Thursday, June 29, 2017

A Few Toasts, A Few Tears

"Been talkin' 'bout the way things change
And my family lives in a different state
If you don't know what to make of this
Then we will not relate."
..."Rivers and Roads" by The Head and the Heart

Cosmic change can be felt in a profound manner or in a very simple one. An example being when heartbreak and happiness collide and the result is a salty drop of water falling down your cheek.

Though there's a lot more happiness than sadness as part of the family moves to be closer to their integral family, there is also the realization a twenty minute car ride won't put me at their front door ever again. 

And so it goes.

Last night a going away dinner of sorts was attended by most of the immediate family. As per family rules, it was loud, dripping with sarcasm and included copious amounts of food and wine.What it didn't include was a selfie to preserve the moment. That will be in our hearts and memories. It was close to the perfect sendoff. The invisible empty chair where my Dad would have presided with pride over his family, was still a presence in our hearts. Next month will be five years he's gone and I must admit he's been giving me more than a few pokes in the ribs lately.

So now a new chapter begins. I now have a new excuse for a road trip. And more of an appreciation for the 'absence makes the heart grow fonder' adage. 

Nothing stays the same, so embrace the new norm and enter a new address in the GPS.

Still gonna miss you all. xxxxo

Dad's story is here
Mom's story is here

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Lady's Last Chapter

You may remember the story from about a year ago of an older dog who had been surrender to a shelter when she couldn't adjust to a new home with multiple small dogs, and who was then re-adopted and ran away, only to walk thirty miles back to the family who surrendered her. That family refused to take her back so she was returned to the pound.

That story then took an interesting turn. Helen Rich, heiress to the Wrigley gum fortune, heard about the dog and almost instantly dispatched her private plane to rescue her. There was a photo of the dog looking out the window of the private jet, and we could only wonder what was going through her mind.

Helen renamed the dog "Lady," and from all accounts over the past year, that's what she was. The two bonded and Lady quickly grew accustomed to her new life with five other dogs and a number of cats in the 11,000 sf home. Helen Rich is the founder of Wings of Angel Rescue and has over 300 rescue dogs, cats, cattle, horses, exotic birds and other animals in custom designed shelters on her ranch in Florida.

For almost a year, Lady was at Helen's side. They say rescue dogs always know they have been given a second chance, having had one, I would tend to agree. Helen said that Lady was always her dog, it just took a while for them to find each other.

A few weeks ago Helen posted that Lady was ill. Of course she was given the best of care available, but there are things in life no amount of assets can overcome. And so it was with Lady.

After spending one last night in her own bed and with Helen beside her, Lady was released from her suffering.

One dog's life. Funny how the first decade or so mattered to so few, and the last year, with the help of an angel, touched so many. Lady was lucky, but I would think that Helen felt even luckier.

Each year tens of thousands of dogs and cats are put down for no other reason than there is no room. No room in the shelter and no room in our hearts. If you are thinking of getting a pet, consider a rescue. People give away dogs to shelters for many reasons, the least of which is they are bad dogs. If you ever go into a shelter and actually read the reasons for surrender, your heart will break. Getting divorced, moving, got a puppy and they don't get along, no time... I could go on, but let's just say people, not the dogs, suck. Lady won the lottery, but the same is true for all dogs adopted into a loving home. Trust me, you rescue them and they rescue you. Woof.

Easy Journey Lady.


Monday, June 15, 2015

The Sea World Commercial Makes Me Just Want To Spit

Does anyone else get as pissed off as I do every time you see the Sea World commercial with the two trainers trying convince themselves of the bullshit they are reciting about what a great place Sea World is for whales and other sea creatures? Yeah, that.

Honestly, it makes me just want to punch the screen. Really. Let's take a look at what they say, and what it really means.

They haven't captured whales from the oceans in over thirty-five years. What that really means is that most every one of their whales has never had the chance to actually swim in the ocean. They have spent their entire life within the Sea World compound. They are sea creatures who have never experienced swimming in the sea.

