Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Dakota Dangerously Diseased

It's an unusually lonely evening here in the apartment. You see, Dakota is spending the night at the vet's because he has some weird fast-growing masses propagating in his nose/muzzle region. They are very likely cancerous. I sure hope they're not, but hoping doesn't do much in determining doggy doctor diagnoses. I'm steeling myself to hear the worst.

The really stinky thing is that I just got him back three weeks ago. And he's been so good! Not a single accident in the house, and because I brush him every day now, the hair isn't nightmarish like it was before.

It'll be two weeks to get the biopsy results back. At the rate these are growing, I can't imagine having to wait. I'll most likely be spoiling him in the meantime - lavishing him with hugs and attention, letting him sleep on the bed, catering to his every whim... Hey, wait a minute! I ALREADY do that! He's got a pretty good racket going here!'

But no sense focusing on depressing thoughts. He's been so great for me at key times in my life when it really mattered. So I think I'll make a montage of him looking his most majestic...

(ten minute span of time)

And here you go!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Firey Firsts At Forty

In childhood, everything is new. The first time you see a a bird's nest, an electromagnet, a pollywog, a touchlamp, a blue-eyed dog, a Spirograph... you're enthralled.

But by the time you've lived more than 14,000 coherent days, it's easy to get skeptical. The "heard it all, seen it all, did it all" attitude just sort of comes over you naturally with the passage of time.

Sure, some strive to keep taking in new experiences by vacationing in far-off lands or scheduling "never did that before" events like whitewater rafting or African safaris. Unfortunately, unless it's done on purpose, there's not a lot new out there to see in everyday life besides the newest appliance, cell phone, or car model.

But tonight I saw something new while I was taking Dakota out for his final potty break of the evening. I'd brushed as much excess hair from him as I could, leaving the grass around him completely white, as if dusted with powdered sugar.

A group of five or six neighborhood kids were out on their own safari, marching up and down stairs, investigating the apartment complex's hidden fascinations, and discussing their deep kid one-upsmanship topics like, "I can count to purple backwards."

Dakota was, as always, a feature draw, and I fielded the standard questions ("Is that a snow dog?" "Can I pet him?" "Is he a wolf?" etc.).

Once the tiny platoon moved on, I saw that dusk was fully upon us, and Dakota still hadn't done his business. (He gets more than a little rattled being surrounded by many hands and voices.)

Just as I was about to give up and try again in the morning, I thought I saw a reflection out of the corner of my eye. Far across the parking lot on a third floor balcony, a woman smoked a cigarette. Was that what I had seen? Possibly.

But suddenly I saw it again. Closer to the ground this time. Like a spark jumping from a fireplace. A few seconds later, another one - bigger than the last, like a tiny explosion quickly disappearing.

It took my brain a few seconds to access the data I'd taken in since moving here. Then it registered - they were fireflies (or lightning bugs, as they're apparently called 'round these parts).

A brand new experience, which even exceeded my expectations.

Is this the last new thing I'll see? Doubtful. And it occurred to me that, while I might not have a brand new and unique experience like this every day, it is possible to observe life with that childlike wonder again. You see, every tree, every cloud, every bird that I'll see tomorrow will be unique, having some visual stimulus to offer.

Okay, maybe that's a little deep, a little overboard, a little too weird. It might just be the nonsensical ramblings of a man about to drop off to sleep. Or it could be the birth of a whole new paradigm. My guess? It's probably somewhere in the middle.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Old And Bored

Well, today is the big four-oh. I don't feel much different, but then again, I've really only been awake for an hour. Like tea, a good depression needs to steep before releasing its brown goodness.

I don't feel sad or depressed over stubbing my toe on this major milestone. However, I did just find out that the plans I thought I had for my birthday weren't actually plans at all, so I'm less focused on the new decade and more on the fact that I'm going to be sitting home alone.

An old friend of mine recently observed that the inclusion of more pictures in my blog was probably just an excuse for being less verbose. What could have given her that impression? Umm.... bye.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Hoosier |ˈhoō zh ər| (noun) - a native or inhabitant of Indiana.

I was surprised to discover recently that the term "Hoosier" is not an insult. I mean, it sounds like one, doesn't it? "He's a Hoosier" sounds way more like "What a dweeb," than it does "He's a proud resident of Fort Wayne," right?

Now, lest you misunderstand, allow me to clarify that I've got no problem with Indiana. As a matter of fact, it's quite nice here. Green lawns, lush trees, flowing rivers, nice people, etc. For the most part, I like it.

It's just that since moving here last September, I've mostly felt like a visitor. Apartment living, no home church (still), and a lack of close friends have all contributed to my stay here feeling more like an extended trip than residency.

But recently, the impending expiration of my Wyoming driver's license forced my hand. I would've been illegal come next Monday, so this was the day I scheduled to head to the BMV. (No, that's not a typo. Here, it's BMV, not DMV. Speaking of dumb names, the gas company here is called NIPSCO.)

Anyway, my new drivers license and license plate (yes, plate is correctly singular - you only get one here), don't have me feeling any more like a Hoosier than I did this morning, but I imagine it'll help the transition somewhat.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Boy Is Back In Town...

After five months... guess who lives with me again?!?!?!?

He's had some adventures, for sure. Headed out on the town for days at a time, went one-on-one with a raccoon (Dakota: one, Racoon: permanent zero), and - sadly - lost track of his best friend Bear over a week ago.

I'm still wondering what I was thinking in taking him back. But I have really missed him, and he did immediately settle back into our old routines.

Of course, feel free to ask me if this was a good idea when a flurry of husky hair swirls about my head in the car, or as I stand outside holding a leash at four in the morning. Probably not, but at the moment, as I watch him contentedly sleeping at my feet under the desk, I'm feeling pretty good about it...

Friday, June 01, 2007

A Year Later, New Life

It's been exactly a year since I resigned and my life exploded...


I suppose should write about my regrets, the lessons I've learned, maybe even a righteous warning to those who might be heading down the same path...

But I really just have one thing to say...

The Colonel lives.