In the Spirit of #GivingTuesday

Did you know that Basenji dogs have genetic disorders that affect the kidneys and digestive system?

I do. Now.

My Nugget is a Basenji/Red Heeler mix. She is almost 2 years old, and she has digestive issues. And I just found out this morning that her bloodwork shows that her kidney function isn’t what it’s supposed to be, and that she will *most likely* develop Fanconi Syndrome, which can’t be cured, but dogs can live with it, if caught early and the correct protocols in place.

Right now, she’s off at doggy day care, playing her heart out. When she isn’t feeling well, you can tell, by the not eating, by the weight loss, but oh my god, this puppy is such a happy and friendly being, who puts a smile on the face of EVERYONE she comes in contact with.

It’s up to me (and the vets) to worry about this. And worry I will. I’m already having a time of it due to holiday stress, my meds not being right, my gut doing its thing, and oh, my needing to move to a new place ASAP, but right now, I can’t think about anything past this.

But the plan, for now, is to get her on a special diet for about a month, and re-check her blood to see where we go from there. “There” will be an internist in OKC. I’ll need $$ for the consultation, and $$$$ for the ultrasound they are going to do, to make sure other bad stuff isn’t happening.

I’m keeping *everything* crossed that the new diet will help quite a bit, but you know me, I don’t really do the whole “positive faith” thing. I’m more of a realist.

But

If you’re still here, still reading this, and you are the praying type, Nugget can use your prayers. Prayers, good vibes, healing white light, anything you’ve got. Maybe, if enough people can believe in the positive, it will outweigh the negative in me.

And also, since it’s Giving Tuesday , I’m hoping that you can help Nugget and myself out. There’s a lot more going on right now than I’m telling, but that takes a backseat to the health of my loyal companion. So while I’m trying to put out fires over that way, I’m asking for assistance to help with this new situation.

Firstly, if you’re the praying type, please do so. I find it hard to find faith in the Universe when it keeps kicking me.

If you are a healer, please send healing light to my Nug. She really is the best pup ever and deserves a full and fun life.

If you are neither, good vibes will help.

Also, if you’re looking for a way to participate in Giving Tuesday, please consider donating to the YouCaring fundraiser I’ve started to help with her vet bills. She’s going to need a very expensive ultrasound, not to mention the consultation, monthly blood work, etc, at least, initially.

I’m not going to ask for anyone I know to throw down $100 when I know most of them/you are in the same general boat as I am. But if you have $2 to throw in, $5, that would get us closer than where we are now.

To donate to Nugget’s fundraiser, go HERE. And if YOU can’t donate, perhaps pass this on to others who can.

Thank you.

nugget

Double Feature Saturday: The Great Gatsby

Welcome to the final Double Feature Saturday and the final post of my Love and Romance-o-rama! Thanks for sticking with me!

Now…In keeping with this week’s “theme” of how love can go wrong, soul mates or not, here, watch this:

Now, I haven’t seen the NEW version yet, but it IS a Baz Luhrmann piece, so I have no doubt I will enjoy THAT aspect.

In my opinion, the story is not Gatsby and Daisy’s tragic romance. It’s about the lengths that people will go to to get what they want, how these people change, how the things that people believe to be true…are just not. BUT the tragic romance is a Big Deal. I mean, it IS the reason Jay Gatsby sets up house where he does, how he does. It’s the reason for the ending.

But there is the ugly amongst the beauty and opulence…and sometimes that is way more interesting.

So that’s it! And although it’s technically no longer February, the way the month fell, how everything was all lined up, I thought it appropriate to end the blogathon with a final movie.

Also, I’m planning on making sure there is new content on this blog at least once a week, and since it is now March 1, I’m totally cheating and using this post for the first week’s content. The next big blogathon will take place in July for my birthday, so be thinking of some things you NEED to know about me.

Thanks for taking this little journey with me. I’ve had a lot of fun with these posts, and I hope you have too. Thanks to the new followers, thanks for all the likes, thanks for all the reads.

Keep romance alive!

OTP Friday: Scott & Zelda

 The King and Queen of the Jazz Age,  F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Sayre.

 A Princetonian from Minnesota, Scott left school during his senior year to join the army. That’s how he met the  cheeky party girl from Alabama. He saw her dancing at a party one night, doing something called the “Dance of the Hours,” and asked around to see if anyone knew her. It didn’t matter that she was barely out of high school, he thought she was the most beautiful creature he’d ever seen and requested to be introduced to her.

