It surprised me too.

 

I met a guy over the weekend who I think may just be more into Halloween than I am.   Shocking!    At the very least he gives me good competition for dark-holiday obsession.   :)     Needless to say we hit it off extremely well, geeking out over skeletons and gargoyles.   Three of my gargoyles are also his.

Seems we have a lot of common interests too.    For you Radcliffians, I think its safe to say I have a new Jaffa to add to the ranks.    I may be getting ahead of myself, but I’m already anticipating an extra set of hands for next year’s setup.

 

Speaking of which, just some finishing touches to be made and the photo shoot can begin!   I’m particularly pleased with how the bathroom came out this year.    of course every time Leia barks (it was her five-year birthday yesterday), she sets off some sound-activated horror.    I, of course, can’t help but giggle about it.

A long overdue check-in…

 

Well it has been a bit since I’ve graced the pages of my own blog.   I need to get myself back into the habit of more frequent updates.

What has life been throwing at me?    Mostly just work.   Been dealing with lots of performance issues with our database server.   Getting any reports to run has been really challenging.    But we’re making some progress, it would seem, as we actually got through last night’s updates before the start of business today.   For the first time in at least two weeks.

I’d like to think I had a hand in that, but aside from pushing two resource-hogging reports out to later in the day, I don’t think I really did.

Efforts continue, though, because while today went smooth, we’re not at a point yet we can consider sustainable.

 

On the home front not much is going on there.   Took Leia into the vet a week or so ago for her vaccinations.   She’s no longer rabid.   :)   Okay, well, she’s got her booster shots to ensure she never becomes rabid in the first place.    Along with canine distemper, porvo (or whatever that disease is called), and whatever else they injected her with.

She’s a trooper, but terrified of the whole affair.  Wouldn’t eat any of the treats she was offered.   Only wanted to be where I was holding her.    The look in her eyes while they were giving her the shot was kind of heart-wrenching.    I don’t like the “Daddy, please save me!” look.

After that, though, we stopped by the pet shop to get her food, and she got to take her first trip inside with me.   I’ve been reluctant as I was always worried she’d bark at everything and generally embarrass me.    She showed me just how well-mannered she can be.   (So now I know!  No excuses for misbehavior… much like you let it slip that yes, do you know how to sit and lay down!)     While we were there I checked in on grooming prices and decided to schedule her an appointment for later that day.

So we went back, and she was all happy about it until it was time to turn her over to the groomer.   Then it was back to the “Daddy!  Pick me up and Save Me!!” shenanigans.

She was, needless to say, quite thrilled when I came to retrieve her a few hours later.

For having no idea what I wanted her hair-cut to be, I think they did a great job.   Wish I had pictures, but she won’t hold still long enough.    (And now she needs another brushing.)

 

This past weekend I finally got all my Halloween stuff out of storage and to the house.   Started putting it all up, but it’s the 21st already and I’m really far behind.    Gonna be tough as I need to devote time this weekend to emptying out the rest of storage so i don’t have to keep paying for it.     This is my last weekend before my Oct 1 deadline.

On the plus side we figured out the tree situation for this year.   It’s stand was broken, and remains unrepaired.   Gabe insists he can fix it, but it’s been two years and he doesn’t seem inclined too… although I guess in a way, it kind of built me a new stand for it last night.   At least it has something to hold it up this year.   Won’t work outside Halloween though.    It’s black and is supposed to represent ‘space’ for my Star Trek Jewish Christmas Tree that goes up around yuletime.

 

The below photo (in addition to proving that I am indeed alive) I think best captures my reaction to the notion that I’ve been making any progress whatsoever on this Halloween thing:

Apparently the orange glow is flattering, as I was told this was a ‘hot picture’ of me.   So there’s that.   🙂

Dream Log: Stolen Puppies and Big Rigs

 

Two dreams I recall:

 

One dealt with me driving a big rig on unfamiliar, and overly complex, freeways.   Had three other passengers.  One looked like Jenna from work, but wasn’t Jenna in the dream.    Kept missing exits and ended up on a ramp to a different freeway.    It had all these massive screens around it broadcasting some football game.    I was feeling overwhelmed by it all and didn’t think it was safe for me to drive.    At least they had it worked out so i could park on the side of the road, let the Jenna character take over.   Just had to wait for the supervisor to come official-ize the change.   He showed up, noted my miles and that the other person was taking over, and we were on our way.

