This is Not Writing

Me sitting in an armchair with Uschi sitting on top of me at Professor Java's

I do not know what was up with Uschi last night, but she was incredibly silly and crazy during the Write-In. I can only assume she was just not in the mood to work, which would explain her very unorthodox reaction when I got her harness out to leave the house. Maybe she figured her daily allotment of work was complete since we had done so much earlier and so she was quite unenthusiastic when I was harnessing her. At Professor Java’s she spent most of the evening trying to distract everyone into paying attention to her, she was uncharacteristically whiny and wouldn’t really settle down at all. I finally took her harness off since I didn’t want to reinforce this lackadaisical behavior and after being even more silly — like climbing onto my lap — she did finally lay down for a nap. Granted she had to wedge herself under an end table first, but it wasn’t nothing.

I am still sans a laptop so I didn’t intend to get any actual writing done last night. I did get a good chunk of school reading accomplished, though. Oh, and the cupcakes were quite a hit.

Lion’s Pride

Turns out if you leave a tray of penguin cupcakes on a counter and add a group of teenagers to the mix, they will react astonishingly similar to a plague of locusts to a field of crops. Seriously, they even ate the crumbs and frosting off the tray itself! This revelation led to more than a few sad faces at the missed opportunity to have a cupcake, so I promised another batch, um, one of these days. Thankfully, there was no rush put on that because “one of these days” turned into two months later for Greg’s birthday.1 I’ll be taking these lions to tonight’s SWAG Write-In at Professor Java’s, but just in case the SWAG crew are channeling their inner starving teenager I packed another half dozen in a box for Greg to take home.

  1. Plus a week due to stuff.

Summer Love

The Capital District is having quite the heatwave right now, so it was quite a treat to head off to last night’s SWAG Write-In seeing as it was something more a “let’s celebrate Tara’s book deal and see her new house” party and came with the great opportunity of going swimming. Not surprisingly, Uschi was very happy with this turn of events.

Without Tally around to steal the ball, Uschi took it upon herself to get everything out of the pool. She did an excellent job; she even removed the thermometer! Mostly, she had a lot of fun fetching her football and making sure everyone wasn’t drowning. I’m still working on teaching her to be mindful of avoiding people in the pool as she’s gotten a few of us with her sharp nails and she seems to want to crawl all over me when I’m in the pool. But I think a lot of this is her single-minded determination to get her toy before anyone else might and so she forgets her manners a bit.1

Another highlight of the evening for Uschi was getting to meet Tara’s shepherd/collie mix, Stu. They got along famously!

Stu’s no more interested in swimming than Tally, though at one point he was very close to following Uschi in. Mostly they chased each other about — and generally up on the deck where we were all trying to eat dinner. Inside, they continued their antics and we’re all pretty sure Stu’s got a crush on my little girl because he was rather obsessively cleaning her. He was particularly fond of her ears, which made me think of Otis. It was very amusing to watch.

I can assure you that it was a vast improvement over the start of my day! Unfortunately, I didn’t get any of my schoolwork done and today may well be just as much a wash since I woke up with a horrid headache. Still, I think Uschi and I are in agreement that it was totally worth it and we’re fully in favor of future Write-Ins including swimming and doggy playtimes.

  1. We have this same problem when out of the pool.

School Daze

I am not having a good day. There are a great many reasons for this and most of them fall under the category of “Mom” and so I shall instead talk about my wacky and somewhat disturbing dream from last night.

First, a bit of background, there are a number of professors from my college years that I greatly admire. they accomplished exactly what you hope a college professor would: they taught me stuff and made it an enjoyable experience. Then there are the few that did exactly the opposite of this; they’re classes are permanently ingrained into my memories because they were nothing short of torture. I actually had one professor whose entire lecture consisted of reading the textbook aloud to the classroom.

So, anyway, one of these stellar academic professionals had a starring role in my dream last night. I don’t really recall the events leading up to it, but I found myself wandering about seemingly lost. My subconscious was able to readily identify the place as a college campus, though it didn’t resemble any that I’ve been to. My rushing about with guide dog in tow drew the attention of many passersby who wanted to help me find my way, which is remarkably accurate to real life and so I was appropriately annoyed at the constant delays this was causing.

