Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays: Valerie's opinion.

In our office, we honor those who celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, and those who love chocolate.
We literally couldn't find any Kwanzaa decor.

Not that anyone cares, but I feel like I gotta say this: Christmas isn't the only holiday happening right now.

To me, saying, "Happy holidays!" is not a slap in the face to Christmas. I really just don't get why people think it is.

I start saying "happy holidays" around Thanksgiving, which, to me, marks the beginning of the "holiday season".  As I've said before, I'm an admin on a wives and girlfriends of the army facebook page, and it just amazes me how big of a knot some people's underwear are in because of this.

Before you start thinking I'm a liberal nut: I think calling a Christmas tree a holiday tree is idiotic. No other holiday that I am aware of uses a tree in that way for decoration. If you're talking about Christmas, say Christmas, don't cop out to holiday.

- back to my rant -

Do NOT correct me for saying "happy holidays." If I don't know your religious feelings or I am speaking to a large group, this is what I say. And guess what, just because Hanukkah or Kwanzaa isn't a holiday that you celebrate doesn't make it any less of a holiday. Oh, and Christmas is a holiday; so saying happy holidays kind of covers everything. I'm sure this is why people started saying it in the first place. It is an inclusive statement, and though I'm a bit of a failure at organized Christian religion, I'm pretty sure inclusiveness was Jesus' thing.

Just because the US is a predominantly Christian country doesn't mean that a Christian holiday should just dominate the month of December and those who do happen to celebrate Christmas should completely disregard other peoples' beliefs.

And I guess as far as people getting all grumpy in the other direction and wanting nativities taken down goes: ask for a symbol of your celebration to be put up as well. and if you don't celebrate anything, shut up.

Also, here's a list of all the stupid holidays in December. I've highlighted my personal favorites (source: Holiday Insights):
1 Eat a Red Apple Day
2 National Fritters Day
3 National Roof over Your Head Day
4 Santas' List Day
4 Wear Brown Shoes Day
5 Bathtub Party Day
5 Repeal Day - The 21st Amendment ends Prohibition. I'll drink to that!
6 St. Nicholas Day
6 Mitten Tree Day
6 Put on your own Shoes Day
7 International Civil Aviation Day
7 Letter Writing Day
7 National Cotton Candy Day
8 National Brownie Day
8 Take it in the Ear Day
9 Christmas Card Day
9 National Pastry Day
11 National Noodle Ring Day
12 National Ding-a-Ling Day
12 Poinsettia Day
13 Ice Cream Day
13 Violin Day
14 National Bouillabaisse Day
15 National Lemon Cupcake Day
16 National Chocolate Covered Anything Day
17 National Maple Syrup Day
18 Bake Cookies Day
18 National Roast Suckling Pig Day
19 Look for an Evergreen Day
19 Oatmeal Muffin Day
20 Go Caroling Day
21 Mayan Calendar End
21 Humbug Day
21 National Flashlight Day
21 Look on the Bright Side Day
22 National Date Nut Bread Day
23 Roots Day
24 National Chocolate Day
24 National Egg Nog Day
25 National Pumpkin Pie Day
27 Make Cut Out Snowflakes Day
27 National Fruitcake Day
28 Card Playing Day
29 Pepper Pot Day
30 National Bicarbonate of Soda Day
31 Make Up Your Mind Day
31 Unlucky Day

Perhaps people wishing "happy holidays" are referring to all that there is to celebrate according to the powers that be who make up unnecessary holidays. So there.

and, yes, i deemed that rant important enough to use correct capitalization. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

US military members

***i actually wrote this a while ago, but seeing as that i didn't get through my 30 days of thanks series, i'll post it now.

i am OH SO thankful for members of the military.

j just came home last thursday. it is so wonderful to have him back. while being happy to be home with me and the dogs, i know he misses it already.
i think of my cousin, who is serving in asia currently. his wife is expecting their first child soon, and though they're both quite young, they're handling it gracefully.
i thought about how this summer was a pretty lackluster patch in my otherwise good life. and i get pretty grumbly about that. but the truth is that if people like my cousin and j didn't step up to do what they do, i'd have A LOT more to worry about than where to apply for jobs, when i'm going to get married, and eating healthy.
i certainly wouldn't have a lot of the little things to be thankful for, because i wouldn't have them or wouldn't enjoy them the same way.
i went to high school with some guys who went on to the marines, one even earned the purple heart.  my father was in the army national guard for 14 years. j's dad made a career of the air force. i've had the privilege of knowing many other soldiers, airmen, sailors and marines (i have never known anyone in the coast guard).
they're heroes. definitely more than an overpaid professional athlete or diva musical artist.

