Friday, October 17, 2008

Rompin' In the Yard

YellowDog came over for a visit last weekend. It was great to have her. She and RedDog get along beautifully...

They bow and the games begin.

RedDog runs circles around her, literally, and then attacks:

Quickly, he notices Dolly and makes a run for it.YellowDog flips around.

But decides to scratch her back instead.

RedDog licks his chops in satisfaction. Ah, Victory!

* * *

I'm changing stations at work because of the promotion. It was time. I was ready to go last year, but held on for some unknown reason. Now I'll be moving to a different part of town, down near some of the worst projects in the City. Should be a good move, busy, challenging, good fires. I hope I do well, don't let my crew down, learn a lot.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Salute Me

Well, I passed my promotional exam. Did really well, actually--top 8%! Yay me! So I'll get my bugles and a white shield for my helmet.

Sadly, my two study partners did not fare as well. They will probably not get promotions unless the Chief of Department skips over people on the list (which can be done by law as long as they're in a certain score range). I feel especially bad for one of my partners, who is pushing 55 and has 28 years in and will now probably be forced to retire.

But I'm happy for myself.

Weird tho. I sent out an email to friends and family to let them know the results of my exam. Heard back from everyone except my own father. So I wrote him again. And again. No word. Finally, I called him. Yes, he'd gotten my emails, but he's been "really busy" lately. What a frickin' narcissist! Can't he even take 2 minutes to say "congratulations"? I don't know why I'm surprised or perturbed. He always lets me down. My fault, really, for having any expectations, but still, what an ass.

* * * *
I get so much pleasure out of RedDog--even if he's a royal pain in the butt. He gave me a scare recently after eating rat poison... and then after becoming listless and lethargic with a fever of 103 (not related to the rat poison)... but he's all tightened up now and running around like a mad man once again. Problem is, he's gained weight (I'm a bad mother!), and now I've had to put him on a diet to turn him back into the svelte dog his breed is supposed to be. It's difficult because he's such an eater!

Even Rover has melted under the power of his adorableness. Rover, who has never had a pet in his life told me that he took RedDog to bed with him the other night when I wasn't home and slept with him under the covers all night.

He's not much of a morning dog, but I've been forcing him out at 7:00 (in his sweater, of course) to walk with the neighborhood group of dogs/ladies, and he's been loving it. When I first got him, he hated going out in the mornings and would shake and shiver and hang back, but now I think it's because he was sick and feverish and I didn't know it. Now that he's healthy again, he's full of vigor and hardly shivers at all .

This is how he likes to sleep best.

He's pretty funny.

Anyhow, that's my life right now. I've got to go.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

New Addition

Meet the newest member of our family. We'll just call him RedDog. He's a Min Pin and all of 9 or 10 pounds.

Here he is attacking his Mallard Duck dolly:

Here's his butt, as he dives into the grass for his ball. He's ruining my lawn.

Here he is sleeping in the sun:

Today RedDog learned about cat poop. Yummy. I was unaware he'd discovered cat poop until this morning as I was getting ready to leave. I was upstairs and heard his collar jingling and jingling and then him running around like a mad man. I crept down the stairs to spy on him and see what mischief he was up to, only to discover him tossing around a piece of cat poop in my living room. Lovely. There's no end to buried cat poop to be discovered in my yard.

Anyhow, he's keeping me busy lately, which is good because Rover and I haven't had a lot of time to spend with one another. We're on opposite shifts and we've both been busy doing sundry other things.

Life is pretty good. Can't complain too much.

Anyhow, just wanted to introduce you to RedDog.


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Things Change

David died. That's his real name. Saying it out loud here seems right, respectful.

He's the fellow I volunteered for who had ALS. One minute he was there, the next week he was gone. Just like that. I know he was "dying" but his death was rather sudden, unexpected. I don't really miss him, but I think of him every time I drive pass his exit. I think about his family, his wife, etc. Very sad, but he was ready.

In the near future I will turn my volunteer efforts to the living instead of the dying. There's a mentor program here in town. I'm going to the orientation next week.

* * * *
Rover promoted to Chief. I call him Chief You're-A-Butt. Ha, ha.

