help us help zoink!

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So, we adopted this little puppy named Zoink…

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He’s the cutest boy in the world.  He was born in Los Angeles in January with Type II Congenital Lateral Elbow Luxation; or, in plain English, dislocated elbows.  He was brought to the Downy shelter up there, which is a high-kill shelter that Labradors and Friends Dog Rescue of San Diego works with to get dogs out, rehab, and re-home them.  I found out about Zoink because my friend agreed to foster him while he was getting medical treatment.  My friend is in the Navy, and she had duty one Saturday, and a five-hour watch.  She asked if we could watch him, and told us that if we wanted, and if he got along with Spud and Isis (our Chihuahuas), we could continue fostering him because her schedule changed and she wouldn’t be able to do it anymore.

I was hooked the moment I saw him.  He was SO TINY!  Five pounds and seven weeks old, he was the cutest thing I had ever seen:

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AND… he got along with the dogs.  Well, kind of.  He was smaller than they were, so they were okay with him because they were in charge, so I took that as a win.  That was on February 22nd, and he’s been with us ever since.

In March, Zoink had his first surgery to pull his elbows back into place and pin them there.  We visited him on March 9th to see how he was doing:

He ended up being cleared to go home, but his pins migrated a few days later, and he had to go BACK into surgery to fix them.  That time, he was at the animal hospital for a whole week before we could bring him home, and practice standing:

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Soon, he was out of his casts and into a tube sock that I cut down and slid over his legs to keep his elbows in:

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And soon, he was standing…

And then, on March 31st, he took his first steps by himself…

Now he’s 45 pounds of pocket-pit bull, and he’s still as cute as ever:

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Unfortunately, he’s still in pain, and he needs to get his elbows fused in order to relieve it.

I have set up a GoFundMe account: http://www.gofundme.com/h495x0 for donations.  This surgery is going to run us $10,000, and we could really use some help :(

I also had some 2015 calendars made of Zoink growing up from about 7 weeks to 9 months, they’re really adorable and would make great gifts for any dog lovers you know!  If you want to purchase one (or more!) please use the form at the bottom of this post.

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I hate to ask you all for help like this, but if you could find it in your heart to help our boy live a pain-free life, I would be eternally grateful.  Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday.

PS: Zoink has a Google+, a Facebook, and a YouTube channel, check him out for more!

bad food

I was talking to my mom today about yummy new recipes, and she told me that she’s cut out canned soups in her cooking because they have too much sodium. It got me thinking about the fact that I don’t really have any recipes to share with her because all of mine either have lots of sodium, or came from her! :(

So I think I need to try (once again) to make a conscious change in the way I cook and eat. I did go pescatarian for a while, but I actually found that I ate more processed foods when I wasn’t eating meat, which I think is worse than eating meat in the first place.

So I’m thinking about phasing out our processed foods and getting more into whole foods, which have way fewer (bad) fat, calories, and sodium. I went back to the 100 Days of Real Food blog, and I feel like I can do it this time. Lisa has a defined set of rules that she follows, and I’ll try to stick with them, but I also need to phase this in, so mine will be a little different:

1. Meatless Mondays and Whole Food Wednesdays – I’m going to start slow, by implementing these two days to see how we fare. Baby steps.

2. No groceries with more than 10 ingredients – This will be tough, our pantry is always WAY more full than the fridge, and I’ve got to change that. To start, I’m just not going to get highly processed foods anymore, we’re going to phase them out as we go. Lisa’s rules call for no more than 5 ingredients, and I’ll get there, but I want to do this gradually.

3. No special stores – I’m not going back to shopping at Sprouts or Whole Foods. I’m a Navy Wife, and dammit, we shop at the Commissary! I’m not sure how well this will work, but I want to at least try to get everything from there.

So. Here we go again. Don’t blow it, self.

some people just don’t get it

I wanted to wait a while before writing about this, because honestly, it’s been just too painful to think about.  The girl who threw my bachelorette party decided one day, out of the blue, that she would block me on Facebook to let me know that she didn’t want to be friends anymore.  No text, no phone call, no explanation, nothing.  I texted her and asked why she blocked me (the way I found out was that I found a funny story I thought she would enjoy, and when I went to tag her in it, her name didn’t show up, so I asked my husband to look her up, to see if it was just me or if she had deleted/disabled her account.  It was just me.) and she told me that I was a negative influence in her life, and that she didn’t need it.

Wow.

Some people.

