Questions (for Heather)!
1) How old do you wish you were? I'd like to be 26 again (but only if I could be the size I was when I was 26).
2) Where were you when 9/11 happened? At work, in my office. The student assistant was watchin everything on her PC.
3) What do you do when vending machines steal your money? Punch buttons, then give up, too --if I can't find somebody who'll give me a refund.4) Do you consider yourself kind? I do not. I'm mean, and I carry a card. Or I will, soon.5) If you had to get a tattoo, where would it be? Why in the world would I "have to" get a tattoo? And in what world, where I had to get one, would I get to decide what it'd be?6) If you could be fluent in any other language, what would it be? I wanna learn Spanish!7) Do you know your neighbors? Kinda. We wave and talk about things from time to time.
8) What do you consider a vacation? I just like getting away sometimes. Most of the time, being able to sleep in at home and just lie around is great!9) Do you follow your horoscope? Nope.
10) Would you move for the person you loved? It depends on WHERE.
11) Are you mean? Didn't I just say so? Don't ask me again!
12) Do you believe that opposites attract? Yeah. But I don't know if I believe they stay together.
13) Dream job? At home, editing novels.
14) Favorite channel(s)? Any except Spike TV.
15) Favorite place to go on weekends? The movies!
16) Showers or Baths? Can't I have both?
17) Do you paint your nails? I used to. More geared to toenail painting these days (for some reason).
18) Do you trust people easily? Nope.19) What are your phobias? Drowning. Zombies.
20) Do you want kids? Do I want my own, you mean?
21) Do you keep a handwritten journal? This blog is the closest to that in years.22) Where would you rather be right now? Home.
23) Who makes you feel warm and fuzzy? My daughters. My friends. My students.
24) Heavy or light sleep? Light.25) Are you paranoid? On occasion.
26) Are you impatient? Nope.
27) Who can you relate to? I try to relate to everybody. That doesn't work most of the time.
28) How do you feel about interracial couples? I don't care, as long as they're good to each other.
29) Have you been burned by love? Yup.
30) What's your life motto? "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well" --Julian of Norwich
31) What's your main ringtone on your mobile? "Again" by Donnie McClurkin.32) What were you doing at midnight last night? Lying in bed, wishing I were asleep.33) Who was your last text message from? My pastor.34) Whose bed did you sleep in last night? Mine own.35) What color shirt are you wearing? Jean.
37) Name three things you have on you at all times? Draw's.
38.) What color are your bed sheets? Black and white.39) How much cash do you have on you right now? A two-dollar bill I won't spend.
40) What is your favorite part of the chicken? Thigh.41) What's your favorite town/city? Hampton.
42) I can't wait till: My one summer class ends!
43) Who got you to join myspace? My daughters (but they don't know that).44) What did you have for dinner last night? Beans and Franks. Yum.
45) How tall are you barefoot? 5'5.
46) Have you ever smoked heroin? Nope. 47) Do you own a gun? Nope.48) What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Grape juice.
49) What is your secret weapon to lure in the opposite sex? It's still a secret to me!
50) Do you have A.D.D.? Nope.
51) What time did you wake up today? 545 am.
52) Current worry? Getting the heck out of debt.
53) Current hate? Lies.54) Favorite place to be? At home on the big couch, in front of the TV, with a couple dogs at my feet and the girls on the love seat.
55) Where would you like to travel? Maybe Australia.6) Where do you think you'll be in 10 yrs? Here.
57) last thing you ate? Peanut-butter and cheese crackers.58) What songs do you sing in the shower? Gospel.
59) Last person that made you laugh? Christina.
60) Worst injury you've ever had? I've escaped really bad injuries. . . .okay, a cat scratch years and years ago. (I still have the scar.)
61) Does someone have a crush on you? I've been told so.62) What is your favorite candy? Those milk chocolate Ferrer Rocher thingies.
63) What song do you want played at your funeral? I don't plan to die.
