Lions & tigers & bears…

OH MY!!!

My little Leo (early August baby) Peanut is out of control! This child is crawling like she’s training for the crawling Olympics!! It’s insane. And I wanna give a quick shout out to all of my friends who have been far more supportive of my choice to have Peanut than I gave them credit for. It’s insane how some people you think you will lose when you make a big life change like this, surprise you and step up their friend game – while others unexpectedly bail out on you. It’s been eye opening, but mostly in a good way.

Fuck the tiger king. That’s right. I find it offensive that’s the name of the documentary because a king is a ruler, a royal, a person of status – there is NOTHING extraordinary about the man featured (OR ANY of the people) in that documentary. The obsession with making an icon and therefore giving attention to and proceeds to the trash people that abuse animals and makes lgbt+ people look like predators and drug addicts in this program is disgusting. In a time where we are in a literal pandemic I understand the need for a distraction, but for fucks sake read a God damn book instead of rotting your brains making/watching/discussing/promoting/glorifying this depiction of the lowest form of American trash humans around.

Tigers are beautiful animals that deserve respect.

The bears have reclaimed Yosemite National Park and I could not be happier for them! I love National parks, Reader. You wouldn’t think it, but there is a nature explorer inside this physically damaged tech nerd. Once upon a time I was able to do all the things without my body giving out on me, and I loved hiking, being a first responder, getting down and dirty, sleeping in my truck in nature and waking up to a crispy cold sunrise for a jog… In the before times, before my body gave up on me, I did all the things and I loved it.

I read recently that due to the lack of human presence at the National Parks, it has been reported the wildlife is reclaiming the land – and I couldn’t be happier for them. It is theirs and we as humans are greedy fucks who take over everything, disrupt their homes and their lives, and feel entitled to do so. Out of all things the pandemic has led to, I hope THIS stays the same. They deserve the respect and space that we demand of them. As my old geography professor once said, “I don’t camp or swim in the ocean. I don’t bother sharks and bears in their homes, and in return they don’t come into mine.” It is only fair that we allow other living creatures their right to live the way they were intended to without out intrusion. Perhaps this is Mother Earth’s way of putting us on time out for being horrible children.

Before you call me out as a hypocrite for my prior nature adventures whilst saying we need to stay out of the way, I will add that I hardly ever stayed in National Parks campgrounds, nor did I take up hella space staking up a tent and spreading out like I own the place. I have also never gotten in the way of wildlife. Maybe it is the Native Mexican in me, but I have a deep respect for wildlife and natural land.

What I’m watching: CBS All Access. Okay, I know you don’t want to pay for yet ANOTHER streaming service, but hear me out. If you have a steady income and are saving money working from home (you know, no commute, no purchased lunch), and can swing it, then it’s totally worth it for entertainment – and more importantly in these quarantine times for your sanity! There is: Picard (for you trek nerds), All Rise and The Good Fight (for my fellow law nerds), and lighthearted comedies like Neighbors and Bob Hearts Abishola. Plus lots more – Something for everyone!

Tech specs: I know I have dedicated this section to the Motorola Z4 & Z family in general in the past, but I was to focus on Moto mods. I have the Motorola Z4 (and in fact, this entire blog post and pics featured, was written and were taken on the Z4) with the 360 camera mod, the projector mod, the JBL mod, and the Polaroid instant printer mod. So check this out – the best part about these mods is that most of them are CHEAPER than these accessories with the added bonus of no extra wires and Bluetooth connections etc etc.

Now, the 360 mod is cool but I have yet to find a reason to use it.

The JBL speaker is a great buy! You get your Bluetooth speaker without having to do more than just plug and play! IDK about you but I get annoyed with a finicky Bluetooth connection and just want shit to be simple, so for the simplicity this mod is worth it.

The Polaroid instant printer is not for everyone, and I totally get that. But as a new parent to a tiny human, I want tangible photos of Peanut! I have a hybrid digital instant camera but with this mod, that’s EXACTLY what this phone becomes PLUS so many editing options thanks to the many many Android apps available.

