Sunday, July 12, 2020

nothing to update

It has been rather quiet. Nothing really to speak of updates wise. I've played DnD a couple times, I've got a lot going on at work but don't want to talk about it.

Brodie continues - we've closed off the living room with a baby gate and she stays in here. I have slept out here a few times, but found it was alright sleeping in my bed, without worrying about her. She sometimes wakes up and paces, but falls down safely and goes back to sleep.

Only a couple of times she's cried out for help. The other night she got her head stuck between the chair and side table trying to get something from back in there, and then couldn't get out. It was comical and not the end of the world.

Each day, I'm happy to wake up to see her, and allow for her to let me know when it is she wants to go out, and she wants to eat, and whatever else she requires.

We ordered delivery on Friday night, it was just Doug and me, and I had a rough week, didn't feel at all like cooking. We even ate at the dining table, with the dog at our feet, and it was bittersweet in a lot of ways.

I wanted Thai food. Doug has been doing a lot of our cooking, and I'm very sick of everything he's making. His Keto recipes are often tomato or chili-related. And I'm longing for other flavors.

So after the rough week, delivery was where it was at.

Our usual Thai place closed in February for kitchen and plumbing work, and they have not opened. Another really good place does not deliver and one of our cars is in the shop, so we were really in need of delivery.

I've been burned by choosing places we've not tried. The last time we ordered out it sucked and I was very sad. I was about to give up when I found a place that not only was open, but they were delivering. The online reviews were pretty great.

Can you really screw up pad thai? Let's find out.

Ordered the food and it arrived 20 minutes early and was outstanding. I thought I might cry. I'll order from there again for sure.

Literally that's the most exciting thing to report.

Oh - I know recently I had mentioned that our lease was maybe up/expiring. My property manager negotiated with the seller that we can get a lease extension to March 2021. Turns out, we signed our lease to July 2021, but they didn't.

So they would like to put the house on the market in the spring. And we're happy to stay here and not have to move until then.

It was my property manager's responsibility to make sure all the buttons were buttoned up, and she admittedly blew it.

I'm happy that it all worked out. I do not want to be looking for a place right now.

I always look at Zillow for house rentals, I'm like a bad girlfriend with a wandering eye. Got a good boyfriend, I don't need to stray... but... look at this yard.

We love living here, it is a great house. It has its issues but on the whole, this is a fantastic little neighborhood, and I'm just happy and content. I wouldn't see myself here in this house forever, but for the right now, it is just right.

My former boss has to move from her place by the end of August. She needs to try and keep her son in his middle school, and our neighborhood actually is part of that school district location. She and her little one came by today after looking at a place literally around the corner, and we had just the nicest visit. I had bubbles on the porch from the birthday party back in June, and her son loved blowing bubbles. He loves Brodie, but she was very very asleep inside, so we ate cookies, drank lemonade, and just had a nice visit.

It would be nice if she was around the corner. I would love to be able to have them stop by or me stop by there, and just have visits and fun.

And then we'll move. Who knows where to.

In the meantime, bubbles on the front porch, shrimp on the grill.



My friend R's son calls grilling "fire food," so I laughed a little as I made these fantastic shrimp skewers on the grill tonight. Fire food indeed. And they were amazingly delicious.

Thursday, July 02, 2020

Pupdate

We survived the night! Here's our girl wearing her fancy new shoulder harness, fast asleep.

Geoff got home from work, and as I thought, Brodie woke up to see him.

We all three went outside. I showed Geoff how the harness works well with helping her down the stairs, and is a good rescue for if she wipes out on the way back up.

Surprisingly, she made it up the stairs without help. Geoff was astonished. She sometimes gets a running start - and if you're not right there to either put hands under her bum or grab the collar when she wipes out, she can tumble down very easily, and then she wants nothing to do with going up the steps.

We came in, Geoff got a snack and a beer. Some nights he watches wrestling when he gets home and last night was one of those nights. He takes our living room chair right up in front of the TV, and puts the sound on 2 so it is just barely audible. Doug and I are both usually asleep, and our bedroom is right off the living room, so he doesn't want to disturb us.

It's all rather thoughtful.

Since I was planning on sleeping on the couch last night, just to make sure B was gonna be okay, he was a little put off by that. Wrastlin' and all. Don't want to share it with your mom. I get it.

But I told him to watch, I wouldn't ask a bunch of questions or make any commentary on his show. Doug makes fun of him for watching wrestling, but I really don't care. Have a fandom. Shit, I sure as hell have some.

