What’s This New Thing?

Don’t be afraid of life

A friend and mentor of mine told me this once during a visit while I was at an inpatient rehab.  Such a simple piece of advice to think of at first thought.  Especially for someone who tends to display himself as fearless.

This mornings lesson came courtesy of poochie and mother nature we got to see snow for our first time.  This new soggy chilly ground covering did not stop us from potty!  We found it tasty though, something to snack on!  It’s everywhere!! We played, danced, ate, and rolled in this new thing.  Our once boring yard primarily used as a bathroom has become a new world all because a light dusting of this wet cold white stuff.

This morning I woke to a familiar deal, nightmares and terrors out of nowhere.  Pupster was right there with a nuzzle to remind me I was alright, that things were okay.  Her gentle nuzzle and pushing of her head against me with a soft low whine acted perfectly to remind me where I was and who I was with.  she reminded me that I should not fear life this morning.

Life is rough, topsy turvy, emotional, just a ball of crap for the most part and yet here we are being humans.  This is cold dad, this is fun!!  when do we lose our childhood?  Somewhere along the line we all forget the feelings of “new” and “interesting” we grow old and cold and stupid.  We get stuck in our stupid ways our habits and what we think being adults is.

Today I’m going to play with pooch, in the snow like an idiot because I can!  I will break out the snoopy sno cone maker my loving girl got me years ago and we will snack on snow cones and snow and just be.  Today I am not afraid of life, in fact today life should be afraid of me.

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Backpacking Pooches!

I can’t wait, according to the tracking our goodies arrive from Amazon tomorrow!  Pooch will soon have her own saddlebag backpack for our hikes!  Tomorrow’s weather is supposed to be nice (it’s a chilly 31* currently) and I’m chomping at the bit to get pupster out and on the trails with her diva pink backpack and a training clicker.

So now I get to figure out what to pack for pooch, which of course means I’ve got to go through my own pack as well.  I love to be prepared and I love to have everything organized and at the ready.  Yes, I’m the guy with a first aid kit in every room, a can of spam in the trunk, rehydration salts in the glove box.  Every so often while hiking I come across people in need of first aid.  I’ve once wrapped a gal’s knee after she fell down some stone stairs at the will rogers shrine.  For some reason every time I hike I come across someone hah.

So we wait impatiently for our backpack and other goodies and have big weekend plans to hit the trails!  She and I both need the exercise and some good walking meditation is in order.  I’ve been refreshing myself with some SMART recovery tools and just finished re-working a tool called the lifestyle balance pie, meant to identify areas of my life that need improvement.  This took me several days of self examination and a good amount of self acceptance and a little bit of time on the trails would do me good.

It’s been a long while since I’ve hit the trails in a serious fashion and I definitely need the exercise.  It’ll be nice to get the camera out and get some good photo’s, photos of my pooch and the woods and the turning leaves.  Nice thing about Colorado is our fall season, the crisp air and scenery, the colors, the breeze, I love it here.  Pup loves it here too 🙂  I’m glad.  So today we will hike, tomorrow we will backpack, and Sunday… well, maybe we’ll go for a drive!  Pupster does love her car rides.

Hike on!

~J

Insomniac Ramblings Pt. 1

Because sleep is just a luxury…

I’ve had quite the interesting day uhm…. well yesterday at this point!  For all purposes I should be fast asleep in a near coma given the planned and unplanned exercise I was so graciously blessed with from the pooch.  Two planned runs on the trail behind the property to continue practicing our recall command (dog should return to me immediately upon receiving the command) back and forth several miles each run.  I began to get very proud of Elsa and maybe a little too proud of myself as she obeyed the recall without fail every time.

Mommy sent a gift card for Elsa from Amazon so we settled in and spent some time picking out some training treats, a clicker and other goodies, and a wonderful saddlebag harness in hot pink (she’s such a diva!)!  Click click… alright it’s evening we better get out for a potty before dinner as I had an online meeting at 6:30, the time was around 5:40.  Admiring my confidence in our recall abilities I subconsciously made the decision not to leash up.

