Monday, January 18, 2016

Proper Introductions and Explanations

"If nothing ever changed, there would be no butterflies."

Realize I must, all the changes that have come about since the begining of my writers block.  First and most importantly I need to properly introduce Mr. Dexter Morgan Rhew Bell.  
This is the first picture made of him...he was a tiny 6 weeks old weighing in just under 3 pounds. We had to soak his food with water because he didn't understand how to drink.  It took him probably a month before he found the condensation on my liquor glass interesting and started licking the droplets.  Oh, how I had forgotten what life was like with a puppy.  He's 1 year and 5 months old now...not that he still doesn't have crazy puppy energy, but the super challenging parts of puppy-dom i.e. Potty training and chewing are behind us now.  He actually has a very extensive vocabulary, even much more than Roger ever developed. He understands "Do you need to go poop?" And will give you an appropriate answer of either heading for the door or returning to what he was doing...this, of course, after he turns his head and looks off into the distance as if contemplating his response.  The color of his babies, whether it's because they are shaped different or if he can see color, he will bring either blue baby or red baby on request.  Giraffe is his favorite and he has certain times of day that he will bring him out to play.  Certain words, like Sugar and girlfriends and cat and camp must be spelled out in standard conversation as to avoid the Pug meltdown.  Dexter is Velcro's first dog as an adult and first inside dog ever.  I doubt he could have ever anticipated the love that comes from furry four legged kids.  
This is his mostly grown-up self.  He dresses out just under 20 pounds now...judging from his appetite lately he will be putting on a few more lbs.  

As far as the Homefront is concerned, we have relocated a few miles down the road, or up the road as the case may be.  You know my feelings when it comes to things being meant to happen...if you feel like it's a struggle or there's a lot of effort going into it, then it's probably not meant to be.  But if shit just flows and there doesn't seem to be any real decision making going on, then it's supposed to be happening.  Somehow I looked up inexpensive lots and we decided to drive by a real reason.  Most of them had obvious reasons for being so a couple of them you couldn't even park a car on, much less build a house because of the almost shear drop off of the land...and we don't even live where there are hills.  Others where in super sketchy areas that back up to woods frequented by homeless tents and what thanks.  One particular lot looked absolutely perfect.  It was level and without a transient tent community next door and as a bonus, walking distance or stumbling to all kinds of cool bars and restuarants.  So we throw an arbitrary low ball offer, half expecting it would piss the folks off, only to have it accepted.  We look at each other sharing a response of "Well shit...I guess we're building a house..."  And that's how life takes on changes.  It took us about 10 minutes to pick a house plan.  I googled raised beach cottages 1500 sqft and 3 plans popped up.  Both of us pointed to the same plan picked.  About 5 months later we moved in.  My minimalist side went into shock/overdrive and it took me the better part of a month to be able to actually sit down in the house.  I have scored free furniture and free all new kitchen stuff...blenders, utensils, glasses, knives and even a full set of 8 fancy plates.  The Junior Soprano plates that I paid a quarter a piece for were sent along to a better home.  Now I'm a complete homebody verging on recluse.  In the garage I have project tables and fill my time painting junk furniture from thrift shops and gluing wine corks onto shit.  Still the bathroom houses my ratty bathmats that Dexter chewed the corners of when he was a a way of keeping my minimalist tendencies alive and well.

