Monthly Archives: November 2007

The Best Night Ever

Jack has turned me into a fecal freak.  I came home after a week away and I tried to jump right back into our early morning run around the lake only to find something is wrong, so very wrong.  And I totally blame ex-boy for this. 

Jack has taken up this awkward sideways trot that moves him back and forth across the sidewalk that has been getting me rude glares from passersby that have no appreciation for the complete joy my puppy gets from smelling and licking every splotch of goose poop on the sidewalk.  After swerving around for a few minuets he finally pulled over to do his business and I got the bag ready only to have Jack look up at me with the saddest eyes as he turned around to show me why.  Yes, it was stuck – but not only stuck, it was hanging by a bundle of something that really shouldn’t have been passing through him.  I’ve heard the stories from other dog owners about this, so I quickly pulled the bag over my hand and reached in before anyone could see this humiliating moment for the both of us; and I pulled – only to discover there was foot of bundled thread coming out of my dog’s ass.  Jack squealed, I jumped back, the thread still hanging there, and Jack laid down on the sidewalk and looked up at me like “why?  why are you yanking this out of my ass?”  I finally got the rest as Jack sat there shaking and I was nearly in tears because I felt so bad.  So I called ex-boy who was laughing so hard that he just had to share the story with all of his colleagues.  I ended up coming to work a nervous wreck after Jack promptly fell asleep without eating after our run.  Not to mention he quivered and peed every time I went to pet him b/c lord knows what else I would pull out of his anus when he wasn’t looking…

By the time I got home he was back to normal and I was relieved.  We went out for our evening walk and he was gitty and trotting and showing off.  And then he pulled off to the side and I was probably looking at a baby goose somewhere and turned back just in time to see Jack take the most graceful nose dive of a somersault into a fresh pile of shit.  I yanked on the leash and he bounced up, and I immediately saw the glisten of the fresh brown streak from his ear down his back.  So while ex-boy tends to go on walks with Jack and tell me stories about the girls who come up to him to tell him how cute the puppy is, I get to come back with stories about how I had to warn everyone to please not touch my dog as he is covered in fresh shit. 

When I got home I swept him up with a towel and threw him in the tub only to find the poop smeared on his collar and matted in his fur.  He shook when I doused him with water and brown drops of water splattered across the white walls and all over me.  Ex-boy came in just in time to see the brown water running into the drain as he asked “what’s that smell?”  So we laughed about it while he tossed everything shit-smeared and I washed Jack.  I took him out of the tub and ex-boy cradled him in the towel while I blow-dried his new clean coat. 

I had to clean up the brown water stains in the bathroom and while doing so I looked down only to see a big brown glob on my jeans.  Jack tends to turn around and rub up against my leg on our walks to make sure I’m still there, such an endearing thing to do that ends up with me walking around with streaks of shit on my jeans.  I ended up just finishing the rest of the cleaning sans pants and a good 2 hours later I had a cuddly soft puppy, a clean apartment, and a laundry basket full of poop smeared towels and clothes. 

But it was one of the best nights I’ve had in a long time.  I got Jack because I was spending so many nights alone studying until 1-2 am without any kind of entertainment and I was convinced I was on the verge of falling into a place only pills could get me out of.  But since I got Jack, I’ve smiled more than I probably did throughout my years in high school and college.  And the fact that he acted like the torture of a bath and getting blow-dried was completely worth the enjoyment of rolling around in shit, it makes me think it was almost worth it for me too.

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because we can all just wonder until we’re blue in the face

It gets hard to leave once I come home because I start to remember what it was like to live here and what it would have been like if I had stayed hidden in my closet the night before I left for school, in tears, on the phone with my best friend, asking her over and over why I was moving to New York having never stepped foot there.  And she bossed me around as usual and said you have to go, so stop your whinin’, get some sleep so you can catch that flight in the morning.  And she was right. 

But I left already.  And do I keep going or do I decide that it’s time to come home? 

And all those stupid things I wonder about.  What if I hadn’t had met ex-boy at 19, where would I be?  What if I came home after college?  What if I had stayed at that little chicken coop in New Hampshire that whole summer?  What if I hadn’t of sent those letters?  even up to the point where I wonder about that stupid boy who stood me up at senior prom, would my dating life be different if that hadn’t of happened? 

But I guess it doesn’t matter, because it’s the decisions that have been made that are most important.  And when the time comes, I’ll know if it’s right for me to come back home. 

and I still went to my senior prom – without a date, and I had fun.  (and yes I did find my old prom dress and tried it on.  still fits thank you very much.)

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Assimilation

I don’t always volunteer that I’m from Louisiana.  Mostly because if I come across a savvy southerner and start getting questioned on certain areas, I might get exposed as being from Louisiana and not knowing a damned thing about it.  Which is the worst kind of southerner there is.  It’s blasphemous.  I know Community coffee, King cake, and Tony’s Chachare’s – and then the culture lesson is over.

