Wednesday, October 26, 2016

~ Drumroll, Please

It's been a shitty year (+). 

Fact:  The biggest and best thing that I've done (/has happened to me/I've been involved in) in that amount of time was my high school reunion in August. 

I was out at night like a damn grown up.  I was outside (if you've been keeping track of my neighbor, Kooky McBean & the Pussycats situation, then you know 'outside' has been made impossible to be at BBG HQ), takin' in the night air and appreciating the stars.  There was alcohol.  Ol' friends.  It was the absolute highlight of the year-ish that my dog died, and that I was diagnosed with Lupus.  ...To add a bit of context  even that night involved me only being able to consume a grand total of two beers (because taking nine hundred and thirty two pills a day doesn't lend itself to bein' booze compatible).  My knee, for reasons only known to the devil and my immune system mysteriously, and super fucking conveniently, decided to swell and get hot to the touch during the evening rendering me unable to walk without lookin' wonky.  And the drunkard (which I do not use as a pejorative) classmate who we were like fucking livin' angels driving home got a flat tire capping off the evening by sitting on the side of a country road waiting for a tow truck.  Now, no offense to my high school reunion, but you know when that's been the pinnacle of more than a 365 stretch?  "It's been a shitty year", is the most delusional optimistic possible framing of the situation.

Needless to say I'm super stoked to have good news happening, and to be able to share. 

Several weeks ago my new best friend was born.

As I suppose there must always be a l'il yin to every yang, he's not cute at all.

Not.  At.  All.

He will arrive at BBG HQ this weekend.


Thursday, September 15, 2016

~ I Want ALL Of The Gold Stars


I want to be a 'good person'.  I spend a inordinate amount of time attempting to fit that definition.  Usually, I think it's not that hard.  Being a dick is just not my go-to-move.  Which isn't to say I can't be a dick.  Everybody has their breaking point where all bets are off.  I just try to use all of the other gettin' shit done tools in my arsenal first.  (Caveat:  Sometimes [although particularly in business, I probably feel this way 'cause I don't let a lotta assholes in the BBGWorld-da-verse.] an asshole only understands assholiness.  That's the only language they understand.  They can't respect anything other than the asshole approach, so you've gotta go in hard with these people.  [Which is kinda fun and exhausting all at the same time.], but I digress.
Mom is an RN.  Before that she was a Police Officer.
Dad was a Police Officer.  Before that (& ALWAYS)
a Marine.  So you're damn straight this is one
of my favorite quotes.

So the frequency in which I'm having to remind me that I'm not the kind of person who kills cats is, I wanna say disturbing, but also stressful, so?  Disturbfull?  Stresstrubing?  Having to come up with new words to convey the enormity of fuck-up'idness, is also, as it turns out, stresstrubing.

I have, let's call 'em general plans if I have to kill an actual person.  Which I am always prepared to have be a possibility. 

Totally TMI, and (some serious digression is about to go on alert:) probably a tid-bit that once I share will likely leave your head noddin' in the affirmative while thinking silently, 'yeah.  That explains a lot.'  When I was a wee ass lass, maybe? 8-ish, a completely random guess from a girl who can't accurately recall what the fuck I did last Tuesday.  My Dad was studying for the Sergeants exam.  Manuals and study guides sat on side tables and I was kinda kid who liked to read the set of encyclopedias, or Finger Paper Google for you youngin's. Next thing I know I am learning about entrance wounds vs. exit wounds.  I won't bore you with the details, but full color, corpses on the slab, oh, that's what brain matter looks like?, amazement and wonder sucked me in.  So much so that I never heard my Mom enter the room.  I did hear when she yelled at my Dad for leaving such material out and about.  (Sorry, Dad.)  I could absolutely not see the problem.  I'd learned some shit.  For, ya know, all of those times an elementary age kid needs to lead a murder investigation.  I'd seen parts of the body I'd never seen before other than in cartoon form.  Thought that was cool too.  I don't remember ever having a bad dream, or anything.  I just found it fascinating.  Like I later did with Mom's nursing school books.  Making me the coolest 10-year old familiar with the PDR (Physicians Desk Reference) and Merck's .  (Suck it, Doogie Howser, M.D.)   I've always had a curious streak.  Then a few years later Dad was forced to shoot and kill a man. (Story link here)   ...So, I've always, from an early age, known that I might have to kill a human.  Circumstances conspire and you're in an only-one-of-us-is-going-home, and I'm goin' the fuck home.  And boom.  There's a body.  I accepted this reality a long ass time ago.

