Snap

There are days where I see what humans are doing to this planet and I think to myself, “ya know, maybe Thanos had the right idea?” Then I realize we’d still be stuck with half the stupid people and I just shake my head.

If you told me 20 years ago we’d still be disparaging people over the color of their skin or calling vaccines sorcery I wouldn’t have believed you. Sadly, that is where we are today in 2019.

Our selfishness will be our undoing.

Not Gone

I don’t blame ya for thinking I ‘be done’ abandoned the blog. Cooper’s death hit me really hard. I was depressed afterwards. I spent most of my time eating and working with the occasional video game binge in there. I’m still completely heartbroken he is gone. I miss him so much.

I’ve reached a point where I get thru the days without crying…mostly. I still have days where I just can’t shake the loneliness. But, I am getting better. It’s coming up on 2 months since he passed. I will adopt/rescue another wonderful bully again. I want to grieve and heal first. When the time comes, I will know it. Anyway, I the desire to blog or even keep up with the blog totally left me when he passed. I even considered closing it down. I think that was mostly the depression speaking.

In less depressing and actually exciting news, Shawn and I just celebrated our 6th year together. Lawd only knows how he puts up with me? I still love him as much as I did in the beginning and am grateful he does indeed put up with me. Hehehe We had dinner at Firewood Cafe (which is closing soon) in the hood where we had our first meal together. Shawn is (and has been for a while now) my longest relationship. I guess there is something to be said for that.

So yeah, I’m still here.

Goodbye My Precious

We had to say goodbye to Cooper yesterday morning. His breathing had become impacted by the tumor pressing against his lungs. He was simply experiencing too much discomfort and I couldn’t stand to see him suffer. Any doubts I had about rushing it were swept away the night before.

Cooper

I kept saying out loud we’d have him for a few more months but inside I knew we didn’t have much time. The tumor was growing quickly. My only hope was that it might grow at an angle that let him enjoy a few more months. Sadly, it was not to be. I’m grateful he declined so quickly to avoid any unnecessary suffering on his part. However, I miss him so much already. I do not think I’ve ever been so attached to a companion. I never realized how much of my daily schedule included him. Everything reminds me of him and sends me into a new fit of tears.

His life started rough as he was abandoned. When he came into my life he rescued me just as much as I rescued him. I needed him without even realizing it. He gave me so much and asked so little in return. I am happy to know I gave him a good life. He was most definitely loved. I could go on and on about all the wonderful ways he enriched my life. He was not just a pet. He was my friend and companion.

As painful as it was, I was there in his final moments. I couldn’t imagine not being there. My only goal was to keep him from being scared. I wanted him to feel safe and loved. We got to play with him a bit before the end and it was a joy to see him come alive in those last moments together. He lived for butt scratches and we gave him so many along with happy words. It was an absolute joy to see him shrug off his discomfort long enough to enjoy the attention and love.

I held him as he drifted off. I spoke sweet words of love in his ear and kept my tears at bay until he had passed. He was a light in my life and my life is diminished without him in it. My Cooper Pooper, my “precious”, my love bug. . . you are missed and still loved.

My heart is broken now. And while it will heal, it will always have a mark from you.

Heart Problem

Now that I’ve had time to calm down, I’m sad to announce Cooper has been diagnosed with a heart tumor. If you follow me on social media, you’ll know he had a recent vet visit for his leg. Being almost 10, he is an old fella in bulldog terms. His arthritis aggravates his joints, which in turn leads to soreness, hence the vet visit.

While we were at the vet, we got his yearly update and did x-rays. From last year to now, a large tumor has grown around his heart. Ironically, he isn’t having any problems with his actual heart; no murmur, no irregular valves, etc. The tumor has grown to about the size of his heart so it’s begun putting pressure on his lungs. It will eventually impact his breathing severely enough we will have to euthanize him.

Surgery is possible but the chances of success are low and due to his age the vet wasn’t even sure he’d survive the surgery. I’d rather let him enjoy his remaining time vs putting him thru the trauma of such a major surgery. To say I have been upset would be an understatement.

Cooper came into my life at a time when I was severely depressed and having trouble finding my light. His boundless energy and enthusiasm gave me something other than my own problems to focus on and brought me out of my funk. Since then he has continued to be a beacon of slobber and unconditional love in my life. To say I love that dog would be an understatement. I have never in my life loved an animal so thoroughly. After many days of tears and uncontrollable bursts of sadness, I’ve made peace with it. I got over 8 wonderful year with him and I’m grateful for his love. I’m fond of saying, they give us so much and ask so little. Cooper would be the exemplification of those words.

My only goal now is to keep him as comfortable as possible until he reaches a time when his breathing is too labored to carry on. The vet gives him anywhere from another month to 6 months. I’m thinking 2 to 3 months at most but I’m hoping for longer. I would never let him suffer for my own benefit so once his breathing becomes too hard, we will make the decision to say goodbye.