 

They were both charming, stubborn, people who loved having a good time and ignoring things until after it is far too late for them to be taken care of.

Scott was not the normal type of guy Zelda was into. She loved the tall, strapping young men who could pick her up, but this sensitive, imaginative, indoor guy was something new for her. Zelda was very much like the last girl Scott was in love with. He was a romantic who kind of fell in and out of love and she always had many suitors she was never really happy with. But then Scott felt that spark that happened when that Soul Mate tether connected like one of those heart-shaped “Best Friends” necklace.

Things were lovely at first while they communicated via letters. Scott even sent her a secret chapter of his novel that had been turned down by a publisher. He visited her when he could, and they got a little wild together. But then he would talk about HIS future and how HE was going to be famous and amazing and be one of the “Cool Kids” (my words, not his) and leave events with girls who were not Zelda, filling her with jealousy.

Once he was discharged from the army, things were a little different. He went back to her but they fought constantly. Scott had always thought of himself as a Confirmed Bachelor, but Zelda totally changed his mind. He fell harder for her and they got involved in all sorts of shenanigans about town…and she was still going out with other guys. They both had ideas of themselves that made them more arrogant than they possibly need be. This arrogance, and his dreams had him wiring Zelda from New York after his discharge from the army: “Yo, Z. I know you love me, but I had to get to the Big Apple so that my Success Train can start moving. Hope you can get up here soon. Kisses, Scotty.”

(Ok, it didn’t say exactly that. But that’s the gist.)

They were really good at making one another jealous, whether it was on purpose or not. They were good at making each other smile, good at making each other miserable. They knew how to push one another’s buttons.

They cheated on one another constantly. Once, she was trying to send a letter and return a token to a suitor she met during college, and she “accidentally” sent it to Scott, who tells her to stop writing him but then changes his mind and hops on a train to propose. She says no. They break up. He’s inconsolable and life goes on for her. Pretty much.

Scott lost his girl, went home, quit his job, and went on a bender that lasted for three weeks, until Prohibition was enacted. Then he decided to do a rewrite of his first novel The Romantic Egotist, aka This Side of Paradise. In a letter to a friend, Scott wrote

I’ve tried to get married and then tried to drink myself to death but foiled, as have been so many good men, by the sex and the state I have returned to literature.

That was a really good idea. He sent his manuscript back to the publisher who’d originally rejected it and was immediately offered a contract for it. All he’d needed was just a little more life experience…that he threw into the mix of the words he’d written in college when he’d been in love with another girl. Also into the mix were some of Zelda’s actual words that she’d written to him.

Finally he could take no more. He wrote to her and asked if he could come see her. She missed him, so she said yes. They got re-engaged and decided to marry when the book was published. But she wrote to him and gave him an out. If he didn’t still feel the same about her, she would release him from the engagement immediately. But he was certain, confident, and happy. And in love.

Why can’t I write? I’d like to tell you how fine I think the book is and how miserably and and completely and—a little unexpectedly—I am thine.”

In another letter, probably written a few days later, she added:

I am very proud of you— I hate to say this, but I don’t think I had much confidence in you at first… It’s so nice to know that you really can do things—anything— And I love to feel that maybe I can help just a little— I want to so much— … I’m so damn glad I love you— I wouldn’t love any other man on earth— I believe if I had deliberately decided on a sweetheart, he’d have been you—

While Scott worked his fingers off in New York to make a name for himself, and enough money for a little nest egg, Zelda, who was inspired by Scott, starting writing herself , something that he eventually got a little mad about because he couldn’t plagiarize her. And he thought of it as a competition and he didn’t want any competition.

No personality as strong as Zelda’s could go without getting criticism… I’ve always known that, any girl who gets stewed in public, who frankly enjoys and tells shocking stories, who smokes constantly and makes the remark that she has ‘kissed thousands of men and intends to kiss thousands more,’ cannot be considered beyond reproach even if above it… I fell in love with her courage, her sincerity and her flaming self respect and its these things I’d believe in even if the whole world indulged in wild suspicions that she wasn’t all that she should be… I love her and that’s the beginning and end of everything. You’re still a catholic but Zelda’s the only God I have left now.

They were married April 3, 1920.

And that was just the beginning of the madness.

They married and lived ostentatiously, without reserve. Their friends and family never thought they’d last. They were a ticking time bomb.

