DMC 2 – When I Grow Up

 

quotes-about-being-yourself“What do you want to be when you grow up?” I will not grow up. I won’t. Never. Ever. When you grow up, you lose the dreamlike wonder that’s inherent in children; you lose the innocence of seeing the world without any inhibitions or expectations. In a perfect world, we would never have to grow up.

When I was a little kid, I wanted to be a dog. Seriously. Or maybe a cat. I thought how awesome it would be to be covered in fur, to be petted and loved and be able to run really really fast. As I got older, I realized that, alas, I could never be a cat or a dog.

Once I realized that being an animal was out of the question, I wanted to be a jockey. I was one of those little girls who loved horses, and the only thing I thought you had to do to be a jockey was sit on a horse and let him run really fast. That dream was fleeting too…because you also have to be really really short to be a jockey, and while I might not be very tall, by 11 I was already too tall to be a jockey.

In my high school yearbook, I said I wanted to be a writer and a horse trainer. The horse trainer thing will never come to pass. The writer, on the other hand; well, I’m already one of those. The only thing you have to do to be a writer is write, and I do that all the time. Words are my favorite way to express myself.

be-true-be-unique-be-yourself-different-favim-com-1212276What I want to be when I grow up is a work in progress and probably always will be. I have strange interests and quirky humor, nerdy style and really odd ways of seeing the world. I spent a lot of years wondering why I couldn’t just be “normal” or be just like everyone else, why the things that interested me were so different from what interested most of the people around me.

I used to spend so much time trying to “fit in” and to “make” myself do or like things that the people around me did or liked, and you know what I learned? It made me uncomfortable, it made me feel out of place and awkward; and the older I got, the less I wanted to feel that way.

I’ll tell you a secret.

Lean in.

You know what I really want to be when I grow up?

Me.

 

DRIVE YOUR FUCKING CAR!!!

I live 19 miles from my office. Nineteen. 19. Yesterday, I was 20 minutes late for work. So this morning, I left my house 20 minutes earlier. I was 15 minutes late for work. I should explain that I live in Southeastern Massachusetts and I work in Providence, Rhode Island. Rhode Island has the worst drivers – THE WORST DRIVERS – in the country. I tell you this because if you ever find yourself in Rhode Island, you should be forewarned.

welcome-to-riRhode Island drivers are notorious for being completely oblivious to the fact that there is anyone else on the road other than them. They do not use directionals, they will drive across three lanes of traffic to take a turn, they will stop in the middle of the highway for no reason that is apparent to anyone other than themselves. You will look at them and the look on their face is one of complete surprise, as if they’re saying, “Hey…how did I get in this car and where am I going?” As if they just woke up in the middle of the highway with no inkling of how or why they’re there or where the fuck they’re going.

If you are anywhere in the country (believe me, I know this for a fact) and you spot a driver who seems completely incompetent behind the wheel and/or oblivious to anyone around them, I guarantee you that 9 times out of 10, the plate on their car is a Rhode Island one. I have witnessed this – time and time again – in my travels. In New Hampshire, in Washington DC, in Oregon, in Virginia, in Pennsylvania, in New York. I will look at my husband when we’re behind an idiot-driving-a-car, roll my eyes, and say, “Look at the plate.”

It took me an hour to drive 19 miles today. An hour. The car in front of me in the far left lane let 23 cars in front of him. Twenty-three. 23. I counted. Then, after letting all those cars in front of him, he moved over into the middle lane.

By the time I arrive at work, my blood pressure is so high and I am in such a shitty fucking mood that I just want to kill someone.

ri-licThe image to the left is a clue as to the intelligence of the average Rhode Island driver. Do you know what that is? When you renew your registration in Rhode Island, you receive a sticker in the mail with instructions to affix it to your plate on top of the previous sticker. I once asked someone why I see plates with stickers all over them like this, and you know what I was told? “Well, it says to put it on top of the previous sticker…so that’s what we do.” For whatever fucking reason, they interpret “on top of” to mean “above,” and so they place the new sticker above the previous one…and when they reach the top of the plate, they just start sticking them all over the fucking place “because there’s no more room ‘on top of’ the other ones.” Seriously. I am not kidding you, I’m not joking, I’m not trying to make shit up to insult anyone’s intelligence…

dumbdumber[Why do you think Dumb and Dumber was filmed in RI? Did you think they were joking? No…it’s because Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne are typical Rhode Islanders!!!!!!! A large number of them really are that stupid!]

I had a coworker tell me once years ago that all her friends call her Blivvy. Why? “Because when I’m behind the wheel of my car, I’m completely oblivious to everything and everyone around me.” She seemed proud of this fact. Proud. No lie.