So here we go: I understand that it’s not easy being friends with someone who has major depression and anxiety disorders.  I understand that I’m not always the easiest to get along with and can be a hot-head.  But apparently this whole thing happened because I wasn’t grateful enough for the bachelorette party (that sucked), and because I didn’t go to her birthday party after my bridal shower.  I was having dinner with my mother whom I see once a year, and my maid of honor, who is also my sister-in-law whom I hadn’t seen since Christmas of 2012.  I’m sorry I missed your last birthday in San Diego.  I’m sorry my sister-in-law set our bridal shower for the same day you were having your party because it was the only break she had between her business trip to Dallas and flying back home.  This girl sees her family… I’ve got to say at least monthly, because they always seem to be down here (hell, they were apparently the reason she had to leave my bachelorette party early, because they just drove to her house, assuming she had no plans, and called her when they couldn’t get in).

I didn’t even know she even cared that much, because she never bothered to call or text to find out when/if I was still coming.  The way she puts it, she was pining at the door all night like a dog left home alone, and I know that’s not what she did.  That’s not her.

I’m pretty sure she was looking for excuses to dump me as a friend, which is pretty stupid, if you ask me.  If you don’t want to hang out with someone, don’t!  You don’t have to be all dramatic about it and drag it out!  You don’t agree to be a bridesmaid, attend their wedding, and then a month later tell them to fuck off!  I can’t even look at my wedding photos or watch my video because she’s in everything.  I can’t even put together an album, or submit my wedding to blogs, or enjoy any of that post-wedding warm fuzzy feeling because I’m so pissed that she’s this selfish and immature.

And she is.  I may come off as selfish, but it’s mostly because I have strong opinions and can just be arrogant sometimes, but I’m anything but selfish.  The night I missed her party, I was going to lose either way.  I was either going to feel like crap because I was missing her party, or feel like crap because my sister-in-law was here and I wasn’t spending time with her that I should because I never see her.  So I made a choice, and I chose family, and apparently that was the wrong choice, in her eyes.  So fuck it.  I have no interest in having to coddle and baby some chick who can’t get her own shit together, and who I’m pretty certain harbors a lot of jealousy toward me (at least according to several friends and family members, who offer up some good points).  Don’t be jealous of other people and what they have and where they are in life.  Treat them as mentors, make your own damn goals, and do whatever the hell you want.  I’m sorry that I got married before you.  I’m sorry that I was able to pay for a gorgeous wedding and a brand new car within a month of each other.  I’m sorry that I’m getting my Master’s degree and you’re not.  I’m sorry that you don’t have the things that you want, and I apparently do, and somehow that makes your hurt feelings my fault.  I’m sorry!

What’s that phrase, when God closes a door, he opens a window?  Well, I’m flopping my way through the open window (I can’t do it gracefully, you know, I’m fat and broken), and I’m working on spending time with the people who are still here, and make me happy to be around, and who I absolutely adore.  Ironically, the first three who come to mind were all in our wedding as well, ha!  So at least we made a few good choices, right??

Good luck, J.  I’ve heard you’re moving back home to take advantage of a job offer.  I hope you find what you’re looking for and that you’re happy with your choices.

date night for dog owners vs. date night for non-dog owners

I just read a Huffington Post blog entitled Date Night for Parents vs. Date Night for Non-Parents and while it was pretty funny, I felt like perhaps I could use this to bridge the gap between the “my dogs are my children” and “dogs are nothing like children” people.  So here it is, with the “parents” portion edited for dog parents:

“Date your spouse!” the experts always say. “Just because you’re married with a family doesn’t mean the spark has to die down. Flirt with each other! Keep the romance alive!”

That’s great advice. Really, it is. It sounds fantastic… in theory. Kind of like before you have kids dogs when you swear you’re never going to feed them processed cheap food or let them play with your phone old socks to keep them quiet for 10 minutes. But when you try to put it into practice? Well, sometimes it just isn’t practical. I mean, I’m pretty sure that when I’m brushing my teeth while wearing food drool-encrusted pajamas and telling my husband how I accidentally got poop under my fingernail while changing a diaper picking up dog poop and oh by the way did we pay the sewer bill last month?, I’m the last person he wants to flirt with.

I’m not saying it isn’t important to try to keep a connection as a couple — it is. And relationships take work. But so do kids dogs, and all the obligations that come with them. And when you’re trying to juggle all of that, it’s not usually the children dogs who are shoved to the back burner. Even when you try to keep the spark burning, it’s a whole different ball game when you’re married cohabitating with kids dogs. Going on a date, for example, only remotely resembles the dates you used to go on. Let’s break it down.