Obviously, I'm not a monster.  I hope I never have to kill a person.  But if I do?  Well, two things;  1) If ya've given me no other option than to kill you?  I.  Am.  Gonna.  Kill.  Your.  Ass.  

I have one way to kill a person in every room.  Some rooms have two.  They're not all the same and are easily accessible without being visible, or recognized on sight.  In my life I have only told one person the entirety of the weaponry at hand.  Ok.  I just told a fib.  He knew all but one.  (He:  my live in police officer beau) I just thought it was prudent to have a hold back in case I ever had to kill him.  (shrugs)  Look, if there's anything life has taught me at every fucking chance it's had it's that you can't be 100% sure of what tomorrow is gonna bring.  (Oh.  I see that that seems borderline bat shit crazy, and for an accountant's kid it would be.  As a copkid, my Dad would never speak to me again if he thought BBG HQ wasn't tactically tricked out.)  BBG Fun Fact:  The first move you make that let's me know it's to-the-death time?  I've already decided I'm going to kill you.

B) Have you met 'people'?  There are a lot of real fuckers out there.  The last time I grocery shopped I awarded myself a gold star for not slashing the throat of some broad who was too busy with her cell to be bothered with common civility, like, pulling off to the side as opposed to, let's say, abruptly stoppin' her shopping cart buggy (West Virginia shout out!) in the middle of the aisle.  I didn't think my frozen pizza offered the kinda edge necessary to accomplish the task, so I just repeated 'serenity now' until I tersely said, very Suzanne Sugerbakerly, "excuse me."  The kind that on first blush ya think is a request, but then ya realize ya just got, albeit politely-ish, ordered.  I'm just sayin', if every other day of life has taught me two things then it's that I know how to manage to not let dumbass people make me loose my cushy, compared to Oz, which I am currently watchin', existence. 

(Dear HBO GO,  We're gonna have to have a talk.  Have you not seen Netflix??  I swear, sometimes you make me insert a soundtrack of the ol' school AOL dial up noise.  So, get your shit together.   Regards, BBG)

I am not the continually loosin' my shit type.  I've never thrown a plate in anger so the universe is pretty fuckin' safe from me ever throwin' bullets because some dolt is tickin' me off.  Plus, I place a high value on the absurd, and the fixin's of a good story. 

...So, while I haven't had to kill a person (again, thankfully) the thought of it isn't very troubling, in the sense that I've already accepted that if we've gotten to that point?  My death was the only other choice, and I can't have that.  I know all to well the toll taking a life takes on the take-er with the Dad situation, so I don't mean to sound caviler about it, just keenly aware that if somethin' ever goes down I'm fully capable of takin' a human life, if the universe won't have it any other way.

But an animal?  Nope.  I just couldn't.  And, yes, I get that my burger doesn't grown on trees that are hugged everyday by people dancin' around dressed in tofu scented tu-tus.  (I, BBG, do hereby call dibs on the corporate name and/or likeness of 'Tofu-tus'.)  Ham, as much as I wish were the fuckin' case, doesn't magically appear with the wave of a wand.  Lemme short hand it for you, I have stopped the BBG(at the time)mobile to avoid running over an opossum. (In the country in the dead of night, so no witnesses or ramifications.)  A person who doesn't kill an opossum, an opossum!  One of the ugliest, creepy ass creatures in the animal kingdom.  If anything probably deserves to be looked at and immediately killed, it's an opossum.  Fact:  If you won't kill an opossum you're not gonna kill a cute animal.  (For the same reason that you can guarantee that a person who wears swimming nose plugs is definitely not gonna snort any powder-y substance.)

