The Soul Of A Dog

I’m sitting here at the end our our vacation contemplating for very practical purposes the Soul of a Dog.

My husband and I have been vacationing at Happy Nook, his family’s cottage in Maine, for about 30 years. 15 or so of those years has been with our beloved dog Paco. Paco was a rescue Sato (Street Dog) from Puerto Rico. 1/2 Beagle 1/2 Terrier 1/2 Corgie 100% best dog that ever lived. We said goodby to Paco the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend 2017. It was the hardest most intensely emotional thing we have done thus far as a couple.

So here we are again on vacation at Happy Nook with Paco one last time. My husband has been referring to the small cedar box that contain his ashes as actually being Paco. Is it? Maybe in a sense but here is where we get metaphysical I guess.

Our intent was to end this vacation with a ceremonial a scattering of his ashes in a place we knew with absolute certainty Paco loved.

When he was first brought up here he would run around the cottage with breathtaking speed. I swear his paws hitting the lawn sounded like a race horse. He could not do that at home in our tiny backyard and never really ran like that in a dog park. He was truly unleashed! He would ride proudly displaying his doggie life jacket while the three is us paddled the Cove in the canoe. Well two of us paddle while he watched for dangers from sea and shore. He would bark hysterically as we dove off the rocks at high tide. Only once if I remember correctly did he actually jump in to “Save” us and was totally dumbfounded when we dove in AGAIN! He always took the lead on hikes and long walks at Sagadahoc Bay at low tide. He would not be pleased that the people in the house at the access point the Bay have recently claimed it as private property. He would also enjoy an impromptu ride in the wheelbarrow while helping to move piles of mulch.

When we would pack up the car to leave he would (when he still could) jump into his place in the back seat as if to say you guys ain’t leaving me here are? For 15 years we were a trio. This last part I believe is what has given my husband second thoughts about scattering Paco’s ashes at Happy Nook in Maine rather than our small backyard in Boston. Would we essentially be leaving him behind? Would he think we were?

So here we sit contemplating the Soul of a Dog or any Soul for that matter. Now I know there are a gazillion interpretations of The Afterlife or The Rainbow Bridge. I grew up Catholic and have had a long long time to eschew most of THAT but it did, it’s fair to say, give me a sort of spiritual foundation. I also believe in Magic, String Theory, Alternate Dimensions, and of course some sort of Energy Transference when we die. I would also very much like to believe in fairies and elves. My husband on the other hand came to spirituality, or dogma thereof anyway, later in life and that may be why this is harder for him. I don’t really know, read his blog! All joking aside we both know deep down inside that the rituals around death and burial are more for the living than for the ones we have lost. The Soul, The Spirit, The Energy of that Lifee has gone on to new adventures. That makes me feel the most comforted so that is what I choose to believe till I get to find out for myself.

SO IF we scatter Paco’s ashes here in Maine rather than our tiny backyard in Boston I’d like to think of Paco again charging around the cottage like a race horse. Roaming free and smelling the smells. Perhaps greeting his old friend Bear from up The Lane. Free to explore the wonderful, peaceful, serene place Happy Nook is. Maybe he will jump in the car one last time. Maybe he will ride back home with us. Maybe he will look up from playing at see us ride off and remember us as the two guys who loved him very very much. Then he’ll catch a smell and run off into the wild blueberry bushes and underbrush gleefully no longer, if he ever really was, worried about Ticks!

Advertisements

A Spec Of Dust

So it has been awhile since I have blogged anything. I have also realized my website, where the Blog lives, is also in need of updating. I am a person who loves the latest gadgets and tech but at the same time totally filled with anxiety when it comes to upgrading, protecting and generally messing around with anything once it has been set up. I also don’t do it enough to remember what exactly I did to simply upload a pic the next time I need to do it. So I decided the best way tackle updating my website was to indeed buy the latest gadget. I bought the new iPad Pro 10.5 so I could work from the latest platform. Also I wanted a new toy and I had just been paid from my latest gig and it is also my 56th birthday and also I wanted it.

The older gentleman at the Apple Store (my age, is that allowed) who sold it to me was very informative and agreed on my choice of model and why I wanted it. I had my last one 7 years and he knew I wanted the same if not more out of this model. The apathetic Young man who helped me set it up, I thought answered my questions and was actually talking to me until I realized he was having a conversation with his coworker who was helping a woman with an Apple Watch. He also yawned when introduced to me. Well kudos to Apple for Age Diversity in their hiring practices.

