Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Look ma! I'm famous!

So, you know how, if you have a child, and they get this tiny bit part in a play or musical, you, as a parent, have to go to the play or musical and sit through the entire thing even though you only get to see your child for, like, two seconds? I know my parents had to do it for me...and my brother. And I've seen other parents have to do it, so I (as a non-parent) think that this is actually pretty common. You have children, they are involved in something, it is a Big Deal!! Parents, friends, neighbors, family must attend! Um, okay. Parents. Parents must attend.

Then, after the play, you have to praise your child from here to eternity for being in the play. They were just so adorable! And their part was very important! No one could have done it better!! It was a vital role and the play wouldn't have been the same without them!

This phenomenon also extends to any sort of spelling bee, choir performance, marching band competition, chess competition, etc etc. I'm pretty sure it's an important part of anyone's progression through childhood. At least, it should be.

Eventually most children outgrow this need. I mean, I think they do. Parents generally realize that their child is not the next Picasso or Mozart (even when they're heaping the praise) and the child eventually does too. The profusion of praise and joy trickles out and is reserved only for events that are a Really Big Deal, like some sort of graduation or nationally recognized promotion.

Me? Um, I never outgrew this need. At least, in some situations. Usually completely random, ridiculous situations. In these situations, I get super excited... and when I'm super excited about these little situations, I still want to be patted on the head and told something along the lines of "Emily, that is so awesome! I am so excited for you!"* Or, you know, something along those lines that you would say to a 31-year-old instead of a three-year-old.**

So here are your instructions. Watch the following promotional video for the Humane Society of Indianapolis. After watching, if, you know, you see anything worth commenting on, go ahead and leave a comment on this blog. Go on. I won't mind. Feel free.

*I don't care what you're thinking when you tell me these things. It might be insignificant to you... okay, it's PROBABLY insignificant to you. But I'm excited. Just indulge me :-)
**Even if it's something completely random. I mean, I know it's random, but I'm excited.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fat Tuesday Self Promotion

So I had this physics exam. And I was super worried about it. It was your basic nightmare of a test. Fifty-five minutes, eight questions, show your work for partial credit. The kind of test that sounds easy unless you've had them before and you know that those eight questions will reduce your brain to a pile of quivering mush by the end of the test taking period.

I've never been a person who had test-taking anxiety. Probably because I never really thought anything was riding on one grade of one test that I took in school. Even with the SATs, I just figured that whatever happened, happened. And everything seemed to work out okay.

But now? Now it's my future. So every test apparently freaks me the hell out. I am not exaggerating in the slightest when I tell you that my physics professor said "Begin," and I opened the test and stared at the first question for ten full minutes. Ten. Minutes. Then, when the TA wrote "45 minutes remaining" on the board, something snapped and I was suddenly able to do physics calculations. Still. Ten minutes of a fifty-five minute period is a lot. I did not have high hopes for this test.

We were promised our tests back last night. I've been waiting. Trying to put the crazy out of my head and moving forward with my homework. I had varying degrees of success. Then last night my professor picked up the tests and began the longest speech I've ever sat through. (At least, that's what it felt like.) It contained sentences like, "Class average of 62%" and "Grading these tests breaks my heart because I want to give everyone a 100% and I just can't" and "The other sections had averages of 55% and 51%." He went on to say things like, "The first test always has a lower average. Now you know what to expect and how to study and I expect to see an increase in the class average as we move forward."

My palms were sweating, my heart was pounding, and it took every ounce of self control not to shout, "Stop talking and RETURN THE DAMN TESTS!!" FINALLY he started handing them back to us. In alphabetical order, of course. I sat through the first three-quarters of the alphabet (and all the dejected students who came back to their seats and would say nothing at all except for "It's bad") and then went up to get my test back. (Knocking at least there textbooks off of desks onto the floor in my haste. I wish I were joking.)

