#349: The Brother

people girl design happy

Photo by Bess Hamiti on Pexels.com

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.

Advertisements

#335: The Pepper

vegetables and tomatoes on cutting board

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Sometimes I like to eat peppers. Not like, raw peppers but some green peppers on my sandwich can go a really long way towards improving the flavor profile. (Did I just use the term flavor profile unironically? I’ve never done that before…) Peppers are a fantastic addition to a sandwich, along with jalapenos, to boost its spicy, crunchy taste. Realistically, I don’t eat peppers that often, and the last time I had one was probably the last time I went to Subway or the last time I ate stuffed peppers for dinner, whichever comes first. My taste in peppers comes mostly from my taste in spicy foods in general. I just love anything that has a buffalo scent to it. It’s how I’ve been introduced to a lot of foods for the first time, through buffalo or hot variants of them. For a long time, I’ve been kind of a picky eater, so to try a hamburger for the first time in years, for example, was huge. I remember my cousins bought hot sauce from their local Trader Joe’s for me because they knew I loved it. It was very sweet of them.

I love peppers mostly for the heat they bring to a meal, but in reality I do also enjoy the other aspects of them. The crunch when you bite in, how natural and juicy it tastes. It’s unlike the other fruits in that I wouldn’t eat it alone, but I’m fine eating it with other things as an addition, as I talked about earlier in this. Peppers allow for interesting combinations of flavors in foods that might need the addition.

Did I make you hungry all of a sudden? Sorry about that, that wasn’t exactly my intent in writing this. I just wanted to discuss a topic I’ve never really talked much about before!

#330: The Toilet

bathroom interior

Photo by Jean van der Meulen on Pexels.com

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

the grill man

Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

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

barbecue bbq beef charcoal

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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.

ango

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.

#295: The Bedroom

brown wooden center table

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

The bedroom is probably Angus’s favorite place in the whole apartment. Without a doubt, he loves jumping on the bed as soon as the door opens, laying his paws down on the blankets, and relaxing his head between them. He is staunch and predictable in his habits. When I come home from work, one of the first things I do is take Angus out, but after that, I’ll open the closed doors in the apartment. Angus will, without fail, jump onto the bed seconds after the door opens. He loves the feel of being atop those blankets more than anything. That’s why we have blankets covering the sectional in our living room; that way, when Angus is home alone for a time, like when both of us have work, he can still relax the way he enjoys. However, it’s not the same for him. If he had to choose between the bedroom blankets and the couch blankets, he’d choose the bedroom blankets without thinking twice, or at all. And we’ve tried switching the blankets around. It doesn’t make much of a difference if the blankets have changed. Angus still prefers the bed, perhaps because of the height advantage, or perhaps because he’s surrounded by pillows and other comfortable stuff to lounge near.

When Angus is off the bed, he likes to rub his head through the ends of the blankets draped near the ground. Sometimes he gets caught in them, and that’s hilarious to watch. When we have company over he especially likes to show off his disappearing magic trick, where he sticks his head inside the blankets and proceeds to run around like crazy. Angus is unintentionally one of the funniest pets I’ve ever known, and I think it’s one of his defining features by this point. Having him around immediately lifts the mood.

#202: The Bathroom

bathroom interior

Photo by Jean van der Meulen on Pexels.com

Something I don’t talk about much is the bathroom. Not because it’s something private that doesn’t deserve discussion, but because it’s something I’ve been shamed for in the past that I feel embarrassed about. But putting it online as I’m doing now is a bit more liberating, in some ways. I feel like I am activating a discussion I wouldn’t have had on this blog prior to writing 201 blogs before this.

Simply put, I have what’s called IBS, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It means that I have to use the bathroom a lot, and at random times, sometimes without explanation or rhyme or reason to it. Most of it is triggered by anxiety, but that’s only some of the time. Other times, I eat something high in fiber and have to sit in the bathroom for a few minutes before it passes through me. It’s not fun, I’ll tell you that much.

When I first started working at my previous job, I remember asking to find the bathroom as soon as I could. It’s necessary for me to know where these places are, just so I know when in an emergency what to do and where to go. I also remember being in the bathroom one time, and hearing people outside the door waiting for me to get out. They gossiped about how it was me inside, so it probably would take awhile before I got out. I remember feeling total shame afterwards, and because I recognized the people’s voices, I never trusted them again. Sometimes bonds of trust are broken not because of overt betrayals, but because of simple acts of cowardice behind closed doors, when they think no one is listening or paying attention. I wish it wasn’t always like this, but most places are like this.

#199: The Big Sleep

woman sleeping

Photo by Ivan Obolensky on Pexels.com

Can’t believe, after all of these blog posts in a row that I’ve written, that I haven’t talked about sleeping yet. Sleeping is so, so enjoyable, and it’s one of my favorite things in the world. I love drifting off to bed with my head’s weight laying down on the pillows, nothing else in mind except the tranquility and relaxation I’m experiencing in this moment. The softness of the pillows, the coziness of the comforters. And nothing feels better than waking up before your alarm, realizing you still have a few more hours of sleep to go, and then drifting back off to sleep another time. I’d like to crystallize that moment and keep it forever, endlessly repeating it over and over until I eventually have to go into work or school or wherever is next. If only it were possible!

Sometimes my anxiety prevents me from falling asleep on time, but I’ve had good luck recently in falling asleep exactly when I need to. I’m almost always tired and ready to go to bed, regardless of what time of the day it is, so if the opportunity presents itself for me to drift off to bed, I’ll take it immediately and with no regrets. Having a strong, sturdy bed with various pillows and a dog sleeping next to the bed definitely helps, although, like I’ve said in other blog posts, having a dog sometimes makes sleeping more difficult than it needs to be. Sometimes you want to sleep for longer during the weekend, and then it’s all wrestled away from you by a dog jumping up on the bed and bothering you until you take him outside. It’s a sensible, ethical alarm clock. Thankfully he’s gotten better at not doing that since we got him his new bed. He’s been a good boy.

#181: The Otter Blanket

dewgong on body of water

Photo by Barthy Bonhomme on Pexels.com

On Sunday night, the one before the most recent one, Alex and I had to sleep with a different comforter on our bed. We fought over the blanket all night, apparently, too, wrestling for control of it because it wasn’t long enough to cover our queen-sized bed. It’s a blanket with a bunch of pictures of otters on it, and I believe my mom got it for Alex for Christmas one year. Don’t quote me on that, though. I’m not 100% sure. Either way, we both had pretty bad sleeps and weren’t able to recover much from it on the day after. The blanket was partially to blame for it.

Now, you might be wondering, Anthony, why did you have to sleep on a different comforter and have a miserable sleep on this night? Why was that necessary in the first place? Those are smart questions! Let me explain what happened.

So, it was a Sunday night, and as has already been established on this blog, Alex and I decided to not watch Game of Thrones. Instead, we relaxed and I turned on my computer and played some Magic the Gathering: Arena. While I was finishing up one of my runs, I hear an unfamiliar sound from the bedroom, and then it again. Alex rushes into the bedroom, and comes out immediately after.

She says, “Angus barfed on the bed.”

My first reaction was, of course, “Why did it have to be on the bed?” I guess I’m a terrible dog owner, because my first thought wasn’t about the health and safety of our dog but rather the location he decided to barf on. Then again, why did he barf on the bed, of all places? We still don’t totally know; it’s not like he was on the bed before. He jumped on, barfed, then jumped off and went about his night. What a weird dog.