The Roller Coaster

Even before the media spectacle we call an election happened,  I feel like I have been living on a roller coaster of  highs and lows for the last month.  The high of the highs have made the low of the lows even more intolerable and I am hoping for a more even and steady path for the next bit.  Let’s see if we can make that happen.  I’m pretty sure it involves living in a cave.

The highs:

  • Desert Trip, which JT already blogged about – wow!  To be together with some of our closest friends and to get that once in a lifetime opportunity to see all of those bands in sunny California – amazing
  • Coming back home knowing there was still another concert ahead of us – The Flaming Lips at the Arizona State Fair.  We rode some rides, ate a giant pretzel and saw the Lips in a small setting.  So amazing.  And the finale was “Do You Realize”, the song I want played at my funeral.  I cried.  So did the lady in front of me because I kept spilling my beer on her every time I got hit in the head with a giant balloon, which was frequently during the first two songs….

And Wayne Coyne launching this special balloon art installation into the audience ….


Such a good show by a band that truly just wants you to have a good time.

  • A quick camping trip JT and I took up to Sedona.  We managed to get a spot in Oak Creek Canyon and it is unbelievably gorgeous – words don’t even describe the raw, natural beauty of this town.  We got in some good hikes, picnics and no sleep (still trying to figure out the camping mat/air mattress situation)

A medium:


  • A quick work trip to visit the mill trip was mostly in the high category.  We stayed at the Barnsley Resort in northern Georgia, where there are ruins of an old plantation house.  We ventured out one night with to-go sippy cups of some really good wine looking for Civil War ghosts but found none.  However the leaves were changing, which is not something you get in Phoenix and we went horseback riding one afternoon (Mr. Deeds was my steed!).  While the mill was so fascinating to see (we saw both the carpet sample mill which has all the different types of carpet machines used for sample strike-offs and the vinyl sheet good and plank good production lines), the comparison of my posh reality touring the mill after being put up in a private cottage on a golf resort with that of the mill production workers was not comfortable.  Neither was waiting in a crowded and anxious Atlanta airport the night before the election while CNN blared live coverage from our now president-elect’s last rally and everyone around was getting riled up.  Our flight attendants were late due to a connecting flight and we couldn’t board the plane until they arrived.  I was never so happy to settle in for a three hour flight before (and I settled down by watching “Love and Friendship” and “Sixteen Candles” as we sailed through the time zones on the way back home.)

The Lows:

  • A real rattlesnake in the backyard.  Specifically a speckled rattlesnake which the guy from the Arizona Herpetological Society was really excited about because apparently “you don’t usually see these in people’s yards!”.


That led us to hiring a yard crew to clean out every inch of leaf litter and logs (left behind from the previous owner).  It took 4 guys around 4 hours with all this equipment to fill up a whole trailer with high sides.  We had originally been planning to tackle it ourselves on the weekend once the weather cooled down but after the snake incident, we knew we just had to take care of it as a matter of safety for our pet.  (More on that singular to come).

  • One of my favorite coworkers has moved on to a new design firm… Her last week kicked off with Halloween so I dressed up as her. (She was a snack basket.)  I don’t usually put a lot of detailed work stuff on here so I’m just going to leave that one at that – it sucks to lose a friendly face and cheerful co-worker with whom I’ve shared a workspace with since I started working in Phoenix. However I wish her well at her next firm and I hope that we will keep in touch.


  • And the big one which I’ve been dreading explaining but should.  We had to take Rebel back to the rescue before we went on our Sedona trip.  While all was originally good between her and Shenanigan, once she grew attached to JT and I, she began to “guard” us, e.g. work very hard to keep Shenanigan from coming anywhere near us.  This was more than a jealousy thing, it had to do with some food insecurity issues and it meant we also couldn’t give her and Shenanigan bones, Kongs or treats anymore.  I woke up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom one night and found Shenanigan sleeping in the hall because he was too afraid of Rebel to come into the bedroom, where his dog bed has always been.  So it wasn’t meant to be after all.  The rescue will work to place Rebel as an only dog where she can get all the love and attention she both needs and deserves.  And that is why I love working with no-kill shelters – they are truly looking out for the best long-term interests of the dog in every situation.

    (The only reason the two dogs were so close together in this pic is because I was vacuuming and they couldn’t get upstairs.)  So while I know we are doing the right thing and giving Shenanigan the best life we can, especially as he is getting pretty old now, it still felt like we were bad people as we returned sweet Rebel to the rescue.

  • Another doggy downer is the distemper outbreak that hit Stray Rescue.  We volunteered for them for so long and still follow them on social media.  I think Randy Grim and his staff are angels on earth for the work that they do.  To hear that an infectious disease was sweeping their shelter was heartbreaking but I was also encouraged by their response – when distemper has hit other shelters in the past, they have often just euthanized all of the animals at once.  Stray Rescue operates on a case-by-case basis and based on the FB updates that Randy has posted, it sounds like  a lot of animals will be spared an unnecessary death sentence. If you want to and if you can, consider donating to Stray Rescue.  Even though we are now many states away, we sent in a donation right away.  These dogs and the people who heal them need our help!


So that’s a news update for what is happening around Living Analog as of late.  This weekend is for rest, relaxation and recharging.  JT and I went to our local wine bar after dinner last night to get out of the house, talk over everything that has happened and drink some good wine.  The bar had citrus smoked olives which were the best snack I have had in a long, long time, so that raised our spirits a little (along with the spirits.)  Cheers to all and I wish for good fortunes for all our futures in the weeks and months ahead.

4 responses to “The Roller Coaster

  1. I’m so happy to hear you had such a wonderful time at the concerts and camping. You are lucky to live in an area where you can do all of that so often. Hang in there, CT and JT. Things work out the way they are meant to be which is sometimes hard to accept (like the election results). Rebel will find the best home for her, and you will hopefully find the best sibling for Shenanigans. As with those hurt by the election results, hopefully it will spur people to become more active, volunteer and donate for causes they feel strongly about to make our world a better place as you do;)

    • Thanks Jess! I still miss our catch-up Sunday nights volunteering at the old Macklind Street Stray Rescue shelter. You are so amazing for all the volunteer work you do, with RAINN and with the night out events … I wish everyone was more civic minded like you! I’m seeing that more people in our generation are seeing this election as a wake-up call, to stop being complacent and to get out there and make a difference. Cheers – CT

  2. I’m sorry to hear about Rebel, but glad to know she’ll be placed in the right home for her long-term happiness.

    In the wake of the election, I’m trying to do things that make me feel like I can still make a difference. A donation to Stray Rescue is a small thing, but I’m glad to be able to do it today! I think they do such great work.

    • Thanks Brooke! It might not seem like a lot sometimes, but I think we do have to remember that small actions do matter. It’s the stupid starfish analogy – the guy throwing them back in the water – “made a difference to that one!”. I know you already do and will continue to do a lot to make a difference. Cheers – CT

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