Visions of puppy dogs dance through my head

I’m much too excited to sleep. All I can think about are puppies and the process of Whelping. What will it be like? How much involvement will I need to have? Will we sell all of the pups? 

If it isn’t obvious, our dog Lucy may very well be pregnant. We dropped her off to be bred on Monday and a professional breeders ranch in the mountain community of Caliente, or what I have jokingly referred to as “sexy summer camp.” The breeder informed us yesterday that she is certain that the deed is done. At this point we just have to wait to see if she is in fact pregnant. 

Despite not having any real confirmation or knowing it won’t be until October 3rd at the earliest, hasn’t dampened my enthusiasm. This is another one of those things I have had on my list of things to do in my lifetime, alongside publish a book and have kids. It’ll be a whole new experience for us and for Luce and I can’t wait to get started. 
As it stands I have watched a slew of videos on YouTube. Some professionally done, by vets and professional breeders, and others by regular joes. Each of them spouting similar facts and figures when it comes to breeding and birthing puppies. All I want to do is fast forward time until that moment when I can roll up my sleeves and get them into the world. They are the cutest goddamn things. 

The best part about it is by the time they will be grown enough for new homes it will be Christmas time, and nothing says merry Christmas like a new yellow lab puppy with a big red bow under a heist mad tree. 

And while this is something exciting and new I know there will be a dark side as well, and I’m not talking about late nights and overwhelming sadness when they’re gone. What I refer to is the negative backlash we will inevitably get from our friends and family, who are very much “pound saving” dog people. I commend them for that. However, my husband and I are not those types. We are pure bred dog owners. We’re snobs. So what? 

Another thought we had was what if these pups are purchased and the people end up not wanting them/it? We decided that we will let each family know that if for any reason they can’t take care of them or have had a change of heart we will take them back without question, and not to expect any kind of refund.

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And there’s a dick

Last night while attending a friends birthday BBQ, a discussion was brought up of a scenario I for the life of me did not know happened and find mind boggling that even continues to occur. 

Imagine that in a board meeting room there is a machismo-bro executive and a well dressed young woman alone. Then without warning or apropos to the subject the man produces his genitals from within his trousers and let’s them hang there. This was the scene painted for me that occurred to a friend of my roommate. 

The thing I can’t seem to grasp is what the fuck were these men thinking and what was their end game? Do these douche bags think that their dicks will be so entrancing these women will just drop hypnotized to their knees and begin giving them oral sex? Then the thing that frustrates me further is this was an actual event that occurred and this woman isn’t pressing sexual harassment charges. 

How is this okay?! This asshole should be fired from his position and be mandated to register as a sexual offender. This is unwanted sexual advances. 

What followed this tale were four more almost identical situations with varying degrees of severity. One story had a man completely naked with an erection in a women’s restroom. Another was a guy getting nude and walking into the ladies facilities where his co-worker was otherwise indisposed. 

I am dumbfounded! I wish I had the gall to be alone in a room with a man and just whip my dick out and just have it hanging  there to see how they would respond. Not in a sexual way. In no way would I want them to be overwhelmed with sexual desire that they feel the need to pleasure me. Oh no. That is the hopes and wishes of an egomaniac. I just want to see how uncomfortable they get and if they would report me to a superior. 

Then the most terrifying is how casual these women were in these situations. I even remarked that I would post these stories on Facebook and tag the offender so that others could see what huge pieces of shit they were, but one of my companions was so mortified by that notion he begged me not to. If I didn’t know how kind and giving this one friend of mine was I would have to question his character. 

I can’t imagine what it must be like to be a woman. 

Are there similar moments anyone knows of?

Joshua Revised

For the past few days I felt as though I had been regressing from my transformation after my completion of the Landmark Forum, causing me to panic that a return of the whiny bitch that used to run my life. To combat the potential relapse I started trying on different reasons for my cantankerous attitude. The one that held the most truth was that I hadn’t written something in awhile and it was wearing on me. I am a writer after all and if a writer doesn’t do his craft he begins to grow weary and out of shape.

So let me backtrack a bit. I’m sure I threw out some words or phrases that are absolutely foreign to most, making one ask “what is landmark forum?” I’m glad that question piqued your interest as it has become a large part of my existence.

