the little things…

this post is NOT about covid-19.

I am aware there is a pandemic. I am aware there are quarantine measures in place. I know some of you are scared. So let’s count the little things together:

  • I am grateful for opposable thumbs. Silly? I know. But think about it – just spend five minutes going about your day without using your thumbs and then say something!
  • I am grateful for this wreteched technology that is being used to scare us but also allows me to check in with my friends and family in Vegas, Chicago, Mexico, Spain, Panama, etc.
  • I am grateful for furbabies. Who love us unconditionally. Who calm us in days like these.
  • I am grateful for Hulu and Netflix. Now, hear me out. Cabin fever is a very real thing. Some people just cannot handle being home indoors 24/7. These forms of entertainment are a way for us to keep our sanity. Get a mental break. An escape for our mind.
  • Good friends who are being safe, pragmatic, calm, smart and kind.
  • Access to supplies needed – dog food, baby food, diapers, wipes, etc.
  • Red Bull. Sugar free red bull. If you ever wanna give me a gift, that’s the one right there. I don’t smoke anymore, hardly ever drink, no real big vices, but red bull? That’s my jam!
  • Rain. It’s been raining the past couple of days. Overcast and rainy. The cool air and the smell of rain on the pavement calms me.
  • Sofia at Walgreens. Really, all the staff at Walgreens that has taken the time to get to know me and Peanut. Who ask about her, chat with me, make it feel like a welcoming place.
  • For me, most importantly, my tiny human Peanut. She is the light and the love of my life. She is a little human right now but she is not a little thing, she is everything. But I couldn’t make this list without her in it. To stay on brand of little things, I’m going to say Peanut’s toes. We have a toes song and she loves poking me in the face with her toes. Especially when I’m asleep. It’s weird and hilarious.

What are your top ten little things? I know you have time to sit down and think about it, after all, you’re stuck at home like the rest of us! Think. What are your top ten little things you are grateful for? Feel free to share them with me. I want to know.

Because another little thing I am grateful for? Is you. That’s right, Reader, you specifically. You are here with me, going through life with me. And you help me by just being there.

*No tech specs, what to watch, or random thought today. Instead, let’s just say I want you to play videogames and watch a goofy movie. Give your brain a break. And the boys will be taking over the rest of the blog:

the outsider.

El Cuco (Folklore Demond): “why were you so quick to accept my existence?”

Holly (investigator): “An outsider can always recognize another outsider.”

Last weekend was my sister’s birthday. I asked her many times what she had planned to celebrate and if we [the family] were going to do anything. She was not sure… The day came and went and I never heard from her. A few days later I learned that her boyfriend threw her a surprise birthday party. I was not invited because it was only for “close friends.”

This got me thinking about how I am an outsider. I have friends and I have family (blood relatives) but rarely am I included in life events; weddings, birthdays, holidays, game nights, etc. It’s actually one of the reasons I always wanted kids, because I figured if I wanted to be part of a tribe I had to make it. That’s not to say I don’t have friends that include me – I do. I am lucky to have some close friends who have now become my chosen family, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that even with them I sometimes feel like an outsider. And most of the time, I am fine with it. I have become accustomed to my alone time; I actually prefer and enjoy my alone time (I don’t think people appreciate alone time as much as they could or should). But sometimes, some days, I do stand outside looking in and wonder why I didn’t get to live in a world where I felt like a full fledged member of your life [you: the abstract you].

This disposition as an outsider is my biggest strength and biggest weakness. It gives me such a unique view on life but also exposes an insecurity that many have tried to exploit. Some people have succeeded and some very hard and painful lessons have been learned. Let’s just say I definitely have some scars AND some secret wisdoms to life. This is all to say, Reader, if you ever feel the way I do just know that you are not alone and, to me, you are imperfectly perfect just as you are.

Never be fooled into thinking that you aren’t unique or special just because you are an outsider, like myself. Know yourself and know that even if the whole world doesn’t understand you, it does not mean you are not worthy. I may be an outsider but I know my worth. I know my intelligence and my character. I know I’m not willing to behave unethically because I’m asked to blindly follow the decisions of a bad boss; even if everyone else does. I know I will listen to the same story over and over again just to keep an elderly woman with dementia company. I know that I will always drive with dog food in my car just in case I see a homeless person with a dog because I know that’s their furbaby [their family]. I know that I would wait in line for an hour and then drive seventeen miles to bring a friend a chicken sandwich from Popeyes, just because we share a love of Popeyes. I know that talk to my dogs too much, and I sing to my daughter probably too much too; songs I make up – including a song about playing with her toes. This is me. And for a long time I was made to feel like it was wrong; feel ashamed. But now… if who I am makes me an outsider, then I’m okay with that.

