Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ava's New Toy

I'd always assumed Ava was one of those dogs that never played with toys. I never saw her play with any of her toys when she lived with my sister, and she hasn't played with any of her toys since she moved in with me. I figured she was the type to play with humans or other dogs, but when it came to toys, she just wasn't interested. And then I found out that, yes, she does play with toys, but not necessarily the type you'd expect.

It dawned on me earlier tonight, when I came out of the shower to find Ava chewing on the shoelaces of one of my shoes. I thought back to the other times I'd find something in her mouth that wasn't supposed to be there: old tissue out of the trash can, a sock, a clump of hair (gross, I know). I realized that out of all those things, socks seemed to be her favorite, so I rooted around in a dresser drawer, pulled out an old sock that I never wear, and gave it to her. Bingo. She accepted the sock with the same amount of zeal other dogs accept a Kong toy filled with frozen peanut butter. She ran around the apartment with it in her mouth. She shook it from side to side, play-growling. She would drop it, run a few feet away, look at it, and then run back full-force and attack it. Never mind the other toys in her entertainment arsenal: Socky is now her new (and only) favorite toy. Talk about low maintenance. Who would have thought that the one thing to keep her entertained was something I had in my drawer all along?

Ava and Socky. Note the discarded toy off to the side.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Random Musings

Exactly what the title says, boos.

1. I read somewhere that authors of music blogs can get press passes to concerts. I don't think it's for big acts like Dave Matthews Band or John Mayer, but still--there are plenty of awesome smaller bands that put on a good show. I briefly flirted with the idea of starting my own music blog to test out this theory, but, sadly, I'm not really "in" with the indie music crowd, as most of what I listen to is of the same caliber as Dave Matthews Band and John Mayer. Therefore, my blog would suck. I also doubt they give out press passes to any Joe Schmo with a free Blogger account and a love of music--you probably have to be affiliated with a name, like Rolling Stone or Spin or something.

2. Speaking of music, I always thought being a musician would be cool. Namely because musicians get to travel and say, "I'm playing a gig" seriously. I think I would be an awesome musician--I love to travel, and think doing so all the time would be so much fun, like a great adventure, and I would always talk about gigs--playing them, going to them, what have you. I just like the word "gig," to be honest, and am sad that I can't use it in conversations seriously or more often. Sometimes I try to think of my day job as my daytime gig, but that just sounds stupid and then I feel foolish. But if I were a musician, I really would be doing gigs all the time.

Unfortunately, being a musician requires having some sort of musical talent, of which I have none. I used to sing in the youth choir at my church when I was in high school, but my voice was average; I played the saxophone from 7th grade through the fall semester of sophomore year of high school, but I was average at that, too. Actually, if I had kept it up and hadn't switched to a number 3 reed (which makes playing low notes next to impossible--for me, anyway), and hadn't been apathetic when it came to practicing, I might have been okay. I can't say for sure. Playing music is such a weird concept, as it's both creative and technical, and I don't think my brain can handle both at the same time. Back when I played regularly, (and even now, when I pick it up from time to time), I just played notes on the page, which I think is different than actually playing music. Music has feeling, it has soul, it's a living thing, but notes on a page are just that--notes on a page.

I remember when I first started playing the saxophone. I was riding home with my dad from band practice, and declared that my new life goal was to be a jazz musician. My dad responded something to the effect of, "Don't give up on writing." Even he knew then that music probably wasn't a realistic option for me. :-)

3. Despite not having any musical talent (or the desire to make music for music's sake), I have stumbled upon a loophole where I could reap the benefits of being a musician without actually having to have a lot of talent. Mumford & Sons has a song called "Winter Winds" that features a horn section. The horn part doesn't look to be all that hard, so my sax and I could easily blend in. Bonus: since the horns are loud, my poor playing would be completely drowned out! The song would still sound good and I would get to travel with the band and talk about gigs! It's a win-win! Now all I have to do is go over to the UK, meet the band (perhaps at one of their gigs) and convince them to let me be part of the horn section. Easy peasy.

