dogs, Murphy

Murph

When I was little, I begged for a dog. (If I find the letter I wrote to my parents asking for one, I’ll make sure to share it with you.) Eventually they gave in and we got Pepper, a sweet, escape artist, eat everything, beagle mix. She was an adult so we didn’t have to deal with that crazy puppy stage. After Pepper passed on, we got Maggie, a cocker spaniel puppy. I think my sister did the begging that time. I don’t remember a whole lot of her puppyhood, mostly because I think she was pretty tame. And I think we carried her everywhere so she never had a chance to get into anything.

As an adult I wanted a dog on and off but was never living in a place I could have one. Nor did I have a lifestyle that would allow for good care of a dog. But then I bought a house with a fenced yard. You have to have a dog if you have a fenced yard, right?! It helped that my sister and her boyfriend were living with me and would be home to let him out when I couldn’t. I would never have done it without them, which was probably an even better reason not to get a dog. But I did. (I also bought my house on this reasoning. Thankfully they wanted to stay when I decided to escape the state.)

I started searching online and it didn’t take too long before I found this little thing, named Poseidon:

Cutest thing ever?

Cutest thing ever?

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I wanted him so badly! Though having done some research I wasn’t sure I could really keep a herding dog entertained and he was a supposed Corgi/Australian Shepard mix. I don’t remember exactly how it went down, whether I waited to apply, or waited and never heard, but shortly after I found him he disappeared from the site. Bummed, I considered giving up the search. I tried applying for one of his siblings but it was quickly snatched up. So I decided to wait and think more about this big decision. I looked on and off for a couple of weeks and a coworker was looking for me too. He sent me a picture of the little fur ball I had wanted a couple weeks prior. Poseidon was back! Apparently he had acquired Parvo and through treatment survived. I immediately applied and was invited to visit him.

He was the friendliest little thing ever, and though I rarely find dog clothes cute he was pretty charming in his puppy sweater. He was definitely going to be mine. But when? St. Patrick’s Day was approaching and I couldn’t leave him home all day so I planned the required house visit for the day after. It worried me that I might not pass so when the foster came with him that day, did a sweep of the yard and left him there, I couldn’t believe it! I immediately renamed him Murphy.

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Wiped out by all the excitement of his first day with us.

I wasn’t really prepared for the kind of puppy he turned out to be. While it was cute at times, it was exhausting at others. He’d go on a rampage of running around and tearing up whatever he could find. Paper, a shoe, a door, a wall. Nothing was off limits. And maybe because of all he got into, or a weak stomach after parvo, he got sick a lot. So I gave a lot of money to his vet.

One month after he moved in.

One month after he moved in.

Puppy playgroups and roughhousing with Ben seemed to calm him down a bit and with some training he picked up some manners. Ben and Katie got home early to let him out and eventually Katie worked from home a lot so he had company all day. So when I decided to move, I wasn’t quite sure what to do with him. He was my dog, but after a long vacation I was definitely #3 on his list. I considered leaving him in Minnesota till I settled in but was afraid he’d love me even less/hate me even more when I finally moved him out here. Had I got a job right away, I would have left him there for awhile. Being jobless when I moved, I figured it was the perfect opportunity for us to reconnect.

And we have! Almost every day I’ve been here, he’s gone everywhere with me. We’ve visited the farm, dog parks, people parks, any bar/restaurant that allows dogs, the St. Patrick’s Day parade, marinas… he even flew back to Minnesota with me for awhile. Though he was definitely depressed for a few weeks, I think he’s finally come out of it. It helps that he gets a ton of attention when we’re out. While with him, I get zero. Questions about him are directed at him and I awkwardly have to answer. At the same time, I really enjoy watching strangers smile at him and overhearing “look at that ear!”

Murphy0001

The point of it all is that yes, he can be a pain. He might be one of the few things I ever complain about. (a friend once remarked, “you don’t even like your dog.”) Though we’re pretty similar being extremely social and always needing to be on the go, he needs to be on the go a little more than I do. And he’s not much of a cuddler. (no one told me there were dogs that don’t like to cuddle!) (and shortly after I finished this post, he wanted to cuddle. odd.)