What I’m watching: Netflix cartoons (well, most adult cartoons) are my jam and I’m glad Paradise PD is back. It’s fun and a good distraction from the dramatics of the current state of things going on in the world.

Another show that I’m in love with for it’s serious yet light hearted approach is All Rise on CBS. This show revolves around the life of judge Lola Carmichael, a new judge navigating the world of the law, unique cases, friendships, and professional relationships (which sometimes clash). The cast is filled with diverse characters that provide depth to the story lines. I seriously hope this show sticks around past this first season.

Tech specs: I’m still a huge advocate for the Speck Presidio Grip Case. It’s a sturdy case that provides a low profile so it does not feel bulky while still ensuring drop protection thanks to its unique construction. But the truly best part of this case is the grip part – the lines on the back of the case provide a texture and design that truly create a grip for your hand. This is especially important since smartphones are now both big and delicate. Oh and Not to mention EXPENSIVE! This is a great investment for a secure outfit for your $1k+ smartphone. Best of all, this series of cases is available for most of the leading brand phones – not just Samsung and Apple, but also Motorola and LG, etc.

Random thought: more of a plea – please please please EDUCATE YOURSELF on the COVID-19 coronavirus BEFORE joining the many many people who have flown straight into blind panic and hysteria. I won’t give you statistics and scientific facts because I am not a doctor and therefore would come off as just another opinion, but the cases speak for themselves. People recover from this virus. Only those already compromised are at risk of fatality. You don’t need to stockpile like it’s the apocalypse, just simply WASH YOUR HANDS THOROUGHLY AND PROPERLY.

Doggy pic of the day: I’ve been working on my back yard as much as I can lately (you have to work slowly with a busted hip and ribs), and Walter and Charles have been my wonderful assistants!!

why can’t we be friends?

You may often hear me saying, “expectation is the root of heartache”; which is my mantra I repeat to myself when trying to reconcile reasons or rationale for hurtful behavior by my loved ones. I try not to expect much of you, my friends, because I love you enough to know you are flawed (as am I) and therefore just as succeptable to making a mistake as I am. As we grow attached to people, our expectations of them grow as well, based on the assumption that the growth of attachment we feel is reciprocated. If you are important to me, I must be important to you. This is where we set ourselves up for heartache, making assumptions and expectations of others. So what’s the right way to approach love and friendship?

When I was in the hospital about to deliver Peanut I was extremely scared because of the negative experience I was having, and too embarrassed to ask anyone to come be by my side. I got terribly lonely in the middle of it all. I realized that it wasn’t that I didn’t trust any of my close friends to be there, my problem was I didn’t think anyone cared about me enough to want to be there with me. Birth is intense and awkward and I didn’t want to put anyone out. I now realize that perhaps there were some people I could and should have called. It’s just hard for me to believe when someone genuinely wants to be involved in my single parenting journey.

It’s been an unexpected journey where people who I thought I would lose, stepped up their support game; and people who I genuinely thought would be interested and involved have gone almost full on ghost status. This has left me to wonder if I’m doing this all wrong. Am I adulting wrong? Friendshipping wrong? All of the above?

Reader, do you keep friends around that you have grown apart (become very different people) out of respect for the length of time you have known each other? Or is there a point where you cut your loses and say, “we no longer talk or have anything in common, and I’m tired of trying to communicate with someone who doesn’t reciprocate the interest in our friendship maintenance?”

I find myself struggling with this – and to be clear, this is not about distance or frequency of interactions. I have friends in other states, other countries even, and sometimes we talk every day, sometimes we don’t get to talk for months, and sometimes we don’t see each other for years – but the quality of each interaction is substantial and real; with depth and closeness. So my struggle is those friends you think you have, whom you’ve had that closeness with in the past, and who now feel like a stranger.

What I’m watching: The Stranger on Netflix really got me hooked. I was skeptical at first, as it took a moment to make connections within the storyline, but once it got going I just couldn’t stop watching. As the story unfolds, plot twist after plot twists comes at you and you are knee deep in it with the characters trying to figure it all out. Highly recommend it!

Tech specs: do you want something that sounds as nice as apple bluetooth earbuds without costing about as much as a car payment? Meet the Monster Clarity 101s. These are nifty little true wireless earbuds that fit extremely comfortably in your ear, sound amazing, and come in a unique twist open charging case (avoiding the easily broken hinge-open charging cases). Best of all, they are often on sale and will cost you no more than $50. I use them and I couldn’t be happier.

