Things to NOT do

1: See Fifty Shades of Grey

2: Act out the worst scenes (basically every scene) of the film with your significant other

3: Have your phone out while performing these scenes

4: Accidently press your finger on the “record audio” option

5: Record the precise moment when you’re pretend whipping your significant other

6: Send said recording to your significant others parents.

Mistakes happen.  We learn.  We move on.

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The Encumbrances We Face

Life is plagued by challenges.
Each day we make decisions ultimately affecting our future.
Certain days, weeks, and months feel like an eternity.
One you cannot escape, one that won’t get better.
At times we are lost.  At times we are scared.  At times we are unsure.  And we all, from time to time, succumb to the encumbrances we face.

It is our handling of these burdens where we come out better, stronger people.
Learn from these experiences.
Tackle your problems a step at a time.
Everything doesn’t need to be fixed in a single day.  In fact, not everything can be.
Create small, precise goals to accomplish instead of weighing yourself down with one broad goal.  Never be one thing, be many.
Find passions that bring joy to your life.  Hold them tight.  We must fight everyday for the things that matter most to us.  You are one of those things to me.

So, in conclusion:
Cheer up.  Stay naïve.  Retain your optimism.  Smile often.  Love intensely.  Sit outside and read a book.  Sing songs with your friends.  Life is too short and goes too quickly to live negatively.  Love every moment you’re here because, hey, you’re alive, and that’s a pretty remarkable thing.

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The Fray – Say When

It appears I’m the kind of person who discovers bands long after their heyday.

Anyway.  Enjoy.

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Dog Day Afternoon


Meet Duncan.

Getting a dog is a decision not taken lightly.  My girlfriend and I toyed with the idea for months on end; constantly torn about the financial and—more importantly—time suck they are to properly care for.  All it took was me being away for nine months and, well, as you can see we finally caved. Bumbumbum! I give you Duncan.

Being a kid who was raised with a jack russell terrier, Duncan came as quite a shock.  Not just in size, but mainly because of his personality.  Poodles are highly intelligent creatures.  Unlike the terrier who keeps busy by staring at a wall, poodles require constant intellectual stimulation.  If not, they are apt to become temperamental.  Luckily, Kelly and I are in a transitional period, having just moved to Los Angeles from Oklahoma.  Since we are both currently job hunting we’ve been fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to have ample free time.  Therefore, lots of dog park days!

Duncan wants his bubbles.

Duncan wants his bubbles.

I wish someone would have told me how difficult raising a dog can be.  Maybe they did.  At least I wish I would have listened when this tidbit of knowledge was shared.  It’s not easy.  My mom constantly says how she never wants to get another animal and I’m beginning to understand why.  Animals are exhausting.  When you’re a kid you never worry about the responsibilities that come with owning a pet.  They’re merely a play thing at your disposal.

Flash forward ten years; you’re in your twenties and, yes, they are still play things (quite fun ones at that), but now you worry about basic necessities such as keeping them alive.  The mental checklist begins: daily feedings, trips to the bathroom, trips to the dog park if, like us, you don’t have a yard for them.  You pay hundreds of dollars in bills for immunization shots, neutering, and when you’re dog has a spot of giardia (no more drinks from the pond!).  You also start taking into account things you didn’t realize would be pertinent like rescue shaming.  Never in my life has such a seemingly unrelated event put my entire character into question.  Let’s face it, Californians take that stuff seriously.  There’s an utterly horrifying dread you get when meeting other dog owners for the first time.  At some point—no matter how jovial your conversation has been—this happens.

Stranger: “So you’re from Oklahoma? How cool! I have an uncle from there.”
Me: “Small world! Yeah, my girlfriend and I just moved to California.”
Stranger: “I hope you enjoy it here!” *Looks to Duncan approvingly* “So, where did you rescue this cutie?”
Me: “Oh, well he isn’t a rescue.”
Stranger: *Long pause* “Oh.”
Me: “But, he really is a grea—”
Stranger: “Sorry, we have to go. Bye”

And if by chance they survive the initial shock, deciding you’re not Lucifer but only one of his demonic spawns, the rest of the conversation turns to making sure the next animal you acquire will be a rescue.  Yet, even through all this we’ve managed to survive thus far. From the potty training to the subsequent ‘diarrhea on the bed while sleeping’ incident; to 4:00 am wakeup calls to pee; to the most recent ‘diarrhea on the carpet’ incident (he at least woke us up for this one).  All of this and somehow our love for Duncan has only grown.  This must be what a parent feels like.