In Rhode Island, apparently the far left lane of the highway is the travel lane, even once they cross the line into Massachusetts. It doesn’t matter if the speed limit is 55 – or as it is in Massachusetts, 65 – they will drive 40 in the far left lane. You want to go the speed limit? You can go around them, pass them by way of the middle lane – because they’re not getting out of your way…no matter how long the line of traffic is behind them.

road-rage-620I have seen people texting, putting on makeup, talking with their hands (both of them)…one time – and no, I can’t make this shit up – I was standing outside my previous office on Eddy Street and the driver of a car on Eddy Street had his laptop balanced in the crook of his left arm, which was resting on the window and was typing away as he was driving. NOT. FUCKING. KIDDING.

I saw a woman painting her nails on the highway. I saw a woman with all of her makeup lined up on her dashboard during morning rush hour. PUT YOUR DAMN MAKEUP ON AT HOME OR WHEN YOU GET TO WORK. Seriously.

My morning commute is a bitch. I’m in a foul mood when I get to work, and I’m not a “morning person” to begin with, so it doesn’t make for a pleasant start to the day. The only time my commute is even somewhat bearable is during the summer. During the school year, it seems like there are 10x the number of people on the road during my morning ride. It should not take me over an hour to drive 19 miles.

Science really needs to discover teleportation because it would probably cure my high blood pressure all by itself. Either that, or I’m just going to start running people over. >:(

Discover Me Challenge #2 – When I Grow Up

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Remember how your younger self had big dreams? You knew in your heart of hearts that you would be an astronaut or famous writer or detective or you would stop crime, wearing your favorite blanket cape… Your younger self was free to dream big, without any limitations. Rules didn’t apply to our dreams back then.

For this challenge, let’s go back to those days when we weren’t afraid to dream big, without the limitations. Anything is possible. There are no rules.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

next prompt will be posted Sept. 29th

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I welcome anyone who would like to join in on the fun. If you do decide to participate, grab a button (if you like) or just linkup below!

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paste it inside your blog post as HTML



DMC 1 – Teachers Who Inspire

The original challenge appears here.


futureThe challenge was to write about a teacher who inspired me. To be honest, I almost didn’t participate in this one because there hasn’t really been a teacher who has inspired me. Most of my school years are years I’d sooner forget about than have to revisit. I spent most of my school years being bullied – by the kids, by the teachers, by my mother – so the lessons I learned about people were not really good ones.

But then I started thinking about the things I’ve learned through the years – and how I’ve come to learn them – and realized that the most inspiring teacher I’ve had was Life itself.

Life taught me at a young age that not everyone is a good person, that not everyone will like you, that sometimes the people to whom you are supposed to look up the most can be the ones who end up letting you down the most. At the same time, it’s impossible life2to learn those things without learning their counterparts – that not everyone is a bad person, that not everyone will dislike you, and that sometimes the people you barely notice can be the ones who lift you up the most.

Life taught me that we are all combinations of all of the things we’ve learned throughout our lives, that all of these little Life Lessons contribute to who we are. There are so many things that happened to me when I was younger that could have made me grow up to be an angry, mean-spirited person – and in some ways, those things have shaped me into someone who doesn’t always know how to respond to conflict, who doesn’t trust easily, who isn’t always comfortable in social situations, and who usually says, “I hate people” – but in the end, I treat people the way I’d like to be treated, I try to be a good person, I try (sometimes when it’s not warranted) to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. If someone treats me badly, that is a reflection of them, not me.

life13Life has taught me that our time here is too short to spend it always worrying about what others think of us, that we have to just be ourselves and hope that it’s enough. While the lessons Life teaches us are often the toughest lessons of all, they are very often inspiring as well.

I know this wasn’t really the point of this challenge, but it was the best I could come up with. Haha, I’m sure I’ll do better on the next one;)

Discover Me Challenge

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I am cross-posting this from my friend Nichole’s blog (JustSomeJane.com) so that people will know what the Discover Me Challenges are about.

Once upon a time, not too long ago, my bestie (Skaty) and I used to have writing challenges that truly honed in on our deeper selves. They made us think, reflect, and share. We called these challenges “Discover Me Challenges”. I loved these challenges because not only did I have to dig deep and learn more about myself but I learned so much about my bff.
As if you didn’t already know where this is going… I am happy to say that we are going to resurrect the DMCs (Discover Me Challenges). YAY! I’ve been wanting to do this for so long!!
Every two weeks, starting this Thursday (Sept. 8, 2016), I will be posting a prompt/topic for the challenge. In the past, these topics ranged from: Childhood Memories, Letters to Your 13 Year Old Self, Charitable Organizations / Causes You Believe In, etc. There are no hard rules – just to write your post before the next prompt is up. Easy enough!
I welcome anyone who would like to join in on the fun!! Linkup and discover more about yourself!!