GETTING READY

Non-parents dog owners: Take a leisurely stroll around the mall because you’d like to pick up a new outfit for tonight. Oh, and maybe a new eyeliner or something at the department store. Throw in a manicure if you’ve got time. Arrive home, soak in a tub, deep-condition and exfoliate and moisturize, shave every shave-able body part while blasting your favorite music. It’s like a spa up in here. Spend ample time perfecting your makeup, hair, and outfit. Put on cute underwear. Be excited because tonight is going to be awesome.

Parents Dog owners: Rummage through your closet to find something flattering that you don’t wear every day. Get pissed off. Settle for something. Wish you could take a leisurely stroll around the mall to buy a new outfit. Realize the kids dogs have used eaten your eyeliner as a crayon; make a mad dash to Target use a thin line of eyeshadow instead. Arrive home, look at the clock, freak out because the trip to Target seriously ate into your time budget. Shower quickly, swiping over your legs with a razor, hitting up your pits and bikini line if you have a couple extra seconds. Ignore kids dogs pounding on door play-fighting loudly under the bed. Decide whether to blow-dry your hair or just put it up wet. Put your hair up wet because the dogs are afraid of the blow-dryer. Slap on some makeup. Squeeze into some sort of fat-reducing underwear. Hope you don’t sweat through get dog hair all over your blouse with all this dashing around. Be excited because as soon as you’re able to leave the house, tonight is going to be awesome.

LEAVING THE HOUSE

Non-parents dog owners: Grab purse, cell phone, keys. One last quick mirror check. Open door. Exit.

Parents Dog owners: Make sure the kids dogs are fed and the kitchen isn’t a wreck no food is left out for them to cry over while you’re gone. Leave emergency numbers and special instructions for the sitter wrangle the dogs together and try to get them into the proper crates. Tell the kids dogs goodbye. Wonder why the hell they’re acting barking like you’re about to permanently abandon them. Give hugs and kisses turn on lights and TV, adjust security camera to check on them while you’re out, and try not to get food hair or snot drool all over your decent outfit. Pry clingy children from legs shut crate doors. Slip out the door. Realize you forgot your phone. Come back in and repeat clingy-children barking debacle.

THE DATE

Non-parents dog owners: Go to a high-end restaurant or an upscale bar. Order without looking at prices. Enjoy laughs and animated conversation about movies and current events. Check your phone periodically to see if anyone has “liked” your check-in on Facebook. Discuss where to go next; the night is young and the options are endless!

Parents Dog owners: Go to a chain restaurant because you have a coupon (or go to a high-end restaurant, but order the chicken because it’s cheap). Feel frivolous because you order an apple-tini with your meal. Rejoice in the fact that you don’t actually have to cut up anybody’s food deal with begging, or tell anyone to get out from under the table or stop blowing bubbles in their chocolate milk trying to get on top of it. Check your phone periodically to make sure the sitter hasn’t called dogs have settled down in their crates. Promise you won’t talk about the kids dogs. End up talking about the kids dogs. Keep checking the time because you’re paying the sitter by the hour you can only be gone for six hours, and anyway, you’re getting tired because 11:00 is way past your bedtime and the kids dogs woke you up at six this morning.

AFTER THE DATE

Non-parents dog owners: Return home; decide whether to end the date or take it further. If it ends there, go inside, remove makeup, put on comfy clothes, let out the fart you’ve been holding in. Go to bed. Sleep peacefully. Wake up whenever. If it goes further… light candles, pour wine, put on soft music, and reveal that cute underwear and those nicely shaved legs. Bow chicka wow wow!

Parents Dog owners: Return home. Fork over cash to sitter, trying not to cringe about how much money you’ve spent on this date in total Let dogs out of their crates to the whirling dervish that is their wild and unstoppable excitement. Look at children sleeping let dogs out to run and poop and marvel that you missed them, even though you were excited to be away. Remove makeup, peel yourself out of fat-reducing underwear, put on comfy clothes. Yawn. Decide whether or not to devote a few minutes to “spousal intimacy” with the dogs in your bed with you, or just go right to sleep. Drool all over pillow until child dog wakes you up in the middle of the night for a drink/to tell you about a nightmare to be let out/to tell you there’s pee in the bed poop on the floor. Wake up at the crack of dawn to make breakfast for hungry children let dogs out again because, duh, who else is going to do it?

So you see? Bringing romance into your relationship is important, but becomes slightly tricky when kids dogs — and everything attached to having them — are thrown into the mix.

I think until they’re older for their lifespan, I’ll just be thankful for Netflix and popcorn, and the fact that my husband doesn’t care so much if my legs are stubbly or my outfit is old.

Just as long as there’s no poop under my fingernails.