i'm also thankful for significant others and families of the military.

i've recently started adding local girls from the wives n gfs of the army facebook page. they're all so strong and funny and great. it's nice to be making new friends again.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

currently, 11.6.12

Watching: private practice. the last full season just came on netflix in the last couple days.
Reading: last week, i read all three books in the hunger games series. not as ambitious this week.
Thinking about: how i wish this election day would just end.
Anticipating: THURSDAY.
Listening to: the new Lord Huron album
Eating: nothing that i'm supposed to be.
Drinking: madagascar vanilla red tea.
Working on: about 5 different mailings for work. my favorite (not). and making a list of things to stock the fridge with before j comes home.

Friday, October 5, 2012


so i'm a flake. can't finish a 30 day series. oh well.

last night i went to the sold out Metric show at the Ogden. for each show they put out 2 sets of free tickets around the theater, and my friend B found one set, and offered one to me. win. (and yes, i blew off cleaning for my parents' visiting this weekend to go to a show, gotta grab youth by the cajones)
It was pretty much amazing, they played stuff off their new album as well as some of my favorite older songs (gimme sympathy, monster hospital, help i'm alive)

B and I both just want her legs. holy cats.

this tall dude was majorly cramping my photo taking.

this one is from my iphone. not bad.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

[22] autumn!

My Fotolog

i always thought summer was my favorite season. perhaps it's the carefree sense of the hot months. less clothing, more sunlight, my birthday, etc.


i've come to the realization that autumn is actually my favorite. brick reds, mustard yellows, forest green, navy blue, grey, camel, black.....the colors are richer. (though neon and brights are all good in my book too) (yes i purposely skipped orange, because... bleep orange.)

i like scarves, boots, hats, overcast days, jackets but not full on coats. i like the rustle of leaves. the sun feels different and the breeze is cool. my music collection is definitely geared more toward fall and winter.

i can walk the dogs during the day without killing ferdinand in the heat.

i love apple cider, pumpkin pie, the smell of clove, cocoa...I LOVE SOUP!

thankful i live in a part of the world/country that has all 4 seasons.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

[7], [8], [9]

[7] things that spark my creativity.

Jane Harrison
ideas come and go for me. i rarely execute them unless they stick around for a few months. but there are a few things that inspire me and make me want to create something, no fail. those things include: awesome hand lettering, something i'm absolutely terrible at -- it makes me go looking for fonts; great tattoos, makes me want to either get another tattoo or figure out a way to transform awesome subject matter onto another medium; good black and white photography, particularly of animals.
these things make me want to make something, something better than i've made before. even though i have a long way to go before i'd be a decent hand letterer, will probably never tattoo anything, and once i get my camera in my hands, i have trouble figuring out where to point it. i just love that excitement that wells up inside of me.

[8] military significant other facebook pages, blogs and what not.

i was just selected to be an administrator for this page. i've been struggling with finding a happy medium of people to talk to about my struggles with becoming a military spouse the slow way. people who have never dealt with the military focus on how hard it must be. military folks give off this aura of "buck up, it could be worse." i want a happy medium of like "this is hard, and you're not crazy for being sad/frustrated, but ____" i'm yet to find that group of individuals, if they exist. until then, blogs about care packages, facebook pages that post a lot of inspirational stuff, and following army wife pinterest boards is going to have to cut it.