But I do like him! I love him. He makes me laugh, gets me outside first thing in the morn and brings joy to me and quite a few others. I’m not sure I would have seen as much of the city had I not been thinking of places he could go. If you ever hear me grumble about him, know that it comes from a very complicated love (and punch me because complaining is dumb). He has squashed my freedom but stolen my heart.

Confirmed. Cutest thing ever.

Confirmed. Cutest thing ever.

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dating, love, moving

Tinder

It was my first weekend alone in a new city, my roomie went out of town. And though I don’t mind being alone, it was Valentine’s Day, President’s Day weekend, and that made for 3 nights of just me and my dog.

I don’t care about Valentine’s Day much either, so it wasn’t one of those desperate lonely girl acts. I’ve been single for over 7 years, it has pretty much zero meaning. And even when I was dating someone in a period that included that day, I didn’t care. Of course his best girl friend told him I was just saying that to test him. She said that about a number of things I did. Pretty sure that’s why that one didn’t work out.

But of course, I was in a new city, hanging out with my dog and Facebook and everyone was out that night but me. I had heard about Tinder so I figured, why not see who’s single and hot around here? I browsed for awhile, swiped way more left than right and headed to the bar. I was quite surprised, (and flattered!) to see how many handsome matches I had. The next morning I discovered that after a few drinks I had added something to my profile about being there for nothing more than a drinking buddy and make-outs.

I spent the rest of the weekend Tindering and hanging out at the neighborhood bars. I had far more fun chatting with the bar staff than swiping through Seattle singles but I kept at it anyway to pass the down time. I don’t think I ever really thought I’d make a date out of any of them, it was more a nice reassurance that there were plenty of handsome single men out there just waiting to hike, travel around the world, play with puppies (and some kittens, ish), hang out with nieces/nephews, volunteer in poor countries, skateboard, surf, cook fantastic meals, run marathons and cuddle with me. (apparently almost every single guy does all of these things. AMAZING!)  I don’t think I’d been on a date in Minnesota for a couple of years.

But I felt bad leading anyone on, so I did agree to meet up with a guy that I chatted with for awhile. We went out for a beer one afternoon. We had plenty to talk about but I just didn’t feel anything. I’m not even sure I ever laughed at him. If you know how easily I laugh, you’ll understand how sad that is. And he is an aspiring comic! So more sad for him. The next day I had an interview downtown and he happened to be there as well. He suggested we meet up so he could show me something. He took me up to the 17th floor of some tower and brought me out onto a patio with an amazing view of the sound and city. After that it was just awkward. He tried to chat, I stared at the mountains. I’m a horrible date.

I met up with two other guys and it was more of the same. One of them I went out with solely because he’s a fisherman. I’m convinced I need to marry a guy who spends a ton of time on a boat. He fished out of Cordova, where I spent most of my time in Alaska, so we shared stories of the town and had a nice time. Ended the night at bar with karaoke, I sang a song, he fell in love, I brushed him off. Same old story.

The third one, there’s really not much to tell. Looks wise, he was right up my alley. Super tall, broad, very capable of growing a beard. And that was it.

If you’re like me and aren’t really into the whole online dating thing, I’d recommend Tinder. You’re only connected with those who like you too (or accidentally swipe right, oops!), you don’t have to read much and it leans more towards meeting now than messaging for days. (this article kind of sums up my swiping tendencies.) Sure, plenty of people use it for hook-ups but many profiles I’ve browsed adamantly expressed that was not what they were looking for. (right!) I’ve since deleted the app as I’m content not to be dating right now. If I meet a handsome guy at the bar, fine.

And if you’ve ever wondered how I could possibly be single, you probably know now.

 

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Uncategorized

Reinvention

A couple of weeks ago my dog and I checked out the Center For Wooden Boats on Lake Union. Just as we were leaving it started to rain so we took shelter under a shack that housed some little rowboats. Shortly after a man approached and started talking to me. He volunteered there and told me all there was to do and see in the area. We talked for quite awhile but what most stood out to me was when he said a lot of people move out here to reinvent themselves.  It’s nothing I had intended by moving away but I think I just might. Before I left I found myself being a person I strongly disliked. Not keeping commitments and being flaky. And perhaps it was because I knew I was leaving, but there was really no good excuse.
I told him that I would reinvent myself as a sailor. So that is what I’ll try to do. I want nothing more than to be on the water, Rainier and the Olympics in view. A sailor is not the most likely to be reliable, but I’ll see what I can do.

