Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Itsy Bitsy Spider Becomes a Huge Scary Monster Who Will Suck Your Brains Out Through Your Ear

I have a spider problem.

Which is fitting, I suppose, seeing as how it's almost Halloween.

But, see, it didn't start as a spider problem. It started as a tiny spider.

A tiny spider with a dream.

About a week or so ago, I noticed a web when I came returned to my house from school. The web was out of my way, so I didn't really think anything of it except to scan the immediate vicinity for spiders. Which I hate. Because I'm convinced that they will somehow kill me and eat my brains. True story.

When I spotted the spider, I affectionately named it the "Itsy Bitsy Spider." It was so tiny. And it had such a huge web. But still, the web WAS strategically placed (right in front of my porch light where insects are attracted at night) and who am I to crush a spider's dreams? You go, spider. Besides, the cold weather was coming soon, so the spider wasn't going to last much longer. And I have a "live and let live" policy with any sort of being that has more than 4 legs. If you enter my house, I will not kill you if you don't bother me. Besides, I have a bad-ass cat that will take care of you for me. I'll just have to keep an eye out for your carcass in my shoes sometime in the near future.* But outside? You stay out of my way, and I'll stay out of yours.

And so it went. Each time I came home or left to walk the dog, I would take a quick look to ensure that Itsy Bitsy was nowhere near me, and hurry along on my way. The spider didn't bother me, so I didn't bother it.

But I did notice that it was growing. At an alarming rate. Maybe because of the GIGANTIC moths it was catching in the remarkably warm weather we had instead of the cold that had been predicted. It got to the point where I was having conversations with Itsy Bitsy about how she** needed to stop growing because I was getting a bit uncomfortable with her at my door.

She didn't listen.

Eventually I decided that if she was going to keep growing, at least it was Halloween. She could scare the kids who came to trick-or-treat.***

But now? Well... Here's a side view of Itsy Bitsy this morning. I know there's nothing really there for size perspective, so let me tell you this. There was no way I was getting within at least five feet of her. And I only used about 1/8th of the zoom capability on my phone. As a courtesy, I left the picture full size so that you can click on it and make it the size of your screen.

You're welcome.

It's gotten to the point where I'm going to need Itsy Bitsy to weave messages into her web, a la Charlotte, to tell me that basically she comes in peace. Any message like, "Not interested in brains" or "Won't eat you" or even "Thanks for not killing me when you had the chance because we both know there's no way you can do it now" would do.

Wait, what's that you say? You want to see another view? Okay. Zoom settings unchanged to protect the terrified. Seriously. The spider. It is huge.

And I don't know what to do. This is stretching the boundaries of my "live and let live" policy. But on the other hand, would YOU want to try and kill that thing? And while she's expanded her web away from my door, she's not come any closer to me. So technically, nothing's changed.

Well, nothing except the fact that she's going to be the size of Rhode Island soon if something isn't done.

This morning I started going through my option list. It is woefully short.

- Enlist the boy to kill the spider when he comes to visit on Friday. (Won't work. Boy shares my "live and let live" philosophy and while he'll kill spiders for me, he's actually not a huge fan of them either.)

- Call my friend Ann and have her send over her husband to commit arachnocide.****

And that's it. Those are my options.

I was kind of hoping that Mother Nature would take care of the situation for me. But no amount of wind will shake Itsy Bitsy. And she's strategically placed under the eve of my roof, so the rain is pretty much deflected from where she is.

I told you she was smart. One might say diabolically smart if, you know, one were paranoid that Itsy Bitsy has a master plan.

So if anyone has any fool-proof spider killing techniques, please pass them along. And no, none of them may contain throwing or spraying anything from any distance away. Because, seriously, if I miss? And she gets angry? I may have to move. And leave all of my stuff behind.

Bonus picture: This is with no zoom. On the sidewalk in front of my house. For perspective. I'm alarmed that you can still actually see her.

*Which is totally a sign of love, and not a threatening gesture. FYI.
**Given her insect catching success, I figured it was only appropriate to call her a "she" at this point.
***That I won't be able to give candy to because I'll be at a Husbandry exam. From 7:00pm to 9:00pm. Tell me THAT doesn't suck.
****I totally just made that word up.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Week 9

Week nine of vet school began today. There was no fanfare. I'm still waiting to see my histology grade for a test I took two weeks ago. I'm dreading my physiology exam tomorrow. I get to work with cows today.

You know. The usual.

After the horror that was working with sheep, I'm not exactly excited to work with the cows, but I will admit that I do love the cows more. At least there's no danger of me riding them.

The routine here is so... I don't want to say normal... but the amount of stress there doesn't vary. So while it feels like this is a terrible thing I got myself into and I miss my "old life." The days doing this are generally all the same with occasional bright spots like working with cows. Or finding out that our dissection dog had heart worms. (Seriously very cool, but probably pretty gross to non-vet students, yes?) Sometimes I just want a nap.

It's getting cooler here, and I know that I've been here 8 weeks. But I was walking the dog this morning and realized that Orion was directly in front of me and to my right instead of to the left like it had been at the beginning of the semester. That was sort of a wake up call that yes, time is passing, seasons are changing, and there is life outside of vet school.

I'm glad I keep finding things to remind me of this.

I had some friends join me this past weekend to watch a Purdue Women's Volleyball game, and one of them asked me how much "downtime" I get to just relax in any given day. My answer was immediate. None. I mean, I get an hour lunch, but even then we're usually studying or discussing a particularly difficult issue we were just given in lecture. My downtime is when I walk my dog and eat dinner in the evenings. It's sandwiched between finishing classes and studying for the evening. So it's gotten to the point that when people ask how I'm doing, I don't even try to sugarcoat with "Fine." I answer "It's hard."

That's not to say I'm not enjoying this. I love love LOVE anatomy. Seriously. This comes as a huge surprise. The class that requires the most memorization? I love that class the most? Why yes. Yes I do. I find it endlessly fascinating. And my Applications and Integrations class where we're given actual cases that have been in the veterinary teaching hospital? (names and identifying details changed to protect the innocent, of course) That class is equally as interesting. It's all problem based learning, and while my peers had some difficulty adjusting to a style of learning that isn't all lecture/regurgitation, I found that after years out in the "real world" that's how I learn best. Radiographs to interpret? Yes please. Blood work to analyze? Sweet. I even asked a friend to send me some bloodwork she had been given last year so that I could review it again with all my new found knowledge. That was pretty darn cool.

Also? Cats are the exception to everything. Also? What happens when you look at a horse sideways? Colic.

We have a cat lab tomorrow where we were originally told to "bring our own cats." I am the only one who lives with a cat in my group, so that means Laney would have been the cat to practice our physical examinations and restraint on. Since I haven't heard the final word on whether or not we need our own cats, I think Laney will be staying at home. She's relieved. She had no interest in seeing the place where I live these days. And although my group members don't know it, they're relieved also.

I sort of wish I would have pictures of me with the cows to show you, but then again, the coveralls are NOT flattering in the least, so maybe we're all better off this way...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Case of the Mysterious Spot

Day 1


M: Blue peed in the house last night.


M: I don't know. But he peed in the house. Does this mean he'll always pee in the house? Will we have to get rid of him?

E: Hold on a moment. Blue peed in the house? But he's housebroken? He wouldn't have peed in the house unless he really really really had to go! Did you let him out before you went to bed?

M: I did. And usually when he has to pee, I'll hear 'click click click click click' as he paces on the floors. But he didn't wake me up last night. I must have slept through it. Will he always pee in the house now?

E: Well... he doesn't WANT to pee in the house. He only does that if he has no other choice. Because he's housebroken. Since he's housebroken, he pees outside. Because he's, you know... housebroken. But I guess... if he's in the position again where he really has to go pee... and he can't get outside... now that he's peed there once, that will be "his spot." But it won't MAKE him pee inside. (pause) Are you SURE he peed inside?

M: Oh yes. I woke up and there was pee on the floor of the living room. I cleaned it up really well, but that's all I can do, right? It couldn't have been the cat. It was definitely Blue.

E: Okay. Well, I guess it's possible he's getting too old to hold it for the 18 hours you guys sleep per night...

M: That's your father!

E: if worse comes to worst and it happens again, I guess you can always crate him through the night. I just can't believe he peed in the house.

M: If it were the cat, it would smell of ammonia. Right? Cat pee smells like ammonia.

E: Oh yes. Cat pee is unmistakable.

M: I knew it wasn't the cat. We'll see what happens.


Absolutely nothing on the subject.

Day 3


M: Blue peed in the house again!

