Great White Snark: Whew!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


So, the Halloween thing was really fun, but if any of you have ever tried to post something for 31 days, you know it's a little exhausting. And harder than I thought it would be to come up with interesting content.

It'll be nice to just be able to blog about regular boring old Mary stuff again. But I really wanted to do that, mostly to prove to myself that I could actually start and finish something. It IS possible. Not probable, but possible.

Here's just a little update about what my life's looked like in the last month:

-They started work on our house! Finally! The flood only happened in August, and now we're finally getting some work underway. Demo was kind of disastrous. But that's the nature of DEMOLITION, I suppose. Anyway, when they were ripping out the tile and the cabinets the mold was unbelievable. And whoever laid the tile in the house before, for some WEIRD reason, put a whole layer of felt beneath the tile. So it got soaking wet in the flood, and it was pretty much, by the time they ripped it out, a layer of sopping mold underneath our floors. And the mold behind and under the cabinets was rampant and disgusting--climbing up the walls and stuff. That, coupled with the obvious dust of destroying tile and drywall and whatnot, have been HELL for my asthma. I sort of sound like I have a perpetual smoker's cough.

The guys we have working here are AWESOME. They've been working with us on housey stuff for years--since before we moved into this house. They're really dedicated and they've been busting their butts trying to get everything done in a correct and timely manner. So far: cabinets are mostly in, tile has been laid (but not grouted), and they're hoping to start painting tomorrow. When it's all done, I'll post before and after pics. It'll be super nice when it's all finished.

-I don't know how many people know this, but about 6 months ago I decided I was like 98% sure that I wanted to teach high school English--preferably 11th and 12th grade Brit lit and AP lit (ha ha, like we get a choice). I fought against the idea of being a teacher FOREVER because, as those of you who knew me in my high school days well remember, I was quite the anti-establishment, anti-school girl. Ooooooh the irony of it all. But anyway, for reasons I probably won't get into right now but I promise will come up again later, I really feel like this is where I'm being pulled right now. Which is totally cool with me.

So here's the weird part.

I'm in this education class that requires us to have 15 hours of service-learning, which means we have to go shadow and semi-participate in a classroom. Luckily, my AMAZING 9th and 10th grade English teacher heard about this and literally just offered to let me come and hang out in her classroom, coming and going as I pleased. I was super nervous, because just driving around my alma mater is enough to give me a near panic attack just because of how much I abhorred the place. However, it is going SURPRISINGLY well! I get to shadow a couple of 10th grade English classes (reliving the entire time, btw, certain assigments and projects and books that I had to work on when I took the class six years ago), and a couple of the AP language and lit classes. It has been AMAZING.

I've been struggling over "what to do when I grow up" since I was like 13. No lie. And I have been in just about every field that it is possible for me to work in (journalism, creative writing, accounting...the list goes on), and none of it really felt right. It always felt like the whole square peg in a round hole thing. And for some reason I can't quite explain, sitting in the classroom and viewing it from a TOTALLY different adult just seems right. I really hope everything works out for it, because it's the ONLY profession I've considered yet that makes me excited. Everything else was like, "meh, if it pays the rent." Well, teaching will barely pay the rent but I've always been of the mentality that I'd rather be poor and happy than rich and otherwise. Ideally, I'd like to be rich AND happy, but how many people do you know who've managed to pull that off?

-Bixby is doing well. He's a good boy. His little personality is developing and I'm learning more and more how to deal with him (relationships with dogs are like relationships with people; it takes time to figure out how to respond to each one differently). I was so used to dealing with Sassy and all her little nuances, probably just because she'd always been a fixture since I was five. It's taken me longer to bond and figure out exactly what Bix is all about. But I love him to death. He's a LOT more easygoing than Sassy was. Sassy only liked you on her terms or when you had food. Bixby loves you all the time--no matter what. He's a lot more easygoing (I can dress him up, throw him in a bicycle basket, take him for car rides...Sassy didn't put up with any of that unless there was a copious amount of food involved) and smoochy than Sassy was. He loves to cuddle and kiss and be held, but he's not needy. I mean, he is, in that "I'm still a puppy/baby, look at me" way. But I think once he matures and mellows out, he'll be a great balance of cuddly and laid back. Plus, one gets used to having dogs following you around all the time. It's nice to have someone to do that again.

I am enjoying him very much.

