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

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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

Wow I actually did it! Well some of it.

I told myself I was going to take it easy this weekend I needed to for my health and sanity.  This move and everything else going on has me wound tight I’m tired and everything hurts and yet I’m wound.

I suppose I would not be fair to myself to call it a fail, I’ll just say “redirected goal setting”.

Yesterday I didn’t fare well on the take it easy goal but I’m happy with what I accomplished.  I suppose I would not be fair to myself to call it a fail, I’ll just say “redirected goal setting”.  After all I accomplished a lot just not my original intended goal!

Today I still started out on Much the same way, moving this and that and running back and forth from storage.  Then, and don’t laugh I spent 3 hours sanding a small plank of wood by hand!  This was my me time I was absolutely in heaven!

I sanded it tediously with a block to hold my sandpaper all the way up to 1000 grit!  14 different cycles and I was happy! In my own little world giving “life” to this project.  I probably would have gone even farther except the rain came.

Okay, I’ve got boxes to go through anyway.  What I found funny is I rushed around to find the softest towel I could find so I could lean the piece against the wall.  Not for fear of damaging the wall but for fear of damaging the piece!  Then back to move mode.

I was in auto pilot, not void of thought but void of introspection.

As I sit here over dinner I keep thinking about the day and how my overall mood changed at each step.  Going through boxes of my past there’s a lot of steps hence a lot of mood swings.  For the greater part of the day I was in auto pilot, not void of thought but void of introspection.

When I started sanding the wood I figured I would just start and let the project take a few weeks.  Honestly I have no idea what I’m going to make it into a bench?? A nightstand?? The fact is I was so focused I felt the rest of the world didn’t exist.  It didn’t need to.

I had my place, I was comfortable truly comfortable.  I talked to the wood, gently feeling for any imperfections as I worked.  Wow reading that last bit to myself it sounds a bit uhm sick.  I was focused and yes, there were some imperfections that I could not fix. Strangely I accepted incapability rather than considering it failure.

For anyone interested lol the plank is a slab of “beetle kill” pine, the dark stripe up the outer edges are caused by a fungus that the beetles carry but yes the featured pic is my buddy!

When life gets rough like sandpaper let it make you smooth!

~Joe 

A Good Idea

A Glimmer of Enjoyment from My Morning Paper

Yesterday started with a whimper, I had no motivation but a million things to do. I was able to force myself to start going through things and doing the tasks I had planned but it was not easy. Over time I did manage to build up steam and as my attitude changed for the better I became more productive. I managed to get more done than I expected yesterday morning but still less than I wanted to, but that’s okay too.

This is not the subject I want to write about today though! Yesterday morning my mother noticed a review in my beloved morning paper for a play called “Sylvia” at a theatre that I had never heard of. The play is about a married couple who fight over a dog that the husband took in as a stray. Apparently, Thursday nights are discounted so we decided to fork over the big whopping $11.00 per person and take a break from life.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a play, in fact over 15 years! I dated a gal that was an actress for a few small plays and I would go and watch her. In any case the review stated to show up early so you can get front row seats and “see all the action on the floor”. We left early and showed up a half hour before the show started accidentally securing the first spot in line. The venue was incredibly tiny!!! Cool as all hell though, they had a string of doors connected together separating the entrance way from the seating and stage area and a tiny booth for the box office. Lots of local art, very uhm…. Modest.

What we saw last night at Funky Little Theatre Co. far exceeded our expectations!!! I commented to my mother after just the first 5 minutes that we already got our $11 worth!! The entire play was amazing, incredibly hilarious and incredibly touching at the same time. I was in tears several times from laughter and twice during sad parts. Turns out the director had to put his dog to sleep just last weekend so the program had a picture of his dog and a dedication. I am glad we made the spontaneous decision to see this play.

To add to the awesomeness they were taking donations, as well as selling raffle tickets to support a dog rescue group All Breed Rescue & Training and $1 from each ticket sold was also donated!!! What a great newspaper find!

In fact, not only was this a good idea, it turned into a great idea! I managed to get a card from the young man that produced the show, Chris Medina and decided that my experience was positive enough to ask him permission to mention him and the Funky Little Theatre Co. in this blog. You can count on it I will be going by there as often as I can to catch other shows in this wonderfully small 40 seat venue!

So, if you are ever in Colorado Springs, Colorado, check them out, you can hit the site at http://www.funkylittletheatre.org or give them a call at 310.909.3694 to see what’s going on!

Woof,

~Joe