E: What? I can't believe this!

M: Yes. Blue peed in the house. I don't know what to do. I let him out before I go to bed, and he still pees in the house. Stupid dog. I will just have to crate him overnight now.

E: Bummer. Poor Blue.


Absolutely nothing on the subject.

Day 5


Absolutely nothing on the subject


D: Oh! Did your mother tell you about Blue peeing?

E: Yes. She told me that Blue was peeing in the house.

D: Yeah. Yeah. She really blamed Blue for peeing in the house. So I went out and bought a baby gate* and put it up in the doorway. And in the morning, there was pee again. So I asked her, 'Do you really think Blue jumped over that baby gate? Do you really?'**

E: Oh yeah?

D: Poor Blue. He was the target of all those mean thoughts for some time. And it was the cat. The cat the whole time.

E: I'm glad you got it figured out. Did you give Blue treats to make up for it?

D: Did I give him...? Of course I gave him treats! He gets more treats than... well, than most dogs I would guess. He's a good boy. If he's got to go outside at night, he comes over and wakes me up to take him out.*** He's just a great dog. Look, he's coming over now. Aren't you Blue? You're a good boy. Good boy Blue.


More than anything about this story, I love the subtext. I never got to hear it, but I can imagine the silent (or not so silent - Who knows?) difference of opinion that was occurring with my mother immediately blaming Blue and my father immediately siding with Blue. I love that I got the entire story completely one sided from my mom until the resolution, which came from my father.

I also love that my father has learned not to argue. He probably said something once about how it may have been the cat, and then just let my mother disagree. But I'm certain he purchased the first cheap baby gate he saw. He may have even made a special trip. And now that he's right? I'm also sure he won't say anything about it to my mom.

Unless there's alcohol involved.

Alcohol and perhaps a daughter to stir the pot.

Good thing I get to visit in about 10 days, huh?

*I'm not gonna lie. The thought that flashed through my brain here was that he had purchased a nanny cam to catch the perpetrator in the act. Seriously. When my dad does something, he doesn't go halfway. I'm glad I was wrong. The baby gate makes much more sense. I forgot that my dad is sensible. Unlike me, apparently.

**Answer: No. Blue couldn't have jumped over the baby gate even if he had a trampoline and both cats helping him.

***This totally made me wonder if Blue is running some sort of scam where he wakes up both of them at different times in the night so that he can go out more than once? Maybe Blue is smarter than I give him credit for?

Thursday, September 22, 2011


I don't mind riding the bus. I really really don't. It takes me approximately 30 minutes to get to campus as opposed to the 10 minutes that it would take me driving, but it's 30 minutes of not having to worry about anything, 30 minutes to study some flashcards or (in one case) finish up a homework assignment that I had spaced on the night before or 30 minutes to just space out and listen to an audiobook before my day begins in earnest. The ride culminates in me getting off the bus and walking about a quarter mile to my building to begin my classes. No hunting for a parking space.

To be honest, that makes the whole process worthwhile. The walk is refreshing (check back with me in the winter) and, to me, hunting for a parking space is akin to pulling out my teeth one by one.

I'll admit, there have been a lot of changes in the last 6 weeks that have required quite a bit of adjustment for me. Riding the bus is, thankfully, not one of them. My only wish is that there was a Starbucks SOMEWHERE on my daily commute.

I have one day a week when classes begin at 8:30am. Which means I'm on the bus that arrives on campus at 8:00am. Every other day of the week requires an earlier ETA than that - sometimes MUCH earlier than that. So I'm usually on a bus that is not filled to capacity. The 8:00am bus is different. EVERYONE is trying to get on campus by 8:00am. I hate that bus ride. For the crowds. I hate the crowds in the morning. And the morning people. The morning people all chatting to each other about the day that is about to begin. The regulars that are all exchanging friendly hellos.

I am NOT a morning person, and, although a regular, I'm lucky if I can manage a wave to the people who are now familiar by sight.

My general rule of thumb is that I sit in a row that has two adjacent seats, and I sit on the seat that is closest to the row. This leaves the window seat empty for my book bag. As long as I can see at least two other open seats on the bus, I do not move over and open up the seat next to me. My rationale is this, A) There are other seats that are open and B) I'm not a morning person.*

Apparently other bus-riders do not appreciate this rationale.

On NUMEROUS occasions, there will be MULTIPLE open seats, and I'll have someone come up next to me and say "Excuse me, please?" The first time it happened, I was so shocked that I just moved over and put my book bag (my HEAVY book bag) on my lap. I spent the rest of the ride in stunned silence. There were SEVERAL other open seats. Why did this person sit next to me? I pondered it until I got off the bus and chalked it up to a fluke.

Until it happened again.

And again.

I'd say that at least three times a week, on a sparsely filled bus, people are asking me to move over so that they can sit next to me. All varieties of people. Young women, young men, older men, older women. It doesn't matter. It happens so often now that I've gotten borderline rude. When someone asks me to move over, I'll make eye contact with them, deliberately look at all the other open seats THAT DON'T REQUIRE ANYONE TO MOVE, then look back at the person before moving over and letting them sit next to me.

My friend Cory says it's because I have a "good energy." I don't see how this is possible first thing in the morning before I've had coffee. My friend Jessica suggested that next time someone says, "Excuse me, please?" I should say, "Yes? Did you need something?"

I am not pleasant in the mornings. This might happen. I'm about one more early morning away from telling someone "No. Sit somewhere else."

I'm just not sure I want to be "that girl." Thoughts?

*On the 8:00am bus, all bets are off. I'm usually wedged up against the window while a 500lb person squeezes into the seat adjacent to me, a mother with a screaming child sits immediately in front of me, and a toddler is behind me kicking my seat. I hate the 8:00am bus. Have I mentioned that?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Vet School Observations

I have SO MUCH to talk about and SO LITTLE time to do it. I'm so sorry to my two loyal fans who routinely harass me to post new blogs. It just occurred to me that during a boring lecture, it looks like I'm taking notes while I post a blog, so I should be able to post more often.

Just kidding. I think.

So here's a list of snippets that have occurred to me in the last 4 weeks (GOOD GOD! I've been a vet student for four weeks?!) and made me think, "I should put that in my blog." Sorry for the brevity.

- When you're walking your dog in the morning, and can look up and see the stars, it's a definite reality check.

- There is a WORLD of difference between undergrad and grad school. I was informed of this several different times in several different ways as I prepared to enter vet school. They definitely do their best to prepare you. But I'm not sure there's anything in the world to prepare you for 18 hours of advanced science credits. All new study habits are necessary. I'm still catching up.

- There aren't enough hours in the day for everything I need to do. Currently my laundry and house cleaning are suffering. (Of course, this isn't much different than when I was working, so maybe I just don't like to do those things.)

- I used to get up at 7:00am every day and get home by 5:30pm. Now I get up at 5:30am every day (on average) and am home by 5:30pm (on average.) Some days are longer and some are marginally shorter. I was looking forward to being a full time student with nothing but school to worry about. For some reason I thought this would be easier than working 40 hours/week and completing pre-requisites. This was an error in my thinking.

- The thought sometimes occurs to me that I can not believe the complete 180 my life has taken in the last 30 days. I wonder if new moms feel this way? Obviously the situations are different, but in one way they are similar. You KNEW this change was coming, but you didn't really KNOW how different it would be.

- I love my classmates. I really do. Some more than others, obviously, but everyone is really friendly. Still... I ache for my friends. A lot. I miss them every day when I need a pick-me-up or a weekly get together (like volleyball) to look forward to. It kills me that I have to limit myself to one social outing per month with Indy friends because I can't combine all of my friends into one big group to see everyone at once.

- I was considering going the "mixed" vet track (a little of small animal and a large animal) because I thought it would help future job opportunities. Then I had my first husbandry lab where I got to work with sheep. I was not at all intimidated by the sheep, but sheep are BIG. It may have hurt that I accidentally got stuck with the biggest sheep in the flock. After the difficulty I had restraining the sheep (um, I ended up riding the sheep at one point) and I realized that sheep are probably the smallest of large animals, I'm pretty sure I'm going to be a strictly small-animal vet. I'm willing to accept my limitations.

- I'm still stubborn as hell, so I did go back and work with the sheep again. I did succeed in restraining and examining the sheep. It's all about picking a size-appropriate sheep.

- So maybe I'm not good with accepting limitations after all.

