help us help zoink!


So, we adopted this little puppy named Zoink…


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:


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:


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:


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:


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: 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.


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!

Not a Tea Party, a Confederate Party


This piece is fantastic, it starts off a little slow, but hang in there!

Originally posted on The Weekly Sift:

Tea Partiers say you don’t understand them because you don’t understand American history. That’s probably true, but not in the way they want you to think.

Late in 2012, I came out of the Lincoln movie with two historical mysteries to solve:

  • How did the two parties switch places regarding the South, white supremacy, and civil rights? In Lincoln’s day, a radical Republican was an abolitionist, and when blacks did get the vote, they almost unanimously voted Republican. Today, the archetypal Republican is a Southern white, and blacks are almost all Democrats. How did American politics get from there to here?
  • One of the movie’s themes was how heavily the war’s continuing carnage weighed on Lincoln. (It particularly came through during Grant’s guided tour of the Richmond battlefield.) Could any cause, however lofty, justify this incredible slaughter? And yet, I realized, Lincoln was winning. What must the Confederate leaders…

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life lessons from the sims

I’ve played The Sims since TS1 came out in 2003.  I mostly play TS2, but I’ve dabbled in TS3, and may try TS4, just to see if it’s any good.  In my 12 years of playing this addicting game, I’ve learned a few things about real life:

1.  It’s way more expensive to rent than to buy.

In The Sims 2: Apartment Life, apartments were introduced to The Sims, and while they seemed cool at first, it’s very soon apparent that renting costs a friggin’ fortune.  For example, I have an apartment building that rents one bedroom, one bath apartments with garages and sparse furnishings for $2,382 – $3,270 a week.  A week!  You can get a small house in the game for less than $20,000 (the amount your sims start off with).  That means that in less than ten weeks, your sims will have spent the equivalent of a small home they could have bought if they had just spent the cash up front.

Yeah, this POS apartment is expensive AF. Not worth it.

I went through the same thing when I got my first apartment in the Navy, it was a two bedroom, 2.5 bath townhouse that we rented for about $1,800 a month.  We lived there for three years, and spent nearly $65,000 in rent!  Conversely, when my husband and I bought our first house, we put $80,000 down, and we still have that $80,000, because we’ll get it back (and then some) when we sell.


2.  Doing well in school tends to lead to an easier life.

In The Sims 2: University, sims can go to college for various degrees, and build skills that come in handy when they graduate and get jobs.  Additionally, young adult sims in college can get up to $1,200 per semester if they get straight As.  I’ve found this one to be true in life, as well.  Doing well in school means that a) you actually know the subject of your major, and b) grants, scholarships, and even financial aid are more readily available.  I’m on the GI Bill, I have to get good grades, or they won’t pay me!  Maybe it’s just my ego talking, but it was pretty sweet to receive an Academic Achievement Award when I graduated with my Bachelor’s for having a perfect 4.0.  It’s also way easier to justify not working when I’m totally earning my right to be a full-time student by kicking butt in school.

School’s not all cheerleaders and jocks, you slacker!

After college, sims have all these skills they’ve built that allow them the opportunity to take higher paying jobs, because they have the base skills needed to work them.  Climbing the career ladder is a lot faster when you start out ahead of the game!  I haven’t gone back to work yet (still working on my MBA), but I’m hoping that this is also true in real life and that I won’t end up answering phones or flipping burgers with my knowledge of business, human resources management, and project/program management.


3.  Kids grow up fast.

In The Sims 2, sims get pregnant, and 75 hours later, a baby appears.  After three days, the baby will grow into a toddler, who, after four days, grows into a child.  Eight days later, they become a teenager, and teens have 15 days to decide whether or not they want to go to college as a young adult, and spend 24 days doing that, or waiting until the 15 days are up and growing into an adult.  For 29 days, adult sims do adult sim things (like working in their jobs and making sim babies), until they retire as an elder.  Elders who had crappy lives can live as little as nine days, but if they had a very happy, fulfilling life, they can live up to 31 days!