4. Gig. Gig, gig, gig, gig.

That is all.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Blast From the Past

I've been writing since the fourth grade. Most of it is crap, with the rare exception. During high school, I dabbled in poetry, which resulted in an extremely embarrassing collection of terrible poems. I didn't really know what I was doing, and didn't bother with methods like iambic pentameter, rhyming couplets or haiku. As egotistical as it sounds, I honestly thought I was just naturally gifted, and proudly passed around my creations for my friends to read and admire.
During the latter part of high school, I was also a crazy huge Dave Matthews Band fan, thanks to my friend M, and the both of us harbored this crush on Dave that some might label (with good reason) just a tad bit obsessive. It was just a matter of time, then, that my love of writing bad poetry and my obsessive love of Dave Matthews would collide to form the emo pile of mush I call this poem (by the way, I typed this straight from my journal--no editing):

Catholic Prince (for Dave :-) ): A poem of prose and passion

Come to me, my Catholic Prince,

In the shadows of the night with the moon full and bright.

Creep silently up to my window and sing me a tune;

Sweep me off my feet with your sweet, lilting voice.

Come to my room, my Catholic Prince,

Take me into your arms and whisper softly into my ear

The things this girl has long wanted to hear.

Press me close to your chest, where your heartbeat I'll feel,

Trace your fingers along my cheek and down my neck,

Press your lips against mine and run your fingers through my hair.

Time has stopped; all I see is you, all I feel is you, all I want is you.

Let's make memories, writings on the wall,

Just for tonight, don't think, don't talk.

And when the morning comes, silently you'll go;

But when falls the dark, come you once more,

To take me back to that world where time stands still,

And all there is, is you.

--Sarah Van Blaricum

August 2, 2001

There are number of things wrong with this poem, not the least of which is the fact that I thought Dave was Catholic for some reason (turns out he was raised Quaker or something--my bad!) and that we were obviously on a first name basis with each other (in my head, which is sad). It also reads like something a crazy obsessed Twilight fan would write, provided there was a vampire who was Catholic and who could sing. I would also like to point out that, despite what you may think after reading this, I did have friends in high school, was a happy person and did not clothe myself in all black and do grave rubbings on Halloween or Edgar Allan Poe's birthday. And as embarrassing as this poem is, I'm publishing it on here because I think it's funny as hell, written during the days when I was charmingly pretentious (I like to think so anyway).

Don't fucking judge me. :-)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


If you read this blog on a semi-regular basis, or know me personally, you would know that I recently inherited a mini schnauzer. You would also know that the first couple of weeks of my having her were quite the adjustment periods--for the both of us. The first week I was an absolute basket case, getting overwhelmed, frustrated and stressed out incredibly easily. I also didn't go to the gym that entire first week either, which is something I do on a regular basis, because I was terrified to leave the apartment, since she had this habit of barking whenever I left. The second week was a bit better, I wasn't as much of a basket case, although still a bit stressed, and I went to the gym twice--however, I was a straight-up hermit Saturday and Sunday because a) I had no plans and b) I was still stressed over leaving the apartment. Well, kids, I'm proud to say that this week--week three--has been a lot better.

First of all, I stopped stressing out over her barking. I was just over it. Secondly, I had to face the fact that if I wanted her to get over her anxiety at me leaving, I would have to actually leave the apartment. So I went back to my regular gym schedule, and took each time I left as a training opportunity. With the help of my friend A (who also had the same problem with her lab), I had a system that I was using to work with her to overcome her separation anxiety, and today we had a major breakthrough: when I left to go to work and heard her start to bark, I simply rapped on my bedroom window a few times (I keep her crated in my bedroom when I'm not home) and gave the command for her to be quiet. And she got quiet. And she stayed quiet. And I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. The magic replicated itself when I left to go to the gym after work: she barked, I rapped on the window, she got quiet, and I did a celebratory fist pump.

This was the first week I was able to truly enjoy my dog. Not gonna lie, those first two weeks I contemplated giving her back to my sister, but I'm really glad I stuck it out, because the progress I'm seeing makes all the hard work and tears worth it. I also had a really good group of friends who were dog owners and encouraged me to stick it out and offered tips, their support and stories of their own. So to A, AA, Taylor, and Carrie--thanks for the support and for putting up with my crazy.

Not gonna lie, I'm feeling like a rock star. :-)