial game, Rocksmith, in a bundle that included an actual Epiphone Les Paul. The package was pricy by video game standards, but a steal considering you get a decent instrument and lessons (My employee discount didn’t hurt, either).

I have to admit to some frustration so far, but skills aren’t developed overnight, and being able to play songs in Guitar Hero on the hardest difficulty does not translate to actual guitar. I’ve been building the calluses, however, (they make it kind of hard to type, actually) and improvement is measurable. And yes, I play left-handed, just like Jimi Hendrix and Paul McCartney. It remains to be seen if I develop a talent for fuzzy, distorted slides or transition to bass and songwriting.


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