And don’t think the flirting stopped after that ring was slipped on. There was plenty of that going on the whole damn time. The novelty of having his beautiful bird at his side wore off a little bit when he realized that she was pretty useless, an ornament. And that was during the honeymoon.

They were obnoxiously drunk most of the time and just obnoxious the rest of the time. There’s a lot of partying, but Scott worked a great deal, even using some of Zelda’s ideas for stories. With or without her consent, I am not sure.

Then they had a baby girl, but it didn’t seem Zelda was too suited to motherhood, so the child was in he care of a nanny. Three months later she found herself pregnant again, but they weren’t ready for another child so soon, so Zelda got an abortion.

That’s just the early years. This doesn’t even TOUCH the tip of the iceberg that is the life of the Fitzgeralds. Scott’s drinking gets worse. Scott may or may not have had a gay affair with another writer, which may or may not have been just one more block in the mind of Zelda that crumbled that plunged her into the madness in which she lived, until she died in a fire in a mental hospital in 1948, outliving Scott, who died in Hollywood in 1940.

From the outside, it was glamorous and romantic. On the inside were two people who were damned if they did and damned if they didn’t.

Story Time #3: Inspired By Neil Gaiman

“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, and then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life…You give them a piece of you. They didn’t ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you cry in the darkness, so simple a phrase like ‘maybe we should just be friends’ turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It’s a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love.” –Neil Gaiman

Setting: The darkened living room of a married couple in their mid-30s who don’t have children. It’s not that they have super nice things, but there are a few sharp corners and delicate knick knacks. The only baby pictures in the house belong to their friends. 

It’s very late when the bedroom door opens. SHE is wide awake and in need of something to calm her down, make her sleepy. SHE stumbles to the kitchen to make herself some tea, shooting whiskey while the tea steeps. Deeming the tea ready, SHE pours in a healthy glug of whiskey and heads back to the living room to sit on the couch, all alone in the dark, drinking her hot toddy. SHE stumbles along the way, much of that having to do with the Xanax she’d taken before bed to help her sleep and maybe stall all thoughts on why she she was all alone in her bed so late. 

SHE sits on the couch in the dark, sipping her tea and trying to think about not thinking. 

A long while passes. SHE’s not asleep, she’s just quiet. Very quiet and trying to relax in the dark. After a very long silence the front door opens, barely making a noise. HE enters, keeping his own noise to a minimum, not taking into account that SHE would be in the midst of a bout of insomnia. SHE clicks on the lamp and scares the everloving hell out of him. 

HE: (jumping like a little girl) Jesus! What the hell?

SHE: You’re home late.

HE: What were you doing in the dark?

SHE: Nothing. Drinking. Trying to get sleepy.

HE: (clearly trying to divert attention away from his activities) Why can’t you sleep?

SHE: (taking a long drink of her tea) Because you weren’t home. Because I couldn’t hear your breathing. Because I couldn’t feel you, couldn’t smell you…(Sniffs the air) Still can’t smell you. What is that? (Sniffs again) Is that the J Lo perfume? No? It’ll come to me. Just give me a minute.

HE: It’s late, but I can take a shower if the smell bothers you.

SHE: (with a fake Aw, how sweet look on her face) Thanks for that. I have a feeling you were going to take one anyway, but that’s a good enough excuse to get you out of the room with no further conversation on the topic of where you were when you were supposed to be in bed with me and why you smell like that.

HE: (Knowing he’s finally caught, he flounders for a second but then starts to lie)

SHE: Don’t bother lying. You’re not good at it, you never have been.

HE: (stands there silently for a moment, a little dumbfounded) I don’t know what you want me to say.

SHE: Well, I’d like you to say that you aren’t sleeping with someone who’s not me, but we both know that would be a lie, and you can’t lie to save your life.

There is a surprised silence while SHE pointedly concentrates on her empty tea mug. HE hadn’t realized…HE should have realized…SHE isn’t an idiot. SHE isn’t blind. But SHE is, first and foremost, his Best Friend. They are together because they love each other in so many ways and they can’t live without each other. HE wonders if there is any way SHE can lock up his Wife so that he can talk to his Best Friend. 

HE: I’m sorry.

SHE: (mechanically) Don’t apologize. If I’m not doin’ it for you, then that is your prerogative. I apologize for everything I’ve done to make you lose interest. If there’s anything I can do to regain your favor, just tell me. I am here to fulfill your every fantasy.

