The Dog and I Tackle “Big” Issues

Dog, we need to talk…

I know what you’re thinking.  We talk all the time.  I talk, you talk, mostly neither of us listen.

But this is serious.

I know, we talk about serious stuff all the time… politics, religion, sexuality, human rights,  and refugees…well, I talk, and you lick yourself, or whatever.

…which in this case lends itself quite nicely to our discussion.  The little struggles in life.  They are little, but they are important.

We don’t talk about this stuff.  It’s not always pretty, but these things need to be talked about, dragged out in the light, kicking and screaming, if necessary, so people understand they don’t need to feel ashamed.


Not nice?  Like... no walkies??  Or belly scratchin's?

Um. . . I have no idea what…

Well, for example, the struggle of finding just the right position to sleep in when all of a sudden the hair between your buttcheeks starts poking you…  What do you do?  You want to scratch the itch, but you don’t want to touch your buttcrack…

Marriage licenses-es?  What's that?  It sounds tasty.

Oh, ha!, that’s easy! I have tons of hair on my butt. I just lick it until it’s flat.

Buddy, even if I wanted to do that I couldn’t.  Us humans aren’t as flexible as you dogs are.  But if we were able to reach our heads down there, I still wouldn’t because… ugh, no.  Just, no.

Geez...fiiiine. You don't have to be all testy about it.

Prude… Fine, what’s next?

Well, like this morning, I was trying to sleep and the cat had worked his way under the covers…


Oh! Well, there’s your problem right ther-

No, I’m not finished.  He sleeps under there a lot…


Yeeeah…we need to talk about that. You never let me on the bed, let alone under the covers.

Stay on topic, dog, we’re not talking about you.  Anyway, for some reason the cat kept wanting to groom me.  He’d lick my hand and I’d kinda push him away.


Well, that doesn't sound good.  No walkies...

Go on…

Geez, this is sort of weird…


. . .um

Hey, you started this…

Well, I rolled over on my side and was just falling asleep when he started licking my nipple…


Aw! What?! That’s gross! You let the cat-

I didn’t let him! It woke me right back up and I tossed his furry little butt out of bed!

Geez...fiiiine. You don't have to be all testy about it.

Serves you right. *I’d* never lick your nipple…

Uggh…  You know what?  I think we’ve talked enough for today.  Too much reality and truth can be… too much.

Happy Thanksgiving, Dog.  I love you.

Fear and Loathing…

Does you ever watch disaster movies or post-apocalyptic shows like The Walking Dead, and think about how fear and scarce resources can turn normal people into monsters?  If we imagine ourselves in these situations, maybe we think things like …  I’d never do that.   Or I would never just stand by and let that happen.
Zombies are taking over the world. You and your few remaining family/friends have holed up in your dwelling, when you hear shouts and panic from outside. Four or five people are being chased by zombies.  They look terrified.   One is even a bit bloody. Has he been bitten? You can’t tell. Have any of them? They could hide it from you…but then again, maybe…likely, really,  none of them have been bitten at all… and they clearly need help.

The horde is closing in on them, but they could make it inside if you just open the doorand let them in.  You don’t know them, and if they come in, they might have to stay a while.  You might have to share some of your food and water with them… but they are human beings, right?

Do you open your door a bit and let them inside, or do you watch them die on the lawn just outside your house?  What if a zombie somehow gets in?

(What if one of them is infected?) 

Well, yes, maybe someone has been bitten.  It would put your whole group at risk.  It is a small but real possibility.

But what is a certainty is that these people will die if you don’t get over your fear and help.  Would you ignore their pleas and let them die?  Would you whisper reassurances, shield your children’s eyes and tell them not to look when it happens?  “It was us or them…?” What would that be teaching the children about life?  Only ours is important?

Do you ask those poor people on your lawn if they tried other houses first, or if, in there terror they just went wherever they could?  …Just to make sure they really need to come to your house.

You don’t know those people outside.  They are like any group of people.  There are some good, there may be some bad, and there are a lot inbetween.  But you don’t know for sure.  But they are living, breathing people like you.  If you don’t help them, and something really bad happens to them, will you ever forget it?