But today I had to drive through St. Landry Parish to get home.  I don’t think I’ve ever been through that Parish.  In fact my mom already teased me about thinking Opelousus was anywhere near Breaux Bridge, because apparently it’s not.  But as I was driving, I was reminded how pretty this state can be.  Not to mention all those places that I recognize, but less than a minute out of the state I wouldn’t know if Bayou Grosse Tete was real or a cajun joke (it’s real.)  But I can state for a fact that the little town of Point Barre’s claim to fame is “Birthplace of Bayou Teche.”  And driving along interstate 190, behind all those pretty wooden houses that sit up on stilts is Bayou Courtableu (and for my french-speaking friends, I guarantee you are pronouncing it wrong.  start with converting “mais oui cheri” to “mais yeah chat” and then we can go from there…)  This is the stretch I had never seen up until today, and it was picturesque Acadiana with Cypress trees surrounded by Cypress knees and moss draping down – perfect for a silhouette. 

And I always can’t believe that this is the place that I grew up, because my life now is so different from what it would have been if I had stayed.  I come home and see all the pictures my mom has of her grand-kids and then the one frame of me and just me.  And my best friend who doesn’t understand why I’m not focusing on babies first career last.  And I dread running into high school friends because they always ask about the significant other and the babies, where are those babies.  But this is only one side of living so far away from home.

The other part is what comes as instinct to me.  I am not a city gal.  I feel very comfortable starting conversation with strangers in small towns (I would never do this in a city.)  I can get around backwoods roads pretty well and spend the majority of an afternoon talking about the joys of being a baby factory and a stay at home mom (I can admit that if you catch me in the right sentiment my ovaries might actually begin to twitch at the idea of being a stay at home mom.) 

And I feel like a fool as I realize there are silly day-to-day things that I get so frustrated with myself over.  Like really wanting to leave work some days and spend the entire evening vegging on the couch with Jack instead of going full force into that Cell Bio final take-home.  Like walking down the sidewalk and letting the people around me – loud-talking, loogie hocking, skateboarders flying up around me – get me so irked that I want to go sit in silence for a while.  Like during those brief 6 mths that I lived in San Francisco proper and I met ex-boy downtown one evening and I didn’t know what bus to take to get home.  It was late and foggy and I started to cry and just started running for the nearest bus in hopes it would take me somewhere near home and ex-boy didn’t know what to offer so from the street corner a block away he yelled “I love you Alison Lee!”  And in all these circumstances I beat myself up for not being able to handle it better.

But it’s not instinct for me.  It’s like Jack.  He came from being abandoned in the Pinnacles to living in Oakland.  So when I went to the dog park with him for the first time I thought “that is so adorable.  He’s rolling around in the grass because he’s so happy.”  Then it was explained to me that my puppy rolls in dog shit because he’s a herding dog and that’s how he assimilates into a herd – by smelling like the herds’ poop.  And there Jack went, herding all the other dogs into place.  And all those times I let him do that on our walks only to rub my face affectionately in his afterward, unaware he was covered in residual dog crap.  But that’s Jack’s instinct.  He can learn not to do it, but he’ll probably always want to roll in the poop.

And I can pretend to enjoy the smell of my own farts with the other SFers, but I can’t beat myself up over not being able to assimilate into city life as much as I may want.

So times like this, sitting on the floor of the foyer because this is the only place where I can get both Internet and power, in the dark, with a typical southern thunderstorm going on outside knowing that my three nephews are probably going to wake me up at 5 am and my mom will have the Community coffee ready for me (ooohhh and let’s hope some homemade muffins!) I am really happy to have this place to come back to when I need a break from the chaos.

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So it begins

Going home always begins with the my mother’s jittery calls about scheduling and traffic and timing my pick up in Baton Rouge.  And it always starts with that bridge we have to cross.  Of course we go over the Mississippi River bridge first, but it doesn’t feel like I’m close to home until we go across the Atchafalya Basin bridge.  It’s an 18 mile bridge over swamp.  And it’s usually grey stormy weather when we cross it and I look out onto endless swamp horizon speckled with Cypress trees and it starts to smell like home.  I don’t know what’s special about this bridge, but there’s something world reknown about it.  It’s long.  It’s over a swamp.  People drive like idiots over it and cause five hour traffic jams every few months.  It’s something special alright.

And once across it, driving through Opelousus and Breaux Bridge, all those billboards start popping up for bayou casinos and the best crawdad restaurants in the middle of nowhere and in the back of mind I hear the echo of “squeal piggy, piggy!” 

