Thursday, August 11, 2016


I have ugly feet. Ugly. I'm not exaggerating at all. Think Fred Flintstone. I used to want to hide them, but the older I get the less I care. I throw on some nail polish to hide the toes, but I still wear flip flops as long as I can. Socks are a pain that you only wear in winter to avoid frost bite.

I used to avoid looking at them at all. But then one day I glanced down and a memory flashed through my mind. I remembered the day before we lost my dad how we were at the hospital visiting him and I wasn't sure where to look. I wasn't comfortable with my dad being so vulnerable. His blanket didn't cover him all the way and my gaze lingered on his feet. Like mine, they were calloused and rough looking. The toes were kind of ugly. I didn't realize then that I was looking into a mirror.

Not only do I have my dad's eyes, I have his feet. Two very important things. Sometimes living without my dad feels like a test. A bad joke. A reality I will never get used to. But finding parts of him in unexpected places. That helps.

He is me. He's in my eyes. In my sense of humor... My smile. Now he's part of the path I walk every day. He guides me with his feet. And if we were Flintstones, he could even drive my car.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Throwback Myspace

Hi y'all! I know it's been awhile since I've posted here. I've missed this spot! But the other day my blog post, Walking the Dog, about my trip to Petco with Scooter came up in my Timehop. It reminded me of all the crazy ways I found to fill my time during my unemployment. And it still made me laugh.

It also made me think of my Myspace blog. (Do you remember Myspace?? Man I feel old). So yesterday, I went on the site and was able to find a way to download all my blog posts. It wasn't pretty but they were all there! As I looked for my favorite oatmeal cookie story, I stumbled on another Petco story. The same exact Petco! But this time it was about Sheena. My last dog who I still miss a lot. Reading over the story I had forgotten all about how crazy she could be as well. So I decided to share the story here. As a Throwback Thursday Greatest Hits addition.

So here it is... I hope you enjoy! (I apologize for any grammar or formatting errors. Myspace was a more informal place. Tom didn't care!).


On Saturday, I took my dog Sheena to be groomed at Petco. I made this appointment two months ago when we took her to be groomed the last time.  And we had no problems then.

This time was quite a different story...

She was fine going into the store, but as soon as we turned to go in the door that leads to the grooming place, she stopped and sat down.  I was like, "C'mon Sheena.  Let's go!  Daddy's in there!"  (I only took my son).  She gave me a look like I was stupid.  She knew he Daddy wasn't in there!  I tried some Dog Whisperer tactics, "Ssst."  But that had no effect either. In fact, it seemed to scare her more until the point where she's trying to back out of her collar.

Now at this point, we're still in the little vestibule between the two sets of automatic sliding doors.  If she'd gotten loose, she could've gone either in the store or out the door. Which door will be it be?  Door #1 where you'll just run free through the store or Door #2 where you'll run free through a parking lot full of cars just waiting to hit you?  Neither one a very good option.

Panicked, I change tactics. This time I walked her into the Petco and towards the inside door that leads to the grooming place. Oh, but she was far more clever than me.  I think she can smell torture.  Or shampoo.  She sat down again.


The grooming place is busy as hell so no one is paying the least attention to us.  We're standing in this big open space at the front of the store where they have adoptions events and such.  In fact there is a lady still there putting tables away from one they must've had right before we got there.  She ignores us, too.

I study Sheena who is lying on the floor with not a care in the world. That's when I turn to J.  "Okay, I'm going to pull her by the collar and you push her butt."  And that's what we do. I'm backing up while pulling Sheena's collar and J is pushing her backside.  I'm sure it was quite a picture.   Caesar would've been laughing his ass off if he saw that one.

It doesn't work.  She somehow digs in on the tiled floor and we only get her to move a couple feet.  That's when I start over.  I start walking her around the store, trying to get her to relax and forget all about grooming.  Then I slowly walk over to the door, hoping she's not paying attention.

Yeah, right!

She stops, sits down and starts barking.  And she barks loud.  This is her mad bark.  "Oh, hell no, Mom!  I told you!  I'm NOT going in there!  They make me take a bath!"  Actually, it reminded me of my husband in a way.

