Author Archives: mrsparks

I wish I was as “christian” as a dog.

several months ago, i began volunteering hands-on with homeless pups.  I don’t mean to exaggerate my involvement – i just mean that my emotional ability to commit to the cause i feel most passionate about has recently progressed from contributions of a strictly monetary nature to that of a real-life person willing to donate her time.  it hasn’t been easy.  even though countless other selfless souls commit themselves much deeper, my commitment thus far has caused me sleepless nights and crying spells at work.  at times, i feel helpless against the problem – the problem of human mistreatment and neglect of the innocent and ever-forgiving domesticated dog.  i think it’s “baby-step” progress; but i’m glad it’s progress in the direction i never thought i’d be strong enough to go.

i’ve met some of the kindest souls during my adolescent months with this type of work – women and men with good hearts who have inspired me to find the courage to remove my blinders, little by little, so that my passion is strong enough to effectuate positive change.  conversely, i’ve been made aware of some very cruel beings.  i know you have to be pretty damn bad to cause harm to a loyal, loving and trusting animal – and even worse, that behavior is indicative of later violence towards children and humans.

but i digress.  what i meant to talk about is the unknowing piousness that my lovely little canines exhibit.  i don’t think that religion can be neatly confined into any one belief, book, mantra or ritual.  i think it’s both bigger and smaller than that.  in my opinion, it means treating people with respect, taking care of yourself and others, showing kindness to all living things and showing compassion and empathy.  anyway, from what i know, a true “christian” is able to always forgive; to always love and to always see the good in everyone.  i’m not sure why those qualities are ‘christian,” and oftentimes, they are not.  i’m just speaking from common lingo i suppose.

so if we assume that christianity is defined in that way, then goddamnit, dogs are better christians than humans by a LONG shot.  they love in the face of a cruel and finicky owner.  they trust in spite of personal experience that tells them otherwise.  and they sense how we feel – they understand sadness on some level and know to snuggle near you and provide comfort.  maybe they don’t know the supposedly important details of the bible, but they are being good, and a lot of christians could learn from them.

i don’t mean to necessarily call out the christians here; i just am most familiar with what they are supposed to stand for – at least what i think they are supposed to stand for; before things get muddied by outdated books and unsolicited religious interpretation.  just be a good person.  and a dog can teach you just how to do that.

i’m getting tired now, but i plan to write next about our rescue run team and some other good stuff.  until then, learn from your dog.  no, not the eating trash or sniffing butt part, but the tail-wagging, forgiving and up-beat part.

adios for now,

mrs. parks

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can’t we all (shouldn’t we all?) get along?

how much do we really know about the people we surround ourselves with?  i’d like to say “a lot.”  at least i think that’s true for most of the people i know.  and with those people, i believe i would be able to predict the way they might react to certain undiscussed topics.  very recently, i learned how untrue my assumption can be.  i was surprised to read some ignorant, unintelligent comments that a “friend” of ours wrote.

i don’t mean to presume that only my opinions are correct or fair.  i only know that my opinions are my own, and i should treat them as such.  that is, i would not impose my opinions on other people, and i rarely get into debates about them unless there is some imminent reason for it. i haven’t engaged in a dialogue about the topic i am about to discuss.  this is probably because a rational, conversational debate on this subject is rare.  at least in my experiences…

i would like to invite friendly, respectful conversation about gay marriage.  i would like to try to understand why someone might be opposed to gay marriage.  it sounds simple, but every reason that i hear comes across as intolerant.  i’m having trouble understanding why anyone would object – it’s not as if anyone is asking you to be homosexual, or to get married for that matter.  so why are people even voting on this issue?  my questions may seem rudimentary, but i suppose that shows how idiotic the opposition is.  i recently read a frightfully passionate expression regarding this very topic, written by a man i know (thought i knew).  after reading and analyzing his heartfelt opinions, i think that this particular man is incredibly uncomfortable with his own sexuality.  that is the only way that he could be so calculatedly hateful and opposed to the concept – he must be struggling with his feelings.  i imagine it must be difficult for him.  he has a conservative christian preacher/pastor father.  although such a person should radiate acceptance and unconditional love, it is more likely and realistic that a gay son would cast a shadow on his ability to teach and to lead.  unfortunately, many of the proclaimed christians that i know (but NOT ALL) are quite close-minded regarding what their fellow man or woman can and cannot do in the privacy of their own bedroom.  I’m not sure why that becomes an issue, christian or otherwise, but apparently it does.

the person that i am so passively responding to has strong feelings about gay marriage – the strongest i have ever seen.  his arguments become downright ridiculous, and it begs the question as to why he expends so much time and energy to the rejection of a concept that really wouldn’t affect or harm his daily life.  in our world, we are LUCKY to come across two individuals who love each other and want to make a life together.  marriages that work, that last, are incredibly rare.  who are we kidding?  marriage isn’t about sex and reproduction and all that – it’s about FRIENDSHIP and respect.  i don’t think that “friendship” and “respect” are exclusive to heterosexual relationships.  i think they exist in ANY good relationship, whatever your sexual orientation may be.  it takes a lot to offend me, but this person, with his steadfast opposition to gay marriage, gay love and gay adoption, has done so.  he has offended me more than i have ever been offended…so i can’t even begin to imagine how passionate people feel.  this is the response from an average, open-minded girl.  i have no particular motivation.

so it’s time to remove this person from my circle of acquaintances.  i am sure that he must have a good heart underneath it all, but i am not the person to find it.  maybe i’m being narrow-minded, but it’s truly difficult for me to comprehend why someone would object to the personal, private happenings of other people.  if you object on the basis on governmental benefits, than i simply ask you to reconsider and analyze governmental benefits as a whole…that’s an easily dismissed objection.  whatever you believe or support, there are governmental programs for and against it.  maybe an opponent to this post can come up with a different rationale.  and maybe not.  at least i have said some of what i want to say, and maybe one person our there will identify or understand, or take the time to respond.  thank you, and happy holidays!