10:27 AMMonday, June 12, 2006Adopted! (pt2)
So we sat in the johnbrown animal shelter for hours. Apparently, adopting a critter takes about forty-five minutes of paperwork.
(I dunno. That's what I was told at the time, okay?)
Good thing I was entertained while waiting. There was a couple there, waiting for their third adoption. Had a couple bad experiences, they did. First dog was a violent Labrador. (I had no idea they came in that variety. You say "Lab," and I imagine selfless doggie in service to the sightless and, if need be, hearingless. I imagine a water-loving, Alpo-eating, child-nurturing beastie.
This Lab went a long way toward demolishing a house, using his crate to bang holes in the walls, eating said crate's hinges, and, when said hinges were replaced --with metal hinges-- the dog ate them, too. And, having freed himself from the crate, he went straight to the couple's special room (set aside for their wedding paraphernalia) and pooped everywhere. The husband came home and ("without even changing his clothes," the wife said) decided to take the dog back to the SPCA. "This," he said, "is crap, literally and figuratively."
(And here, as a forty-five-year-old mother of two, I would like to apologize to anyone who feels offended by the use of the term pooped. I mean, I would like to, but I'm not. I'm just not. So there.)
I was likin this couple. I began likin 'em when I overheard the wife say, "That guy's buying those bunnies to feed them to a snake." I agreed with her. That guy looked like the type who owned snakes, and, unlike those of us who would buy bunnies for non-snake-feeding purposes, he chose two right away. No hemming and hawing, no "what sex is this one?" no goin in rhapsodies over their cuteness. When the shelter employee asked, "Which ones?" He said, right away, "This one and that one." Not even a pause between "and" and "that." He was big, buzz-cutted, t-shirted, jeaned, and no-nonsensed. This was a man who had a snake to feed, and an impatient snake at that.
He walked out the door, entering the dog pen section, and the wife whimpered, "He's gonna feed them to a snake!"
"Yep," I said, though nobody'd asked me anything, "He's gonna feed those rabbits to a snake." The wife sobbed, her face on her husband's back.
"Don't get snot on my shirt, baby," he said. We watched the doomed bunnies philosophically and noticed something. One of the doomed bunnies was being chased by another, slightly larger bunny. (The other doomed bunny was in a separate cage.) When the bigger bunny caught the little one, it would climb aboard and hump vigorously. The little bunny would get away, and the bigger bunny would catch it again. Climb aboard again. Hump some more. And on and on.
"That ain right," said the husband. "That's kinda sick."
"That's disgusting," said the wife.
"'No' means no," I said.
"Oh, please," said the woman next to me. "They're rabbits, y'all, not people." The woman next to me was tiny, beautifully-coifed (no buzz-cut for her), and -dressed. She had her two kids, a boy and a girl (both fascinated by the bunnies) with her. They were pretty, too. They'd come to the shelter to find a dog, too, but not a puppy because they mama was not up for training another puppy.
"Puppies are destructive, like that Lab y'all had," she said. "You know, I saw a puppy in there today that was just like that --he was just rippin and tearin at the newspaper in his pen. Just shredded it."
"That's the puppy we're getting," I said.
"That's your puppy?" She screamed with laughter. "What? you gonna keep him in a garage?"
"No," I said. "He'll be a house dog."
"Really?" she said, looking at me as if to more certainly locate the holes in my head. Meanwhile, the wife was still moaning over the bunnies. "Why didn't y'all ask him what he was gonna do with the bunnies?" the woman next to me asked. And, as if on cue, the buzz-cutted one reappeared. The woman next to me nudged me surreptitiously.
"So. . . .whatcha gonna do with the bunnies?" she asked with a big, innocent grin. There was a strained silence. Then, "I'm givin' 'em to my girlfriend," said the buzz-cutted one.
"Is his girlfriend a snake?" the husband whispered to his wife. The wife emitted a muffled moan. "Give me your email addy," Buzz Cut said. "I'll send you pics of the bunnies, all safe and sound."
The shelter employee pulled the chosen bunnies out and put each in a cardboard cat carrier. "There ya go," she said. Buzz Cut left us, and the wife moaned again.
