#349: The Brother

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I grew up with three sisters, two full and one half. I learned a lot from them, mostly about emotional intimacy and sentimentality and taking other people’s feelings into account. That’s one of the benefits of growing up in a household with sisters. I always felt like my dad was an outcast in the house, on so many fronts. He never connected with us on the same wavelength, and he always seemed to be off in his own world in his office. For that reason and many more, I didn’t have the same connection with my dad that I did with the rest of my family. I know I’ve avoided talking more openly about family issues on this blog, for whatever reason, partially to preserve their own privacy, but considering how this blog really only serves as an online journal for my thoughts, I think it’s fine to bring them up here. It’s not like anyone really reads this blog consistently other than my mom, my girlfriend, and myself.

I remember wanting to have a brother really badly. That’s something I definitely remember about being young, is wanting another boy to have around and play games with. Fortunately for me, when Bella was young, her and I had a strong bond and we spent a lot of time playing games together and discussing life. Bella was basically the brother I always wanted, just as a sister instead. The difference is really nonexistent, which is the lesson I learned from all of this when I was young. There’s really no difference at all. Being a good big brother became my priority, whatever that meant. She helped me by introducing me to some of the students I would be teaching during my student teaching year, through her theater friends. I’m grateful for everything.

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#330: The Toilet

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So, our toilet has been broken for about six days now. We’ve had to walk down the hallway and use that one. It’s not a bad walk or anything, and it’s all inside, but still, it’s deeply inconvenient and annoying to have to risk seeing people in public while having to go pee. It’s a step in that direction that I don’t really need in my life, if that makes any sense. I’d rather not see people while I’m walking down the hallway, and I’d rather keep to myself. In the middle of the night, when the rec room and gym are all dark, it feels even weirder to see them. I like the stony silence of the hallway, but I hate the walk. The walk is definitely the worst part.

There’s also the fact that I can’t go there when I’m in a hurry. In the morning, when I’m getting ready for work, or when I’m just rolling out of bed, I don’t want to have to run somewhere else instead of just using the toilet in my bathroom attached to my apartment. Crazy how that works, right?

The other annoying thing is that the apartment place hasn’t really been answering us about this issue. They’ve just been petty about it and have kept to themselves, rather than actually finishing what they’re supposed to. We haven’t called the maintenance hotline yet, but that’s supposed to be only for emergencies, so we’ve avoided it mostly for that reason. In this case, though, it’s become an emergency, and it’s about time it gets fixed. When the time comes for it to get fixed, we’ll probably give hell to the office afterwards for taking so long to do this. I’m hoping that we have a somewhat reduced rent due, if that’s at all possible.

#318: The Sausage, Part 3

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I also realized recently that I haven’t written about Ango much on this blog since my last post, which was over a couple weeks ago. Since then, it’s been mostly video games and work and things like that, without much of a focus on what’s really important: the dogs and other pets in our lives.

We took Ango to the vet a few times recently, once to get him checked up and the other time so that he could get tested for heartworm again. He’s still showing light signs of heartworm in him, but that could just be from the test, and it likely is because he’s not showing any of the symptoms of having heartworm. He’s not lethargic or anything like that, not even close. This dog is a bundle of wild energy whenever anyone starts moving around.

For example, yesterday morning I woke up and walked out of the bedroom to find Ango panting at me from the couch. It had no discernible purpose to it, just that he felt like panting and needed to get something out of his system. He’s so funny and lovable that it’s impossible to stay angry at him for long, especially because he doesn’t hold grudges. He’s just a dog, after all, and he wants love more than anything else.

Being a dog owner has been a wonderful privilege and experience, though a bit on the expensive side, while we talk about going to the vet. The good thing is that we shouldn’t have to take him back in awhile; he’s good to go and doesn’t need anything else for at least a few months, I think. I always feel a bit worried before we go to the vet because of that. Who knows what they’ll say about him this time? Hopefully just good things.

#317: The Sausage, Part 2

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Speaking of celebrating, Ango is rapidly approaching the 100 mark on his home tracker. By the time this post goes up, hopefully he’ll have made it without any issues or problems. He’s been a really good boy so far and hasn’t made a stink about being left alone in the apartment, even though he has every right to. I feel bad whenever I have to go to work for 8 hours, because I know he’s probably just sitting and waiting for me to come back. It’s like that Spongebob meme where Patrick tells Spongebob that all he does when he’s working is wait for him to come home so they can play again.