The funniest part about Duncan, which I’ve never experienced with other dogs, is his aloofness.  He acts like a cat.  We’ll return home after a few hours of being gone and instead of the friendly “YOU’RE BACK!” greeting, complete with wagging tail and incessant jumping on me, he just stares at us, tail motionless, with an expression that portrays, “Oh, it’s you again.  My bowl is empty.  Fill that up for me. Now.”  He also doesn’t like to come when called, which alas, may say more about my training than about him.  Half the time he just pretends he doesn’t hear me (but I know better!) and goes on smelling things.  He’s made it clear that he’ll come when he so chooses.  And petting? A few good pats on the back, no more, no less.  The trick is getting him when he’s sleepy.  He’s too tired to fight off the love we smother upon him so for those few, brilliant minutes we get unencumbered snuggle time.

If it seems I’m being a downer let me make amends.  Duncan really is a sweet dog.  I love watching him interact with other dogs at the dog park.  He’ll politely ask each new friend if they would like to play.  First comes the colloquial butt sniffing. If the dog has also taken to Duncan—which comes in the form of play bow (front down, butt up)—Duncan will immediately become the submissive, rolling on his back as if to say do with me what you will.   He also acquired an odd love for children. I think it’s because they are equal in size to him.  The problem is he still hasn’t figured out he’s not a small dog anymore.  Therefore, he ends up scaring the living hell out of kids.  He wants to play.  They think he wants to eat them.  And since we neutered him a couple weeks ago, his overall aloofness has diminished (we can pet him for a whole two minutes now).  It’s the small victories.

Sometimes we are vessels for him, our only purpose to provide walks and food.  That’s okay.  I know deep down he loves us even if he’ll never admit it.  Because for a dog so independent, when he does decide to give us the moments of resting his head on my lap or when he comes when called, they are moments of genuine love.  Not because he feels obligated, but because he chooses to share that love.   He doesn’t phone it in.  Duncan’s been with us for five months and since then we’ve watched him grow from a small, awkward, gangly puppy to a larger, albeit, still awkward, gangly dog.  He’s a nerd—like us—and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

See. He loves me.

See. He loves me.

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Travelling along the crevice of your back

my fingers slide along goose bumps,

giving way to warmth and embrace.

Our bodies closer; the soft light dances

ever-changing shapes of passion upon the wall.

An Infatuated innocence blossoming between two independent souls.

We are children.

Loving unconditionally.

You smile.

I’m swept off my feet.

Again into your arms

and I no longer fear.

For you are with me and with you I can accomplish anything.

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Until Then

Walking through streets, passing faces in a blurry scene.

Bustling restlessness, presenting us a mask for loneliness.

Aimless wandering and wasting away.

Supplying a daily dose of mental decay.

We work to live.

Instead living to work.

Identity becomes what we do, not who we are.

Our feet stay planted instead of jumping for the stars.

Dreams decapitated before they’ve begun.

And kids fall down, we all fall as one.

Come, take my hand.

Let’s travel together, let’s brace for the land.

Rise above the pain.

We share through all.

Open room for love and no longer crawl.

Come, take my hand.

Together we’ll stand tall.

Minutes pass us slowly as years fly by.

Growing older and wiser but you remain standing by.

The world, she moves in circles in space.

It rotates, rotates, rotates, and the smile leaves your face.

You find you’re alone in a darkened space.

The friends once yours belong to others.

Your friends become the pointy end of metal.

Happiness forged minute by minute.

Next you know you’re fully in it.

Come, take my hand.

Let’s travel together, let’s brace for the land.

Rise above the pain.

We share through all.

Open room for love and no longer crawl.

Come, take my hand.

Together we’ll stand tall.

Café on the corner, you walked in.

I looked up to see.

Thin of frame and pale of skin.

Few coins shaking in your hand.

Ready for another fix.

A sudden rush of euphoria and you spin.

Is this what you thought it would be?

Is this the life you want to see?

Please, take my hand.

We’ll travel together, our feet in the sand.

And when you wake, you’ll smile again.

But here I wait.

Until then.

Until then.

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Wistful Ideas

Sweat rolling.

Leaving the life, uncontrolling.

Aspiring to be higher.

Instead down.

Seething to conspire.

Light leaving the night.

Waving goodbye to all its friends.

Sucking the soul through the pipe.

Coming to an end.

For one more high, again on the road.

To self-salvation and destruction.

The kiss of death brushing her lips.

On the soft cheek of my embrace.

I cry as the sweat rolls.

Leaving me in this life uncontrolled.

Boogie woogie fever.

Of the truth, a sardonic believer.

Things come to an end.

My life, my friends.

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