One month in

This past month has brought huge, occasionally devastating changes to my life. I’ve truly appreciated all the support (and cookies/ice cream) from my friends and family.

At times it felt like the beginning of my undergrad, where a similar string of sad events happened. I reminded myself that I’ve come a long way since eighteen year old me, and that just because history felt like it was repeating itself didn’t mean I had to react in the same way. So I haven’t.

This past week brought closure. Meeko and I picked up Snickers ashes from the vet, a to-do errand I would wish on no one. She’s sitting with Moose on my shelf now. My mind tried to come up with images and negative thoughts that would upset me. Instead, Meeko and I drove directly to a dog park. It’s hard to be around puppies playing and friendly dog owners and still feel sorry for yourself. I made friends with a retired man who “babysits” his daughter’s dog twice a week. After learning that I taught at Boise State, the man confessed he never realized the benefits of humanities classes when he was going through school. He is going to look into auditing some courses at Boise State, just for fun!

The workload is still pretty intense, but I’m feeling better about it. If I’m totally honest, I would say I expected more reading. But I don’t want to jinx it. Oh wait…

This weekend I read through my students drafts for their first big paper. Most of them were surprisingly good, and seemed to incorporate feedback I’d given them throughout the semester. It’s exciting to see someone who claims to struggle with writing find a topic where they have real opinions they wish to express. I think there’s a part of teaching that is so instantly rewarding that I can get sucked in and avoid the ‘real work’ of my own writing. Other days I feel the exact opposite though. Seeing Professor Sizemore on their papers still makes me laugh. It amazes me that anyone takesme seriously. Don’t they know I’m just acting??

This Friday I went to a poetry reading that really inspired me. I’m considering forming social experiments to fuel my own writing. If I can be brave enough. Maybe I’ll surprise myself and write a few poems this semester. First I have to get through my first fiction workshop!

That is my update for now. Thank you again friends for reaching out to me in a low time. I’ve got my Beyonce playing. I’m wearing more dresses than sweatpants. Meeko is doing great. My awesome Aunt is even sending me cookies. I’m taking all of your love and channelling it into my work here. I know I’m not one to call when things are going well, but I have a good feeling that it’s only up from here.

Ina Coolbrith Park

Wednesday I woke up feeling like a cold was creeping up on me. With a sore throat, I decided to take it easier with my adventuring since I have a lot of pet sitting jobs over this weekend. After catching up on my errands, I took Meeko and Snickers for a two hour walk. We went to our usual Huntington Park where Meeko met a puppy willing to play chase. Snickers sniffed around and didn’t leave my side.

From there, we walked North on Taylor St. We had to manage some pretty steep hills. On one of them we met an Chinese couple with a really snappy chihuahua. They were laughing at how tough it thought it was. Meeko of course did not take it’s threats seriously and tried to get it to play.

Ina Coolbrith park was on a “100 must do” kind of list I’d found on a hipster website. The gardening was all well kept, and it did have some awesome views of the Bay. The park itself was all along one slope of a hill, with paths and stairs winding down it. This made it a little tougher for Snickers, so I’m not sure we would go back. Maybe the views would have impressed me more if I didn’t live in the neighborhood and walk around a lot.

On our way back home, we made another stop at Huntington park to make sure Meeko was truly exhausted. She chased some more puppies and begged for treats from strangers. After Snickers snapped at another dog, I decided we’d better call it a day.

Cat nap

We’ve had a busy past two weeks as I’ve been trying to focus on my applications for graduate school. I received some much needed critiques on the stories I’m thinking about submitting, but some days it’s hard to stay positive about this whole application process. But as Ashwin keeps reminding me, this year will be my year! I have to believe that I will end up at a program next Fall, and that somehow, this will be the perfect program for me!

In the meantime, the dogs and I have figured out a schedule that provides optimal sleepy puppies so I can work. Every other day, Meeko and I go to our neighborhood park to throw the tennis ball, clicker training, and of course play chase with the other dogs. Meeko has officially learned how to “shake” but since Ashwin is a lefty, I’m going to teach her to shake with her “other paw” next! It’s hard to believe she’s 10 months old already!

On the odd days, Snickers accompanies us on a more relaxed walk up and down some of the flatter streets in Nob Hill. Some hills are just too steep for her and I have to carry her up. She tries though!

And now, here are some pictures of Meeko and Snickers taking naps in the California sunshine.

Stinsen Beach and a new sweater

I finally went across the Golden Gate Bridge! This Saturday Ashwin, the doggies, and I headed to Stinsen Beach: population approximately 500.

After a long and extremely winding drive, we drove into the beachtown’s main area.  It’s crazy how many micro climates there are in Northern California. This beach town was at least ten degrees warmer, and even though the breeze was still there, the sky was free from fog and clouds. We got a quick taco and quesadilla lunch at a restaurant with an outdoor patio. Meeko and Snickers each got a tasty nacho chip– yum!

The main stretch of beach turned out to not allow dogs. This led to an Ashwin rant wondering why the world was against doggies. Unfortunately, I think it comes down to people not picking up their doggies poop. I certainly wouldn’t want to walk around stepping in that! Though in reality, all the sidewalks in San Francisco are covered in dog pee so…

We drove a few blocks north to a different section of the same beach, designated “County beach.” In other words, dog friendly! There were much less people, and all the dogs (except for one, but he was leashed) were well behaved. Meeko quickly found some friends to play chase with and graciously shared her favorite squeaky tennis kong with anyone who was interested. She even play wrestled for the first time with a 2 year old puppy! It was so fun to see her play biting, and teasing the other dog even though he had her pinned upside down in the sand.

Snickers had some pep in her step and even chased Meeko a little bit! She didn’t care for the cold water though, so we stayed away from the waves. We walked far down the beach, watching huge cargo ships floating slowly in the distance. Meeko entertained herself by galloping in circles around us while Snickers stuck by my feet. As we were leaving the beach, Snickers found a dead fish to roll in and got a second wind of energy. She sprinted around us, obviously very pleased with her new scent. I told her “We’ll see who’s laughing when you are getting a bath”

After some oatmeal shampoo and more running around the house, the dogs settled down for a nap and I made some chocolate chip cookies for the humans in the house. Ashwin said they were the best ones I’d ever made!

In other news, Snickers got a new sweater so she isn’t so cold on all of our hardwood floors. I think she likes it!

Meet the dogs!

This reflects their personalities perfectly

HI. I’M MEEKO. I am full of mischief. I like to find paper and then tear it into teeny tiny pieces. I also like to chase things. If it moves, it’s a sheep. Soccer ball? Sheep. Human feet trying to go down the stairs? Sheep. Snickers? Sheep.

OH! That’s right, this is Snickers. She is my big sister. Except we’re not related. But we do everything together, and she’s showing me how to not go to the bathroom inside. She makes this face at me a lot, like I’m bothering her or something. WHY WON’T YOU CHASE ME??

I just chased my first herd of ducks. That’s why I look so pleased with myself. At first they just waddled away from me, but then I ran and barked and then they all shot up in the air and that was a little scary. Jackie laughed at me. My feelings were hurt but then I forgot.

Now it’s naptime.

Deep Z's
I don't always sleep on suitcases, but when I do, I tuck my feet and nose into the handles.