 He said it is over two hours and won't be done until after 2:30am, but I told him I was awake, and I was writing blog entries, so yeah - go ahead. Watch. I don't care. Have fun.

I liked Chris Jericho's Maple Leaf jacket for Canada Day (even if I didn't quite recognize Chris Jericho). Made me think of Don Cherry and his Hockey Night in Canada suits! So even though I don't know anything that's going on with wrestling, I at least knew him.  Geoff and I enjoyed Private Party as the tag team contestants to watch.

Maybe I know slightly more than I am admitting. Hmmm.

Geoff went downstairs and Brodie was already fast asleep. I was anticipating she'd get up to do her walk abouts, but she didn't so I shut the lights and got comfy. She slept through the night, and at 7am I heard Doug wake up and go in the kitchen, and she started eating some food. We made an almost solid 5 hours of sleep! I felt pretty well rested, she and I went outside where it was already blazing hot.

So this was good. I may sleep in my own bed tonight, and let her be in here solo. She is using her bed, she has food and water. She has not tried to tip over the baby gate. I think she'll be alright on her own.

I hope she'll be alright on her own. We shall see.


A Dream about Owen and Parker

A few nights ago, I had a really wacky dream. I shared it with my sister and friend Virginia, and they both howled laughing at me.

I was driving from Boston to DC, and my car broke down somewhere. I pulled my car into a rest area to be safe. I knew what was wrong with the car, and decided that I just needed to get to an auto parts store and get the thing I needed, so I called for an Uber. The Uber arrived, and there was another car in the parking area, and these two guys came out and said that they needed a ride to the auto parts store too. Could they come with?

One of them was my former neighbor, I'll call him Parker. The other was Owen Wilson. Owen indicated they were brothers, and his brother was kind of a dick so he apologized up front for any shit the guy was shoveling. The Uber driver and I shrugged our shoulders.

What the heck, sure, you can come with.

The Uber driver was super excited to drive us to the auto parts store. His brother owned the store! He decided he wasn't even going to charge us for the trip, he was that excited to take us.

He said that he wanted to show us the best view in all the city! Could he drive us to this overview, and show us the city?

Owen Wilson and I were amenable to the idea, but Parker was griping and complaining that he just wanted to get this all over with. Owen declared that 2/3 rules, so the driver takes us to this overlook very much like Mt. Washington in Pittsburgh only I think we are looking at Boston or something. I recognize the buildings, it is beautiful and shiny and glowing. Owen and I are loving this.

Parker is wandering about complaining that this is a bunch of bullshit. At the overview, there was a billboard with three llamas on it, and the way that their eyes were on their bodies it looked like it was one llama with six eyes.

I started laughing and Owen Wilson asked me what was funny - so I showed it to him. He thought it was hysterical. Who made this billboard! How did it make it through creative and out into the world. I asked him if he knew about Peppa Pig. He didn't, so I explained how she is a cartoon for kids, but the way she is drawn her two eyes are on one side of her face, so someone drew a rendering of her with four eyes.

Behold.

Owen couldn't believe this and he and I were just howling over the six-eyed llama and Peppa Pig. Parker was getting more and more irritated, so the Uber driver took us to the auto parts store.

Parker had a notebook, and was scribbling things in it the whole time that Owen Wilson and I were just having a blast. We got to the auto parts store, and I had to pee pretty badly so I asked where the bathroom was. The employees were slightly reluctant to let me go, but Owen was the man of the hour, and said that they should let me pee. We were both about to spend a lot of money there, and the Uber driver agreed. Yes yes! The bathroom is okay for you to use go ahead!

The bathroom was a disaster. A complete disgusting mess. The door was labeled "Women" but the two stalls were both men's bathrooms with shitty urinals in them, full of vomit and shit. I had to go so bad that I just cried and went. I then realized the toilet paper roll had been peed on by someone and was a total crusty disgusting mess. I was stranded. I could just shake it off, and pull my pants up but I really needed TP.

Owen saved the day by finding me some clean TP and Parker started screaming that I sucked so bad. "Christine is the WORST, she can't even just go to the bathroom without needing help!"

"But dude, did you see the bathroom?"

"Fuck you - you suck, you're the worst. I can't believe we have to spend time with you. God I hate you."

"Now now," Owen intervened, let's just pay for our stuff and go back to the cars.  My feelings were hurt because honestly, dude, the bathroom was truly the worst. I wasn't the worst. How could anyone tell me I was the worst?

