Saturday, February 4, 2012

Forgive Me. I've Been Busy.

The death of any blog is waiting to long to post an update. Lucky for me I only have one official follower and I know she'll read anything I post. Thanks Lynsey! I could sit here and give you a myriad of reasons for my absence over the last two weeks, but something tells me you're not exactly sitting on the edge of your seat, biting your nails in anticipation of learning what I've been up to. So, I'll take you down a different road. Follow me, please.

 Imagine with me, if you will, a land of enchantment. In this land the weather is a dry 70 degrees. Sweaters aren't needed, but they're appreciated on breezy days. In the air is a sound of joyous laughter with occasional giggles. At night the mighty beast protects the land. There are also a few cougars lurking around, but the Beast also rules over them. They are harmless anyway. There's nothing to fear in this land. It wards off evil by attacking it with the laughter in the air. If you really pay attention, you can over hear the witty back and forth flirtatious conversation between a man and his wife of fifteen years. This land is a happy land. It's called my living room.

The beast is the rottweiler/bloodhound mix. He's likely snoring louder than a human in the corner with his squeaky duck nestled nearby. The pumas are our two cats who, unlike the dog, are allowed to climb all over the furniture and the humans alike.

The laughter is coming from my mother as she and my step-father watch wheel of fortune and make fun of the people on it. My stepfather will take any opportunity turn the topic to pictures of Vanna White that made their ways into Playboy Magazine a few decades back (He'll also take this opportunity to let you know he has a copy of it... somewhere... he thinks... unless he lost it... at least he USED to have a copy of it). My mother will then finish his story for him, because we've all heard it a million times. Then they start making fun of the contestants again.

 Over in the far corner of this land you'll see me sitting in a high backed chair, with my face glued to a computer screen. The computer sits in an armoir; the doors are open and there's bright orange pieces of paper taped up in side of them. At the tops of these papers you'll find words like "Character Development Questions" or "Plot is Movement" in black permanent marker. And then if you were to come up behind me and look at the screen you'd see words flying up on it as my fingers dance over the keyboard.

This is the land I've been trapped in for the last month. I'm sorry, but I cut off all communication with my blog at the halfway point. Writing an entire novel's first rough draft in a month's time is not only a daunting task, but it's a nearly INSANE one. When you add "Write a new blog every day" on top of that... you will surely end up certifiable. Actually, I have no idea how you'd handle it. I couldn't. Not for lack of trying. This is as honest as it gets. I'm basically telling you that I haven't been updating for reasons of not wanting insanity... or I was just lazy. You decide.

 This magic land proved to be quite fruitful. My parents understood I was writing, and if I chose to pull myself out of it and join the conversation for a little bit; they were cool with that too. We really do live in a laid back, happy, cohesive little environment day to day around here. Despite the happiness in the land it experienced a roller coaster of emotions and drama in the last 30 days.

 My story was about love. And we all know love is fickle, jealous, greedy, passionate, angry, all consuming, and the one thing we all want more than anything else in the world, right? Well... I tried my best to tap into all of these things and the butterflies in the stomach that make all of the above worth it. These emotions and dramatic scenes only happened in my head and in my manuscript, but they were real enough to me. When I was done I felt like I'd been through all of these situations and they were all still fresh in my mind. Though some of the novel is inspired by things I've actually experienced, trust me when I say a lot of it is straight from my imagination.

Many have told me they couldn't do it. But you know what? I actually loved it. I fucking loved it! Nearly everyday I woke up knowing exactly how many words I needed to write to keep up with the quota. I planned ahead when I knew I had obligations to friends or family. I knew I was going to be busy for an entire weekend. So one night I wrote from 10 pm to 6 am (a full 8 hour shift complete with two pots of coffee, and several smoke breaks), and I completed 10,000 words. That's 1250 words, on average, an hour. My daily quota is was 1667 words. The night I wrote 10,000 words was the night I learned I fucking rock.

Then one glorious afternoon I finished it. I crossed the finish line of 50,000 words and I wrapped the story up. It was nothing short of awesome. I received many "atta-girl!" greetings, and I was quite proud of myself and my accomplishment, too. But the moment was short lived. The next day I had this terrible gut feeling as all these "what if" questions entered my brain like Dr. Suess Who People whispering in my ear.

