Dogs, Dogs…Danger?

I love dogs. Alot. I could spend a day playing with puppies and be ecstatic. My excitement about dogs is so extreme that I have left parties, quit a run and forgotten to eat to play with puppies. All of which, if you know me, are highly improbable.

There is one con to being a dog lover: I trust any dog owner.

I have a good creep detector the majority of the time, but it’s completely misses creepy dog owners. I will be walking—or, more likely, running—down the street and meet someone taking a casual stroll with their German Shepard and immediately stop to pet it. I’ve come within millimeters of people who are creepy enough for me to ordinary escape to the opposite side of the street.

I may understand the rules of Stranger Danger, but completely ditch them for dogs.

Down on the Farm

When I was younger, I desperately wanted to live on a farm. I didn’t share this dream with many, partially because I had absolutely no explanation why. I loved my city. I hated waking up early. I don’t like corn. I’ve never been particularly into manure.

But still, every time that I cruised by cornfields, I fantasized about farming.

I’ve since realized that my future is probably not in farming. I finally learned that farming is hard work. It requires waking up with the roosters and cleaning up after cows. You can’t exactly wear a plaid shirt and pigtails and perfect the part.

I do still, however, fantasize about farming often. Once a week, in fact. One of my favorite thing to do in Des Moines is visit the Farmer’s Market. I could roam around for hours, talking to the farmers, petting plenty of dogs and trying plenty more samples. You smile. You socialize. You share with strangers.

I didn’t know Farmer’s Markets existed when I was younger, but I think that the Farmer’s Market environment was what I always envisioned. A place where you can pick produce that’s literally just been picked, while also talking to someone that you would never approach on the street. Eating without examining a nutrition label. Getting to taste anything you can put on a toothpick.

When it’s over, you can go back home–stuffed, satisfied, and sans manure.

Make Way for MJ

I used to be obsessed with the Chicago Bulls. I realize that this is partially due to my environment. I lived in Chicago in the 90s. I was taught who Michael Jordan was practically before I learned my ABCs. I learned to never, ever badmouth Dennis Rodman—regardless of his temper or his temporary marriages.  Benny the Bull was everyone’s—extremely creepy—pet.

At age 7, I analyzed the Sports section every morning and memorized the statistics of the entire team. I knew every last statistic—even the rebound average of the benchwarmers. The baseball card store owner knew me by name, as I was one of his most frequent (and only elementary school aged female) customers. I taped games I couldn’t watch, and then rewatched them to carefully analyze plays.

Clearly, I was a normal child.

My point of this post? I still love sports, but no longer have A team. I like teams, but it doesn’t take much convincing for me to change. I am a Sox and a Cubs fan, which, if you live in Chicago is about as rare as seeing a Coyote in Downtown Chicago (this actually did happen). I enjoying watching sports, but my day is definitely not destroyed if “my” team loses.

The problem? I’m competitive enough to care. I hate not having a team to trash talk. Sports just aren’t the same without a little smack.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

I can’t stand cockiness, but I admit that I’m pretty great at one thing: Asking questions. I’ve asked a zillion questions ever since I was little. This is the result of two things: 1.) I am always curious 2.) I hate awkward silences more than anything.

I can leave a conversation knowing every detail of the other person’s day without revealing a single one about my own. Luckily, this generally only occurs when I’m speaking with strangers—the majority of people know that a real conversation has a bit of give-and-take. If you’re curious about the hygeine habits of Harold the Hot Dog salesman, I’ve probably at least hit on a few of the highlights.

The slight problem to this procedure? I’ve developed a slight “don’t ask, don’t tell” philosophy when it comes to revealing personal information. Clearly, I’m not embarrassed about sharing anything about myself—but I do feel extremely odd confessing to dates, dinners or drinks without someone directly asking details.

Although I ask questions partially to avoid awkwardness, I do it also because I genuinely want to hear about the other person’s day. I already experienced my own day, after all, and I don’t particularly enjoy reruns. But, then again, sometimes reruns take on a different meaning when they’re shared with someone else. Your fellow viewer may have caught something you missed.

School House Rockin’

I have an extremely random (and sometimes plain bad) taste in music. But I think my latest Pandora station addition shows that I have hit an all-time embarassment musical low.

The “School House Rock” station is now a member of my ever-so-odd musical array.

“School House Rock” and I go way back. Our relationship started off a little rocky. It wasn’t “cool” to listen to School House Rock in late elementary school, and thus I wasn’t really feeling singing about life’s deep mysteries a la “Conjunction, Junction, What’s your function?” I’d groan with everyone else when we were required to sing about interjections that show excitement or emotion or a bill sitting on Capital Hill.

But I secretly thought the tunes were catchy. Luckily for me, the songs were soon declared cool. We performed an entire play of “School House Rock” songs in 5th grade. Unfortunately, Rock got a little claustrophobic. The songs lost their appeal when I had to utter them over (and over, and over). That Bill belonged on Capitol Hill, not in my classroom.

I stopped rockin’ about school for years, and didn’t rediscover those (hundred) hit wonders until recently. We were discussing “School House Rock” in one of my classes, and it was like reuniting with an old friend. I wanted—no needed—to reconnect with Bill, Interplanet Janet and personified punctuation.

“Schoolhouse Rock” is now sandwiched nicely between Ludacris and Jimmy Buffett, almost unnoticeable among my 28 Pandora stations. But Bill now has a part-time place in my Mac and he’s certain not to get relocated back to bummin’ around Capitol Hill anytime soon.