We went back to the car, and I picked up Parker's notebook, which was full of drawings and comments about how he was angry Owen was spending so much time with me. He just wanted to go home, and he didn't understand the llama thing, and we were making fun of him for not getting it, and that's kind of where the whole me sucking so badly came from.

"Did you think we were making fun of you for not getting the llama thing? I'm so sorry. We weren't making fun of you? I am so sorry we didn't explain it to you and why it was so weird if you didn't initially see it. Oh Parker."

I was so sorry. I never meant to hurt his feelings. I didn't realize that Owen and I were just getting along so well, and he was being left behind.

Uber driver took us back to our cars, it was a hairy drive through a divided highway in what looked like Mattapan or Roslindale in Massachusetts or something. It looked familiar to me, but I knew there was no way I was where my mind thought I was.

We got our cars running, Parker and I made our peace and we all said goodbye.

I drove down the highway and a half hour or so later my phone rang and it was the Uber driver checking in to make sure I was alright. Owen called too - he and Parker wanted to make sure everything was great.

I had a big smile on my face that these guys were checking in, making sure I was alright.

By this time next year I won't be here

Right now, I'm waiting for the dog to wake up.

Doug and I went and bought her a harness tonight, which for some reason we thought would be longer and go further down her torso. It just goes around her shoulders.

She is confused by it. I cannot say as I blame her.

We bought it to help us lift her when she wipes out. I think we also need something for her hips/back legs. But this shoulder harness is not bad... she's tolerating it, and we went down the front steps with great ease at about 8pm. We'll give it a go.

I want to go to sleep, personally. I'm kind of wide awake, but also very much wanting to sleep.

She's been out cold for hours. You know what will happen right? I'll fall asleep and she'll wake up and begin her pacing grind. So I may as well just wait.

I am on vacation, so it isn't like I have to get up and work at 8:30am. I can do whatever. I can drink gin and tonic in my underpants on the couch while waiting for her to wake up.

Nothing's gonna stop me.

Last night I decided to put her in the living room and sleep out here with her.

If you can call it sleep.

I waited for Geoff to make it home. He said the car was acting badly on the way to work, and I was kind of anticipating the possibility of having to go pick him up. He works 20 minutes up 95 from us, and gets out of work at midnight.

He got home at 12:30 and I was asleep at 12:45.

Brodie woke up at about 2:45am, and did her pacing thing.

I just let her pace and pace. The light was on, she could see where she was. It was very calming and nice.  Every time she walked past me, I'd rub her back, and she'd stop a little for the scritches.

I lost count at the circling around the coffee table at 124.

Not kidding.

Her food and water are in here, so she was stopping to eat and drink in her route. Walk, stop, munch, lick lick lick, walk.

Eventually she laid down, next to me. I rubbed her shoulders and back, and we went back to sleep.

She got legs stuck under the couch so when she woke up at 4:45am, she was unable to stand. And she barked when I tried to help get her out of her predicament. She was frustrated, I was frustrated.

Harness will probably help with that situation when it happens too.

Eventually she got up and we went outside. And then came in and promptly collapsed back to sleep.

I'm kind of impressed that my phone was able to take this picture in what I thought was too dark of a room, but there she is. The light hadn't started to filter in here yet, so I'm happy to have caught this of her.

Last night I had a lot of waking time during the wee hours. I played games on my phone while she paced. When she came in and passed out, I also passed out.

Doug got up at 8, puttered about, made coffee and kept quiet for me as I was very asleep but I got up, crawled into the bed and slept until noon.

All told, I got plenty of sleep last night, just not all at once!

Oh - and there's this.

One year ago yesterday, my boss' son turned 12 and he asked for a play date with "Miss Brodie."

This came up in my Facebook Memories, and I had to smile. I can't believe this is the same dog that I'm dealing with now.

The stick, the running, the excitement, the everything. I'm so missing this.

I'm also loving that Josh wanted to have her come over, and it was his actual birthday wish for me to brring her over.

They had such a wonderful time with her. These are the fantastic memories that I'll never lose of her. I'm glad that the boys who can't have a dog had times like this with her here in Maryland. I'm so in love with our relationships, and how she was so cared for by this family when Doug's dad passed away. It is so great to have a dog in the middle of everything in life. I love JW and the boys, and the love they have had for this pup.

Not the same dog but yes the same dog. And we love and care for her fully.

I think of the Guster lyric of "By this time next year, I won't be here." This time last year, it was a different dog. And this time next year, we probably won't be having her with us. I so very doubt she will make it through the summer. I'm amazed she's made it through June.