Random thoughts: Not so random, RIP Kobe Bryant and Gigi Bryant. Made my latest renditions of famous paintings in their memory –

Featured pet pic: sleepy Walter looks so sweet (versus his regular old cranky disposition)

Peanuts, poops, and piercings…

This week, in a very clever marketing ploy, Mr. Peanut (a mascot of 104 years) “died.” A new commercial was released by the company showing Mr. Peanut sacrificing himself in order to save his friends after a car accident. The company relied on the mix of nostalgia and social media to humanize Mr. Peanut and create a parasocial relationship where consumers no longer saw this character as a fictional two dimensional immortal character, but instead like an old friend who passed away. Quickly, there were articles discussing this marketing strategy; criticizing it or praising it. To be honest, I was rather amused by this clever marketing strategy. And as Peanut’s namesake, I cross paths with Mr. Peanut in my purchases of domains for her (such as this one), and social media handles, so naturally this crossed my path. It’s just an amusing thing to watch companies use social media to breathe life and personality into their mascots. And when one company does something like this, it gives others the opportunity to piggyback on the wave of attention and advertise their own products by engaging in the marketing strategy within social media (see images of other companies responding to Mr. Peanut’s death).

Yesterday I realized that with Peanut with me I have the power to punish people with poop – Revenge poop! I often carry not only the means to change diapers, but also a way of transporting them in a bag that locks in the odor pretty well. I do this out of curtesy to those around me – I never know when I have to wait to find the proper out-of-the-way waste basket. I’m constantly worried about inconveniencing the olfactory cortex of those around me. But yesterday, I was faced with a different challenge – how to deal with an office cunt at one of my medical appointments. This woman has been extremely unnecessarily unpleasant to me every single fucking time I see her, and yesterday, during my visit to the office this particular cunt works at, Peanut required a change that included a poopy situation. Like the considerate mother that I am, I swiftly stored the stink to save the sanity of those stuck in there with me. As I was leaving, this bitch required I get in line in order to speak with her (there was no one else in line, or even in the room, so she sent me to the door across the room to stand at the beginning of the line so that she could then call my name for me to walk back to her). As I approached her desk I noticed she had a waste basket in front of her out of her sight or reach, so I grabbed the dirty diaper out of the bag under the stroller and put it in the waste basket without her noticing so that throughout the day she could enjoy the random wafts of baby poop. Why didn’t I think of revenge poopy diapers sooner??? This is going to be my new thing! So if you’re mean to me expect to smell baby poop the rest of the day!

Speaking of poop… my little guy Vinny, the Italian greyhound chihuahua mix, has been struggling lately with anxiety attack/seizures that induce uncontrollable poopies. He had this terribly when he first moved in with me, and it seems the change of Peanut joining the family has triggered these to flare back up. Do any of you with anxious fur babies encounter a nervous tummy/body like my little dude? And what do you use/do to calm your pups down? I’m looking for new ways of helping him relax. It’s really difficult because restricting him to certain areas within the house means the other two have to be restricted as well so he’s not ostracized alone; causing him to be even more anxious. And I prefer letting them roam the house freely, but as long as there a chance of uncontrollable dog poop, I can’t risk my baby and furniture.

In my family, and a part of my culture, having your ears pierced if you are a girl (or for those of you who require gender be referenced about as part of the spectrum of a social construct and want to be a pain in the ass about it – I mean born of the female sex with female reproductive organs) is expected to be done within days of birth. Peanut turns six months soon and she still did not have her ears pierced, so among many other questions, my family members (and I have MANY) have been asking me constantly why Peanut didn’t have her ears pierced yet and when I was going to take her. My grandmother even gave me money to get it done and get her proper earrings because it was bothering her that it had not happened. So I am happy to announce that Peanut got her ears pierced this week! (And if you are against getting baby ears pierced keep it to yourself – I respect your right to live your life based on your truth, culture, norms and beliefs, so please grant me the same courtesy.)

What I’m watching: A new season of the show 60 Days In has begun. In this show, people from all walks of life volunteer to go to prison for 60 days – both for the personal experience and to give the warden an inside look of their facility and what needs improvement. There are a few things I find interesting about this show: what drives someone to voluntarily go to prison for three whole months?? How much insurance or how intense and broad are those liability waivers for the volunteers?? And do the inmates have access to the show – as in, does this potentially create a long term risk for the volunteer if an inmate is motivated enough??