- The boy seems to miss me. He couldn't be more attentive and helpful lately. I miss him too, but a part of me is glad we have this long distance arrangement. It's hard enough to get 2-3 hours of study time in before bed while living alone. I have to physically remove myself from the vicinity of the laptop in most cases. If the boy were here, I'm afraid my productivity would drop to zero during the week, and there just aren't enough hours on the weekend alone to keep up. This way I can study study study when he's not here and then spend time with him when he is.

- I was so proud of myself for weaning myself almost completely off of caffeine. Except for a random Starbucks run when I overslept, I was drinking only water or non-caffeinated drinks. Now? I may as well have an IV caffeine drip. I think this goes hand-in-hand with lowering my average sleeping time from 7 hours per night to 5.5 hours of sleep per night.

- I have a husbandry dog that I (and a group of 3 other classmates) am responsible for training and walking each day. He's a very handsome 90lb Labrador Retriever (in the AKC sporting group, btw) who is working on "sit" and "down." He's gigantic. So of course, when the boy met him, he fell in love with him. He will be up for adoption in April after we finish our course. I'm trying to explain to the boy that having two big dogs is much different than having one, but I'm not sure what success I'm having. I'll keep you updated. (On the up side, at least the boy would have ONE non-crazy dog.)

- We have a "Stool Evaluation" chart that we have to follow to record our husbandry dog's bathroom habits. It's a range from 1-6. The boy saw this and will now randomly text me a number telling me how his bowel movements are going. I guess it's the little things that come out of vet school, right?

- I have attempted to claim a seat in our main classroom. Apparently, I chose a plot in prime real estate because I have to battle daily to keep "my seat." I must be slipping because it seems that I have not yet put the fear of God into these young vet classmates. I need to get on that.

- I wear jeans and tennis shoes daily. This seemed like the best! thing! ever! when I was working. Now? I miss cute shoes. It's hard to wear cute shoes and a cute outfit when you're either working with large animals or going to anatomy lab at some point during the day. (Such a hardship, right?)

I'm sure I will have more to tell you later, and I really REALLY wish I could videotape or take pictures of my interactions with the large animals (for the first time ever) but unfortunately that's against the rules. Bummer because seriously. I rode a sheep guys. By accident. Horror!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Will Clean for WiFi

Other than not having access to the internet at my new home (sniff) I'm all settled in. I mean, sure, there are still pictures (and a wine rack) to hang, and I have to do a good pass through with the vacuum, but otherwise, all moved in. And everything is roses.

A couple of things to mention.

Apparently Indianapolis is a big city. A big city that has its own channels. Like an ABC affiliate, and NBC affiliate, etc. So if a girl doesn't have cable, but has an antenna, she can still see the shows that she loves on network TV. But, um, in Lafayette Indiana, there is no such luxury. Which means that if a girl doesn't want to pay for cable, she's gonna be watching a lot of TV online (and a lot of DVDs during the summer.)

Can you imagine me with no internet and no TV? Also, seriously, if I'm your friend on Facebook and you post TV show spoilers, I will unfriend you. Immediately. No questions asked. You have been warned.

I'm currently camped out in the living room of my good friend Ann. She is generously sharing her WiFi with me. So I can get my fill of Facebook, blogs, online celebrity gossip. You know, the important stuff in life.

And some schoolwork.

Casey is sick and tired of new people and new places. She would like it very much if we could return to Indianapolis, please. We visited last night, and when she got out of the car in her old front yard, she didn't even try to run in the door. She just stood in the front yard with her tail wagging slowly from side to side. It broke my heart. She's just now gotten to the point where she will kennel in the new house without complaint and without freaking out a la Tyson. I think she's been the most difficult part of this move. It's like an unfiltered physical manifestation of all of my sadness and anxiety about leaving the city I've called home for the last 15 years.

I just hope she adjusts soon.

The boy is having similar adjustment issues. I think we've spoken on the phone more since I left town (four days ago) than we have during the entire time we've been dating. Of course, I would be lying if I didn't say that I missed him too. A lot.

I miss everything in Indianapolis. I think I need classes to start to keep me busy.

The cat is having no such issues. Laney loves the new house. She loves the windows and the sunshine, and the new rooms and closets to explore. She's gotten into the habit of pawing (clawing) open my closet door in the mornings to wake me up and make me feed her. Yesterday I closed the closet door after my breakfast and later on that evening I heard a very polite pawing sound coming from somewhere. I opened the closet and Laney walked out and thanked me for letting her out, oh and could she have some food now please? Today I found out that she has chosen inside my closet on top of my plastic drawers and just under the clothes as her place of choice to nap. Great. I'll never be without cat hair on my clothes now.

At least I'll spend all of my time around people who will probably understand.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Feeling Loved

Five more days in Indianapolis. Holy freaking cow. Seriously. Rationally, I know that I move on Saturday, but emotionally I can't believe that I'm leaving Indy. And my friends. Let's not forget that I'm leaving (most of) my friends.

This past Saturday night some of my favorite women got together for a Girls Night Out in downtown Indianapolis. One of them, a Purdue grad herself, really enjoys my impending Boilermaker status - a little TOO much, I think. We had a great evening of pedicures, shopping, a ride in an Escalade to dinner, fantastic guacamole, dancing at a club, and finally embarrassing the future vet on stage at a local piano bar. All in all too much alcohol was consumed and a fantastic evening was had by all.

I want to note that none of the above are things that I would usually spend money on. (well, except for the fantastic guacamole - we all know where MY priorities lie!) But the evening was so great that I'm left with the nagging feeling that I want to recapture part or all of it on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. I know that's not possible because the best part of the evening was the company - but I have that feeling nonetheless. I couldn't have asked for a better last Saturday night in the city I've called home for 15 years.

And, lest you think I'm getting too sentimental, I'm including a picture of me drinking my very first Boilermaker. (My advice? Don't drink one of these.)

Last week, the boy had to work really REALLY early in the morning. So when I woke up for work as usual, there was no one else in the house. Just me and the dogs. And... you guys... I sorta missed him. And by "sorta" I mean, I was all mopey as I went about the normal morning routine that I've enjoyed for the past three years. Alone. With no boy. I've GOT to shake that off, I know. I'm moving to Lafayette (ALONE!) and things will return to normal. And "normal" can not mean "lonely." But I thought I would mention this, if only to give my friend Jaclyn something to be happy about. (Don't think I don't know you're lurking out there, Jac.)

I get my keys tomorrow night, so the first carload of boxes will make their way up with me tomorrow. I still have a few things to pack, and two large things to get rid of (desktop computer and dining room table) but I think that once those two things are taken care of, I'll feel better about the move. After all, the kitchen is all packed, the living room is all packed, and I'm not packing my clothes. I'm hoping to just transport them on hangers. My friend zlionsfan offered to help drive up a carload of stuff. I was hesitant at first, thinking about his tiny hybrid and his ability to put much stuff in there. But then I realized that his tiny hybrid has the advantage of being entirely dog hair free, so he is now my official clothing mover. Despite the boy's profession of doom and gloom, I think I have this move pretty much under control. Not as under control as my cousin when SHE moved, but as close as a habitual procrastinator can possibly be.

Also? Tyson is still a terrible dog. Only now he's a stoned, senile, and stinky-breath terrible dog. Not going to miss him. Maybe miss the boy, but not his dog. So all is still right with the world.

Friday, July 29, 2011

A Whole New Dog

You guys, I am a TERRIBLE dog mom. Seriously. Awful. And it's all because I'm stubborn. And, you know... always have to be right.

But in this case, I can admit it. I was wrong. Wrong wrong wrong.

See, Casey has allergies. I've fought with these allergies ever since she was over 2 years old. Summertime comes and she gets all red and itchy. And it's been getting progressively worse, as allergies tend to do. The first year it was just itchy paws and red eyes. The second year it was more itchy, chewed upon paws, and some red splotches on her stomach. The THIRD year, it was all of that PLUS hives that then caused her to lose hair in patches all over her body.

I would like to say that I didn't let it get to the point where I called Casey "leprosy dog" but I would be lying. The thing is, the cheapest and fastest remedy for an allergic reaction is a cortisone shot. And when Casey gets a cortisone shot, she turns into MONSTER DOG. I do not like monster dog. I do not like her at all. So last year, I tried a WHOLE SLEW of at-home remedies. I tried Benedryl. (fail) I tried fish oil pills. (somewhat fail, somewhat success) I tried bathing Casey every other day. (fail.) I tried a new shampoo and bathing every day (more fail.) The one thing I DID NOT DO that was suggested to me over and over was changing her food. I stubbornly would not change Casey's diet. Why, I reasoned, would that make a difference when Casey eats the same food all year round, but only has allergies in the spring/summer? I mean, I know my dog, and she definitely is not allergic to her food.

