What Would You Do?

Oops… I keep forgetting about my blogging commitment. I don’t really have much to talk about. I guess I’ll tell a quick story about something weird that happened today.

I went to a cafe with some coworkers so we could play a tabletop card game over lunch. I know what you’re thinking and the answer is yes, we’re really cool. Anyway, halfway through our game, the girl at the table behind us tapped me on the shoulder. She asked me if I would watch her laptop. I agreed thinking it would only be a short thing. We were sitting next to the bathrooms after all.

But she didn’t go to the bathroom. She kept walking.

Seeing that she was walking toward the counter, I thought she was probably going to order something.

But she didn’t go to the counter. She kept walking.

Once she walked past the counter, I thought she was going to get some water.

But she didn’t go to the water. She kept walking. Right out the door.

At this point, my friends and I were stunned. Where was she going? Is this a set up? Are we on “What Would You Do?” with John Quiñones?

After a few minutes she came back into the store with big bag on her shoulder. She proceeded to leisurely walk to the counter and order something then wait at the counter until it was done. Upon receiving her coffee, she came back to her seat and sat down like she hadn’t just asked a group of strangers to watch her $1200 MacBook.

No “thank you.” No “screw you.” No acknowledgement whatsoever. I’m not sure if she was dumb or overly trusting or just incredibly entitled. Whatever it was she was definitely rude.

A Pop Cultural Education

As kids, we’re at the mercy of our parents. We eat what they decide we should eat. We wear what they decide we should wear. We experience the pop culture they decide we should experience. That’s how I missed out on some seemingly huge trends until I sought them out as an adult. Allow me to explain.

Being a boy, the bulk of my pop cultural education fell primarily to my dad. His likes became my likes because I wanted to be like him. For instance, my dad loved the Muppet Show. That’s why I’m a Muppet fan to this day. He loves Indiana Jones and Back to the Future. I love them too.

But it might be more telling to talk about the things my dad didn’t like. Two big pop culture touchstones come to mind. Brace yourself because these may shock you. My dad hates the Beatles.

I know. I know. Take a minute to calm down. Okay. Now keep reading.

Whenever a Beatles sing would come on the radio, he would change the station. When I asked him why he’d say that The Who was better. I’d always accepted that answer as fact because I had no reason not to believe him. In my sophomore year of high school I went through a classic rock phase and got a best of The Who CD for Christmas. Everything my dad had ever said about them was correct. I loved every song. It wasn’t until I was a freshman in college that gave a single thought to listening to the Beatles. I borrowed a friend’s Beatles 1 CD. After that, I was hooked. I realized that comparing The Who to the Beatles was like comparing pizza to chimichangas: they’re both awesome depending on which you’re in the mood for.

The second touchstone I missed out on just may get my nerd card revoked. Until very recently, I’ve only seen the original Star Wars trilogy once. I don’t have as clear an explanation for this one. All I can say is that my dad didn’t watch it when I was younger and I didn’t seek it out as I got older. Now the new movie is coming out so I thought I should watch them. I definitely see what all the hype was about! They’re really great. So much better than the prequels which I’ve seen numerous times because my parents had the movie channels.

Realizing how my dad’s tastes affected mine is pretty amazing. The different music and movies and TV that we experienced together informed who I am and the way I’ll pass things on to my kids. Sure, there were some gaps and some momentary lapses in judgement like our contemporary Christian music phase. But at least he didn’t get me into country. *shudder*

Donald Trump Scares the Hell Out of Me

Politics has never been my thing. I know that it has a profound effect on many aspects of my life but I’ve never been able to bring myself to get into it. Generally, my only opinion on politics is that politicians only care about winning for their party’s interests rather than representing their constituents. However, I have recently and rapidly formed an opinion on politics because of one man:

Donald Trump.

The man is a racist, xenophobic jingoist. He’s a spoiled child in the body of an oversunned 60-year-old. He can’t take criticism or any kind of a challenge. He has the vocabulary of a 3rd grader. And he scares the hell out of me. Well, not so much him as the fact that he’s so popular. I don’t understand it. His supporters say things like, “He’s a Washington outsider.” and “We need a businessman not a politician.” The problem with both of those statements lies in the fact that we need someone who knows something about foreign policy and diplomacy. Trump knows nothing about that.  I honestly believe if he were to be elected, our country wouldn’t last a year. And yet he remains insanely popular.

I think the most baffling part of Trump’s popularity is everything he’s gotten away with saying or doing. One such incident occurred a few months ago when Trump said he didn’t think that John McCain was a war hero because he “prefers his heroes not captured.” Think what you want about McCain but there’s no denying that he’s a hero. He was hung by his arms for so long during the Viet Nam war that his shoulders were permanently damaged. Beyond that, Trump is implying, for the sake of petty political squabbling, that POWs aren’t heroes. And somehow, his rightwing supporters let him skate on that instead of eviscerating him for having the audacity to belittle the sacrifices made by our armed forces.