Honestly when I first heard of it I was absolutely hesitant. It sounded like some weird cult bent on getting money. And At the time I thought that was my voice telling me that, but little did I know it was the voice of the pissed off 5 year old that was running the show. I can proudly say that now he has been put to bed in the past and won’t wake again. (That’s right, I killed him.)

The forum is pricey. Don’t get me wrong. I lucked out because the man that saved me from the most miserable job offered to change my life again and put out the $652 to get me enrolled. Even then I did it because I felt pressured to do it, but that was just another story I was telling myself. No one can make one do something he doesn’t want to do. What I know now is that the real me was begging, pleading for change. My life had fallen into a rut and all I was doing to get myself out was spin my tires and drag me further down. (Like they said often in the forum: “the more things change the more they stay the…”)

When the day of my forum arrived I told myself that I didn’t want to waste Steve’s money and I opened up my heart, ears, and mind to whatever change the forum had to offer. I didn’t want to say that I didn’t bother to at least try. Plus, my boss said it changed his life and I wanted the same.

Real change didn’t come until day two when one of the others in the forum read a letter he had written to his deceased mother. His honesty and pain struck a chord with me I could not comprehend and during the first break I called my mother and mended my fences.

Following later in the day we did an exercise where we dredged our past of fear and extracted it from our lives. In the course of an hour (which truthfully did not feel that long) I realized how much stock I put into wanting people to love and accept me. It went all the way back to first grade. Memories I had long forgotten were pulled up with this muck and actual snot. As a result of this exercise I discovered that I carried a physical manifestation of my pain in the form of sinus problems. Every instance when my nasal passage got stuffed up rushed through my minds eye and I found the connection. And when I was finished the amount of snot draining from my nose was embarrassing. I mean… Legit strings hanging from my nose down to the pool on the carpet.

Left raw and exposed the leader, Jerry, polished us up and I came out transformed. The baggage of the past was stripped away and all I had left was the possibility of my future.

One of the craziest and most fulfilling side effects of the forum is that my addiction is gone. I mean… Gone. I say it and feel it without the faintest hint of doubt. I couldn’t be happier. For so long that bull shit plagued my life and now it is gone.

Now left with me, the real me, I have so many things I want to accomplish. Things I will accomplish. First of all will be the promise I made to the entire forum on the final night: “I will create a future for myself and my life by BEING integrity.”

Starting back at 1

How does one just throw away 27 years of sobriety? I keep asking myself that question as I think of my father who did exactly that. 

For whatever reason my father, that takes anti-psychotics to treat paranoid schizophrenia, decided it was a good idea to buy a fucking 30 pack of Coors Light and drink 19 of them in quick succession. 

The result is just as one may expect, he blacked the fuck out on his driveway, landing face first in his attempt to get the mail. 

One of the neighbors saw him and called 911 and he was rushed to the hospital. 

Then at 8:30 I get four calls from both my mother and father, one after the other. My heart starts to race thinking my aunt from my previous post has passed. 

I listen to my father’s voicemail and he non-chalantly informs me that he’s in the ER and needs me to pick him up because he fell after having a beer. 

I just don’t understand. Why ruin something you built so hard to build? He put so much distance between him and his past that for whatever reason he risked it all, including his life. 

What I hate the most is that I get it. Being an addict myself (not with alcohol) I know what it’s like to use something to ice the pain. He’s icing the pain and he was willing to destroy everything for a momentary solution. 

I asked him if he was on antidepressants and his big box of pills seems to contain everything but those. He laughed at me when I asked him. Clearly he doesn’t see the problem. 

My husband was furious with my father when he got to the ER. I’ve never seen him that angry before. Honestly it was weird. At one point I asked him to bring it down a couple notches because while it was deserved and justified it wasn’t helping the situation. No matter how angry one is with someone fucking up with their vice getting angry and making him feeling like shit is 100% counterproductive. 

After dropping my dad off and discovering his 6 beers was really 19, I went home to recoup. I had had enough and listening to him lie and tell me what he thinks I want to hear was frustrating me. There was nothing else I could have done. He was an adult man acting like a child. At least with a child you could have it committed to rehab or a psyche ward but someone that is coherent and present (most of the time) there is absolutely nothing one can do. My husband and I racked our brains trying to come up with some kind of solution. What it boiled down to was leaving him to make his own fucked up choices. 

