Drive-Through Ferret

This morning, I drove Steve to school. Just as we were about to leave, Nala (my ferret) came running out of wherever she’d been hiding. I debated between letting her run loose, putting her in her cage, or taking her with us. Bringing her along won out.

Nala absolutely loves car rides. I hear ferrets are nearsighted, but she loves watching everything fly by from every window she can reach. She got into the back window for a while, climbed up on the passenger seat headrest, and sat on the arm I had on the steering wheel to stare out the driver’s side window (which got some strange looks from the bank teller).

It made me think of a mission for the day: find absolute enjoyment today in one mundane task.

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The Rain Is Gone

It’s a cold, rainy, dreary day, but things are looking pretty bright.

After taking my husband to school, I went to the coffeehouse two hours before my shift. I had a brief fight with the wireless Internet, which I won.

Now, I’m sitting with a hot cup of (free) coffee, waiting to hear back from the several jobs I sent queries to. As Steve tells me, unless my chance is 0% for each job I apply to, statistically speaking, eventually I have to hear back from some of them–I apply to several almost every day.

Sometimes, it’s actually encouraging to be married to a math grad student. Statistically speaking, the odds are in my favor, after all.

A Day in the Park

Yesterday was absolutely lovely. It was a late-spring day in early February. After work, I decided to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and head to the local park.

I quicky passed several people on the trail with their happy dogs. Then I saw a dog bounding happily toward me. She wasn’t on a leash, but her owner was walking sedately behind, talking on the phone, so I figured it was probably a ¬†well-behaved dog that would mind her owner just as well without the leash as with.

Until the 60+lb dog greeted me a bit too enthusiastically. She bowled into me, pawed my arm, tried to jump on me, etc. She wasn’t being violent at all, but her owner had absolutely no control over this dog. Finally, the girl “called off” the dog by jangling her keys and running so the dog chased her instead of me. Admirable control.

I wish there was a way to chastise the owner without the dog getting in trouble. It was a good dog; it’s not her fault she has a woefully inadequate owner.

Bearing Witness

No one in parking services has a soul.

After the disastrous, wrongful car repo incident, Steve and I were unable to locate his parking tag. Anywhere. I went to Parking Services with my plight.

There is a row of cubicles lined with the counter where you go to state your case. I went to the second lady, because she at least acknowledged my presence when I walked in. I explained that my car had been repossessed and now I have no parking tag. What could we do about getting another one?

She seemed genuinely eager to help, but the lady next to her immediately responded, “It’s a $25 replacement fee.”

My lady tried to plead my case. “But it’s really not their fault…”

Too late. Mean Lady was already on the phone, and the conversation went something like this: She explained my situation and asked, “So she has to pay the $25 fee because there’s nothing else we can do, right?” (Not at all a leading question.) She shoved a paper toward me, explaining I had to fill this out for the old parking tag, and it would void that tag so we couldn’t use it again, because obviously I was just there to try to get a new tag and still keep the old one that hadn’t been seen since the repo…

So I left, explaining that I’d discuss with my husband whether we needed the parking tag that badly. And to get away from Mean Lady before I said something I’d regret. A couple days ago, Steve went back and actually bought the replacement. His experience was no more pleasant than mine.

I shared my theory that the people in that office get a job based on a simple test: If there was a helpless puppy suspended over a cauldron of boiling water, and there was no danger to yourself if you simply reached out and saved it, would you? Those who answer no get the job.

Steve said it was simpler. Their questionnaire asks, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you hate the human species?”

I asked who “helped” him while he was there. “The mean Christian lady,” my husband affirmed.

Indeed… Mean Lady from my time there had her cubicle full of “Smile, God Loves You;” “Jesus Is the Reason for the Season;” and all the other cliche bumper stickers and sayings. ¬†Gotta love it.

Coffee Cup Musings

I knew I would start writing as soon as I finished my cup of coffee. While it brewed, I did all those little tasks that never take much time: check my email, wander around facebook, read a news article or two.

As I watched my coffee cup dance and twirl around the microwave for its second reheating an hour later, I realized that all of those little tasks add up to an awful lot of procrastinating.

Writing used to be my thing. School dances? No thank you… I haven’t finished my 1500 words for the day. Lunch break? I’ll skip the cafeteria and go to the library to pound out another 5 pages. My pockets bulged with the notebook and pen I kept handy so I could jot down notes whenever I stood in line for groceries, went up an escalator, stopped to tie my shoe. The longest talks I had with my best friend were about plot developments.

Now, I watch my coffee cup gyrate in the microwave and remember writing rather than actually thinking about writing again.

No more! I shall do 1500 words before I begin the work I’m paid to do.

Please do not disturb me. While I’m listening to the voices, I’m disturbed enough as it is.

Grass eating cat

I saw an image captioned “Grass eating cat.”

What do you think I was seeing? To me, that caption conjures an image of a cat being swallowed by some monstrous version of a venus flytrap. It’s saying, after all, the grass is eating the cat.

That is not the image I was viewing, however. The picture was of a cat eating grass. The correct caption should be, then, either “Cat eating grass” or “Grass-eating cat.”

See the importance of the hyphen? There’s a real-world example, just for you. Oh look… I did it again.