* * * *
I enrolled in a French conversation class starting at the end of August. I'd like to be fairly proficient by next September. I think that's a reasonable goal.

* * * *
We talking about getting a dog. I've looked on line at pet rescue places. I might go see a puppy on Thursday if she's still available. No hurry, tho.

* * * *

I remain happy, content. Had a few weeks off recently, a few too many. Without structure I start getting antsy, but now I'm back to the grind, studying for my promotional exam, running around, exercising.

I started rock climbing again with my friend Tri-Pod. He turned 67 yesterday and is still in incredible shape. Nice man. Really like him a lot.

Rabbit and GirlFriday broke up again. Finally. Hopefully, this time for good. She's been unhappy for so long. They've been unhappy. All he wanted to do was swing. She wants more. He's blocked, broken and depressive; she's open and upbeat. She can do better.

Guess that's about it. Life is moving along. Everything is good.

Oh yeah, RacerEx is having a baby (yes, already--even though they've only known each other for a year now). I'm happy for him, I guess. Or indifferent, really. Good sign. Opposite of love is not hate but indifference is what I always say.

Rover and I are good. I recently told him that we don't have to get married if he doesn't want to (and I mean it), but he says he wants to keep me and it's okay. So that's good. I love him. We're good.

All right. Nite now.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

And You've Won...A NEW CAR!!!!

Or at least that's how life feels lately: full of good fortune and winnings.

  • Rover and I are head-over-heels, disgustingly in love.
  • I feel good about my performance on my promotional exam.
  • Rover scored in the top 10 on his promotional exam and will be moving up the ladder once again.
  • And now, Rover won a 5-day trip to Italy for two! For real.
Can you believe it? Includes round-trip airfare, transfer to/from the airport and 4 nights in a 3*-star hotel in Chioggia Sottomarina (across the bay from and a ferry ride to Venice). I think we're going to go in September or October (or November), depending on the trip restrictions, which I need to find more about.

* * * *

I had a serious discussion with Rover about marriage this weekend. I asked him if he'd thought again about what he'd said about marrying me a couple of weeks ago. He said, no, he hadn't given it any thought. To him, it didn't constitute any kind of life plan. I was disappointed, but told him that I had been thinking about it, that the statement had meant something to me--something tantamount to a proposal.

I could tell that mentally, he had begun to dig his heels in to once again defend his position against marriage, both of us fully aware that our respective positions are in steady opposition to one another. The conversation took on a serious tone, and he began to ask me if I was going to leave him if he didn't marry me. I simply said that I did not want to leave him, that I love him and am very happy with him, that I like "us." But I said that I could not make any promises about tomorrow, implying, I guess, that I might leave if and when I change my mind about staying in a no-marriage relationship.

At some point, he conceded that, perhaps, we could get married, but not this year or next year and probably not the year after that or even the year after that. "In 15 years" was thrown out there. A rather dismal bone, if you ask me. We continued our discussion slowly and quietly, in a well-thought-out sort of way and finally finished, exhausted and drained, our positions still at opposite ends--well, except for that "in 15 years" offer....

We went to bed under a shroud of palpable sadness, not hugging, not kissing. Not angry, either, just sad and heavy. I thought a lot about my own feelings, my own ideas of marriage, the desires I've had recently to be married. I thought about how happy I'd been when Rover had suggested that marriage was a possibility after all and how that knowledge had made me relax a bit and feel more secure with him and how really fucking great and in-love and romantic we've been with one another since that night. I felt a little confused: is it about the person or the concept?

What does marriage mean?

I think it means all those things I thought it meant when I posted about it. That's what it means to me. It means commitment and security--to me.

The next morning, we both woke up quiet. It was a long while before one of us spoke. I don't remember how the conversation began, but essentially it came down to this:

For him, marriage has meant not being able to have the sex life he wants. He has never felt he could make the promise to be faithful to any of the women he's been with.

Until now. He says he can be who he is with me; he can do what he wants and be his true sexual self.

And so he no longer has that obstacle. He said he figured he could not marry me and just wait until I finally leave, but then where would he be? Back in the same place as always, with another woman with whom he cannot be himself and who, s always, will probably leave him once they have the no-marriage discussion. Besides, he said he loves me more than I'll ever know and that he loves his life with me, all of it. And he conceded that marriage does mean something to him.

