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Sam Dobson Writes: May 2012

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Temporary Laziness

Good Morning All,

I hope you all had a good three day weekend full of bbq, booze, and sun. Mine was short, but sweet. And look at that, we are already one day away from the next weekend. I love weeks like this; the ones that just fly by, it seems like Sunday turned into Monday and then it was Friday. This is how I've felt all week. I let the day waste away until there is no more time left before bed and I haven't accomplished a single thing. It's a waste, really. I sit on the couch watching reruns of Prison Break with my boyfriend and constantly think about all the more productive things I could be doing, like writing!

I call this phenomenon "temporary laziness". The lifeless, almost comatose, state usually lasts only a couple of days, at the longest about a week. Symptoms include the inability to move your legs, carelessness regarding appearance, uncontrollable lust for your bed, procrastination of common tasks such as keeping house, loss of enthusiasm (even for sex), aversion to any food that isn't fast, and a perpetual sense of inertia. Sounds terrifying, doesn't it? Despite my inner monologue telling me to get off my ass, I simply cannot will my self to do so until the "temporary laziness" passes.

I'm sure many of you have fallen victim to these symptoms and the irritatingly useless feeling they bestow on you. You've read the previous paragraph and are now certain that you have experienced this before. The next logically thought: is there a cure? Not a cure necessarily, more like a regimen. It's the little ways in which you address the laziness that can break the spell. Don't push snooze when your alarm goes off. Unplug the television and take your dog for a walk. Do not allow yourself to stop for drive-through on your way home from work. The most effective way to wake up from your coma is to say yes to sex. If a good romp won't snap you out of it, what will?

The tough part for me is to not beat myself up after I finally come to (no pun intended). Once I've shed the idleness and become animated again, I start to feel guilty about all the time I wasted during my stupor. What is the sense in that? Yeah, I wasted a good amount of time but if I sit there and dwell I am again wasting time. Ah! The madness! I have to tell my inner monologue to shut the fuck up and move on. Time to put on my running shoes and exercise the dogs. The house needs a good scrub. My mind needs some stimulation, time to whip out my trusty pen and paper. This is how you recover. Keep moving, keep working, keep living. It's okay to take a hiatus from your busy life and devote a day to movies in bed, but the next morning you better spring to life when that alarm goes off.

Energetically yours,
Sam

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Survival of the Fittest Friendship

Good Morning Loyal Followers!

Sorry I have been MIA the past week. I had a horrible weekend of work, followed by an icky cold. The past few days I've had the voice of a fifty year old who's been smoking all her life, complete with a nasty cough. Not pretty. I would have liked to take the time I spent in bed to write, but if I so much as read a sentence my head felt like it would explode. So, I swallowed some cold meds and stayed in bed.

Today, I'm feeling better. A little bit of the cough and smoker's voice still lingers, but all in all I'm back on my feet. Couldn't be better timing either! Tonight is my turn to host Girl's Night, and it is the first Girl's Night in the new pad. Very exciting. Some of you who have been reading since the beginning (I applaud you) are aware of this ritual my friends and I practice called "Girl's Night". Basically, we set aside one night every couple of weeks or so for just us girls. No husbands or boyfriends. This time is consumed by drinking wine, snacking on carbs and cheese, and the ever important practice of gossip. Having our own grown up lives, it can be difficult for all of us to get together. Girl's Night is a special exception, and bailing is crime.

Friendships are an interesting concept. I think of all the "best friends" I've had over the years. Many of these friends-forever relationships were in fact not forever. Life gets in the way, people move, personalities change, etc. I had three best friends all through elementary and middle school. We literally spent almost every day together. We were sure we would all be friends forever. High school disrupted this perfect foursome. We started to hang out in different cliques and I eventually switched schools. In the present, I am only in touch with one of these girls, but I will always remember how close we were as kids. They will always be my childhood sisters.

High school can be brutal. Friendships betrayed and broken to make way for new ones. My four best friends now were my best friends in high school as well, but the group was a bit bigger. We lost a few friends along the way, mostly to out of state colleges. After that, we never really got close again. I find it strange that at one point, a group of friends can know everything there is to know about each other and later in life act like strangers or distant acquaintances. I guess those are the friendships that aren't meant to last.

Life long friendships take work. You become like family and have to navigate through all the drama that comes with it. I would say that my girlfriends and I rarely have heavy conflict, but we do have little dramas here and there. Even sisters fight. That's what we have become, sisters. We support each other through tough decisions. We keep each other in check and celebrate accomplishments. We guide each other when one is lost and help each other hold onto faith. True friends help each other up after we have fallen beneath ourselves, and afterwards love each other just the same.