By this time next year....

We actually won't be here either, as our lease will be over July 2021. We will either be moved or packing to move at this point.

Will there be another dog in our lives? We've had a dog or two (and even three!) at the same time since 1994, so I can't honestly imagine not having a dog at all but sometimes I feel like a dog break may be in order.

Part of me was thinking it might be a good idea to just get a new dog now while we are on quarantine and telecommuting entirely, but Doug said to not think about that right now.

We'll see where we are next year.

Tonight, we just need to go out and pee at some point.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Hello 5am

I took this picture a few days ago.
She gets herself into some mighty amusing situations.
I decided to give up. I am pretty wide awake. For the last hour I've been very awake and I decided to come here to the living room, write, and exorcise the sleepless demons.

My nights are peppered with spans of time when I am awake, and as outlined here repeatedly it is usually dog related. I usually can fall back asleep but today's struggle made me just give up and get up.

Last night I fell asleep at 10:22 according to my fitbit (I believe it) and somehow, Brodie didn't wake me up until 3:50.

I did have a dream that she was walking around the house and Jess was here, and took the dog out for me, so I could stay in bed. In my dream I was awake listening to the dog walk around and Jess get up and talk to her ever so sweetly, and go outside.

We've reached peak level weird when you're dreaming about taking your dog out instead of waking up to take your dog out, don't you think?

Brodie can get up on her own if she's sleeping on the dog bed, but if she rolls off or moves about (see photo) and gets in a weird place where the paws meet hardwood, then she's got to have some help.

I woke up before she had the opportunity to wake me up. She was on her dog bed, her head was up and she was looking around the room. I waited, watching her as she got ready to get up and allowed her the time to go get food and water, and pace a little bit before getting my shorts on and taking her out. Some days I ignore her when she does her walkabout, but last night she didn't poop or pee when we went out at about 10pm, so I figured she may be in need (and I was right).

Outside at 4am, the sky is usually pinkening (which doesn't turn out to be an incorrectly spelled word according to spell check here, who knew?) but not so far today. It is very cloudy out. The grass is very wet from yesterday's severe downpours and the overnight dew, and it already feels like we'll see more of the same today even at this early hour.

I stood and looked up the yard to the east, where the sun is usually starting to show the outline of the trees and houses on Darrow, watched her putter about in the still dark, and realized that the sound of the Beltway is absent at 4am on a Sunday morning.

One of the things I notice about our neighborhood is out of place cars. There's been one sitting out in front of Betsy and Tony's house, and I think there is a guy sitting in it, can't quite tell from here. We get a lot of Uber drivers in the area (reminds me I should write out the dream I had about Owen Wilson and the Uber trip) waiting for their next call. There was a really nice car in front of our house a few nights ago, and the guy was listening to music and talking on his cel phone in speakers very loudly having a fight with what I can only assume was his significant other. It was one of those situations where I couldn't quite hear words but the tone was unmistakable. He saw me with the dog, and drove off quickly.

Brodie is fast asleep again, her body is off the dog bed but her legs are on it. She will probably need help getting up when she wakes up next.

Because I'm sometimes awake at this hour I've wondered where the best place is to go watch the sun rise. In Massachusetts, if I were so inclined a drive directly east by about 5 miles would take me to Plum Island or Salisbury Beach, and a short walk along the sand could bring me to any number of vantage points to sit, sip some coffee, and watch.

But around here, I have no idea where to go. For a sunset, I know where to go but for sunrise I don't feel like I have a real sense of direction or best place to park and gawk. Aside from actually driving 45 minutes to Annapolis or 2 hours to Rehoboth Beach, I have no sense of the best vista. I asked the local hivemind on Twitter, we'll see what they come back with.

Maybe Doug will also be awake, and we'll find ourselves just ... awake. And I can suggest a trip. And if he doesn't want to go I would just go. Beats sitting here on the couch listening to the nothing.

Although, sitting here listening to the nothing isn't so bad.

I may go back to bed, I don't think I've had enough sleep even though 5 hours is pretty great. Getting close to 5 hours of sleep feels fulfilling and normal, instead of the usual 90 minutes to 3 hour stretches interrupted through the night. If this was a work day I'd just declare it morning and go make the coffee and start reading the emails. There are 5 unread emails in my inbox. I am not reading them.

Oh but I just did, and there was an emergency page at 11pm last night (we all get an email notification even if we're not on call). I was not on call, so I trust the person who was handled it beautifully.

