I detest having people do work at my house. It’s not only that the money faucet gets turned to “gusher,” but I don’t know how to deal with them. It is very difficult for me to get people to do work for me because I always feel like I’m bothering them with the request, even though it’s their job and how they make a living. Then, once they’re here, I’m never sure what to do. Engage them in conversation? Provide beverages? Offer to go out and get lunch? I’m just clueless and wind up sporting low-grade anxiety until they leave. My house is being painted this week and it’s going to take a couple of days; already I’m beyond the point of wanting it over and done with, and this is being done by teacher friends of mine who’ve done house painting as a second gig for years. Needless to say, I’ve already wondered if I should tell them to take tomorrow of since it is going to be very hot.

And the dogs are NOT helping. Already, I am contemplating adding injury to financial insult and boarding them until the painting is over. I love my dogs, but right now I am ready to sew their mouths shut or spike their water with Stoli and keep them drunk and dazed. They bark. Not a little, a lot. When they hear a noise they bark and these two have the most annoying of small dog barks – the kind that is louder than large dogs and is sharp and resonates like a gong. It hate it on average days and today has been a nightmare. The black dog is currently scoring a C- for barking behavior but the white one has an F. Maybe an F-. Whenever anyone comes into the house he lapses into an uncontrolled fit of barking, though his tail is wagging and he’s jumping up and down gleefully. You’re happy. I get it. Now shut the f**k up.

But he doesn’t. Once he starts, there is no off switch without a forceful “BAD DOG” and perhaps blast of water from the squirt bottle kept handy for such an eventuality. Neither works for more than 60 seconds, but at least it is 60 seconds of quiet. I’ve tried everything in the world to curtail this behavior and nothing has worked. I keep hoping he’ll just blow out his vocal cords like an aging heavy metal vocalist, but no such luck.

So the mood of the day is anxious, liberally splashed with frustration and anger. I want ice cream…