Friday, July 16, 2021

When You Selfishly Think You Had a Bad Day

I was feeling sorry for myself as I sat in the Admiral's Lounge, waiting for my flight home. It was a stressful week at work. I logged 76 hours in five days, and I was operating on about 2.5 hours of sleep. I was barely able to keep my eyes open while I waited. Then, something on the tarmac caught my eye. I watched and waited. 

Suddenly,  I felt really small and petty for thinking I had it so bad. 

This is what I saw. 

Quietly, and without prompting, those of us seated near the windows who saw what was happening all stood and watched in silence to show our respect for the fallen anonymous soldier. 

It was a sweltering 95 degrees outside and probably hotter on that tarmac in the stifling humidity. The soldier's comrades never faltered and carried out their honorable task with precision, surrounded by the American Airlines ground crew. 

My week was not hard. 

I am sitting in an airport lounge waiting to board my flight in my first class seat. 

This soldier lost his or her life this week. 

Somewhere a family is grieving this unimaginable loss of their father, mother, sister, brother, son, daughter. 

Who was this soldier?

Did they wake up that morning with thoughts of the future? 

Were they scared as they gave the ultimate sacrifice for us? 

For strangers. 

My tears slid silently down my face and disappeared behind my mask. 

We are selfish. 
We take our freedom for granted. 
We don't appreciate the simple things anymore. 

Was this soldier a person of color, gay, or transgender, giving their life for a country that so often marginalizes them?

This soldier gave their life for strangers, yet we still have friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers who refuse to get a COVID vaccination. 

The pandemic and the delta variant rage on. Yet, so many aren't willing to do what is right to protect others. 

Like this soldier.  

Shame on all those who claim their rights are being violated and refuse to be vaccinated. 

Be honorable like this soldier.

Thank you for your service anonymous soldier. We are grateful for your patriotism and ultimate sacrifice. 

I will never forget you. ❤🇺🇸

Monday, May 17, 2021

Morning Intent

I'm really busy at work right now. So I made a vow with myself to get up earlier and start work earlier to be more productive. My days are filled with meetings so I don't get actual tasks accomplished. Yet, here I am, enjoying the quiet of the morning. With this face...

Well, there's always tomorrow for an early start. 

Sunday, April 11, 2021

What I Hate About Dogs - Part 2

I've had a revelation in the past few months that dogs, like people, sometimes turn out not to be who you think they are or want them to be. They also have the propensity to disappoint. 

We can all agree that 2020 was a pretty shit year thanks to COVID-19. It was made worse for me when I lost my dad in April and then lost my dog in July. I grieved hard when I lost Bailey2. It was the straw that pushed me over the edge, I guess. 

So, of course, I began the quest for another dog. It's what we've always done...being a dog loving family. Though our last five dogs were rescues, all with some kind of quirk, getting a puppy seemed like a great idea. I had my heart set on a Rough Collie, but also a Blue Merle so she would have the same coloring as Bailey2. Enter Luna...

Super cute, right? It started out great. She was housebroken in less than a week. Slept through the night after the second or third night of being home. We started in puppy pre-school right away. She learned sit, down, rollover, shake, high-five really quickly. She walked well on a leash. You'd think, wow, what a great dog. But, then, this happened...

That was the first of many bites. That one happened when she was about 12 weeks old, and I dropped a cap to a water bottle that she promptly scooped up and started chewing. Thinking she might actually try to swallow it and could choke, I ran to retrieve it from her when she went full on attack mode on me. 

Working with the trainer from puppy preschool, it was determined she has resource guarding issues, impulse control problems, and is highly prey driven. So, basically, I've bought a wolf. The trainer reminded me that domesticated dogs are just one step away from wolves and would live with and mate with them if they were together. This is all "normal" behavior. I've invested $2500 in training so far. 

She bit me again today. <sigh> 

My sister asked if I wanted to re-home her. I don't want to give up on her....I just want her to stop biting me. She has moments of being a fun dog. 

I was talking about her to one of my good friends a few weeks ago and was lamenting that she wasn't the emotional support dog I had imagined in my head after 2020. My friend, who had gone through a lot of turmoil, counseling, violent episodes, and drama with her son, said she understood. You pour your heart and everything you have into this living being that you love and get heartache in return. She looked at me and said, "Luna is your Liam.*" I immediately knew what she meant. 

As the human in this relationship, I need to reset my expectations. I need to learn that Luna: 

  • Is not a "huggy cuddly" dog. I have to rely on Cocoa or Buddy for my doggie snuggles. 
  • Gets real snappy when she's tired. She needs her naps. My dad once asked my friend Katie if she got snappy. Luna takes snappy to Level 10. 
  • Will resource guard the fuck out of anything she deems valuable, particularly food. Learning the hard way, after more bites than I want to count, I need to help her be successful by controlling the situation and keeping her separated where food is involved. I mean, I might mess someone up if they took my Ben & Jerry's. 
  • Cannot be trusted around little kids who might stand around with cookies or ice cream, stuffed toys, or other items that Luna might covet. Neither parties in this scenario can be trusted to "do the right thing."  
  • Needs consistency. When I think that she's overcome something, I let my guard down, and that's when shit happens. The trainer cautioned me last week that Luna was entering her adolescence and may regress or be more challenging. <oh boy...>

I hate that there are days I look at Luna and despise her. I guess it's not her fault. She is who she is. I put too many of my expectations on her that she doesn't comprehend. Just because the other 10+ Collies we've had were super mellow and loving and calm, nothing guaranteed that Luna would be a carbon copy of them. Even our dog trainer said, "Luna is just the dog you ended up with, her behavior is not unusual for a dog. It's unusual for you."