"Ha, ha," said the husband to the horny bunny, now all alone. Not long after that, somebody paged the employee over the PA system. (Bunnies, it seems, are supposed to go away in shoeboxes, not cat carriers.)
Soon, the couple was called to get their third dog, and shortly after that (certainly not forty-five minutes), they called us for our puppy. We went into a back office, spacious and clean, carpeted --and gila-monstered. There was a huge, green gila-monster in a cage that took up a good quarter of a side wall. The room also had two big desks, file cabinets, and three bulletin boards covered with pictures of cats. We sat down at one of the desks. A friendly yellow cat wandered around and visited with each of us, pretty amazing, considering that he was mostly blind.
"We think he can see shadows," one of the employees said. "He's never bumped into anything. But his retinas were detached. He lives here."
"Aw, what a sweet kittie," said the wife, at the other desk. "I can't have one. I'm allergic." An employee came to our desk, her hands full of different sized papers. "Fill this one out and sign," she said. Then she read another sheet to me before I signed that one. "You can't give this puppy to anyone but the SPCA. You can't return him to the SPCA after two weeks. If you return him, you can't get a refund, only a exchange. You must schedule a spaying or neutering at an area veterinarian, or you will be fined $250. Today, we will inject a identity tag under the skin of your puppy, but we won't register the number for two weeks. Adopting a puppy from the SPCA entitles you to a free veterinary exam, a collar and a leash, and the spaying or neutering will come at a 25% discount. Here are some coupons. Here is a list of the innoculations your puppy has already had. Give that to the vet. Fifty dollars, please."
"Wow," I said.
And Frody was ours. The processing took about ten minutes.
3:08 PMWednesday, June 07, 2006
We have a new puppy!
I didn't want it. I'm satisfied with Nimue, the four-year-old mutt we have now (beast on yer left, there). She's obedient, adoring and adorable. But this puppy needed a home, and every time I tried to ignore that, I felt a twinge of guilt.
Twinges of guilt suck, even when they have no right, really, to twinge.
See, my best girlfriend has neighbors who spoil their kids. Apparently, they've got money to burn, so the kids get all kinds of electronic and outdoor toys, scads of sugar and fat-laden junk food, and, if they ask, puppies. These kids, being more or less normal, asked --and got the puppy formerly known as Max, a Rottweiler mix. ("Mixed with what?" you ask, but the answer is variegated and undependable, coming, as it is, from no dog expert.)
After buying the dog, these parents realized that they didn't want one. And they hated this one. ("Why?" you ask, but the answer is nauseating and otherwise disturbing: he was a big puppy, about, at any minute, to become a big dog.) In fact, they hated all dogs, they realized, and if it weren't for those pesky kids, they'd be able to get out from under the dog thing.
But the kids loved the dog, though not enough to take care of it. Max became an interactive toy, one they left outside in the rain. Yes, with a dog house and automatic feeder, but still. The feeder fed the birds. The waterer became a bird bath. And the puppy, in an attempt to make friends with a neighbor dog, kept sticking his nose in a chain-link fence until it bled.
I had never seen this puppy, but my girls (from now on Juice and Goobs, in order of birth) adored it and felt sorry for it. So, of course, I came to feel sorry for it, too. I told my girlfriend to tell her neighbor that we'd take the puppy. Girlfriend's daughter overheard the conversation between grown folk and ran off to neighbor's chirren, horrifying them with tales of soon-to-be stolen puppies. Neighbor caved to chirren.
But I kept hearing more and more tales of neglect, so I kept urging my girlfriend about the puppy, and girlfriend kept urging neighbor about him. Finally, during a pre-Memorial-Day cookout at girlfriend's (her hubby grills a mean piece of chicken), I got to talk to neighbor who expressed all her feelings about dogs. I reiterated that I'd take the puppy. ("You want me to back the truck up to your house around midnight? Don't tell your husband. He needs to be convincingly ignorant of everything.") This, by the way, is when I learned about the nosebleed, which, at the time, sounded much worse than it was: "And now," neighbor said, "the dog's nose is bleeding. What do you think causes that?" Nauseated, because I was thinking of an inner nosebleed, I managed to say, "I dunno. Take 'im to the vet." And, yeah, when she asked me if I was sure I wanted the dog, I reiterated that: "Take him to the vet first."
