Monday, January 11, 2016

"I ask for so little. Just fear me, love me, do as I say and I will be your slave."

**I want to preface this with the fact that I'm not much for reacting to celebrity deaths. For me, they're just people. And people die. It's a horrible consequence of mortality, but it happens. This time, it's personal and I needed to write something to try and deal with this terrible news.**

I have already mentioned how 2016 blows. I've had two very personal blows, including Harley's declining vision and a family matter. That's all within the first nine days of two-thousand and sixteen. I've had to remind myself that dogs get old a hell of a lot faster than people do. I've had to curse cancer, in many forms. If this is how 2016 is going to roll, I'll just skip ahead to 2017 if none of you mind too much...

David Bowie. I don't even think I can put into words what David Bowie means to this world. I can barely put into words what Bowie means to me. I can say that we never deserved a talent like David Bowie. Ever. And we will never deserve the things that he has brought to this world. There will never be anyone like David Bowie again.

Let's start with how I became acquainted with Mr. Jones. When my parents met one another, my dad had a dog that he had gotten as a bachelor. A purebred Golden Retriever named Ziggy. Well, Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars was her legal name. We just called her Ziggy. Adults were alway impressed that I not only knew who David Bowie was but also knew all about the Spiders from Mars. David Bowie was a household name for our house. Before I could walk (or even talk), I had Labyrinth memorized. And I had a HUGE crush on Jareth, the Goblin King (don't judge me).

Labyrinth is my all time favorite movie. So much so that I have a Labyrinth tattoo on my left shoulder blade. When I was in 6th grade, I had a sleepover birthday party. I was so excited because I was going to show everyone Labyrinth. I was really shocked that no one had seen this movie (or even heard of David Bowie). My entire being wanted to disintegrate when each one of my "friends" got bored 15 minutes into the movie and begged for Mr. Deeds to be put on instead. I didn't know if I wanted to punch all of them or cry in a corner. I did neither. I vaguely remember sulking in the kitchen while eating Funfetti frosting off of a spoon. I knew I was an odd duck, but I think that was the confirming moment.

So here it is. This is what David Bowie taught me. He taught me that just because everyone else is doing it, doesn't mean you should. He taught me that someone has to be the weird kid because without the people who think differently, the world can never move forward. He taught me that just because it's different, doesn't mean that it's wrong. He taught me that just because you want to wear something that isn't your current "look" doesn't mean that it's not "you" because there could be multiple you's inside of you. If you want to rock something, rock it so hard no one can talk shit about you. David Bowie was my very first Celebrity Crush. He was the first guy I looked at and went, "Oh heeeeeeeeeeeey, can I get yo' numba?" (no, that didn't happen because I was like, 5 and I'm pretty sure I just thought he was "dreamy" and wanted him to adopt me). His constant changing in the way his music sounded always kept me on my toes. Sometimes, I didn't understand what he was doing, but I loved it nonetheless. Because it's David Bowie.

Buy the poster of this for yourself AND for me

That's what he taught me. He taught the world so many different things. Things that I mentioned above, things that I don't understand, and things that are so natural to the world now, that we didn't even know we needed to learn it. He also changed how masculinity is seen. Senior year of high school (circa 2005-2006), I found out that one of my very good friends, Hannah, had never heard of David Bowie (I almost broke off our friendship). Even in high school, I still wanted Bowie to adopt me or I wanted to have his babies (I was really confused). I finally wore a t-shirt into rehearsals for the play. This one to be exact. Hannah's immediate reaction? "That's David Bowie? HE LOOKS LIKE A GIRL!" Well, yeah. You're not wrong, Hannah.

David Bowie is a death I never thought I would ever have to deal with. I thought he'd outlive every single person on this planet, because he doesn't have to worry about mortality like us mere humans. I didn't think I would ever live in a world where David Bowie wasn't alive and making music.

There's so much more that I want to write. My heart is so incredibly heavy today. I pray for everyone. I pray heaviest for David Bowie's friends and family, in this time of loss. But I also pray for the world because we lost a genuine talent and genius. I feel honored to have been living at the same time as this beautiful creature.

Above is his latest album. It was released a few days ago. He wrote this while battling cancer and this album was his final gift to the world. Who does that? David. Fucking. Bowie. That's who. Take a listen. It's weird and out there and absolutely wonderful.

 - so I can sigh eternally -


Monday, January 4, 2016

Can I have 2015 back now?

Dear 2015,

I'm sorry for what I said about you. I didn't mean all those rude things. You weren't hard or trying or annoying. You were wonderful and perfect. If I'm super nice, will you come back? 2016 is really not being good to me and I want you back.