My big question was about Screen Protectors. Yay or Nay. I read many threads online that said definitely Yay till more research produced threads saying definitively Nay. The old guy thought since I was getting AppleCare+ (I know but it has saved me $$ in the past) I would not need a Screen Protector since it would be covered for scratches and cracks done by the user as well as everything else. Now I could have waited the 2 years and right at the end of the warranty get the glass replaced (actually whole iPad for $49) and then got the screen protector after that, but that is not how I roll. I could also have gone to the guys in the Prudential Center and have them put one on for $55. I could also buy an Anker screen protector from Amazon for $9 and do it myself. After telling that all to the older guy at Apple he agreed sure why not, $9.

I got the $9 one and spent the night tossing and turning in anticipation of putting the damn thing on. Not really but it was on my mind. I got one with a unique hinge application system that I thought I could handle. This morning I set out to apply it. It was aligned and set up. I used the alcohol wipes then the dust wipes then the dust remover sticker. I do this like 6 times. OK now time to place the screen down on the iPad. Maybe just one more pass with the dust sticker. I catches the hinge thing (included) and knocks the whole thing out of alignment. I realign and repeat steps 2-4. This time hinge thingie (included) was not tight enough so it knocks the screen protector askew. Align and repeat steps 2-4.

Finally I am ready to peel off the back of the Screen Protector. OK so steps 1-4 a couple more times, but it falls into place on the iPad screen and does this magic adhering thing. Then I see it. A Spec Of Dust! One tiny spec of dust right in the middle of the screen. HOW? WHYYY? I had repeated the steps I followed the directions. Do I lift it up to get to it. A lot of people on various threads said Yay while others said a definite Nay. Who do you believe? Better still who could I blame?

Now I am the type of guy who checks to see if he locked the car at least twice before leaving it. I know well how you can ruin a trip with the sentence “Is the Iron unplugged?” I know in my very being when a picture is crooked and where the defect is on any new anything I buy or am given. So this tiny spec of dust sat in my very soul like a flaming hot coal. Are you gonna let that spec of dust just sit there like that. Don’t you want to risk more dust, bubbles and possible cracks by prying off a corner of a GLASS Screen Protector and repeating steps 1-4? That Spec of Dust will still be mocking you when you sit down and blog about this!!

Well after looking at my now old iPad 2 I realize even with all the OCD swirling around I hardly ever seem to clean the screen. Go figure right. I can also ignore a fair amount of housecleaning too, but the door is always locked when I leave my dirty house. I check. I’m pretty confident that spec of dust will blend in soon enough. Of course I could show it to a sane person, like my husband, who will ask “What Spec of Dust?” Ya that route never ends well.

So I have decided to live with the Spec of Dust. Why with everything going on in the world now or actually since humans has become cognizant of their interactions with it, why is it always the little things that seem bring us to out knees? Next I am hopefully going to update my resume page with my last play and post new pics from it. Right now I’m going to see how to post this using the new Beta editing program I guess I allowed when re-logging into WordPresss.

Oh and I also bought a New Military Standard Drop Tested IPad Pro 10.5 case…..with a cover. You can never be too careful.

Put A Ring On It

 

My husband and I have been together for over 30 years.  This  June we will celebrate 10 years of marriage. We are now legally married in all 50 states and some countries.  It has been a long road.

Somewhere around year two, we think, we bought Claddagh Rings for each other.  On our tenth year together we bought a thin gold band to wear alongside the claddagh.  We had a huge party with friends and family around year five and that was always thought of as our defacto wedding, no commitment ceremony just a huge celebration with those we loved.

Now in all those years we attended many “traditional” weddings.  It became our tradition that while the couple was saying their vows we would press our rings together, kinda like the Wonder Twins, and when they were pronounced husband and wife we would release our rings.  Sort os a prolonged fist bump if you will.  No one ever questioned us so what the heck we kept doing it. 

So we figured that there was a lot of Marriage mojo or  juju  or luck or positive energy in those rings right?  When we decided to get married in 2007 we did not want to wear the claddagh and band on the right hand.  We thought of framing them but then we decided why not melt them down and make new wedding bands out of them!  When we asked one jeweler to do this she refused or strongly suggested against melting down perfectly good claddagh rings and the bands.  She thought the idea of a metal retaining the positive energy of  25 or so wedding ceremonies was ridiculous. So no job for her. 