So you might be within your rights to argue that it was my fault what happened next. The neighbor called one Saturday morning and left a message (because we were out): "Max is available. You can come pick him up anytime." We got the message in the afternoon and called girlfriend's neighbor. Left a message. Called again. Left another message. Called and called and left message after message. (Okay, that was Goobs' idea. She really, really wanted the puppy and was frantic at the possibility that girlfriend's neighbor didn't know that.)
Never got a call back.
But on Sunday, girlfriend called and told me that neighbor had given the dog to the SPCA shelter. We were all pretty disgusted, especially after I learned that the shelter was closed on Sunday.
"I don't have the money to adopt a dog from the SPCA," I said. Girlfriend said that she had the money and would get it to us so we could get the critter. I accepted.
"I'm talkin to [neighbor] tryin not to let the disgust show in my face. [Girlfriend's husband] said, 'Y'all leave the dog in the yard for weeks, but can't wait twenty-four hours for [me] to come pick 'im up." Said husband marched over to the neighbors to get the details.
(I 'clare, I wouldn't want Girlfriend's Husband comin over to my house to roust details outta me. Man's 6'6", athletic, and righteously indignant? No, thank you.)
He finds out that neighbor, thinking my adoption was contingent upon the vet visit (and not willing to take the dog to the vet), shoved the puppy off on the shelter. And then bought a $400 puppy for the kids. I am not lying.
So next day, girlfriend gets me the money, I pick up my girls, and off we went to the SPCA.
Truly, it was a riot. Like I said, I had never seen the puppy before, so I had to rely on my extremely excited daughters to find it. They did.
This is a HUGE puppy, at least as big as my four-year-old mutt. He has Border Collie/Rottweiler markings and a heavy coat. And he's very vocal. It was "Let me out! Out! OUT!" the entire time we were there. And the top of his muzzle, the skin just after the nose proper, was raw, near bleeding. (I was relieved about that, but still squeamish. How would we get that to heal?)
I should say here (or should've said earlier) that I hate the SPCA shelter. It's depressing. All those dogs and cats (not to mention the rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, and, seriously, a gila monster) sittin in cages, lonely, certainly uncomfortable, and some even under sentence of death. Whew. And let us not speak of the pervasive smell of soiled newspaper. Or the truly deafening noise.
9:43 AMWednesday, May 31, 2006
. . .
I'm still thinking about emailing my "resignation" email to everyone. I'm not really resigning --just leaving a new post in an old job. Being asked, in fact, to allow someone else to take it.
I hate the very idea.
And the ridiculous part is that this is no plum post. I have more responsibilities than money, still. And far from getting the credit for the good stuff I might do, I'm more likely to be blamed for errors somebody else (read "the boss") makes. But I was just hitting my stride when I was asked to let somebody else do it.
After an "excellent" evaluation.
And one year.
So should I send out the nasty "I was yanked for no good reason" email to everyone now? Or at all?
Here's the letter. Names have been changed to protect the guilty.
For the past year, I have enjoyed the challenge and privilege of working with you as [my former position]. I had planned to continue in this role for at least another few years (as my predecessors have), but circumstances beyond my control require that I leave it. While I will continue as assistant professor to the department, [my boss] insists that I relinquish the position to Professor Back Stabber. My most recent evaluation was "excellent." However, since there exists software to help the [usurper] more easily and efficiently accomplish those responsibilities vital to the position, and [the boss] and Professor Back Stabber feel that she is better qualified than I to implement that software, they have decided that she should avail herself of the released time attached to the position.
Beginning August 2006, we will refer all [my former responsibilities] to Professor Back Stabber.
Thank you for your kind attention and cooperation in this matter.