What Makes You Smile?

Woke up this morning to a light kiss on my forehead and it made me smile. After some more sleeping, snoring, stretching and coffee-ing (it’s a word damn it!) I started to think about things that make me smile. I hope you’ll share yours in the comment section. Here are a few of mine.

My job

No seriously. I laugh a lot at my job. Here’s an example.

Just the other day a client of mine was with another worker. We have been working together for three years and we love to goof on each other.

Anyhow, he discovered the voice text on the other workers phone, which reads back the text once you’ve completed your message. I was with another client at the time halfway across the city, and I receive a text from him.

“You’re a crazy dude”, it read. I immediately began to laugh out loud.

I’ve definitely had a lot of laughs at my job and I still can’t believe how lucky I am.

Dexter…and Duke

Dexter makes me smile every day. I love him to pieces, which is likely no surprise to those who have read this blog before. No matter how depressing the world seems to have become, Dexter is always there with a lick and a cuddle.

While Sir Duke the Chihuahua and I have our differences over the whole barking thing, he’s also a lovable little man. One of the things that makes me smile is when we play ‘fight club’. He likes to play wrestle – usually somewhere on his mommy’s mid-section – and he bounces around and tries to wrestle one of my fingers into non-existence. It’s funny to watch.

I think Dexter might be in fight club mode.

Playing video games

Wow. Now that I think about it I haven’t played a video game in at least a month.

However, when I do play it makes me smile. It’s just good fun to be transported somewhere else for a little while. I also find this with reading. I’ve always loved to read and am currently reading ‘Brave New World’. It’s good so far. A little scary as well.

Now I’m rambling. Ummmmm….

Well, there’s three things that make me smile. What makes you smile on the regular?

 

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Soccer Dog!

Look at the fluid grace he displays while moving the ball

Dexter might be the next David Beckham.

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Look at these skills!

Just getting warmed up

Just getting warmed up

This move is called 'The Shaker'

This move is called ‘The Shaker’

Look at the fluid grace he displays while moving the ball

Look at the fluid grace he displays while moving the ball

My work is done here

My work is done here

My roommate is away, but yesterday his mom came over to see Dexter. She talked about how much my roomie likes him and talks about him all the time. He put on a soccer show for her.

It’s pretty funny because if I say ‘crazy dog’ he growls and shakes his head back and forth.

It’s impossible to be fluffy, golden and be intimidating, but that doesn’t stop Dexter from trying.

Stressing About Stress: Worrying Sucks!

Dexter deals with stress by sleeping...on me. Who has the better deal?
Dexter deals with stress by sleeping...on me. Who has the better deal?

Dexter deals with stress by sleeping…on me. Who has the better deal?

Stress. We all have it, but it’s how we deal with it that matters.

My sister recently sent me a Facebook notification. It made me open my FB page for the first time in several months, but it was actually worth it. It was a post by a ‘Captain Paul Watson’. I have no way to know if it was a legit post, but the author talks about how to cope with stress.

Since my breakup, I’ve been faced with a lot of stress that I’m not used to, and I’ve had to find ways to deal with it or go insane.

So the Captain’s advice basically boils down to this:

It is what it is. Whatever the issue, whatever the threat, whatever the circumstances it simply is what it is. Stressing will not change the situation. All problems can be dealt with or ignored.

This actually resonated with me because I try to live by this philosophy. If something happened that I couldn’t fix, I tried not to worry about it.

Anyhow, Captain Watson counsels:

  • Stay calm because nothing is worth worrying about.
  • Don’t worry about material objects. They’re nice to have but don’t let them anchor you to stress.
  • Friends are either friends or they aren’t. If one betrays you, walk away.
  • Treat loneliness as an opportunity to discover yourself.
  • Accept people for who they are and if a relationship ends, move on with appreciation.
  • Fear is poison and things will be what they will be so there is no need to fear.
  • Ignore people who gossip, make false accusations etc. Their behavior stems from insecurity and stress and can be easily ignored.
  • Death is an absolute and you will die regardless of whether you worry about it.