~Deer~  ~It took less than 2 minutes for Elsa…. to disappear~

Colorado is a beautiful place, the area where my apartment building sits is surrounded by open land and wildlife is not exactly a rarity by any means.  Deer, 4 does grazing in our yard….  I love my Border Collie mix for her activity level and her mental capabilities, oh yea and that herding quality that is so funny to watch when she tries to herd the neighbors or the apartment maintenance guy.  It took less than 2 minutes for Elsa and the herd that she was watching to disappear.  A half our or so of jogging around calling and looking I finally gave up and started back hoping some kind soul would read her tag and call my cell or I would get a call based on her chip.

As I neared the edge of the open space to cross the street to the building I was greeted by a black lab and his owner who said he would keep an eye out and as I was just about to leave here comes this happy go lucky brown and white lightning bolt popping up over the hill at break neck speed to my side proudly about a job well done.  Okay, I’ll admit it took me a few minutes to relax and not blame her as it was my fault for not being cognizant of the time and the traits of my wonderful Elsa.

I posted a reminder note to myself on the door as somewhat of a self training tool and we proceeded to have our dinner while I attempted to get into my meeting.  The last 10 hours or so have taught me quite a bit, from the herding incident on through interactions with other people in support groups and other bloggers that I follow.  Perhaps I’m still slightly off in my mental state but all in all I’m in an incredibly serene mood!  Ordinarily at this point after tossing and turning so much I would be grinding my teeth with anger at my insomnia.  Right now I’m incredibly content to reflect on the day and return to my snuggle bear.

Changes

So now I have purpose…

Elsa, I call her Elise as she responds well to the name, a border collie mix and god can she run!!! This poor pooches spent her entire life in shelters she’s a sweetheart but shy.

She thus far is most comfortable under my bed, I can now say I’ve napped under the bed I think she’s just used to the cages.  I’m hopeful it will change soon it’s only been half a day and she’s already showing improvement.  I can off leash her at the end of a run and she knows what door to go to.

It makes me think though, the last few months have been uncomfortable for me as I’ve been experiencing a lot of change.  And this pup is as well, even if it’s for the best I’m finding change itself a tough deal.

We live in routine and modification scares us often.  Today and next week I will accept the changes given and stand up to my challenges. After all I need to be a good example for my sweet Elsa.

~J

Random Thoughts on a Monday 

Yesterday and tomorrow are days off (technically tomorrow isn’t off as I’m going in for a test).  I’ve managed to do half my laundry, eat lots, and even get a nap in!!  My next shift starts in about 4 hours providing they don’t call to beg I go in early.

In early, hmmmm Apparently I am good at what I do as I’m on the short list of the first people called for extra time. Even with two days off this week my schedule will give me 60 hours and that’s not taking account for the morning “can you come in now??” calls I receive every day.

While the job I am working is crap and I don’t expect to be there soon I still take pride in it.

Being able to play a cornerstone role has given me………..

Matter of fact I think the experience was needed!!  Lately I’ve felt pretty useless being able to play a cornerstone role has given me some of my old drive back.  I’ve also begun to learn patience and understanding with others. I never thought that such a simple and crap job would have much result.

Thank god I have other irons in the fire as surviving on this job alone would surely be a stress filled life.  And yet people do it!!  For whatever reason, I’ve met plenty that are well qualified and smart but just can’t seem to land the job for whatever reason.

I suppose it’s a blessing I know my reason?!  Today I will do my shift and do the best I can and I will attempt to keep my thoughts of the past and future at bay, a simple sideline as to who I am presently.

Again take pride in all you do, the best legacy is that you always worked hard and took pride in that

~J

And Finally Some Sleep!

As I sit here waiting impatiently for my two favorite morning things, the paper and my coffee I’m pondering.  It has been a crazy few days what with the stupidity in Charlotesville and just overall tension everywhere I wonder why it is that I still read the paper.  Oh wait, now I remember!!  Nothing compares with holding a paper reading the comics.

Perhaps I’m just in a good mood this morning, I have my coffee and my paper and I actually had a full nights sleep.  I have a 12 hour shift coming and am flat broke with a car load of laundry I need to figure out how to do but life overall really isn’t so bad.  I’ve got snoopy and a few articles that don’t mention trump or white supremacy to keep me occupied and I’ve had a great breakfast scramble because if there is anything a man learns that’s worth something it’s how to cook.