Much thanks to Rita Templeton, the original author of this article.  Rita, if you’re reading this, it means that you’re awesome, and I hope that my blatant plagiarism is seen for the admiration it represents and not because I’m trying to steal your thunder (okay, maybe a little bit of it, until I get picked up as a blogger for HuffPost or HelloGiggles).

wedding planning as coping mechanism

So my wedding is almost here (8 days!) and I’ve been throwing myself into all the little details of the whole event, not just because I’m neurotic to the point that it makes me seem organized, but because it’s helping me escape the crap that goes along with it.

My bachelorette party was kind of a flop. Nine girls said they would celebrate with me, one was too sick to show, and never bothered to tell us, another was too ill to continue after dinner, (she had strep, I get it, go home and rest!) another had to work the next day because her command is going through hell right now, and another left early because her son’s birthday/college acceptance party was the next day. These are all understandable things, I know. However, when combined with the fact that three other girls left in the middle of it to go do something with someone else, then came back and said they had to leave, leaving three of us alone, sober, and calling for a ride home before the night could possibly get any worse… I got my feelings seriously hurt.

It’s also apparently my fault that they left because the girl throwing it said she was getting anxious because I didn’t appear to be having a good time. Uh, I was bummed that people kept leaving! Just because they had totally valid reasons for leaving doesn’t mean that it doesn’t suck that they had to go! How is this my fault?? Apparently I’m “hard to please” and “not easy to be friends with.” Fine. If that’s how you see me, then why bother? If I’m so high-maintenance and such a chore to be friends with, maybe we should just let the whole thing go!

Then, I call my future mother-in-law to get photos for a memorial we’re doing, and she tells me that I have to respond to a confirmation email from her husband (my Romeo’s step-father) from a computer, because if he sends them to my phone, the large files will break it. What?? So I try to explain to both of them that web-hosted email is the same whether it’s my phone or my desktop, and the guy says they will not be sending the photos, and FMIL tells Romeo that I called her ignorant. Seriously??

Then, I ask one of my bridesmaids if I can store my dress at her place until the wedding, tell her I’m picking it up today, and she says “cool.” Then she says she can’t come to the fitting because she has plans. Um. How am I supposed to get the dress into your house, then?? Luckily, another friend has said she wants to go, and will store it for me at her place.

Not to mention that of the 110 people I invited, only 50 are coming, and over half of the people who aren’t didn’t even bother to reply. Some of those who did were two weeks past the RSVP date. That’s ridiculous. That is so rude.

So I’m throwing myself into seating charts, escort cards, timelines, and sign-making to get my mind off of it. Most of the time it works, but sometimes, like right now, I sit and think: “what did I do to deserve this?” “Do I actually deserve this?” “Am I being too sensitive, or demanding?” I have no answers for these, I really don’t. I just know that it sucks, and I really, really hope that I won’t feel this way next Saturday. I don’t want to cry my makeup off…

i can’t deal anymore

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Yup. Six. That’s not even the worst part.

The shower was thrown by my Maid of Honor, who lives across the country, and she flew from Dallas to be there before flying home to her husband she almost never sees because she’s always traveling for work. Did I mention she rented out a rooftop venue and had it catered with a custom menu for us? Yeah. She did. Six people. Fuck my life.

I feel like the lame fat kid waiting for kids to show up to his birthday party and then spending it alone. Really? Our bridal shower? I understand maybe ditching a Cards Against Humanity night, or even a birthday thing, but our BRIDAL SHOWER? We only get one of those! Ever! I’m no-shit seriously considering canceling the wedding. Why throw a party costing tens of thousands of dollars so that people can be dicks and not show? We invited 110 people, the RSVP date is July 1, and we have 34 attendees. That’s pathetic. Pathetic.

I want to die. I’ve never considered suicide so seriously before now. The only reason I haven’t done it yet is because it would devastate my fiancé to have to put our dogs up for rescue, because he wouldn’t be able to care for them by himself, he works too much.

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Too dramatic, you say? What’s the big deal? It’s one party, everything will be fine? No. No it won’t. Because this has become the norm. This is what happens, and I know it’s because of me, because everyone loves my fiancé and they would never treat him like this. I’m a burden to the people in my life alive, and I’m a burden to my fiancé dead. Do you have any idea how that feels? Put aside whether or not you think it’s true, and imagine that you felt that way. Whether or not it’s true, rational, or ridiculous, that is exactly how I feel right now. I’ve been trying to sleep for four hours and can’t because I can’t stop thinking about how miserable I am and wondering if I would regret taking all of my sleeping pills at once with a bottle of vodka.