This one I know is totally true.  I don’t have kids yet, but I’m going to be 30 this year, so a ton of my friends do.  Even just watching them grow up on Facebook is insane!  A friend of mine in Virginia has a three-year-old boy, and I swear, he was an infant like a week ago!  Kids I used to babysit are now graduating high school and college, and some of them even have kids!  A friend of mine who’s a Chief in the Navy has grandkids!  She’s not even old!  Granted, she has these adorable braces and long hair that make her look 12, but still!

You’ll miss this when he’s trying to cook and burning the kitchen down.

On the other side of it, planning for retirement is freaking impossible.  Most people don’t die in their 40s and 50s anymore, so I kind of understand why organizations are taking away 20-year pensions.  When my husband retires at 38, he’s got at least 30 or 40 years before he kicks it.  That being said, he’s obviously going to go back to work, but how long are we going to work?  If we work until we’re 60, and die at 80, we have to save for 20 years of living!  What if we die at 90?  What if we live to be 100??  How the hell is anyone supposed to plan for that??  Right now, we each have a TSP, and he has a pension coming.  It’s not enough.  We need Roth IRAs and 401Ks and 403Bs and all this other crap that I don’t even really understand what it is, but I’ll be damned if we’re old as hell and can’t take care of ourselves!  I don’t let my elder sims hang around their kids’ houses when they’re old, those cranky bastards go to a retirement home!  (No, really, it’s brilliant.  I made a cheap apartment complex for them that is a lot like a retirement home, so I don’t have to deal with their shit…)

Why can’t ACTUAL elders look this good??


4.  If you come from a family with money, you’re set.

I’m not much of a liberal, I agree with the Affordable Care Act, and I support gay marriage and I’m not racist, but sometimes I think that people totally overplay the “you came from a well-to-do family, your life must be easy” card.  They don’t.  It’s totally true.  I have some sim families that are on their fourth or fifth generation and holy crap are their lives easy.  They have all this cash lying around, all this nice stuff they didn’t have to save for weeks to buy, and I have a custom checkbook object I can use to have my sims send money to people, like their kids when they go to college, so they don’t have to live in a crappy dorm, or their kids again when they’ve graduated and need more cash to buy and furnish a house, or their kids again when they retire to the home and don’t need hundreds of thousands of simoleans to sit there and play chess.  Because of that, my “legacy” sims don’t have to get jobs right away, can afford nice beds that recharge that energy bar quick, and kitchen appliances that make healthy food so they aren’t hungry right after eating.  They can take vacations when life gets too boring, and have more time to spend on their hobbies, for no other reason other than they like to tinker, or paint, or whatever.

Maybe it doesn’t translate directly, but it sure as hell makes sense to me that money begets money, and if you come from a family that’s got it, you have a way better chance of making it yourself.

Oh, you mean you’re not rich enough to wear a top hat while drinking champagne at a translucent desk covered in money in front of a saltwater aquarium??


5.  Some relationships are not meant to be.

In The Sims 2, you can make sims who are just perfect for each other.  At least you think they are until you try to rustle up some romanticism and one of them goes “eww, no” in simlish with a big thought bubble that says “I ain’t into that.”

I’m not digging your scene, man…

There is nothing more obnoxious than creating sims who just aren’t right for each other, or when you want two kids who have been BFFS4LYFE to take their relationship down make out road, and find that one or both of them won’t have it.

The absolute worst though, is when one sim is head-over-heels in love with another sim, and that sim feels no love.  I know it’s just a video game, but that makes me so sad.  I console my sims.  I tell them I’ve been there (I have) and that it will get better (it will), even if I have to call that annoying matchmaker to find them the perfect partner.

Ahhh, I see in my crystal ball that you think I’m obnoxious and should eat a bag of dicks…

Sometimes, you just have to let it go.  If you try to hold on too tight to someone, you end up scaring the crap out of them, and becoming someone you hate – whoever the hell .38 Special was singing about in that song.


What lessons have video games taught you?  Share your wisdom in the comments!

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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…