This is happening now. Only the people in the house are America.

The people outside, running for their lives, are Syrian refugees.  And the Zombies are terrorists, wreaking havoc on everything, spreading their disease where they can.

Now, do we retain our humanity, or do we become monsters?


Dear Refugees,

Dear Syrian refugees, Syrian people, because you are more than your circumstances, which are dire right now… internet access is likely the least of your concerns right now, so you may never see this message.

But from me to you, I’m sorry there are some that would make a horrible time for you even more difficult.  Please understand many of them are also driven by fear of terrorism, although nothing so immediate as that which you are fleeing.  I’m sorry about those who would make things difficult with their lack of compassion.  I am a bit ashamed to be an American right now, because these are the people whose voices are loudest right now, and I don’t want you think all Americans are like this. Please know they do not speak for all of us, and there are many people here, regardless of our ethnicity or religion or socioeconomic status (or yours for that matter) who stand by your right to freedom and peace and welcome you in.


An American Woman

The Potty Politic

Alternate Title: “In Which I Somehow Manage to Mush Politics and Some Funny Kid Shit Into One Post”

I have been hopping mad ever since this thing with Paris and a huge faction of Americans have gone on social media and essentially outed themselves as xenophobic and/or ignorant jerks in regards to the potential influx of Syrian refugees.  There have been remarks ranging from simply expressing fear of potention terrorists coming in with refugees, to callous statements of the variety of “Just blast them all and let God sort them out.” Yes, I literally saw that one somewhere.

Some people trot out the good old self-serving whataboutisms to justify denying the refugees sanctuary, like “we can’t even take care of our own homeless and veterans…”  which brings me, in a round about way, as is my usual style, to today’s little post.  In my experience, many of the people who are fond of the “homeless veterans” cliche are the same people who would vote against most social welfare programs, including those that many veterans would benefit from.  So you see, they really don’t want to take care of Syrian refugees OR our people on “their” dime. I had literally just finished complaining to my husband about this little bit of shameless hypocrisy when I left the room to retrieve something from the bathroom.

My kid says from her place on the toilet, (and I have no idea how long she has been sitting there) in her now customary sassy-like manner, “I didn’t say you could wipe me; I said Daddy could!!!”

Not to be outdone by the five year old, I counter with some sass of my own… “I didn’t come in here to wipe you anyway, so Nyya!” or some such thing…

And suddenly her tone changes and she goes plaintively, “But whhhhy?”

.  .  .


And then I call out to hubby, “Honey, we have a little republican in here!” And he’s already laughing.



Sugar Skull Salt and Pepper Shaker

Sugar Skull designs have actually become somewhat popular in American culture, often as clothing designs, artistic renderings, or even tattoo designs.  I am drawn to them personally for their juxtoposition of beauty with the seemingly macabre.  But sugar skulls are more than just a pretty knick-knacks to culturally reappropriate for cool tattoos and t-shirt. They are part of the traditional Mexican holiday celebration for Dia de [los] Muerta, (many cultures around the world have similar holidays to remember and honor the dead) and are part of a longstanding and wide spread celebration and remebrance of the dead.  Far from being a sad or somber day, Dia de Muerta is a festive occasion, and sugar skulls are created with specific deceased relatives or friends in mind, often even inscribed with their names, and then placed on the gravestone in the hopes that it might encourage the deceased to appear.

The other day a friend of my posted a picture on FB of some pretty sugar skull cat figurines and I thought, I must have those.  So I followed a link and found them on Etsy. And then I saw how much they cost, presumably because they were hand-painted, and I thought, well, shit, I can do that.  So I rehabbed my gramma’s old siamese cat salt and pepper shakers.  Additionally, I decided to make one of them specifically in honor of my departed Neeners.  (Neeners has been a bit of a hot topic around here this week.  My daughter saw a photo of Neeners on the refrigerator the other day and told me she “wanted Neeners,” and I had to explain to her that Neeners had already died quite a while ago, when Darling Daughter was still a baby.  The news did not go over well, and to tell you the truth, by the time I was done trying to comfort her, I was practically ready to cry myself…)

Anyway, the original shakers had a bit of gloss to them, so the acrylic paint I used kept wanting to peel off if I touched it the wrong way, but hopefully the coats of spray finish I put on it help with that. They aren’t quite as detailed as the ones I saw on my friend’s post, but I’m pretty proud of them for my first go around.  I think I’ll be on the lookout for all sorts of flea market cast-off to rehab now!