 

Another dream, I think before the above, had all my dogs lost, although we were thinking they were actually stolen as we couldn’t figure out how they got loose.

Several days went by.   Gabe seemed to be dealing with it better than me.   I was particularly upset over Leia.    Kept screaming her name out into the neighborhood, calling for her.    Remember I attempted some form of conjuration spell to bring them all home to us.    Don’t think I actually finished that though.    I was kind of crying on the couch when I looked out the window and saw Leia across the street.   Opened the door and called over to her and the other two dogs came running up to me.   Pushed them inside as I kept calling to Leia (who eventually came running over and into my arms).

Woke up snuggling with her.    

Sleeping in the Dark

 

I finally got to spend a night in my bedroom sleeping in actual darkness.    Its been over a year since I moved in there, and a good year and a half or so of frequent sleep-overs before then… so its been long over due.

There is this hospital across the street from me, and its bright.   All that light comes into the bedroom window (which overlooks the front yard).

So needless to say, I’ve not been getting shut-eye in real darkness for some time.    Gabe installed some new curtains though, so the light seeping around the blinds is now blocked from view.

Quieter too, what with two big pieces of cloth to help absorb sound.     Having always been a bit sensitive to light, my hope is that I begin getting more sound sleep now.   

 

In other news, these are the top searches related to my blog for the past week or so:

n33955, "mike anguish", spaghetti junction, stryse xxx

 

Stryse XXX.    Seriously?   Perverts.   Good luck with that.    I googled it (on Bing) myself and didn’t get anything good back.    The first link is to my dog’s myspace page and shows up because one of her myspace friends posted a birthday comment including “I love you Leia XXX OOO.”   Hugs and kisses, not nakedness.   

The other three results that search phrase turns up have nothing to do with me.      

Dog Wars

So it turns out… the actual canines in my pack… and their hierarchy…

With Dax and Leia… I’m doing the right thing, but for the wrong reason.

With Leia and Cha Cha…  I’m doing the wrong thing, for the right reason.

 

Ah… the subjectiveness of right and wrong.   

My Little Leia

It’s hard to believe she’s almost a year old.  Her birthday is this Wednesday and I plan to take the day off so that I can spend it with her.   She doesn’t like it when I leave her behind to go to work.  Every morning it breaks my heart to hear her barking from behind my bedroom door… pleading with me to open it and let her come with me.  It hurts me in the mornings when i’m putting on my socks and shoes — she knows I’m getting ready to go — and seeing her laying by the door ready to leap out of the room as soon as I stand up… as though thinking that if she’s just fast enough, she can escape her confinement for the day and come with me to work.

Every morning I pick her up and give her kisses and tell her how pretty she is and that I’ll miss her and to be good… I’ll be back soon and then we can play. It makes me teary eyed just typing this because I want to see her sweet face looking up at me… ready to come give me her famous puppy kisses.

To think… I was so highly resistant to the notion of having another animal come live in my home.  I already had a dog, Dax, and a cat, Kanika.   Our roommate had his dog too and I felt overwhelmed by the virtual petting zoo that roamed my house.   But Mike was persistent, he had to have a little dog.  I didn’t like little dogs.  They barked a lot and he’d let the mangy thing sleep on my bed.  My dog had just started to mellow out, my roommate was moving out, and I was starting to look forward to having fewer furballs underfoot.

Mike’s sister picked up Leia from a swapmeet somewhere in California.  Free puppies!  So she took one home, the one that would one day become mine.   Well soon after, she had to move, and decided it was too much trying to keep tabs on such a little puppy with all the boxes that could squash her, as well as her own youngling who was now mobile and had to have a close eye on her too.   It was just too much to keep track off and so it was decided that the puppy should be given to Mike.  

I remember getting a few pictures of the little one sent to my cell phone to show Mike and see if he wanted her.  Remember, I was very very resistant to the idea of another dog, but as soon as I saw her adorable little face for the first time I knew there was nothing I could do to keep her away from my home.   Leia was coming to join my family and that was that.  From those first photos I started falling in love with her.

So Thanksgiving of 2006 and Leia came to live with us.   She went through a bit of a name change because Mike really wanted a little dog named Mimi.   I didn’t really like that name but did like Leia.  So for a time she was officially named Mileia and called Mimi for short.   It only took a few nights before I gave in and let her sleep up on the bed with me and Mike.   She hasn’t slept off the bed since.  At first she took mostly to Mike and so she’d cuddle up with him when we went to sleep.  But late at night I’d wake up to see her scooting up close to me.  She’d lick my face as if to say "Hey, I’m here next to you. Don’t roll over on me."   I’d wake up in the morning to find her sprawled out so she could touch us both. 