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travel

150 Years of Yosemite

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Yosemite Grant Act, protecting Yosemite and the Mariposa Grove. (Thanks Abe!) I’m definitely going to visit as there are a ton of events scheduled and I’ve been longing to get back ever since I last saw it in my rearview mirror. (4 years ago this August. way too long! the photo in my header was taken on that trip.)

Some day I’d like to work there or another of our western national parks. Until then, if anyone would like to join me for some camping and hiking, I’d love to have some company. I’m thinking June or August. Let me know! In the meantime, check out this beautiful site and learn all about Yosemite and other national park topics.

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road trip, travel, Uncategorized

Chimney Tops

The very best day of my outdoor life came the fall of 2009. I had been laid off of work for a few months and decided to head down to the smokies, one of my favorite road trips. I wrote pretty extensively of this trip in Facebook’s notes, so I’ll reshare what I wrote then.

–Sunny day! I decided to stay another night so I can enjoy the park in the sun.

Chatted with the man at the front desk a bit, he’s from Ohio but was stationed in the south in the 70’s. Moved back home in 77, got married, started a family. Tried to convince his wife to move down here for 31 years and finally did it last summer. They love it here. I do too. Though my waiter friend told me not a lot of people that work here in town actually live here. And it’s not quick drive anywhere around here so I’m not sure how I’d like it. It would be a great temporary move though. I just hope it doesn’t take me 31 years to end up where I want to be.
Had corncake pancakes at the Pancake Pantry and some chocolate milk. Soooo tasty.
Today may have been the best day of my life.
Seriously.
I decided to hike Chimney Tops. It was noted as strenuous but at only 4 miles round trip, I didn’t think it could be that bad. I was mistaken. I’m sure for my more seasoned hiker friends it would have been a breeze. I climbed about 1700 feet of the most steep, rocky and wet terrain I have ever seen. It was incredible. And I was incredibly sweaty.
Oh before I forget, I saw 2 more bear today on my way to the trailhead. Right where I saw them yesterday. However, a soccer mom was right up my trunk and I couldn’t stop quickly enough to get a picture. Thankfully she had enough room to pull off the road for a good view of them. <sarcasm> The bears were still there when I came down. Though I think they were in the trees cause I couldn’t see them from the road. I knew they were there though by all the dumb people in the road and the rangers directing traffic. They were still there nearly an hour later, kind of wanted to stop for the photo op but the crowd was insane.
So where was I? Oh yeah, super sweaty! I tried to hide every time someone passed me. :p. Fortunately that wasn’t too often, I guess that strenuous rating keeps lazy people away and the serious hikers are on the less advertised trails. So I reached the end which is this massive rock formation. The trail to the top of it is closed but you can climb up the rocks if you want. Um, scary. I have never done anything like that. This family I had passed had a son way up top already, I thought he was nuts. I started up a bit but paused. Then mom and young daughter of the family head up. I figure if I follow them it will be easier. They stop pretty early on. Daughter wants to go up to bro but mom says no way. She pleads. Mom keeps saying no and adds that she is annoying the rest of us with her whining. Nice. Son goes all the way to the top. Eventually he comes back down and mom is scared to watch. So am I so I decide I won’t go much further. However after the fam and two others left I decide I’d go up a little more to a more comfortable spot. So I sat for awhile, just soaking up the sun (my face is way burnt!) a man passes me and tells me to continue isn’t any harder than what I’ve already done. I consider going up but he disappears and I don’t want to fall off the mountain with no witnesses. 5 teens, 2 guys 3 girls, climb up the rocks like mountain goats (I told them this). The girls were in skirts! They disappeared over the top. Two guys come up and talk to me a bit. One of them asks if I’m afraid of heights. He thinks I’m frozen in fear on the rocks and afraid to move. I’m not afraid of heights at all, and while I was afraid to go up, down (from that point) didn’t scare me. They offered to help me up but I declined. I immediately regretted it. Eventually the mountain goat family came back down and they offered to go back up to help me. They were so nice. I knew I’d hate myself if I didn’t so one of the skirts went up and led the way. There was really only one rock that scared the crap out of me, it appeared almost vertical. Once I got past that I didn’t need too much of her help. She offered to stay to help me down but I figured the guys up there would help if need be. The kids were from Indiana, I really don’t know where they learned to climb like that. It may have been more like watching Spidermen than goats. I feel like I should explain that I probably would have climbed right up if I had a partner. I just kept picturing myself tumbling down the mountain with no one knowing I was even there.