But Ango’s big 100 day achievement is not made any less important because of the fact that a majority of those days were spent lounging with me on the couch during the summer. He didn’t seem to mind those days and he enjoyed having constant company, but that doesn’t cheapen the fact that he’s still lasted almost 100 days without wrecking the apartment. He’s just as capable of wrecking the apartment while we’re around as he is while he’s home alone. The only difference is the degree of surveillance he’s under, which in this case was still very little, actually.

I just took a break from writing this blog to give Ango some head rubs. He loves when I grab his head lightly and tug behind his ears with all my might; he just seems to gravitate towards those types of rubs, the more eager and energetic ones. I love when he really leans into it and waits for me to finish so he can give celebratory licks. I love when he puts his head down, as if to say that he’s really enjoying this and needs to savor it while it’s still happening. He’s such a silly boy.

#316: The Sausage, Part 1

Sometimes we call Angus a big sausage because he looks very much like one. He’s big, full of love, and definitely a sausage. There’s no mistaking it: this dog is a sausage.

I mean, look at him.

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He’s a big sausage and there’s no mistaking it.

No but really, this post is going to be Ango, our wonderful dog. The other weekend, he slipped, went airborne and fell on his side on the hardwood floor. It was his own fault, really, because he was getting super excited and running around the kitchen, which he’s not supposed to do, but he did it anyway because sometimes Ango is a jerk and doesn’t follow the rules exactly. He sometimes moans and makes groaning noises from across the room because he has nothing better to do than to do that. He just did it right as I was typing, actually, so he knows I’m writing about him from across the room. It’s part of his nature for him to want to be the center of attention, which is hilarious because as soon as people actually start paying attention to him, he’s already running over to one of his toys to bite and chew on. He can’t stand being excited for too long without having to chew on something close by, whether it’s the blanket in bed or a toy near him. He’s a fickle boy with fickle interests, but we love him for it.

This post might make it seem like I’m not exactly celebrating everyone’s favorite big sausage boy, but in reality I love him a ton and I’d rather have no other dog. I’m glad we were able to rescue him at the age of 6 and offer him a happy place to live out the rest of his adult years. He’s wonderful, and he deserves that kind of happiness above all else.

#300: The Good Boy

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I’m dedicating blog post #300 to the good boy himself, Ango. He’s been a consistently great part of my life, despite his tendency to be a bit of a butt from time to time, and I don’t write enough blog posts about him. So today, it’s Ango time. Well-deserved, little dude.

Earlier in the day, when Alex and I were about to leave for the gym, Alex had Angus’s kong in his hand with a treat inside, and Angus jumped up and put his front paws on the table, knocking over all the magazines we had stacked up there. We were in the middle of talking about how Angus had been a good boy recently as this unfolded, which was perfectly ironic.

Angus is a wonderful dog, and I’ve learned some of his sweet spots too. If you rub his ears and head and push him towards you, he loves it. He just loves being pet and having rubs all over his head. When he leans into you, and his head is almost right up next to yours, that’s also a sign that he loves it and wants more. He really takes it all to heart. I love when I pet him on a specific spot, and then seconds later he rubs himself on that spot, either with his paws or mouth. It’s like he’s asking for it again but is only able to do a half-hearted job with his own two paws. A shame, but he tries his best and that’s what matters.

If Angus had the ability to pet himself wherever he wanted, he would definitely do so. He’s the type of dog who would definitely do whatever it takes to get there. Sometimes I get the chance to see what that reality would be like when he really gets into the self-petting.

#298: The Minivan

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I wrote a tweet the other day about how funny it is that the main characters of Persona 5 drive a minivan. They’re meant to be these radical, paradigm-shifting vigilantes, and though I have nothing against the minivan as a vehicle, I think the stark contrast between the characters’ attitudes and the general public perception of minivans adds some humor to the game.

The game is normally very funny, and this isn’t the first instance of irony showing up. Each character has a distinct irony that defines their personality; Ryuji is a low-brow, immature teen who bleaches his hair and isn’t afraid of anything, but he also shows remarkable maturity when it comes to understanding how hypocritical and immature adults can be. He has wisdom even through his tactless attitudes. Makoto is an over-achieving honors student and student council president, but she’s insecure about her looks and social status. I enjoy how diverse the characters’ personalities are.