"What will I do today? What will I write?
I could start editing, but I don't have to, right?
What if it's horrible? Terrible? Wrong?
What if the dialogue is too short?
What if the descriptions are too long?
What if it doesn't make sense?
What if I have to chuck it?
Could that be a consequence?
Will I have to say, 'Fuck it?'"

Okay, Dr. Seuss wouldn't say fuck. But I'm sure he would if he were to write a story about Destiny Fritz freaking out over her first ever completed novel rough draft. The word Fuck would be the title of it. Because that's the word that was repeating itself in my head during this little freak out. "Fuck, fuck, fuck, FUCK! Why do I have to stop writing and start editing? I don't wanna read it. I'm scared."

Finally, I got over it and started the process. And, from what I can tell so far, it's going to be a long, drawn out, grueling process. The fun, looking forward to waking up everyday and writing, part is over. Now the real work begins. I hate proof reading my own stuff, so I have some feelers out in the water to find some trustworthy editors.

I will have to actually reread all of it at some point or another, though. When this happens I'll have to keep in mind that I'm not looking at it with criticism, but instead as a member of my audience, reading it for the first time ever. That will be the real test. I'm ready, and also very NOT ready for that day. It's a long way away, however.

During this past week of getting the editing process started, I've been in a blah mood. It's not that editing isn't fun (okay, editing ISN'T fun) that's not why I was blah. I've been feeling iffy and weird because I haven't been writing. For the last month I was distracted from all of life's little problems. I had created this world of characters who were eager to learn their story lines. They beckoned to me in my sleep and wanted me to give them all my attention. I happily obliged. and now I've been ripped out of that little bubble of distraction and brought rudely back into the real world with a thud. Ouch.

I've got the Post Na-No-Wri-Mo blues.

I was actually warned about this. My solution to this was to flex some writing skills and post a blog. But, to be honest, this really isn't enough for me at the moment. So what I'm going to do is compile a list of favorite songs and write based on the mood each of them provokes. I'm considering it to be a free writing exercise to let me feel the fun aspect for a night. Besides, it's a great distraction from the fact that it's Saturday night and I have no plans.

I learned a lot over the past two weeks, and maybe in the next installment I'll think of a witty way to tell you all about it. Until then, thanks for reading!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Beasts and Snowballs

Brrr it's cold out there, folks. We've enjoyed a mild winter until now, and I dare to say that it's a lucky winter when we don't see accumulated snow until the middle of January. We've become a spoiled lot with warm toes and dusty scarves, but it's time to break out the gloves and double up on socks because that bitch called Old Man Winter has arrived. His grasp is icy and his breath will chill you to your bone.

In the past couple of days I've been holed up at my friend's house with my king sized fleece blanket as I ward off the shivers. Her kids warm my heart, even when they're ill tempered and being ungrateful brats. All they have to do is smile and give me a hug and I'm pretty much putty in their hands.

Her daughter turned 6 yesterday, and, as any friend of mine on facebook will tell you, it was a big occasion. She was awakened before 7 am and allowed to open three presents. Her mother and I took pictures of this event and they were plastered all over the social networking site within minutes. I had a taste of what a mother goes through to make her child's birthday a special day as I ran errands with her all over town. We picked up a cake, and cupcakes for her kindergarten class. We couldn't help ourselves as we stuffed the cart with decorations and balloons.

By the time she came home from school the living room was decked out with Balloons, Banners, Streamers and ribbons. I made an arrangement of colorful balloons and ribbons and hung them on the porch so that everybody who drove by saw that something special and momentous was happening there. She squealed in delight as she watched me curl the ribbon with scissors... a magical detail every child loves to witness (this I know first hand since I learned while watching my mother from a young age).

In the evening her friends came over and we celebrated with more presents, more cakes and lots of little girl giggles. The night held one more surprise for her as she learned she was being treated to a movie. Not just any movie... Beauty and the Beast in 3d at the theater! This was her first experience at the movie theater and she was in awe of the big popcorn machines and the seats that come with their own cup holders. She didn't want to wear the glasses, because they weren't purple and she didn't want to sit still and be quiet at first. But then, when Belle started singing and the flatware sprang to life in song and dance she settled in and gaped in amazement.

Her little friends decided it was nap time in the dark theater, but she stayed wide awake the entire time. This could be due to the amount of sugary soda she inhaled, or it could be accredited to the candy contraband we had stowed away in our purses. But I like to think it's because I kept telling her, "This is the best part! Watch!" And she did... with delight.