Lauren White

I had it all planned out. How I was going to introduce the new "Writes With Wolves". I was going to open up my first 2016 post with talking about how I chopped off all my hair last month (I totally did it. It's all gone guys!) and how 2015 was way better than 2014 (ugh, totally). I was going to highlight all the things I loved (and hated) about 2015. I was going to do it.

I wanted this post to be about how I see my blog, and my life in some part, going this year. It was going to be funny and witty and it was going to make you excited to see what I have in store. I was going to show you how I'm getting more personal on here. It doesn't get much more personal than what I have to share. (disclaimer: before I continue, Harley did not die)

I recently received some terrifying news.

Anyone who's been here before knows Harley. She is my fur baby. My pride and joy. The love of my life. We rescued Harley as a family in August 2006 from ARF in Walnut Creek, CA. My dad was the first one to choose Harley. He was pretty set on her and, as a family, we fell in love with her sweetness. Harley was used as a bait dog. I was going to put dog baiting in my own words but it usually makes me want to vomit and punch things all at once, so here's wikipedia:
"Dog-baiting is the setting of game dogs against a chained or confined animal for sport. The dogs bite and tear to subdue the opposing the animal by incapacitating or killing it. Baiting is a blood sport used for entertainment and gambling. It is illegal in most countries with varying levels of enforcement."
I hate human beings sometimes. Harley was torn apart when she arrived at ARF. They decided to move forward with surgery, instead of putting her down. That decision is the best decision that's ever been made.

Last Wednesday, my parents began noticing that Harley was running into things. A lot. She would go into a room and would be "stuck", she wouldn't know how to get out of that room again. I was on a road trip with my boyfriend at the time and had no idea that anything was wrong. She was acting so normal before. My parents kept a watchful eye on Harley. They took her for walks and she constantly fell off the sidewalk. She would get stuck in rooms, unable to get out. She wouldn't know which way she was faced and would slam right into walls. Then, on Saturday, she started squinting her right eye a lot. Which, in dog speak, I guess means she's in pain. As soon as I got in on Saturday, my mom told me. Even if I was gone for 1 minute or 1 month, Harley would be the first to greet me at the door with whines, kisses, and a wagging tail. She wasn't. I called for her and I heard her paws making their way across the floor. She was stuck in the kitchen, behind the breakfast nook. She could hear my voice, but she couldn't get out of the kitchen. The look in her eyes completely broke me down.

I immediately took her to the vet. How does a dog go blind in the span of a few days? Isn't it supposed to be gradual? Unfortunately, the vet couldn't tell me much. I need to see a specialist, but here's some pain meds. She was so sad. So lost and confused. I wanted nothing else in the world but to tell her what was going on and how we were going to get her more help. I just wanted to explain it to her.

So to the specialist I go. Today. Monday, January 4, 2016. 10:30am. The specialist ran some tests... That ended in a lot of worry from her. Harley's right retina is completely detached from her eye. Her left eye, she can see shadows and the difference between a light being on and a light being off... But not much more. This is something that could, plausibly, take place in a week or less. It may have been something that came before but something she never showed. So more testing... We now have to see if this is reversible (which it may be!) or if this is life-threatening (... which it may be). I'm preparing myself for the latter because I have to.

Here I sit. Waiting. Drinking tea. Working. Listening to whatever music Spotify has playing because I can't hear it. I can't pay attention. I just have to wait for about 4 to 5 hours until I know what's going on with my baby.

And it's the worst 4 to 5 hours of my life.

After the 4-5 hours: I wish I could give you a big update. I can tell you that I feel a lot better after talking to the specialist. She was so positive. The first thing that she says to me is, "I've already fallen in love with your dog" (shocker. She is the best dog in the world so this is no surprise to me). Luckily, it looks like Harley doesn't have cancer (!!!). There are about 3 tests that are going to take approximately a week to get results back. It looks like Harley may have some sort of really bad infection OR her immune system is attacking itself. The good thing about both of these things is that it's treatable. She's on a few pain medications and antibiotics to fight everything. She's already in much better spirits. She can even run down the hallway without running into the wall (which I can't always do anyway).

I promise to keep you updated as time goes on. But my hopes are a lot higher right now then they were when I started writing this piece. And this is what I want. I want to show myself more and give you guys something to entertain you for a few minutes of your day. Or possibly only to give Jessica and Jacob something to read (I see you there too, Shawna) when they're avoiding work. I don't know why you're here or what you want to see or if you just actually wanted to see some really cool wolf pics (who doesn't?), but I'm here, and I'm working on it.

Dear 2016,

Bring it on.

Lauren White

P.S. Can we just have 2016 be like Bring It On? I'll be Eliza Dushku. Kthanx.