Finally we met a jeweler through a friend that thought the story was nice and better yet since the rings we picked would have to be cast anyway, the gold from four rings would save us some money.   No comment on the reality of magically captured wedding energy, which I thought was classy of her really. 

Jumping forward, I recently had a part in the play and I was asked if I minded not wearing my wedding ring.  Oddly enough this was the first time in decades I was asked this as most of the characters I played either were or could be married or it just didn’t matter.  I removed the ring and tucked it safely in a my bedside table.  I can not tell you how many times in the weeks that followed I felt an ice cold panic as I realized the ring was gone and began to retrace my steps before I remembered were it was.  

Although I do sometimes miss the other rings I do love that we are in essence still wearing them.  We could have easily worn these rings as our actual wedding we wanted to transform them as our relationship was being transformed. Having never thought this would actually be an option for us we did not take marriage lightly.  It meant something very profound and special.  It came with a weight and responsibility. Sure you could argue that all those things were already there,  but it felt as if all that energy we put ito our relationship was indeed being transformed into something else just like those rings were.  

So since I was ringless  for a couple of weeks the rings now need a proper recharging.  We are headed to Alberta Canada to witness the wedding of my cousin’s daughter. We will as always press our rings together Wonder Twins like and capture a bit of the positive energy of that ceremony to get us through the years ahead.  

Can a hunk of precious metal capture positive energy?  It is just a tangible symbol of an ancient ceremony between two people or a magical talisman.  Do I believe our rings are a tad bit magical?  Does it really even matter all said and done?  Does it really matter what I think? Well if you made it to the end of this blog you must already know the answer to that is Yes, Yes I DO. 

Who’s Afraid Of William Shakespeare?

  

Macbeth Danehy Park 2016


   So I have avoided doing Shakespeare now for about 35 years.  This is not because of any dislike I have for the Bard but rather because of fear.   Pure Unadulerated Fear.  I will admit that I am not a fan of poetry.  I can appreciate listening to poetry but found it difficult to read.  A college acting teacher once asked if I was ever tested for dyslexia.  I never did find out but his question did sort of mirror ones that I had of my own but that is for another story.  

If there was an audition for a Shakespeare play I just would not go.  Fear and a side career in drinking always  kept me from challenging myself in this particular area. Any area remotely difficult for that matter. If I was asked to do a classical piece I got by with a Mephistopheles monologue from Goerthe’s Faust. Go figure that rationalization. Mostly I would keep to roles that were in my wheelhouse as it were.  Finally memorizing lines took too much time away from drinking  period so I joined an Improv Group! That totally made sense to me at the time.  No regrets.   Yet another story for another time! 

I am now auditioning for whatever comes up that I am right for and I have to say I am enjoying it much better than I did back in the drinking days.  This past summer I was given the oportunity to play Duncan/Old Man/Old Seyward in an outdoor production of Macbeth.  The director seemed to have much more conficence in me than I did in myself and I will be forever grateful for that. Grateful and TERRIFIED. I accepted.  You hear a lot about the gifts of sobriety.  Playing Shakespeare in a park 20 years sober is one of them!!  Knowing what the hell I was saying and doing (for the most part) is another.  

Duncan , Macbeth Longfellow Park Cambridge 2016

 This brings me to my current project Love’s Labour’s Lost..In Space!!  Yup in Space you read that right.  Same director with the same confidence in me but this time around I would have to audition. Fair enough but as I mentioned above I had never auditioned with a Shakespeare monologue before.  Even after doing Duncan I was terrified.  What I also was was prepared.  I did a tiny bit of Costard that I had down cold.  Auditioning with a Shakespeare monologue is officially off the bucket list! This time around I let fear push me through something rather than actually let it keep me from doing something.  The stuff you wish you could go back and tell your 25 year old self.  My 25 year old me would probably be too drunk to listen anyway!!

So I am playing Holofernes in Love’s Labour’s Lost..In Space.  I am also realizing Shakespeare is where the old dude parts are!  So maybe a class is in my future as well.  Being sober all these years has not made things any less terrifying.  It has however given me the ability to tackle a challenge and yes maybe even fail at it.  Just now for the time being I get to do it in Iambic Pentameter.