Open Letter to the Asshole Next Door

Dear “asshole that likes to play your music at top volume at 4:30 AM,” or, for brevity’s sake, just “asshole,”

I wasn’t stoked when you moved from the building across the parking lot to our building.  Our old neighbor was always nice and quiet.  We hardly ever saw her, let alone heard her.  I am always apprehensive when a new neighbor moves in next door anyway because you never know who you’re going to get, and in your case, I had already heard stories about how you were an obnoxious perv.

But I was always nice to you when I saw you outside, and even talked to you from time to time.
I didn’t give you a hard time the first time when, at 2 am, I was outside to take the dog to pee, and you were out there with your car door open and your radio on.  The dog immediately didn’t like you that night though.  In retrospect, he could probably smell the alcohol and desperation from all the way over where we stood.

In the past few months, I’ve repeatedly woken in the middle of the night to the sounds of your music through my bedroom wall or out my window, and also been woken from a dead sleep by you allowing your storm door to bang shut at four AM, because, as unfortunate luck would have it, my bedroom window is right next to your front door.  One night, there was repeated banging coming from your apartment.  I finally got so pissed, I got up and put clothes on (which is in and of itself an inconvenience to me, as I generally prefer to remain pantless,) and I went and banged on your door.  Interestingly enough, you didn’t answer, and only came out and peeked as I was going back into my apartment…

A couple of weeks ago you had the cops called on you because you didn’t want to move your car to your own parking space because birds might shit on your precious paint, so your got pissed and threw a pencil at the landlady.  While I understand the sentiment of wanting to chuck things at her head, you were sauced then too, and didn’t open the door when the cops came.  Your car was towed, but it was back in its place in front of your apartment by the end of the day.  Clearly that this is your most prized possession.  That week, though, when hubs and I were outside, you staggered across the grass, in a state of extreme agitation because someone had spiked your tire.  Then you proceeded to get in your vehicle, which already had the tire replaced, and peeled wheels out of the complex…again, you couldn’t even walk straight.  I don’t know how you drove.

Anyway, back to this morning…This morning I was treated to the baselines of the classic rock soundtrack of your life for full two hours, during which time we banged on the wall, hoping you’d get the hint.  You didn’t.

Neither did you open the door for the guy from the back side of the building, whom I heard banging and yelling at you that is was “four o’clock in the goddam morning!”  So apparently you have some sense.  Or you’re a complete chicken shit.  But I was sort of hoping that would be the end of it.  The music went down for about ten minutes.  Then for the next hour went up and down repeatedly.  Are you deaf, or does your hearing get worse when you’re blotto?  Or maybe you were trying to antagonize the guy…?
And there was no way I was going to get dressed and got out in the fucking rain to bang on your door. I finally got pissed and called in a noise complaint.  Low and behold, when the officer came by, the music was magically on one of its quieter revolutions.  The cop stopped long enough to shine his bright ass light randomly in the parking lot and then left.  The music went back up.  What I want to know is, did you just get lucky…?  How did you know they were here?  They came quietly, no lights initially.  Did your drinking buddy up in the other apartment up the lot hear dispatch on his CB and call to warn you?

But the music went up again, so I called the dispatcher back.  She said the cop hadn’t heard any music, but since I was not the only pissed off neighbor, I assume I wasn’t imagining that shit.  I told herI was listening to it again through my walls as we spoke and she said she’d send another car out.  By this time I was wide awake, hungry, angry, and having to pee.