I will most likely be childless by choice, but I do enjoy these children who've wormed their ways into my heart. Yesterday, I learned a lot. I still love to see Disney Classics on the big screen and I thoroughly enjoy bringing a smile to a little girl's face on her birthday.

So, today I dug myself out of my blanket and forced my lazy ass off of my friend's couch until I made my way home. My friend, Lynsey come over for about ten minutes. My dog (her former dog), Damien was running around in the snow while her step-son bounded alongside him. She says to him, "Make a snowball and throw it at him." I watched as my dog attempted to catch it. The snow exploded in his mouth and all over his face. He shook it off and opened his mouth in a big doggy grin as his tail wagged with glee. I watched this take place over and over again and I said to Lynsey, "I didn't know he enjoyed being smacked in the face with snow."

"Oh yeah, he loves it."

"Hmm," I said, "You learn something new every day."

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Second Chances and Hot Dogs

I didn't post anything yesterday. That's not because I didn't learn anything, though. I decided to take a break from the computer yesterday. I absolutely refused to type even one word for at least 24 hours. The night before last I wrote over 7000 words in one sitting. And while that gave me a great word cushion for my Nanowrimo challenge, it also made me have to take a breather before attacking it again with full force. So, as an unfortunate byproduct of my day long computer strike, I didn't get yesterday's blog written.

Yesterday's lesson was a rather simple one, but it took a fair amount of confidence on my part to accomplish. There is a man I was supposed to go on a date with the day before NYE, but he had to cancel. I didn't believe he was blowing me off, and I really did think he was going to call back the following week. When I didn't get a call, I started to think, "Okay, well maybe he WAS blowing me off."

So, yesterday, during my computer strike, I texted him. I let him know I don't appreciate being blown off, and if he didn't want to go on a date with me, why did he ask me to in the first place? He responded nearly immediately with an apology. He also had an explanation, which, to him, was kind of embarrassing; therefore I won't mention it here.

I'm not going to lie. In the past I've been very hesitant to ever give out a second chance. I'm one of those who doesn't allow herself to get burned twice. That old saying "Once burnt twice shy" applies here. It's part of a deep seeded defense system that I seem to have very little control over.

There have been times when I have given second chances and I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome. My friend, Lynsey, is one of those. She and I had a huge falling out a few years back. We've gotten back into each other's good graces, though, and we currently have one of the best friendships of my life. She's the kind of friend who calls me out on my bullshit, and I really like that about her. She's been known to tell me that my defensiveness and tendencies to push men away as soon as they hurt me in the slightest is something I need to change about myself.

Where I see it as self-preservation, she says it comes off as bitchy, cold and distant. She knows how to fight this side of me and force her way through my force field, but she says that not many guys will do that if they don't know me well enough.

The lesson yesterday wasn't that this new guy can fight his way through. It wasn't that I can learn how to give a second chance... No, it was that I can recognize the moment in which I have a choice... write the person off completely or CONSIDER the option of giving them a second chance.

Because this guy was honest to a point that it forced him to set aside his pride and be transparent to me, I decided to give him another try. He told me that he really likes a woman who'll call him on his bullshit, and he loved seeing that side of me yesterday. So another thing I learned is standing up for myself doesn't always result in people thinking I'm a bitch. Sometimes it results in people actually forming more respect for me.

Today's lesson is really easy and simple. Today I learned I cannot eat hot dogs unless I want them to start barking as soon as they hit my stomach.

Since before Christmas, but more hardcore since the beginning of the year, I've been eating as much non-processed food as possible. My body has been reacting positively to it. My stepfather made two packages of hot dogs for supper tonight, so I decided to eat a couple of them. Right now my stomach is hating me and attacking me from the inside. Somebody get me a piece of fruit, STAT!

Monday, January 9, 2012

What's in a Name?

"There is a Destiny Fritz living in Kansas City."

"No way."

"Yes way. Look!" I turned the monitor towards my mother, "See. Destiny Fritz lives in Kansas City, MO."

"What do you think the chances of that are?"

"I don't know, but I'm blaming my last name. Unlike my first name it's pretty common. It looks like there are at least five people named Destiny Fritz."

"Yeah, check out my name." I then type my mother's name into the search box. My mother's last name is different from mine.

"There's one in New Mexico."

"Only one?"

"Yeah. Only one. There's more of mine then there are of yours."