Congratulations!  You made it through the ramble!
(circling back is about to happen)

The fact that I'm having to set an internal reminder to settle myself probably tells ya all ya need to know about the (ugh) Cat Fight (the origin story).  But if you seriously don't have anything better to do...

When we last left off all cat action (or, 'catageddon' as my Mom calls it) was confined to the back deck, comprising the bulk of my in theory personal outdoor space.  And rendering it almost completely fucking useless to me with it's bio-hazard-y nature, thanks to my neighbor, and free-range cat feeding enthusiast, Kooky McBean. There were some behind the scenes ta-doin's that I wasn't ready to tip my hand about in the last post.  (ahem, hold backs)  The BBGville City Prosecutor has struck a deal with her that she shall ('shall', as in fuckin' must) cease feedin' these fuckin' cats.  (Doing so stops the clock on the legal proceedings looming over her head.)  If she's found to be feeding cats she will immediately be charged with contempt of court and forced to pay all court costs for both sides.  The deal also includes a provision the the BBGville City Health Department can make an unannounced visits to her home at literally any time for a random inspection of the premises, both inside and out and she may not deny them entry. 

When I got the final update from the City Prosecutor he mentioned that he hoped that would put an end to the situation.  I giggled.  And remember how long and how much effort it took to get her to comply with the Great Don't Feed The Birds Off Your Deck-Fest of 2011 (link to story).  I pretty much knew it was likely to be a when we talk again vs. a if

And guess fucking what?

I'm calling him today.  For today, I found this on my deck...

Hey, BBGW-ers, know what's cool?
Well, after a quick Googlin', according to the CDC
eleven can kill ya things including;

Super.  Fucking.  Cool.  No?

Now, again, I don't like having to play the girl in the bubble card, but this is what's posted in throughout the hospital system I use.  I have two items that apply to me.  (I miss out on a trifecta on a technicality.)  So, I'm pretty fuckin' sure I'm not supposed to be dealing with 11 herbs 'n spices ways to be die during mouse body disposal.  But this, my friends, is just the today-y latest. 

In the past week or so I started to notice a change in my sole remaining source of outdoorsiness, as the back area had been, for all intents and purposes made functionally unusable by Kooky McBean's actions.    

Last week-ish started looking like this in the front of BBG HQ:



One day returning to BBG HQ I found two kittens curled up at my garage door.  (Do I sound like I'm in any condition to have to deal with a cat creepin' into my garage and dying behind a 6' shelf?  Or that I'd fare well if one of these flea ridden fuckers shoots in my house infesting the whole BBGOperation?!?)  Again, I don't mean to sound like woe-is-fuckin'-me as much as it seems I am, but I can't pretend that this is just a general inconvenience to an otherwise up-to-snuff, healthwise, human. 

Once I noticed the activity in front I attempted to change it.  Nana told me that she and Papa kept some feral cats at bay (on their front porch) once by setting up mouse traps on the chairs they were beginning to frequent.  She said the clickity-clack of them frightened the cats away, but didn't harm them.  So, I gave that a whirl.


As you can see, that went exxxactly as planned.  In my defense, it was the first time I'd ever purchased or used a mouse trap.  In fact, when I asked for help locating them I didn't think they were called mouse traps 'cause I though that's what they call those black boxes ya see around the outside of stores 'n such were.  Honestly, I don't know why they don't call 'em mouse guillotines (aka:  Mousekotines [Trademark pending.  Suck it.])  Not only did the putting them into action part go poorly, the actual efficacy didn't break my way either.

Exhibit A:  Take a peek at one of those last pictures.  (lower, left)  See that cat on the bricks?  At my front door?  Notice what's right the fuck beside it completely un-sprung and deterring squat.

