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)

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.

Christmas… Cookies… & Kings…

This year marked the first ever holiday season for baby Peanut. Being that she is only 4 months old, I was more than reluctant to take her to a family gathering. Holiday season means flu season!

Family gatherings have never been my scene but with Peanut I felt an obligation to comply with a request for attendance to a Christmas Eve gathering. This, however, would not be an appearance without its conditions – I made myself very clear that as a small baby I did not want Peanut to be passed around or held by many of the relatives. And we would only attend for one hour before her bedtime…

Reader, my wishes were in no way respected. My relatives literally ripped Peanut out of my arms repeatedly and would not let me leave. I was livid, disappointed, violated, disrespected… And this all triggered a massive panic attack because of the effect this environment had on Peanut. You see, children sense when there is something wrong and they express themselves when they are unhappy or uncomfortable – even when they can’t speak. Every time someone got in Peanut’s face, she would cry (which was even more alarming given that she rarely cries). The know-better relatives found it funny and kept getting in her face. I did the best I could to stop them while also trying to be polite. I am not ashamed to admit I cried all the way home and the rest of the night.

Despite the way Christmas Eve unfolded, I refused to let anything or anyone ruin my first Christmas with Peanut. The next day Peanut and I made an appearance at two different friends homes; but my friends are respectful and we were places where I felt safe. Peanut and I got home at a decent hour and spent the rest of Christmas snuggling and playing with her feet (her new thing); Christmas lights twinkling in the background, Bobs Burgers on the tv. In that moment, alone in our cozy tiny house, with the dogs sleeping nearby – that’s all I needed for Christmas.

(Not actual cookies mentioned in post, just similar in likeness)

Cookies and treats and foods of all kinds are abundant this time of year. In the family home there was a table covered with many of these items from friends and family, and from all over the place. Some store bought, some home made, but all open and partially eaten – seemingly free game to whoever chooses to partake. SO imagine my surprise when I ate the WRONG cookies! Now, you’re thinking – “what the fuck are the wrong cookies?” Reader, I was confused on that myself! Apparently in a sea of treats and cookies, the three lonely oatmeal cookies in an plain tupperware container were off limits. Now you’re asking, “how did you learn they were off limits?”

Well, it wasn’t until I woke up the next morning to multiple messages that I learned the three lonely oatmeal cookies were off limits. After some confusing messaging (I was real confused because like… who cares?), I was informed that it was the “principle” of the matter. The principle about cookies a friend made (that showed no indication to being special or set apart/saved). The principle regarding the fact that I did not answer my phone (when baby and I were asleep). The principle that I took cookies in a tupperware (which looked identical to others in the house so who would guess it was the long lost twin tupperware that belonged elsewhere?). All this negative energy, assumptions, and accusations over the principle of a simple error… This really made me wonder, how do people choose their battles when they make mountains out of mole hills? What drives a person to say, THIS is the hill I want to die on? Is it nothing better to worry about/no bigger issues in your life? And why is the go-to to assume the worst and self-victimize? Why isn’t the default that it was a simple error? Why the dramatics? Boredom? I’m bored just talking about it…

Baby’s FIRST Sacramento Kings game happened last night! Peanut attended a Sacramento Kings game thanks to her tia Karma – and we got to be in the comfort and privacy of a suite where Peanut was well protected against a sea of strangers and cooties. Peanut was as cool and calm as you would expect from her given what a rockstar she is. She only fussed once when she was hungry, and a second time when she was sleepy – and would you believe it, she straight up took a nap DURING the game! Like, cowbells and cheering be damned! The rest of the time she was all smiles and coos as she cheered on in her ‘Sacramento Kings’ cutest fan’ onesie. Now, the Kings lost but the evening was still a success to us!

(that’s Peanut on the right watching the game)

What I am watching: Rick & Morty season 4! Lets get Rickkety wrecked yall!! This Adult Swim cartoon has a cult following that is more than deserved. It is gross but if you can get past the gross humor, it is also smart and has depth with a wide variety of characters and story lines. Season 1-3 are on Hulu, and season 4 is halfway through on Cartoon Network.