And so he asked me to marry him. And so I said yes.

We decided to do it in two years time, in 2010, probably in September, when the weather is still nice.

I pleased. In 2010, we'll have been together for 8 years from the get go and 5 years since we started "going steady." I think that's a reasonable and sensible amount of time. God knows, anything could happen between now and then, but I don't think so.

We're good together.

And you know what? He's still happy today (and yesterday) after making his decision. He's still in love with me and doting on me and kissing me spontaneously and telling me I'm beautiful, etc. He's okay with his decision. That's important. Cuz it's never going to work if he feels ramrodded into this situation. I mean, come on, we know he wouldn't have done it on his own, so sure, there's a little bit of ramrodding going on. But I can see that he's good with his decision and that he's happy. Fortunately, he's a solid person and doesn't take these things lightly and wouldn't do something that he's not comfortable doing, so...

Anyhow, that's me.

Life is good.

Friday, May 30, 2008


Well, the warm, fuzzy glow of the potential nuptials is fading as doubt seeps back in. There's no proposal coming. It's just not in his nature. I know he meant what he said, and he's not running from the idea, but he's not going to ask me to marry him without my pressing it, and I just don't feel like pressuring someone into marrying me.

Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A Day of Thanksgiving

But first, about me... (ha, ha).

Today I took my promotional exam--the first one given to our rank by our department in 11 years.

And I think I did okay. I made some mistakes that I'm aware of. I also probably made some mistakes that I'm unaware of; but, all in all, save for a few moments here and there when I struggled to formulate strategy and words from a frozen, blank brain (so my pencil just had to take over on its own and write out of sheer habit), I think I did well. Maybe even well enough to get the promotion. Yeah. Maybe.

But who knows?

I think my responses and mistakes matched my experience and the amount of time I put into studying, so that seems fair to me. It could go either way. I'm young in my career, probably just a journeyman, but I'm no probie either.

We'll see.

So, anyhow, I'm thankful today for all the people who helped me prepare for the exam: Rover, Fatty, SoberWolf, RamboMan, and MsB-Ball (who just found out she's pregnant, yay). And shout outs to OtherMother for coming in to work for me last night at the last minute. Without you all, I could not have come this far or felt this comfortable.

I called each of them and thanked them.

And dork of all dorks I have become: I actually liked sitting there all damn day long talking about fire scenarios and tactics. I think I might actually miss it. Who knew I was such a "fire jackoff," as they're (we're) called. Okay, "Fire Buff" is a nicer word.... But I'm not really a buff, I'm just a dork.

A tired dork.

But I'm too wired to nap or sit idle, so I'm going to go clean up the dining room, which is strewn with papers and study materials (and eraser dust).


Friday, May 16, 2008

I'm Getting Married!!!

Well, not technically, but allow me my rare moment of optimistic self-delusion.

Here's the scoop. I've been thinking a lot about getting married lately--did I mention that both RacerX and HotLips got married last month? Not that that has anything to do with it..., well, perhaps a little bit....and Rover and I have been together six years now (can you believe it?!)...

Anyhow, so I've been thinking about where I am and where Rover and I are; and I realized that I actually want to be married, that I like being married. I like the security of it; I like building a life with someone; I like being obligated to and responsible for someone; I like all of it. Marriage means something to me.

The problem is, I'm with someone who doesn't "believe in marriage" and who doesn't want to get married. Knowing that, I've been struggling internally and feeling and acting crabbier and a somewhat distant from Rover. Unsuccessfully, I've been trying to suppress a resentment towards him that keeps seeping into my psyche and making me feel depressed. Resentful because I want something I know he doesn't want and suppressing it as best I can because it's not fair for me to resent something that he's been honest and open about since the get go.

But I still want it. Marriage. To be married. Ideally to Rover. If not, well, I guess to someone else eventually.

And so it hit me: I guess it's going to have to be to someone else.

I've been sitting on that realization for a while now, a week or so, I guess. But the other night, when he was working he told me that because of the heatwave the "natives were restless" and there had been some shootings in his first-alarm area. As we said goodnight on the phone, I said to him, "Please don't get shot out there."