[9] learning those life lessons that everyone learns.

my rather wild sense of responsibility used to be enough to get out of bed in the morning. i had to get to swing choir, then i had to get to classes that i was paying a ridiculous amount to go to. now that i've been going to the same building, doing roughly the same things for almost 3 years now, i need something more. i need to bait myself with good things that could happen that day, or, sadly, the stuff i could buy with the money i'll earn. i finally get what it means to not want to get out of bed in the morning.
my most recently learned lesson is that falling in love is easy, staying in love is work. in the past, i've been a cut n run kind of girl. i've always heard relationships/marriage are work, but wow. i now find myself self-evaluating and communicating feelings like a grown up. i never realized how very, very different pushing to make something work and the wait and see method would be. happiness isn't something that often just falls into place. i found my fight.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

[6] that my people are understanding

by Shayna, via The Daily Frenchie

a few weeks back, i went to visit j. perhaps my favorite part of the trip was spending saturday morning/early afternoon in bed, watching tv and napping.

it's a quirk of mine. when i get around my parents after a long time apart, i usually take a long nap. i did the same thing when i visited j (it wasn't a long nap though). it probably has something to do with once i am around my people i can let the wall down. i don't need to be a strong, single doggy mom, living alone in a bigger city, supporting herself, paying off student loans and, overall, being a contributing member of society. someone else can keep an eye on the dogs for a minute (or when i'm home with my parents they usually nap with me), and the rest can wait. i'm out of my element, i probably just traveled a significant distance and i can just rest and not feel like i'm wasting time.

some people probably would be climbing the walls if someone they really wanted to see took a nap during their visit, but my people get it. and for that i'm thankful.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

[5] media you can disappear into

fable III propaganda posters

despite my best efforts to clean and square myself away this weekend, i spent most of it on the couch watching grey's anatomy. say what you want about that show, it won't hurt my feelings. however, there is something to be said for any type of media that you can just throw yourself into and not think about you.

the things that come to mind for me (here comes my nerd self) are
  • movies: avatar, lord of the rings 
  • books: harry potter, hunger games
  • video games: assassin's creed, fable
  • tv series: law and order: svu, grey's anatomy (j would say the office, not me)
i guess the reason i love all these outlets is because i've never experienced anything like them (and i probably never will). who doesn't want to come home after a crappy day at work or a fight with the significant other and jump off cathedrals in italy? and not die? how about read about situations that characters are in that are WAY worse than yours? fighting an enormous spider trumps your boyfriend not taking the dishes out of the dishwasher.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

[4] that we don't need to stay at one job for our life.

most people who know me know i'm looking for a new job. i'm over it. (both my current job and job hunting)

i think back to when the market took a nosedive a few years ago and layoffs were happening internationally. in france people were killing themselves when they were laid off because the culture there (at least for the older generation) is you get a job after school and you work your way up. you stick with the company. their job became an integral piece of their identity that when it was taken away they had no coping mechanism.

thankfully, we don't operate that way in America. my generation especially. but even older groups are hopping on the bandwagon, corporate guys are quitting to start a microbrewery. they're not just going for a change but a reinvention. as much as i'd love to be ready for reinvention, i'm not. too much uncertainty in my life.

but for the change to be normal and for the opportunity, i'm thankful.

[3] celebrating American values

Michael Luppino

i love labor day. i love memorial day. i love 4th of july. 'Merica!

i don't just love them because they are an extra day off, or extend the weekend. i love them because they celebrate something that has (perhaps in the past) made America great, a superpower. we all stand on the backs of the working people of America and rely on the military members to keep us safe.

those are things that deserve to be celebrated. i kind of despise those stupid ordained national holidays like national pizza day! national macadamia nut day (that's today, btw).

what exactly about macadamia nuts is worth celebrating? have they solved world hunger? no, they're one of the more expensive nuts. are they protecting, contributing, or encouraging moral progress? no, they're a nut. marking an important day in history? no. encour

tomorrow is "national be late for something day." really? women the world over should be nervous.

i'm glad that we have these holidays.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

[2] relatable songs

for fear of sounding like a 13 year old girl nursing her newly broken heart listening to beiber & swift, i love songs that fit the moment in your life.

whether it's a line, or a whole song, or even just the tone of the song that works for the mood you're in. it's comforting for a couple reasons: the song is there, it isn't going anywhere, repeat it all you want; someone else has felt the same way, and they have the skills to write it into a song (hopefully a good song)
these are a few of my favorite relatable songs.

the line "my family lives in a different state" kills me every time. the rest of it is just beautiful.

