Buddy relaxing after a really tough weekend.
Buddy relaxing after a really tough weekend.
This weekend was an emotional ride for little Buddy and our family.
Friday, he didn’t look so good. He hadn’t gone to the bathroom in two days and his rear end was very swollen and bleeding a little. My father decided it was a no brainer, we had to take him to an emergency pet hospital.
That night, Buddy got a full round of tests, ultrasounds, and examinations. Late that night, the news was bleak. It appeared that Buddy had a large tumor on his adrenal glands as well as blockages and hernias by his bladder and anal glands. They told us the only thing they could possibly do was try a surgery to help the hernias and clear the blockages but it would not help the tumor.
Buddy had been treated at his normal veterinarian for chronic skin issues which is a problem French Bulldogs commonly have. They never thought something could have been going on inside him.
We were then told that all of the surgeries and treatments would be over $6,000 and that wouldn’t take care of the tumor. They said Buddy would be in pain and uncomfortable and might not even make it through the surgery. The next morning, Jamie and I drove over to my father’s house for a family meeting. We decided the best thing to do was to put Buddy to sleep. Money wasn’t too much of a factor. We knew we would do anything possible to save the little guy only if he had a chance at recovering and living a healthy life. He is only six years old and still has half of his life left. This would not be the case, however, as he would suffer. We couldn’t let that happen. He is the sweetest dog on the planet and he deserves to be comfortable and not suffer a day in his life. We made one of the hardest decisions we’ve ever had to make… to put him to sleep.
My father and step mother got in the car to drive down to the pet hospital to inform the doctor of our decision. When they left, we started spreading the news. Anyone that ever met Buddy absolutely loves him and so many were worried about him and checking in for updates.
Upon arriving at the hospital, my father and step mother were greeted by a surgeon that told them that the hospital made a big error reading the x-rays the previous night. Buddy in fact does NOT have a tumor. He has two hernias that have impacted his bladder. A portion of his bladder was actually dead and was shutting down. The surgeon swore she could perform a procedure that would save Buddy. She had to remove a portion of the bladder, move it away from the hernias, and neuter him (he was not neutered). After hours of waiting and a lengthy surgery, it was a success! The surgeon emerged from the operating room with a big smile. Buddy was going to be okay. He stayed overnight and we picked him up yesterday.
He’s on a lot of medication and has a pain patch on. We were told he was going to resist food and water and he wouldn’t be moving around much for a few days but we are so unbelievably happy to have our little guy back.
I just wanted to write this entry because there are some out there that think Buddy died. For all intensive purposes, he did Saturday when we made the decision to put him to sleep… but we saw a miracle and he was saved. He is going to need more work for his hernias, but he has begun the recovery process. We thank everyone for their support. It really is strange how attached we become to our pets. Buddy is a huge part of our lives.
You can find Buddy on Facebook, crazily enough, and wish him well!
So I stayed at Albright. My pleas to my parents went by the wayside and I had to settle. It may have been for the best because now I know going to a new school would not have solved my problems but simply transferred them. I really wanted to be at home.with my close group of John, Amy, and Joe. I would have settled for all of us at least going to the same school.
So there I was… unpacking in room 109 of Crowell Hall at Albright College. My parents and my girlfriend at the time, Lindsay, were helping me unpack the bags that I had thrown together.I really had no idea what to pack other than clothes.
As a gift for our two-year anniversary, Jamie bought us two tickets to see Mike Birbiglia’s one man show “My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend” which is running at the Barrow Street Theater in New York City until June 25th.
I was very excited because Birbiglia has become one of my favorite comedians among Lewis Black at the top. To truly appreciate Birbiglia’s style, you have to have an open mind. He is not the typical Honda Civic (everyone does it) of comedians that have over-saturated the genre. By that I mean you will not be hearing a lot of one-liners and shock value jokes which is refreshing because many comedians try to get cheap laughs from vulgarities and shocking statements. Daniel Tosh is one of my favorites but you know the things he says are not true. Sure, Tosh has me rolling around and laughing when he’s on stage, but it can get old.
When seeing Mike Birbiglia, one really gets the sense that he’s THAT GUY that has ridiculous stories to tell at parties. He tries to tell the audience that outside of work he’s a regular guy that comes off as very awkward in many situations. He’s one of the only comedians that makes me think that his personality is exactly the same on stage as it is off stage. This helps the audience connect with him and pay attention. His stories are so true and genuine that you’ll feel bad for him, laugh at him, and sympathize with him all at the same time.