Meanwhile, J is all embarrassed.  "Sssssh, Sheena.  Stop barking!"

This is when the adoption lady makes her move.  She hands me a piece of paper.  "We have all kinds of dogs up for adoption.  Mainly hound dogs and beagles.  I guess the hunters just let them go."

I give her an incredulous look.  Did she really think I wanted another one?    Has she not been paying attention?  Or does she think I like to spend my Saturday afternoons hanging out in front of the Petco?  But I just take the paper without saying a word.

I tell J to go inside the grooming place to get one of the treats they have in a jar.  He agrees reluctantly and it takes him like five minutes to get his nerve up to take one. Like the ladies working there were going to think it was for him and start accusing him of stealing dog treats.  Sometimes I wonder about that boy...

That's when I find out that bribery does not work with my dog.  After all, it's not Filet Mignon.  Sheena isn't that cheap!  She sits back down so that she can bark at me some more.  What the hell do they do to dogs back there?

Twenty minutes have gone by and we're now officially late for an appointment that is only about five feet away from where we're at.   I'm just fed up at this point.  I tell J to hold Sheena while I go talk to the ladies inside.

I hand J her leash, and with J holding her, she follows me inside.  WTF???

I had to be pack leader!  That's what it was!  Dammit.  I should really start paying more attention to that show.

But that's not the end of our adventure.  Oh no.

At the front desk, I tell the lady my name and that I have (had) an appointment.  She looks in her appointment book.  "I don't see you."

What?  I look down at the desk calendar where I remember the lady writing down the appointment and point. "There we are.  Sheena."

She looks at me like I'm stupid. "Well, that was for the 24th."

"Umm,"  I look around.  "What is today?"  Yeah, it's the 24th.   This does not make her happy.  I have enraged the grooming lady.  No wonder Sheena didn't want to in there.

"Nobody wrote it down in the appointment book," she says, like it was my fault.  "Well, I don't have time for you today," she snaps.

"Fine.  Make me another appointment then."  Yes, I should've made a bigger deal out of this since I really did have an appointment, but I was tired and cranky and wanted to leave Hellco.

There was another lady nearby grooming a dog who speaks up, "You have to give her 10% off."

 "Fine.  I don't care.  I'll give her 10% off."

Jeez, woman, chill.  Obviously not a dog whisperer or a people whisperer for that matter.
I made an appointment for next weekend and we leave.  But not before Sheena pisses all over the front sidewalk.  You go girl!

I think next time my husband WILL be there.  And maybe even Cesar Milan  If I can get him to fly out from LA.  "Sssst!"

That's it! Thanks for traveling back to 2007 with me! Maybe next time we'll make some cookies...

Monday, March 23, 2015

Camp Time!

In a little over a week, I'm going to participate in the Camp NANOWRIMO. I'm very excited and working on my story idea. But in the meantime, I still have the book I wrote in the NANOWRIMO November session. I also have another book I wrote a couple years ago. Right before I got laid off.

I write books. I just never know what to do with them. Both of them need work. I paid someone to edit the first of these two books and it's completely marked up. The critiques are mostly about my passive voice and my pronouns. I almost need a complete rewrite of this one. But the good news is that I can look at it again. After I got laid off, I shut the book away in my mind so I never saw it again. It was an office romance dedicated to my coworkers and it was such a painful subject then. But looking at it now, the story isn't as bad as I thought. All this time, I think I made the critiques from my editor so much bigger in my mind. Like she said, "THIS BOOK IS AWFUL. AWFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUL."

The second book is my most recent one has not been edited at all, but I have been going over the first draft. I've come to realize that I don't like the style I wrote it in. I wrote it in a past/present style. One chapter would be set in the present, with the next chapter being in the past. Past, present, repeat until the end. The first thing I did with this book is remove all the past chapters and saved them into another folder. Now I just need to read the book without the past and see if any are truly needed.

Fun stuff, huh? I wish that simply writing a book is the hard part for me. For me, it's editing and acknowledging all my weaknesses. I have so many stories in my mind, I just have a hard time putting the down in writing.