The next morning (today) I went over to see how he was doing and if he had gotten more booze after we left. I didn’t find any in my quick search, but with my dad that doesn’t mean shit. He tends to hide his poisons. 

I found him wrapped in a blanket on the couch, staring blankly at the TV. I know how he feels, if he does feel any shade of remorse. I really understand. So, with a fresh perspective I tried to tell him what it is I would want to hear after I fucked up. I basically told him to keep calm and carry on. I let him know that we are all so angry because we love him so much and don’t want to see him do this shit to himself. 

He just stared at me. 

In the end I took his car key, cash, and credit cards. There is money hidden somewhere in the house but I don’t know the location and he is only aware of one of them, I guess. (So my mother thinks.) 

I really looked up to my dad. I never realized that I did until he disappointed me. I took his positive change for granted and without it I feel lost. It’s almost as if my whole childhood is a lie. He is lie. He is a fallible human being. 

He was my hope that I could get over my own demons. 

Today I remind myself that I don’t want to be him. I don’t want to let my past transgressions dictate how I handle situations which baffle me. 

Cancer Kills Humor

My aunt is dying. There is no other way to put it and for herself or her children to keep trying is… I cannot think of the appropriate word.  I don’t mean to appear callous or cruel, because I don’t want her to die just as much as they, but I have accepted that in her case the possibility of recovery is next to none.

She has thyroid cancer.  Apparently it is the kind that is the fastest growing and most deadly, and unfortunately occurs primarily in men. It would appear that time is telling her that it is time to go. The two doctors she has seen have flat-out denied her treatment, because of where its at and how large it is they don’t want to take on the risk of operating on her and have her die. (Granted she’s going to die anyway…) The lie she told my mother was that she just needed to have radiation to shrink it and they would operate.  Whether she intended to deceive my mother has yet to be seen.

Before I knew all of this, and was aware that the doctor had suspected it to be cancer, my mother asked me to send my aunt, my mother’s best friend, a get well card because she could use something to perk her up. What I did instead was piss her and her daughter off.

I thought my card was humorous, it joked that “a bible verse would be good right about now, too bad you have a heathen for a nephew” and I thought my personal message was spontaneous and off-the-cuff funny. However, it was not received in the manner I intended it to be taken. For me saying “I may not pray, but…” I might as well have said “Fuck you, I hope you die” because that was the response I got.

Since then her daughter has unfriended me on Facebook, which means any hope for an apology from me has absolutely dissipated.

I know when I’m at fault.  Hell, I blame myself for everything eventually. That is why I have an addictive personality.  I always feel that I am a mistake, not that I just make them.  So I will eventually come to the conclusion I need to apologize. BUT if you unfriend me on Facebook that is guaranteeing I will say nothing of the sort. My pride on the matter is petty and ridiculous, I know that. It is the conscious effort that goes into the action where I find umbrage.

So, I sent another card to my aunt to apologize.  This time however it was a religious card that said NOTHING about prayer (amazing, I know), because in fact I do not pray and felt any mention of it would add insult to injury. I apologized and told her that there have been only 3 women in my life that helped shape me to be the person I am today: my mother, grandmother, and her. Fingers crossed she won’t see it as me mocking her faith or telling her she deserves to have cancer. Who knows in this wacky world.

The reality of the situation is everyone handles crisis and grief differently and we need to be patient with the ones when something in the vein of my situation occurs. The thing I find humorous is that it was the cousin that unfriended me who said exactly that many years ago.

Definition of Insanity

Let me preface this post by saying that I am crazy. As in a legit form of mentally unbalanced. I sometimes wonder if I am bipolar, however when I was tested for it many years ago I was diagnosed with depression instead. If that diagnosis was correct, that is something I still suffer from to this day. For all I know it could be my mental sorrow that is making me feel this way.

For the past six months I have been working the 12 steps of recovery (currently on 4) and doing some serious inner self-examination. I know what I have done has barely gotten into what really lies beneath my facade and I could definitely be doing more. Regardless of my level of dedication, what I have learned is still just as profound: I am a hurt little boy fearful of rejection and being discarded. 

In my process of breaking down past resentments I found a reoccurring theme of people “betraying” me or “ditching” me. As I wrote them out I honestly could have copied and pasted the same response to each of my mental inventories. 