Make Up Your Mind

 

True Story.  For two weeks now I have wanted to write about indecision but couldn’t decide how to write it.  At times I can be paralysed by indecision. Ok most of the time.  Decide: to make a choice from a numer of options.  Ya I Googled it.  There in lies the problem.  Options. The blue shirt or the green shirt?  The backpack that has all the features I want except one or the one that has none of the features i want but is the right size and on sale?  By the way 75% off sales are great for us indecisive people because then we can buy both options.  Then of course I will have two backpacks and have to convince myself one is for work and one is for play.  That never goes well and is ultimately wastful and a bit greedy. This is not to be confused with the I Need It Now So Will Take The Lesser Version Rather Than Wait On Backorder Till The One I Really Want Comes In Syndrome.    That road is paved in regret.  

My biggest problem is once I make up my mind I inevidably hear “Why did you choose that one?” Usually that comes right after “Hurry up and make up your mind.”  I probably should be writing about why I care so much about what other people think.  Next time and yes money has been spent on Therapy.  

There are of course a billion people willing to give their advice to help you make a decision. One or two of them are sure to tell you what you want to hear.  This is usually not a close friend or loved one by the way.  They will always tell you some form of the truth and that will just mess you up. Better to ask the new guy at work, or the stranger in the coffee line at Dunkins.  These people really get you. 

Of course research helps one decide.  Which brings me to the COMMENT SECTION or 1,897,096 people have rated this product!!  I’ll find a product on Amazon.  It is exactly what I want, or think I want, and I browse through the four and five star reviews till I get to that one star.  What does Hurumph74 know that the rest of them don’t?  Is he the only one willing to tell the truth that the other 156 reviewers were too blind to see? 

Case in point, I am typing on a wireless keyboard I just bought.  It was cheap.  I thought it was a good option at $13. Am I right? One reviewer gave it a 1/2 star, “Beware this product just does not work.” One reviewer came back with “It is so easy to set up my five year old did it in two minutes.”  BURN!!  Another wrote “Did you puy the batteries in?”  I  mean it is wireless not magic.  If I were to review it I would say the space bar sticks a bit.  I would also say it was $13 so you know….

Maybe this post is really about standing by your convictions.  I guess my point is that you may not make the best decision or even the right decision but in the end the decision is yours.  That really is all that matters if you ask me.  I think.

You know I am hovering over the Publish Button trying to decide if I should even post this.   

Oh Look Balloons!

  Officially  55!  

So I got this in the mail. I have received many of these over the years.  I suppose now that I have reached the recommended expiration date for membership I might possibly join. I did work the info booth one year when their convention was in Boston.  I remember hundreds of thousands of people and Hillary Clinton was the keynote speaker.  If anything it has a powerful voice and a huge voting block.  But I bet there are as many varied voices and opinions as there are choices for orthopedic shoes. I do remember we ran out of Scooter rentals pretty fast during that convention.  Don’t know if that’s relevant. Anyway they are a HUGE organization.

I know, I know, there are probably many useful benefits to membership, besides the free donut at Dunkins. It’s like signing up for reward points on a credit card.  It seems practical but I can’t help thinking I’m being conned into something I don’t need. We live in a very distrusting world. I had a friend who worked at a donation call center. Calling people all day to get them donate to …..fill in the charity. We all get them, tell the truth you are more apt to say “How did you get this number, it is MY CELL?” and hang up. Sure Kevin here’s my credit card number. I don’t think my ego could handle that all day.  It wasn’t till later a coworker told me she payed for a family vacation with Marriott Rewards Points!  She would buy groceries and gas with her card the pay it off when she got home.  I am NOT that organized.  Point is some offers are legit. There are some things worth joining, being a part of. 

Distrust comes with age I guess. Which is why AARP starts sending these out in our 40’s.  Right around the time we start thinking of buying all wheel drive and orthotics.  Or possibly consider voting Republican, nothing major maybe the local state level!  No never ever that, Never, that is how they get you!!!!

I also realized I had started a blog about turning 50.  When I deleted my old page for this one there was one post.  So I’m Turning 50 more to come!   Then nothing.  I can tell you that the last 5 years have been incredible.  I celebrated 20 years Sober. I took my first  9-5 job in almost that long.  I Realized stability actually allowed me to venture back into theater. I did Shakespeare for the first time and may do it again damn it. I have been nominated for a supporting actor role and been in award winning plays. I finally got Digital Headshots (check em out on this site) and have actually gotten roles because of my age demographic.  I was always told I would grow into my look. I was insulted at the time but now I get it I get it.  I also threw myself into fitness wanting to look the best ever in my 50’s.  A ripped calf muscle took care of that!  