Finally, at my wits end, I took her to another veterinarian with a different perspective on antihistamines. Namely, this take was that the antihistamines (paired with an antibiotic to heal the already apparent hives all over my dog) would help. This vet said that they had taken a skin scraping and found that my dog was "yeasty" and had also found staph. (Which is always present, but apparently her "lowered immune system" due to allergies was causing the staph to make the hives infected. Hence leprosy dog.)

And lo, all was well.

As an added bonus, I got ZOMBIE DOG instead of MONSTER DOG. A trade I was more than willing to make.

So this year, we started the antihistamines early. Like, April 1st early. And there's been more success in staving off the allergies this year than at any time in the past. However, as the summer progressed, the hives did appear on Casey's stomach even if they didn't appear all over her body. And her nose, paws and eyes were pretty red from being scratched/chewed/rubbed from the itching.

I still counted this as a success. Seriously. If you had seen leprosy dog, you would understand.

But last spring, I took a course in microbiology. And this summer? A course in animal nutrition. And then came a suggestion from a friend whose dog has similar skin problems to Casey. And it seemed that everything at once clicked. Like, my dog is yeasty. And what does yeast eat? Sugar. And what is the second ingredient in most dog foods? Potatoes or Corn. Which are starch. And what is starch made of? Sugar.


Of course, this food that Casey has been eating for the first six years of her life is either free (yay!) or very very low cost. So it's the best food I could get for the lowest price. Which is, of course, why she's been on it for so long. And why I was so reluctant to change it. But I love my dog. And she's allergic. And, well, why not try this change?

So a friend recommended a dog food to me that had tapioca instead of a starch as the second ingredient. A dog food that is $41.99 for a 25lb bag. O-U-C-H.

But four days on this food, and Casey looks like an entirely new dog. More pink, less red. Sores disappearing. Overall just... healthier.

And BOY does she love this food. If Tyson even gets NEAR it, she gets ANGRY.

But still. $41.99/bag. Sigh. And me entering vet school where they give you dog food for free each month. Double sigh. Something tells me that they food they'll be giving me won't have tapioca in it.

I swear. This dog.

Thursday, July 07, 2011


The boy and his dog moved in on July 1st. Not-so-coincidentally, I left on July 1st for a long weekend with an old high school friend. I had a ball and came back on the 4th relaxed and refreshed. I came back to a house full of three dogs and a boy and boxes everywhere. But in the spirit of "it's only for a month" I decided to just accept the situation for what it is, and relax. The boy, apparently, didn't get that memo.

And part of me doesn't blame him. Even though it's "our" house for now, it really is "his" house moving forward. He's excited to move his stuff in and make it "homey." No matter how many times I tell him there is no way for this tiny house to look neat and tidy with two people's-worth of stuff in it, he keeps "tidying." And so I sigh, box up another area of my stuff and lug it downstairs.

It's only for a month.

The dogs have adjusted admirably. It helps that after years of resisting* Tyson is now on doggie prozac. Whole. New. Dog. We can leave and he just curls up and sleeps until we get home. No freaking out, no whining... I tell you, it's a miracle. We haven't tried crating him, but without the cat around (who's living the life of luxury in my office right now) there really is no need. He's almost the perfect dog.** Casey is obviously the top of the hierarchy, and the only problem that Blue and Tyson have is that Blue doesn't realize he's temporary and thus isn't really second on the list of command (even though he's lived there longer than Tyson.) So Blue tends to get snippy when Tyson takes the place that he usually lies. It's a fleeting disagreement, but still a sign that for everyone's sanity, I must purge a dog from my house soon. Also a sign? Fitting two pit bulls and the boy in bed with me is just short of comfortable. Especially since Blue will just jump on the bed and literally sleep wherever he lands. No matter what is beneath him. Yay.

Speaking of Blue, he's absolutely shredded the mattress he had in his crate. I think he's protesting the loss of his home where he was free to roam all day long and go outside whenever he pleased. I've told him he's going home soon, but bless his vacant brown eyes, I'm not sure he understands.

Blue goes home July 15th.

My parents seem anxious to be reunited with their dog, even though they're sad to be losing their free, built-in babysitter. When I begin school, it just won't be feasible to pick up Blue and keep him for long periods of time. So in preparation for that, my parents have been doing research on kennels in the city where they live.

They've visited five so far.

And they must visit in person. My mother (who is not a dog person, let us all remember this) wants to see the places herself to deem them worthy of keeping her dog for extended periods of time. One was rejected because it didn't have air conditioning. One is a concern because they have a doggie day care during the day (my mother is concerned that Blue will be picked on because he's so "mild-mannered.) My mom jokes that she and my dad didn't even put this much legwork into selecting colleges for my brother and I. She's not kidding. And even though I'm amused, I'm glad Blue is so loved. What a match made in heaven.

*"Society is over-medicated, Emily," "I am not medicating my dog, Emily," "He doesn't need medication, he's fine."

**It did hurt me to type that. Indeed it did.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Listening Skillz

I have to move again. I would say I'm not looking forward to it because I don't like change, but I'm actually split right down the middle. This move is symbolic of SO MANY life changes coming up that I am equally terrified and elated to make this move. If you add in that the new house is just like the one I'm in now - shabby chic - without the "shabby" and maybe it's 51% elated and 49% terrified.

There are some hurdles to get through first, though. Some readers of this blog have been around since the boy and I lived together so they remember the days when this blog was funny. HAVE I GOT NEWS FOR THEM!

When I found my tiny house in my new city, I had the following telephone conversation with the boy on May 2nd:

E: Guess what?
B: What?
E: I found a house in Lafayette!
B: Really? That's great news!
E: I know, right? I haven't seen it yet. I'll go see it on May 14th. If it looks as good as the pictures and the neighborhood is nice, I'll definitely snatch it up. The rent is only $5 more per month than what I'm paying now, can you believe it?
B: Awesome.

In retrospect, I'm pretty sure the boy stopped listening after I said "I found a house in Lafayette." Because he put in his two month notice at his apartment complex that day. Which means he has to be out of his apartment on July 1st.

Did I mention that the boy is taking over the lease for my current house? Ah. Well, he is. Which is helpful because I can leave some stuff in the basement, or move it slowly over the course of three months instead of worrying about moving everything in one day. Nice, right?

Oh, and when I went to see the house on May 14th (it was indeed as adorable as the pictures) I found out that it wasn't availabe until August 1st. Which is perfect for my school schedule. So I agreed to this move in date, signed necessary papers, and put down my deposit.

Because I didn't know that the boy had put in his two months notice on May 2nd.

That tidbit of information was shared with me on the ride back to Lafayette.

Oh yes. The boy was present for me signing all the papers and agreeing to a move in date of August 1st. All the while knowing that he didn't have anywhere to live after July 1st unless it was the house that I'm currently in. The "shabby-chic" house that is no more than 750 square feet. The house that I would not be vacating until August 1st as it turns out.

As you can imagine, I was thrilled to get this news. Live with Tyson again? Sure! Why not? It wasn't that traumatic the first time. It wasn't like that devil dog was one of the reasons why I moved out or anything. Psh. This will be fine.

Even with Blue back until July 15th.

So, just to recap, the boy, Casey, Tyson, Blue and I will all be living in a 750 square foot house. Together. At the same time. All of us.

Laney will be on her own with a very generous friend of mine. Because when I found out this totally awesome information about cohabitation round 2, my only rule was that Tyson and Laney would not live together again. We can not crate Tyson, and there are no extra rooms for him to tear up beyond recognition to keep him in, so I was not about to leave both Tyson and Laney roming free without supervision. No way. So the boy was charged with finding a temporary home for Laney. Which, to his credit, he did.

So mark your calendars. July 1st. Plenty of amusing blogs coming your way, I'm sure. After all, what could possibly go wrong with making three pit bulls and two humans live together in 750 square feet? Nothing, right? Awesome. I should contact Fox. Surely this deserves its own reality TV show.

Thursday, June 09, 2011


I went home to visit the 'rents last weekend. It was a fantastic weekend. I took my mother on a "surprise" outing that included dancing and discussion of that thing you do in the kitchen... I believe it's called cooking? Anyway, she had a ball. I was glad I was able to do that. The timing worked out perfectly.

I also picked up Blue for the next six weeks. I'm still in the honeymoon phase with this dog who adores me so much, but rest assured... I'll be wanting to get back down to a one-dog household asap come mid-July.