So I got up top and the view was amazing. The guys seemed happy I made it. We talked a bit and they offered me water. I said no. They offered again, so I took one. Then one offered me a cookie. Said no. Offered again. Think I said no again. One more time. I said yes. They said apparently no means yes with me. They sure figured me out fast! :p I don’t know how long we were up there but it was quite awhile. And so much fun! They had me laughing the whole time. Eli and Daniel, from NC. I think they’d be my best buds if I lived near them.
At one point a guy comes up and has a butterfly on his hat. Eli told him and he replied that it had been following him the whole way up. Eli took a pic for him and it flew away only to land on me a short time later! Then on Daniel. Eli took it from Daniel so he could get a pic. They decided it must be thirsty so they put some water in a bottle cap and fed it. It was pretty neat. Did I mention that these two were also scared by “killer” squirrels or chipmunks on their way up? Now they’re feeding a butterfly. I was kind of questioning their manhood. :p
At one point I mentioned I was at Fridays last night and they asked if I was the loud one cheering and high fiving during the game. They had been sitting in a booth at the bar! If only I had met them last night, I could have had some more fun.
Eventually we decided to head down. I was glad to have them there, that steep spot was scary! I hiked back down the mountain with them. Lots more laughs, they were so much fun. I wish I could remember some of the things they said. I was giving them a pretty hard time but rightfully so, who is afraid of squirrels??
Oh, some couple told me I should go some place in Maine, I need to remember that. Lots of fun rocks to climb I guess.
We reached the trailhead and we were all planning on seeing the sunset from Clingman’s Dome (highest point in Smokies) but first Daniel wanted a funnel cake with ice cream. So we said a temporary goodbye and drove off. Me to my hotel to shower and change.
Headed to the dome, stopped to take some pics on the way and met a nice couple from Washington. They, like myself, hadn’t seen any Minnesota plates either. Minnesota, I beg of you. Visit the Smokies! I’ve been to higher mountain ranges but I don’t know that I’ve loved them as much.
I pulled into the parking lot and Eli and Daniel were just getting out of their car. Bad news, no funnel cake. They got in the shop but the woman said she was closed. Very sad.
It was so windy up there! And cold as a result! Daniel had to change out of his shorts and into the track pants that matched his jacket. I told him he looked like a grandma and we headed up the hill. It is paved but WAY steep. Boys needed to stop for a break. Made me feel less out of shape than I am! We got up to the observation tower, where on a clear day you can see 7 states or something. So windy and even more cold but we stuck it out till the sunset and it was so worth it. I hope at least a few of the 70+ pictures I took of it do it justice. Of course there were a lot more laughs and a few awkward moments. Like when a guy from our earlier hike showed up after telling them he was going somewhere else (they told him they were going there, creepy!), or when a kid asked his parents if America and the United States were the same and I couldn’t contain my laughter, or when Eli said my hair was reddish and I loudly said it wasn’t red when a redhead was standing right behind Daniel. (my hair is NOT red!!!!)
The sun went down and it was time to leave. Luckily for me the guys were prepared, they brought flashlights. And glow sticks. Yes. Glow sticks. They gave me one. We hosted a rave in the tower then went back down the hill. I was a little sad to say goodbye to them knowing I’d probably never see them again. We did exchange email addresses so we can share pics though, and I will find them if I’m in NC again.
I hadn’t even thought that another bonus to being in the mountains For sunset would be the stars. They were amazing. I sat and watched them for a bit before making the 30 mile mountain drive back to town. I saw 3 creatures, two were fox and I initially thought the third was but it may have been a coyote. I so love the wilderness!!
I debated whether I should go to bed or eat when I got back. Eating won. Went to Calhoun’s, a local joint and sister of the brewery from the other night. Initially I regretted it cause the menu didn’t impress me but I was too lazy to move. Told the bartender gal I wanted the fresh Calhoun chicken (per the menu). “Calhoun chicken?” she asked. Yes. “side?” Corn puddin’ (again per menu.) “Corn puddinG?” AGH! I was not going to sit there all night if she was going to keep this up. Luckily she was cut. And the corn puddinG was effing fantastic.
I talked to the other bartender a bit, sounded like he was kind of displaced by Katrina. He almost moved to Minneapolis too. (I’m starting to think the servers here are trained to tell that story.) He said everyone there is really nice. I argued that people here are nicer. He agreed but said they’re a lot less intelligent. So I guess we have something going for us up there!
Wow, Jason Bateman is hot.
I finished my meal and Adam sold me on their banana pudding. Homemade white chocolate macadamia nut cookie crust, layer of bananas, pudding, hand whipped cream and shavings of some exotic something or other. I didn’t need it but asked to take it to go. He went to the kitchen. They were out! Guess I’ll have to come back for it. That really bums me out. :p
I am very much dreading the ride home tomorrow. I imagine I’ll be sore from today and extremely tired. Oh, and I just never want to go home. Zombie pub crawl on Saturday though, gotta make it back for that!
Oh, lesson learned today: People are amazing.