All that for an 81%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I mean, normally I would be SUPER bummed that it's not an A, but after all this forewarning that the grades would be low, I'm just happy to have scored 19 percentage points above the class average. I could not have been more happy, more thankful to my physics study buddy, or more tired after keeping all that happiness inside until I got back to my car and my cell phone and I could squeal to my heart's delight. Ohmigod I am so relieved.

And now I will go and write the Chemistry Formal Report that I put off in favor of physics.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

That which does not kill me...

Have I mentioned how much I love living in the city? City trumps suburbs. Seriously. There's just so much more character. And more little independent shops where the owners know your name. And just... more blue. It's so nice.

Anyway, I was talking with the boy this weekend, and I happened to mention what I call the "parade phenomenon" when I walk the dogs south of my house. He got a little worried and began to lecture me about walking the dogs alone. While I appreciate his concern, I feel safer on my own than I probably should. Besides, I'm not just going to subject the dogs to "yard only" unless I can find a walking companion. I can handle it.

Let me back up a little bit. When I take the dogs on a long walk, I generally go south of my house. The neighborhood is a bit rougher, but we end up a beautiful location that we all love. I try to go early in the mornings on the weekends, but during the week I generally have to go between the end of work and when the sun sets.

What I've noticed is that in the mornings, there's no one out. I can boogie my way down the street to JT and not see a soul. In contrast, in the later afternoons or evenings it seems like everyone is out on their porch. If they're not already on their porch, they come out when I'm walking past. I don't know if it's just because I'm in the racial minority, or because I'm a female walking two pit bulls, but I seem to get a lot of interest when I walk by.

I get a lot of kids who want to pet my dogs, and they always freak out when it's Blue they have to pet and not Casey. Apparently Blue is scary and Casey looks less threatening. Right.

I get a lot of younger guys who want to know if they can have puppies when I breed my dogs. So my mouth doesn't get me into trouble, I generally wave vaguely at my iPod and pretend that I can't hear those requests.

I get older gentlemen who ask about my dogs and I always stop and chat for a moment.

I get a lot of "Mmmmm, you GO girl" from other women when they see my dogs.

Apparently, even though I do not perceive a threat in any of those scenarios, the boy thinks that I should have a chaperone when walking in the evenings. Which led to the following exchange.

"I just, you know, worry about you. If you got attacked or something."
"Please. Attacked? I pity the fool who tries it."
"Are you kidding me? If a 200lb man wanted to have his way with you, he would."
"Yeah, but who's going to try?"
"Emily, you are FIVE FEET TALL!"

At this point, seeing his distress, I decided to have an honest conversation.

"Okay. Let's say some fool decides that my dogs aren't a problem or, God forbid, dispatches the dogs in some way. Why would I still be waiting around to see what he's going to do to me?"
"Sweetie, you can't run that fast. Even with adrenaline, I give him about two minutes before he catches up to you."
"Fine. Point taken. He chases me and catches me. I'm not saying that he wouldn't be able to have his way with me..."
"Thank GOD you're listening."
"...I'm not saying that I wouldn't be raped, or even possibly killed. But at least it will be easy to find the guy who did it."
"Right. Just look for the guy with only one eye. Or missing his testicles. That's the guy who did it. Trust. And there will be TONS of forensic evidence on me. I watch CSI."
(massive eye rolling) "I'm sure."
"You think I wouldn't go down fighting? That I'm going to submissively LET him have his way with me? I'm sorry, have we met?"
"Point taken. But still, I would rather have you alive."
"Awh. I love you too. But, honestly, I'm not sure, um, how much protection, um, you would be. Um. Unless I tripped you while I was running away. Yeah, that might work!"

I'm just glad he didn't consider what would happen if the guy knocked me out. Which is why I carry pepper spray. I'm not COMPLETELY dumb.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Candlelit Dancing

First off, can I just say WANT. Totally unaffordable right now, and with the amount of time I have for "fun reading" would probably go unused a lot (which makes the price even more ridiculous for me) but still. Wanting has nothing to do with logic. And I want. I want it a lot.