"Try Terry's." Terry is my stepfather. I type in his name, and, since not even he has a face book page, a big ol goose egg comes up.

"Nada. It appears he's the only one."

"Hmm. Who'd of thunk that your name is more common than Sherry or Terry?"

"Like I said, I blame my last name, not my first."

Another thing I learned today... I'm not as unique as I thought I was. Oh well.

My Parents

I have unwittingly written about all three of the parents in my life in the last three days/posts. This wasn't planned, I assure you. It just happened that way. I also just realized it. I guess I didn't realize how influential they are in my life. I've always been very aware of my mother's influence, but the other two, I feel, aren't as consequential. That's okay, they obviously are because I'm only on day nine of the challenge and I've already written about both of them.

My mom, and my two dads... they've helped shape who I am.


As I'm sitting here working on today's word quota, I can hear my mother asking my step-father a series of questions. She's filling out an online form for social security retirement, and she needs to know information about his past before he met and married her.

For the most part we do know everything about his past. He was married twice before he married my mother. He has three children, a few different jobs, and he's pretty much lived in the area his entire life. There isn't a whole lot to know, really. He's led a pretty normal life.

So, she gets to these questions about his previous marriages. The government wants to know about only those that lasted longer than ten years. His first one was right out of high school, and it didn't last very long at all. His second one lasted over 20 years. So, per the government's request, he had to give my mother the facts about that marriage. Mainly when it started and when it stopped.

My stepfather is horrible with dates. In fact, he keeps a card in his wallet with the birthdays of everybody (from his wife to his kids to himself) he thinks is important to know the birthdays of. So, my mother knew it was a long shot when she asked him the wedding date of his second wife, but she had no idea how much he'd deleted.

He couldn't even recall the month, or time of year this wedding took place. He had to pull out his card of birthdates and estimate based on when his second child was born. So then my mother asked him when it was he married HER. No shit... he pulled off his wedding ring and looked at the inscribed date to tell her April 5, 1997. He just has a shitty memory when it comes to dates.

Today I learned it is completely possible to delete information about what is supposed to be the best day of your life.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

My Father's Love

Want to know what I learned on Christmas Day this past year? When my brother and I were having a phone conversation with my father, I didn't want to talk to him. I let my brother do most of the talking, and I only said the obligatory "I love you" and "Merry Christmas" to him.

He's making an effort for the first time in 15 years to be a part of our lives. Last year he called me on my birthday, on Thanksgiving and on Christmas. I honestly can't remember the last time that happened. In fact, the last time he called my on my birthday was over 20 years ago. And that time was a mistake, since he'd forgotten my birthday and was trying to convince my mother to let him come back home.

I could easily delve into the dangerous world that is my daddy issues, but I will only skim the surface.

On Christmas Day I learned that I'm not ready to let down my walls with him. I learned he's going to have to work super hard to get back into my life. He can't come waltzing back in like nothing ever happened, no pain was ever felt, like he never broke my heart when I was a little girl. She still feels this pain despite the fact that the grown up woman inside of me has forgiven him and wants to move on.

For better or worse, I'm apathetic to my father's advances. If we get a relationship out of this, fine. If we don't, fine. I've lived this long without him I can keep going without breaking my stride if I want to. I wrote him off once, and it's hard to undo that.

Today he announced on Facebook that he's lost 209 pounds and counting. That's an incredible achievement and all the comments that followed his status said as much. I recognized one name in the comments. She is my mother's cousin. Bless her heart, she's always been kind and open and receptive to everybody. Despite the fact that up until last year she thought he was dead (that should prove how little he has to do with my actual life), she is now facebook friends with him and telling him congrats on the weight loss.

All the other names of the people applauding his weight loss were foreign to me. I have no idea who these people are, but they are emphatically cheering my father on. Two of them referred to him as "Uncle." One of those "Nieces" liked my comment of "Good Job, Dad" (short and sweet), and I couldn't help myself from clicking on her name to stalk her profile.

She was born in 1962 and lives in Oklahoma. My father was born in 1955, and I know he didn't meet this chick until 2001 at the earliest, because that's when he met his current wife. So, she's only 7 years younger than he is and she didn't know him until she was well into adulthood... and she feels the need to call him "Uncle?" Really? Does that read a little fake to anybody else or just me?