Another feline present: 
Bloody ass egg on my deck

And to put a perfect caper on the endevour, later when I was getting ready for bed I noticed I had a few places on my legs.  They were itchy.  I showered and squirted myself with some Benadryl spray.  Now, before last year?  I probably woulda scratched until the itch subsided or my skin tore open and bled, ya know which ever came first.  But now?  I can't have skin openings practically cobbling together embossed invitations for bacteria and virus.  Gold star, me for exercising pragmatic behavior.  The next day I showed my Mom the spots, she said they were flea bites.  I wonder were I got those?  So now I have been banned from going in my courtyard. 

Today I noticed the cats had been wilding and had knocked over a few plants.  Can I go 6' out of my front door to right them?  It doesn't strike me as being prudent, how 'bout you?  I'm leery to open my front door lest fleas try to breech the screen door.  I don't know how fleas function? 

Wait.  I resend ^^that^^ as being the caper.  The caper is actually this head exploding moment...

These.  Cats.

I see them from the window.  I try to shoo them away by knocking on the window.  Naturally, their feline-y response was to

SerinityRightFuckingNow, 9, 8, 7, 6...

Which tells me they are accustomed to Kooky McBean summoning them with a knock.  My non-cat expert senses tell me wild animals who aren't being courted by people are more skittish than this. 

My detective senses, which is actually a skill I posses.  (Do you know the kind of deducing, lead following, getting people to talk to you and tell you info they don't want to tell you [turning states evidence] and recon you need to employ to get to the decision maker at a McDonald's or Target?) tells me that Kooky McBean has moved her operation up front.  By the, I'm now leaving my garage door jusssssst a cat amount, I'm guessing she's made that a new safe haven. 
She's even gotten stealthier in her OG cat set up.  I no longer see an 'outdoor cat scratcher' when I glance out of my window.  I suspect her grill cover, so covertly raised oh-so-much at the bottom (and directly facing her floor to ceiling kitchen window) obscures some form of harboring and 'care' station. 

Can fleas come through the screen?  I don't know either, as a precaution I've had to keep my slider closed for obvious as fuck reasons.

Meanwhile, I remind myself that I'm not a cat killer.  Because unlike any person I might have to kill the cats aren't maliciously tryin' to kill me.  But Kooky McBean?  She's an option.


Monday, August 29, 2016

~ What Your Cool Ass Aunt Wants You To Know About College

College, for most people, is the first time you get to spend any real time with people who aren't exactly like you.  I know you're a unique snowflake, and all.  It's the first time you're not gonna be surrounded predominately by other peers who grew up in your neighborhood.  Who's parents have jobs like yours do, who shop at the same Old Navy you do, that have, like you, spent most of their days in their zip code. 

In the coming weeks you'll cross paths with people who don't look like you, don't hold the same religious beliefs (or non) that you're familiar with, or eat the same food you have been weaned on.  Go, say hello.  Offer them a piece of gum, or whatever adults in training are doin' these days, which I, as an old ass wouldn't presume to know.  Saving both of us embarrassment.  You're welcome Meet them.  Listen to them.  Knowing people who are the you of the other side of town is fine, don't get me wrong.  But knowing, and coming to have a greater understanding of the people who are you from the other side of the world, or other side of the political spectrum, or social economic setting?  That's where you learn your world view. 

Views are limited by experience.
Your world view, how you interpret your place in the world, how you formulate your political feelings, how you recognize injustices (and are able to in turn do something about them), how you do the math to understand the sum of the how the world works, etc., is about to be altered.  Prepare yourself.  Not everyone has the ability, or desire to notice or embrace such challenges. 