This is why I need a sugar daddy. Interested parties can apply by commenting to this blog. I can't promise that I would be a good trophy girlfriend. I'm sort of independent. I'm probably not great for your ego either since I can do anything you can do, and do it better. Nor can I promise that I'll place you above my dogs in importance. After all, they were here first. But I am definitely good for daily reality checks, sarcasm, and sudden violent mood swings that can be deadly. Oh, and melodrama. I can do melodrama. (But it's adorable melodrama. Mostly. Sometimes.)

We should just go ahead and make the boy a saint now, no?

Friday night began VD weekend. The boy came over to watch my most favoritest show on TV ever. Seriously, I can not get enough of this show. It even ranks above Gossip Girl on my list of "can not miss," and we all know how much I love GG. I have a group of friends who gather to play trivia and eat wings on Fridays, and every week I face a serious dilemma when deciding whether or not to join them. I mean, I love me some wings and trivia... and I don't mind if I miss my show - I can catch it online. But I love the show so much that I want to share with the boy. We watch it together. If we miss it.... I can catch the missed episode, but getting him to see it is a bit trickier.

And so we end up lame and staying in on Fridays.

After the show on Friday, I turned off the lights, left the candle on the coffee table burning, and turned on my iPod sitting conveniently on the Bose dock on my entertainment center. The boy was seriously confused about what was going on. Not that I blame him. I don't do mushy gooey stuff like this often ever. Once I turned on the song and put up my arms, I think he got the picture. He almost leaped up off the couch. It made me laugh. We had a nice romantic candlelit dance for almost the entire song until Blue decided he wanted in on the action.

Saturday was incredibly hectic as I volunteered from 7:30am - 2:00pm and then had Casey decide to drive me bananas. I was tired and irritable when I arrived for my VD dinner at the boy's place... but Oh. My. God. was it a good meal. Yummy steak grilled to perfection. Sauteed portabello mushrooms. Sauteed zucchini. Potatoes. Wine. So Good. Apparently the boy really does know the way to a girl's heart. Or at least this girl's heart. I think the path is lined with steak. Medium rare.

So I guess I can't say that VD weekend was completely normal. There was that dinner. And that dance. But at least there was no Hallmark. Or stuffed animals. I think I can still hate the day on principle. As long as I remember to do the candelight dancing randomly throughout the year. Right?

Friday, February 13, 2009

It's VD time again.

My dislike for VD is already documented, so I won't bore you with it again. This year the boy did make reservations at a nice restaurant... that I then asked him to cancel so that we could stay in and cook dinner together. (Or rather, so he could grill me a steak. Yum.) I am so very romantic. He then said that he was getting me flowers. I asked him to save his money. When he protested, I suggested spending his money on something that I won't kill within a, say...a Starbucks giftcard.

I plan to study much of the afternoon before dinner, and when I mentioned this to my very patient and understanding secret physics weapon, he hesitated for just a second. Um, Saturday? It wasn't until later in the conversation that I remembered what day it was. Right. Suck it Hallmark. I am immune to your pressures. I'll get my romance another day.

But I so want to send out a card with this picture (of this pathetic, pathetic face) that says, "Will you please be my Valentine?"

I didn't even have to beat him to get this expression. All I had to do was scratch his ears for about a minute and a half, and then get up to take a picture. I think his expression is more, "Hey! Where are you going? That felt so good! Why are you leaving?" than "My life is so horrible. I'm so sad."

But it works for either one, no?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Stir Crazy

So the weather here has been... temperamental... lately. I mean, it's not been fun with the wind and the rain and the melting snow, but that's not my problem. (BTW, thanks for that wind storm yesterday, California. Please feel free to send some sunshine soon....) My problem is that it's been crappy weather in which to own a dog. Think mud and paws and floors of houses and cold and wind and dogs not wanting to go outside.

