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Mourning Max

I really feel like a major Debbie Downer blogger lately, but I figured since my memories of my big brother are permanently out here on the interwebs, I should also create a semi-permanent 1378071_10153348981200551_615562441_nmemorial to my 2nd hairiest best friend whom I also lost recently: My little pup, Max. Even typing his name here now and remembering him is causing tears to start to leak out of my face. I’m gonna need a box of Kleenex. Hang on.

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(Insert Jeopardy! theme here)

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Ok, I’m back. Who knew it’d be so hard to find Kleenex in this house? Apparently I’m not very snotty.

Anyway… You know, I always thought those people who took days off work to mourn the loss of a pet were insane. Until my Max. I’ve had dogs my entire life, but I don’t think I’ve ever loved any like I loved my Max. I fell in love with his little tiny furry Ewok face the first time I laid eyes on him as a pup, sitting alone in his cage, the last left of his litter. Actually, I should say WE fell in love with him, and by ‘we’, I mean, of course, my roommate, who is Max’s daddy. I suppose he loved him as much as I did. It was sorta hard not to. He was our baby. Our alarm clock. Our snuggle buddy. The dog who once tried to bite my face off. Our spoiled little lovable brat. Max could make me laugh on my worst day; The way he spun around in excited circles whenever we’d say the word ‘outside’, or ‘bone’; The way he’d wake us up by standing on top of us and staring directly into our faces; The way he growled every time we tried to kiss him, almost like he was saying “C’mon, I’m not a little kid any more!”. I loved him more than I even know how to express. So when he was diagnosed with cancer, we vowed we’d spend any amount of money and do whatever it took to keep him with us as long as possible. When he stopped eating, we syringe fed him baby food, heavy cream, Pedialite- Anything to try to bring back our healthy, energetic little pup. But as it turns out, Max was more tired than we thought. Odd timing, the fact that he started to go severely downhill the night my big brother passed, almost as if he knew that Jon needed a companion.

His last day on Earth was spent at his favorite park, and snuggling on the couch with us- His two favorite pastimes. I remember he kept looking at us with his big brown eyes, like he was trying to comfort us and tell us it was going to be ok. I think I told him I loved him approximately 8,428 times that day. I take comfort in the fact that I’m pretty sure he knew how lucky he was and how much he was loved. I mean, what other dog gets steak and eggs for breakfast while his mom eats Special K? He had a great life. A great life that was cut way too short.

So now, we grieve. Every day. I miss how happy I felt when Jon and Max were both here, even though I’m slowly but surely recovering. I cry for my brother, for my dog, and I hope and pray that they’re up there together, just waiting for me to get there. Hopefully Jon knows how to cook a steak. Because Max loves that shit.

Love you forever, little Max. Momma and Daddy miss you.

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Posted by on July 25, 2014 in Cancer, Humor, Life

 

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My Songs Don’t Really Want To Know What You Did In The Dark

Weird thing about music; How a particular song can make you immediately leave the present and go back to a different time and place. This happened to me while driving home from work one day last week, and it got me to thinking about what songs really sort of define moments in my life. Some of them make me cry, but most of them just make me smile, and think about all those years that have passed that have made me exactly who I am today. That shit makes me kinda happy. So here they are, folks, in no particular order:

The Superbowl Shuffle by The Chicago Bears Shufflin’ Crew

I couldn’t find a decent video of this one, but I couldn’t not include it here. You all know it anyway. If you don’t, you really should. The 1985 Chicago Bears were kind of the shit. This song always takes me back to the basement of my childhood home, singing it over and over with my older brothers. I can’t remember who they were, but I was the Punky QB known as McMahon. Duh. Because I look just like him.

Jump by The Pointer Sisters

Singing this song repeatedly while using a hairbrush microphone is how I discovered I wanted to grow up to be a black lady singer.

Manic Monday by The Bangles

You can’t be a girl who’s grown up in the 80’s without having loved The Bangles. When this song comes on, I’m 12 years old again, jumping on a mini trampoline at my friend’s house, a game of Q-Bert paused on the Atari, and empty bowls with remnants of ice cream with Diet Pepsi poured over it. Because we were healthy like that.

Jump! by Van Halen

Times were so much simpler before David Lee Roth went kinda nuts. This song was #1 for, from what I recall, approximately 86 weeks in a row, and every week my brothers and I would sit by the radio in our family room, and wait for Kasey Kasem to announce that it was again the #1 song in the country. Then we’d all go David Lee Roth air guitar. We were pretty good air guitarists, too, I gotta say.

Mack The Knife by Bobby Darin

I’m at my oldest brother’s wedding reception, and I can’t even tell you what year it was. All I remember was a horrible giant pink bridesmaid dress, and I was acting like a teenage asshole because I didn’t get to ride in the limo. The only other thing I remember is watching my mom and dad dancing to this song. For a couple of old farts, they could really dance. This may be one of my favorite memories of all time.

