From the Ashes, Things Rise

Sure, sometimes those things are severely-charred zombies from the beginnings of some sci-fi Apocalypse, but just work with me on this one. It’s been a hectic day, and spending two hours in my car on the way home. The slightly snowy Pittsburgh roads weren’t the issues so much as the other drivers, but that’s another topic for another time. Continue reading

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This Week In Goals: Week One Recap

One week into the new year, and one week of goals tackled. It’d be easy to say I did great or poorly, but I’m stepping back as far as I can and trying to assess my progress this year in terms of efforts made versus efforts that could have been made.

Similarly, I’m also trying to give myself distance from my goals because I briefly toyed with the idea of doing a third Hundred Days of Blogging, but almost immediately realized that is a horrible idea that will only end in misery and sleep deprivation. Lord knows I need less of both of those things.

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New Year, New U(niverse)

Same bad puns. Honestly, it sounded better in my head than it reads in the header, but I also originally planned to write it as “You(niverse)”…until that looked dumb, also. So here we are.

Happy New Year to you all, since it is now late enough that everyone has crossed the arbitrary boundary between 2017 and the three weeks of incorrectly writing 2017 on things. I’m sure I will be among those people. I hope you all had a lovely night and didn’t wake up with hangovers today, or if you did wake up feeling hungover I hope it didn’t linger too long. Like many, many, many other people, I am using the new year as a means of setting goals for myself in an effort to talk less and do more. I still refuse to call them New Year’s Resolutions, as the moment that label touches something it transforms into an impossible goal for most people. Continue reading

T’is the Season

NaNoWriMo is now well behind me, and I successfully won another year (it only cost me quite a few days of sleep-deprivation at work, but I’m honestly pleased with the bulk of the draft it yielded). Christmas is less than a week away, which would be concerning if I hadn’t managed to successfully behave like an adult and get shopping out of the way ahead of time for a change. As the end of the year rapidly approaches, whether I’m ready for it or not (and, honestly, despite how good 2017 has been on a personal level I am all about those sweet, sweet 2018 mid-term elections and several other, exciting things I’ll get to later).

This post is a sort-of recap of my year since the last posts I made, a loudly-stated-because-it’s-on-the-intenet commitment to getting off of my ass so as to work harder towards getting more things published (self-published as well), and a return to WordPress…because I renewed my damn domain name, so I may as well make use of it. (Fun story: I had to open a new tab and verify this, because I honestly could not remember if I did or not.) Onward!

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The Trouble with Big Dogs

The Trouble with Big Dogs – In Memory of Franco

The trouble with big dogs is that they are big. Large. Huge, enormous, and perhaps even gigantic. They take up a great deal of space wherever they are, naturally; whether that be lounging in the middle of the floor, dominating a couch–their couch, of course–in the most spread-out way imaginable, or nosing their way to the door to greet a visitor who probably should have been let in already (where are your manners, slowpoke?).

Big dogs have big appetites, and often find their big noses on the table sniffing out food they certainly shouldn’t be eating. This, of course, does not prevent some of that food from occasionally finding its way to the appropriate dog dishes.

Big dogs have a capacity for big naps, often accompanied by big snores and big dreams. The biggest, most-accommodating couch or bed will invariably be taken up by such a large dog, leaving little space for much else. This is the new order of things, and should be accepted as an unwritten contract. Whatever recliner, sofa, or small segment of bed is left should be more than luxurious for any humans. Continue reading

Dear Franco

Today, far sooner than we’d have liked, my family had to say goodbye to our dog Franco. This is one of two posts I’m making on the subject. They’re largely selfish, as a way to cope and get this out of my system. In a small way, this is me working to say goodbye.

Dear Franco,

You weren’t always our dog, at least from the start, but you always felt like part of the family. Words fail me as I sit here, the dull hum of the ceiling fans we made sure to keep on for you the only company I have at the time, trying to fully process this morning. Bluntly: it sucks.

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All things considered, you could have been a very mean, temperamental, and unpleasant dog. The word ‘table’ was brandished at you like a weapon. Furniture was off-limits, of course. You still greeted people, tail wagging, with a lasting warmth.

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When we brought you home, there was a little apprehension. The adjustment period, where Mackenzie and Missy taught you that this was most certainly their house that you were moving into, had some interesting moments, but went smoothly. You seamlessly became another member of the family. The living room couch, covered with the dolphins-with-sunglasses blanket, quickly became shared property between you, Missy, and Mackenzie. 280779_669407042466_1444293402_o

There was a lot to love about you, Franco. The way you would only let some people pet you over the fence. How you greeted everyone at the door, often barking along the way as you readied to charge. The look you gave if someone happened to wake you up, and the grunt that would almost always follow.

In retrospect, your time with us feels both like it was gone in a flash but also like it lasted forever. Still, selfishly, I wish there were just a little more time. I will always wish there were just a little more time. Thank you for the years of howling along with sirens, going outside just to come back in for a treat, kisses, times you were waiting by the door when we got home, and so much more. My only hope now is that you are at peace, in a place where steak is regularly left unattended and well within your reach.

 

Eating Halo Top Vanilla Bean feels like the adult equivalent of eating paste

Sure, that’s a long-ass title, but it’s catchier than my usual go-to of indicating I’m not dead, that I’ve not forgotten I have a WordPress, or some pop culture reference. Related: how the Hell do I have 18 drafts? I need to do some belated spring cleaning.

The Halo Top, for the record, isn’t half bad, but it has a weird consistency – just to set the record straight.

“What’s new in the land of Phil’s Misadventures in Fiction (and life)?” asks no one in particular.  Continue reading