Those are some of the basic points the author makes. Of course, I paraphrased them and left out the examples. It was a long post.

I agree with most of them. I tend to ignore things I can’t change because stressing about them won’t change that I’m powerless to change them.

However, I do suffer from stress headaches and recently I’ve felt more stressed than usual. So maybe I’m not doing as good a job as I thought.

So I’ve been working out like a crazy person and this seems to have helped a lot. By the time I get home at night, I’m pretty exhausted. I fall into bed and wake up in the morning and do it all over again. It helps that I have a pretty great job, and that I work with people who could brighten the gloomiest of days.

It’s hard to glower when a deaf, blind guy tells you that he misses you after a vacation.

Things might be going sideways for me, but I try to view it as an adventure. I’ll get to do, see and experience new things. On my adventure, I’ll have good old Dexter.

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Who will love me no matter what.

Last night I got home feeling a bit sorry for myself. Dexter was having none of it. He really does brighten up my world.

Dexter The Wonder Dog Does Swimming And Playing

I'm a spoiled dog. While my human works to pay for my luxury swimming pool, I get to play all day. Who's the 'master' again?

I went to pick Dexter up from his doggy ‘play group’ on Friday and he could barely make it to the car he’d played so hard. They told me he swam and played like a champ.

That’s my boy!

Today my mom and sister are coming over to celebrate my birthday. My mom is bringing her dog Charlie. Charlie is half Mastiff and part Great Dane. He’s a big boy. He’s nine months old and probably close to twice Dexter’s weight, and Dexter ain’t no light weight. Hopefully I’ll be able to snap some shots of them playing today so I can post them to this blog tomorrow.

But for now, here’s some pictures of Dexter swimming and playing on Friday. Hope you enjoy!

I'm comin'

I’m comin’

I'm a spoiled dog. While my human works to pay for my luxury swimming pool, I get to play all day. Who's the 'master' again?

I’m a spoiled dog. While my human works to pay for my luxury swimming pool, I get to play all day. Who’s the ‘master’ again?

Say hello to my little buddy

Say hello to my little buddy

These guys are my bodyguards

I’m not sure these guys realize I’m a retriever. Retrieving things is what I do. This ball is mine.

Here's a few more of my friends

Here’s a few more of my friends and guess who still has the ball

400 Subscriber Celebration and The End of Meat

Here’s the deal: yesterday I got my 400th subscriber (I hate the word ‘follower’) and I want to thank everyone who subscribed, supports, reads or comments on this blog. You guys and gals are awesome and I’ve loved interacting with you all. I’m deeply flattered that anyone would read this blog, let alone have 400 of you decide to click the ‘follow’ button.

So thank you and I look forward to more blogging in the future!

Second of all, I finally did it and became…basically…a vegan. I say ‘basically’ because the transformation isn’t complete. I haven’t had meat in nearly a week, but that doesn’t mean I’m totally sworn off the stuff yet.

I’ve written before about the ethical concerns I have with eating meat, but it’s taken me a long time to work up the courage to do anything about it. Last year around Christmas time, I quit smoking and haven’t touched one since. This year (coincidentally) I’ve decided to take the next step and lose weight (and assuage my guilt about unnecessarily eating meat) by adopting a diet plan that doesn’t include meat, dairy or animal products.

Now this doesn’t mean I’m going to go around and preach to people about how they eat. This is very much a personal decision and I’ve eaten meat my entire life (and loved every minute of it) so I have no right to talk down to people who still choose to eat meat and partake in animal products. Everything I say here is from my own perspective and is about my opinion only. So if you still eat meat and want to continue, that’s totally your choice and I’m fine with that.

With that said, I’ve lost a total of five pounds after about a week. I didn’t exercise during this time. I just spent that time concentrating on changing my dietary habits. I stick to fruits and vegetables mostly, including huge salads. I don’t add salt to anything, and avoid anything that is packaged with sodium etc. My diet mainly consists of beans, whole fruits, vegetables and nuts (sparingly). I have cut out dairy products, animal products, fruit juice and oils, except small amounts of nut oils, such as almond butter when necessary and a dash of cream in my morning decaffeinated coffee, which I hope to cut out soon.