Our whales are thriving. Is there anyone alive who can really believe that creatures who are meant to live without boundaries and can travel 100 miles a day, are really "thriving" in a tank with a maximum depth of 50 feet and about 350 feet in length. Or think about a 100 mile play area vs. 1.5 acres. Yeah, I'll bet they're thriving.

Our whales live as long as their wild counterparts. Well hold on there Nelly, 30- 50 years is considered the average life expectancy in the wild, with females living considerably longer than males. Orcas in captivity have a median age expectancy of 12-16. While the Sea World whales are living longer than before, their quality of life is nothing but dismal. There can be no justification for having an intelligent mammal confined to swimming in circles for its entire existence, only to be brought out for shits and giggles in front of throngs of vacationers too giddy to think of the environment the animal has to endure.

We love them. And we know you love them too. You know, I think that is the part of the commercial that bothers me the most. That toothy smile on the woman who ends off the commercial is such a bullshit psychological ploy it makes me sick. No, I don't love the whales, I respect them as fellow creatures on this planet who should live as they were meant to live.

What is the old saying... If you love someone, set them free. Yes, I wish they would.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Ladies, Start Your Engines: The "Little Pink Pill" Gets Approved

Yes I know. It's been quite some time since I've posted anything new here. Truth be told I haven't found too many things all that interesting lately. Ok, I've been lazy. That too. But today there it was on TV, my haha moment that just needed to be addressed.

Flibanserin, also known as "the little pink pill," is the female equivalent of Viagra. I think we are all aware of the purpose of "the little blue pill."

Here is a partial list of Viagra's side effects:

  • sudden vision loss
  • ringing in your ears, or sudden hearing loss
  • chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling
  • irregular heartbeat
  • swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet
  • shortness of breath
  • vision changes
  • feeling light-headed, fainting
  • penis erection that is painful or lasts 4 hours or longer
Of course the last one on the list is the one that gets all the press... and the jokes. But let's compare the two lists. Viagra was approved in 2002 with a list of side effects that can leave you deaf, blind and hard as a rock, while the female version (Girosa will be the trade name) might lower your blood pressure, make you a little dizzy or possibly make you faint. Are they freakin' kidding me? If that pill works like it supposed to, I'm thinking low blood pressure is not gonna be an issue.

Does it seem weird to any of you that when the girls finally get the fun pill that the boys have had for over a decade, the FDA decided that they need to work on its side effects? Fainting vs. Vision Loss; Dizziness vs. a 4 Hour Hard On. Really? 

I don't know about you, but I'm calling bullshit on this whole FDA approval thing. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Tolerance; Remember That?

tolerance [tol-er-uh ns] 

a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, beliefs, practices, racial or ethnic origins, etc., differ from one's own;freedom from bigotry.

It seems to me, we all used to have a lot more of it.

If there was a kid who was nerdy, dorky...someone who saw things or did things differently, you gave him the side eye, maybe busted his chops once in a while, but he was tolerated. He wasn't bullied into taking his own life.

If you were a little/lot more liberal/conservative than others, you still listened to their point of view, and maybe just sometimes, you found common ground. Different views were tolerated. Just dismissing someone else's voice because it's not the same as yours does no one any good.

If your neighbor's faith was a different than yours, their right to worship was respected; it was tolerated. There was no fear you would be slaughtered for growing up with a different belief system.

And now we have the elected powers in so many states trying to enact laws for what should just be human decency. Tolerance. In an effort to offend no one, they have offended everyone.

And those who refuse to accept what the majority has already endorsed find themselves ostracized, even ruined. Right or wrong, where is the tolerance?

It is now a time of sound bites instead of news reports, text messages instead of conversation, reality TV instead of reality. We don't take the time to listen to one another or even think for ourselves. We read a Tweet and accept its message as truth... all 140 characters of it. Our tolerance for learning the entire story is gone.

Today begins a holy weekend for most people. None of us can change overnight, but we can each try and accept... ideas and people.

If you dig deep enough, you just might find a little tolerance.