she wrote this song about the summer after her grandfather passed away. i learned that a few weeks before my own grandfather passed and it was on repeat for months.

every. weekday. however, i have to wait til 5.30. love the girls in coveralls in this video, btw.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

[1] my dogs aren't good hunters.

this sounds counter-intuitive. bear with me.

ginger will go bolting after anything small and fuzzy (except little dogs), cats, squirrels, rabbits..etc. this is a major pain and caused me to have to climb a 7-foot chain link fence earlier this week.
she usually loses whatever she is chasing within 2 seconds. i've also seen ferdinand chase a rabbit and fail hard. maybe it's like eye-foot coordination issues, some kind of attention disorder in them or it's like a dog chasing a car and they don't know what they'd do with a squirrel if they caught it so they don't actually try that hard.
but the reason i am thankful for this is that it means i am able to provide for them. they don't need to be good hunters. ginger can give me the guilts until i give her a tummy rub, then when i stop, guilt me into more. ferdinand is pretty much always within arm's reach.
their biggest concerns are waking me up at 6 am to go outside, and that i'm not going to leave them at doggie daycare for a couple days again. 
and for that, i'm thankful.
"you want to rub my tummy and give me treats..."
this is him laying under my chair as i write this.

Friday, August 31, 2012

[30] days of thanks.

i know what you're thinking. "don't people usually do this in november?" yeah. so what? who cares?

i am doing this primarily to change my attitude. i've been pretty negative for the last several months. like clean dishes in the dishwasher for 10 days, toilet paper roll on the holder long empty.


i need a lift. so i'm going to write about stuff i am thankful for. at this point, i would like to think that i can be more specific/interesting/amusing than "health". but let's just see how it goes. like what i said when i started this whole blog "let's see if my commitment issues surface with this, shall we?" 

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Watching: I am slowly but surely making my way through grey's anatomy now.
Thinking about: how I wish I had jumped off the 20 ft jump tower at fantasy lake. I'm such a wienie, I climbed up there, stood there for like 10 minutes while J tread water below. ended up climbing down and jumping off the 8 ft again.
Anticipating: finally knowing something! J is going into selection. it will determine at least the next 6 months of life.   UPDATE:  Oh the joys of the military. Now he's been pushed to the Oct class. Another month and a half of uncertainty and skype.
Listening to: CCR. oldies are one of my favorites
Eating: oatmeal with vanilla protein powder and cinnamon. and an apple.
Drinking: tension tamer, per usual.
Working on: being more consistent with the blog. cleaning my apartment. wanting to work out.

Friday, August 17, 2012

date night.

tonight is the first night i've been in a good mood for probably a week. 
i have clean dishes that have been in my dishwasher for at least 10 days (i pick out forks as needed). and i have dirty dishes in the sink and on the counter. but not that many because i have been going strong on a steady diet of saltines, hard boiled eggs, chocolate cream pie, baby carrots and granola.
as i've said in other posts, i avoid facebook on friday and saturday nights so i dont have to hear the run down of "date night" and see all of the adorable instagram pictures of people having fun. i'm bitter, i'm dealing with that.
so tonight after watching an episode of grey's anatomy, i was fully planning on going to chipotle for a chicken burrito, brown rice, black beans with sour cream and cheese. but the dogs were being so stinkin' cute. the thought of actually cooking the chicken breasts in my fridge sent me into tremors; but leaving them wasn't an option, and i refuse to leave the dogs in the car unless i have sightline to them. because i have to leave the windows down but ferdi is one of the "it" dogs of the moment and i'm not losing my little boy to ugly, greedy people.
so i started asking ginger "chipotle or qdoba?" when she seemed more excited about qdoba, i started asking "burger king?" and she went nuts. like mother, like daughter. 
so i threw on my boyfriend's grey, ymca staff "youth developer" shirt, comfy jeans, and my new minimalist sneakers. got the dogs leashed up and called my parents to tell them about how cute the dogs were being. because the person i tell everything to is being brainwashed to not rely on me (read: bitter).
talked to my dad on the way to burger king. then ordered my usual (double cheeseburger meal with a dr. pepper) and got a plain hamburger. 
on the drive home i left my window down and blared Mayer Hawthorne on 93.7 KBCO Boulder. 
when we got home, i sliced the plain hamburger in half because this home is all about fairsies. and then i grabbed my camera.