The sky is much lighter now, the heavy cloud cover has some breaks in it, and the sun is filtering in making everything pink. The blue sky with the clouds makes me think of Joe Jackson's "you dress in pink and blue just like a child" for some reason. Maybe it won't be a total washout weather wise today. And maybe it would have been a good day to go see a sunrise.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Wanna Get Away?

I am restless with wanderlust filling my heart and soul.

It is the end of June and I haven't really gone anywhere "fun" since going to see Guster in Burlington Vermont. I went to see my parents in March, but that was lovely duty, not .... "fun."

Oh, and yes - we did go to West Virginia for our anniversary but compared to anniversaries past like Quebec City and Skyline Drive, one night in rocking Elkins WV is not really something I'd put in the "that was epic" category.

My brain feels like mush, and I'm in a fog. I know it is because I'm just cooped up. And yes, my privilege is showing, I know. We don't travel fancy, we just go some places, so I'm not whining because no one is taking me on a $15,000 Alaska cruise. I am whining because I can't just up and go places that I want to. When I want to.

The country is "opening up" some, but we are not. We have been kind of disgusted by what we've seen in other people's behaviors, how no one wants to follow rules. How restaurants require reservations but people still show up and act like they are entitled to be allowed in because things are open.

I've been annoyed at the grocery store when people won't follow the instructions to go down the aisles the right directions. I've been irritated that people are acting like they are just plain exempt.

I do not know why it is so hard for people to follow the rules. Not so much for themselves, but for others.

One of the things I've been going back to over and over is the "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." The classic Golden Rule. The basic tenet of so many faiths and even the non-faithful can ascribe to this one. It is a no brainer. That and the Mosaic coin flip of whatever is hurtful to you, do not do to any other person, both of which ring in my ears.

While there are so many people who act like they are being "muzzled like a mad dog," according to one recent Floridian, I can't go out there.

But.

I wanna.

I need some time up in the Boston Area. My sister and I want to fly down to Florida and help her bestie move into her new place, once she knows where the new place is when her divorce is settled, and after she recovers from back surgery that's happening Monday. Linda wants for us to be there the day the divorce is settled, throw her into a car, and take her somewhere like Key West for a couple days. And then come back, move her into her new place, and get her next phase set up.

Most of all, I really want to go to Oregon, in the worst way, to go see Aaron and Serena when they have their baby. Baby is due at the end of July. Go see the new boat that he has put so much time and effort into. Go to the west. Just... go.

Flights are so cheap right now that I feel like we just need to buy tickets, and plan on going. Just do it. Just go to Oregon. Pick a week. A long weekend. Something.

Doug's mother will be moving into a new condo (hopefully) at the end of August so that kind of coincides with probably what's going to happen with Ginger's divorce and the best time for us to go to Oregon.

I do have to say, right now, we have money for the first time in a long time because we have been literally going nowhere and having no fun. Each week, I see our bank balance going up. And it is delightful. Now I know how people who don't do anything feel.

I like knowing that at any moment I can actually buy a plane ticket, rent a car, and have hotels ... without sweating it, it's a great thing.

I just have to make sure we don't shoot all the cash out the window having fun, once we can.

And until then, I can pine for just wanting to go out to a restaurant.


Sunday, June 21, 2020

Grandma

My neighbors have a little baby girl who loves my dog, is always happy to see me, and confuses waving with clapping so when mommy or daddy tell her to wave to me, she claps. 

And I take that as a compliment. They try to correct her, but no! Please, allow the child to clap for me. Thank you very much. I feel appreciated, welcomed with aplomb to the fence to say hello, chat, and pet the cat.

Today is her first birthday, and they had a little party for her. During the time of pandemic, it's hard to have little gatherings but they did an interesting job of organizing things.

Over the course of 2 hours, in 20 minute increments, people came over and socially distanced outside to share some coffee and donuts, and celebrate the baby.

If there was a little overlap, like we had with the family before us, there was a little chatting and then the "shift change" happened. We entered through the front gate, they exited through the back gate. It worked very well. The donuts were good but it was much more sugar than I've had in months so I am feeling a little logy right now.

She's a really happy baby, T and B (mom and dad) say she's so easy going, and mellow, and fun. They're living the happy new parent life. I remember what this was like with our first, and there were ups and downs, and hard days of sleeplessness and teething, ear infections and other drama, but the first year is so full of momentous occasions and development that is is lovely to see a little human just happening.

It is so cool to watch a little human becoming.