HE: (uncomfortably clears his throat) Hey—

SHE: I’m serious when I ask if there’s anything I can do to improve myself. I mean, what do the girls you’re sleeping with do to attract you? Are they extra flexible, do they do things in bed that you think I won’t do, because I’ve told you before—

HE: Stop it. No. There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re perfect. You’re amazing.

SHE: (nods to herself) Ok, so then why are you coming home after three am, smelling like dirty sex instead of staying in and having the dirty sex with me?

HE: It has nothing to do with you.

SHE: (barks a bitter laugh) I’m sorry, but I beg to differ. It kind of has everything to do with me. And you. Me and You.

HE: No, it really doesn’t. I promise. I love you.

SHE: That’s a nice sentiment. But I might believe you if you stayed home more often to have fast and furious wall sex with your wife, babe. (SHE sees the blush on his cheeks) Oh. I see. You’ve found someone else to do the vigorous wall sex with. Congrats. (Silence) Nothing to say to that?

HE: I love you.

SHE: Stop saying that. I love you, too, but that doesn’t matter in the least right now. So shut up. (HE shuts up but SHE wants to say something, just can’t get it out of her mouth.) As your wife, I am hurt and appalled and angry and scared and a whole lot of things right now but I cannot deal with those right now, so I’m going to lock those up for now and hope that they don’t lead to violence. (Her chest starts heaving, then SHE starts huffing sobs. Before any tears come, SHE calms herself down.) But as your Best Friend, I am pissed and offended. I am so mad you didn’t come to me and tell me you needed… whatever it is that you need. I’m supposed to be The One Person you can talk to about everything. I’ve known that something was wrong, but I thought that for sure you would tell me, but then you didn’t. And now I can’t sleep. I’m up all night, whether you’re here or not, worrying that I’ve lost my Husband and my Best Friend and my Soul Mate in one fell swoop. And despite how calm I look on the outside, I can assure you I’m a quick trip away from falling apart completely, and frankly, I’m not sure what will happen when I do, because it’s never happened before.

(SHE looks at him sadly)

And I know I have lost at least one of the three tonight, and I’m not sure which one yet. And you haven’t said anything yet, so it’s all up to you. But…if I’m reading the situation right, if I know you at all, you need some time to form your words. This is a life changing situation and you need time to put your brain together, and post-sex is not the time for that. So unless the situation changes at all, I will give you time to figure it out.

(Trying not to cry, she heaves herself up from the couch. SHE is drunk and wobbly.)

I’m going to bed. I think I can sleep now.

(As SHE moves around him, she inhales deeply. It suddenly clicks where she’s smelled that particular fragrance before. She stops before she even gets halfway to the bedroom.)

Oh. I remember what that is. Dolce & Gabbana. For men. Ok.

(inhales deeply)

I’m gonna go sleep in the second bedroom and you do whatever you want. After I’m done feeling whatever it is I’m feeling I will figure out what I want to do. Good night.

SHE turns and exits the room calmly and gracefully, like her whole would just hadn’t been shattered into billions of little shards, impossible to glue back together. HE stands stock still, so heavy and sad. After a while, HE follows her down the hall, stopping briefly to look at her closed door, before continuing on to his room alone. 

The Dark and Twisty Side of the Coin

Finding your Soul Mate can be the best or the worst thing that could happen to you.

Sid & Nancy. Kurt & Courtney. Scott and Zelda.

All examples of how finding your Soul Mate is both the best and the worst thing that could happen to you.

Love is hazardous to your health. You never know when it’s going to blow up in your face, when it’s going to up and leave you without a backward glance, when it’s going to blindside you.

Love is stressful. You worry so much about the health and well-being of someone else that you neglect your own health and well-being, stressing out your body, stressing out your mind even more than it already is.

Love leaves you vulnerable. It lulls you into a false sense of security and runs you over with its car. After stabbing you fifteen times with a very sharp but dirty butter knife. After rolling you in honey and letting the bees have at you. Naked.

Love changes you. You can never be what you were before that Love. Your destiny was changed the moment you decided to accept that Love. Your path altered, you can only go forward, not backward. You may stop, pause, but you can only move forward. No matter how many times you try to rewrite history. You’ll only end up repeating it.

If you let it, what once lifted you up, made you glow from the inside out and shout from the rooftops, it  can take you to some pretty dark and twisty places. You can never forget the dark. It stays with you and eats at you until you crumble beneath guilt and fear—or worse.

Love makes you into a different person, with different priorities, different views. Sometimes these differences are nothing in the beginning. But after a while, those priorities change, viewpoints change.