HAPPY 30th BIRTHDAY HUSBAND (mr. parks)

we just got back from yet another wonderful time in our lives.  today is mr. parks’ official 30th birthday, and i think our celebration has been tough to top!  i decided to surprise him with a weekend in chicago – friends in town, a beautiful suite at the w and a spooky ghost tour/pub crawl (i know, the combination doesn’t seem to make much sense, but if you were there, you couldn’t imagine it any other way!).  i combined a few things that mr. parks loves, and in that case, it was ghost stories and pubs! 

it was tough keeping it (or TRYING to keep it) a surprise.  once he knew that he should consider himself occupied from friday, october 17 until sunday, october 19, i was ready to tell him at any point.  but somehow it managed to stay under wraps, and it was worth it!

there is nothing better than being able to fully embrace your birthday – whether you care about birthdays or not, it’s pretty great to have an entire day to celebrate yourself.  it could be any day, but it’s YOUR day and it matters!  i know i’m not a details person, and i probably messed a lot of stuff up during the whole planning and execution process, but it’s still one of my proudest and happiest accomplishments.  it’s pretty cool to throw your husband a surprise destination birthday party!

of course the down side of all of this is leaving the pups at home.  friday morning we were getting ready to leave (and, in other words, the pups needed to go to the kennel), mr. parks was cuddling with gus and looked at me with wide, brown, nearly-30-year-old eyes and asked, “why are you taking my son from me during my birthday?”  this is one of a million reasons why i love him.  

anyway, i am going to sign off for now – i think it’s about time to light candles (at this point we only get the actual numbers versus a candle for each year!) and eat some banana cream pie!  ok, so it’s a frozen pie that is defrosting as i write – but i bet it’s going to be pretty damn good, and we’re going to enjoy it more that any other banana cream pie ever!

happy birthday, my love!  everything works because of you!!

30 will be the best year yet!!!

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Blog Overdrive

so about a week or so ago, i blogged about how i want to start blogging more.  i haven’t blogged since then, and i’ve figured out why.  sometimes i like to write about important life events, but often i like to focus on the minutiae – and this is what overwhelms me.  i feel like i’ve missed out on so many moments that deserve written attention, and that thought is paralyzing me.  but i am going to get over it so i can get back to this blog that i love!  since i can’t figure out what should be the subject of my next blog, i guess i’ll list a few things that have happened in the last couple of months…

mr. parks and i got married on the beach, had an incredible honeymoon in st. lucia.  not long after we got back from paradise, we were in colorado springs for the wedding of one of my best friends – it was gorgeous and funky and genuine.  we were back in aspen for the wedding of another friend, and that was beautiful too – on a mountain in one of the most beautiful towns in the u.s.  andy moved to chicago and we have lost our old roommate and best friend…but, we gained a new companion when suzy moved in to andy’s condo.  we spent a weekend at the jersey shore with a couple that we met on our honeymoon (they got married the same day as us!) and had a blast.  mr. parks and i spent a weird weekend in a rainy dilapidated and abandoned carnival town, filled with excellent people watching and wine so sweet that a new rating scale had to be created to warn the tasters.  mr. parks has followed his passion and is focusing seriously on photography, and the new columbus clippers ballpark is starting to look less like a dirt lot and more like, well, a ballpark.  mr. parks has extreme OCD when it comes to arranging furniture in our condo – he will literally flip-flop an entire room in excess of three times in a single evening, trying to determine the most aesthetically pleasing arrangement.  this drove me nuts at first, but now i just expect that everything might be turned upside down before i even notice it.  

we finally realized that our life wasn’t complete until we bought our wii.  and, thank god, we fixed that pretty quick.  so we now have a variety of wii games, and we are regularly sore from playing virtual tennis, virtual baseball, virtual racing, or virtual guitar.  whatever, i can shred with the best rockstars of the 80’s and 90’s (or at least it seems like i can when the volume is turned up really loud so it drowns out the noise of pressing buttons on my toy guitar).

other than that, well, a lot has happened.  we’re obsessed with dexter, puck from the real world might have been at a weird random karaoke bar last sunday afternoon, mr. parks is regularly craving (and indulging in) quesadillas, beautiful little gus and pickle are doing great, and we have already been married for 5 months!

ok, so that was a disconnected and self-indulgent list of a few things that have peppered our lived over the last couple of months.  i promise there will be a real reason to my subsequent blogs…i just wanted to get back in the routine of writing on here, rusty or not!

oh yeah, bears have “only” killed, on average, two people per year since 1900!  the odds that you will NOT be attacked and killed by a bear are overwhelmingly in your favor.