So since it was a mom-dominated weekend, I didn't get to see my dad much. We chatted every now and then, but my dad is pretty much a solitary silent figure during the day. He enjoys his books. He enjoys his cigars. But conversation? You have to make an effort to interrupt him to make him talk. Which he does good-naturedly for sure... but when there's swing dancing and roller derby and all sorts of cable channels (Animal Planet FTW!!) to compete with my attention... Well, my dad gets his peace and quiet.

One thing my dad ritualistically does when I come home is send home a care package with me. It's usually filled with some alcoholic beverage, sometimes a snack that I particularly enjoy, one time there was a cool shower curtain that he found, etc. Stuff like that. My dad's love language is acts of service. Gifting me with what I need (and sometimes what he knows I want but do not buy for myself) is what he does.

I'm not going to lie. I love those care packages. Love them.

So when I got home on Sunday and immediately became irritated with the state in which my house was left by the boy (ahem, how hard is it to do ALL the dishes and not just the ones you used?) I dug into the care package eagerly to see what fun things came home with me this time.

In the bag, I found not one, not two, not even three, but FOUR different types of dog treats. And that was all. Four kinds. Dog treats. As in, things I can not use. Gifts for the dog. Not just a dog, apparently... the grandchild that has taken over all tokens of affection.

It's just such a rough life, competing with pit bulls for affection all the time. Or maybe just Blue. Because since he's been back, I've had a person come out of her house and shout to get my attention over the iPod I was listening to - just to tell me Blue is gorgeous. I had some people driving by stop and put their car in reverse to pull up next to me and say the same thing. I have numerous other dog walkers stop to pay Blue homage while ignoring Casey.* It's a rough life, man.

*Although, to be fair, maybe that's the growling.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

And They Said it Couldn't be Done.

So Memorial Day weekend was fun. After taking the appropriate time to think about the reason for the extra day off work and thank our troops for protecting us, Casey, Tyson, the boy and I went on several adventures. Adventures that left my dog like this 24 hours after the long weekend ended.

We started by going to visit the boy's parents. Where we had beer. Quite a bit of beer, come to think of it. Which is probably where this whole idea was born. You see, I spent the week before Memorial Day weekend referring to our trip to visit the boy's parents as the weekend of "six dogs, five people."

Six dog, five people, you ask? You mean the dogs outnumbered the people?! INSANITY!

I know, right?

Since I have become a pit bull advocate, I have adopted out six pit bulls - seven if you count my own. That's not a huge number by any means, but it's a number that I'm proud of because the now pit bull owners either did not previously have dogs, or hadn't ever considered owning one of this much maligned breed. And now? Some of them own two. Which is how we ended up in the weekend of "six dogs, five people" where all the dogs were pit bulls. And since all of the dogs (that outnumbered the people) were getting along famously, and since they were all pit bulls, I got the crazy idea that we should line the dogs up according to size, make them all sit, and then take a picture.

To which the boy's dad said, "That will never work."

Now, let me give you a quick lesson in Emily-Psychology 101, dear internet readers. If you want to absolutely ensure that Emily does something, make sure to say something to the effect of, "You can't do that," or "You'll never do that," or "That's impossible." Pretty much all I hear when you say that is "Challenge Extended*" If you want to make sure I'll die trying to prove you wrong, make sure there's plenty of beer involved.

And so, I set about to make my dream a reality. I had some help, as you can see. And, as you can see from the "setup"** the dogs did not originally begin in the correct order. Since we needed one photographer, we only had four people to prep six dogs. Everyone was a good sport about saying "sit" and "stay" over and over and over in increasingly stern voices. (Commands that I'm not entirely convinced that every dog understood, but since everyone else was sitting, the rest probably figured, "Meh. Why not.") In the end, as I held my peanut butter-covered hands out in front of me and backed away slowly, we got the picture below. No Photoshop needed. Absolute Perfection.

Behold, "Obedience." In order from left to right we have Izzie, Fatty, Lilly, Casey, Tyson and Odie. We had some difficulty deciding if Fatty was bigger than Izzie. I think we decided that he's bigger, although maybe not taller? And Odie is MUCH bigger than Tyson, but unfortunately his hip dysplasia makes him sit on his haunches, which makes him look not only shorter, but like we beat him into submission to get him in the picture. (We didn't.) My dog is the only one with her tongue out. (there's a joke in there somewhere, yes?)

Oh, and I was also proven right. Again.

Seriously, can you believe they're all looking at the camera? Seriously? Click on the picture and zoom in on it. It's ridiculous how cute they all are.***

*Why yes, I watch How I Met Your Mother. Barney Stinson is my hero. High Five!

**As much as I would like to say that I am not the gigantic butt in the middle of the picture, we all know that would be a lie. Le Sigh.

***But do NOT click on the picture with my gigantic butt in it. No one needs to see that.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The (Embarrassing) Future

This is going to sound lame, but when the idea of embarking on this vet school journey first occurred to me, I pondered it for a long long time. A long time. I don't take big decisions lightly because (you may have gotten this from reading this blog) quitting and/or failure are akin to a death by fire for me. In the end, what ultimately made my decision for me was something intangible. Something tiny. Vet school is a lot of debt and a lot of hard work, and did I really want to do this? I mean, I SAW the animals who needed help and I KNEW I had all the tools to accomplish my goals, but this was a pretty big mountain... and not all of it was within my control (obviously.) Was I willing to deal with all of that? The more I thought about it, the more I warmed to the idea. I tossed it out to a couple of people whose opinions I trusted, and instead of mercilessly making fun of me, they seemed supportive. Like maybe I COULD do it?

What tipped the scales for me was an image. A sort of picture of what I wanted for the future. (To recap, a large part of this decision was based on a fantasy. Argh. There goes the whole "logical" thing I try to stick to.) There's not a whole story entwined in this image, it's just a clear picture of a moment in time, and it hasn't changed in almost four years. (Even with my aging and failing memory.)

As someone who never really had career goals... who wanted nothing more than to be "happy," I didn't really take this image seriously at first. I mean, it doesn't encompass ALL of the reasons why I want to do this, does it? And even when I wanted to start this road, it was huge and daunting and scary and all sorts of unknown. I cried about it (surprise!) to a friend who told me to just make a list and get started. So I did. And this image... it sort of faded in the daily grind of ochem and applications and interviews and certainty that I was never going to get accepted.

But now?

In this image, it's almost like I'm watching TV where I'm the main character. I'm wearing scrubs. My hair is long and tied back in a ponytail. (It also has some curl to it, which is completely unrealistic and I attribute that to complete dreaming.) I have a stethoscope around my neck and a white doctor's coat on, so I know I'm a vet. I'm talking to a patient. My scrubs are a bright blue and they're a size small. I'm not smiling, but I just know I'm happy. I look happy. And fulfilled. Is that possible? The most embarrassing part? I'm wearing a ridiculously sparkly diamond on my left hand.

(Who knew I really did want to get married?)

It's probably a ridiculously idealized image of my future. I'm under no illusions that being a veterinarian will be easy, or that I'll be happy all of the time. But this snapshot... it just stays in my mind.

Soooo... let's recap. To accomplish this I need to:

-Get in to vet school (check!)
-Actually GRADUATE from vet school
-Fit into scrubs that are a size small
-NOT cut my hair
-Find a job after graduating from vet school that allows me to work with clients
-Help underprivileged animals (I'm assuming this will take care of the "fulfilled" part, right?)

Seems manageable enough. (Gulp.)

(I didn't put 'get married' on there because I can buy my own sparkly diamond if need be. So there.)

Monday, April 18, 2011

In like Flynn

I got the call on Saturday morning at approximately 10:56am. I'm in. Class of 2015. Holy crap! I'm going to be a veterinarian!

The first person to find out? The checkout woman at Target who kept telling me to "let it all out" because I deserved it. (I had to tell her because I'm pretty sure she thought I was having a heart attack.)

The most fun phone call to make? To one of my oldest friends Rindee. She squealed much like zlionsfan said I squealed when I was notified of my interview. I couldn't understand a word of what she was saying, but boy was she excited for me.

The funniest reaction? When I called my cousin on her moving day. I knew she'd be super busy. She answered, "Did someone die? Someone had better have died." When I said no and told her the reason for calling, she said, "This is much better than if someone had died!" I had to laugh at that. Indeed it was.

The most surprising phone call? To my friend Craig who shows almost no emotion on a daily basis. The force and inflection of his "YES!" was awesome to hear.

What I enjoyed most? Well, telling everyone. But second to that? All the love on Facebook. I think that's why Facebook was invented. To spread good news. Because man do I feel loved right now.