True to form, Birbiglia awkwardly walks through the door at the side of the stage to greet the audience. He first announces that he wants everyone to turn off their cellphones. He then points out a woman in the front row who is trying to locate their phone and is having trouble finding it in the huge bag that she had with her. He poked fun at her and it led into a story about a woman just a week ago that had no idea how to turn her cell phone off and was smothering it while it rang to make it seem like it wasn’t hers. This story flowed right into his show. For the next hour and ten minutes, the audience paid close attention and laughed a lot.
One of the stories that stood out saw Mike seeking his first make-out partner when he was young and how his plan was foiled by the scrambler ride. The audience laughed loudly as he danced around the state simulating the time he was having on the ride and the small window of opportunity he had to tell the pot smoking ride operator to “STOP THE RIDE!!!!”
He had said that when people started making out with each other in school that it seemed like a club that he was not part of. He didn’t mind not being a part of the club and he said that the girls in his school didn’t seem to mind either.
Another was the time he got t-boned by a drunk driver in California and through an error on a police report, he was forced to pay for the other drivers’ damages. To show us what happened, he pulled down a projector screen and showed us the police report. He had said that he didn’t believe in marriage and refused to get married until he was certain that nothing else good could happen in his life. This experience made him see things in a different light and made him want to marry his girlfriend.
He referenced a gymnast and how they pose at the end of their run and sometimes they fall and stumble in the middle but they still pose perfectly at the end. At the end of the show, he posed like that to a loud applause. A strobe light then started and he did his scrambler dance around the stage again.
After the show, Jamie and I waited in the lobby of the theater to see if Mike would come out and sign our poster. Even though it looked like he was in a hurry he stopped for us and signed the poster and took a few pictures with others outside before hopping in the back of a Town Car. He seems to realize what many celebrities don’t: taking a second to sign a poster or take a picture really means the world to fans. If he wasn’t in such a hurry I would have tried to get him to come out for a beer so we could hear more stories and chat with him.
I cannot put my finger on it. There are a lot of laughs to be had during the show. Whenever I was not laughing, I found myself smiling. If getting in and out of the city wasn’t such an expensive adventure, I’d see this show again.
Head to www.birbigs.com to check out show dates and other information. Also while you’re there, do yourself a favor and pick up his latest album “Sleepwalk With Me.” It is a hilarious album. Also, his book with the same title has reached best seller status with the New York Times and is well worth the read.
So what the hell am I doing here?
That is a question that I get a lot from friends and it is also something that I ask myself quite a lot. What am I planning and how am I going to get there. Do you want the simple answer or the more complex one? How about both? Well…. okay, both!
When I was in high school and college, I never thought about being a writer. I was really into politics, history, and debating. I thought I was a good BS’er and would be a shoe-in for a political office. It was fun in high school. In college, it was a nightmare. There is no right or wrong answer in politics and it turns out that people judge you solely on where your allegiance lies. Opinions come under heavy scrutiny and you could certainly miss out on some great opportunities depending on how you register. Is it a big coincidence that one people win an election and take office, they never get around to instituting all of the things they promise to accomplish? It’s never up to one person and there’s always an agenda. I left the political world because watching the news gives me an uneasy feeling in my stomach. Enough about that though…
I started blogging about the New Jersey Devils when I was in college. It was something fun to do. I love hockey so much and I wanted to take it to the next level, whatever the next level is, and get a foot in the door. Sam Woo at HockeyPrimeTime.com gave me my first opportunity. After blogging for Sam for a while, I moved on to blogging with Fan Sided at Pucks and Pitchforks which is where I am now. I am having so much fun blogging about hockey I figure I could make a career out of it. I have a lot of positive feedback and the dedication and drive to make it happen. Through knowing the editor, I was able to land a freelance writing position with the Scotch Plains-Fanwood and Westfield Patch publications. I was covering the Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School hockey team and took on my first non-hockey writing assignments. I was afraid that I wouldn’t enjoy being a journalist as much but I really did. I have covered board of education meetings, children’s movie events at the theater, and meeting previews and I have loved doing all of it. I am really good at communication, social media, and gaining contacts. I am also VERY good at e-mailing.
In January 2009, I left Albright College. My grades had not been good. I was faced with the scenario where I could make a last ditch attempt to get my things in order and graduate that year as originally planned. It would have been hard but the opportunity was there. That is when I got the news that my mother was diagnosed with stage four cancer and they caught it pretty late. We knew something was not right with them but numerous tests and doctors did not uncover what the issue was. A new round of testing and research by the MAYO Clinic uncovered the problem and it was simply too late. My mother, always concerned with the well being of her children before considering herself, told me that she had some cancer cells and they were going to give her some chemo to get rid of them… no problem. I knew that wasn’t the case. I had to leave school. I was offered a meeting with the brass of the college. While they thought I was there to plead my case to stay in the college… my mind was on other things. I initially thought that the right thing to do was to stay in school and try to tough the thing out and to this day my entire family things the same. I did the opposite. I was emotionally fragile and just wanted to go home. I had requested to my father that I transfer out of Albright when I was a freshman so you can imagine how I felt as a senior.
