Tuesday, December 22, 2009

How deep my super love goes...

So I officially kicked off this years' first round of Christmas shopping...yesterday. Somehow I managed to purchase an entire H3's worth of goodies (I'm serious, trunk, seats and floor space jammed with crap) and yet have not finished even one person on my list. In fact, I only got one half done and another half started. Apparently I was so overcome by the Christmas spirit that I spent all my time finding the perfect gifts for random friends and relatives. After making 2 separate trips to my car I was finally ready to begin shopping, for reals. Uh, what's that, the mall closed? Aren't you suppose to stay open until, I don't know, Christmas? All your little blue haired retail elves are so high on potpourri and hand-sanitizer they can't possibly need more than a 10-minute break.

Finally got home at 11pm, Red Bull really starting to kick in, actually looking forward to wrapping all my useless gifts. As I gathered my purchases and stumbled toward the elevator, ninja kicking the UP button I waited...and waited...put my treasures down...and waited. Then I noticed a little note on the bulletin board. Elevator needs new part, will be fixed Monday. Wait a tick, isn't today Monday? We apparently have enough in our condo reserves to have the carpets shampooed weekly, garage pressure washed twice a month, entire building facade painted when it looked fine and money for a new "library" (bookshelf in the lobby), but can't seem to have our one elevator serviced in a timely fashion? For heaven's sake, 90% of the building's occupants are elderly! I'm just lazy, but let's think of the old folks please.

After re-assessing the situation (read: debating whether or not I'd take any gifts out of my car until Christmas) I decided a little exercise wouldn't kill me, right? Right?! 4 trips back and forth up and down 6 flights of stairs and I'd have to reply YES, a little exercise would kill me. Not so much the sheer volume of items I was transporting, rather the untimely manner in which it took me to reach their new haven. As a responsible dog owner (hehe) I decided to allow my dog pack to accompany me. It would appear that 4 hours left to their own devices, elicits sort of a frenzy when unleashed upon the hallway and garage areas of their domain. The middle child has taken a new liking to barking frantically up and down the hallway when we leave unless he's on a leash. However, when he's on a leash the puppy torments him, gets bit, cries, then he barks. Sort of a lose-lose. When we finally get to the garage everyone has a favorite corner/car/service area they enjoy best. It's like two little rockets and lumbering bear darting about in every direction. The real treat was getting the door open to the stairwell while balancing as much as my sad little arms could carry, hoping everyone else was on board. 1 out 3 times this was the case. The other 2 times Judge was more preoccupied with eating a dead bird he found outside and Maverick wouldn't leave the side of my car.

Stayed up until about 5am wrapping gifts. Why so late? You try doing this little holiday task with a 3 month old puppy who has a taste for anything paper or plastic. Including but not limited to - shopping bags, wrapping paper, scissors, tape, Sharpies, bows, ribbons and boxes. And the gifts themselves, of course. [Judge found one of his Christmas gifts - Snuggie For Dogs - so gay, but made me laugh when I saw it at the grocery store. Besides, I'm stimulating the economy. After he opened the box and bag and inspected his prize he immediately tossed it aside in favor of a glass ornament.]

Upon further inspection of my purchases, I did in fact buy for pretty much everyone not on my list. Hopefully today will be a little more successful or my super loved ones (not the so-so loved ones I actually bought gifts for) will know how deep my super love goes. Somehow that sounded gross.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Gross...

Well it's that time of year again, where your mailbox is overflowing with catalogues you've never heard of and Christmas cards. As I eagerly opened all of the sparkly envelopes, bedazzled with special yule tide stamps and stickers, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of letters this year. By letters I mean those sagas printed on gingerbread and Christmas tree adorned stationary, recapitulating the years events. I appreciate a well written update of loved ones lives, detailing big changes in careers, living situations, family, etc. What I don't understand are the holiday authors who feel compelled to elaborate on disgusting health issues, macabre accounts of the demise of family, friends or pets, or an overtly gasconade tone to unimpressive accomplishments. To be fair, I'm not really impressed with much. This includes not losing your job, not contracting a flesh eating virus, or not murdering your children to name a few. See my face? Not impressed.