And then there’s the “Dear Amy” section of the paper, yeah used to be someone else lol but this week I suppose it’s Amy.  Amy gets a question about a teen daughter who has started dating and her response just makes me laugh.  “The only hitch is that Cary Grant is dead and George Clooney is too old”.  Just boffo!!  Nobody name drops Cary Grant anymore, yeah he’s on my list of if I could ever meet….

Just a morning of random babblings, I’ll leave the heavy lifting to the other bloggers I follow as they do write some pretty heavy stuffs.  For now it’s coffee and my comics… and maybe I’ll read this bit about Trump though honestly I’m bored with it.

Maybe I’ll start a kickstarter campaign to fix trumps hair….

~J

A Few of My Favorite Things

Yesterday while talking to my neighbor I noticed a real nice surprise in front of my patio, the local newspaper!  My grandfather decided to re-direct his newspaper subscription to my address the day before yesterday and I couldn’t be happier.  I have a strong affinity for the newspaper, and while I’ve gone out of my way to avoid constantly looking at news lately (to avoid more anxiety and depression).

My grandfather used to be a typesetter as a young man in his home island of Maui and as such established great skill at reading upside down.  He used to read the paper upside down and I have fond memories of sitting at the other side of the table in the morning when I stayed the night reading the paper with him (right side up for me).  I absolutely love the paper and every once in a while I’ll hit Barnes and Noble and pick up a paper from another city just for the hell of it (I’d love to get my hands on some European papers someday).  I will often read the paper in spurts throughout the day or not crack it until the evening to wind down, I’m happy to be able to do this once again!

*bang* tasty hash browns!

As I type this I am munching on my wonderful breakfast of homemade hash brown potatoes with 2 eggs scrambled in and a good crumbling of the most amazing cheese!  Trader Joes “Unexpected Cheddar Cheese” it’s an aged cheddar and parmesan blend and absolutely unexpected as the label says for sure.  It doesn’t slice easily and instead crumbles but wow!  On the subject of homemade hash brown potatoes I absolutely LOVE the Cuisinart that my Auntie (who I also absolutely LOVE) gave me.  I simply quarter a potato length wise and pulse it through with the grater attachmchent and toss it in my frying pan and *bang* tasty hash browns!

Popcorn, recently with my goal of quitting smoking I have found comfort in microwave popcorn and have been consuming a bag to a bag and a half daily.  I’ve tried toothpicks but end up chomping down on them too much and I don’t think splinters are too good for ones intestinal tract.  I do the simple butter style and sometimes toss a little bit of black pepper on the kernels for kick.

And so this morning now that I have had my breakfast I will peek outside and see if todays paper has arrived yet!

~J

Wok on Water

I’m thinking today I’ll put in for something very different…

Several years ago I had this idea, my mom lives on the channels in Oxnard, California where many of the homes have private docks at the rear of the homes.  I love to cook (I absolutely LOVE to cook) and many of my dishes are Pan-Asian inspired.  Out there the popular thing is to have an electric boat they typically call  “cocktail boats” and just putter around the channels watching the seals and generally hanging out.

So I thought to myself why not modify a little boat Bladerunner style (favorite movie ever btw) and cruise around cooking and slinging stir fry?  I named this dream boat of mine “Wok on Water” and, while somewhat of a pipe dream it’s always good to dream.  I’ve been battling a touch of anxiety lately and I’ve come to the conclusion that maybe I don’t dream enough.  Stewing in all that can go wrong or all that is wrong often yields piss poor results for someone like me as I do just that, I stew.

I dream now and then of a food truck or a career where I can just cook so I think perhaps maybe it’s time for me to rethink and just go find me an entry level kitchen job and follow a passion.  What’s the worst that can happen?  People might say no, I might end up in a dish pit for a while, maybe I’ll get lucky and find a prep job.

It’s on

~J

A Day With A Pooch

This morning I took a few hours and went to the local pet shelter to talk about volunteering.  Lo and behold I almost ended up with a pooch!!  I waited for hours to get a chance to meet a wonderful Pit / Australian shepherd mix.  She was 8 years old unfortunately and I’m not quite sure I’m ready for a poochie yet but it was well worth the time hanging out to put in some pats and loves.  Echo was brought into the meeting room and immediately plopped her nose in my lap and of course I melted.