I can’t do this anymore, I just can’t. It’s not worth it. I don’t know why I think it’s worth it to keep trying. Even our officiant (a mutual friend) called and said he may not make it to the wedding. That’s how little people give a shit about me. I’m not asking for all of their attention, I haven’t deluded myself into believing that people are always going to be available whenever we have a party, but these invitations went out in April. APRIL! It’s not like they didn’t have time to plan! And even worse, I feel guilty for missing my friend’s birthday party tonight because I wanted to have dinner with my mother whom I see once a year and my sister-in-law whom I haven’t seen since 2012.

This sucks. I don’t even know what I’m going to do. I think I’ll take a Neurontin and hope I pass out…

if you’re going to treat me like shit, i don’t need you

I’m one of those people who really needs to be liked.  I go out of my way to make sure people feel comfortable, included, cared for, and appreciated.  To the point where I can’t enjoy my own parties, end up taking on extra work in groups, and spend entirely too much money on people I can’t even really count as friends.  This habit gets me way too stressed out, always ends up backfiring, and to be honest, I’m going to be 29 this year, I’m too old for this shit.

People who make fun of me for having a blog because it’s “stupid” should look at this: Interesting Facts about Blogs, it was written over two years ago, so I’m pretty sure the numbers are a little different, but there are some interesting factoids in here: “Most people read blogs more than once a day,” that surely doesn’t point to blogs being “stupid,” does it?  “Businesses that blog at least 20 times per month (4-5 week),  generate 5 times more traffic than those that blog fewer that 4 times per month,” point being: bloggers can make money.  Look at Jenna Marbles/Mourey, she started blogging in 2009 for Stoollala, and is now worth $2.5 MILLION.  To any dumb fuck that thinks blogs are stupid, tell her that.

The Huffington Post is a blog.  Gawker.  Lifehacker.  Fail Blog.  Business Insider.  Am I saying Always A Sailor is going to be like that?  Hell no!  This is my place to vent and sound off about stuff that I want to write about.  Does it matter that my number one post is about Navy tattoos?  No, I don’t mind that one bit.  The Navy and Tattoos was my 12th post, and you want to know why I wrote it?  It wasn’t so much to bitch about the chick who gets Navy tattoos and hasn’t “earned” them, it was mostly because I was trying to find information on military tattoos and had a ton of trouble figuring out their origins.  I thought that if I was looking for the information, maybe other people would want to know as well, so why not make a comprehensive list.  I thought about doing separate posts for all of the different branches, but let’s face it, no one has the diversity of tattoos that the Navy has, it’s just our thing.

I’m just done trying to defend myself, my use of hashtags on Instagram, the way I’ve decided to raise my dogs, (yes, you read that right, I have to defend the respectful treatment of my own dogs) and the fact that I’m a disabled veteran (I can’t tell you how many doctors, “shipmates,” and complete strangers have told me I’m faking.  Eat shit and die).  In order not to be a hypocrite, I’ll try not to judge others too harshly either (maybe I was a little over-the-top in my tattoo post, but whatever, it was three years ago, get over it).

I was just texting a friend about a get-together she’s having this weekend for her birthday (Happy Birthday, J!) and she said this:

I’m ready for my 20s to be over, I feel more classy because I’m older for some reason, like my age kind of makes me badass.

We talked about how we no longer feel it necessary to close bars, have ragers, and party like we will never party again.  Sometimes it’s cool to just hang out around the fire pit and talk about nothing, you know?  Everyone seems so obsessed with putting out this image of being a badass, and I don’t think you achieve it until you grow the hell up and get over all that crap.  Most of my friends and I are entering that “don’t give a fuck” portion of our lives where we’re old enough to realize life isn’t a goddamn competition, but still young enough that we can kick ass in anything we want to do.  I look at some of the people I served with, especially those that are out now (whether honorably or dishonorably), and I just think about how sad they are.  They still feel the need to treat others like crap to make themselves feel better.  I’m sorry your life wasn’t all you wanted it to be, but it’s life, that’s how it is!  One minute I’m considering asking someone my fiance and I served with to do a reading at our wedding, the next he’s being a narcissistic prick and I’m thinking “fuck you, buddy, I don’t want you around on the happiest day of my life…”

So, fuck it.  I’ve spent most of my life trying to make “the cool kids” like me.  Usually people stop after high school, but I joined the Navy, which is more like middle school, so I backtracked.  Now that I’ve been away from that crap for three years, am a graduate student, and am just so happy with my lot in life (except for the whole depression and handicapped things), that I simply don’t have time for the immature morons that insist on ruining it.  Social media seems to bring those things out in people too, they feel so powerful, sitting there behind their computer screens.  It’s disgusting.

So, now that I have trimmed some douche off of the wedding guest list, I can continue with my life, without these jerks anywhere near my radar…