I love writing and since that's what I love, I will keep doing it. Eventually something will stick. I've been wrestling with mortality lately and I know I will regret not pushing ahead. Not writing. I know that's why my dad would want me to do. I have his picture in the shelf across from my desk and I look at all day long. I saw his eyes in my rearview mirror this morning. Yes, they were actually my eyes, but today the looked more like his. I always understood the scene where Harry Potter sees Dumbledore in the mirror that Sirrius gave him. It's actually Albus' eye, but I know the feeling. I often seem my dad in the mirror.

The point is that I think if he was here, he would tell me to keep pushing. To keep swimming. Even if I'm the only person that reads these books. Even if they are crap. Because I don't like to think of the alternative to writing.

Wish me luck! :)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Throwback Thursday: My First Kiss

My first kiss happened my freshmen year of high school. For some reason I thought I was oldest person ever to not be kissed. Never mind that I was probably all of 14 or 15 at the time. I needed to be kissed and NOW. I started my high school year determined to be kissed, whatever it took.

My first kiss wasn't a DJ Tanner moment where I waited for the right guy and the right timing. I can't even remember how I met the guy we kissed. I just know he qualified for the job by having long hair (in the day of hair metal bands, this was all it took) and lips. Really, that's all I was looking for.

I remember his name, but seeing that we are in the digital age, I won't say it here. I do have one picture of us together in school. In it, I have a really bad perm and crazy eyes. He's wearing a jean jacket and a dopey expression. I believe we are holding a stuffed animal of some sort. I don't know why.

The kiss happened on the bleachers of my high school. I do remember that. I'm assuming it happened during lunch since we had open lunch at the time. 

I have to admit that I didn't like him that much. But I didn't not like him. I was just curious about what it was like to be kissed and he served that purpose. My best friend at the time tried to show me how to kiss (no, this isn't that kind of story...we didn't practice with each other), by having me kiss my arm.

It's not the same. And my arm still hasn't forgiven me for the violation of our trust.

When the kiss did happen, there wasn't fireworks or music. There wasn't even a cheesy 80's ballad in the background. It was weird. There was a lot of tongue. I didn't really feel anything, but self conscious. 

My real first kiss with someone I actually loved came later. In the meantime though, I had been kissed and had started my high school career the way I wanted. I got the worse grades of my life my freshmen year, but I had experience kissing, so what did that matter? I was a mature woman-child who didn't need no stinkin' education! 

I broke up with him a couple weeks later and never looked back. But he will always be a footnote in the story of my life. I think that's pretty cool. He probably wouldn't. And neither does my arm...

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Just Add Salt

Last night my husband and I had a discussion about letting our dog Scooter out in the morning. Now that I leave for work at five, he usually goes out around 4 to 4:15. It's dark at that time! And we live in the country.

Me: When I let Scooter out and feed the cats, I leave the front door open in case of emergency.

Him: Wait. You are saying that while I'm in the house sleeping you leave the front door wide open? So one morning I'm going to wake up with a bear hovering over me??

Me: No, the cats are there, so it can't be dangerous. I'm pretty sure they smell bear.

Him: So one morning I'm going to wake up with a bear hovering over me eating a cat??

Me: Don't be ridiculous. I don't think the bear will walk all the way into our bedroom to eat a cat. It would probably eat it in the living room where its close to the kitchen. In case it needs salt.

Him: I'm glad to know these things happen while I'm sleeping.

Me: What can I say? It's a bear-eat-cat world out there.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

One Day at a Time...

I started a new job this week and it's great! I'm working with my former coworker and friend Sunny and it's in an exciting area to work in. I chronicled my days on Facebook and I decided to cut and paste them over here so they are all in one place and can be read in order.

Day One:

Well, the first day is done! I am sooo freaking tired. I made the big mistake of wearing a new pair of flats today. By the end of the day my ankles were in so much pain I was limping off the Metro while biting back my whimpers. But other than that it was an awesome day! I got to shadow my friend and coworker (again) Sunny, who made me feel right at home and showed me around the area. Our office lo...oks over at some high rise condos and we are just waiting to see an ugly naked guy.

Then when I got home this evening, my mom had cake and ice cream from her and my doggie friends congratulating me on my new job and my first day. I still haven't ate dinner, but I did have cake and ice cream! That's a good night if you ask me!

