I try not to spend a lot of time thinking about 21. Because honestly, it’s no good for me. So whenever I do, I shove it out of my mind and think about something else.

But last night? I dreamed of him. I dreamed that he was dating some other girl. And he didn’t really like this other girl, so he told me that we were better off together. I don’t know if we got back together in the dream, but I woke up and thought that everything was as it was.

It wasn’t.

It’s like I don’t understand why my brain would do this to me. When I dream about things I want that I can’t have – a new car, a new life, perfect hair – I’m not upset when I wake up and realize that I don’t have those things. So what my hair isn’t perfect? I’m..still blonde? But those are small things. But when I dream of ex-boyfriends, I always wake up being more upset than I was days before. It’s really interesting that all it takes is a dream of an ex.

There’s really only 2 boyfriends that I’ve dreamed of: recently, 21 and then? The most evil of all ex-boyfriends. I dream about the most evil of all ex-boyfriends more than I’d like to admit. When I dream of him, he’s the guy that I dated that made me laugh, not the evil douche he turned out to be. In these dreams, the guys do what I always wanted them to do and not whatever they actually did.

Just writing about it makes me feel better. I can dream about things all I want. It’s not my reality. I need to keep remembering that. What people do in my dreams is not how they act in real life. People can do terrible things and be terrible, but in my dreams, everyone is nice and sunshiney and lovely. That’s not how things work.

So I can dream every night that 21 is going to realize he made a mistake…but I need to realize he’s not. And I need to remember how the spark wasn’t there. Because without a spark, there’s nothing. He was great. Now he’s gone.

Now I’m going to move on.

In absolutely unrelated news, here’s the new addition
Meet puppy Duke.  He’s a coonhound/bloodhound mix and just about the cutest thing you’ll ever see.  He’s currently a little too big for himself…but we love him anyway.  Thank you for being around, Duke.  At least I have something to squeeze.


Odds and ends and this and that

I don’t have enough of anything to have a whole blog post about something important – I might as well have a whole blog post about things.
-As if things at work weren’t FUN ENOUGH ALREADY, one of the girls in my department is leaving. Normally, this would just be a bit of a bummer, but she’s really what holds the department together. So we’re all sort of freaking out over here. Which is just how to spend the week after you return from vacation.
-Speaking of vacation – it was awesome. Granted, I started my vacation in tears, but once I got to NOLA, I was feeling better. At least emotionally so. Then I came down with what I think was a sinus infection. Thankfully for me, I got a prescription for antibiotics before I left. Once I started feeling really bad, I started those up and felt better right away. Of course, drinking and staying out late do not help anyone get better. Since I’m lazy, I did not upload pictures. My dear friend Karen did. So check her out for more stuff.
-Sorting through my work emails is taking me forever. Maybe because I’m just not into this. I’m not back into working yet. Still dreaming of being on a beach somewhere. Or at least on a freakin’ cruise ship, drinking a fruity drink and reading.
-My parents have decided to start looking for a new dog. Our dog (Jack) has been so lonely since Jake is gone. He cries at night and finds Jake’s things and drags them to his bed. But of course, there are all these rules about adopting a dog. For instance, my dad does not want a yellow lab because they are “the stupid ones”. My mom doesn’t want a pitbull or any dog with pitbull in it. I don’t agree with any of these statements. I just stay out of it. And when they get ridiculous, I just tell them to stop it.
-All I did last week when I was on vacation was eat. So now I’m back to the grind and realizing…I cannot keep eating. It’s sort of a bummer to realize that.
-Going away for a long weekend next weekend! And yes, I just got back from vacation, but I decided I needed another one. So 21 and I are going on a trip to my family’s house in Vermont. This is the first time that 21 and I are going away together and the first time I’m bringing a boy to the house in Vermont. I’m going to meet up with one of my friends while we’re in Vermont and I’m excited for that. I haven’t seen Tessa since Cashelle’s wedding back in September. And this vacation will be different from my last one, since I really don’t have to go anywhere. We can just go to the house and operate on our own time table, which should be so much more fun than having to work around other people. I really hope 21 enjoys the house…and I really hope a long weekend together doesn’t make us want to murder each other. Although we haven’t wanted to murder each other yet. I haven’t even wanted to really give him a shove. Which says a lot. Because there are many people that I want to shove.
-This weekend is the Special Olympics for my brother. I should be driving up to see him compete on Sunday. He does the speed skating event. Not that he goes fast, but he tries hard. My whole family goes to cheer him on and he loves it. And all the volunteers love Jamie because he’s actually very funny and silly. It should be a good time – and the first time my whole family has been together in weeks. Not that I have a problem with that.
-I realized when I got back from vacation that I have about 4,589 things to do and absolutely no drive to do them. And none of them are really important things. It’s all stuff like exchanging my Canadian dollars into US dollars or getting my ring resized or bringing my change to the bank to get actual dollars and going to the dry cleaners. But I’ve been putting off this stuff as long as I can. I don’t know why either – it’s not like any of those things are hard. I just don’t want to have money or a properly fitting ring, I guess. SARAH. GET YOUR HEAD IN THE GAME.
– Just finished watching the first season of Glee. I wish I could just burst into song whenever I felt like it. I bet I would be in a generally better mood if I could just belt out Proud Mary loudly at my desk when I was feeling like it.
– In a related note, whenever 21 gets out of bed in the morning, he starts singing. Not singing well or singing anything in particular – he just sings. Loudly. So I better be awake when he gets up, otherwise that’s how he wakes me up. It’s weird and sometimes I want to be like “DON’T YOU SEE I HAVE A HANGOVER OMG WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?” but I found myself really missing that over vacation. I really missed that nonsense. I suppose it is like really missing my family. As soon as I’m back, I realize that I’m all good.