I have to say, if you’re so worried about your precious care, perhaps you should stop being so inconsiderate to your neighbors.  I can tell you, your behavior is very…provoking.  So now I come to the conclusion of this letter and want to assure you from now on, I will be a right bitch when I see you, and if I decide not to complain to the landlord about this (she hates me as much as she hates you), then the next time I hear your music when I am sleep deprived and hungry, I will be way scarier than dude who was at your door this morning.  Also, I will bring my dog.

You provoke me...

You provoke me…

Here’s Your Sign; Bad Habit

I want to tell you a story…

I am currently on my second cup of coffee, but I may actually need to exercise some of this anxiety out of me before I can finish this post.  Yesterday, I had to travel to a town about four hours away for a wedding.  What should have been a long but easy drive ended up being a stressful mess.  I have never encountered so many awful drivers in one day (actually, not even a full 24 hours.)

To begin with we had only been in the car a but under two hours.  But the trip started poorly from the get go, mainly due to the fact that we should have left at least an hour earlier; I had miscalculated our departure time due to a time zone change from Central to Eastern.  That said, it would not have mattered because due to traffic and assholes, we were actually about two hours late to the wedding, missing the ceremony entirely.  I have no idea why, but already, I was feeling as if my bullshit meter was tipping dangerous into the red.  For some reason, cars in the two lanes could not stomach the idea of riding behind anyone…yet instead of passing, they were content to ride side by side, disallowing anyone else to pass or make progress in a timely fashion.  It was like this off and on the whole way there.  It was extremely irritating, but not dangerous, which is my prime concern when my child is in the car.  Until I noticed this one jackass in little hamster-mobile.  Actually, hubby noticed him first, because he remarked on the fact that said jackass was looking down at a phone instead of the road and his driving was suffering.  Apparently he’d drive at a snail’s pace when looking at the phone, then decide to recover ground when he decided to watch teh road, flying up on people’s asses and slamming on his brakes, before cutting over to the next lane.  At one point he passed and I noticed a female passenger.  Then the lane weaving commenced anew in front of us.  Twice he cut people off, seemingly narrowly avoiding clipping their front bumpers, and I sat there with mute fury.  I think I hit my limit then.  Not for the day, because the day was young, but my cumulative limit.  Ask just about anyone in our town and they will tell you people around this areas either drive like the rules of the road (stop signs and red lights...what??) don’t apply to them, or like they aren’t even aware there ARE rules.  And I am tired of people getting away with it.  Not just because of the lack of courtesy but because it’s dangerous!  But as usual, the cops are never around when this shit happens, and I feel impotent in these situations.

“When I go driving I stay in my lane
But getting cut off it makes me insane
I open the glove box
Reach inside
I’m gonna wreck this fucker’s ride”

The Offspring- Bad Habit

I wanted to call that driver out, let him know someone had noticed his horrendously dangerous antics, and perhaps shame him into being more careful.  So, in an act of singular passive aggressive brilliance, I pulled out a giant document envelope that had been folded up and jammed in the side compartment of the door and made a sign.  In pen and block letters gone over several times to darken them:


As we rode past in the left lane, I held the sign to my window.  The reaction was immediate and, frankly, insane.

This utter douchebag jammed the gas and then cut across our front bumper, then slamming on his brakes.  In the seconds that followed, I remembered thinking that if we rear-ended him, it would technically be our “fault.”  How could we prove he cut us off in a deliberate and aggressive manuever.  My husband managed to brake enough to avoid collision and as the DB in the hamster-mobile sped up again and began to pull over to the side of the road, my husband followed.

This was actually happening.  Shit, what had I started?  And yet part of me felt vindicated.  The look on my husband’s face was enough to tell me he had left reason behind.  He was smiling.

 I sat in indecision.  I did not want to leave my kid in the car, but I knew there were at least two people in that vehicle.  I wanted to back Hubs up.

“Be careful, ” I told him.  “He might have a gun.”  Hubby made it halfway to the other vehicle when the other driver punked out; their brakelights went out and they took off.  My husband was still smiling, a shark’s smile, when he got back in the vehicle.  I wonder if the other guy’s girl saw him coming and yelled at her husband to let it go…  It’s what I would have done if the roles were reversed.  Of course, I’d have already been yelling at Hubs to stop driving like a dick in the first place.

