Archive for August, 2012

Farewell, Jimmie Dog

My most steadfast hiking buddy passed away this morning. His name was Jimmie (after the band Jimmie’s Chicken Shack). He spent 15 years and 4.5 months on this beautiful earth.

I have written before how adopting this small puppy from the Montgomery County Humane Society in 1997 impacted my life (See Happy 10th Birthday, Jimmie Dog). Jimmie’s adoption led to an active lifestyle. Finding adventures for my dog introduced me to my love of hiking and the mountains. His mere presence meant I was never really “alone” on any endeavor so he gave me the confidence (placebo?) to head into the woods alone and find my independence. He is a dog I will remember with gratitude.

The trails Jimmie has hiked over the years can be measured in “hundreds of miles”. Along the way, he has seen some amazing views. The slideshow below is an excerpt of some of the scenery we shared together. (You don’t have to have the attention span for all the slides, but do please note at how many slides there are. Epic!)

Last night, Ryan, Sagan and I took Jimmie across the river to Occoquan Regional Park. Jimmie was too weak to walk, so we drove to the park and we carried him to the shoreline. We sat under a sycamore tree. We watched ducks commute and ospreys tend to their young. We listened to the summer buzz of cicadas and people splashing on the west shore of the river. The sun set and together Jimmie and I took in one final view.

Jimmie's Last Outing - Jimmie and Vicky Take In One Last View (By Ryan Somma)
One Last View (Photo by Ryan Somma)

I love you, Jimmie Dog. I wish you happy trails.

More pictures of Jimmie’s Last Outing can be found on my Flickr site.

August 29, 2012 at 12:32 pm 9 comments

Ba Gua in Central Park

Sagan’s Uncle Thad is a Kung Fu instructor and his Aunt Rachelle also happens to have her Shao Lin black belt. Our third full day in New York City, we travelled to Central Park to watch Thad teach a Ba Gua Broadsword class in Tupelo Meadows.

My friend from high school Brian joined us and then there was a surprise spectator as well– an Eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina)!

New York - Central Park - Broad Sword Practice
Broadsword Practice in Central Park

New York - Central Park - Sagan Stands During Broad Sword Practice
Sagan and Daddy Watch Broadsword Class

New York - Central Park - Sagan Studies Broad Sword 2
Sagan Studies a Broadsword

New York - Central Park - Box Turtle with Thad's Class
Box Turtle and Broadsword Class

New York - Central Park - Sagan Stalks Box Turtle (Closer)
Sagan Follows the Turtle

There was a small mishap. As Sagan worked on a poopy in the park, we were light heartedly encouraging him and joking around. Little did we know, this poopy was a free spirit which would not be contained by diapie, pants or onesie. We had packed extra diapies and wipes (an improvement upon our American Museum outing), but we did not have an extra outfit handy. Sagan spent the rest of the afternoon allegedly getting stares from strangers (I was oblivious to judgemental looks).

New York - Central Park - Sagan in Just a Diapie (By Thad Wong)
Sagan Sports Just His Diapie in Manhattan (Photo by Thad W)

We ate at a nearby Shake Shack which Sagan seemed to really enjoy. After that, we stopped by the Upper West Side Patagonia which was having their annual 50% off sale. Sagan managed to find a baby in the mirror.

New York - Sagan Sees Baby in Mirror
There’s a Baby!

At that point it was time to return to Brooklyn. We got to squeeze in some final visiting with Brian on the Subway.

It was a lovely way to spend our last full day in New York. More pictures of our outing to Central Park can be found on my Flickr site.

August 20, 2012 at 1:00 am Leave a comment

TGFNSTTN – Thank Gawd For NOT Sleeping Through the Night

When Ryan and I are out and conversation turns to the baby, one question will invariably get asked.  Young or old, male or female, family friend or complete stranger, whoever we are talking to will eventually ask:

Does he sleep through the night?

Typically our answer is he sleeps through the night, but we don’t.  Sagan still “dream feeds”.  Although our system is completely manageable (Team work, booyah!), sometimes there is a little bit of envy when we hear other parents reveal how long their babies sleep.

Today, my friends, the opposite should be true!

My father passed away July 27th, but last night I got to have the most pleasant reunion with him while I slept.  We were in a hospital lobby and everyone who attended my father’s funeral was there– all his siblings, his cousins, old co-workers, bridge players and even my boss Larry.  Even though my father was still skinny, he had all the vibrancy and animation of his healthier days.  He was surrounded by all his loved ones. He was telling his stories and laughing, laughing, laughing.

When Sagan started to stir in real life, he had impeccable timing.  He woke me up while my father’s laughter was still echoing in my head.  Waking at that moment guaranteed that it was a dream that would get remembered.

When morning arrived, sure I was more tired than I would have been if I slept all the way through the night.  But I’m very thankful I didn’t.  : )

August 17, 2012 at 9:13 pm Leave a comment

Trivia for “Trees on Mars – Microbes and Football”

I love reading the trivia on imdb.  When I’m watching movies at home, I typically have the trivia page open and I peruse it as the film plays.

In June, I had a short story “Trees on Mars: Microbes and Football” included in the 10th Issue of Luna Station Quarterly.  Trees are going to make or break the Mars terraforming efforts and this story is a short narrative from that crucial “tree-phrase”.  Although only 2000 words long, it drew on a myriad of influences from Carl Sagan to E.O. Wilson to The Oatmeal to even ESPN’s Kenny Mayne.  In case there are any me’s out there, a slideshow of related trivia is below.  : )


August 11, 2012 at 11:27 pm Leave a comment

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