Lastly the projector mod. I know, right, when are you going to use this? Well check it out – we are in quarantine. And as you may have read in my last post, we need to find ways to keep our brains and our hearts active – and this is one of the ways we do it at my house. Peanut and I have started a Disney movie night with movies projected onto the walls directly from Disney+ on my Motorola Z4 with this handy Moto mod. It’s different and fun!

Finally your favorite part of the blog…

Doggy pics: playroom shenanigans!

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!!

Hi, my name is Teddy, and I’m a recovering villain.

It is no secret that I used to believe I was meant to be a villain. I was cruel in a way that leaves permanent scars. A lot of my reasoning stemmed from self hatred. Other from being bullied. Classic tale of damaged gay kid. You see, Reader, in the 90’s it was not cool to be LGBTQ+. It was scary and misunderstood. I often imagine how much better off I would be had I not suffered so many concussions growing up (I also wonder if my eye sight would be better if I hadn’t gotten so many black eyes).

Whether you believe in God or not, is not important to me, but I will tell you that I did encounter divine intervention often. Every time I came too close to permanent villain status, something happened to stop me. Not to mention, I should have died a dozen times by now but something always intervened.

On one particular day, villain plan in motion, the salesman at a store pulled me aside and told me the story of how he used to be a pastor, and when his daughter came out of the closet he told her it was a sin and disowned her. She left and he never heard from her again. He left the church because he resented ever turning her away; he regretted it deeply. He told me this as he cried and then said, “now every time the phone rings, every knock on the door, my heart skips a beat hoping it’s her. I don’t know if she’s dead or alive, if she needs help, or if I have grand babies.” I had just been disowned for coming out of the closet the night before. I had not shared that information with him.

Another time, in a hotel room in Los Angeles there was a weird television that turned on by itself. As I sat in the dark room with tears streaming down my face the television turned on to a movie I did not recognize. The scene was a pastor who said, “it’s okay to feel down. It’s okay to be hurt. It’s okay to let your head hang low. But never ever give up.” I was in a dark and angry state of mind at the time.

Those are just a couple of examples of times in my life when the universe stopped me from villainous behavior. The truth is, I thought I was born a villain but in retrospect I was made into one. I believed it so much for so long, that it became my natural state of being; and you’d be surprised what you are okay with doing when you can justify it in your head. I was a selfish asshole who did not give a fuck about anything or anyone. It was liberating, but also lonely as fuck.

Little did I know that I had it in me to be a good person. When my beloved Lori got sick with cancer I didn’t know I would want to be there for her. I always imagined myself a runner from serious situations. Villains don’t stick around! But Lori made me a better person. She was kind and selfless in a way that I didn’t understand. I will never forget when she said to me, “when I first met you I thought to myself, “this girl doesn’t even know how special she is.’” Lori died of cancer, and I didn’t understand how someone so sweet and caring could die; while a cruel and angry villain like myself could still be here. The guilt and loss broke my heart in a way I didn’t know possible. And I couldn’t be a villain anymore.

I have since then worked hard to make amends for my wrongs. I even reached out to those I hurt to personally apologize. It was and has been a rollercoaster. Needless to say, when I found out I had fertility issues and I would likely never get pregnant, I figured it was my punishment; I deserved it and I hated myself for it. Peanut is my miracle baby. And in a way, given me a sense of forgiveness from the universe for my previous life as a villain.

What I’m watching: I’ve been catching up on my network tv with Modern Family (which is in its final season). You can definitely feel the end of this show in every episode this season. There’s a transparent attempt to give a “happily ever after” ending to each character. Nonetheless, it had a good run with some epic episodes throughout the years. If you want some wholesome comedy, I definitely recommend a binge of this show.

I’ve also been catching up on The Conners. Now, my friends know I got into a twitter fight with Rosanne Barr a few years back resulting in her blocking me (one of my favorite life events), but I do think her crazy ass added something to the show. Instead of watching this show with its predecessor, Roseanne, in mind, look at it as it’s own show. Once you give it that fair shake you will see it’s a very clever show that we need in this political climate. It navigates through social issues within a lower class white American family in a way that feels organic.