Another idiotic claim he’s gotten away with is saying he’ll take 24-hours to explore any issue and know more than anyone on the subject. If I know anything about politics, it’s that politicians should have some knowledge of the situations they could face BEFORE they are elected into office. 24 hours could be too late. But that’s giving him the benefit of assuming that statement is even remotely true. It’s not. Much like everything else about Trump, it’s gross hyperbole.

And let’s not forget his campaign slogan: Make America Great Again. Let’s think about that for a second. Why does Trump think that America isn’t great? What does he think will change that? Actions speak louder than words and Trump’s actions have shown exactly how he thinks we can make America great for rich white guys like him. His first and only plan is to deport all illegal immigrants and build a giant wall along the Mexican border. And what was his justification for that? Illegal immigrants are bad people. Actually the specific term he used was “rapists.” Pretty telling if you ask me. Honestly, I think Trump’s slogan could easily be turned around on him and I hope that it is.

Here’s how I’d want it to play out. In a debate, someone (who is an actual politician) would say, “I like your slogan but I don’t like the sentiment you bring to it. You imply that we should make America great by getting rid of non-whites. I think we should make America great again by setting aside our petty partisan squabbling and grandstanding, reaching across the aisle, and doing what’s best for the American people, no matter their race, creed, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status.” Cue raucous applause that doesn’t end until Trump hangs his head in shame, walks off the stage and quits politics forever.

God, if it were only that easy.


So it turns out that Emma and I have screwed up Greta even more than we first thought. It’s clear she absolutely believes she’s dominant.

She nudges our hands for pets, we pet her.


She lays down when we’re trying to get her to do something, we let her get away with it or physically intervene.


We start walking through a door or up the stairs, she runs ahead of us.


Now it’s time to start making a change. And my God, this will be an uphill battle. It feels like a loss of power. Well actually it’s more like realizing how little power we actually had in the first place.
Emma is already having a rough time. I came home today and she was nearly in tears trying to get Greta to stand up without physical intervention. Finally she threw up her hands in frustration and I had to tag in. I took Greta on a walk so Emma could have some time to cool off, giving Greta a pep talk that I’m sure she ignored.

When we got back, I took her harness off and continued our passive training of pretending she wasn’t there. And it worked. She wants attention so badly that she came right to me when I called her. We praise in high tones so I took out my frustration by cussing her out in my praising voice.

Don’t judge me. It’s a coping mechanism. The only one I have right now.

Alpha Dog

Greta, our dog, has been a part of our family since July. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about dog ownership since then, it’s that no matter how cute you think they are you, have to act with authority. We’re two months away from having a baby in house. I’m not worried about how Greta will react to him. What concerns me is how she acts with other people around us. She is outrageously overprotective of Emma and me.

No matter if it’s someone at our door, a neighbor we see on a walk or the vet after she spent the day with her, she barks. She has made a habit of walking away from us instead of following the commands we’ve given her. We have let her get away with a lot. Way too much, in fact. We got her right after we found out we were pregnant. Today it hit me: she’s been an analog for our baby. Now we’re having to undo the damage we’ve done for the last six months.

It turns out, she thinks she’s the alpha dog. In fact, she exhibits every indicator. So it’s time for a serious overhaul. From now on we hold her to the commands we give her. From now on she’s not allowed on the couch. From now on we give a strong, assertive, definitive response when she barks, growls or lunges at someone. An uphill battle to say the least. But essential if we want people to feel safe coming over to see our baby.


Things have been preeeetty hectic around the homestead lately. So hectic, in fact, that I wasn’t able to come up with a New Year’s Resolution. I’ll be the first to admit that making resolutions just because the earth successfully made it around the sun again is silly. If you see a need to change something in yourself, work to change it immediately. Nobody’s perfect. And I make every effort to do that. But I still try to make a resolution anyway. There’s no harm in a little extra introspection.

This year I’ve resolved to be more assertive. I am an acquiescer. All too often I find myself floating through my own life, letting waves of other people’s decisions push me in any direction while cursing them mentally. But it’s time for a change. I know what I want. It’s time that I stood up for myself and get it. Or at least try.

My fear is attempting to seize control of my life but coming off as an ass in the process. I know there’s a way to do both. I just have to speak up politely.

It’ll be a huge step outside my comfort zone but it’ll be good for me.

Be Assertive

Back To Normal

So it looks like things are about to get back to normal. If only there was a way to digitally knock on wood. My 24-hour flu has passed. Now I’m starving and my neck is killing me. But I’m not vomiting so I’ll consider that a win. I’m ready for things to settle down. That means we can finally focus on getting all our baby stuff done. And believe me there’s a lot. It’s a little overwhelming to be honest. We’ll get there. I know we will.