The most touching moment? When my dad told me that he had just gotten to the point where he can say that I'm going to be a veterinarian without getting choked up. I had no idea he felt that strongly about what I was doing.

New thing I've learned? Champagne that costs more than $10 is so SMOOTH! Yumm-o.

The most overwhelming moment? When I realized that in less than 5 months I will have to quit my job, move and start almost a whole new life. Woah. Luckily I have friends who live in my future city. (Friends who should start increasing their food budget slightly because, um, they're going to be feeding me at least once a week or so :-)

Holy crap.

I'm going to be a veterinarian.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Role Reversal

The boy and I attended our second of three weddings this year. We were both just attendees, and since I got to pick my outfit, I went with this dress. The wedding was in my hometown, which is quite a bit farther south than Indy, so even though it was overcast and cloudy here, the weather turned into a balmy 75 degrees that day, so the dress was perfect.

Wow did I love this dress. It's made of a jersey material and it's empire waisted, so it was as comfortable as a t-shirt. I paired it with some silver heels, a silver wrap and purse, and I was good to go. Loved loved loved this dress.

As I was admiring myself in the mirror getting ready to leave for the wedding, I heard an "Oh no!" exclamation from my bedroom. I went back in to find the boy standing in the middle of the room with panic in his eyes. Apparently his pants (the only dress pants he had brought with him) would not button.

Let me give you some background info on the boy and I. While I have a love/hate relationship with food and it's resulting effect on my body, the boy has no such issues. Dare I say, the boy can eat what he wants and never gain weight. In fact, during several discussions about how much I hate how I look, the boy has had the audacity to say, "Why don't you just lose the weight?" like it's that easy. Which it is. For him. Notsomuch for me.

And whereas I have to work for weeks to be able to run 5 miles, the boy can get up off the couch and run 5 miles without so much as a warm-up.

At least... he could.

Ever since the big 3-0 hit for him (the milestone that we're not allowed to talk about) the boy has been struggling in that silent man way that boys tend to struggle. Suddenly he can't just up and run five miles. And suddenly he can't complete a bike ride when Emily can.* And SUDDENLY, it appears that perhaps the metabolism has slowed some?

I still can't talk about the big 3-0 to the boy, but as an older male mutual friend of ours said, "It only gets worse, I'm afraid."

So the pants. They would not button. And I would be lying if I said that I didn't smirk. But we figured out some workarounds that I have up my sleeve (this is not my first rodeo) and the boy was set.

For the entire car ride to the wedding, I had to remind myself that this was his first experience with clothes that used to fit, and then mysteriously shrunk at the dry cleaners. I had to endure comments like, "I'm not eating dinner tonight. I just won't eat dinner. Or breakfast. Or lunch tomorrow," and "I need to start working out. Like tonight. When we get home I'm going for a run."

I showed admirable restraint, believe it or not.

I explained that I knew (intimately) the panic that he was feeling, but that an over-reaction would not solve this issue. No use in burning himself out by throwing himself into workouts while starving himself. That's just a recipe for disaster. Better to eat sensibly at dinner that night and then make a workout schedule for the upcoming week(s.)

He still ate two pieces of friend chicken. And mashed potatoes and gravy. Apparently the panic passes quickly for males. But boy was he uncomfortable after dinner.

After the bulk of the reception and our required one slow dance, the boy urgently told me that we had to leave. We had to leave the reception right now! Why? Because someone had to use the restroom to go #2 and apparently this is not done in public by decent menfolk.

So the whole way home was an URGENT URGENT drive. Until we got home. And the boy was able to take off his pants. Then? The urge wasn't quite so pressing. In fact, he was just fine.


*Granted, Emily TRAINED FOR THE BIKE RIDE ALL SUMMER and the boy did NOT, but that didn't seem to matter. Ahem.

Monday, April 11, 2011


Once upon a time, this happened. And then, within hours of posting the blog, it was resolved.

And then this happened. And again, shortly after posting the blog, it was resolved.

Oh wait... did I not post about that resolution? Hmmm.

I was wait-listed. As in, placed on a list of alternates. To wait. To see if a spot opened up for me.

Which is all fine and dandy. I mean, at least there's no more clinging-to-the-edge-of-my-sanity waiting going on. The letter was sort of a relief. At least I had some news. I could now move on with my life. Which I have. Moved on, that is. Because, see, it sort of feels like this:

Scene: A smoky club with a throbbing techno beat.*

Emily looks across the room to spot a hot boy. She approaches him to engage in witty banter that will make him realize just how intelligent and irresistible she really is. He does indeed seem to notice her finer attributes, so she asks him out to dinner, the subtext of which is that if all goes well they will spend the rest of their lives together in bliss.

He hesitates, then says, "You know, I would love to go out with you. I really and truly would. But there's this hot cheerleader type woman - you know the type... blond, 5'7", 110 lbs, your basic nightmare - that I've also been talking to, and I would like to ask her out first... but if she says no, I'm all yours."

That's how this situation feels. And it's frustrating because if the scene above occurred in real life, I would totally tell that guy where to shove it, and walk away. This girl, she doesn't play second fiddle to anyone.

But when I explained this to z, he responded with, "Yes, but this isn't like it's just any guy. This is like you're talking to Joshua Jackson."

Ah yes, Josh. Can I call you Josh? You've been my longtime love. I know you're rocking Fringe right now, but you will always be the Pacey Witter of my heart.

But see, here's what I think. I think I would still walk away. Even from Joshua Jackson. Because (and ladies, take note here) you just can't set that sort of precedent in any relationship you're in. I know a lot of people (women) do things they normally wouldn't do in the beginning of a relationship to "reel him in" and then think that they're going to get the relationship the way they want it later. I'm here to tell you that is NOT the way to go. I mean, for things like putting his dirty laundry on the floor? Sure. Things like asking another woman out first? Notsomuch. Because once that precedent is set, it's really REALLY hard to undo. I mean, what, he's going to spend the rest of his life making you forget that you were his second choice? No.

(It's all talk, Josh. Call me. Seriously. I'll be your second fiddle. Or third. Or doormat. Whatevs.)

For all of that digressing, it doesn't help me in my current situation. One that I literally can not (or won't?) walk away from. One in which I have no control, no pride, and no idea what the future holds.

All of that sounds like a perfect recipe for a situation Emily would be great at handling, no? At least I'm growing as a person?

(Personally, I think this is why fate made me meet and date the boy. Because woo wee, if there's ever been an exercise in not getting what I want when I want it, it's been dating this boy. So maybe it's all been preparation for applying to vet school, I just didn't know it.)

So good thoughts, keep your fingers crossed and all of that. I don't consider this fight over until the end of April. May 1st I'll start thinking about updating my application and sending out to more schools next year.

*Note: I'm not sure WHY I always picture a club scene like this. It's not like I've ever BEEN to a club like this, nor that I would ever want to. Maybe it's because I picture myself looking all hot in this imaginary scenario. But then, that could just as well be at a wedding... or at Subway. I mean, sometimes it's difficult to contain my inherent hotness on any given day. So really, this could take place anywhere. Keep that in mind.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Powers of Observation

I went to lunch today, parked at a parking meter for all of 15 minutes, and someone hit my car. And then they drove off. Again.

The way that this information came to be grasped by yours truly, however, is a story in and of itself.

So I went to lunch, as mentioned, to one of my favorite restaurants that I generally tend to avoid like the plague during lunchtime because of the tiny TINY parking lot. (the lot, it is tiny.) And after I got my lunch and went back to my office to eat it, I noticed that my driver's side door made a sound when I opened it to get in. However, seeing as how I was parked on a semi busy and very crowded road, I thought "What NOW?!" fully expecting that my car needed oil somewhere, and promised myself that I would check it out in the safety of my garage at work that was merely a mile away.

In the course of driving that mile, I, of course, completely forgot about the noise. Luckily, when I got out of my car the door made the same obnoxious noise. So I looked at what was going on, and I saw this. And by "this" I mean the fact that the door was no longer aligned with the front quarter panel of my car. Ugh. I mean, U-G-H. The conclusion that I leapt to was that someone had hit my car whilst it slept on the street outside of my house. After all, that's what had happened before. Why would this be any different? Also, the damage had only knocked the door askew from the front quarter panel, so it's not like the car was traveling with any velocity when it hit my car. Of COURSE it happened outside of my house last night. Especially when one's house is two doors down from a neighbor who can't drive a car to save his life. Not that I'm insinuating anything, neighbor who constantly has major body work done to his POS car that keeps getting banged up in totally noticeable ways that are sometimes eerily similar to the damage one would see on a car that had hit the rear driver's side quarter panel of a neighbor's car. A blue Honda CR-V perhaps? I'm not insinuating anything at all.*

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes. My car and the door. So I got all upset and marched into work where I proceeded to tell my boss (using many colorful expletives and angry words) about how someone hit my car. After listening to my rant, my boss's first question was why I didn't notice the noise my door made this morning when I drove to work. I dismissed this as me being unobservant. But then I started to wonder. The noise is loud. I mean, I noticed it right away. There is no way, no matter how much I hate mornings, that I wouldn't have noticed this problem when I drove to work. None. So what happened?