Tech specs: I was given a Google Pixel 4 to test and play with – so far the interface has not impressed me because of my previous knowledge and love for Motorola phones which also run on a pure version of Android. What really brings the Pixel 4 above the rest is the price point below the other flagship phones combined with great hardware and an extremely impressive camera. Additional side note: I personally think this phone has by far the best haptics I’ve experienced with any handheld device. The feel of holding the phone and the touch response when typing on it is pleasantly and noticeably superior to its competition.

Random thought: I want cake and ice cream. Not sure why. Anyone having a birthday party I can crash? I just want the cake and ice cream. I’ll even bring a gift. Just can’t by a whole ass cake and ice cream for one, so I need one serving of each please.

Dog pic of the week: dog butts.

Broken Bones & Baby Blues…

When I was pregnant, I carried Peanut very high and could literally feel her putting tons pressure on my rib cage, making it difficult to breathe or move my upper body. It came to the point where I sneezed and heard a loud POP! – Busted my ribs. I’ve broken ribs before but not being able to take meds or relieve the pressure made the rest of my pregnancy extremely painful.

The last time I broke ribs, I will admit, I relied heavily on opiods. I don’t have an addictive personality so although I did take a lot of pills on a daily basis, I was able to pull myself out of the fog without the unfortunate reprocussions that many others have suffered.

This time around I am in massive upper body pain and pushing through without opioids; instead slowly working on repairing the damage through physical therapy (along with my busted hip injured during delivery). I am not gonna lie, it’s been very difficult. The pain triggers my anxiety and PTSD. Sometimes I can’t even sleep from the pain and anxiety, but I am committed to taking the proper route of recovery for Peanut. She is the motivation that gives me strength to push through.

Does postpartum baby blues by proxy exist? My little guy, Charles the terrier, is really struggling since before the arrival of Peanut. When I went to the hospital to deliver Peanut, Charles did not sleep. The entire time I was gone – over 5 days – he waited anxiously hoping I would return and wondering where I was. When I finally got home his eyes were so heavy from sleep deprivation that he could barely stand. He stayed by my side for days after; getting nervous every time I was getting ready to walk out the door.

Since Peanut’s arrival, everything has been constantly changing to meet the needs of the household. I’ve had to manage keeping her in a separate extra clean environment with the dogs at a bit of a distance for the time being while she is still so small; balanced with ensuring that the dogs aren’t suffering too greatly from all the changes. Walter is stubborn but adapts quickly – though he gives you a dirty look the ENTIRE time. Vinny (bless his heart) is dumb as a bag of rocks and just does what he’s told. But Charles, the sensitive boy, struggles the most. He is sad and cries and I try my best to be there for him while still tending to Peanut’s needs first. Any of you experienced postpartum problems with your pups?

What I’m watching: I have randomly found myself watching Life with Fran on Hulu (Fran Drescher pictured above). I had never heard of this show but figured it can’t be too bad – I was a Nanny fan. There was only 2 seasons made, and it is essentially Nanny 2.0; Cheesy PG wholesome family comedy. It seems silly but with the current state of politics and crap like overdramatized reality tv and documentaries, this show is a good palette cleanser for the tv viewer soul.

Tech specs: ANY Motorola smartphone! From their budget E series to the mid-range G series, up to the high quality Z and X series. I have one of each series and these have got to be the most underrated underestimated smartphones. They pack a solid aspect ratio even at the budget series level, solid speeds and hardware, and run on the latest Android version. I will have to do a blog devoted to all things Motorola. But if you need a budget or midrange phone, DEFINITELY go to Motorola FIRST. And if you want a high end phone that isn’t exactly like everyone else I recommend the Z and X series, or their new One series. Of note: They are also bringing back the Motorola Razr smart version but I wouldn’t get in on the first go at it – first run is always a buggy mess!

Random thoughts: Not so random – my heart goes out to my fellow Latinos in PR and the struggles they are facing after these natural disasters. Please HELP! Donate to send aid to Puerto Rico:

Hispanic Federation

https://www.hispanicfederationunidos.org/

American Red Cross

https://www.redcross.org/local/puerto-rico.html