Please feel free to join us!!

Has it really been that long?!

alzheimersI haven’t posted to this blog in over two years. It doesn’t seem like that long ago. Time flies! So many things have changed in the last two years. For one, my mother-in-law Del has become a victim of Alzheimer’s Disease; actually, I should say, our family have become victims of Alzheimer’s Disease – when you really think about it, it victimizes the loved ones around the Alzheimer’s sufferer in more severe ways, mentally and emotionally at least, than the person who actually has the disease. While she moves slowly into oblivion, we have the displeasure of watching it happen, watching her leave – unable to stop it or slow it down, unable to sometimes say goodbye to those little parts of her personality that slip away without us realizing it until they are zoe23gone. For those who know me, you know that Del is the mother I wish my mother had always been or could be, but never was and never will come close to being. To watch such a wonderful woman being slowly stolen away from us this way is devastatingly painful.

We have also, in 2016, lost two of our beloved pets. The first, Zoë, our Siamese cat was lost suddenly in late Winter. I don’t want to go into details – it was sudden, traumatic, and upsetting, and I don’t want to revisit it.

The second, Sassi, our female Boxer whom we brought home as a puppy in 2005, gone at 11 years old on July 2. While not as sudden, still traumatic and upsetting. I have still not recovered – from either of those losses. There are empty spots in my heart where those two beautiful souls resided that I don’t know could ever be filled again.

sassi and petey
Sassi (Petey behind her)

Other than those things – which believe me are enough to keep us busy, sad, upset, traumatized, and hoping for better days – life has been moving along. While we have lost two pets, we also gained another. Almost a year ago, we brought a new dog into our home – a Boxer/Lab mix who was living on the streets of Houston, Texas and was grabbed by a rescue just as he was being walked to the euthanasia room of a Houston shelter.

To think of Petey as lucky is an understatement. To say that he has adjusted smoothly to living in a quiet suburban home instead of as a stray on the streets of a busy, overcrowded city is an overstatement:) He’s bratty and spunky and street-wise. My favorite adjective applied to him was by a friend and coworker – “scrappy.” He is that…and so much more.

My husband spends a lot of his time at his mother’s. His family has decided to do everything they can to keep her in her own home. I don’t necessarily agree that it’s the best move (I think she would get better care by people trained to care for Alzheimer’s patients), but it’s not my call. My husband stays with her from about 6 pm until 2:30 am Mon-Wed, then from 6 pm to midnight on Thursdays. That leaves me CqcFlO7XEAAahaWand the two dogs (Petey and Mickey) home alone for most of the week once I get home from work. It’s lonely sometimes, but my husband does make it a point to set aside what time he does have for me. We have a date night on Friday and/or Saturday nights. The rest of the time I spend doing my own thing – lately, that’s amounted to either reading or playing WoW (or Playstation 4 lol). (I am older in body than I am in mind, believe me;)

My BFF Nichole (HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BITCH!!! <3) is coming to visit me in a few weeks, and I will finally get to meet the beautiful little angel that she brought into the world last year – well, I’ve met her on Skype, but for the first time I will get to actually pinch those chubby little cheeks. Nichole has also motivated me to reawaken this blog a bit since we will be doing some blog writing challenges together. So life is getting better already!

So for now, dear reader(s), I bid thee adieu! <3

That’s Absurd!

chIt is. It absolutely IS absurd! I was prompted to write this post after sending an email to a friend with whom I share most of my “weird thinking” thoughts…

I came across an article on Absurdism today.

From Wikipedia: Absurdism…is a philosophical school of thought stating that the efforts of humanity to find inherent meaning will ultimately fail (and hence are absurd) because the sheer amount of information as well as the vast realm of the unknown make certainty impossible.

I will definitely need to do some more research on this term, but on the surface it sounds like a better fit for me personally than the “agnostic with atheist tendencies or atheist with agnostic tendencies” label  tend to use for myself. Using those terms, I’ve always had a hard time having to deal with people asking <snide voice>”Well, if you’re an atheist, why would you study the Bible/religion?”</snide voice>

“OH…I don’t know…MAYBE BECAUSE I FIND IT INTERESTING?!” (Which I do…even if sometimes it’s only to try to figure out WHY people believe some of the shit that they believe).

camusAbsurdism seems to believe that the meaning of life is the search for meaning…and that there actually IS no meaning. Which makes an odd sort of sense to me. It reminds me of a saying I’ve always liked – “the journey IS the destination.”