The next logical conclusion** that I jumped to was that the ding had happened in the garage while I was parked there. The landlord was around doing yardwork. I park next to the mower. It seemed reasonable to me that he had accidentally clipped my car when pulling out the mower. So I went to ask him if this was, in fact, what had happened. (He's a great guy, btw. I have no other explanation why he was so patient with me while I was pretty much telling him that he had dented my car.) After telling me that he had not been in the garage all day, he wanted to see what had happened to my car. So we went out to the garage together. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the first time that I noticed this:

I wish I were kidding.

There is no bending of the truth there, kids. None. The sideswipe runs the LENGTH OF MY CAR and I didn't see it. All I noticed was that my door made a noise when I opened it.

My powers of observation, they are fearsome.

After noticing the sideswipe, it took very little brain power to figure out the rest of what had happened. And after waiting over two hours for a policeman to come so that I could file a report (it was not a good day to be a non-emergency in Indianapolis) I found out that A) there were no security cameras that caught the action and B) there's pretty much nothing I can do but, um, accept what happened.*** I got home around 5:45pm. A little later than usual, but nothing that would generally matter. Except...

The main thing on my mind was the impending rain we were expecting in Indy. See, I have a new toy that I wanted to play with**** and all I wanted to do was get my workout clothes on, get the dog, and get outside for our walk. Single-minded with this purpose, I entered the house, let the dog out of her crate, and went to my bedroom to change. Suddenly, a tiny but persistent thought jumped out at me.

The cat wasn't in the bathroom begging for water.

I brushed it aside. Meh. So what if she always drinks out of the sink? So what if she CONSTANTLY hounds me when I'm in the bathroom to turn on the water? She's probably just not thirsty right now. I have got THINGS TO DO! The cat is probably asleep.

As I exited the bathroom and headed to my bedroom, I spared a glance at the cat's food dish.

The cat wasn't sitting next to her food dish, begging for food.

Now THIS was major. The cat has been on a diet for the last three years or so and, as she would have you believe, has been hungry for every single day of the last three years.

I hesitated, torn. Still, I had THINGS TO DO, so I continued changing and put on my tennis shoes. As I headed back into the living room to leave, I casually opened a few closets, and then casually checked the place where the cat usually sleeps. Nothing. A total of five minutes had elapsed from the time I got home and every minute brought the rain closer. Since my walk with the dog takes an hour, I had to get out the door. The cat was probably, um.... somewhere. I would find her when I got home.

As I was putting on my windbreaker to head outside and could think of NO OTHER OPTIONS for where the cat could be, responsibility won out. I sighed, opened the door to the backyard, and called my cat's name. Immediately I heard an urgent "meow" in return. I called her name again, trying to locate the source of the meow, and heard three more urgent cries, each louder than the last. Then Laney herself came into view, covered in dried grass. I have no idea if she ran out the door when I left for work in the morning or ran out the door five minutes prior when I got home. At that point, I figured I would take a good look at her later, but I had to GET OUT THE DOOR!

I picked her up (she seemed grateful) and brought her back inside. I then fed her and FINALLY got on my way.

So, just to recap. Something majorly terrible happened to my car... the most expensive thing that I own... and I didn't notice it. At all. In fact, if my door hadn't been knocked out of line, there's a good chance that I would STILL have no idea that anything was wrong with my car. I would notice it three days (or weeks) from now, and be all angry that someone had hit me. However, five minutes home with something else being the entire, intense focus of my brain, and I notice that my cat is MIA. My FREE cat that I adopted for FREE when she was a kitten. The cat with no value. The cat who loves me, but who everyone else agrees is pretty much Satan incarnate.

Sigh. I would feel like my values are screwed up except that... Well, it's 1:23am and I'm blogging because I can't sleep. There are four souls in my house tonight. Two asleep, and the other two.. Well...
Sure she's not on my lap, but she's totally purring.


**It wasn't logical in the slightest. FYI.

***This would be one of the places where I would use a more colorful euphemism... but this is a family blog and one never really DOES know who's reading it. Ahem.

****It's the subject of another blog coming soon. Promise.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ann would be so proud...

I have driven a lot in the last three weeks. A lot. And one of my favorite things to do in the car is listen to audiobooks and podcasts. Once I had finished the book I was working on, I moved on to my favorite podcast. One which I am woefully behind on keeping up on... so much so that I basically my pick of dozens of podcasts to listen to.

Of course, once I start listening to SYSK, I remember exactly how much I love Chuck and Josh, and I just can't stop. So today, even though my road trips are over for a couple of weeks, I was listening to a few more podcasts while I ran my errands. The one that I chose today was on circumcision. Specifically, the podcast released on 11/30/10.

I finished my errands and ran through the McDonald's drive through to pick up one of their large Diet Cokes (that are the best I've ever tasted. Seriously.) When I pulled up to the window to pay, the woman opened the window and looked at me with a somewhat startled expression on her face. My immediate thought was that she recognized me and I began to search my memory for what on earth her name was. I came up blank, but in the meantime, I found that I only had a $10 bill to pay for a Diet Coke that was $1.09. Drat. I handed over the $10, the lady shut the window and I went back to listening intently to my podcast. When the window was again opened (which, in retrospect, maybe took a little bit longer than anticipated, even though a $10 had to be broken...) there were two ladies on the other side. Both seemed to have an amused expression on their face. I didn't think anything of it, just took my change and then proceeded to pull forward and put my wallet back in my purse. When I got to the window to get my drink, there were three women there. One lady handed me my drink, and two other ladies studiously ignored me but seemed to be listening intently as I said "Thank you" and "Have a nice day." As I pulled away, I caught the beginning of laughter as the window closed.

What the...?

Then I realized that the podcast that I was listening to used the word "penis" liberally. Not to mention several other terms that, while not vulgar, are probably not words one expects to hear coming from a car's speakers.

I immediately went red. How embarrassing! I'm never going to be able to go to that McDonald's again! I mean, I used to work fast food. I know what sorts of nicknames we had for regular customers. I can only imagine what this podcast did for me. I'm pretty sure that the last thing I need is to be labeled the "Penis lady."

At least this will help my diet? The avoiding McDonald's I mean. Not the circumcision podcast.

(For those of you who don't know, my friend Ann is a very vocal "intactivist." Her blogs are private, so you'll have to take my word for it when I say that they're very interesting and informative. I have no official stance on the subject since I do not have a son, but it's a topic that I never would have thought to read up on before, and I have to thank Ann for getting me interested enough to at least want to know all the facts.)

Thursday, March 24, 2011


This post is causing quite the buzz on the internet. I wrote about similar feelings here.

I wonder why I didn't get all the hullabaloo?

Monday, March 07, 2011


On Friday night I was out with a longtime girlfriend and we had a margarita (or two.) By the time the boy checked in on my whereabouts, I was at the tail end of my second margarita (I won't go into details about how large it was) and feeling that all was right with the world. So when the boy suggested that he would drive me home, I did not argue.

When we got to my house, I invited the boy in for a "cup of tea." He accepted, but told me, "Baby, I can't stay. I have to work tomorrow."

"Oh no! That sucks!" (inside I was gleefully rejoicing. We'll get to why later.) "I miss you when you're not around," I pouted.

When it came time for the boy to leave I emerged from the bathroom with teeth brushed, face cream on, and in warm fuzzy pajamas - fully intending to give the boy a good night/good bye kiss. Instead I found him lying on my bed under the covers.

"What are you doing?!" I exclaimed.

"What? I'm tired and don't want to go home. I thought we could snuggle." The boy said this with what would, under normal circumstances, have been an adorable smile.

"You said you weren't staying! You can't stay! What are you doing?!"

The boy, thoroughly confused at this point, sat up and asked, "But you were upset that I was leaving?"

