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!!

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!”