Today I learned that the life my dad has been living seems to be cultivated by a brand new family of people who don't seem to really know him at all. Or maybe I don't know him at all... after all, I have no idea who this bitch is, but evidently she's my "cousin" of sorts.

Ugh... daddy issues suck. If I have any advice out there for young fathers, don't fuck it up. These little girls need you.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A Mother's Love

My mother thinks I don't respect her at all. In fact she held up her hand in the shape of a zero as she told me this earlier today.

I suppose it's true that I don't throw as much appreciation and respect her way as I should. Being the perfect daughter would require me to obey every single thing she says, anticipate her needs and take care of them before she asks me to, and make her feel like she's more involved in my life than she is. I'm not the perfect daughter.

But, in a lot of ways my mother is the perfect mother. She's been there for me through thick and thin. She's defended me with a ferocious bite more times than I can count. She gives great advice to me about life (and, on several occasions, to my friends through me), and she supports my dream to be a professional, successful writer. I know a lot of people think these are things all mothers do, but I know that's not really the case.

Mothers don't HAVE to love their children. They don't HAVE to be there for them. They don't HAVE to be beacons of security and voices of reason. They have every opportunity to be selfish, immature blockheads, but the good ones choose to rise above that. I have such a mother.

I think what my problem is, lately, is that I'm super focused on the writing thing. She's the one who gave me the book on how to write a novel in 30 days. In that book it warns that the people who love you most and who share a living space with you will end up resenting you, and nitpicking at little things you are neglecting while you are focusing on this insane little project. I didn't believe them, because my mother is awesome and has the reputation of being infinitely patient with me. I guess I was wrong.

So, today I learned I need to put forth a little more effort to not neglect the everyday things I'm supposed to accomplish. However, I'm sorry mom, but I'll never be the perfect daughter. I just don't have it in me to obey everything you say and read your mind when it comes to what's making you unhappy sometimes. You taught me to be my own person, and that person isn't a carbon copy of you, even though we look a lot a like. But I'll always love you, and I'll always try to be more for you.

Friday, January 6, 2012


"I write all the time..." She said with sincerity and truth behind her words. It's true, she does write all the time, whether it's in a journal or on her blog or in her novel. She writes every day, several times a day.

"I'd write more too....but working, writing can sometimes be unproductive." This was also true for him. He is a high powered executive. He was raised privileged, and he's been a world traveler since infancy. From a young age he was taught to work and climb the ladder to the top where you can obtain the most money.

"You can still write and work. It's called managing your time. If you like writing, you can figure it out." She was serious about this. She's known people who used their time on the morning train to crack open their laptops and get out their prose.

"I mean....for me....I actually don't want to write, I'd write more - except when I takes me away from work, so I try to avoid (writing)" He was back pedaling, and he didn't know why. Something about her passion on the subject at hand made him feel like he had to defend himself.

She looked at him with a furrowed brow, not speaking, silently allowing him to continue, so continue he did, "Writing is fun and easy. Work is a pain in the ass. But writing makes (me) zero money. So....I try not to get into it too takes me away from work."

"So you're telling me you're ruled by your bank account?" Her question was meant to be as piercing as it sounded. He just called writing easy... and fun... when she knew that anybody who tried to make it as a writer knew that writing is sometimes the furthest thing from easy and fun. It is HER PASSION... but passion doesn't make any lofty goal come without hard work, even if, at times, it is only fun and easy. She also resented the idea that because something doesn't bring immediate riches it can be cast aside with such ease of conviction.

"In some ways, yes." He answered her bluntly and directly... staring right into her eyes.

"Well, then I'm sorry for you. I understand needing money as a basic necessity, but I grew up poor. I still am poor. I'm somebody who's seen the evil side of money when it can be had in large quantities by greedy corporate clones." At this point, she wasn't trying to hide her disdain for his point of view on the matter.

"Not me, really. I grew up differently."

"That much I gathered."

"I is way way way more fun with money."

"Fun is a state of mind. It's not something you have to buy. I have a lot of fun with no money in the bank."

"I guess it works for you, which is cool." His statement caused her eyes to narrow in on him.

"You have no idea how condescending that sounds, do you?" She pressed her lips together and wouldn't break eye contact with him.

The genuine look of shock on his face answered her question. No, he didn't know how condescending that sounded. His only response was, "It's not meant to be."

"I think you'll figure out what I'm talking about someday." She was ready to be done talking to him. She was searching her mind for a way to say goodbye.