All in all, an awesome, but exhausting day! Now if someone could get me new feet, I can do it again tomorrow!
Day Two:
Day 2: I still don't have a computer, but I'm shadowing Sunny and we share a computer...and a brain sometimes! Today we set up my voicemail and when I wasn't sure what to use for a greeting, she just recorded it for me. If you call my work number that's not me. Yes, I Milli Vanilli'd my voicemail.

I also wore tennis shoes to walk in and comfortable flats for work. I wore black trouser socks too.... With shorts. Ha! No. But that would be a good work look. Maybe tomorrow? I could rock that look I'm sure.

Other than getting stuck in traffic this morning and a weird case of vertigo where I thought the building was falling (yeah, that was weird), it was a good day!

Black socks with sandals and shorts? Hmm...
Day Three:
I don't think the subway is for me. Because there are people on it. On the way home today I let so many over-crowded trains go by me that I almost became a mole person living in the tunnels under Virginia. If I ever go missing start your search in the tunnels under the Rosslyn station. I will be living there with a few rats I call my cats.

For lunch I went with Sunny while she picked up a ...salad at Chop't. I had a salad from Mel't. Aka... My house. Mine wasn't as fun as hers! Nobody chopped mine!

One the way back we got some crepes from a man who sits in a little food cart on the corner. Just like they do in France! We were feeling French today. Très bon.

Still no computer, but we had meetings and teleconferences and I made calls! Tomorrow she's leaving me to go to another site and I will have her computer all to myself. But I will be lonely because there will be no female companionship. And no lunchtime adventures looking for donuts and fries!

Two more days and my first week will be over! A wonderful yet loooooooong week. Thanks for coming along for the ride!
Day Four:
I got my computer today! A loaner, but it's a computer. And Sunny's appointment got cancelled so I had my work buddy. Yay!

For lunch we went to get some gyro's and I had a great moment where I forgot the word gyro. The walls were plastered with pictures of pita's and gyros and I just blanked out while the lady stared at me impatiently. It's like going to McDonald's and forgetting the word ...hamburger. Or Mc anything. McGyro. That would be awesome!

I think I mentioned earlier that I keep feeling like the building is falling. We are on the 11th floor and even though that's not high in the high rise world, it didn't stop me from experiencing a weird vertigo feeling all week. It's gotten better except in the ladies room. It's so small and the floor uneven, that I feel like Sandy and Danny in the Funhouse scene from Grease. (Tell me about it...stud). If it doesn't get better I'm going to have to take Dramamine just to go to work! The building was built in the 60's so maybe it's just the ghost of all the chain-smoking, whiskey drinking workers messing with me. Probably pissed we are no longer secretaries getting them coffee while they cop a feel when we walk by.

Then when I got off the Metro I tried to add money to my Smartrip card (the Metro system drops off the second "T". It's very smar of them.) and it stole my $5. When I started this job, I imagined myself getting robbed many times in the city, but not by the Metro itself. I had the station manager help me add the $5 back, but then when I went to use it for parking it told me there was an error. Yes, I now have Stupidtrip card. Fingers crossed I can use it tomorrow!

One more day! ONE MORE DAY. I'm glad it will be Friday, but not because it's been a bad week. Just because my feet still need to heal from my bad choice in flats and all the walking. I just need sleep. This waking up at 5 makes me feel like a farmer. A farmer with five tomato plants, some sunflowers and a herd of cats. I miss my cats! I need quality cat and Scooter time.

Until tomorrow!
Day Five:
I made it! One week of work! It's such an awesome feeling being employed again. Being unemployed for awhile makes your doubt your skills. But I got mad skillz yo! Sorry. I'm so very tired.

I miss shadowing Sunny but it's good she gets her desk back and I can learn at my own desk. That doesn't mean she loses her shadow for good though! I've still only been there a week. I need to shadow I can! I'm much like a groundhog that way.