I remember when we told our parents we were going to be having a baby. We had only been married a couple of months when I accidentally got pregnant. Doug and I were really young and dumb, but both of us were like "cool cool cool, alright. Here we go."

My mother was absolutely thrilled and beside herself.

Doug's mother flipped out. She was actually angry at us.

Very on brand for her, but I think she was so upset at being "turned into a grandma." We did this to her. And she was not happy. Gary, for the record, was tickled. He was ready for the role. And while my mom was all for it, she was not having it. She just got the second kid out of the house and into college, and here we were moving her out of new empty nest mode and into grandma mode.

How dare we.

When I was in pregnant, I didn't want anyone with me but Doug when we'd be having the baby. I especially didn't want her around.

The day that Jess was born, we ended up having a very active labor and delivery room. One of Doug's coworkers and his wife were also expecting, and they were at the hospital campus for a doctor visit so they came to hang out during the not-too-much-happening part of things, and we had a great visit. Another friend came because she had just had a baby 6 months earlier, and she knew I'd need the moral support (she was right). Carrie was there, and my roommate from college, Bonnie, came up. At one point during the not-too-much-happening part of things, Doug and Bonnie left to go to Burger King because Doug was starving.

I wasn't allowed to eat anything, and it pissed me off a little, I wanted everyone to suffer with me. Ha.

I called all my friends, but didn't want my mom or mother in law with us. My mom wanted to be there, and I shut her out. She accepted it, but I'll tell you what, I bet it hurt her (she's never said) and it was probably very unfair and selfish of me to not have her participate in something she was longing to participate in.

She had a bag packed and ready to go for when I told her it was time, and she waited for us to call her when it was over, and then she and my dad made the trip up from NY to Massachusetts. They were there early the next morning.

We called Doug's parents, his mom was very accepting of the fact that the baby was born. "It's a girl," we told her. "Okay great, here's your dad," was her reply. We told Gary all about it and how great she was and all of the stats and details about Jess.

Once we got home from the hospital, my sister came up for a couple of days so she could have new auntie bonding time with the behb.

We called Doug's parents and I asked when they were going to come up to see their grandchild. Their first grandchild.

His mom said "oh, I don't know, maybe end of September. Then we'll go drive up into Maine and then head back to Pennsylvania. We don't want to be in the way or anything."

No, you don't want to be grandma, is what I heard. You'll come to New England to see leaves and shit, and seeing your grandbaby is like a second thought whatever.

Basically, That would be close to three months. Three months of the baby's new life, with all the changes and milestones. Three months of us being new parents that you are disinterested in participating with us on. I handed the phone to Doug and went to cry.

I heard him say to her "What the hell is wrong with you?"

They came up two weeks later. She had said "we wanted you to have time to bond as a family." Which sure yeah, that's nice.

But you are family too. You're the baby's family. Come, bond. Be family.

It made me feel like not only wasn't Jess part of her family, I was not either. I'm not welcome. I never really felt welcome by her. Gary took me as his own, but she wanted nothing to do with any of this.

To this day it still irritates me and kind of pisses me off. Over the last 30 plus years I think that our relationship is "okay." But we never have been close, we do not have that bond, that friendship, and I think it all stems from me making her a grandma before her time.

I'm about the same age now that she was (maybe a year or so older?) when we turned her into a crusty old grandma.

To be honest, I doubt I'll ever be a grandma? Jess has absolutely no parental desires, or relationship desires that I've ever been aware of. Jess would be a good parent for sure. The sense of humor and caring that they have is wonderful. Always a great babysitter, and little kids love to be around them. But the spend a little time with small people and give them back to their folks streak is super strong, and the concept of permanent parenting isn't one ascribed to.

Geoff is only 23, a little younger than Doug and I were when we had Jess. He once told me he doesn't know how to meet girls, or what to do in a relationship, but, "I haven't ruled it out." He had a girlfriend in 8th grade for a couple months and she broke up with him. I think her friends pressured her (they were cute together. I wonder where she is these days?)

He wants to get through his academic program, get a job, figure out where he wants to live. He keeps saying he would like to move back north, but he also looks at jobs and opportunities that exist here in Maryland. I see him moving away for sure but how far, I don't know.

I actually don't want him to go far, because I would like to be geographically close if he ever does find his right girl, and does have a kid.

One of my big regrets is we were so far from both our sets of parents. We couldn't take advantage of the geographical closeness not just for "here can you take the kids for the weekend" but for them to really bond and get to know one another.