It's like your world view of transportation.  When you were three your field of reference was a big wheel, when you knew more and were older it was a big kid bike, now it's a car.  You knew cars existed when you were 3, but none of the considerations you automatically cycle through now (when you put the keys in the ignition) were factors in your thinking and perception of getting from point a-to-b, at the time.  That's how life works too.  (And why it's important to always be willing to accept all varieties of info as they pop up.  [You have a good head on your shoulders, you'll be able to come to your own conclusions about things, the important part is the exposure part, the open to discovery part.]  Can you imagine bein' all, 'nope, I like my big wheel, I don't wanna know about the next layer of info 'n opportunities?  Jetsonmobiles?  Eh, no thanks.  Fact:  That sentiment doesn't sound any less ridiculous when applied to life.)  You know all someone can know about being a teen and high school, you view the world, and it's workin's through that prism.  But that's only an accurate view from where your standing in life, from your narrow vantage point you've gathered to date.  Today you begin the process of taking your world to the next level.  (ProTip:  You'll learn some people never enlarge their view beyond that point.  Sometimes due to lack of opportunities, sometimes out of comfort and laziness.)  You fill in the view (pick up the peripheral details, notice the nuance) by expanding your wealth of knowledge (not preconceived notions, but actual experience and interactions).

You, Jon Snow, know nothing.

Yes, you've managed to assist your parents in keeping you alive.  But, let's be 100%.  It's only been a relative short amount of time and under pretty specific conditions.  You've demonstrated that you can to some degree manage to not kill yourself with your poor decisions.  It's why the world forces you to prove your abilities with a temporary permit before you have free reign.  This is your educational/career-y/life-y temp permit.  The step you have to take before being received as a 'real adult'.

Everyone has led you to believe that college is about learning book things.  (Fact:  If I don't underscore that of course it is, your mother will certainly punch me in the throat the next time we see each other.)  But never discount the value of the ancillary things you learn during these years.  In class you're learning the building blocks of your future career.  Outside, however, you'll learn the building blocks of a fully formed you find the opportunity to decide, and program yourself with the habits to make yourself the type of person you're going to be when you envision your ideal grown ass self. 

Here are some other helpful as fuck hints:

Step out of your comfort zone when choosing friends.  (check) 

Sex.  Sex is to college as peanut butter is to jelly.  Lots of opportunities are going to present themselves.  In large part, by 'opportunities', I mean alcohol.  You'll be in close confines with people who are new and exciting, feelings and/or chemistry is gonna bud and the next thing you know (surprise) you are pants free.  I know your folks have mentioned it, but sometimes, just sometimes it takes a different voice to say it before you listen (at least that's how I am);  BE SAFE.  No excuses.  If you can manage to plan to not be out of Mt. Dew, or gas in your car, or without that thing you consider a big fucking deal you are mature enough to not let sex have a chance to kill you.  The fact that you didn't go to class topless lets you know you're capable of adhering to common sense rules of life. 

The other thing about sex you need to always carry with you?  When not to do it.  Pop Quiz:  Would ya engage in gettin' it on with someone who was stinky?  I mean, stanky, not ya just finished workin' out and you're sweaty as hell, like B fucking O.  Nope, of course ya wouldn't.  Congratulations!  You have the ability to decipher when it is and isn't ok, or in your best interest to have sex.  Use this superpower to decide under what conditions you participatin' in sex is appropriate.  You know not to rape people.  But don't take your eye off how quickly you can find yourself in positions (which all of the sudden seems like a bad choice of words, but...) where under the light of day, and/or sobriety, or when phased by an attorney could be up for debate.  Keep yourself out of such situations.  This isn't achieved by magic, you're going to have to use your ability to decipher when it is and isn't ok.  And you're going to have to be do so when Jaegermister is telling you that, you. can.  do.  a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g. 

The rest about sex and the college dynamic you'll figure out.  The other things are skinned knees and bruises.  These things are the life and death-y shit. 

Drugs and Booze.  I don't know what the world looks like on campus in 2016.  But for sure they haven't ceased bein' around and easily available since my day.  You're going to do what you're going to do, try what you're going to try.  None of us can prevent that.  As Smokey the Bear says, only you can prevent forest fires.  You're surrounded by the availability of drugs, but only you can decide whether or not you're willing to burn down the forest, (either through clumsy fumbling or on purpose) or not.  Choose wisely.  If as an adult you want to be the person who knows how to make the right call in life-y situations?  Your practice at it is now.  Be aware that the ramifications of those choices are ones that can haunt you and put things you want for yourself in peril for the rest of your life.