The moral of the story, dogs--like people--can be jerks and sometimes break your heart. But you still love them. 

*Name changed for privacy. 

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Love & Hate

I've been thinking a lot lately about the past year and all the losses, heartbreak, challenges, hate, and vitriol suffered by so many people all over the world. It is hard for me to understand what leads a person to such hate of someone different than yourself. I kept thinking about this clip from "Trainwreck." If you look at the pictures on your phone or social media, or look at your friends or followers on social media and do not see people who look different than you...people of color, different ethnicities and cultures, straight, LGBQT, left, right, rich, poor, smart, average, differently may be part of the problem and are really missing out on the beauty and diversity of our world. Everyone has a story, be open to listening to it. That is all...happy Sunday, happy spring. 

Watch "Trainwreck Funny scene first meet Amy & dr.Conners" on YouTube

Monday, August 10, 2020

In An Instant

On my way to O'Hare Airport this morning, traffic was backed up in the westbound lanes of 80/94 for a "gapers' block." I'd heard this on the traffic alert, but decided to go this way as my alternate route would be to go through downtown Chicago, which had its' own traffic issues because of the looting and rioting that took place overnight. But, that is another story. 

So, back to 80/94. Sure enough, the slowdown occurred right at Kennedy like they said. It was clear the eastbound lanes were shut down because there was no traffic. As I approached Torrance Avenue, I could see the accident scene. It was horrific. It's not clear exactly what happened, but a semi tractor was involved and the driver side was smashed in and the windshield shattered. There was a large pickup off on the shoulder with pretty bad front end damage as well. Then, there were two cars in the middle of the four lanes completely destroyed. There was debris across all four lanes for at least 100 yards. And, then, I noticed in the middle of the wreckage, a body covered up lying on the roadway. The news had reported it was a double fatality. 

Even just driving by that scene for a minute....two minutes...I was shook to the core, imagining the noise, force, destruction that may have taken only 5 or 10 seconds....and then, eerie silence. I tried to imagine what could have taken place in the seconds leading up to the crash. Was someone texting, driving recklessly, having a medical issue, wanting to die that day? A split second decision may have changed the outcome...or not. Whatever happened, two people left home this morning and are not coming back. My heart grieved for the unknown family members getting that unwelcome call or knock on the door. 

Life can change in an instant and so unexpectedly. Be present in your life, pay attention, and love your family and friends like there is no tomorrow. 

As I drove on, I totally had the Boss in my head...

Wreck on the Highway 

Friday, August 7, 2020


We can all agree that 2020 has really been one for the record books. Now, more than ever, the level of hypocrisy coming from our elected leaders to our neighbors across the street has been on prime display. 



the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one's own behavior does not conform; pretense.   

Quite frankly, I'm sick of it. 

If "All Lives Matter," where is your outrage when: 

  • Migrants are kept in cages at the border
  • Innocent people are put to death in our prison system
  • A court denies an appeal to end the life sentence of a man (who has already served 20 years) accused of stealing hedge trimmers
  • Peaceful protesters are brutally attacked by covert federal agents
  • Thousands of individuals are dying daily due to COVID-19 but people refuse to wear a mask
  • People are insistent that children go back to school en masse this fall
If your constitutional or civil rights are being thwarted because your local or state government issues a mask mandate, then
  • You must agree that the government has no business deciding a woman's right to choose
  • That the peaceful protesters in the streets defending Black lives should be afforded the same rights as the gun-toting protesters who storm a state capital demanding that bars and nail salons be reopened
  • You must think driving laws (speed limits, seat belt laws, drinking and driving laws) are a violation too
  • You must fully support LGBTQ rights for equality and marriage

I don't know the answers, but people just need to calm the fuck down, respect one another, and do what is right for the common good. 

And for the love of God, vote this November. 

Sunday, July 5, 2020

What I Hate About Dogs

There is one thing I just really hate about dogs. I mean *really* hate. They never live as long as you do. And, losing your dog just sucks.

I'm losing my Bailey girl. You know it is going to happen, but you just can't prepare for it. She is almost 13, and she has a heart murmur. For the past six months, she's been losing weight, but she was still the girl who begged for treats and barked like an attack dog at the UPS driver. 

This week, I took her for her routine vaccinations, and I think it was just too much of a stress on her system. Within hours she was throwing up and extremely lethargic, by the next day, she was back at the vet on IV fluids. Her kidneys are failing. She doesn't want to eat. 

The really crazy thing is I'm crying more for Bailey than I did when I lost my dad in April. Like, I can't stop crying, and she hasn't even died yet. Honestly, a therapist would probably have a field day trying to crack my fuckedupedness. 

Check out one of my previous blogs about all the dogs I've loved before. 

Thanks 2020...You bitch.

When You Selfishly Think You Had a Bad Day

I was feeling sorry for myself as I sat in the Admiral's Lounge, waiting for my flight home. It was a stressful week at work. I logged 7...