Seeing double

How many black labs can you spot?

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Little adoptable Sasha came to spend the day with us today. Yes I am getting a reputation for running a bed and breakfast for black homeless dogs.

Sasha will be going to Lab Rescue of Florida most likely but I know that if her Foster mom can see her find a great home closeby, she’d be elated! So I decided to share some pictures.

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She is funny! Her Foster mom termed this as ‘half assing’ 🙂 I could tell she wanted to be on the couch but also chase Kahlua.

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Sasha butt! It is funny how this girl selected the same spots that Midnight used to select in this house, including walking all over me and specially stepping on my very full bladder with a vehemently wagging tail and half a toy in my face.

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We have a couch for every dog that visits or stays here. Not necessarily for every human.

Well, the dogs played and tired each other out. At some point every human and canine existence that belongs or was visiting here,  was  fast asleep occupying whatever comfortable surface was available.

It was a true Sunday!

Email cauzicanfl@gmail.com if you think you can be that awesome home that little Sasha needs.

{Photo Sunday} Grumpus Maximus and the importance of Cuddling

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Grumps is usually forced to cuddle. He is not very proactive about it. But because his mom necessitates the daily cuddle, we came upon a skin tag that we really didn’t think should have been there.  Worry not, our favorite doctor said it was benign and took it off. But we know now that cuddling is the most trusted way of finding bumps, lumps and skin tags on canine members of the family. Keep calm and Cuddle on.

Door.

It was a deep shade of blue. Much like the ink we used in school. On the top in gold were the numbers 4208. The handle was a rusted shade of the same gold. It was ajar. She had to go in.

She walked into a modestly done living room. An old couch, but soft, stood against the wall, and faced the TV. Amongst a few DVDs on the bookshelf near the TV was the Hunger Games Trilogy, The Secret, and Mindy Kaling’s “Is everyone hanging out without me?”. Good read, she thought. The living room smelled of Vanilla. A delicious smell that goes well with the crisp Fall air, she would realize later.

Gingerly, she took a few more steps into the next room. She was greeted by a familiar set of dark brown eyes. They were smiling. They belonged to a familiar expression – one that was expecting her. They hugged, but it felt like nothing.

“Listen, I need to tell you something.” said she, with concern in those eyes, folding that bright yellow blanket that she refused to go to bed without, years ago. She wondered if it still smelled the same.

“What? ”

“You will feel so homesick that you will want to die.”

She was puzzled.

“But I want you to know, that slowly, you will meet people with no connection to your past, and you will realize- This is my life now.”

“You’re not making any sense.”

“Homesickness is much like every other sickness – it bothers you for a while, depletes  you, and moves on to the next person.”

Her dark brown eyes filled with tears.

“Would you like something to drink?”

No answer.

“Ma’am? We have coke products, and beer and wine for purchase. This is a cashless flight.”

Slowly regaining consciousness she came to terms with her surroundings and ordered a coke. “Damn it, I must have been knocked out. There is still hours to go until JFK. I had the weirdest dream.”

“Really, what was it?” He asked.

“Nothing, I guess. Do you realize what a huge change this move is going to be?”

“Oh, you’ll be fine! And you’ll visit. And I’ll visit.”

“Yes Dad, but nothing will ever be the same again.”

 

Yesterday’s daily prompt was “Door“. This post is one that uses that to quote lines from a film I watched on the way back from the west coast that had me in tears more than once –Brooklyn. It has scenes, feelings, emotions that I bet every immigrant understands- experiences that change an individual, make them see things differently, understand, comprehend and be changed human beings. Even though set in the 1950s, all of it applies even today.

 

Quirky Apple

Going through my gallery, I realised I had a few silly clicks and a theme for my next post developed!

I’m sure most people walking around the City notice these little things. Small signs that people leave behind, and interesting things that they do.

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Like request people not to defecate outside their homes.

I don’t believe I’ve ever seen such a request, or will see one again.

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This is a classic. Specially as the week wears on, commuters get tired, and I click pictures. Once I had my flash on. It was embarrasing. There was nowhere to run either.