Mike was working evenings at that time and so while she was definitely more attached to Mike than me, she’d find herself spending a lot of time with me and we bonded quickly.   So while I was upstairs playing on my computer, or down on the couch playing with my Xbox… there was a little blonde puppy laying next to me and keeping me company.   As long as Mike was away, she was right there wherever I went.

As fate would have it, Mike and I split up a couple of months after Leia came to live with us.   By the end of January Mike was on his way to Vegas and I was quite distraught.  Not only was my relationship over, but this little puppy I’d fallen in love with was going to leave me too.   Well, in Mike’s haste to depart, his living situation was a bit up in the air for when he’d arrive in Vegas and I had serious misgivings about subjecting Leia to an unknown and potentially unhealthy environment.  She’s very social and had up until that time always had either a person to hang out with, or at the very least Dax and Kanika around to keep her company.  I loathed the notion that she might be left all by herself for considerable chunks of time while Mike was working…   or potentially left where a stranger could mistreat her.   not that these were definite probabilities or anything, but it was certainly a possibility.   So I convinced Mike he should leave Leia with me until he got himself situated and then come back and get her.

While I was quite happy that I got to spend more time with Leia, there was always a lingering sadness that she’d have to go live in Vegas sooner or later.   Try as I might to maintain some distance and protect myself from that inevitability, I just couldn’t.   Her sweet puppy eyes pierced right through me and into my heart where she’s remained firmly lodged.   Not liking Mimi I reverted to her proper name of Mileia, which I often twisted to be "My" Leia, stressing the Leia part.   I figured this way she’d at least respond to Mike when he called her by name,without having to keep using the name Mimi which I just detested.

When Mike came back for her shortly before my birthday in March, I happened to not be at home at the time.   Part of me wanted to stay away because then I wouldn’t have to deal with watching her leave me.   I’d just come home and she’d be gone like she was never there.  I thought it might be easier on me, but I also thought I’d regret not getting to say good bye to her.   Well I finally arrive home and Mike pulls me upstairs cause he wants to talk to me.   I thought it was about us, but instead it was about her.  When he had arrived she came up to him to say hello, but largely ignored him in favor of playing with her packmates, Dax and Kanika.   Mike watched all this and although sad at his decision, decided it was better for her to remain with me where she’d have this constant companionship.  She was happy where she lived and he knew it.  So the talk he wanted to have was to give me the best birthday present ever–Leia was to become my puppy.   By then we had a very strong bond between us, me and Leia.   I was now the one she followed everywhere and the one she cried at the door for everytime I stepped through it without her.  

Now six months later I can’t imagine life without her.  Sometimes I think about the what-ifs.. the various calamities that could befall her and take her from me…   or I think about what it will be like in 20 years when she’s too old to go on anymore and gives me that last puppy kiss before taking a long long nap.   Such things make me cry almost instantly so I try and keep those thoughts at bay.   I just know it would hit me very hard if I ever lost her, so I spoil her and keep her safe.  At times I think I’m being overly protective as she’s a dog and wants to do dog things and I don’t like to let her do dog things when dog things put her in danger.    I guess that’s what being a good parent is all about.  I just detest having to deny her anything she wants.

This has been a bit of a roller-coaster year for me and Leia has been along for the ride.  I swear when things have been at their darkest, she’s the ray of sunshine that keeps me going.   I owe a lot to her for keeping my sanity.   Whenever i’m feeling unhappy, just thinking of her makes me smile.   She has really stolen my heart.   She’s made my world a happier place and I’ll forever be thankful that she came into it.   Even when she’s misbehaved I can’t help but smile at her.  No other dog gets free reign to lick me, let alone lick my face.  Puppy kisses I just can’t get enough of.

So here I am at her first birthday, something she knows nothing about, and all I can think about is how I can make her know its her special day.   She’ll just be happy that I won’t be leaving her behind to go to work, that she can run amok all day with me there.   I want to do something extra special for her though.   For being my faithful counselor she deserves it.   My forever puppy…   she may get older, but she’ll never get bigger, and she’ll never be loved more than she is by me.