Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My Dog, My Co-Worker

Right now I'm spending a truly depressing amount of time retouching and editing. Seriously, I had an editing marathon from last Friday morning until Sunday night. Today I got a bit of a break for a doctor's appointment and a freelance assignment. Woot. (A break from work to do... a different kind of work!) Arg.

Anyway, my dog is my constant companion. She mostly sleeps beside me and truth be told, I sit around in sweatpants right next to her and play with her floppy ears while giant 60 MB files open and render and whatnot. She intermittantly emits odors, which is less fun.

The silent-but-deadly dog farts are actually NOT the most annoying thing. We have a few hours every day where she gets off the couch, just to ask to get right back on. Quick backstory: Bella is a packleader personality. She's an Alpha girl. When she was about 2 and a half, she starting copping an attitude and we had to revisit obedience training. The main change for her was that she no longer had unfettered access to the couch and the bed. She slowly earned back her bed privileges, but she sleeps at our feet (at the bottom of the pack.)

But ever since, she has had to "ask" for permission to get up on the couch. She sits on the floor right next to the couch and either looks at me or paws the cushion a few times and waits for me to say, "You're invited" and/or "Up up up" while patting the cushion. I like the companionship honestly, but she spends at least one hour every day being... annoying.

She wants up; she wants down. She wants back up. She wants to lick my hand; she wants to lick my empty pudding cup. She wants to lick her foot, she wants to use her foot to scratch her ears and then she headbutts ME to scratch her ears. She flips on her back and wants a belly rub (gladly!) She wants the left cushion; then she gets down and wants to sit on the right cushion so she paws to get back up. She stands up, turns 180 degrees and lays back down.

If I take a bathroom break, Fred jumps up and lays on my warm laptop and pretends to be sound asleep when I get back. Sorry, cat: you did not fall into a deep, deep sleep in the time it took me to pee and grab another Diet Snapple. I move Fred to the side, and then Bella wants to sit next to *him,* but that involves hopping down and then asking for permission to get back up by pawing the couch to sit on the other side. If Joel joins me to watch a movie, she wants to sit next to him, then she wants me. Then she wants to sit between us, which means she paws our knees sitting side by side until we make room for her between us. (Gladly!)

And then, just when the annoying pawing of the cushions hits a fever pitch, she falls asleep. She snores. She chases squirrels in her sleep. She lays her head on Fred. She lays her head on me. She is the best co-worker ever.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


You know how life seems to have a tempo to it sometimes, that cycle of ups and downs? And you have those times when you're growing and getting stronger and learning life lessons and sorting out your shit and ultimately this is a good thing that we all must do in order to live and do and be and grow, but then you just get tired of working on yourself? Yup. That's where I'm at. So I don't mean to be all cryptic and weird here. I'm doin' okay; I'm just struggling with things I wish I weren't struggling with right now.

Also... gah... Blogging is such a conundrum sometimes. It's cathartic,but but it's really not the best space for writing about where you are in life when where you are is working on Relation Ships with other people. Since I've been aboard the USS Crazy Town for the past few weeks, writing here would ultimately also air some dirty laundry in my family, and that's not fair. So... poo. But I miss you, and I've been taking these vague forays into blog hiatus for the past year. I don't like it. So here are some tidbits.

Challenge: Advocating for myself and taking time for myself and saying no to things. I am bad at this, particularly when I genuinely WANT to do the things I really need to turn down.

Guilt: I need to learn to live with guilt, just a little. If I say no to doing something and it disappoints someone I love, I feel terrible and try to overcompensate and get all high-strung and do stuff like stay up all night to fulfill all my obligations but then I'm all off-kilter and my actions ultimately make people wish I would have just... opted out. I could skip all the drama by just taking care of myself and taking time for the solitude that I really, really need (See Above: Challenge) but then I would feel guilty about disappointing people I love. I need to learn to live with the guilt of saying no. I need to learn to live with the guilt of saying no. I need to learn to live with the guilt of saying no. Do I need to learn to live with the guilt? Why yes, yes I do.

Respect: I've been changing some of my meds around (trying to cope with some of the issues, see?) and boy howdy has THAT sucked. It's never, ever good when you find yourself driving on the highway and the signs seem to get further away the closer you get. Vertigo, you fun side effect, you. I have so much more respect for people who fight their addictions to narcotic substances. Withdrawal is TERRIBLE. We've been quoting Grandpa Simpson around here a lot lately. "The red ones keep you from screamin.'" Indeed.

Exasperation: Cats, you live indoors. You are indoor cats. There is nothing out there you need to do, nothing you need to deal with, nothing you need to pee on. You are fine and warm and safe and loved in here. Please, come inside and claw some furniture or something.

Awesome: I called my grandmother to wish her a happy 94th birthday, but she only had a second since there was a party in her room and her phone was dying after being on the phone all day with people who had called to wish her happy birthday. (For those of you who are fans of Larry, my grandmother's much younger friend with the, um, unique speaking style, he was the one who picked up: "Daaaahllly's room, hehllooow?") Her nursing home- particularly since they renovated and moved to a "cluster model" where eight residents live in single rooms that share a dining room/living room/common area combo- is almost like a college dorm, except everyone goes to bed really early.

Expensive: Joel has a new (used) car. This is a very good thing, since one of the key rules in our marriage is, "No dying." The other one's transmission was shot and had "electrical issues" (like shorting out all kablooey on the West Side Highway at midnight without warning ) and kept developing weird quirks including: The hatchback wouldn't pop open anymore. The radio/CD player didn't work. If you wanted to lock the front passenger door, you needed to hold the handle out as you closed the door. The running boards and other non-essential metal bits would flake off like the car had leprosy (my Suzuki does this, too). There was some sort of faint death rattle happening under the hood, and some sort of fan under the dashboard kept turning itself on and off, all annoying and rattle-like. So now I dont have to worry about Joel driving around in a car that might stop working any minute. That's a good thing.

Digital Makeover: I have joined Twitter- partly because I have this fantasy where I get lots of followers and then bully Suzuki into fixing my car's leprosy problem with free body work- plus am revamping my fancypants business website so it works with iPads and iPhones and shows off more of the kickass weddings I've shot in the last year and a half. There's, like, none of my latest and great stuff up there. That's... not good. I'm also updating my LinkedIn profile so it doesn't say I still work at the newspaper and doing all that stuff that I should, you know, do regularly.

Gym Hottie: I joined a gym nearby that borders on the very strictly Orthodox/Hassidic community here, mostly because it has a pool. The gym crowd is extremely diverse, actually but I tend to be there in the middle of the day when kids are in school and lots of Orthodox ladies are aquacising. At first I was afraid I would make people uncomfortable with my immodest- by- Orthodox -standards swimsuit, and while I *am* the most skimpily dressed... you should hear the locker room talk when the ladies are "amongst themselves." Obviously if you have eight kids, you have a lot of sex, but getting to quietly overhear it while changing is kind of awesome. I also find the "men only" swimming hours annoying, but hey, out of all the sexism happening in this particular kinship group/gym community... at least I get to wear my own hair out in public. Go, me.

So yeah. There's some tidbits for ya. And now, back to editing photos from autumn weddings.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

I don't know what to say...

Everything kinda sucks right now. Thanks for checking in. Be back soon!