Trains are food for great clicks!

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And Shalini will Google RoomZoom.

Politics is fun where people are real and half the town is Donald Trump’s property.

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My living, walking, beerpaws.com advertisements.

Ok, I just had to put my boys out there, because look how cute!

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Vandalized parking signs

Street cleaning in Williamsburg is just a little different.

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Window art

Fun for passers by.

Stay tuned for more clicks!

Clarity, through a lens.

So ever since I got here I’ve been bitching out on the city. It’s no secret. Every time someone asked me how I have liked it so far, I’ve been honest- I didn’t.  And my worst came out when asked “Don’t you just love it? Who would want to live anywhere else?”- ” No I don’t, many normal people, and you’re arrogant to not realize that.” And that used to be my biggest problem with the City – the arrogant underlying assumption that anyone who would want to live elsewhere is missing a few marbles.

But the negativity was getting the better of me. And those around me. And keeping me from being the best version of myself, for me, and those I share my life with.

My clarity came to me in the form of this negativity and its adverse effect on my surroundings. I decided to stop. I decided to try to be better about trying. You know that line from the world’s best movie? “You’re not trying, you’re whining.”

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Which is also shot here!

Not to fall off the runway too much here, but I decided to try to like the City. Really like. This is my home now. It has a lot to offer. It is one of the most dynamic places to be. There are good, hardworking, creative people. Everyone is trying to build something, to make a life, and to express themselves. Everyone is crazy,  but who am I kidding if I say I am normal. What is normal anyway?

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Guy climbing a tree at Washington Sq. Park

I decided to photograph the city. Document the good things. Bring clarity to my thoughts. Find my space among the 8 million crazies.

One of the most annoying things about the City is that noone gives a shit. And on of the best things about the City is that noone gives a shit. If there is one place in the world you can do what you want to, with no fear of judgement, simply because noone has the time to give a rat’s ass, it is here. And that.. is amazing!

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Free standup comedy at the Village Lantern on Sunday nights.

 

 

The city has most definitely given me back the gift that I was born with, but grew out of – speaking my mind. Not in the ungainly, almost callous manner that I used to, though. But there is an element of liberation. Everything is not taken personally. A push on the Subway is just that, and nothing more. Not something to take back and document on FB after ruminating on it like a psycho, like I did earlier this year.

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The City from the Staten Island Ferry. Free 24×7, and very calming. The silence shocked me. A wonderful evening with my bestie, Nandu.

I have no idea where my time goes, and this helps me be honest about how much I can chew, really, rather than bite off more than I can handle, and then choke on it. This next bit is bad, but I don’t respond to some things if my plate is already full, and I don’t feel bad about it. I go back later sometimes, and say I was caught up, but I don’t apologize for anything. And it is okay.

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Pianist at Washington Sq. Park. 

Seriously, if someone can make the effort to drag a grand piano out to a park to play to make other people happy for their lose change, this place cannot be that bad! I love this guy. He stood up at the end of a piece and said “For those of you who don’t know that one, I played the shit out of it.” Who could not smile at that?

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Grand Central Terminal

I have better pictures of my current favorite place in the world – Grand Central Station, but  don’t know what I did with them. The Oyster Bar is my favorite. This station is quite unlike anything else in the city. It is the only privately owned Subway station in the city, and a bunch of other trains going north also stop here. But the best part for me is how much it feels like stepping into another time. Crucial as it was during World War II, being the busiest hub connecting most of the Eastern US seaboard, Grand Central today is so much nicer than many airports in the country. It is from times when travel was a luxury, suitcases were large, and stays were longer.

My pictures will be unclear and phone captured, but stay tuned for more clicks as I look at the City with a positive lens!

 

A 35 year old New Yorker

Last year, I asked the boy  to stop growing. Ofcourse, who ever listens when Mother says anything? So this year our boy turned 35. A lot has changed since that last birthday. Actually all three of our lives have completely changed. All of last year for us (humans) was spent in driving this change, and I have had no energy, or inspiration to keep writing, except when I want to say bad things about New York.