Ways not to start a vacation

As I type this, I’m in Manhattan, waiting for my best friend to come back from her run so that we can start our week long vacation.  We’re leaving for New Orleans today and from there, leaving for a cruise to Mexico on Monday.

But this week was not as wonderful as a pre-vacation week should be.  There were a few high points…but otherwise, it was not a good week.  I woke up on Sunday (after the Dog Prom) and I had the mother of all hangovers.  I should have known that I would have a monster hangover when I drank a straight glass of vodka.  But I don’t think that way.  So when I woke up on Sunday morning, even 21 could see that I was hurting.

Monday night I went over to 21’s house where he made us a really nice dinner and we watched a movie.  It was very relaxing and just the sort of day that I wanted.

Wednesday afternoon, I started feeling a little under the weather.  But I didn’t think that much of it.  I assumed I had just talked too much and my throat was hurting because of that.  WRONG.  I woke up on Thursday morning with a full blown cold.  Stuffy nose, sore throat, the whole 9 yards.  And the last thing you want to have before you go on a tropical vacation is a cold.  So I was less than pleased.  I’ve pumped myself full of all sorts of zinc and vitamin C in order to fix it…but no, not so much.  I felt terrible on Thursday night, which meant that I was unable to see 21 before I left.  Not that it’s a big deal – but I was looking foward to seeing him.

Friday should have been a good day.  Fancy Marketing Company always lets people out at 3 PM the day before the start of a 3 day weekend.  It’s very nice of them, actually.  So I knew I had to get everything done before 3 PM.  My department is finally back up to being fully staffed, so it wasn’t as big of a deal that I am going to be out next week.

I got so many things completed yesterday morning, a really sweet email from 21 and I was starting to feel a little bit better.  Until about 1:30.

My brother called me from the emergency vet.  One of our dogs (Jake) had been hit by a car.  He was breathing really heavily and they thought that maybe there was internal bleeding.  As Will was talking to me, they were bringing him in for an ultrasound.  I was upset, but I knew that they were going to take care of him.  So I kept on working.  Will called back a little while later.  Jake’s injuries were too great and he was going to have to be put to sleep.

I started crying at my desk.  It’s not something that I am proud of, but this is our dog.  Thankfully I work with a bunch of dog lovers and they were like “go – see the dog.  GO!”

As I was packing up all my stuff, my brother called and said that they were putting him down right that moment.  There was talk of bringing him to our normal vet so that he could put Jake down, but we decided the stress of that situation would be too much for him.  So they did it at the emergency vet.  I was crushed.  The last exchange that I had with Jake was me pointing at him and saying “you are a dumb-dumb”

So I drove home to see him one last time.  My dad and my brother were both there and they were both crying.  Sometimes it;s hard to imagine that a dog could mean so much.  But he has been ours since he was a puppy.  He was ours – even though he was dumb at times.  He was the best dog that he knew how to be.  Even if they had been able to save him, his quality of life would have been terrible.

I spent the better part of yesterday afternoon crying over that loss.  I know it’s kind of ridiculous to be that upset over the death of a dog.  But he was family.  Losing a member of the family, no matter how small, is hard.  And as one of my friends said, this was totally unexpected.  It would have been one thing if Jake was old and sick and we knew it was coming.  But he was young-ish – about 11.  And it wasn’t how I thought my weekend would play out.

And poor 21 had a bunch of messages on his phone like “my dog is at the emergency vet” and “my brother is being a real shithead” and “now they are putting the dog to sleep”.  He’s in Boston for the weekend and wasn’t even around to answer my messages.  Not that it’s his fault.