Lighters by Bad Meets Evil

This song lost its appeal for me after I heard it approximately 86,432 times on the radio, but it still always takes me back just a few years to one of my top five best birthdays of all time. I spent all day lounging at the beach, then had one of the best and most memorable dates of my life. Rooftop bar, Cajun potato salad, Absolut Orient Apple, and a nice boy wearing plaid shorts, who I have since then called many a man-hating name, but who has, oddly, become someone I consider a great friend.

No, No, No by Destiny’s Child

I’m on the dance floor at a local bar called Mark’s with my friend Janet, in a shirt that shows off far too much of my young 20-something chubby belly and freshly pierced belly button, which I did myself with a sewing needle in my parent’s bathroom because I thought I was badass, and I’m dancing like an idiot, attempting to get the attention of the DJ, who I worshipped from afar. It also reminds me of 2am trips to Denny’s, car dancing, and also, one unfortunate White Russian bad cream incident. I may or may not have Exorcist-like bad cream vomited on myself.

Watch The Wind Blow By by Tim McGraw

This was going to be my wedding song. Yep, Paula In The Country could’ve actually been Married Mom In The Country right now, but life sometimes takes unexpected turns. Luckily, the man who was my fiance has ended up instead being like a best friend/brother to me, and I’m grateful to still have him in my life every single day. All right, enough mushy shit, guys. Knock that off.

You Dropped A Bomb On Me by The Gap Band

Whenever I hear this, I think of my oldest brother in his Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo phase, breakdancing in our family room. I thought he and his friend Hilbert were the coolest people ever as they were attempting to spin on their backs on bad orange-ish carpeting. I’ve since raised my ‘cool’ standards by a lot.

Ho Hey by The Lumineers

My most recent memory, and yet another story about a boy. The song turned out to be better than the guy, but this will forever remind me of drinking martinis and sitting across from someone I thought could be ‘the one’. Mostly, it reminds me of how amazing those first few weeks of falling for someone can be, and how that shit should really last longer.

Why Don’t We Get Drunk by Jimmy Buffett

Summer of 1993. Post-high school graduation. I was shy and quiet, but hung out with a group of rowdy drunken bastards, all of whom I still love dearly. A lot of Cardinal Puff, a lot of Jimmy Buffett, and a lot of REO Speedwagon happened that summer. Side note: Once a Cardinal, always a Cardinal.

Pump Up The Volume by MARRS

This takes me back to watching Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve when I was probably about 12 or so. My parents used to go out and leave me at home alone with my older brothers. Let me just say, for anyone who has children and is considering leaving boys in charge: Don’t do it. Peppermint Schnapps and ballet dancing in the kitchen may have happened. I turned out perfectly ok, though. Right? Just go with it.

Everybody’s Free (To Wear Suncreen) by Baz Luhrman

This probably reminds a lot of people of their high school graduation. However, since it came out around 1997 or so, which is 4 years after I graduated, it actually takes me back to New Year’s Eve of 1998. I’d been sick, but wanted to go out anyway because it was New Year’s Eve, damn it! I was also young and stupid. I drank too much, don’t know how I got home, and woke up on New Year’s morning with this song playing on my radio. While listening to Baz Luhrman’s words of wisdom, I got out of bed and immediately passed out and crushed a wicker garbage can with my giant ass.

Ah… Ass-crushing memories.

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2014 in Humor, Life, Music

 

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My Father’s Daughter

Ever since my dad passed away a few years back, I have kind of a hard time with Father’s Day. It’s weird, because growing up, my father and I never really got along. Looking back now, I think it’s because we’re very much alike. He was always cold and seemingly emotionless with those closest to him, but when we were in the company of strangers, he was the funny and charming and nice dad that I wanted. I see this behavior in myself a lot, although I do my best to try to break that cycle.

Beyond that, I never knew him at all, really. The memories I have of my dad are very few. I remember being small and waking up early with my mom to see him off to his job as a carpenter. I remember watching Friday night TV curled up with him on the floor. I remember being angry with him for going on hunting trips where I knew he was going to kill Bambi. I remember him bringing me a giant stuffed owl from Wyoming that I named Snowy, which made me almost immediately forget that I was angry with him for the whole Bambi thing. I remember Christmas mornings where we had to wait for his coffee to brew before we opened presents, and the pot of coffee that always seemed to brew slower than on any other morning. And I remember being horrible to him as a teenager, which I still don’t understand. I remember hating him for no reason, and now, as an adult, I wish I could take that all back, and get to know who he was. Because I bet he was a pretty interesting dude. But anyway, all of these tiny moments I remember; But never once do I remember telling him I loved him or hugging him, and I will forever regret that. Even at the end, when he was dying in hospice care, I refused to show emotion or go sit with him and hold his hand. I hate that I did that, and I’d like to kick my own ass for it. But hopefully he knew that I loved him. And although I never really knew the person he was before I came along, or really who he was while I was growing up, I miss him every single day, and I hope he’s out there somewhere and he’s aware of that. And someday, I hope I can sit down with my dad, up there in matching recliners on a cloud, both looking fabulous and youthful, sharing some big-ass beers.

 

Oh yeah, and Happy Dad’s Day a little early to all the awesome dads out there. Including mine.

Miss you, Daddy.

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Posted by on June 13, 2013 in Humor, Uncategorized

 

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