Side Note:  The fitness concept of  If it hurts Stop is lost on most addicts.  Be warned fitness instructors and addicts alike!  I still work out tho, but that was a darn good excuse not to ever again. 

I do feel wiser. If I could go back and give my younger me advice it would probably be a punch in the face while yelling “Do you have any idea what you are about to put me through?”   I am touched when the younger actors I have had the pleasure of working with tell me they love when I talk about history. I am telling them  stories about the 80’s!!!  THE 80’s!!!!!  Gather around, back when we entered the town by horse and cart we would immediately look for the Church, for we would only be allowed to perform on the steps of the Church you see……THE 19….80’s…. Sure last century but still. 

I guess you don’t know you are wiser about anything until you are asked. Then you can say ” Well let me tell you how that worked out for me, it might be different for you.” Or  “Something’s will never go up in value but Beannie Babies were cute gifts I guess.” It all comes down to sharing your Experience, Strength and Hope. If you are lucky enough you get a lot more of each as you get older.

A Flash of ColorĀ 

  

Everyday on my walk to the subway I take a snapshot of a flower. It could be from my garden or that of a neighbor or a flowering weed by the wall of the Auto Body Shop on the corner. Sometimes there are other photo inspirations, trees, clouds, street lamps, but mostly I stick with flowers.  I then fiddle with different filters and whatnot during my ride into work. They end up as a Good Morning Facebook post.  This has become sort of a hobby of mine and can be addictive.  I have missed the train a few times as an image stops me in my tracks and I try to capture the best shot. I have also started posting to Instagram and #floweroftheday was all it took to see I am not alone in this addiction. 

Recently I was on vacation in Provincetown MA.  I was biking down Commercial Street in the East End when a reddish orange flash of color almost made me brake hard enough that I would have been sent flying over the handlebars. I quick glance to my right and I see a little dinghy or skiff bobbing in the water just off shore. Radiant in the setting sun.  Now I’m on vacation and probably unconsciously trying to fight my photo addiction who knows.  Plus, and more importantly, we had tix to a Drag Talent Show and you really want to sit up front for these things. Trust me.  So I make a mental note of the place and bike on. 

Now there are tons of galleries in Ptown. It is always fun to look and sometimes you come across a find within your budget. I began to see this little red dinghy in different variations all over town.  I was taken by the fact that so many artists were inspired to create their version of this little reddish orange boat. Were they, like me, momentarily struck by a flash of inspiration out of the corner of their eye? Did they see it from a restaurant window, a walk on the beach at sunset or possibly maybe a friends apartment?  A Lucky friend who actually lives on the beach in Ptown.

  

Possibly the little red boat as seen from the top of The Pilgrim Monument

  

I did not take any shots of the paintings and pics I saw in galleries but a Google search came up with this.

 

Grey Water by Gilles Thibault


This is one I bought. It is a transfer to a tile. I collect tile art for some reason. 

TJ Walton

  

The above came a few different versions. One of course in reddish orange. My bathroom is black, white and purple. Tiles are great art work for bathrooms and this is perfect!  I appear to watch Way too much HGTV. Cause that fun fact came tumbling out like an expert opinion. Don’t be afraid to go for bold throw pillows for that pop of color. Yes dark colors can make a room actually feel bigger, till about a year from now when I will tell you the exact opposite. (Cut to Benjamin Moore commercial.)

It all got me thinking that from a walk to work to sightseeing on a vacation there are many instances when inspiration urges us to create. Or at least capture the moment. Certainly there are subjects that inspire masses of people. They majestically stand there and seem to say go ahead snap or paint your picture just like the millions before you. The Grand Canyon, The Eiffle Tower, any sunrise and any sunset. Some are masterpieces others end up in photo albums or more likely Facebook or Instagram or Pintrest……All are reflections of a moments inspiration. 

Other times inspiration can come in a flash of color from the corner of your eye and stop you in your tracks. I suppose like the little reddish orange dinghy.  This somehow makes it seem more intimate more personal. It drives you to create quite possibly because it is asking you a very simple question. 

What did YOU see?
 

Including cover shot here are a few of my own versions of the Little Red Dinghy. this one is Blurry Color.I was inspired by my tile.

  

Retro

  

PinPoint