But change is not always bad, and the three of us are happy together. Yesterday was one such happy day, where we celebrated our boy’s 35th! We had good human friends, great puppy friends, food, wine, human and dog birthday cake. What more does one need in life?

The best part was, none of these pups had ever met each other before, but they got along swimmingly well! All the parents were a little anxious, but the anxiety melted away in no time.

All picture courtesies go to Wendy, proud mom of a beautiful chocolate lab named Grant, and my husband, K, proud new father of our old puppy!

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Humans should have cake too! Happy Birthday Dom! 

Kahlua was asked to stay until we sang “Happy Birthday”. He lasted until “..to you” of the first line. Hey, all is fair when there is cake involved! Dom waited till the song was over. She’s nice like that.

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All the pups amidst play, some resting, others scheming!

 

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Where there is a ball, there is a Lab (..or two!)

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Grant let Kahlua have this one for his birthday 🙂 

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Beautiful Stella!

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“Mother, can I has that wine while I ignore  you hugging another pup please?”

 

The pups had a great time! There is so much I am learning from co-parenting as opposed to being a single pet-mother. Maybe that is a post for another time! Kahlua loves being in a full happy family, and it shows because he sleeps a full 18 hours a day, unlike the earlier 15 back “home” in Florida.

Unfortunately we are going to lose two of our posse to the vast lands, cheaper rents, cowboy hats, freely available arms, and other general southern niceness of Texas.

We will miss you Jake and Stella 😦

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Everything is big in Texas, except our little Jake and Stella!

Another year, another puppy party! Hoping for many many more to come.

Southern girl standing clear of the closing doors.

My first work week in New York is officially over. It was short, like me, barely upto 5 😉 The city is a tough place for a noob anyway, but more so for a little noob.

Little noobs have shorter strides and need more time to get to the train station. Little noobs find it hard to breathe when submerged in a crowd of fast-paced, no nonsense New Yorkers concealing their natural and MTA odors with designer fragrances. Little noobs find it hard to read “Next Stop” signs on subway trains because the large people inadvertently block them. Little noobs have the same problem with street signs. And this little noob gets turned around quite easily!

It is a world of difference from my calm Florida 15 minute drive to work in air conditioning. Which brings me to my point – everything here is more of a fight than it is in other places. In my first week here, I have not understood why people choose to live this life of constant fighting and struggling. Now, before all you “New Yaawkers” jump to your big city’s defense allow me to say – I have spent a lot of time here and in long stretches, and I’ve seen a lot of things that people who live and work here have not, because they don’t have time, and because I had all the time in the world when I was here earlier.  So I know all the theoretical benefits of this city. They just need to sink in for me, and I need to find my special place among the throngs of people.

All my clothes are currently designed to move from air conditioning, to luxurious 100 degree parking for all of 4 seconds, back to serious air conditioning. I’ve had it good so far! No 45 minute fight commute to work, give or take an additional 30 should I need to stop at a pharmacy, or run just any simple errand.

Oh and the fight for parking is insane. Ordinarily no New Yorker in their sane mind would own a car, but I’m far from sane, and really where we live is not that bad, but twice a week I need to switch out where I am parked, for street cleaning. So invariably we are driving around the neighborhood yelling “Spot”, or abusing hydrants or making miserable desperate attempts at parallel parking in way too tiny spots in the city where square inches are more valuable than the rarest blood type. This little girl from Florida and her big black puppy really miss our vast expanses of parking! (Please don’t offer me sage advice of what all I can do to do away with my car. I have my reasons for keeping it for as long as I need to.)

Speaking of vast expanses – we also miss the vast expanses of green where once upon a time we ran free and breathed clean, fresh air. I have not run since I moved, which by definition means, I am miserable. Because each day is a fight. A fight for just getting through the day – just getting to work and back.

The proper thing to do is allow yourself time and healing. And I will. I hope one day I will truly understand why 8 million odd people choose to live on this small island and the small fragments of land that surround it. In the meanwhile I will have this image of this small island suddenly sinking into the water just by the sheer weight of these 8 million, exhausted and constantly fighting individuals.