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moving, Seattle, Transit, Uncategorized

You might not wanna go in there…

Some updates since I last posted…

I am truly happy to be here.

Every day there is something that makes me smile and I know I made the right decision. Don’t get me wrong, I have times when I miss hanging out with my sister, fam, friends and the crazy group of pals I worked with, but I know they’re just a quick flight away. And it’s fun compiling a long list of all the places I’ll take them when they come to visit. If you know of a must see place in Seattle, I’d love to add it to my list.

Today was day 5 of my new job. It’s not too bad being back at work and so far the office seems pretty cool. I have views of Puget Sound and the Olympic mountains. There were so many days when I was contemplating my move that I’d stare out of my office tower at the flat lands surrounding it and feel so empty.

I’m trying to figure out the best way to get to work and not leave Murph locked up too long so I’ve experimented with different buses, driving to buses and Car2Go. The bus keeps me away far too long but I love being able to check out all the boats in Fisherman’s Terminal rather than giving them a fleeting glance. I’ll likely end up driving a lot when I replace the van. Yes, the sunroof still leaks. I have yet to completely surround it with duct tape.

There are plenty of good places to eat near the office and my coworkers love to get out. That was one thing I always enjoyed about being Downtown Minneapolis so I’m glad to have that again though I’m already making a point to bring my lunch now and then. Tough to do when all I want to do is try every single food place right now!

If you haven’t seen a Bubba Keg, you need to check them out. I’ve had one for years and found it the best way to get all the water you need. Mine is 52oz and I’ll often drink at least 2 of them a day. Where it becomes a problem for me now is that there are only 2 bathrooms for our office and the other offices in our area of the floor. Each is clearly marked for men or women but the men will use either if theirs is full. One lunch trip the guys were explaining that to me and how it is common courtesy to let a gal know she might not want to enter. I never want to be on the receiving end of that message but think I’d forever hate a coworker that didn’t warn me. So if you’d all hope for me to never be in the situation at all, I’d appreciate it. And a very sincere ‘you’re welcome’ to anyone who has read a previous post about bathroom related activities and was hoping I’d share more.

If you happened to read my post about the guy living in the park, he’s still there. He disappeared for a day or two so I assume he found his key but he is back and more comfortable than ever. Leaving empty food containers outside his car to prevent a stinky inside and his clothes out to dry on the roof. He’s had at least 3 parking tickets now but continues his stay.

At my favorite neighborhood bar they’ve started a $5 steak night! I’ve only been there the first night of it so far but it was great. And such a hit that they’re continuing it. Steak, potato, mushrooms & another veggie. You really can’t beat it! We went up there for St. Pat’s to have reubens. That and the weekend’s parade were the extent of my celebrating this year. I felt pretty lame but I’ve got lots of time for partying in my new home.

I think that’s about it for now. I’ll try to share some more about Costa Rica some time and Grand Cayman too, before I forget it all.

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