A friend owns a bar in BBGville, as their
daughter started her freshman year she
took the warning to heart so much so
that she taped her drinks closed.
Q: Who's more of an expert about the
dangers and the reality of booze bein'
tampered with than someone who's a
professional on booze AND people.
Heed this shit.
As for drinking?  (Other than the obvious, don't drink and drive.)  The major rule of thumb is don't be that guy/girl.  Don't be the girl with her head in a bucket sitting on the couch.  Don't be that guy who thinks that running through traffic slapping cars, or pickin' fights after a couple-a pops is acceptable.  It's douchbaggery and I'm not sure what the girl-y equivalent is, but it's that.  Know your saturation point.  If you're dancin' on the bar but still have control over reason and prudent judgment, that's the sweet spot.  If talking back to a police officer seems like a good idea, or hoppin' behind the wheel is probably ok?  You aren't in control of you, tequila is.  ABC:  Always Be (in) Control (of you).  (Even if it's only the core functions; stayin' alive, remaining un-maimed, and without a date for a court appearance.)

Use the buddy system.  For the same reason it worked in kindergarten.  Two heads and four fists are better than one (two).  To this day I use the buddy system.  How else do you think I've managed to resist slapping all of the people who've legit deserved to be slapped all these years?  A:  Friends capable of talkin' me out of being me for my own damn good.  #Invaluable

To steal a corporate tag; Just Do It.  Take every opportunity to grow and expand your universe you can.  Ok.  Not every.  Avoid things that are likely to result in a trip to the ER, jail or morgue.  I know you can't anticipate the result of every decision you make, but your family has already equipped you with the ability to see downrange in a host of situations you've never been an active participant in.  You know the answer to 75% of what might present itself, the variable is the other 25% which is comprised of your willingness to effectively manage your decisions.  In addition to expanding your personal circle and point of reference in the world, try things that might not be natural matches to your known skill sets.  Check out a club or team that you're not already good at, or knowledgeable about.  Even when you're not learning something directly beneficial to your career goals, lessons applicable to it can be gleaned from what seems like unlikely and surprising sources.  Volunteer with an organization where you'll meet and serve people living circumstances your unfamiliar with.  These years are the cocktail party years.  Lots of trays of new-to-you foods are passing by.  Indulge in what passes by because you've never been exposed to it before.  Maybe you won't like it.  Maybe it'll become your new favorite.  You won't know until you give it a whirl.  If you leave the party without trying the different things being offered you'll just be hungry and unfulfilled.  Manga.  Take a bite outta life.

Damn straight you're afraid.  You're being thrown into the unknown.  It's natural.  I'll let you in an adult-ing secret...  Whenever you do engage in something new there's fear.  This applies to everything.  (Fact:  Not 'everything', just things you have no experience with yet)  I have friends who have never been in the hospital and are uneasy (to functionally rendered immobile by being petrified) of medical-y settings.  I first remember being hospitalized at 9, so the process has never really been new to me, therefore I'm not afraid of any of that.  It's not new.  The faster you recognize that walking into a room full of strangers at college is scary only at first and then that's a thing of the past (because you've gained the security that you know what it's like), and that you can apply the same logic to sky diving, starting your first grownup job, or getting serious with someone, or any of the other 3.2 million things you'll be faced with over a lifetime that will be 'new'  and therefore easier to remain status quo about because ya don't know how to manage the fear and unease of change.  Learn the tools that work for you to overcome such trepidations. The fall flat on your face is easier to rebound from at your age.  When I see people my age who never really learned that lesson you can see in disparate areas of their lives how it's held them back from experiencing as much of life as they should/could, and stunts their ability to deal with things in productive/grownup ways.  On their jobs, in their love lives, in their sheer aptitude for being able to grab life by it's balls.  Again, don't be that guy/girl.  Everybody's afraid.  Only ballsy people decide not to allow that to be an impediment to their quest for doing what they want. 