…I just got the frantic phone call from my mom.  Oil well blew up somewhere in the basin and the bridge is closed.  I just volunteered to drive myself from the airport to Lafayette.  “Honey, the detour wasn’t even a highway back when you lived here…”

No worries.  Come Thanksgiving day if I’m still driving around somewhere in podunk Opelousus, at least I’ll be close to home 🙂 

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Residuals after the mess

I’m wishing I could apply for medical schools right now.  But seeing how I’m in bio 101, that’s not going to happen for a while.  So I’ve been talking out options to get there faster.  And in the back of my mind I keep thinking about how much easier it would be to make a decision if I had just stayed with ex-boy and we moved in together as we had planned.  He would have supported me, rent would be cheaper, I wouldn’t always have to agonize about only having hummus in the fridge b/c he bakes up some mean tofu.  And I can’t figure out exactly why I made the decisions I did.  Because he would take vacation time at the drop of a hat to go home with me if I needed that support.  And that’s vacation time to go to Louisiana.  And not New Orleans, but Lafayette.  There isn’t much for the tourist to do in Lafayette.  Except maybe eat boudin, and he doesn’t eat meat so that’s no fun. 

He let me be mean to him, he let me make mistakes, and he didn’t let me beat myself up over making those mistakes.  But the one decision he can’t help me through is the why of not wanting to get back together with him anytime soon.  He isn’t asking me to and he isn’t doing favors for me with hopes of that happening.  And he’s still around. 

So the joke is I will potentially be drowning in debt from the loans I am considering taking to pay rent and go to school, when prior to my decisions this past August I could be ready to enroll in school full time this January and have unconditional support to come home to every evening.  So we laugh about it, and I always cringe a little too.  But economy is the last reason to move in with someone.  Even though it’s often the first thing that comes to mind. 

My nephew was spiderman for Halloween.  And he has the infamous Clarke head – it’s huge.  He stretches out all the necks of his tee-shirts.  So when he put on the spiderman mask it got stuck on his face and the eye holes were somewhere in his hair while the bottom of the mask covered his eyes – and he stuck his arms out and waved them around shouting “I’m spiderman!”  Every time I think of what’s going to happen within the next year, I feel exactly like that – walking around like a blind fool convinced I’m something I’m not.  My nephew is 3, he’s supposed to believe he’s spiderman when the mask doesn’t even fit.  But at 26 it doesn’t seem so right. 

And if Jack doesn’t get rid of this god-awful rotten-egg puppy gas before bed, he’s going to be spending the night in the kitchen.  He doesn’t even get table scraps, what’s the deal?

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Midnight showdown

Jack and I have a snugly bedtime routine.  Usually he curls up next to me or on me and nods off before I cradle him up and tuck him in for the night.  And when I say tuck him in, I mean for the past week and a half after I tuck him in he doesn’t even budge to change position.  All night.  The pup sleeps like a rock.  I was almost worried our 3.5 mile morning jogs followed by the same distance at a casual saunter in the evenings were too much for the guy.  This is what cuddly Jack is usually like:

 jack-snuggle1.jpg

Up until last night.  Last night Jack turned into a terrible 2 yr old toddler in the midst of teething fangs.  After threading out booda, he finished off monkey sock puppet, tried to move onto flip flop but ended up digesting a pseudo-bacon bone that usually lasts him all day.  So he hopped up on the couch and tried to tear at the pillow before I put his bed down, cradled him up and plopped him on it all the while thinking I will have the last word after tuck in time, he knows not to mess with bed time.  So I walked around, got ready for bed and turned the lights out.

But no, he wasn’t done being terrible yet.  Jack got up from his bed, walked up to the side of the bed by my head, and stared straight at me.  I stared back, naively thinking if I don’t do anything he’ll think I’m asleep and go back to bed, even though I’m staring right back.  Right.  Then I watched as Jack backed his ass up with his tail whipping in circles like a toy car winding up before take off.  And he charged – right at my head.  I jerked up before the mutt could pounce my face. 

I was in shock, all I could do was shoo him off the bed and call ex-boy and say “why?  what have I done?  why is he acting out?”  And of course I was laughed at. 

But I had my revenge.  Come 6 AM I dragged Jack off his bed – he is not a morning pup.  He yawned, stretched, found his way back to bed.  But I grabbed his collar, hooked him up to the leash and dragged him behind me for 3.5 miles around the lake.  And when we got back inside and I knelt down to unleash him, he let out a belch that reeked of pseudo-bacon bone.  He hopped up on the couch and was very cuddly up until I left for work.  Now we’ll see how many more midnight showdowns we’ll have.

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damage control

I just don’t know how to respond when someone tells me how close my Second Life avatar looks to me in real life…

Especially when I prefaced it by saying my avatar looks like it has down syndrome.

do I even bother to explain that the only games I play are the ones that involve dressing up the character, and that’s where I stop?

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