Then he said, " each his/her own......I just know what's right for me." He had a definite attitude now. He didn't know why she was pressing this issue so much.

She picked up on his defensiveness and confusion, so she made a final attempt to clarify. In the most pleasant, non-incriminating tone she could muster she explained to him, "I'm not dissing hard work. But to say something isn't worth while because it doesn't put cash in your pocket is... well it's kind of a slap in the face to all artists. And, as much as I adore chatting with you and as much as I know you're not a bad person, it just left a really horrible taste in my mouth."

"Hey, I was just speaking for myself."

"I realize that, but this conversation has made me realize something about MYself." And with that she stood up from the table in the restaurant and walked out, leaving him to pay the bill with his oh so important bank account.

That day she learned she values her passion and her outlook on the world more than any price tag. Her writing IS hard work, and maybe one day it will pay off, but that certainly wasn't her motivation in the matter.

(This conversation actually took place today between myself and a man I've been talking to online for a few years. It didn't happen in person... that was my artistic liberties taking over. I hope you liked it.)


After typing over 4000 words today,and barely getting it done by midnight (so... technically, yesterday) I learned I have no business falling behind on my word quota. That's all.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


I'd be a horrible celebrity. I can't stand stupid shit like rumors and gossip. If I had people following me around taking my picture all the time, I'd be batshit crazy.

There is a person in my life who reminds me of my stance on this every 6 months or so. For the last ten years we've gone back and forth over some pretty trivial shit. For better or worse she's the person who teaches me a little bit more about my ugly side each time she rears her ugly head.

Usually the rants and fights are about who is saying what about whom behind whose back. It's typical small town drama, really. However, it's gotten kind of out of hand. We've both accused each other of internet harassment, and one of us has threatened to get a lawyer.

Why do I suddenly feel like an old rivalry just took a desperate and dangerous turn?

In an effort to bury the hatchet (which has been attempted about a million times and counting), we've decided to both shut the fuck up and see what happens.

Personally, I don't think anything will as long as we keep the truce, right?

But all this has me thinking... how ugly can one person be? I'm not talking about physical ugliness (though there are a lot of ugos out there), no I'm talking about the downright shameful thoughts and actions that human beings can have.

I'm not innocent. In fact I'm rather guilty. I've said some pretty nasty things about this person... in the past... like years ago. Still, I did say them and I'm not particularly proud of it. She, too, has made a bed that she is now lying in. We've both stooped to low levels and have flung metaphorical shit at each other.

Here's what I learned today... I'm just as capable of falling for psychological warfare when it comes to gossip and petty shit. I need to work on that.


I have a dog named Damien. He's ferociously friendly. He's a mix between Rot and Blood Hound. He's super smart, and he's the most recent addition to our family of pets.

Ever since I was a little girl ours was the family who inherited other people's pets. From a Pitt Bull/ Lab Mix we got when I was 6, through another dog, three cats, yet ANOTHER dog and now Damien... Every single pet was given to us by a family who had to give them up for whatever reason.

Damien has got to be the most gentle, intelligent and just all around awesome dog we've ever had, though. He is super well trained (thanks to my friend who had him since he was a puppy), and he picks up on everything you say to him. He especially loves it when he gets to sink his teeth into a stuffed squeaky toy duck and you pull on the other end of it saying, "This isn't your duck. This is MY duck!" It's a tug of war he wins until you say, "Drop it." and he immediately lets go of his favorite toy. Even if you softly whisper the words, "Drop it" he will un-clench his jaw and let you take it from him with no argument whatsoever.

He's a big ol boy with a thick coat of fur. The poor lad nearly suffocates in the summer. When the heat is sweltering he will dash out, do his business and run back in to be in the air conditioning. Since the house is pretty much fully carpeted you'll then find him sprawled out on the kitchen floor or in the basement laying on cool concrete somewhere.

In the winter, however, he loves being outside. The cool air feels good to him, and he will stand out in the back yard, lift his blood hound sniffer in the air and take it all in. There's a diner right down the road from us and he always points in that direction as if to say, "Over there they have bacon."

Having an intelligent dog can work against you sometimes. He plays the family members to get what he wants.

Today I was sitting here, writing for Nanowrimo, and I heard Damien come up from the basement. Soon after, my grandmother was following him and asking him if he needed to go outside. He reacted with excitement as she walked him to the door to let him out.