Sometime in the early 90's I went to a boat show at the Convention Center in Charlotte.  It was there that I climbed aboard and all around a little sailboat that cost I think about $30,000.  Begin my infatuation with the idea of something that you could live in and move around.  I don't have any specific memory of when I became enamored with the VW Bus.  I would do Internet searches of buses for sale and pour over the pictures and save them, then look up more sites and compare Junkers to full restorations...pretty much a classic example of a pipe dream.  The thoughts of coming to a point of actually being able to buy one were so far out there.  Mostly you are limited to purchasing through EBay Motors and having a car hauling company go get it and haul it clear across the country, everyone I had looked at was somewhere on the west coast, costing additional thousands of $$ and buying site unseen. You can see the concern and logistical nightmares.  I happened to find one for sale by a small antique car dealer in mid state SC.  It was a 1973 (the year I wanted) orange VWCamper, mostly restored...meaning in decent shape and with a new engine for $18,500.  Being the first and only real chance that I have had, I sent the guy an email.  I got a reply right back from him...he had sold it almost immediately, but he had a friend in Florida that had one almost exactly the same and included his number.  I left him a message to send pictures, a little info and let me know what he wanted for it.  As things go, it all fell into place and we now have Old Hippie as a family member.
When trying to come up with a name, I was having trouble deciding whether it was male of female.  Several mornings in a row I woke with song lyrics bouncing around in my old Bellamy Brothers song.  It was my sign that the bus had chosen to be gender neutral and "Old Hippie" it was.  Hippie is currently in the body shop having the little bit of rust taken care of, new paint and the camper top refiberglassed.  I went by to check on Old Hippie last week to see the progress and found it ironic that my gender neutral bus now says "PAT" on the window.  We are looking a bit naked with all the hardware stripped off.

I believe that should pretty much catch up the changes the last year and half have brought about...all the major ones atleast.  

Monday, January 4, 2016

Break From The Hiatus

I feel I have things to say again, atleast judging by the amount I talk to either myself or the dog.  When Roger got sick it kicked the shit out of me.  The job, that I had been working so hard at getting off the ground...I just walked away from.  Writing, or even expressing myself much at all came to a halt.  After I lost him, I couldn't walk into my house without breaking into sobs.  I only stayed at home 2 or 3 nights in 3 months and those nights I cried myself to sleep.  To me, It was so much more than just "loosing a dog".  It took opening my heart to a little furry wad of pug to be able to go home again.  Even now that Dexter is almost a year and a half old, he hasn't come close to replacing his big brother, but he has definitely notched out his little place in our lives.  

I suppose I decided to try a few changes and it just so happened to coincide with the new year...let's not call them Resolutions because that will be cause of their demise.  I am going to write again.  And this will likely be the place that my random thoughts and photos surface, as opposed to social media, where we look to others for acknowledgment and support and a sense of self worth via likes.  I recently purged my "friends" list.  In doing this I found one friend had died... almost 3 years ago...and I had no idea.  The worst part, I suppose, is that this is what we equate to having friends.  How very little do we actually interact with people?  You know that crazy idea of hanging out and actually talking instead of hitting a little thumbs up icon and feeling like we are involved.  Don't get me wrong, at one point this girl and I had been rather close.  But time and distance and moves and job changes had pulled us apart.  That part is called life.  I will be the first to admit that I have few people that dabble past the line of acquaintences and I'm ok with that too.  When it comes to conversations, I prefer to get out of the shallow end of the pool.  My lack of ability or care of small talk limits my it a character flaw or whatever, I don't mind it.  
The second thing on my list of self improvements is to not beat myself up quite so much.  To say I'm a little tough on myself is a dramatic understatement.  I have never been a competitive person at all, always having hated when someone wants to push me to compete and try to win against me.  I fucking hate it.  I've been known to tee off on a putt-putt course like Tiger Woods, knocking the ball three holes over to throw a game because someone was taunting to win.  Could be called a poor sport, I couldn't care less.  When it comes down to it, I am in an extreme competition with myself.  I have fleeting moments of being proud of my accomplishments only to catch a glimpse in a full length mirror and start picking apart flaws.  My attempt is going to try being a little more accepting and forgiving of myself.  In all honesty, I think I will have better luck with the writing.  

Today, the day that most grown-ups and people I know went back to the grind.  First day back at it after the Xmas / New Years vacation hiatus.  I started the day with the gym, then the used bookstore to exchange for a few new Carl Hiaasen and John McDonald paperbacks.  Came 5 chapters of a new book...colored in my coloring book...made some lunch...worked on gluing wine corks to a styrofoam ball to replicate an idea from Pinterest while the dog played in the garage...and I started writing again.  No emails to catch conference new looming deadlines. It's the benefit of being a bartender and having worked through the holidays.  Seems like a pretty decent trade off to me.  Now I'm off to a dog walk with this guy....and possibly a nap.