Eventually I found my way to the classroom, which was just large enough to house a round table and its six accompanying chairs. I squished my way over to the only available seat and looked up into the face of Textbook Lecturing Professor. Only because it was a dream was I able to not react when she greeted me like an old friend. She then proceeded to explain the nature of this Child Development course. My dream-self sluggishly came to the conclusion that this was odd since this was outside of the professor’s department and, more importantly, I had already taken the course. Textbook Lecturing Professor is a mind-reader of skill — at least in my dream — and immediately latched onto this fact. She presented me with a pile of forms and began interrogating me about my future course selections. When I balked at the idea of taking three more semesters of courses with her, she replied that I would be forfeiting my only means to complete my program requirements. I didn’t think this was correct, but any chance to argue the point was lost when she suddenly jumped away from her chair and squealed as if it had burned her ass. She exclaimed something unintelligible that my subconscious interpreted as a complaint about dog hair. There was some further incomprehensible shouting on her end and several angry retorts on mine that can only be described as random. And then I stormed out of the class, quite literally dragging Uschi along by her leash.

Then the phone rang and woke me up. The events of the morning have left me little time to ponder the dream, but I can only think that my subconscious is a bit stressed about school. Seems fitting as I’m now in my last week and I have three tests, one quiz, and a huge project due and have a surprisingly small amount prepared for all of these. Unfortunately, those same events that prevent me from truly pondering the dream are also conspiring against me to rectify the lack of preparation. In other words, I’m having little luck with the concentrating thing.

Oh, well. There’s a SWAG Write-In tonight that’s really more a party and if I’m not going to get any work done here I might as well go and get no work done while having some fun with friends.

Bring it On

Being that today is the end of the world, I think it’s important to point out how generous Jesus was to wait to return until after my birthday. Armageddon would have really put a crimp in an otherwise nearly perfect day.

Nearly, you ask? Yes, well, it would seem as though Uschi has poor taste in gifts. This particular present was bestowed to me at roughly 3 a.m. This would be after spending an inordinate amount of time chatting it up with the WF crew and absorbing ourselves in much nostalgic glee. So, after about an hour of sleep I got to spend the wee hours of my birthday cleaning up the carpet in my bedroom and doing mass quantities of laundry.

But the otherwise parts were muchly awesome. Gifts have been trickling to me since last month and yesterday was no exception. I’ve gotten a good handful of books — and a gift certificate with which to acquire yet more — and I’m aware of at least three other packages making their way through the postal system and I’m fairly sure most of those are books, too. I guess my secret identity as an avid reader has been revealed. There goes all that time working on a costume, though I never did like wearing tights.

The big events for yesterday were centered at Colonie Center. First was dinner at The Cheesecake Factory with Kerry, Alice and Josh. It was fantastic, as should be expected. Most of it is in my fridge. I’m thinking the chocolate cake cheesecake won’t be for much longer. It’s the end of the world, people, my breakfast can be as unhealthy as I want. Not that it would necessarily stop me any other time, but then I’d just give you a different excuse.

After we sufficiently stuffed ourselves, the group of us rolled our way to the movie theater for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. And across Albany at another mall, my father and Keith were sitting in a completely different theater already watching the same film. Just yet another example of how my life is truly sitcom material. Seems that my friends and my family both noted the movie release coincided nicely with my birthday and while I was making plans with my friends, my dad was making similar plans. I found this out on Wednesday and by then everyone had already bought tickets. And during another phone call yesterday wherein it was determined impossible for our two groups to catch up with one another, I realized that I’ve been making plans for Sunday with Sarah for months now and I’ve also got a SWAG meeting. Probably not the best time to realize you’ll be missing a group meeting with the, as he referred to himself, president of the group sitting less than a foot from you driving you to your current birthday plans. Oops.

As to the actual movie, I enjoyed it. I have a lot of thoughts about probably why I shouldn’t and I may yet post them, but being a Pirates film all I really expected was witty-swashbuckling Jack and there was much of that. Also, there were explosions and lots of stuff got set on fire. So, I say win. I will note that it definitely felt longer than the two-and-a-half hour running time and I’m pretty sure that can only partially be blamed on my screaming bladder. Also, if you care deeply for a solid plot, this is not the movie you’re looking for.

Now, where’s that cheesecake?