This kind of friendship is rare. If you can withstand all the changes that life throws at you, then you've got something special. Surviving graduations, career changes, moves, tragedies, weddings, and children ensures a life long friendship. If you think you've got a lifer, hold on tight and don't be afraid to fight for that friendship. It won't always be easy, but no relationship ever is.

I invite you to take up our tradition of Girl's Night. You won't regret it. It will give you that much needed time to just sip wine and gossip with your girl friends. The best therapy money can't buy.

Friends forever,
Sam

PS: I want to sincerely thank all of you who follow my blog. I'm rather amazed by how many of you there are. If you would like to actually "follow" my blog, you can become a "follower" by clicking the "join this site" button to the right of this page, located above my current followers. You don't have to actually join, you simply sign in using your Gmail account or your Yahoo account.
Thank you again for your readership!

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Curse of Ignorance

Good Morning All!

Just a warning, this post will not be uplifting or inspirational. It will be the complete opposite. This is purely a post where I vent my frustration. Therefore, I will not be offended if you skip this one. Although, some of you may now be curious as to what has upset me so much. I'll tell you.

A few days ago I was browsing Facebook when I came across a post about a six year old boxer who has ended up at the Downey shelter. Immediately noticing that this boxer looks identical to my seven year old boxer Achilles, down to the undocked tail, I proceeded to the article that broke my heart. This poor boy's owner died and the next door neighbors where unable to locate family members of the deceased. So, they decided to dump the grieving dog at the Downey pound.

I will give these neighbors the benefit of the doubt. I will assume that they aren't dog people and have no idea what the conditions of county pounds are. However, ignorance is no excuse. Upon a bit of research they may have been able to place him with a more suitable, pro humane rescue organization. Being a dog lover, particularly a boxer lover, this story would not leave my mind at peace. I have been dwelling and dwelling on this poor boy, checking the Downey Pound's website every hour to see if someone has rescued this sad, lonely dog.



Despite the shelter workers telling me that there is a lot of interest in this boxer, he has yet to be adopted. This boy has been at the pound since May 9th, that is longer than most pound puppies get to find a new home. The articles say he is a staff favorite, very sweet but obviously depressed. Can you blame him?! He just lost his only companion of six years and then gets dumped into doggie hell! Needless to say, I immediately called my mother and reminded her that I would haunt every family member if they did not find a suitable home for my dogs upon my untimely demise (knock on wood that doesn't happen).

I know, I have ruined your day. Your once upbeat attitude about it being so near the weekend has slid into Debbie-downer mode. I apologize. All of you that know me, know I will not leave you hanging like this. Rest assure, if this poor boy still isn't adopted, I will find a way to help him. I pray that someone would show my four-legged children the same kindness.

To be continued...
Sam

***UPDATE: I called the Downey shelter at 12:20pm on Thursday and found out that this boxer was adopted at 11:45am. I hope he found a forever home that will provide him with plenty of love!

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Guest Post for The Brighter Writer

Good Morning Faithful Readers!

A few months ago I was asked by my fellow blogger, Krista Fuller, to write a guest post for her blog while she was transitioning through a move across states. Of course, I was flattered and was very excited to do it! I'm still fairly new at this blog thing and it's exciting to get an opportunity to get new readers. This morning Krista posted my post on her blog: http://thebrighterwriter.blogspot.com/ . Krista's blog is super entertaining. She updates it daily with something fun and different. One day it's a recipe, the next it's a music playlist, and another day it's an adorable story about her daughter. Check it out, you won't be disappointed!

Simply because I am too lazy to write a new post when there is a perfectly good one you haven't read yet, the following is the post that I wrote for Krista's blog. Enjoy!

Hey there, Krista’s readers! It’s nice to have a fresh audience. When Krista asked me if I wanted to post as a guest on her blog, I was all for it. Blogging is fun for me, as long as I have something to write about. It is exciting to know that people are reading my words and following my posts. Having someone you didn’t expect to read your blog tell you that they do is pretty awesome. This happened to me the other night. While out for drinks at the local bars, I ran into some old friends with whom I haven’t spoken to or seen in at least a year. I was very surprised to learn that they read my blog. I in no way expected that and it was just the boost I needed to continue to push myself with my writing. 

I get discouraged every now and then. Unlike Krista’s blog, which is packed with a variety of awesomeness including recipes, playlists, and lots of pictures, my blog is simply my words. There is no flair, just my thoughts. I can’t imagine why anyone would care enough what I thought (aside from my dear friends and family who are obligated to care) to sit and read through my posts. Even so, I continue to crank out at least two posts a week; writing down whatever happens to be on my mind and in my opinion “blog worthy”. I like to write and my dream job is to work in publishing, reading fresh manuscripts. This is why I continue, despite the fact that no one may give a shit.