yes, that is chocolat and star wars, episode I: the phantom menace in the background.

after my dates finished their treat, i ate my dinner while watching another episode of grey's anatomy.
now we're going on a moonlit walk.
romantic, right?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

quarter of a century.

i probably read at least one article a day from the Thought Catalog. the site is basically a collection of writers who are all in their 20s and 30s. and because of this, most of their articles are written for folks from that age group. it would probably take all of my phalanges to count the "what i've learned in my 20s"/"what you should do by the time you're 25" pieces on this website.
so since i just reached my 25th birthday this last weekend, i figured "why not me? i've done stuff."
i'll structure this in groups of 3.

things i cannot believe i've done.
  • walked with jelly fish in shallow water. call it being 18 and stupid haha. but i didn't get stung and have some pictures i hope i never lose.
  • nuked my roommate's student id. what? i didn't like her. it had a magnetic strip and computer chip in it, and though i was planning on only leaving it in there for 3 seconds max, it made a fireworks show in the microwave within the first half second. then i got shocked when i pushed the stop button! then she came back a minute later. bashful rating: code black.
  • didn't go to law school. i'm pretty stubborn. i decided i wanted to go to the college i went to when i was 15 after watching one of their soccer games. i didn't apply to any other schools. my plan was political science then law school. i had no plan b (obviously). well, after taking a few law classes within my major, i hated it and i wasn't doing as well as i needed to do get into a good law school. oh, and i disliked most of the people i was in classes with. then i heard law school likened to being beaten with 2 bags of oranges. and i was out. 
things i'm glad i did.
  • moved to denver. nothing builds character like going somewhere where (nearly) no one knows you. luckily, i moved out here with B. that first year was rough even so. but i feel now that i've settled into some kind of groove (or rut, depending on how you look at it). 
  • went to creighton. wasn't sure i was ever going to say that. after graduation, when the first job i got was checking groceries at hy-vee, all i could think about was how during my application process and freshman year all you heard was "bap bap, creighton graduates get great jobs, bap bap bap" but thankfully i took some classes outside of my major (very outside, and not just core) and really rounded out my person. those that stick out in my mind include ceramics, personal growth and development, christianity and the holocaust, and a class about the philosophical issues that will be raised with future of nanotechnology. 
  • learned to cook. i was lucky to have a mother who is a fantastic cook. however, i guess i thought she had it covered and never really helped/learned in the kitchen. did not think that through. now, don't get me wrong, i still love nuking me a corn dog, but i have to say there are few things more satisfying than cooking for you parents and your mother asking YOU for a recipe. or really just making something yourself, then sitting down at your kitchen table in your place and eating it.
things i've learned the hard way. 
  • letting go. this one relates to how i deal with people. i said it before, i'm stubborn. if i've invested a lot of time/effort into a relationship, things have to get really bad before i will take my talons out and move on. and by really bad, i mean "wreck me for years" bad. and then i feel like i wasted time.
  • sometimes you need help. ugh, pride -- i have it in spades. i don't like admitting i'm wrong. i don't like needing help (unless it's for something like moving). self-sufficiency is the name of my game. but the last few years have been a hard lesson in accepting help.
  • relinquish some control. there was a point a few years ago when i couldn't bear to be a passenger in a car. drunk people made me irrationally nervous. i was wound so tight that i barely ate and had explosive crying sessions most days. as that i am staring down the pike at being a military wife, i guess i need to give up some more control. 
 things i wish i'd have known before graduation. 
  • student loans blow. no, this wasn't actually news to me. but back in my promissory note signing days i wish i'd have done it with a little bit heavier heart. on the upside i've paid off over 20% already.
  • take advantage of naps! once you're in a 8:30-5:30 you don't get them and you rarely want to waste your weekends on them. follow up to this: soak in the staying up til the wee hours of the night because you suddenly can't really do it anymore. (i think it's a conspiracy that comes with receiving a diploma unless you plan to continue to grad/prof school)
  • don't freak out about your grades. i did pretty well in college by most people's standards (3.47 gpa) obviously not law school good. but then i went and took a job that i barely use my degree for. so my grades didn't really matter. 
things i hope to figure out in the next 25 years.
  • how to focus my energy onto one endeavor at a time. not to sound a braggart, but i'm naturally good at a few things (mostly creative/artistic stuff). but i can't pick one and try to improve my skills to excellent. i thought i could pick photography and just go. now i want to give ceramics another spin (pun intended). but then i think about poetry, writing, jewelry making, sewing, painting...and i have a really hard time picking one, even to focus on for a year.
  • learn to say uncle. sports-wise, i'm not competitive; i don't care. but when it comes to being right, oh boy -- despite the fact that "right" is subjective sometimes. and if i am caught wrong, i'll rarely use the word "wrong" i'll usually roll my eyes, sigh and say "fine." i need to work on this.
  • not to take things so personally. pretty much explains itself. i deal with people who don't think about me as much as i think about and try to be nice to them. and when small things happen or i hear negative feedback about myself, my bitch wall comes up fast. 
  • grow a longer fuse. (yeah, i'm adding a 4th to this group, so what, who cares?) i seem to remember being really even tempered in my youth and adolescence (at least for a kid and teen), but i can't do it anymore. call it hormones, call it immaturity, whatever -- i can go from fine to rage to bawling in 30 minutes, sometimes less. the rage concerns me most. i think the dogs have helped with this because i can forgive them almost instantly for annoying/dumb things they do. 
the end! 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

