A Sign in an Uncaring Universe

Today is not a depressing-blog-entry-about-my-existential-anxiety day! Things are good. There is a cat napping on my floor and my apartment no longer has fleas and I have plans for later tonight that apparently involve free beer. So instead, today we are going to talk about the strangest thing that has happened to me since I spent my twentieth birthday on a roof with a nautilus*.

A month or so ago, I adopted a dog from the Urban Pet Project. Though she was a wonderful little fluffy white thing, it quickly became apparent that a) my roommate’s cat was miserable with the dog around and b) the dog was too prey-sensitive for my comfort level given the living situation. She was a great animal, but it was a poor fit, and so with heavy heart I returned her to the rescue.

The rescue posts pictures of every adopted animal and their new owner on their Facebook page. So you can imagine how pleased I was when, a week later, the little fluffy white dog showed up with a new owner–a skinny hipster dude with some tattoo sleeves. Continue reading

Revenge of the Ents

It’s a running joke in my family that Atlanta is populated by angry tree gods. Perhaps they’re a splinter cell of ents. We’ve never been sure. But every single time that it rains here (and it rains a lot), trees fall down. Big trees. In the roads, onto houses, onto peoples’ cars.

To shamelessly steal a joke from my thesis advisor, the “Decatur difference” is that the trees will kill you.

But today the trees reached a devious new low. Today it didn’t rain (yay!). And yet, when I turned away from Piedmont Park and into the main drag of Atlanta’s small-but-hearty downtown, there was a fallen tree blocking all but one lane of the six-lane road.

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Seeing Kathy Reichs

This morning was not, broadly speaking, a success.

It started in a promising fashion. I grabbed two friends and headed to the local library to hear Kathy Reichs, author of forensic anthropology-tastic crime fiction, speak as part of the Decatur Book Festival. Unfortunately, I had misread the schedule–while doublechecking that we were in the right room (yay, neuroses!) I realized that we were at the panel for Kerry Reichs. She does not write about murder. You can understand how I might have misread all of this in the catalogue.

My friends and I beat a hasty retreat. Since there were four hours or so until Kathy Reichs was actually scheduled to appear, we hauled over to the second planned event of the day–a trip to meet a dog that I might possibly adopt from Urban Pet Project. I had emailed the manager the previous night and so was operating on the assumption that there would be someone at the shelter. Because of the long weekend (which the shelter manager had forgotten) there was no one there.

After some less-than-fruitful doorbell ringing, my friends and I managed to chat with some employees at the Barking Hound Village next door, who figured out what was up. Though very apologetic (and helpful!), they weren’t able to get us in to the shelter. Slightly irritated, we tried to salvage the morning: I suggested we get cupcakes at West Egg Cafe, which has the best cupcakes in town and is less than a mile from the shelter.

We walked in and almost immediately turned around: the cafe had a 40 minute wait. Though I do love the cupcakes, there are no baked goods that I love enough to stand in line for 40 minutes. (I’m fickle.) My friends, game for anything, walked with me to the yogurt shop next door. It was closed.

The morning was not going as planned.

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Dachshunds and Coffee

Friday night began with a shot lightbulb.

You know what goes well with coffee? Dogs. At least, that’s the idea behind ParkGrounds, the combination coffee shop/dog park that I dragged my friends to this weekend. And the shop owners are right to have faith in this business model–watching the variety of dogs that folks brought by was approximately 800% more entertaining than just coffee alone. (Particularly the mastiff puppy who just wanted to take a nap, because d’aw.)

The reason that I was at ParkGrounds in the first place was in order to creep on the event hosted by DREAM Rescue, the local dachshund  rescue group. I’ve been looking at their adoptable dogs while killing time at work over the last week*, and since they were having a get-together I decided to drop by.

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Host Compound of Unusually Spiked Emotions

Today was a weird day. I found out after class that my dog was put down last night. This further confirms my theory that no conversation started by my father with “Hey Em” (or “Hey kid,”) ever ends without something horrible happening in it.

Linguistic weirdness aside, I didn’t think this was a particularly sad thing. The dog was very old for a greyhound, and had been very sick for a long time. She was put down at home, and as far as doggy lives go she lived a remarkably good one. I was bummed out, but we all knew it was coming.

Then I returned to the host compound of unusually spiked emotions, where–after my host mother told me she was going to whip me so I learn Wolof, because that is the way to make your host child less scared of you of course–I spent most of lunch trying not to cry. (Which, to be fair, not the first time that this has happened. This is just the first time that the reason for the tears wasn’t in the room while I was eating.)

After I finished lunch (and the subsequent mostly-joking fight with my host mom about how I hadn’t eaten enough), I retreated to my room, where I broke down sobbing.

So that was unexpected. Continue reading