Tech specs: The Ringke brand for phone accessories! This brand is my new obsession. They offer cases for ALL TYPES of smartphones. I was so surprised to find they even have cases for some of the lesser known phone brands and models. I have tested the Ringke Fusion X case (pictured) for the Google Pixel 4, Samsung A50, and the iPhone 11 Pro Max – and this case combined a thin profile with a sturdy and grippy outer bumper. Bonus (if you’re an extreme nerd like me): Ringke cases come with the slots for wrist lanyards and they sell lanyards in all colors including (the one I have) glow-in-the-dark! This brand offers quality products for a bitch in a budget (such as myself). Cases average $10 and lanyards $6. They sell other types of accessories but this is as far as I have ventured into the brand.

Random thought: what the fuck is this? (Image)… what the fuck is the deal with Gwyneth Paltrow? And why is Netflix condoning this pseudoscience foolery?

Doggy pic of the week: snuggle session – Charles, top left; Walter, middle right; and Vinny, bottom left.

Mother of Peanut…

First I want to say, I’m the mother of Peanut and THIS is 2020. LOL. Poor Barbara Walters is going to be hearing it ALL year… Last night, Peanut and I were fast asleep by 7pm. But don’t worry, we woke up right before midnight, so I rang in 2020 with my little girl.

I was asked by a reader if I could break up my blog a little to balance the text with imagery and space – Reader, I have heard your feedback and am gonna try my darn best! I am weary of sharing too many pictures of Peanut, but I realized I have not given you all the full effect and cuteness of my dogs! So I promise to give you more of the three silly dudes that run my house…

So why the picture of fireworks? Because of course, with ringing in the new year, we also had to endure the loud booms of illegal fireworks many neighbors were in possession of. Peanut, being the perfect princess that she is, was not bothered; but my poor boys suffered immensely. Do any of you have pets? What works for you to calm them down? I have tried sedatives, thunder vests, drowning out the noise with music or tv, and creating a little bunker for them, but nothing has worked all that well. Last night was no exception, and I found myself huddled in a corner with three dogs climbing all over me shaking and barking. I need to find a better way to handle these situations since my neighbors set off fireworks every damn holiday!

(left – Walter, center – Charles, right – Vinny)

let me officially introduce my boys

Walter: Is a dachshund I found at the Bradshaw shelter. He was free because they believed he was a senior dog over the age of 10. Imagine my surprise when the vet told me there was no way he was over 7 years old! He was already house trained and knew some tricks. He was so scared to be in the shelter that he wouldn’t eat and just sat in the corner crying. The minute I saw that scared little wiener, I knew I had to give him a home. He is now older and grumpy AF, but sometimes he goes back to those sweet moments of being a total momma’s boy.

Charles: is my little sweet man. I adopted Charles thinking Walter would love a companion – he did not. When I met Charles, I wasn’t all that into him – an awkard fox terrier mix at Front Street Animal Shelter. Truth be told, I was looking for another dachshund… But there he was, this little weird dog making oddly intense eye contact with me. Then it happened… He stood on his hind legs to reveal he only had one testicle. Poor one ball bastard. Right then, I knew he was the one. He still stares at me like he did that first day, in that obnoxiously adoring way. He’s not so secretly my favorite; we have bonded in a way that I’ve only seen on cheesy movies about dogs and their human.

Vinny: was my last and youngest adoption. I did not want another dog, I wanted a baby. After so many failed attempts and a miscarriage, I had 95% given up… I was doing some graphic design work for Happy Tails Pet Sanctuary and saw a picture of this ugly but cute and bizarre dog. An italian greyhound chihuahua mix puppy who had suffered a ton of trauma before ending up at the shelter. Tons of issues – basically, a complete HOT MESS. But at that time, my heart was broken and I wanted to help him so I would feel less useless as a human being, so I adopted him.

What I am watching: I started watching 11.22.63 on Hulu staring James Franco. I’m not a fan of his at all but I am mildly obsessed with the JFK assassination so I thought I would give it a shot. I am only 2 episodes in and like it so far. I recommend this if you are into time travel story lines. Some people I know find them confusing or annoying, so I am warning that it’s basically James Franco traveling back to the 60’s.

Tech Specs: This time I have a sort of weird tech spec highlight – the watch repair tool that comes with most watch straps. I feel like it is worthy of tech spec feature since I use it a ton for customization of my smartwatch collection (which will be featured next time – Samsung vs Apple). This handy little tool has helped more times than I can count – don’t toss it when you get a new watch strap even if it is a quick-release! It comes in quite handy.

Random: I apologize for the extra long post this time, but I realized you were missing out on knowing my dogs! I will be featuring more stories about my nutty little sidekicks… Also, Happy New Year! I wish everyone a wonderful and prosperous 2020.