Anyway, my favorite letter came from one of my best friends from high school. She epitomizes everything good in this world and has such a cookie cutter dreamy life, that I often wonder where the hell I went wrong? I mean we were best friends. Dressed alike, same friends, same interests. At what point did she veer off to Candy Land while I strayed toward the enchantment of a Ouija board? Her Christmas letter detailed the birth of her daughter and I swear on the wooden planchette of my dusty spirit board that I almost shed a tear.

After that heart warming missive I opened another holiday tale from a couple whom I have not seen nor spoken to in years and am slightly concerned as to why they have my address friend we shall simply refer to as Mr. & Mrs. Gross. At first glance everything was in order. Holiday vestiges upon the margins, standard formatting and font, let's begin... I didn't get halfway through the page before my stomach began churning and my expression was a combo of repulsion and consternation. Mr. & Mrs. Gross graphically described the symptoms, treatment and recovery of a malady I did not know previously existed, nor ever wanted to know. I won't go into detail because the bile begins to rise when I think of the whole yuck fest contained on one page. I almost feel abused. Mr. & Mrs. Gross took advantage of this festive time of year, coercing their victims with all the accoutrement's of a typical Christmas epistle, all the while injecting clandestine medical jargon. For the record, a Christmas card should NEVER include the following words: infection, drainage, contagious, or pustule.

Not one to dwell on the inappropriateness of other's (ha!) I decided I'm going to write my own Christmas letter...right here...

Dear Everyone,

The past year has brought many exciting new disasters changes. Maverick, Rebel and I welcomed a new addition to our family, thus solidifying my prestigious title of Crazy Dog Lady. My dream dog Judge, born August 20-something, 8 pounds and 2 hand lengths of pure Doberman exuberance. We are still adjusting to our new family dynamic as kibble and toys litter the floor, knit pants, socks and slippers have new ventilation holes, garbage cans reside on bathroom sinks and band aids are my new favorite accessory. Our new little bundle of joy is growing so quickly and eager to show how he can now reach kitchen counters and climb the spiral staircase to the loft, gaining a more advantageous post to bark and destroy play with things.

I look forward to the new year as I begin packing for the big move to the bustling metropolis of Oak Creek into my failed investment brand new house! Yard work, maintenance, 3000+ square feet of space to clean, barely scratch the surface of this exciting new change. I also anticipate a speedy sale of my condo in the dead of winter, that often resembles a warm and inviting doggy daycare. Though I will miss my fussy elderly neighbors, the middle aged lesbian enchantress directly beneath my condo will be the hardest to leave. Without love letters taped to my door, phone calls applauding my "heavy gait," or the sounds of Celine Dion or showtunes blaring into my windows until midnight, I know how much my heart will ache. The ninja stealth that I've developed in order to sneak the dogs down the stairs while in my most attractive pj's in the middle of the night will be an adventure sorely missed. Rounding up the troops pulling Maverick out of a neighbor's open vehicle while Rebel barks at children and Judge pees on the garage floor for an adventure will never be the same.

I have been blessed with another barrage of vacations. Most notably my family trip to Prague and Germany where I discovered the flow of beer rivals that only of Milwaukee and gay men in assless chaps are a thing of beauty. My upcoming travels include Riviera Maya, the Olympics in Vancouver, Oktoberfest in Munich and possibly a Caribbean cruise. Time permitting, I wouldn't hate another European adventure or backpacking excursion either.

Finally, this past year has brought many new faces into my life. Some made me smile, some made me cringe and some made me wish I had asked for plastic surgery for Christmas before entering the witness protection program. I have made wonderful new friends through a completely normal and not at all loserish venue of internet dating. After all, isn't that why one joins such sites? To make new friends with the false hope of finding true love and subsequently having the "just friends" discussion? Such a joy.

Happy holidays to one and all. God bless!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Can I buy a cryptex from Target?

It's been awhile folks. Ah, where to start?