Tech specs: Oddly, nothing to report this time. Still obsessing… I mean… enjoying my replacement Plantronics bluetooth (and may or may not STILL be looking for the lost one… Don’t judge me…

Random: At the Kings game we exited through the stairs with Peanut in my arms I found myself behind a woman also holding a baby who decided to slow down in order to chat with the lady next to her… Naturally, I said out loud: “Less talking more walking, there’s like 100 people trying to get out of here.” The lady then turned around to give me a stern dirty look. People, do you not know me? I doubled down and followed up with, “I don’t take it back! I said what I said. I’m just stating facts!”

Art, Aches, and Apple juice

Lately I’ve been really into designing my own renditions of some famous paintings. I was a graphic designer for over ten years and am still keeping up on my skills in my free time. This latest interest started with my long time desire to make my own rendition of the last supper. Being one of my all time favorite art pieces (I originally studied art in university), I’ve been interested in starting a series of different versions of it. I had already hand drawn it on a white erase board out of pure memory at work, but then lost steam – thanks to my incredibly volatile work environment. So I decided for the holiday season to create my own version as possible Christmas card art, but has since inspired me to recreate a variety of famous artworks instead of just the one.

Madonna and Child
The Last Supper
Nighthawks

Recently I have had a lot more rib cage aches. The horrible thing about having ribs damaged is there’s no quick fix, so instead I will have to do physical therapy for quite a while. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind physical therapy but the 30 minute drive there and back in winter with a baby is really tough and stressful. Just the other day, my most recently scheduled appointment, I rushed there in traffic on a rainy day. I took Peanut out of the car in the freezing cold, got her in the stroller and rushed to the physical therapy clinic. Now, the rule is that you cannot be more than 15 minutes late – I was 17 minutes late to a one hour appointment (meaning we could have still worked on me for 40 minutes). I walked in wet and with a baby in a stroller and explained that I was stuck in terrible traffic in the rain for 45 minutes. The receptionist told me there was no way they could see me. I pleaded my case but she would not budge, she wouldn’t even ask the physical therapist if she would take me. I went back to my car and emailed from my car my disappointment, then drove home another 30 minutes in traffic. Of course later the physical therapist called me to apologize and say that had I called they would have let me see her – so basically it was my fault for not calling them while sitting in traffic in the rain with my baby in the car. I was livid. I cried. I drank apple juice.

Tech Specs: today I am not giving a recommendation, but instead have a tech complaint – what’s the deal with e-readers? I wanted to find one to relieve the strain on my eyes when reading at night, but I am not satisfied with what is out there! The Barnes and Nobles Nook seems to have not so favorable reviews, the Kindles don’t have an expandable memory option on top of the whole ad bullshit – I have to PAY for them to NOT include their bloat/spam/ads?! Wtf… And lots other less known products are just very expensive. Where can I find a decent e-reader with lighting that I can download kids books to read to Peanut??

What I am watching: Recently my anxiety has been a little elevated and the shows that always brighten my mood are Bobs Burgers and Superstore. Bobs Burgers is an adult animated series about a burger restaurant and the family that runs it. The parents’ dynamic is very similar to my parents, so I really get a kick out of watching them. The kids are so hilarious, smart, and unique in their own qualities and quirks that they make you feel like you aren’t the only weirdo in the world. Later I plan on writing an all Bobs Burgers blog – an homage to my love for this show.

Superstore stars America Ferrera who plays Amy, the manager of a Walmart-like store. It sounded like a boring concept at first but the cast of crazy characters creates a comedic gem. I highly recommend it – you will fall in love with each of this quirky employees.

Random: this week I got the opportunity to help a friend’s work serve dinner at a women’s shelter. I truly enjoyed the experience – the women and children were so polite and lovely. It warmed my heart how sweet they were and grateful they were. It was a really wonderful evening. And although I am very grateful every day for my life with baby Peanut, this was a another reminder about how lucky I am. But also, we are all just one mistake, one bad circumstance away from being in a similar situation, so we should all be grateful, helpful, and not judge those down on their luck.