"I was being nice! What girlfriend is HAPPY when her boyfriend doesn't stay at her place? It wouldn't have been politically correct to say, 'Oh good. I don't want you to stay because I have an early morning and I don't sleep well when you're in the bed with me and two 50lb pitbulls*.' I was trying to be a good girlfriend!!"

(All of this was said in a very loud and panicked voice, I might add.)

"So put the dogs in their crates for the night."

"In their crates?!" I was horrified. "Um, they LIVE here. You do not. I will not displace them for a visitor."

"And you see nothing wrong with that logic?"

"No." I considered briefly through my margarita haze. (The "all is right with the world" feeling was long gone.) "Fine. Stay. I won't sleep and I'll hate you. Whatever." I dramatically threw myself into the bed and promptly "fell asleep."

At 2:00am, curled into a tiny ball in the only free space available on the bed, I awoke, already angry. I tossed and turned for a while, shoved some dogs onto the boy who snored briefly before turning over, and then said loudly, "Fine! I'm going to the couch! I KNEW this would happen!!"

The boy mumbled something incoherently.

Furiously, I stalked to the couch with a blanket and my pillow. Once I made myself comfortable and started drifting off to sleep, the feelings of self pity came.

"Here I am. All by myself. Nobody loves me. Nobody cares that I'm out here all alone. I hate everyone. I can't believe no one cares about me."

In the midst of the self pity, I heard a soft padding that I first thought was imagined. Then Laney jumped on the top of the couch near my head and began purring.

"Yes! Laney loves me! Laney who is so low maintenance that she often takes a back set to the needy dogs in the house! I love Laney! Laney is the only one who truly cares about me. I will have to make it a point to give her some good scratches at least once a day from now on. She's such a good cat. She's always hated the boy. She's so smart."

Contented, I began to fall asleep in earnest. I awoke to a thud followed by the unmistakable sound of claws clicking on hardwood floor. A few seconds later, Blue's cold nose was on the side of my neck. A few seconds after that, a large blue body landed square on my stomach, forcing all of the air out of my lungs.

"Oof," I grunted, and turned on my side in the fetal position. Blue took the opportunity to curl up between my knees and stomach and to put his head on my waist. When I caught my breath, I was enamored with how cute he was. See! Blue loved me!! All was not lost! Blue AND Laney loved me. The boy could go ahead and sleep alone. I was loved. I cared not.

A second thud sounded and more claws clicked on the hardwood floor. Casey's nose nuzzled my head for a second. I braced myself for the second dog on my body.

A few seconds passed.

More seconds passed.

Then the claws clicked away back to the bedroom, and jumped back on the bed.

I was furious. "TRAITOR!! Blue isn't even my dog anymore, and HE'S here with me. Laney takes a backseat to the dogs, and SHE'S here. Casey is MY DOG!!! What the heck?"

I fell asleep angry.

The next morning I awoke to my alarm and began preparations to leave the house. I took no care to be quiet, but when I entered my bedroom, I found the boy and Casey curled together in a similar position to what I had just abandoned with Blue. Normally the cuteness would have made me smile, but in this instance, they may has well have both had "Traitor" branded on their foreheads.

"FOR SHAME!" I hissed.

The boy, having no idea of the drama that had occurred in the night, awoke confused. "Wha?"

"You don't love me! I hate you." I said to him. "And YOU!" I shifted my accusing finger to Casey, "YOU are going back to the Humane Society."

"You didn't adopt her from the Humane Society."


Blue padded into the bedroom sleepily and jumped back on the bed to sleep a bit more. The boy surmised what had happened and looked amused.

"Does your dog love me more than you?"

"Whatever. You're both dead to me."

As I was leaving, the boy asked if he was ever allowed to sleep over again. I gave him a list of things he could do before he left my house in order to regain favor and explained that he was on probation until Blue left. Then we could re-negotiate. He saluted. "Aye aye, Captain."

It was at this exact moment, as I was walking out the door, that Blue farted.

And all was, once again, right with the world.

Maybe my parents won't notice if I switch dogs?

*Yes, Blue has been with me for five weeks and won't go home for another two.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Thanks - Sincerely

I was thinking about the number of times I've been asked "Have you heard anything yet" in the last three weeks. The number is too high to count. But do you know what it made me remember?

The day of my interview, I had to shut off my phone. Not so that it didn't make any noise during my interview and not because I didn't want to receive any calls, but because I got SO MANY text messages wishing me good luck or telling me that I would do awesome that it made me cry. Seriously there were upwards of 50 messages that one day. It even topped my birthday.

And since I'm a crier, albeit a logical one, I shut off my phone because I wasn't about to ruin my make-up on interview day :-)

It got me thinking about how lucky I am. About how many people are supporting me through this and how many people are wishing me well. I doubt there are many others who had more support (from such a variety of people) than I do.

So I wanted to say thanks. I just wanted to put that out there. Because while I'm quietly going crazy through the admissions process (no I don't know anything yet) it's the thought of all that support that keeps me sane. I figure that because of you guys, I'll be alright either way. I appreciate that. A lot.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011


I hate suspense. I have never ever been able to handle it. This is one of those things that I've just accepted and informed my friends about so they would understand the multiple "Does he/she die/get shot/get eaten/fall off the cliff?!" questions about the book/movie/commercial that they have read/seen and I have not. (Heck - I ask those questions even if you haven't read/seen the book/movie/commercial either. I just need to know.)

Thus there are no coping mechanisms in my repertoire for suspense.

This is something I sorely regret at this point in my life.

Also? I tend to over-think things.

Luckily, I HAVE been through heartache. So I DO know how to keep my mind occupied and off of whatever topic seems to be driving me insane. Books were my primary distraction the first time around and video games the second. (What, you haven't had your heart broken more than once? Lucky you.)

This time I have turned to the gym for distraction.

It's a great tool and it's been working well so far. All nervous energy burned off and no choice but to sleep at night after working out for over an hour. Add a good audio book to the workout (or those nifty "cardio-theatres" on the stationary bikes that get a better picture quality than the TV in my house) and so far this is an effective tool to keep my anxiety about...oh....everything pertaining to my future in check.

This tool is especially necessary when I hear more rumors about when, exactly, I'm going to find out whether or not my quest to be a veterinarian will be successful this go-round. And, silly me, I keep checking those rumors. Rumors like, I should have a letter in my mailbox by the end of the week. And those rumors, they tend to drive me batty.

(And, srsly? Snail mail? For this kind of news? What is this, 1990?)

You would think I would avoid the rumors. But, alas, the flesh is weak. So I keep working out.

What I am slowly realizing is that my distraction techniques don't fit in very well with real life.

This makes sense, sort of. For the first heartbreak I was living at home with the folks. What responsibility is there at home except for personal cleanliness and getting to work on time? Reading during all downtime never really affected my "normal" routine. Second heartbreak occurred right out of college during my first job. Again, get to work on time and spend all downtime as you wish. MarioKart for 14 hours at a time? Done!

Now? Apparently, despite my best efforts to avoid this "grown up" phase of my life, I have accumulated various responsibilities that are being neglected with the hours of working out. (I know, right?!) Responsibilities like dog walking... bill paying... snow shoveling... laundry folding...

I am crushed to find out that my coping strategy isn't foolproof.

So tonight I'm dedicating to being a grownup. I'm going to walk the dogs like a good dog owner. I'm going to pay my bills like a responsible adult. I'm going to fold and put away my laundry like someone who's out of college. And I'm going to keep my mind busy doing these tasks so that I don't think about how the latest rumors said that the admissions committee is meeting TOMORROW to seal my fate. (or doom. Whatever.)

I can be an adult! I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...

Sunday, January 30, 2011


I prayed on Friday night. Not on my knees or anything, but I literally closed my eyes in the middle of dinner and said a prayer.

Granted, my prayers began like this, "Hello God. You may not know me, but I'm pretty sure you're well acquainted with my mother. Oh, and that lady sitting there on your left? That's my grandmother," but I don't think that diminishes the fact that I did, in fact, pray.

(I can't even be 100% serious in my prayers. I think part of me was trying to make God laugh so he would take pity on me and listen to what I was saying.)

Because I can't remember wanting something as much as I want to get into vet school. It's an all encompassing want. From the tips of my fingers to the tips of my toes.

Right now it's a waiting game. The interview is done and we should hear back before March. There will either be an ecstatic post on here about how excited I am about my future, or a bunch of depressing blogs about how life is terrible and no mention of my future whatsoever. In the event it's the latter, just don't ask. Send ice cream or warm baked goods instead.

In the meantime, if you could see inside my brain, it goes something like this: "ohpleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseplease." So cross your fingers for me.