Leaving school was currently the smartest and dumbest thing I have ever done. On the bright side, I was able to spend a lot more time with my mother before she passed away. I also met my girlfriend where I wouldn’t have if I was still in Pennsylvania. At the same time, I am certainly less attractive to employers without that college degree. Now comes the challenge. I have to prove to everyone how talented and dedicated I am to show that I am just as qualified as I would have been had I spent the extra few months in school to achieve that piece of paper.
So what am I trying to accomplish? I want to get a job in a field that I enjoy. Everyone says that but I am going to make sure that it happens. Why not? Why put myself in a position to make sure that my life is miserable? I am 23 years old. We aren’t on this planet to squeak through life aimlessly only to die knowing we never accomplished what we set out for in life. I want to write. That is what I will do.
There are certainly speed bumps across the way. I currently for our family business back here in New Jersey. It is a real estate brokerage and appraisal company. When the economy collapsed, companies like ours hit rock bottom big time. Over the last three years, we have lost over $100,000 of yearly income. That’s fair right? I have gone weeks without paychecks while working nights and weekends to make sure work gets done. At the end of the day Jamie and I have to text eachother to make sure that we have enough money to get dinner. That is certainly not fun when it has to be done on almost a daily basis. Seeing the car is still in the driveway in the morning is a daily victory for me as well. I have been actively looking for a full time writing position or position with a media or news corporation. (Know of anything?) That’s partly why I have this site. If you noticed on the different pages, you can view my writing samples and download my resume. CONVENIENCE.
I feel like I can write a novel on everything I have experienced in my life so far. It would certainly be entertaining. From remembering what it was like to be a little child in this huge family with all of my cousins, getting hit with a wooden spoon if I was ever out of line. Fast forwarding to the teen years sneaking beer on the beach with our group down in Normandy Beach, NJ. I remember a time at the beach in the middle of the night during one of our ‘hide from the cops on the beach and drink parties’ when one of my best friends offered to find a girl’s lost pack of cigarettes in exchange for drunken…. uh… let’s say aerobics. He went to WaWa and bought a pack only to find out that they were Parliament’s and not Parliament Lites like the girl originally had. He only got a hug from the exchange. Then fast forwarding to today while having great friends, attending Dave Matthews Band concerts, Devils games, and having someone to fall asleep and wake up next to. It has certainly been quite a ride so far and it has only been 23 years. Maybe I will get around to writing a collection of stories from my experiences and call it “You Should Have Been There.”
I still have a lot that I would like to accomplish, many places I would like to visit, food I would like to try, pictures I have to take, and people I would like to meet. Life is too short to sit on Facebook and complain about your ‘baby mama drama’ and that person that looked at you funny on the bus. I see way too many of that in my news feed and it makes me feel bad. 90% of the complaining and drama that people tell the world about can be simply avoided if people would do a better job concentrating on making themselves happy. Life isn’t about just surviving. It’s about having a certain number of years to accomplish everything you set out to accomplish. If anyone thinks that life has to be stressful, sad, and hard…. they can be right in some cases, but I believe that you have much more control over your own life than many people think.
I would like to end this ridiculously long and weird post with a thank you.
Thank you to my friends and family that have supported me through what’s been going in my life. I certainly wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the love and kindness that I feel every day. Thank you to my readers that think my material is good enough to keep coming back every time there’s a new post. Also thank to anyone who has ever shared my material and helped me gain new readers. You guys help me realize that my work is valid and meaningful. I wouldn’t continue if that wasn’t the case.
We can all have a lot of fun in love making friends, helping eachother, and making the best of any situation. So let’s do it.
Are you a Devils fan or a huge hockey fan?
I am looking for a few writers to round out the staff at my Devils blog: Pucks and Pitchforks.
I am looking for one or two writers to write about the Devils. I would require 2 articles per week and more if you want to. I am also looking for a writer to write about the Albany Devils. Besides the games, I would look for some pieces on players down there so fans can get an inside look at the future NJ Devils and how their prospects are doing.
If you are interested, please send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you don’t have a writing sample to give me then we will work something out.
I look forward to hearing from you!