summer to do list.

this summer is tricky for me. last year, i couldn't have cared less what was going on every weekend. i wasn't looking for fun stuff to do. i wasn't interested.
this summer, while my person is away. i keep spying things that would be SO FUN for j and i to do, but remember he's gone. i could (and will) ask friends here to go with me, but sometimes it doesn't really translate correctly to anyone but him and me.
to say that i hardly check facebook over the weekend because all the updates about "date night" turn me a kermit shade of green would be an understatement. 
so when i saw one of my favorite blogger's summer to do list a few weeks ago, i got excited. then as i started thinking of the traditional summer things and who i want to do them with, i felt discouraged. so here is a list of things that some i'll call friends, others i can do on my own, others i can do while mentoring. and as that summer is half over, i need to get on it and stop being mopey.

1. did this the other night coming home from the grocery store. i think this can only be an evening activity. i don't dig 100+ breeze to the face, and im surely not sticking my hand out in it.
2. two weekends in a row, i've said i'm going to do this, two weekends in a row i've felt like trash on saturday morning. black raspberry season is nearly up! i need to get on it.
3. i started one a long time ago. i have been digging through my brain to try and remember where i put the stuff! i also kind of want to make a small lap blanket for j.
4. i love key lime pie. specifically, i love whole foods' key lime pie. it is delicious! i haven't had any key lime pie yet this summer and i find that pathetic.
5. i finished the painting of ferdinand earlier this year, now i should probably get on the portrait of ginger.
6. there is a 7-man rugby tournament on my birthday in glendale. sounds like fun.
7. since i reached my goal of getting to see j in june, i haven't been back to the gym! one would think i dont plan on seeing him again! every night i go home thinking i should get to the gym, and then i sit down. and dont really move.
8. i have told the young lady i mentor many times that we'll go to elitch gardens. and then when im planning what we do, i never think of it. her family got her a season pass so i only have to pay for myself to get in. it's silly that i haven't gone yet.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

little things i can't let go.

Photo credit: via Pinterest

 you know how some things never change? like how mcdonald's beef always sucks and you always judge people you catch listening to nickelback.

well there are a handful of things that i have been really consistent on since i was roughly 15.

6. i feel more put together when i have makeup on. prettier? no. better? no. just more put together, like im not a kid doing what i think i should be doing to be an adult. do i make it to work very often with makeup on? no. sleep wins 9/10.

5. i don't like butterflies on clothing or accessories. i went through that phase. you know the phase. with the butterfly hair clips, even the special ones with the glittery wings attached with springs so they waved a little when you moved your head. i had a couple shirts with butterflies on them. blah blah.
well, something snapped when i became a teeny bopper. i threw out all things butterfly and scoffed at accessories and clothing with them. and i still do. it's like a compulsion, because i really like this dress, but i cannot get around the butterflies.