-School is going well. I'm actually really enjoying this semester. It's just enough work that I'm kept quite busy, but not so much that I'm swamped. I really feel like I can put forth my best efforts in papers and such, which always makes me feel more accomplished. I've been reading a lot. Or re-reading. I read Wuthering Heights for the fifth or sixth time (can't remember, but WHO CARES, it's so good!), Jane Eyre for the fourth time, Hamlet for the third time. I think what makes great literature great is that it is timeless, throughout generations and lifetimes. I can read Jane Eyre three times and every time I read it, something else sticks out to me. Like, before, when I read I was really stricken by gender roles and how progressive, really, Bronte (through Jane) was when it came to feminism. This time around I was able to notice more of the idea of foreignness or "the other." It's just interesting to me. Which I guess is why I'm a lit major.

Expect some book/story/play reviews here sometime in the future. And if you're really good, I might even illustrate them for you. =)

-I just want you all to know that the upcoming holiday season will not be met with the same fervent enthusiasm as Halloween here in the Sea of Snark. I went into a store today, nearly vomitted to discover that 90% of the merchandise was Christmas-related, heard that god-awful, obnioux Mariah Carey "All I Want for Christmas Is You" song, and decided that today, November 2nd, I am officially done with it all.

-Someone, presumably at UCF, sideswept my car and ran off. Jackass. They dented and scraped the side pretty bad, so now I look like your stereotypical bad woman driver. I have no idea how much it'll cost to fix it. That coupled with all the body work from previous scrapes and boo-boo's ought to be a hefty little sum. JOY.

-This is the last point. I rescued a dog the other day. I was driving along Chapman and saw him just lying there on the side of the road. I turned around (illegally, I'm pretty sure) and drove back to him. I couldn't just keep driving. My heart was already broken for him. So I go back and park the car, taking my mace just in case its rabid or something, and go to see him. He was, what looked to me, like a boxer-pitt bull mix. He was SUPER thirsty and drooly, but not injured as far as I could tell. So I gave him some water (luckily I had a bucket in my trunk...I have NO IDEA WHY, but who cares. It was PERFECT!) and decided to try and take him home. It was late, and all the animal shelters were closed; I didn't want to just leave him on the side of the road where he'd almost certainly get hit by a car. On the other hand, I knew I couldn't do anything with him once I got home. Our garage is full (literally) with construction stuff, our back porch has massive holes in the screen, our yard isn't fenced, and I sure as hell wasn't bringing a strange dog into the house where he could potentially hurt the other dogs. I'm not sure what I was thinking. I probably wasn't. But I tried to get him into my car. The poor thing was EXHAUSTED. He could barely stand. I had to entice him with my dinner to come closer to me and the car and then I hoisted him (all like 100 lbs of him...oy.) inside. I got him home, let him out, and gave him some more water. I tried to get him to come close to me, but once he'd rested and had some water, he was pretty insistent on NOT coming anywhere near me. I tried to get a leash around his neck. Forget it. He bolted. And I mean, that dog could RUN. So I sat there in my driveway calling out to this dog (I kept alternating between calling him "Pup" and "Bob." My neighbors all kept looking at me funny), trying to get him not to run back up to the main road. I brought out some expired lunch meat we had in the fridge and gave it all to him. He ate it pretty voraciously. He was so scared of people, and his neck and torso were all scarred. I'm pretty sure he was abused pretty badly. Anyway, my parents got in late and were NOT too pleased with my new acquisition. We all decided that the best thing to do was to just let him roam free. If he was still there in the morning, we'd call animal control. Otherwise, he'd just be off and maybe someone with the property to contain him would keep him.

Oh, he was totally still there in the morning, patrolling our yard. All the neighbors freaked out and kept saying they were going to call Animal Control. I looked up the Humane Society and SPCA, but they don't accept stray dogs. So then it was like, "Okay. If someone is going to call Animal Control for this guy, it might as well be me." So we called and they came out, got him, and carted him off. The people confirmed my suspicions and said he was exhibiting classic abused dog behavior.

I have no idea what happened to him. I hope they were able to get him checked out by a vet and started into some rehabilition program for abused pitt bulls. There are a LOT of them in the area because pitt bulls are so often mistreated and misjudged. Hopefully someone came by and got him and, with a lot of work and training, he'll be adoptable. He was a cute little dog. Just so sad...

It's not exactly the way I wanted it to work out, but these acts of "heroicism" are never as easy in person as they are on paper. Rescuing stray dogs to no apparent avail; the promise not to abandon old friends and lovers even though it happens anyway; random acts of kindness that go unrewarded or worse, are met with's no wonder people think that heroics and good deeds are dead.

For my part, I think I'll continue performing them in whatever small ways I can. After all, if everything was easy, life would be terribly boring. :)

No comments:

Post a Comment