I’ve pretty much figured out that idle hands are a danger for me and I’m trying to keep as busy as possible and the proximity of the humane society to my apartment not to mention working with pooches just appeals to me!  So it’s free TB shots in my arm and walking doggies when I’m not working!!  I can’t wait until Sunday for training I suppose the hardest part is going to be not wanting to adopt every pup!

So I sit here typing paragraphs only to delete them, type another one, delete ,delete, delete… hah I suppose I should spend my time more wisely?  Maybe learn a new language like Spanish or Portuguese or some random language I’ll likely never use.  I won’t lie it does get somewhat lonely here just me in the apartment and the prospect of a pooch to snuggle with is incredibly appealing but the timing just isn’t right.  So a volunteering I will go I think, and when the time is right then perhaps I will find the right pooch.

I sit here typing this looking at a puppy picture of my beloved Akita may she rest in peace and it dawns on me that we as humans crave closeness to something, whether it be another human or a pup or cat even turtles!  Coincidentally there were multiple turtles at the shelter which I found slightly odd.  Granted I don’t foresee myself walking a turtle anytime soon, if they had ferrets maybe.  Somehow I think I may have opened Pandora’s box with this volunteering but who knows it’ll be nice to interact with doggies.

Exploring Hidden Effort

A lot of mystery happens behind the scenes and it’s great!

I’m not so much of a TV watcher I don’t own a television nor do I have any service, I couldn’t tell you the big movies released in the last few years. What I do love is older movies and TV shows, a weekend of greatness for me is zoning out over as many episodes of MASH as I can cram in while I putter around the house. I love old westerns and film noir, old war movies and a lot of other classics. I do watch some semi recent things such as Hellboy and the Riddick series, etc. but most of it is more for background noise and not so much for actual engagement.

Recently for background noise I have been pulling out a lot of DVD’s that I haven’t viewed in a while and going through the special features specifically looking for commentary from the directors and actors / what not. Because I have seen these films often multiple times just hearing the commentary gives me some entertaining background noise while I pop around not able to see the actual screen. At first it was just a need for noise and the commentary for one of my favorite films “Hellboy” which soon spurred a whole new interest for me.

When I was in information technology I used to get frustrated at the fact that often I never really achieved job satisfaction. Often the sign of success or acumen in technology is that you never hear from anybody, people don’t call when things are working and rarely do you actually get to see a “finished product”. In construction you can stand back and see completion, sales you obviously see the sale, culinary arts produces food, information technology produces an unseen electronic ether that nobody ever really digs into. How many people did it truly take to allow you sitting at home perhaps halfway across the world to read my ramblings? When I hear this commentary I get this window on the back wall where I can see huge amounts of effort from people in the background.

This morning while preparing breakfast and puttering I had commentary for Who Framed Roger Rabbit on which is what inspired this post. At the time the movie was a pairing with Touchstone and Disney and it was one of the most expensive movies made. The big comment that grabbed me was interesting; effectively they eluded to the fact that they really had 3 movies going on at once all mushed together. The thought that there was live acting on sets, about a 45 minute animation feature, and then a whole separate overlay of just special effects and composition shots. The credits alone, for just the painters doing animation cells was some 3 columns scrolling by just… WOW!

What makes this fun is the idea that there is so much imagination and talent behind a lot of what we think of as the day to day. This is not specific to entertainment or information technology, think about your favorite restaurant and whoever came up with the recipes and menu or who planted the flowers and landscaped the median you drive by every day on your way to work. There is a certain wonder for me tied to what I look at now wondering “just what went into that?” it’s an incredible thought. Now it seems people expect the biggest best whatever and have no real idea of what exactly happens behind the curtain.

Having recently started a creative project of a kind I have never done before I’m beginning to understand and appreciate more the extra efforts that are often simply unknown. As I wander around today I find myself looking at things with a different wonder and curiosity, how did this get shaped, who came up with this idea, why this shape? I have always been a quick learner primarily through curiosity and drive, to lose that curiosity is a tragedy and for today I am excited to have a strong sense of curiosity back.

Pay attention to the man behind the curtain,

~J