What I find interesting is that even though I haven’t gotten to the part where I examine my part in all of this yet, already I subconsciously have been putting the pieces together and seeing that I may be the cause of my pain.  

I think I am guilty of playing games with people, friends, acquaintances, to test their loyalty. My tests are cruel and unnecessary, but because I had someone hurt me in the past, I have made a mandatory obstacle course each person in my life must run because I am fearful of being hurt again. So instead of just thinking it was that one person who was untrustworthy and moving on with my life I let myself believe all people are not to be trusted. 

In doing that I have inadvertently (or on purpose) made myself a perpetual victim. 

No one will ever live up to my standard of loyalty. Ever. I expect entirely too much and no one will ever reach the “Josh Standard of Friendship,” and to make matters worse I only hold these trials with those who don’t deserve it and in doing so ignore those who are able and willing to step up to my unnecessary challenges. 

What is even more peculiar is that I walk this strange line of wanting to have a deep connection with someone and wanting to isolate myself from everyone. It makes for chaotic thoughts that drive me insane and act out in damaging ways. 

Right now I want to pull away from all of my “friends.” I want to distance myself from everyone I know and I cannot explain why. That’s a lie… I am hurt because these weird games I play with people to test their “loyalty” fail and because of it I am hurt and want to run away. 

And yet I know these things and I don’t care. I want to cry. I want to scream. I want to start all over because nothing and no one will ever live up to this image I have in my head. I have these expectations on companionship that no one will ever fulfill. And try as I may to let them go I cannot. I cling to them like some sort of security blanket. Quite possibly because I want to remain the victim forever. I want people to feel sorry for me. I want someone to reach out to me and care for me because I DO NOT care for myself. I hate myself. And in the end I don’t trust myself… 

The desire to recoil into the shadows of my own misery is very strong but I have to fight them because I know I will expect people to come after me, comfort me, and give me the love I so desperately crave but they WILL NOT. Ultimately no one cares and they will chock up my manic actions to me just being crazy; and they will be right. 

Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results and that is what I am doing. Even though I KNOW I have to let go of these antiquated ideals of friendship I won’t. I downright refuse, thus proving that I am mentally unhinged. 

I choose all the doors

At this juncture I have entirely too many choices set before and I haven’t the slightest clue what to choose. 

Since starting college (for real this time) I have earned solid A scores from each of the classes I’ve taken. When I originally set out my plan was to hopefully transfer to a CSU, thinking that they would be more open to applicants. Since I have far exceeded my grade expectations at the start, I have decided that since I could graduate Summa Cum Laude that I will branch out my choice of schools where I send applications. Possibly even well known and highly respected collegiate establishments. 

My first go to is Berkley. The husband jokes that I only have brought that into the equation since we went to see Kerry Eleveld speak at a PFLAG meeting. However he is only partially right. The meeting merely brought up memories from Saved By the Bell when Jesse Spano had dreams of going there. In reality I’m basing my choices on a dated children’s show. 

After a few searches listing the top collegiate journalism programs I narrowed it down to three that made multiple lists: USC, San Francisco State, and Berkley. The others are out of state and out of the realm of possibility. So at least I have that cut to a manageable size. But, with two of them (assuming I’m accepted) I would have to move away from my friends and family. The other I could realistically commute. It’d be exhausting but it’d be feasible. 

Now, in three years time I will want to have children. I will not physically able to, seeing as how I am unfortunately lacking a working uterus, and my husband does not have one either. That leaves surrogacy or adoption. I would prefer the first, but that option is far outside my budget. So it is left to the second. I’d prefer an infant but I’m not picky. 

The problem is that my significant other does not want to raise a family in the very conservative community in which we reside. I don’t blame him. He’s uncomfortable with having to explain to people the situation and risk their judgement and shame. I get it. That is not something that bothers me but it takes two to tango and I need my dancing partner if I’m going to cut a rug. 

Yet since this conversation has been the argument du jour in our household he has also agreed that moving away would also cut off our potential children from having a large and loving family; which is something he himself says he loves about his life. 

So the question is, do I stay or do I go? In the end, the decision won’t be made until I have graduated with higher distinctions and after having been accepted to my institution of choice. Even that is hinged on whether I got my appraiser’s license, AND if I’m comfortable moving and leaving the boss that sees great potential in me and have paid for my education. 

Ugh! Life!