In other words, it’s not what happens when you get to where you’re going (theists believe “Heaven” or “Hell” or whatever and atheists, absurdists, humanists, etc. mostly believe “nowhere”), it’s what you experience on the way there that really matters.

Joss Whedon (which is who I was reading about when I found the reference to absurdism) said this:

One of the few times that I really got to sort of say exactly what I think about the world was in the second season of Angel. […] [Angel] said, you know, “Well then, this is my statement. Nothing [we do] matters, so the only thing that matters is what we do.”

​I actually like that. Nothing we do matters, so the only thing that matters is what we do.​

journeyDo we: sit on our thumbs and let other people tell us what to think? – or – explore everything we can BECAUSE we can? I have to choose the latter, if only because my brain is never happy to just sit idle while there is knowledge out there to be had!

Anyway, just dropping some thoughts here:)

Spring Fever

spring feverDo you ever feel like you’re just going through the motions? Wake up, go to work, come home, have supper, go to bed, then do it all over again the next day? The days blend into each other and sometimes it’s hard to tell one day from the next. It’s like you’re on a slow ride through a long, boring expanse of flatlands with nothing to see for miles and miles, just rolling along and letting life steer the car.

Lately, I feel like I’m just rolling along and (NOT) enjoying the ride! I think it’s probably cabin fever. The weather’s nice, but not nice enough to be spending a lot of time outside soaking in the sunshine and fresh air. The ground is spongy and damp, the air is cold and crisp…too cold and crisp to really enjoy it yet. The trees are just starting to bud.

Once the weather breaks, I lose my shoes the instant I come home from work and don’t put them on again until the next morning when I go to work. The soles of my feet are dying to feel the ground underneath. I want to feel the grass between my toes. I want those days where I come home from work and sit out on the back porch with my Kindle, reading until the sun goes down, sleeping with the windows wide open and hearing the birds chirping in the morning (although I can do without the mentally deficient Woody Woodpecker who keeps trying to “woodpeck” our gutters).

sassidirty
Sassi can’t wait to play in the mud after a Spring shower!

I want to sit out in the backyard and laugh at the dogs running in circles, burning off all the energy they’ve had pent up over the winter. I want to breathe in the aroma of cookouts that permeates the neighborhood all spring and summer long. I want those hamburgers that you can only get from a well-seasoned grill in the backyard, with the paper plates and potato salad and pickles and the pitcher of pink lemonade (always pink!).

Ugh, I don’t know whether I feel better or worse after writing all that. LOL! Hurry up, Spring, I’m tired of waiting!

Skewed Perception

I read an article recently in which several sci-fi authors and others had made predictions back in the 60’s as to what life would be like around the present time.

One of the things that struck me was that several of them predicted that our work week would be shorter (hopeful motherfuckers) and that most of our work would be done by machines or robots.

shame2At first, I thought they were sort of right. Machines have made our lives simpler in a lot of ways, and computers pretty much run everything…but then I started thinking of all those third-world people who actually do most of “our” menial labor for pennies a day, and I became ashamed.

What a sad reflection on the human race that we “use” our fellow human beings that way.

A Boxer Named Luke

LukeoutsideMy husband and I volunteered for several years with a Boxer rescue. We provided a foster home for dogs in need of new homes. We had gotten Sassi, our white Boxer, as a pup the year before and decided to try fostering to see if we could handle two dogs.

We got our first foster dog, a deaf white Boxer named Brutus, in the spring of 2006. After a few weeks, he was ready to go to his forever home. Our second foster was Joe, a big brindle boy, and like Brutus, in a few weeks, he was placed in his new home.

We got the call about Luke shortly after Joe left. He’d been brought to a local dog breeder who had a reputation for taking in unwanted dogs. The family who had him had three little boys and said they just didn’t have time for the dog. The boys weren’t very good with him, they used him as a target for their wiffle ball bats. He spent most of his time either outside or in the house in a crate with very little play time with the family. We met the woman in the parking lot of a local zoo (we always teased Luke that we got him at the monkey pen). Our assignment was to evaluate him to see if he was a good match for the rescue program. We met him, evaluated him, and he went home with us. The rescue was surprised, they didn’t think we’d be taking him that day, just evaluating him, but he was such an awesome dog, we couldn’t leave him.

LukehateLuke was a fawn boy, a bit on the thin side when we took him in, but you could tell that while he was small in stature for a Boxer, he was going to be a big boy. He had the typical expressive face of a Boxer, but there was just something about him that spoke to us. Luke was the foster dog who never left.