With that, it hit me really hard that if he were to get shot or drop dead for any reason, it would be as if he had never been in my life, that my life would continue on as if we'd never gone out, save for a box of clothes and an empty chest of drawers belonging to him that is sitting in my garage. That's what you get when you're "just dating" someone. You don't get to visit them in the hospital when they're sick without permission from family, you don't get to make medical decisions for them, you don't get surviving spouse benefits. You get nothing. You're just like anyone else.

And that's not what I want from him. From my guy. I want, and it's taken me a long time to be able to admit this, to be taken care of. I want to know that I'm a part of his life and recognized by society as someone who matters, as someone who counts. I want that protection and that power. I want the remnants. I want it all.

And so I told him. Not vaguely, in the roundabout way I've told him in the past. I just said it.

When he asked me last night during a lull in our conversation, "What are you thinking about?"

I said, "I think you should marry me."

And instead of getting defensive or angry or huffy or whatever he's done in the past when we've talked about it....

He wrapped his arms and legs around me, smiled and said, "That doesn't surprise me," and he hugged me even harder and more completely.

And I didn't say anything for a while until he said, "I love you and I want to be with you and I guess I'm just going to have to marry you some day."

And I started to cry and was very happy. And I am.

So I'm not engaged, there's no ring and no date, and he didn't ask me to marry him. But I know him, and he means what he said. So I'm going to savor this moment for now, for a while. Because I need to and I want to. And I believe him and I love him and I'm happy.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Ah Justin,

And how does one get ahold of you? Your blog's defunct and there's no place to post comments. You still working at the university? Still a student there? Still have cats? Still single?


Sunday, May 4, 2008

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough

Frozen, that is. I just ate about 12 frozen cookie dough cookies and I feel like I want to vomit.

Gotta get that stuff out of my house. Hate to throw it in the garbage. Perhaps I'll just bake it tomorrow and bring it over to Red's house. Yep. They've got kids. They'll eat it.

Studying coming along. Spent three hours at it today. Not enough, really, but it's something.

I'm hungry now, but too sick to eat. Wonder if I'll wake up starving in the middle of the night.

And I was doing so well.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Long Time Coming

Gosh, it's been so long since my last post--more than six months.

Just have been so busy, and haven't felt inspired to write at all.

Things are grooving along.

Rover and I continue together--dating, talking of the future. We're good. I have my moments of doubt and struggle, like lately when I think about how we talked about his moving in and how it just never seems to happen. Put in perspective, we've both been so busy with our promotional exams that there just hasn't been time for consolidating lives and moving stuff. So I wait, somewhat impatiently, wondering if he'll take a proactive stance and bring it up. Somehow, I doubt it, and there's a part of me that doesn't want to push, because I don't see the point of pushing people into doing what they don't really want to do. As I learned from my last marriage (and divorce) forcing something that doesn't come naturally doesn't last.

Work is okay. As I mentioned above, I'm studying for a promotional examination, the first one given in 11 years. I don't know if I'm ready, but we'll see. It's two short weeks away.

I'm good. Stable. Still seeing the HeadShrinker. She helps, I suppose. Helps me find clarity and sometimes words to use when I talk with Rover about important things.

But, as always with me, gloominess looms in the depths of me. It is my condition. A quality I struggle to suppress. Sometimes it takes hold of me and pulls itself up to the surface and takes over, but I am learning to stuff it back down and feel better more quickly.

I think I drink too often and it worries me a bit, but I am not willing, right now, to give it up completely, so I try to keep it in check, playing games with abstention and moderation.

I still volunteer once a week with my "friend" who has ALS. I still do his typing, help him write his memoirs, and, ever so occasionally, act as his confidant and sounding board. Sometimes it is sad to think that he is withering away. Other times, mostly, I am just struck by his self-absorption and marvel that his disease only serves to enable him to be more self-centered. Still, he has love in his life and a fantastic attitude on most days. Spending time with him is like living in an Elizabeth Kubler-Ross book--the five stages of dying and grieving and all that--blah, blah, blah.

Anyhow, that's now in a nutshell. Perhaps I'll write again soon if I feel inspired or have the time.