All Dogs Go To Heaven

Hey, all!  I don’t feel much like writing a big post right now.  We had to put our last puppers down yesterday (or today as I’m writing this).  He was pretty old for a chihuahua (15 or 16), and he was really sick, so we had to make the choice.  Instead of the usual post, I think I’ll just spam you with pictures of some of our old puppers.

That’s Chewy.  He’s the one we just put down.  Mom rescued him back in 2002 or so and he was with us ever since.  He liked to pee on people and cuddle and would run around bumping into things because he was blind.  He was the baby of the family.

This was Dame Julia of Mesquite.  She was my Jujubee.  We had to put her down back in 2014 and she was around 13 or 14 and she was really sick.  She was my protector.  Whenever she was in lap, you couldn’t come near me without getting nipped at.  I fully admit she was rotten and spoiled.

Toto!  She was my sister’s dog that she got from one of Dad’s jobs.  She was put down in 2011, but I’m not sure how old she was (at least 13 or so).  Her snaggle-teeth weren’t helped by the fact that she liked to attack socks and wouldn’t let go even after you lifted her off the ground.  She was the sweetheart.

This was Speedy.  He was the first dog that was supposed to be mine, but he got too big to sit in my lap.  We got him in 1993 from one of Dad’s jobs and he stayed with us until 2010 when he had to be put down.  He was Dad’s pup once he crawled up behind Dad’s neck and watched TV with him.  He would sing and bounce around and was generally the sweet, loving old man.

We had plenty of other dogs before these four, including Schnapps and Michelob.  I don’t remember a time in my life when there wasn’t at least one dog around.  It’s a weird feeling.  That’s all I really feel like saying this week.  I’ll be in better spirits next week.  See you then!

A Look Inside Texas de Brazil

Howdy, howdy!  How was everyone’s week?  As promised, I’m posting a review of my birthday experience at Texas de Brazil.  We went to the one out in Addison this time, instead of the one in Dallas.  Check out their website (linked above) for locations near you!  It’s a Brazilian steakhouse and churrascaria, so there’s a big focus on meat.  As carnivores, Dad and I appreciate that, as did Ed Baker who went with us and is a family friend from back when I was active with MDA.  I will say that this wasn’t my first time there, so this post will probably draw on my other experiences as well.

First, a reminder of my rating system:

MMMMM = Everything is magnificent!
MMMM = Great, but something is off.
MMM = Pretty good, but a couple of things could be better.
MM = The bad’s starting to outweigh the good.
M = Definitely more cons than pros.
… = I couldn’t find anything nice to say.

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A selection of their meats borrowed from their Facebook page.

First up is accessibility.  They don’t have many handicap parking spaces at either of the locations I’ve been to, but they do have valet parking to make life easier if the spaces are taken.  I admit that I like the Addison location a little better than the Dallas one because I can get in through the front door.  The only ramp on the Dallas location is in through the kitchen, which is cool (I mean, at least they made it accessible in the ways they could).  The Texas de Brazil in Addison did a nice job to accommodate wheelchairs.  It can be a tight squeeze around the salad bar, especially at the corners (we had to ask a nice man to move because I couldn’t make one of the turns), but otherwise it was fairly easy to manuever around.  The tables are a nice height, but they do have a small piece underneath that I would’ve banged my knees on if I hadn’t looked first.  It’s easily avoidable, though.  So, it’s accessibility is up to the usual standards around here.

Next is service.  The hostess and waitress were wonderful.  They both talked to me like a regular human being.  The people who carry the meat around and serve it focused mostly on Dad and Ed.  Only one or two of them looked directly to me when asking who wanted what, but since Dad grabbed a piece for me off of everything, it didn’t really bug me.  In other words, the service was great where it mattered.

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Dad, Ed, and I post-meat, but pre-dessert.

Now, the best part: food!  Once you’re seated, there’s a huge salad area you can hit up as often as you want.  There’re vegetables and cheese and fruits and fish and soup.  It’s delicious all on its own.  They do have vegetarian-friendly options in case you know some herbivores, but I’m not sure about vegan options.  My personal favorites were the cheeses and some kind of pineapple dish that was super thinly sliced and sweet.  It’s definitely got enough to fill you up even if you don’t want to eat the meat floating around the room.

As for the meat, I can honestly say it’s like a little slice of heaven.  Waiters carry skewers of everything from beef to chicken to pork to lamb.  There’s literally something for everyone.  Dad loves lamb, I loved the parmesan crusted chicken and pork, Ed kept going back to the sausages.  You can gorge on whatever you want or have a little bit of everything like we did.  They even have a couple of sides (garlic mashed potatoes and fried bananas) they bring to the table despite the huge salad area.  They also have bread.  Be prepared to stuff yourself silly.

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My birthday creme brulee!

Texas de Brazil also has a fairly wide variety of desserts.  I had the creme brulee, of course.  Dad had flan, and Ed had the key lime pie.  Everything we’ve had here has been yummy.  They don’t have specialty coffee cocktails, but the bartender will whip something up if you ask, which is how I like to end such a wonderful meal.

Now, onto the thing no one likes to talk about: the price.  At nearly $50 a person (not including drinks and desserts), it’s not cheap.  But for everything you get, it’s totally worth the splurge once a year or so.  Get dressed up and make a night of it with someone special.