His leg/knee injury is slowly healing and I am hopeful he will be off his meds within another week or two. As you can imagine many of the rules have gone out the window! hehehe He gets treats much more often and I’m less stringent on his structured daily life. I take comfort in knowing I gave him a wonderful life. That said, I know when that day comes a little piece of me will die with him. To my beloved Cooper, you were and are loved.

Sharing is Caring

A friend of a friend of a friend (you get the point here) recently sent me a DM on Facebook asking why I never share any of his posts he tags me in.

Me: Because I do not like sharing all that stuff. I do not enjoy it. I’d prefer you not tag me on them.

Him: But what happens when it is something serious?

Me: Something serious as in? Microsoft and Yahoo are merging and if you forward this to to 10 people you’ll get a lot of money? Or, “people” are cloning your entire profile? Or, [insert generic meme about your porn name vs your spirit animal]? Or, discover these 10 things that will kill you, click here? ((He has sent me every single one of these examples)) I do not care for these things. I definitely do not want them cluttering up my profile.

I do not care for these things. I definitely do not want them cluttering up my profile.

Him: You seem rude. Maybe you are not a nice person? Did you ever think of that?

Me: Yes, but I didn’t share it as a meme or spam everyone on my friends list.

He blocked me. Go figure.

Sharing is Caring

A friend of a friend of a friend (you get the point here) recently sent me a DM on Facebook asking why I never share any of his posts he tags me in.

Me: Because I do not like sharing all that stuff. I do not enjoy it. I’d prefer you not tag me on them.

Him: But what happens when it is something serious?

Me: Something serious as in? Microsoft and Yahoo are merging and if you forward this to to 10 people you’ll get a lot of money? Or, “people” are cloning your entire profile? Or, [insert generic meme about your porn name vs your spirit animal]? Or, discover these 10 things that will kill you, click here? ((He has sent me every single one of these examples)) I do not care for these things. I definitely do not want them cluttering up my profile.

I do not care for these things. I definitely do not want them cluttering up my profile.

Him: You seem rude. Maybe you are not a nice person? Did you ever think of that?

Me: Yes, but I didn’t share it as a meme or spam everyone on my friends list.

He blocked me. Go figure.

Ghosts of the Past

I haven’t talked about my “issues” here in a long time. Truth is, I haven’t felt bothered by them so there wasn’t a need.

Today, I’ve been overwhelmed with memories of my past. I can’t say anything triggered it. Maybe it’s just ‘my time of the month.’ I’m not depressed by the memories, even though most of them aren’t great. I just can’t seem to shake the progression. One memory will trigger another and down a rabbit hole of deep thought I go…

Anyhoo, it’s been mostly about my step-mother, her family, and my angst at them for never intervening when they saw my step-mother abuse me. I know they recognized it because I would sometimes overhear the adults (her siblings) asking my step-mother, “why are so mean to that boy?” My cousins would just ask me directly. Or they would discuss it amongst themselves in front of me. For many years growing up I worshipped and hated them at the same time. When my family from her side visited, I got a reprieve from the mental torment. It meant things would be more bearable, even if it was just a long weekend. Of course, when they left, I suffered even more for my apparent ‘slights’ while they had been visiting. It was in those moments I hated them most.

When I left home none of them made much effort to stay in touch. To be fair, neither did I. They represented a connection to “her” that was to be avoided. It wasn’t like I was overly stable anyway and there was no cell phones, texting, or even internet. But I didn’t understand that then. It’s only been in the last few years I’ve slowly opened a window to them on Facebook. Being an adult now, my view of them has been complicated. At first, I was resentful more of them didn’t reach out to me. But, I realized that wasn’t fair either. Their lives diverged from mine and I was a distant memory. They had as much reason to reach out to me as I did to them. And it wasn’t like I made a lot of effort either. I kept them at arms length. A small handful made an effort to at least reconnect and “know” me a bit. I’m grateful for that. Our lives are so distant and different so that is pretty much where it ends. We keep a cursory connection at best.

And as expected, many of them tend to be Trump supporters. This isn’t much of a surprise. I only mention it because I routinely chime in when I see them sharing absolute made up stories that reinforce their biases. Reconciling my childhood view of them with my adult exposure has been easier than expected. I’m not sure if that is a good thing or not. lol

Anyway, I don’t have any wisdom to share. I’m just putting thoughts to pad to help me drag the triggers and emotions out into my conscience id so I can examine them properly. I’ll post more if I figure anything of value out.

What Do You Say?

I was having a discussion with a coworker the other day and we got to talking politics. We were specifically discussing some of the underlying dynamics that often lead people to believe into crazy conspiracy theories. Mostly, we talked about how people often reason based on emotion not logic.