Last week Wednesday I got a text from DTabs - [The Ex] is having a procedure tomorrow. He might have testicular cancer.

WTF?! Attempted to reach the Ex, some weird message, no answer. Did he really block my number like he said he was going to? What a child. Sent an email and a text. Finally calls me back.

The Ex - Been having tests done past couple months, will find out if it's cancer tomorrow. Thanks for the concern, but don't worry about it. Go on with your life as if you never found this out.

Me - WTF?

Thursday I get a voice message from the Ex - Guess who has testicular cancer? It's me! giggle giggle.

Me - Waiting for the "just kidding" portion of this message.....WTF?

That weekend we went with a bus load of friends to the dog track, got Christmas trees, watched movies and basically went back to the way things were. Minus the cancerous mess in his pants, of course.

Monday he went in for surgery. Monday night I brought him back home. Of course not one doctor spoke with us before we left but we did have a very unhelpful nurse wheel him out while not explaining anything to us either. Seriously? Let me do a dramatic re-enactment of the days events for you.

Welcome to Elmbrook, I hear you have cancer let's just snip snip that out for ya. Now just sit tight in your room and watch your Radio Shack tv circa '83 until we figure out step 2. By the by, you're spending the night. I know we said you didn't have to but we like you. How about another test? What for? Oh don't worry your pretty lil head about these doctory matters. Zap zap test done! Now you can eat some slurry and wait til we decide what that test was all about....2 hours later slurry arrives...Guess what, we changed our minds. Leave. Now. Hmmm...okay.

Thursday we had a follow up appointment with the Emperor of Urology. Well, according to him at least. I'm the king of urologists, rah rah, I'm old so that means I'm experienced and wise, please no pictures, you'll probably die if you go to anyone else, rah rah. When the Magnate of Urine ripped off the bandage on the Ex's abdomen I thought security may be called as I saw a tentative hand fly near the offending Prefect's face. I get the whole rip the band aid off quickly scenario and applaud it's effectiveness, however this was a 5 inch bandage secured with what I can only assume was gorilla glue. Hmmm....looks good. 8-syllable medical terms, blah blah blah, hear how smart I sound, I own a medical dictionary and checked out WebMD before your appointment, blah blah. Meanwhile, I'm furiously taking notes trying to decipher the Da Vinci code of a prognosis. Made a note to buy a cryptex before future appointments.

The Ex - What's the deal with the stitch in my testicle? When or how is that going to come out?

Sovereign of Urinary Tracts - Hmm...dunno. Lemme see! Well maybe I'll cast an expulsion spell on it later, or maybe just cut it out another time.

So what's next? Find an oncologist and start chemo as soon as possible. Well we've got some recommendations for docs at X, Y and Z hospitals. Oh, don't go there. Then I won't see you again and you'll probably die because I won't know what they're doing and my methods are secretive and way better. Do you wanna die? Umm...no, but we're probably going to get a few opinions. Fine. I've got other reproductive organs to fiddle around with. Your funeral. Alright then, thanks for the anagrams and Jeopardy words, we'll have fun decoding this when we get home.

So that's where we're at. Meeting with oncologists next week, hopefully one with some information that makes sense to someone who did not spend a decade in Med school or study with the Knights Templar.

I haven't had time to process this whole situation yet and I think that's why I'm relatively sane at the moment. Everything just happened so quickly. I think cancer was about the only thing that would have brought me into the same room with the Ex's family (we have issues with one another). The fact that I wrote a whole effen post on finally letting go, then being thrust back into everything with a vengeance is almost laughable. Who would have seen this coming?! Cancer is a really crappy Christmas present. My focus is making sure he gets the best medical treatment and that he's comfortable and knows he's cared for. This sucks...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

My puppy eats electricity

Currently I'm up to my eyeballs in Christmas decorations. This little project started on Friday. I have the tendency to unpack all of my festive doodads and stare at them until inspiration strikes as to where they'd like to reside for the holidays. Apparently every counter top and table is on their list of places to hang until further notice. Wrestling garland and extracting glittery pine cones from a tenacious puppy is really getting me in the holly jolly spirit as well. I think Judge wants light bulbs most of all for Christmas. The fact that I will be listing my condo soon has become sort of a running joke (in my head at least). Is cluster fuck a new kitschy mode of decor? Because I've got it, and then some.