“Drivers are rude
Such attitudes
But when I show my piece
Complaints cease
Something’s odd
I feel like I’m god
You stupid dumb shit goddamn motherfucker!” (Bad Habit)

My kid is in the backseat… “Why did we stop?”

ME:  “Daddy needed to have a talk with another driver…”  Daddy was gonna throat check another driver and beat his ass …and he’d have deserved it.  

Having an argument or disagreement is one thing… Using a 2 ton vehicle to bully other people in a way that could have a catestrophic outcome is something completely different.  Of course my sign was ill-advised, but the other driver’s actions were criminal.

After the inital confrontation, we saw them farther up the road a few times.  Once we passed them, and apparently, the DB’s big brass balls were back and he began gesticulating.  Hubs merely looked in the rearview and reaffirmed, by pointing to the shoulder, his continued willingness to meet on the side of the road and “talk things out.”  No dice.  Eventually, we took an exit and DB went along his way.

If this were where the story ended, I might not even be writing this today.

It felt like barely ten minutes later when we spied red and blue strobing lights ahead of us and traffic slowed to a crawl.  One vehicle was pulled to the shoulder and a girl who looked to be barely out of her teens stood with the door open, feet on the bottom part of the car door frame, looking at something in the distance.  In front of their vehicle another care was parked.  Had there been a fender bender and the usual rubber neckers were slowing traffic?  Was the girl’s boyfriend perhaps involved?

Hubby had already seen in the distance what I had yet to notice.  I discovered shortly that the girl I saw looking was likely just that, a spectator.  Or perhaps the driver of her vehicle had stopped to help.   As we made our way by, I saw the gasoline tanker off the road, semi-jack-knifed, the cab’s nose, elevated slightly over a small road side ditch and buried in the side of a tree.  The undercarriage had been ripped from the cab and was in an exhaust-covered tangle below it. I can only hope the tanker was empty.  No HazMat team was on scene.  Some men were standing there looking up, as if assessing the situation and I had a split second to wonder if they were EMS attempting to rescue the driver when I saw said driver.  He was hanging upside down out of the canted cab, half in and half out, dangling with his arms hanging limply.  He wore a blue chambray-looking shirt, a typical blue-collar uniform shirt.  And I realized he was probably already dead, if the men below were merely standing there and not actively “rescuing.”

I whispered quietly to Hubs, asking if he had seen what I had, but he said once he saw the wreck, he had looked away, not wanting to see more.   He’s seen worse.  There was no blood or anything, but I couldn’t help but feel a sort of shocked sadness.  Seeing someone dead, and not in the setting of a funeral parlor, is a very disconcerting thing.

Those were the two major events.  All through the rest of the trip, people continued to clog up the highway by riding side by side.  We were already running late when we got lost shortly.  We spent two hours at the wedding venue only to get back in the car and follow two vehicles to an after party in a cabin on the mountain.  It was an hour away, the last leg of the journey full of steep switchbacks and gravel and rocks.  We had to practically crawl the last part up the mountain.  We’d have been better off in second gear probably.

I knew I’d never sleep well there, and I desperately needed sleep.  I know myself enough to know that.  The combination of early morning departure and extreme stress had me worn out, and I knew my child would never settle down to rest if there were other kids there to play with.  The party was great, the company made us feel like part of the family.  The cabin and fall foliage was phenomenal.  But I was done.  We initially had planned to take a room down the mountain but ended up deciding to muscle through so we could sleep in our own beds.  The ride home was full of assholes with their brights on, however, the decision to drive home ended up being a good one,  as a hour away from home, the girl who was supposed to be taking care of my dog for the evening messaged me to inform me she had lost my apartment key.

You can’t lock my apartment without the key.


Update*  The truck driver, 40 years old, was pronounced dead at the scene, however it looks as if we passed the wreck before EMS or Fire arrived.  According to the report I just read, one lane of the road was later closed off to traffic while they worked the scene.