But this blog post is about minivans. Let’s talk about those some more. When I was growing up, my mom owned a minivan, and it was fantastic. It had a DVD player in it and we would watch Disney movies (or Barbie movies, if Miranda was around in the car) and whatever else was around. I’ve seen the first Cars probably a hundred times, along with Finding Nemo. Bella loved Finding Nemo, and who can blame her? It’s a fantastic movie, but on repeat viewings like that, it becomes a bit annoying to watch.

A lot of my childhood memories took place in that minivan, and I remember it pretty well despite not remembering a lot of things from that period of my life. It’s good to be able to look back not in anger but in a sense of quiet nostalgia. It’s very good.

#273: The Twitter, Part 2

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This blog post is a continuation of a previous blog post, so if you haven’t read that one, you may want to go back and do that first.

Most importantly, there’s joy in being able to share in online experiences with other people. I’m happy to share details about myself, though I wish I were more talented in the ways of art or drawing or video editing, so that I could be of a better use to the fandoms that I claim membership of. I’ve recently started talking with more people on Twitter who are part of the Persona fandom, and it’s been fantastic thus far. We may even play some Monster Hunter: World together sometime in the future. I look forward to whatever that has in store. It’s exciting to think about.

Twitter is there for cultivating friendships, and I’m thankful for its existence in that respect. I don’t know where I’d be without some of the friends I’ve made on that site.

Using Twitter, though, is like staring into the abyss; you never quite know what you’ll find inside it, but you’re interested enough to stare into that black mass anyway. You look because you’re bored, or craving some kind of excitement or news or something. You want to be thrilled again. Having a Twitter in and of itself is great for networking and communication, but not always there for professional purposes, as evidenced by the fact that I haven’t used my professional teacher account very much so far. I think that the main purpose of the site is to keep yourself occupied while you want to be occupied by it; if you aren’t interested in what Twitter has to offer, it’s pointless. But the catch is that you cultivate the feed yourself, so you create whatever the site has to offer, if that makes any sense. It’s a conundrum.

#272: The Twitter, Part 1

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Having a Twitter is, in some ways, a blessing and a curse. It provides you with endless entertainment, memes, news, or whatever you really want to fill your feed with, but on the other hand, it can be a deadly distraction. You might be tempted to keep scrolling through your Twitter feed even while new tweets keep coming up, and you might be tempted to wait and see how your group chat feels about the recent news. I’ve already written about how wonderful it is to have a group chat available with friends from all types of backgrounds and interests and hobbies, but today I want to focus more specifically on what having a Twitter feels like, how it affects the day-to-day.

On a given day, I probably check my various Twitter accounts at least three or four times, some accounts more than others. It depends on what I post and whether it’s attracting any attention, too. Sometimes, if people are responding more to my tweets, then that means I’ll be on the app more than usual. I don’t frequently check my teacher account because I don’t frequently post there, but on my hobby account and my private account, I post much more often. I have made and met some friends there already, reminding me of what it was like to do so years ago, during my senior year of undergrad, when I first met the friends that would later form the group chat I have. I look forward to potentially having more group chats to share in, and I look forward to meeting new people online.

As a teenager, I made lots of friends online, so I feel familiar with this whole process. But it’s still a bit nerve-wracking at first, not really knowing anyone who you’re talking to really.

#265: The Alone Time

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When the time arrived, we gathered our things — the backpack, the watermelon salad in a grocery bag, Jimmy’s clothes and things — and left the apartment. It was 11:00am, and we knew we wouldn’t be back for awhile longer. It’s on days like these when I worry about Angus, our dog, who hasn’t been alone for very long over the summer. He hasn’t run into any problems in 52 days, hasn’t tore up the incense holder but has certainly torn a bunch of his toys. He’s been a busy boy, spending time mostly home with me, taking walks or casual strolls around the apartment and back and forth a few times until he decides to pee. He’s a long walker, and he’s got ambitions of his own when we take him outside; sometimes those ambitions include walking around and dragging me through the park until he finally decides it’s time for him to plop down and poop.

But there are other times when Angus is alone, and I feel bad for him. He’s a good dog and I don’t like the image of him sitting on the couch, waiting for us to eventually come back and greet him again. I feel like it must be lonely for him to sit there by himself, eagerly anticipating our return only for it to not come for another hour or more. I know it’s normal, and eventually he’ll get used to it again after I have to return to work, but when that time comes, I’ll still be feeling bad about our dog. The alone time is never fun, and I know that already based on what it was like while I was unemployed not too long ago. This is what the alone time is; Angus mostly being by himself when there’s nothing better for us to be doing with him.