We decide to head over the bridge to Georgetown for lunch. It's a pretty area! We see the cupcake shop from the DC Cupcakes show. Mmm... Cupcakes. We don't stop, but it's on the list! Long line and all. Oh and there's a Benetton! I didn't know that store still existed. Actually, there are a lot of stores we didn't think made it pass the 80's. I figure this is where the 80's stores went to retire. If we looked around more, we'd probably find a Jordache jeans store. We have an awesome lunch at Chadwicks, which has a beautiful view of the Kennedy Center and a homeless man sleeping in the middle of the road. Ahh... DC.

We check out the waterfront real quick and head back. Even though we are like five minutes from Gtown (the cool people call it that), the traffic is crazy. Sunny figures we'll just swim across the Potomac next time since it would be faster. I think it's the Potomac River. Well, we will swim across the blue(esh) wet stuff surrounding us. Whatever it's called.

Something happens with a whiteboard, but it's too long to tell and you kind of had to be there. But it's a funny story involving elevators, a delivery man, a whiteboard the size of a Volkswagen Beetle and a man carrying a sleeping bag. I'm pretty sure we are one of the few people who have a funny white board story. That is what this job is like! You just never know what will happen!

I'm sure there's more I wanted to tell, but I'm blanking at the moment. I just know that this has been a wonderful, scary, sometimes confusing but awesome week! I love being employed and I love working with my friend Sunny. I owe her more than I can say both professionally and personally. She rocks at being a friend and coworker!

Well, I probably won't bore you with stories past this first week and eventually I'll get into a routines that will not be as fun for you to hear about. I'm sure you don't want to know when I make copies or send emails. But since we will still be in the city, I'm sure I'll still have a few!

Thanks again for being my cheering squad now that I'm employed, but especially when I wasn't. Having all this support helped motivate me to go to interview after interview even when I didn't want to. Now I'm going to go pass out for about 10 hours... Night-night!
It's hard to believe that tomorrow I have to do this all again. Everything is so much faster in the city and you get tired fast! Tomorrow I plan on driving to see what that will be like. That should be an adventure!
Wish me luck!

Monday, June 30, 2014

A Year Ago Today.

It's been a year since I was laid off. A year that was like a roller coaster, with many highs and lows. Some loops. A few moments when I wanted to puke. The whole package.

I had two short-term jobs that each had their own pro's and con's. I miss them both, but I kind of knew they weren't "the one." I'm still grateful though. They helped get me back into the game and stopped me from growing cob webs.

I still miss my old work family so much, even though I still see a lot of them. It's hard to believe we won't all be together again. There's a part of me that still feels this is a nightmare I'll eventually wake up from. But now that it's been a year, I think it's sinking in now.

I'm waiting to hear about the job I interviewed with the other day. I both look forward to and dread starting a new job. Beginnings are always difficult, but worth it to get to the good stuff. Kind of like a burrito. You need to chew through the tortilla to get to the meaty goodness in the middle. Man, I'm hungry now. Where was I? Oh yes. New jobs. I look forward to finding a new work family, although it will be hard to find one as good as the one I had (have).

I just felt like this anniversary needed to be acknowledged in some way. It's been a year and I'm survived. I've gained a bit of weight, lost a little confidence and had some dark moments. Like when our Blazer got rear-ended by a dump truck with my husband in it. I was working at home and had to jump into my car and race down the road to make sure he was ok. He was, but the truck was a wreck. The dump truck's insurance is paying for it and it got towed away today, but it was sad because my husband had just put a lot work and money into it and it should've lasted longer.

But there were good moments too. I got to spend a lot of time with my son and help him gain some independence. He has his license and now has a van to drive. I also got to spend time with my friend Katie and her kids and now her daughter is almost 1! I was there the day after she was born. Moments like that wouldn't happen if I was working.

Like I said, there were good and bad moments from this year. It was a cruel winter and I didn't think I would get through it, but I did. I even picked cross-stitching back up, a hobby I have missed doing. It helps relax me when everything is overwhelming. I just have to say that watching Friends and cross-stitching is a cure for anything!

I have high hopes for the next couple months. As long as I just keep swimming, I'll do all right. And stop by Chipotle, because I really need a burrito now...

I just want to make sure I thank all the family and friends here and on Facebook and who live with me for all the support I've received. I would never have done it without you. You know who you are!

Thank you.