Goals and dreams are important. They keep us going and push us to be better people, the people we actually want to be. I know that most people end up settling with career choice, dropping their favorite hobby, or giving up on the dream to be a pro something. There is nothing wrong with adjusting your life to move forward or to simply survive, but I think it is a great injustice to let go of your dreams completely. When you give up on your dreams, you loose a part of yourself.

Even if you have to take that less glamorous job in order to feed your kids, you should hold onto your dreams in some way. You may not end up getting paid to surf, but that doesn’t mean you should stop paddling out. When life gets too busy, don’t forget to make time for that special hobby. Doing the things we love, to any degree, keep us sane. You may not have Picasso’s talent, but that doesn’t mean you should put down the paint brush. Life is boring when you cut out all the extracurricular. 

I encourage you all to hold onto those dreams and push forward towards your goals. Dreams give us hope and goals keep us focused. You dreamed of becoming a famous singer but don’t have the vocal skills of Adele? Don’t stop singing. Sing into your shampoo bottle, imagine you’re in concert when you’re behind the steering wheel, and rock Monday night karaoke. Your goal is to become a doctor but you don’t know where to start and the process seems overwhelming? Pick a school and make an appointment with counselor. Enroll in classes, even if you have to apply for financial aid, and don’t be tardy! You’ll be popping champagne at the opening of your own private practice one day if you work hard enough.

I have faith in us. Go get ‘em, guys!

Inspiringly yours,
Sam




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Friday, May 11, 2012

Love is Love is Love

Happy Champagne Friday All!

One thing to celebrate this Friday, the President declaring his support for same-sex marriage. I was quite pleased when I heard the news. It is baffling that in a "free nation" people are still getting denied a basic right. To put it bluntly, I don't believe it is any of the Government's business who it's citizens marry, or anyone else for that matter. The only people who should be concerned are those actually saying their vows to one another. I just don't understand why people get so concerned with how others choose to live their lives.

The most common argument is that same-sex marriage is unnatural and that marriage should be between a man and a woman. It wasn't that long ago that relationships between people of different race were believed to be unnatural and against the law. Both allegations are ridiculous. Who is anyone to judge? Being gay is not a crime and thus, those who define themselves as so should not be treated as second-class citizens.

To the angry, ignorant assholes who make it there mission to keep same-sex marriage from happening I ask you, why do you care? How does it affect you? Is your own life so horrible that you are hellbent on spreading your misery? Get over it! Same-sex marriages aren't threatening the sanctity of marriage, not in a society enthralled with reality shows like "Who wants to Marry a Millionaire", "The Bachelor", and "My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance". Arranging marriages between complete strangers for money on national television is not protecting the sanctity of marriage.

My favorite college professor often talked about a theory she called parallax. Long story short, parallax basically argues that no two people's feelings and experiences are the same. In other words, every view point is unique. I can't even imagine what it would feel like not being allowed by law to marry the person I loved, having my government tell me my relationship is morally wrong. Those who oppose same-sex marriage obviously don't understand the concept of parallax. They have never thought about how it would feel to have the fate of their personal relationship on public trial, for the whole world to debate. It's an ugly reality with an utter lack of sympathy.




We can't control who we love and it shouldn't matter who is on the receiving end of it. Love isn't about worrying what others think. Love isn't concerned with race or gender. Love doesn't require wealth and status. Love has no need for judgment. In love, there is no room for hate. Love requires understanding, sympathy, and equality. That is why love makes us better people.

Love always,
Sam

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Monday, May 7, 2012

What a Mighty Good Man

It's Monday, the day that takes us back to reality and five days of work. Monday doesn't seem so dreadful if you've had a good weekend. For me, the weekend consisted of barbecuing carne asada, going out dancing, and champagne brunch. The perfect end to a great weekend, and the perfect cure for my subtle hangover, was a relaxing bubble bath complete with candles and Jack Johnson tunes that my incredibly sweet boyfriend had made for me. As I sunk into the tub and relaxation mode, my memory took me back to a time when Blake had to wait on me hand and foot.

Last February, after working with dogs for no less than four years, I finally got bit. I don't mean nipped, I have been nipped at dozens of times. This time, I needed medical attention. My right forearm was bit into and used as a rag toy for a good minute before it was released. Completely shocked, I ran around in circles for a bit, cradling my arm until I was brave enough to examine the damage. As much as I didn't want to admit it, I clearly needed stitches. I kept my brave face on until Blake picked me up to take me to the urgent care; the second I saw him the tears came.

Before the doc stitched me up.

I was seen right away at the urgent care. My wound was cleaned and stitched while I grimaced and kept my head turned in the opposite direction. While I squeezed his hand, Blake watched the doctor as he scrubbed the inside of puncture and sewed  my skin back together. Afraid there was structural damage from the powerful jaw that whiped my arm back and forth, I was taken for an x ray. My forearm was only sprained but I had suffered some nerve damage that would leave parts of my hand numb for weeks.