Love changes.

Single Feature Saturday

There were three versions of Much Ado, but there’s only ONE Moulin Rouge.

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Some folks aren’t too crazy about those movies where the characters break out into song, but you know what? I would break out into song, too, if I felt the love and passion that Christian and Satine felt for one another.

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They’re doomed from the start. She’s a high class whore and he’s a penniless writer with too many romantic notions. She’s supposed to marry The Duke. He’s supposed to be finding himself.

They find each other, they need, they want, they love each other.

But none of that matters, because’s Satine is sick. And not the kind of sick you can bounce back from. Not to mention the fact that her fiance is planning on having her lover killed.

DRA-MA.

There’s singing, there’s dancing, there’s joy, passion, love, sweetness, comedy, and tragedy. And music from Nirvana, El Debarge, U2, Elton John…and so many others.

Check out THIS video. It’s a tango to die for.

OTP Friday: Destiel

Ok, so TECHNICALLY they aren’t a couple. TECHNICALLY. And there are many who would say that they will never, ever BE a couple, that there is absolutely ZERO chemistry between the two, and that their relationship is that of brothers.

Yes, but have you SEEN the eye sex?

Back in the early days of Supernatural, I was an occasional viewer. I was rarely home, and when I was  I was paying more attention to that show starring the Black Smoke. Wait. They both have Black Smoke. The one with The Island.

It took eight seasons for me to sit down and just watch the newer eps. Of course, there was this whole Destiel thing that I was hearing about on Twitter and Tumblr, so I had to check it out. There was meta, fanvids, links to fan fiction (Yeah, whatever. Fan Fiction is for nerds), gifs (not jifs) with the eyesex, photos of the actors…Oh, it was like a candy store, and everything was Godiva chocolate.

So, to recap, I’ve been shipping Destiel since before I actively started watching the show. Then I started watching season 8. At that point, I wasn’t watching with my Shipper Goggles, but I was aware of the chemistry between the two characters and was keeping a look out for any evidence that I was crazy, and also some that proved I wasn’t.

Fast Forward to the second half of season 8. I was ON TOP of it. I’d watched ALL of the episodes, some more than others, and I was starting to get into the SPN fandom. And fanfiction. After episode 8.17, “Goodbye Stranger” aired, I browsed through the ff archive and found a story that picked up where the episode left off and unfolded perfectly…in FanFiction Land. Six episodes later I was outlining my own story to deal with during the summer hiatus. Millions of words later and here I am, swimming in Destiel, aka Dean/Cas fic.

Watch the show with and without Shipper Goggles and it’s undeniable. The chemistry, that is. And even if they don’t get together on the show, even if Destiel doesn’t become canon on the show, there are stories, thousands of stories where they do.

And yes, there are a lot of pornier stories in this particular fandom, and some of them are just horrible, porn for the sake of porn, and that’s fine. They aren’t for me. I like the dirty, classy, well-written porn with a plot, thanks.

My point is, not all of the Destiel stories are porn. My favorites are the ones that have the clear connection between the two characters, the ones where their souls shine through, the ones where the love and affection are PURE.

This is my ship. I hold the belief that the souls of the two characters, live on in Alternate Universes. I was introduced to the pair on the show, but THAT is just one of many AUs.

These guys have a “profound bond” and they are family, because we all know that family don’t end in blood. They are best friends and hurt when the other does.

Best friends keep mementos of their friends, right? Like when your friend turns into a vessel for all of the worst monsters in the world and becomes the “New God” and they wade out into the local water supply and the only thing that comes back is your friend’s trench coat, you’ve got to keep it, right? It’s the only thing you have left of them, so you shuttle it from car to car, hovel to hovel. That’s normal, right? Just besties behavior?

Just watch THIS little scene and tell me that’s BFF behavior.

Well, regardless of whether The Powers That Be will see fit to bring them together, my ship lives on in the written word. They can hunt together in a Canonverse or they can be Punks, Nerds, high schoolers, mechanics, bartenders, baristas, angels, priests, mermen, octopi, they can be cheats, cops, mobsters, teddy bear doctors…All that matters is somewhere out there is that perfect story, that perfect ending that brings the two together…even if it never comes true in the “real world.”

Here’s a fanvid in the manner of a movie trailer that shows off some of that chemistry and connection. The Profound Bond.

(all images found via Tumblr. Bless you, SPN Fam.)