Go forth and be bold.  You are going to crash and burn, because you are not a robot.  (Congrats on bein' people.)  Even under the best circumstances with the best intentions and using your best foot forward, I'm sorry to tell you, but swear that it's true, some fucked up shit is gonna happen to you.  It's how you rise from the down and out place that helps secure your place in the space.  How you're viewed, and how you view you.  To get a lil' less Seuss-y...

...The phoenix is revered, because he rose from the ashes.  Nobody remembers, or mentions how he got there, only how spectacularly he emerged from the flames.  BE A FUCKING PHOENIX.  Always. 

Mind the mental.  A good amount of mental illness presents itself in late teen to early adulthood.  What seems like fun loving and a lax sense of knowin' what's good for ya, could be a sign and a symptom of an undiagnosed, or mismanaged ailment.  Sussing out mental illness is difficult for Drs, so no one expects you to manage such mental minutiae, but do be aware that what when the outlandish is suggested, occasionally it's going to be less let's kick up our heels and more of a red flag.  Also, you (& your new classmates) are accustomed to the support system in your life, which has been family, friends, teachers/coaches.  College is made extra overwhelming because you don't have that built in system at as easy access as you once did, and ya haven't yet built a new support system.   Until you're roster is filled with your new day-to-day system remember to be kind to yourself as you staff Team You.   

The last thing you should know is that college is not for everybody.  And like with all other things, sometimes you know it's a non-fit only after you've tried it.  (Ask anyone with a divorce or a 'lower back tattoo'.)  College is meant to be hard.  Its main job is putting you through your paces in preparation for the next step of your life. (when we take off your life-y training wheels)  But college is not the only and absolute path to a lucrative and fulfilling life.  So don't ever think that this is the only option available to you.  The Most Fact-y Fact of 'Em All:  As long as your eyes pop open in the morning you have options.  And people who love you.

You are in charge of you.

(BBGW Readers,  If there are any glaringly integral omissions drop in a comment [it takes a village, yo].)


Thursday, August 25, 2016

~ Lettuce Entertain Me

I resist a lot of urges.  Mostly in the name of staying out of jail, the ER and/or the morgue.  Sometimes in the quest to achieve proper adult-ing, or not lookin' a complete fuckin' fool at any given moment.  As the saying goes, the struggle is real, yo.

Yesterday I was faced with such a decision.  Go with my natural inclination, or use reasonable judgement? 

As I meandered the produce section I momentarily vacillated between romaine, for Caesar salad, or iceberg for a wedge.  For the gazillion-th week in a row I chose iceberg because, bacon.  I started reaching for a head when I stopped, pulled my BBGhand back and silently started asking myself if I should buy the Stewie lettuce?

Or, like a real grown up select lettuce not based on its cartoon doppleganger-ness. 

(Ok.  Because, bacon.  Annnnd salad shrimp.)

(As you've probably already surmised) I tote ta lee bought the Stewie lettuce.  I felt a lil' like a modern day member of the Donner party as I lopped off a piece of Stewie's head for my nourishment.  Maybe tomorrow, grownupping.  Maybe tomorrow.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

~ The Life & Times Of Uncle John

Our 1st day together, Uncle John at 14 wks
For close to sixteen years my sidekick was a 15 lb. schnauzer.  The first time we met I knew he was supposed to be with me.  I was holding this 14 week old lil' fluff ball and the next thing I knew he got super squirmy and fell into a barrel of bunnies on display. 

I remember looking down on him among a herd o' rabbits thinking, you break him you buy him.  He wasn't broken, but his independent spirit of knowing where he wanted to be and making it so, made me think he was for me.  To tell you the truth it was one of the things I liked most about him.  He didn't feel particularly needy.  He'd love to be cuddled up with ya, if he wanted to be cuddled up, and when he didn't wanna be bothered with that noise he'd get up and go where he wanted to be.  I respected that.