Keep in mind that during the day, I would drink HUGE amounts of coffee. I would consume at least 4 large cups, and that was a slow day. Usually, I would drink between 4-8 big cups of triple-triple coffee. I now allow myself only two normal sized cups, with a splash of cream and two sweeteners instead of sugar.

It’s my one cheat so sue me.

The first two days I experienced some stomach upset. By ‘stomach upset’ I mean I had gas and some gurgle action going on. I also had a short attention span and a slight headache – the latter probably from caffeine withdrawal. I also experienced mild fatigue.

However, after day two, I felt markedly better. I find the food is tasting better and better, and more importantly, I feel more energetic than usual. In fact, I feel fantastic.

I used to have a very, very (understatement) hard time getting up for anything besides work, but I now find that I have a ton more energy and I feel better than I have in quite a while. I hope this trend continues and isn’t a sort of placebo effect, but I guess time will tell.

As I type this, for example, I’m enjoying a beautiful butternut squash soup that my wife made last night.

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My soup!

I’ve also cut out any and all sweets…commonly referred to as ‘junk food’.

That doesn’t mean I’ll never have another sweet, but I plan on sticking to this aggressive diet plan till at least Christmas, before I allow myself any more small cheats, such as a cookie or something.

So where did this radical idea come from?

My wife and I have a friend who started this diet (found in the book Eat to Live) and he has lost 20 pounds in about a month. He also doesn’t stick to it as religiously (bad pun alert!) as we are. He allows himself small portions of meat, such as steak, fish and chicken with some of his meals.

So anyways, that’s what I’ve been up to. If you have any recipe suggestions, comments or questions, feel free to leave them in the comment section below.

I’ll be sure to keep you updated on my progress or lack thereof.

And thanks again to all of those who have liked, commented or read my work here. It’s greatly appreciated!

 

The Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Cold

There is some sort of cold going around that seems to linger forever.

You guessed it…I got it. It seemed to go away, and then came back in all its snuffly glory. I’ve since been able to mostly shake it. I now only have a slight sniffle and a desire to be lazy.

Okay…the lazy part is usual. It might have nothing to do with the cold. But I’m going to blame it on the cold anyways.

However, in the good news department, work seems to be going supremely well. I had another job offer the other day for a client that would fit nicely in with my existing schedule. The bad part is I’ll be even busier than I already am with my 6-day work week, but I do enjoy my job and it will also mean a few extra bucks in the old bank account.

Social work is very rewarding but no one (that I know of) ever got uber rich doing it.

I plan on taking some holidays in December, possibly coinciding with Christmas break so I can capitalize on the extra paid days.

So in celebration of finally shaking this nasty cold, I thought I’d share a few recent pictures with you. I hope you enjoy them!

I took a client to an archeology museum and this totem pole was there. I found it a bit creepy, but they thought it was a hoot.

I took a client to an archeology museum and this totem pole was there. I found it a bit creepy, but they thought it was a hoot.

My wife saw this in her shopping travels and sent the picture to me. This is what I'm going to dress up as next Halloween!

My wife saw this in her shopping travels and sent the picture to me. This is what I’m going to dress up as next Halloween!

It's hard to tell from this picture, but this is a life sized replica of a longhouse. Pretty cool, right?

It’s hard to tell from this picture, but this is a life sized replica of a longhouse. Pretty cool, right?

This is a picture of a neat model I found at the archaeology museum.

This is a picture of a neat model I found at the archaeology museum.

Another shot of the model. I liked it, okay!

Another shot of the model. I liked it, okay!

No picture montage is complete without one of my pal, Dexter.

No picture montage is complete without one of my pal, Dexter.

There you have it.

Oh, and in other news, my wife and I plan on taking on a vegetarian diet. I’ve written about my ethical concerns with eating meat in previous posts (while still stuffing my face hypocritically with lots of savory meat) but I’m finally planning on doing something about it.

More about that later. I’ll be sure to post here about my results.