After the doc stitched me up.

Not being able to use my right arm, I was out of work for a week. I basically lounged on the couch while Blake tended to my every need. You would be surprised how limited I was without the use of my dominate hand. My left hand was suddenly getting a work out it wasn't used to. Clumsily, I brushed my teeth with  my left hand. Blake even had to help me button my pants. He carefully wrapped my damaged limb in a plastic bag and helped me wash my hair, which he did like a pro. I was very grateful to have his help until the swelling went down and the pain lessened.

About a week after the bite.

Lounging in the bubbles yesterday, it was the memory of Blake washing my hair that took me back to that time. It's the little things that reassure me I've gotten lucky. I have a man who was raised right by his momma. He will draw me a soothing bubble bath just because, but he will also be there to wash my hair when I'm unable. If you've got a man that brings you chicken noodle soup when you're sick or gives it all he's got to make you laugh when you are feeling sad, then you've gotten lucky too. It's easy for him to be around when everything is happy and well. If he doesn't run when the going gets tough, he's a keeper.

Nothing like a bit of mushy romance to start the dreaded work week. Remember to give your man props if he's ever held your hair back while you're hugging the toilet.

Hopelessly in love,
Sam

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Our Boyfriends' Epic Failures

This is an advisory label, so to speak, before you begin to read this. To my dearly cherished best friends, some of you are in this post, but fear not, your names will not be. I would warn your current or previous boyfriends, but I doubt they will be reading this; some of them will also  make an appearance in this post. Aha! Got you curious, didn't I? Well, you'll just have to read on.

This story begins yesterday when I received a rather humorous mass text from one of my best friends, let's call her Mary. Mary and her boyfriend, we'll call him Mark, just got back from a weekend getaway upon which he behaved like an ass. Knowing he was in the dog house, Mark apologized the best way possible; he had flowers delivered to Mary at work. Sweet, right? Let's go back to that text message my girlfriends and I received yesterday; It was a picture of a dog made out of carnations. Anyone close to Mary knows that she isn't all that fond of dogs and that carnations aren't her favorite flower, not by a long shot. Despite the epic fail, I reminded Mary that it is the thought that counts, not the arrangement. Still, the doggie bouquet seen around the world did make for a good laugh amongst best friends.

The flower debacle isn't the first time Mary had received questionable gifts from a beau. A previous boyfriend of hers, we can call him Board Game Nazi, was by her side when she completed her Masters degree. Such a special occasion calls for a special gift, like a crystal make-up brush. Wait, what? A single crystal make-up brush that is to be looked at, not used. Apparently he got Mary confused with his grandmother.

Mary isn't the only lady to have boyfriends who simply crash and burn when it comes to gifts. Another best friend of mine, code named Sally, got possibly one of the worst presents ever from her boyfriend during their first Christmas together. Sally's boyfriend, code named Steve, got her a pair of size eight men's golfing shoes. She doesn't golf and a size eight men's shoe won't fit her. Steve, to his credit, didn't realize they were men's shoes instead of women's and has continuously made it up to Sally with each birthday, anniversary, and Christmas that has come to pass.



It may seem as though I am picking on my friends' boyfriends, but I assure you I am not. I have also fallen victim to poorly thought out gifts. A previous boyfriend of mine did so good for my first birthday with him that I never thought there would be an issue. Complete with a surprise party and a digital camera, I was very impressed. A few weeks later at Christmas, that confidence was no where to be found. Having just suffered through my birthday, expenses were tight for him. I very excitedly unwrapped a tiny package to find a thong underwear with a very naughty phrase on it, which I won't share here for the benefit of parents that may be reading. It would probably make them shudder to their core. Anyways, the inappropriate panties were supposed to be a joke, the very adorable boxer puppy that I gifted him, was not. Perhaps sensing that even a simple card would have been better, this boyfriend learned from his epic fail and did not disappoint in the future.

We aren't shallow, we are best friends (basically sisters) so we share everything with each other. There is no embarrassment and no judging. We know that these men have the best of intentions and we don't blame them. Men can be dense and they have to be taught if they haven't been already by mothers and sisters. You have to casually slip into conversation the name of your favorite flower early on in the relationship. You have to drop hints like crazy, even if you feel like you are being obvious; I promise you, you aren't. Sometimes, there is no other option than to simply tell them what you would like for your birthday. Even so, this is all material. It is what is beyond the material that matters. These men love us, so much so that they probably racked their brain for hours trying to come up with the best gift idea. These feelings are what's important, not what is under the wrapping paper.

Graciously yours,
Sam

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