Bring your dog to work 2000
From the time he came home with me he, with the exception of work, (photo-y ahem) mostly, came along with me as if he was package deal.  After having met him here in BBGville, a friend living on a lake in Akron, actually invited him not me up for the weekend.  "Can Uncle John come up x date?", she and her hubby asked.   ...well, yeah, ya know, if I can come too.  Which I loved, actually.  I loved that he was considered a good houseguest enough that people didn't hate that that big brown girl was bringin' her dog all the damn time.

Dog is my co-pilot
He really got around.  I always loved having people ask after him, which after having him whilst working in three separate offices during that span (in addition to friends who knew him under other circumstances) made for a good number of inquisitive human friends.  He didn't know a stranger, and was a pretty mellow pooch.   

Uncle John was loved and treasured every day.  Even when he was being an ass.  He lived a life with entirely too many toys, the freedom to be on any bed, sofa or chair of his choosing and a never ending supply of blueberries, carrots and celery treats.  Scritchy-scratches and head pats were in abundance daily.  As were ridiculous, one-sided conversations that often involved swear-y words peppered in just for fun.  

I knew Uncle John dying would be terrible.  Mostly because that
ass punked me on numerous occasions, like, waking up to this sight.
I, naturally started the process of freaking the fuck out, he lifted his
head and looked at me like, psych, bitch. 

The illustrious, Uncle John was named for the Grateful Dead song, Uncle John's Band.  It's been a year since he died, I haven't listened to it since. 

Uncle John watching his 'big screen'

Uncle John and his friend, George
Before Uncle John became part of my life (I never liked the term 'owner', as someone who if they would have been born in an earlier era would have been owned, it just never sat right with me.  Nor did parent.  The phrasing I preferred was, 'person'.  I was Uncle John's person.  The part of the operation with opposable thumbs and driving privileges.) several in my family thought a dog was a baaaaad idea.  Like, actual scoffing happened.  And, granted, based on my history with keeping plants, and myself alive, both being somewhat sketchy, I can see why.  
He was my first grownup pet.  So, 'are you sure that's a good idea?' was a valid question I heard more frequently than I would have liked.  Not to sound cocky, but it was one of the best ideas I've ever had.  Every good day was made better by his presence and every shitty one was made more bearable.  Somehow he had a full belly, toys, treats and a dry, warm/cool place to be without effort or care one, and yet I was the one who had the better end of the deal in the situation.  (...And I'm the one who had to clean up his doodles.) 


Every day was a fun new adventure and Uncle John was spry until his last moments.  Nothing had made me think anything was wrong, or that the day would end differently than any of the past 5,800+ had.  About 2am we went to bed, Uncle John scampered up the stairs, as I walked in the room he kinda staggered as he neared the bed and then he coughed up blood and made a terrible painful sound.  I picked him up and blood continued to come from his doggy nose.  I instantaneously and instinctively knew he was dying, and I knew there was nothing I could do at 2am that would change or help the situation.  I could see that things were unfolding fast enough that getting to the vet wasn't an option.  Nor was calling someone to come over.  So there we were, sitting in a dark room, me rocking him, telling him what a good boy he'd been, how much I'd enjoyed our time together and how much he was loved and would be missed while giving him kisses and crying. 

After the sun came up I called my Mom and her hubby, and AnonD.  AnonD took Uncle John to have his doggy body taken care of, for which I remain thankful.  I still haven't taken possession of Uncle John's ashes.  He stays at their house.  Not because I don't care enough to bring him home, but because it seems too painful to bring him home.  (He's with Rocky, Ace and Gus, AnonD's dogs who have passed.) 

Yesterday when I woke up I thought to myself, this is the last day Uncle John was with me.  They've been, for various reasons, some pretty shitty 365 days.  I've hated each one because he's gone, and I've been thankful on each one that he had a life that only had had 5 bad minutes at the end.  We should all be so lucky.  And so missed.

Other Uncle John Posts:

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