Anyway, things are looking up lately. Perhaps it's the perpetual Christmas music, cheesy Kay Jeweler's commercials, or sorting through my holiday decorations, but I'm feeling pretty content. Is my life sort of dancing between limbo and complete chaos still? Of course. But I think that is becoming the norm and I'm quite adaptable. After my come to Jesus moment I feel a new sense of peace. Life is not an emergency. I'm in good health, I've got a roof over my head, candy in my belly, and I think my puppy's brain is actually beginning to develop. Normally I'm not content with good, always striving for great, but I think I'll let this one ride for awhile.

I feel like God's testing my current serenity with little glimpses of things that might send me back into my typically neurotic state. For example, I was looking through a friend's photos on Facebook and stumbled across an ex...on his wedding day. My reaction? I smiled. I'm happy for him. The fact that his bride looked like a Barbie doll could have easily sent me into a tailspin, but my friends I'm still standing. Now I realize this may not seem like a big deal for the average guy or gal, but for me the relentless cynic, it's huge. It's also huge because I finally get what "letting go" is all about. The selfish internal part of me (that would never admit this) always wishes that whomever I've dated will fall into despair, move to Tibet, and renounce all women after me. Seeing as this has yet to happen, I figured I better grow up and start being a bit more positive.

Back to my "letting go" epiphany. As I was putting up my Christmas decorations I was dusting off some picture frames of my ex-fiance. Why do I still have them all over the place? Not for nostalgia's sake, it's far more practical and uninteresting than that. I didn't feel like taking the time to have new pictures enlarged and subsequently placed in the frames. At first I ignored the pictures (the pain, the horror, gasp!) but after awhile I sort of stopped noticing them all together. See, adaptable. As I was dusting a frame of my ex and I on our first homecoming (junior year of high school!) together I couldn't help but smile. We were so young. I didn't look at it with regret or sadness. We were just kids, with a whole lot ahead of us, and most of it we would do together. At some point things changed. Things always change. Not good, not bad, just different. I grew up with my ex, he was one of my best friends, and he'll always be in my heart. Right now we're not speaking to one another and it's probably for the best. Will we ever be friends again? It's hard to say, but I hope so.

He made a good point awhile back. He said that the only time I really reached out to him was when I was stressed or lonely, and he was right. He had been my sense of calm for so long, it was difficult not having him to lean on. I admit it. But isn't that what friends do? Apparently we're both on a different "friend" page, so I suppose it's not fair to him. It took me awhile, but I've managed to resist my urge to call him when I'm having a bad day. I'm a big girl, I guess I had to learn how to bottle up my emotions and shove down my problems in an unhealthy manner like every other adult sooner or later.

I think it's probably time to take the pictures down though. My life is moving forward. Plus, it's awkward explaining them to my ahem, guests. The truth is, the ex will always be a part of my life, whether he's physically in it or not. That's what happens after a decade of interactions I suppose. I guess what feels really amazing right now, is that I can think back on our relationship and smile. Just smile. Would I change a few things here and there, sure. However, everything that happened led us to where we are now and I think this is exactly where we're suppose to be. I think the hardest part of letting go is the fear of what will take it's place. There's an inevitable void. I think I've been too adamant about attempting to fill that void before I actually tried to co-exist with it. Maybe some things are not meant to be replaced. Maybe that little hole is suppose to stay empty.
Wow, this got a little too introspective. I'm gonna lighten the load for ya, with some pictures of my naughty and supremely ridiculous puppy, Judge.

He just got his ears cropped. Hopefully we'll be done with this nonsense soon. Such a pain in the ass. Judge is currently tipping the scales near 30lbs. I think 20 of it is hiding in his front paws. I can't tell you how many mornings I have to check the mirror for a black eye. He slaps me around a bit. I suppose I probably have it coming. Hehe...