I want to be that grandma. If it ever gets to that point. I don't want it to be like when Gary and Bonnie came to watch the kids, and we went to Chicago for a wedding. We got home, and literally Gary got in the car to leave. Geoff drove him nuts that weekend. He didn't understand him, he didn't get the kind of kid Geoff was. Jess was great, of course. The smart, precocious, not overactive, obedient and clever child. But Geoff was a two-nado (I believe he was 2. He may have been 3) and it was too much for Gary to deal with.

It was the one time I was really hurt, but I think that we all had to learn about who Geoff was and learn how to work in his world.

That's a whole different story.

Suffice to say, if it ever comes to the point where I get to be Grandma, I will do so with joy and welcoming. If it ever comes the day where I get to hold the next gen and say "wait until I show you dogs, and we go to the beach, and we eat ice cream, and sing Guster songs in the car..." it'll be the best. And I'll be the best at it.

Until then I love on my friends' kids. And give them back when they don't want me.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

tattoo you

Doug and I don't have tattoos.

I've always kind of wanted one, but with my blood clotting and anti-coagulation medicine I don't think I'm a good candidate to get one.

Guster themed tattoos always cross my mind. Something with "the moon and stars are ganging up on the sun.... rebellion!" with some cartoony old cinema style stars, sun and moon drawn out. Or something with the "Be be calm, be brave, it'll be okay" line.

I also always wanted to put "Someday we'll look back on this and it will all seem funny" from Bruce Springsteen around my leg/ankle. It seems to be the single most appropriate song lyric of my entire life.

Doug's always had the philosophy that tattoos are a mark for people who make poor life decisions.

If one looks at my family, the "cousins" level that I'm on, one might say yeah, he's right.

One of my cousins has "HAIL MARY" tattooed to his fingers so people can, as he put it "Pray while I'm beating the fuck out of you."

So there's that.

My sister has several tattoos, they are all very meaningful to her, so she takes offense that he thinks this way about her life choices. She's planning out her next one, the musical notes to the last bit of a Peter Gabriel song called "Here Comes The Flood," without the words, just the notes. I'll love to see it when it is done.

Last night I had a dream that I went away for a weekend and upon return Doug's arms had been tattooed.

On his right arm he sported in large letters "DIRTY DEEDS DONE DIRT CHEAP." and on his other arm I couldn't make out what he had, but right under it there was "CHRIS IS AN IDIOT."

"You think I'm an idiot?" I asked him.

"No! No, this isn't about you. It's .... another Chris!" yelled Doug in response.

I woke up right after that. What other Chris is an idiot! And of course he was lying in the dream because he always does this "No! No..." when he's joking around or being fibby.

Hopefully he won't get to the point in life where he feels to get that written in permanent ink at some point. If so, his body - his choice. No Ragrets!

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Dog Days

I feel like even though there is so much happening in the world between the pandemic, black lives, police violence, arguments on every side, arguments and arguments, my brain cannot wrap itself around things to have a response.

In fact, I'm in theory not supposed to technically respond publicly. I could lose my job.

And the last time I publicly shared events happening in my life that were Big Things a certain bank used my words against me, told me my narrative was wrong, and I ended up losing just about everything. 12 years plus later, I'm still shaken about that.

So. My Reluctance.

But my inner empath bleeds, and cries, and I just know that the world is broken, and I cannot necessarily do a bloody thing. I've muted so many people who I just can't tolerate hearing hate spewing from their faces. Defriended, disconnected, and these are people I'm pretty sure won't notice I am gone. They're too busy screaming their nastiness into the air, they can't hear anything other than their own echo chambers and those who cheer back.

Suffice to say, if you're suffering, and you are reading this. I see you. We can connect. We can share. I want to hear your stories. I can't fix anything. But I can love you. That's about all.



My focus of attention as of late is, of course, this dog.

Our weekend was spent doing a lot of this. The weather has been amazing - in the 70s, light breeze. So perfect. Doug and I spent the entire day drinking wine on the front porch yesterday, waving to neighbors and strangers out walking. And the dog slept pretty much like this, and was comfortable and happy at our feet.

In the afternoon, I made my weekly call to "Old Folks Land" as Geoff used to call it. He's been posting daily pictures of Brodie on his facebook page, looking miserable, and my mom has been commenting about the patheticness of her doggie face.

She asked me how long we were going to keep her alive. I couldn't believe she'd ask me this. She's pathetic yeah, but still ticking, and still full of love.

Oh, okay. As soon as you are ailing lady, we'll take you in for a shot.