After I said my goodbyes to Jake, I jumped a train to Manhattan.  I met up with Karen and we got mani/pedis and ordered Thai food.  It was a nice, relaxing night in and everything was good.

I’m ready for this week of relaxation to begin.  this is the worst way ever to start a week off – so it just has to get better than this.

Reverb Day 27 – Just an ordinary day

Prompt: Ordinary joy. Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year?

I think that many of the moments in my life are ordinary.  There’s nothing special about most of the things that I’ve done.  I think the times that mean the most to me are the times that I just feel alive.

Like waking up in the summer to the warm sun.  And reading a book and getting out of bed when I felt like it.  An iced coffee on a wickedly hot day.  The first snowfall of the year made me smile more than I thought possible.  Running around with a really dopey dog.  Smiling at someone when I feel like it might make their day better.  Hearing the perfect song at the perfect moment.  A light summer rain. 

My friends.  My brother’s accomplishments.  Meeting 21.  Being around everyone I love.  Crying my eyes out at my friend’s wedding. 

Engagements.  Baby births.

Reverb Day 19 – Healing

Healing. What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011?

When I think about what I’m going to write, it makes me feel stupid.  But the fact of the matter is that it has changed me. 

As I’ve said about a million times before, I volunteer at an animal shelter.  I work as an adoption counselor, helping all the dogs go and find their forever homes.  Most of these dogs have come from really screwed up situations.  Most of them have been abandoned, a fair number of them have been abused and ALL of them were unloved. 

But these dogs, as screwed up as things were for them, learn to trust and love people again.  ANd I find that amazing.  I can be so hateful and carry resentment along with me for a long time.  Hell, I’m still annoyed at stuff that happened to me years ago.  I still carry around all the times I’ve been burned by people and then don’t get into those situations again for fear of what’s going to happen.  With a lot of love and attention, these silly 4-legged creatures begin to understand that not all people are bad.  Not everyone is a mean nasty person.  They trust again, they love again and become super adoptable dogs.

It’s kind of stunning to watch it happen, because it’s not really a sudden change, but you will realize it one day.  You’ll realize that the dog that used to run from you comes running to you because she recognizes the sound of your voice.  It’s crazy but I’ve seen it happen. 
If the dogs can do it, why can’t I?  I can learn that not everyone sucks.  I can be healed by the sheer goodness of people, can’t i?

I can be healed in 2011.  I need to let the right people in, the people that are going to reinforce the ideas that everyone has goodness.  Everyone can love truly.  I can be healed just by being around the right sorts of people.  I think I’ve found some of those people.  Let the healing begin

Reverb Day 7 – Community is whenever I’m with you?

Today’s prompt -Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

One of the most important communities that I’ve discovered is the volunteers that I work with at the animal shelter. I am so lucky to volunteer with so many passionate and FUN people. I hang out with some of the volunteers even outside of our volunteering hours. These people have become my friends. It all started when I was funemployed and needed something to do with my free time. I was seriously SO BORED. I began working with the dogs at the shelter. We’d basically just take them out and play with them – nothing special or important. But after a while, I moved up the food chain at the shelter and I’m the second in command on Saturdays. Which doesn’t seem like a lot, but it is. I like the people I’ve met. But as I’ve said before, there aren’t any boys that volunteer there. And that is lame. It’s a place of all ladies. And if one of us starts crying (like we did this weekend), we all start crying.

In 2011, I’d like to get more involved in communities for adult siblings of people with autism. I don’t know anyone that has a sibling with any sort of developmental disability. That’s not to say that I feel alone when it comes to Jamie, but I’d like to know some other people that have gone through what I have. I was going to go to a conference this year for adult siblings of people with disabilities…but the timing just didn’t work out. I find it so interesting that I don’t know any person that has a sibling with a disability. And even with the all blogs that I read – still no one. Unless someone is out there, lurking, and I don’t know about them. Please tell me. I’d like to know.
Jamie is one of those parts of my life that I haven’t written about much. Maybe in the next year, I will write more about him. I feel like words don’t properly explain who my brother is and what he’s about.

The other thing that I am going to be involved in would be me making a community for others. I’m going to (hopefully) be the leader of a peer group for kids with siblings with disabilities. They are trying to get the kids together for the group and pick a day that works for everyone. I would love to finally be able to give back. It was hard for me growing up with Jamie. That was at a time when autism wasn’t 1 in 110. But now? It must be so much easier and so much harder on these kids all at once. I want them to know that things aren’t always going to be so hard, that their siblings love them in their own way and that most importantly, your family might be weird and crazy and strange, but they are your family. I want these kids to know that shit can be tough and hard to handle and confusing, but it’s all worth it in the end.

If only I knew that way back when.