So, here’s my rating:
MMMM

15 Things About Me That You Never Wanted To Know

Howdy, howdy!  As some of you might know, tomorrow (January 12th) is my birthday.  I’ll be 31, or for those of you who have gerascophobia (the fear of aging), it’ll be my third 29th.  Birthdays around here are quiet events that usually consist of a nice dinner with friends.  This year, the destination is Texas de Brazil!  Yummy!  I’ll make sure to do a full report on that next week.  This week, I thought I would share a list of 15 things about myself that you may or may not already know.  I was going to do 31 and make it a whole nod to my age thing, but no one’s that interested in me.

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Pretty much.

1. My current diagnosis is Ulrich Congenital Muscular Dystrophy (UCMD), but it’s not my first.  There was Floppy Baby Syndrome, which I was supposed to grow out of.  When that didn’t happen, it was Congenital Myopathy.  I didn’t grow out of that either, so I was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy type 2 (SMA2), which came with a series of death guesstimates that never panned out.  That was all by the time I was five.  I was 23 or so when they decided SMA2 was definitely wrong and tested for UCMD (a relatively new disease at the time).  The doctors swear UCMD is the correct one, though.  We’ll see what happens.

2. I like Nickelback.  Make fun of me all you want, but they aren’t a bad group.  They’re not my favorite or anything, but I never really understood why they’re so hated.

3. I don’t have a favorite TV show.  I have shows I love, but if you asked me to pick one I like best, I couldn’t even narrow it down.

4. I’m a firm believer that “growing up” and “acting your age” are scams developed by people who aren’t young at heart.  Besides, I’ve never been this age.  I don’t know what it’s supposed to be like.

5. My favorite things about the Christmas season (aside from family and joy and all of that) are eggnog and peppermint bark.

6. I’m quietly competitive.  I try not to compete with people for things, but when it happens, I will silently plot your overthrow.

7. One of my favorite memories from my time at SMU was when my physics teacher decided to make class grades “public.”  There was a spreadsheet on the class website with our grades listed under nicknames.  I swapped back and forth with a guy (I overheard the guy tell a classmate his nickname, so I know it wasn’t the other female in class) for top marks as the semester went on, ultimately earning the highest grade.  That was the best motivation ever.

8. I started listening to James Blunt and Lifehouse and sappy music in general for a male.  I keep listening to it because I’m apparently a big old softy who enjoys that kind of stuff.

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Maybe.

9. I can go weeks or more without talking to people.  It doesn’t mean that I don’t like you.  And I don’t avoid people very often unless I’ve had too much social interaction (a rare occurrence).  I’ll answer you if you message me.  I’m just really bad at keeping in touch.

10. My favorite colors are purple and green.  My favorite color combination is purple with black and silver.  Most people don’t seem to know about the green part.  It’s weird.

11. I have to drink booze through a straw.  I don’t really understand why this amazes people, but it does.

12. I want to go to Japan some day.  There are other places I would like to visit, but Japan will always be at the top of my list.

13. A friend once told me that she loved me because I would tell her the blunt truth and she’d still walk away feeling special, even if I was telling her she was doing something idiotic.  She’s not the only one who has said something similar.  I guess it’s a weird talent I have.

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Seriously.  Don’t do the thing.

14. I don’t read nearly as much as I should.  I know writers are expected to read a lot, but I don’t.  It’s just not that high on my list of priorities, so I tend to keep putting it off.

15. I’d love to move to the northeast.  Somewhere on the water.  Closer to my Stonecoast people.  I really miss Maine, especially while residency is going on, like right now.

I’ll stop boring you!  Feel free to share some facts about yourself in the comments or on my social media pages.  See you next week!

Mindless Games and Why I Play Them

Happy new year, everyone!  I hope the year has started off pleasantly for you.  I’ve just been working on revisions to G&G and relaxing.  I have a tendency to play mindless games when I relax.  You know the ones.  Candy Crush, Diner Dash, Papa’s Pizzeria.  Pretty much anything with an alliterative name is bound to be mindless.  Match three games or hidden objects games or time management games.  The types of games that give you something to do with your hands and pretty images to stare at, but require little to no deep thinking.  However, some people don’t really understand why I play them and even pick on me for it (in a funny haha way, not a mean one), so I thought I would explain a little bit.

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May your year be filled with love and light!

Mindless games are simply a way for me to shut down my brain and stop overthinking things, especially when I’m dwelling on something.  They allow me to focus on something mundane and ignore the voices in my head for a while.  When I’m upset at life or stuck on a story or whatever, the games help to clear my thoughts.  It’s kind of like when you get sucked into a TV show or a movie or a book and everything else fades away for that hour or however long.  It’s a way to bring peace into my head, like my own little meditation.  When your brain is constantly on high speed over the stupidest things, it’s a really nice feeling to just relax.

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I can stop whenever I want.  I just don’t want to.

There’s also this weird side effect of mindless games that I don’t get from TV or books: I find solutions to plot problems when I play.  With TV and books, I have to focus on their plots and follow along.  Mindless games don’t require that much interaction, so my subconscious is free to roam wild.  In its roaming, it finds solutions to problems organically.  It finds things I would never come up with even after hours or days of plotting.  I know a lot of people who have these revelations in the shower, and others who keep dream journals for this type of stuff, but not me.  Mindless games are where it’s at for me.

So, laugh at my stupid games all you want, but there’s a method to my madness.  Plus, and this is important, I enjoy the games.  I like matching games.  I like the games that simulate tasks like waiting tables and cooking and all the other stuff I can’t do.  It’s fun and stupid and makes me a huge nerd.  I fully accept that.

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I’m right here!

Do you play any mindless games?  How do you go about clearing your mind?  Do you find your aha moments in the shower or driving down the road or in your dreams?  Thoughts, comments, questions, and everything in between are welcome in the comment section here or on my social media pages.