I told her as long as Brodie has an appetite, drinks water, isn't vomiting, shitting everywhere... she's fine. She is just old. It isn't like when she (mom) had a broken hip and could use a walker. I can't get a walker for my dog to help her not fall down when she is in the yard or in the house. So we keep a close eye on her.

Remind me not to put my mom in charge of my end-of-life decisions.


Brodie is such a quiet, sweet thing. Earlier today she fell down in the kitchen, and just stayed there, silently. I went to get a glass of water and found her there. Just looking at the kitchen door waiting for someone to come help.

This is the face.

Her back legs are weak, and then on certain surfaces her front legs just slide out to the side and she plops down.

You poor bean. Here, let me help you. Wash, rinse, repeat.

It's why I wake up and monitor her in the night when she gets her pacing on. I have put towels and blankets down to try and keep her steady, she doesn't fall down on the rug in the living room. It's just the hardwood and the whatever the IKEA flooring stuff is in the kitchen. I can hear her tapping around, and if she stops, I go look.

Sometimes she's successfully standing on the towels under her food dishes, not slipping and getting a good nosh on at 2am. Other times - she's flat.

You poor bean. Here, let me help you.

Today, Doug got out the weed whacker and did the edging on everything in the yard.

Geoff does our mowing but he doesn't have the finishing touches to do the walkways and the garden. Doug had let this go so far this year and finally got to the point where it needed done.

I sat on the porch, kind of watching, not really listening, staring into space. Thinking about the world as it is. Then it crossed my mind that I could go in and vacuum. What perfect timing.

Doug hates the vacuum. He's like an old dog. He hates the noise, he hates how it smells. Bitches incessantly if I vacuum, but then also bitches that the rug needs to be vacuumed.

I used to vacuum every week on my work from home day. Now every day is work from home day, but he's here too, and in my way and in my space, and it prevents me from doing some of the routines that I have gotten used to over the last 5 years.

I came in to do that, knowing that his weed whacking was louder than my Hoovering. And this picture here is what happened.

Brodie just could not be arsed to move out of the way. I went all around her, moved couches and tables, and finally got to where she was.

Nudge.

Nudge, nudge, "Please move," nudge.

Nope. A whole lot of nope.

I came at her from the front and she rolled over on her left side, giving me about a foot extra space to approach the bookshelf. I have to revisit this spot I guess.

Some people have dogs who lose their shit when the vacuum is brought out. Gonzo used to get really upset and run upstairs and hide. This one, little old lady just has zero fucks to give. I posted this picture to facebook and several people replied that their pets would not be having any of this. I should have done video, me bumping her and asking her to move.

Anyway, gonna figure out what is for dinner. There is an ice cream truck in the distance, competing with Red Hot Chili Peppers on our Pandora... and another weed whacker doing its job down the road.

Friday, June 12, 2020

The 3 hours of sleep

Another Rough night with the dog.  Seeing as I've been up since 4:45am, we are on our third cuppa and I sent an email to my best friend outlining my whining about why I've been up since 4:45 (and why I didn't fall asleep in the first place before 1am).

Productive morning, I may say.

I would really like to just go back to bed right now but right now is when work starts to wake up and get going. And the birds are noisy. And the neighbors have their lawn service with 2 weed whacker dudes and 2 giant lawnmowers doing their tiny ass yard. Oh, and a neighbor across the street is having a second floor put on the house, and the construction guys are hammering the shit out of everything. Including my brains.

I usually am starting work between now and 9am, but already did two big helpdesk tickets and have decided to pass on attending my 10am standing scrum meeting. My 10:30 was canceled. We have a team meeting at 11, and then I have a meeting at 1.  Looks favorable for me to make it to past 1, and pass out. Already told my manager that I'd be doing that.

Any minute now I should try and make enough noise that it wakes Doug up. He was up until after 1 with me, but managed to get back to sleep and stay there.

By the way, the dog is flat out snoring right now. The little shit.

I'm very glad her elderly issues are happening in the summer instead of what I went through with Jack up in Massachusetts. Although, I did like putting on boots and snow pants, and going and sitting on a wall of plowed up snow nearly 3 feet high along our walk way to give him time to be out there flopping around on the cold ground and eating all the snow he wants. At least this is nice weather. It hasn't been pouring out when she's wanted to go dick around and just walk the yard and sniff. I may put a folding chair down in the yard so I can just sit there while she does her walkabout and sniffabout.

But I might just fall asleep in the chair...