I continued writing and I heard her yell at him to come back in. Because he enjoys cold weather he takes his sweet ass time. As Grandma opens the door to yell at the dog, one of the cats, Harley, jumps down from the couch and heads towards the door. Harley is an escape artist and he's learned that we have to open the door to yell at Damien. He also knows that Grandma is the one most likely to accidentally let him slip out.

Now Grandma is yelling at Harley AND Damien. Finally the dog comes back in and makes his way to me. He doesn't care that I have a word quota for the day... he wants to play DUCK! I'm a sucker for a big dog playing duck, so I welcome the break and play with him for a little while.

Not soon after my step-father comes home. I'm still writing, but I hear him ask Damien if he has to go outside. Damien jumps at the opportunity, and it's not long before Terry, like Grandma, is yelling at him to come back in. When he comes back in, he nudges me with the duck and I throw it for him, but then get back to writing.

About another thirty minutes goes by and my mother returns home from work. What's the first thing she does? She lets Damien out, and then starts hollering at him to come back in after a minute or two. This is when I pipe up and say, "He's been let out three times in the past hour."

"Well since you sold him out, he's on his way with the duck."

Gah... the fucking duck! I've already played twice with him in the last hour! Nevertheless when he nudged me and looked at me with those blood hound eyes and that damn duck hanging out of his mouth I found myself playing with him once again.

What did I learn today? Today I learned my dog is smarter than the family who owns him.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Kissing Alcoholics Down Memory Lane

"You've got to be shitting me." is all I could think to myself as I dropped off my friend to go get his stuff out of his ex girlfriend's apartment late last night. When he showed me where this woman lived, I was absolutely flabbergasted.

"That's my childhood home."

"What, where she lives?" He mumbled to me. He mumbles a lot. Once upon a time I nicknamed him Mumbles, but then I decided on calling him CCB (Cute Country Boy).

"No. The house next to it. The one with the deck on the back. What the hell are you doing dating a woman who lives in a drug house?" It was an assumption. I had no proof. All I know is when I lived next door to it, somewhere in the late 90's and early 00's it transitioned from a fairly respectable hunk of property into a slum with all types of shady characters moving in and out.

The apartment upstairs was the most notably toxic. I don't know how many people I saw dragged out of there in handcuffs, or how many fights I overheard as they occurred on the outside steps... right next to my family's back deck.

My family eventually moved and whoever moved in put up a privacy fence. I guess they got tired of meth heads tracking through their yard as they made their ways to the other drug houses in the neighborhood.

My friend denies any involvement with drugs in that apartment. He also says she didn't do anything like that, but then again she cheated on him with men and women and lied to him repeatedly. Who knows what she's really up to.

I dropped him off to get his stuff. I didn't stick around. About 10 to 20 minutes later he texted me to let me know he had called the cops to come and help him get his stuff back.

"Great," I thought, "I'm not getting involved in this."

I texted him back saying, "Well, If you get your stuff I'll pick you up a few blocks away."

And that's just what I did.

I got to thinking about it later on and I realized that his adventure at the apartment probably didn't go unnoticed by the neighbors. If the people who live there now are anything like we were, then they saw the flashing lights and muttered, "What now?"

Last night I learned that some things never change. Today... well, there's still some time left.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Project WILT

"You learn something new everyday." So they say. I'm putting it to the test.

Project WILT (What I Learned Today)is a year long study to see if I truly do learn something new everyday. I've had the idea for quite some time now, but I decided to wait until today to start it.

Why today? Well, it's the first of January, which means it's a new year. Today is also Day One of a personal NaNoWriMo challenge. NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. Annually, and globally, it's held in November. I've never tried it before, so I decided to do it in January to see if I can even accomplish it.

Writing a novel in a month's time is a difficult and daunting task, and on top of that I'm giving myself a new task of starting a blog. Not a daily blog, but a blog which will require often updates. Maybe I've bitten off more than I can chew.

Without further ado...

What did I learn today? Well, several things.

1. I learned that my brother can party longer and harder than I can.

2. I learned it's hard to get my inner editor to shut the fuck up in order to allow me to start writing. I literally procrastinated until 7 pm to even get started on my novel challenge.

3. I learned that I can push a 1999 Mercury Grand Marquis around a corner when it decides to die.

4. Last, but not least, I learned that Hank is short for Henry.

So far, so good. These are all things I was either unsure of or had absolutely no knowledge of before today.