4. i'm fine with being described as "surly" occasionally. one of my best friends called me this in college. and i realized it pretty well fits, and has for some time (have you seen my kindergarten photo?). synonyms include: blunt, cantankerous (my favorite), harsh, ornery, uncivil. while i am generally approachable and friendly, though quiet; if pressured or offended, my stoney face appears, my rather extensive crude vocabulary may make a showing, and the situation more often than not results in what i find to be reasonable. surly.

3. i will love canned ravioli til the day i die. i used to eat it cold out of the can. can't do that anymore, but i still love the simplicity of opening up a can of processed pasta and meat sauce and heating it up. is it good for my body? no. is it good for my soul? yessss.

2. if you see me wearing flip flops and i'm not in a bathing suit, slap me. i'm probably sleepwalking. i wouldn't wear them in public otherwise -- even on the worst day of my life; unless that day involved someone burning all the rest of my shoes and then i would consider barefooted-ness long and hard first. not that it'd matter, i'd probably be charged with murdering whoever set my shoes on fire.

1. i love a song...i love a song...i can't freaking stand that song anymore. beach boys, billy joel, and damien jurado are the first three that come to mind. i love 'em til i don't. then they find their way to my computer's circular file or at least a dark corner. i'm consistent in my inconsistency. however, if a group can stand up to the test of time (good old war, iron & wine..etc) or at least not get played too much so that i burn out, it'll probably be a favorite forever.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

ferdinand eugene: a joyful first year.

today marks one year of unabridged joy, brought to me by a saucy little man.

before coming to us, ferdinand was found wandering the streets. we saw him the first time we went to the shelter, but he was on hold as a lost dog. j fell in love at first sight. we visited him at the furry scurry, the shelter's annual fundraiser. there, he was really distracted as that there were probably 10,000 other dogs to look at and people everywhere.
the day i adopted ferdi is probably one i would list in the top ten of most stressful days of my life, as that it involved calling lawyers.
on may 10, 2011, he came to j and me at 18 lbs with kennel cough and allergies out the wazoo for us to learn about. training bulldogs in general is challenging as well. but his cute personality and sweet disposition kept us placated when we came home to destroyed xbox controllers and tv remotes, messes on the floor, and, my personal favorite, when he ripped the baseboard molding off the wall in the bathroom.

the day i adopted him, i could not get my act together photographically, sorry. 

within one month, after a round of antibiotics to get rid of the kennel cough, ferdi's personality started shining through. the shaved spot on his front leg was from when he was neutered and seriously took 4 months to grow back.

if i were to brand ferdinand as a company, this would be the go-to photo. all sass. i call this his "snaggle dentures" look.

then, after playing, and playing......and playing. and some whining on his part. we got him a partner in crime.

this is a photo i took of him in the early hours of the morning before going to the colorado hot air balloon classic. i still have this as the first picture on my camera card. it makes me smile every time.

while packing for my friend's wedding in october. the dogs were obviously worried. so i set up an impromptu photo shoot. here is a progression of noises i had to make the picture i wanted.
snapping my fingers above my head and smacking my lips.
rolling my tongue ala "arriba!" and making spirit fingers above my head.

in november, he reached his 6 month anniversary.

at grandma and grandpa's. my mom asks about f & g every day we talk. they are her grandpuppies

here is my favorite picture of him from bathtime earlier this year. 

they say the longer you're a couple, the more you act like each other. apparently this is true for roommates too. (look at their positioning)

then i decided to paint a portrait of him, based off that picture that would be his copyright.
btw, we're offering a reward of peanut butter and sneezes in the face of anyone who knows the whereabouts of the brontosaurus pictured.
here is the finished painting.
then i got a new camera...and went a little insane.

"doggie woggie park" trip!
yes, they stick their heads out the window a lot.

and finally today. one year later. weighing in at 26 lbs and in perfect health. he (and ginger) went to doggie daycare today because i had a nonprofit branding seminar all day. and i know they love the interaction.

head shot.

he is intelligent, sensitive, a good listener, superior cuddler, and makes me happy every single day. what more could i ask for in a best friend?

Happy Anniversary, Ferdinand Eugene!