We're all a little stir crazy right now. I tried to get a picture of the dogs rough housing in my tiny kitchen so that you would see how insane they are, but every time I got out the camera, Blue seemed mesmerized by what was in my hand. Luckily, Casey knows exactly what a camera is and ignored me completely. So basically you get a picture of the expression that is on either my face or Blue's nightly. It's a "Good LORD can we get Casey outside to let out some energy soon?! Please?" sort of expression.

Tomorrow I'll post some gratuitous cuteness because Blue is adorable and I'm trying to get as many pictures of him as possible while he's with me. (But, just between you and me, the last time I spoke to my dad, he seemed to be wavering on the whole taking the dog thing. I think I would be okay with whatever he decides, but I'm positive I won't be heartbroken if he says no. I'll keep you updated.)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Step in the Right Direction

Woo Hoo!!!

I can't tell you how happy I was to see this. Relieved, happy, tentatively excited... It's a step in the right direction for this city.

Don't get me wrong. I don't think this is near enough punishment for the guy, and I think it's a horrible situation for the lady that got attacked. But it's also progress. A couple of years ago, the owner of those two dogs would have gotten off scott free.

In fact, there are currently rumblings of another round of breed specific legislation being put before the City County Council. I hope our councilmen and women are still intelligent enough to realize that banning a specific breed won't solve the problems that Indianapolis faces from dangerous dogs. The legislation that we have in place will work. It just needs to be enforced....and maybe be strengthened. We need to focus on who's really at fault here. It's not the dog - no matter the breed. It's always the owner.

What a good way to start a Wednesday.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Bane of My Existence

My life is back in the work/school/work/school continuum. This is sort of good for me, since there's some comfort in my routine. But it makes for some seriously boring blogging. Hence the mini-hiatus.

In fact, the highlight of last night was when I figured out what it was that was overloading the circuit that my microwave was plugged into. I never knew a thing about circuits and overloading before I moved into this house. Now? I knew there was something that kept killing the microwave mid-cook. The good news is that I only ruined one bag of microwave popcorn. The bad news is that after two hours of physics (plus), I wasn't exactly very rational or calm while trying to figure the mystery out. In fact, if my house wasn't so small, I would STILL be trying to figure out what the heck was going on. (It was the dog's space heater in the basement, btw. This particular circuit was only the fridge, the microwave, and the light and space heater in the basement. Which means I never saw anything else go off when the microwave died. Which was no small part in why I was going insane.)

So, see? With a life like this, what's to blog about. Oh wait, I know! Let's do a little quiz. How many of you guys recognize this?

(Just out of curiousity, did any of you involuntarily throw up in their mouth a little when you saw that? No? Just me?)

Okay. So then how many of you remember how to solve for above headache? (zlionsfan, you are not included in this quiz.) No? Have you blocked that out too? Let me remind you.

I hate that equation. Hate it. And I'm not even lacking in math skillz. I mean, I'm no MENSA member, but I can hold my own. I was good enough at math in high school that I remember being shocked that my SAT verbal was higher than my SAT math. Math is logical. Black and white. No shades of grey. I'm sure you're all shocked that it makes sense in my brain.

But I loathe this equation. It's become my nemesis. If this equation is involved, you can guarantee that I will have to work the problem at least twice, and that there will be much swearing, cursing, throwing of pillows and random name-calling. I may even use the Lord's name in vain a few times. (sorry mom.) When I'm working a problem involving the quadratic equation, the dogs hunker down next to me with their ears back and just lick my hands in sympathy when I finally ask them beseechingly if THEY know how to work the problem.

This issue may or may not have come to a head because my professor prefers to use the quadratic equation instead of using any other logical problem solving strategies that, you know, don't involve the bane of my existence. And so I've been working this problem and working this problem and working this no avail.

Although this post has helped some. I don't think I remembered to make "b" negative. I'm off to try again. Pray for me.