I used an example of my little brother. Not because my brother is a crazy extremist, just the opposite. The story perfectly illustrates how even well-meaning people end up on the wrong side of things at times. So the real question is how, in an age of sensationalized media, truly fake news, and bias, do we encourage every day folks to move beyond their base feelings and examine a solution with logic? How do we get people to realize what they “know” is often based on very limited exposure to the world at large?1

Let me get to my example. My little brother grew up not really “seeing” racism. To him, it is something he knows exists but in more pronounced examples. For lack of a better description, he sees it as a very black and white issue. I tried to explain white privilege to him and found it a frustrating struggle. As a white man he has never had to experience the frustrations a person of color endures daily. Because he grew up poor and busted his tail working hard to get to a point where he feels stable, he doesn’t understand how a black person doing the same thing faces many more obstacles. I explained many of the very real world examples to him and while he sort of ‘got it’, because he lives in a rural environment where these ideas are usually avoided, it doesn’t become ‘truth’ to him.

It is hard for people who spend everyday just worried about trying to put food on their table to rise above the squabble and focus on bigger issues like politics. And when they live in an environment where biases are constantly reinforced, it’s easy to see why so many fall prey to the machinations of political hacks who want them to stay poor and ignorant. People who are poorly educated as a whole are easily manipulated by their emotions. Quite simply, their emotions are used against them.

And this is one variable of many leading society towards a calamity. So how do we overcome that? What do you say to someone to get them to truly open their mind and listen? If we could figure that out I think the world would be a better place.

  1. How many “experts” do you encounter on Facebook or twitter these days  LOL []

Amazonian

I’ve become addicted to Amazon. Living in SF, without a car, is not a problem most of the time. However, there are times when not having a car is a royal pain in the ass. Grocery shopping and dropping off/picking up laundry can both be a huge hassle. Luckily, the laundry problem is solved by a short walk. We are just over a block from the place we take it. We have a fee based small washer/dryer in our garage but they are expensive and rarely dry a regular load of clothes in one cycle.

Grocery shopping comes with 3 options. Option 1 is to purchase a small enough amount you can trek on MUNI with them. Hell no.  Option 2, rent a car-share or Uber/Lyft home. Not a bad option but still a hassle. Option 3, order online and have them delivered. Here is where Amazon has really filled a niche. I had used Instacart for a while but their services is so hit & miss I got fed up and switched to Amazon Fresh. Being a prime member, I also get access to Prime Now, which does limited groceries as well. Between the two services, I find no reason to shop in person anymore.1

Amazon originally only offered a yearly fee. I still use this option but they also offer a monthly fee now. The latter is in line with the several services out there that offer this service. The saving grace for Amazon is if you order an item, you always get it. There are a few very rare exceptions. With Instacart, you were always at the whim of what the store actually had and whether the shopper was diligent enough to actually care to get your order right. The only caveat for Fresh is the order has to be at least $50.00.2 For Prime Now, the minimum delivery is $30.00. As long as you meet the minimum amount, there is no delivery fee and you can order as often as you like. And boy do I ever.

Between work and home, I order a lot. And best of all, I end up saving money! Instacart up-charges for many of the places I shopped. Amazon is pretty much on point with retail prices. And while I realize they are still over charging me since they don’t have the overhead a traditional store would have, I am saving money over the alternative options. I order food at least 2 times a week, usually more. I order for both work and home. The monthly (or yearly in my case) fee is easily worth it compared to what I would spend on Uber/Lyft or car-share.

Prime Now has the added benefit of being same day. And while they have now added all of Whole Foods to the options, WF is still quite a bit pricey. You also run into the problem I had with Instacart when ordering from your local WF. But for the staples, it is just lovely. I order from the app while I’m at work and it’s there when I get home. Fresh only offers next day service but that is still pretty damn convenient.

These are first world problems of course. I am fortunate enough to be able to use these services vs having to pinch every penny and trek my ass in person. If you are thinking of using it, especially if you are already a Prime member, it is worth it.

  1. I stopped by Safeway recently and I was annoyed I ended up just leaving with 2 items []
  2. This has caused me some consternation as it started as $25.00 and has slowly gone up []

D2 v2.0

Ok so I’m still playing Destiny. lol  The new DLC got some pretty good reviews and the news was they were changing some of the things I hated most about the disc 2.

Well turns out, they did. Several of the awful changes have been reversed. And the new DLC is pretty good. A new twist on some of the existing bad guys with a hint of a mega merger of bad guys in the future. (The Scorn and the Taken.)

I know, you’re just dying at the news, right?!  I’m clearly too buys gaming to blog so ….

Anyway, I’m still at it. If you play in PS4 (or xbox) friend me under gamertag ibod8x5.  If you send a message I will most likely respond sooner. I tend to let unknown friend requests sit for ages.