We had three more fosters after Luke. He tried so hard to assert himself, to prove himself the “alpha,” but when one of the other dogs pushed back, he gave in and for all his trying, he was normally “bottom of the totem pole.” When our third Boxer, Mickey, came to us four years later, Luke again tried to assert himself top dog, but as usual, he gave in. For our part, not wanting him to constantly be low man, we fed him first, let him outside first, did everything we could to enforce to him that he was top dog. Of the three dogs, he had the most typical “Boxer look.” He was tough-looking and rugged, with solid muscles and a thick, strong Boxer head. He was stocky, had the solid look of a German Boxer more than the lankier, slimmer American Boxer.

lukelukeFor all his insistence on trying to be top dog, and for all his looking the part of the rough and tumble pluggy little Boxer, Luke was the gentlest of our three dogs, leading to his becoming the favorite among our relatives and the one who was allowed to mingle with guests when they were over. Sassi and Mickey could be a bit overwhelming in typical bouncy Boxer fashion, which can be daunting for children and elderly people. Granted, they are not dangerous, would never intentionally harm a soul, but their tendency to get excited and their lack of awareness of their own size gave them a tendency to knock people over.

Luke, on the other hand, belying his timid nature, seldom jumped, never bowled anyone over in excitement, and was forever gentle and calm. Kids loved him, grandparents loved him. He would stand with his head down letting you scratch him behind the ears or rub between his shoulders. He was our gentle giant in a small package.

LukeLuke’s beautiful fawn coat was a light golden brown in summer and a gorgeous red-brown in winter. His expressive big brown eyes were set in a black mask, his chest and the tips of his toes flashed with white. He was thin when he first came to us, but over the next few years, he filled out into a little ball of solid muscle.

A bit of a scare around age two when he had a small mast cell tumor removed from one of his back legs left him with a dark-colored “tattoo” and was the only health problem we encountered with him until he was diagnosed last year with canine degenerative myelopathy. We began noticing a slight underturn of his rear feet when he walked, a little stumbling now and then, but during his annual checkup in the summer, the vet told us it was probably nothing to worry about. We were more concerned with his sudden difficulties eating; he would often regurgitate his food shortly after. We began feeding him three times a day and sitting him upright afterwards for a short time to let his stomach settle. As the months passed, he continued to lose weight, and his gait continued to worsen. He was finally diagnosed with DM in the fall. The prognosis was not good. DM tends to move quickly, and this was true in Luke’s case. He continued to lose mobility in his rear legs, tended to stumble down the few stairs to the backyard at potty time and by the time winter arrived, he needed assistance getting up and down the stairs.

lukeoutside2The final few weeks of his life were hard for us, watching our “big brown boy,” as we called him, become weaker and weaker and lose control of his legs. He paced continually, the tops of his toes scraping against the floor, bleeding. We’d come home every day to urine and feces in the kitchen. Frustrating, annoying, but easily cleaned up. When we started finding blood from his toes from one end of the kitchen to the other, we knew the time was coming when we’d have to make a decision on whether to continue allowing him to live like that or to let him go.

My husband came home one day to find the usual mess, but this time Luke was laying in it and didn’t get up, barely lifted his head to even look at him as he cleaned it up. At suppertime, it was becoming necessary for one of us to stand beside him and hold him in place so he didn’t fall over. My husband had to carry him outside to the yard and hold onto him so he could relieve himself without stumbling. This was when he knew it was time. It was a painful decision to make because he was still mostly alert, still trying to lead a normal doggy life, but his rear legs just were not cooperating with him. We could tell that it was frustrating to him, trying to walk with his legs going in different directions and not doing what he wanted them to do.

lukefaceOn Thursday, February 20, 2014, my husband called the vet and made an appointment for that Saturday. I took Friday off from work and spent the entire day in bed with all three dogs and the cat snuggled around me, and on Saturday morning, we took the long, solemn drive to the vet. Luke lay on my lap, wrapped in his favorite fuzzy blanket, hugged tight to me while I spoke softly to him, told him what a good boy he was, thanking him for being in our lives and for giving us all he had over the years, telling him that it was okay, that we’d see him again someday.

On Saturday, February 22, 2014, we said goodbye to our “big brown boy,” stroking him, kissing him, and speaking softly to him as he left this world and headed to the Rainbow Bridge to wait with our other departed pets. We watched the light go out of his big brown eyes, tears streaming down our faces as we said goodbye.

Goodbye, my sweet brown boy. We miss you:(

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