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Grumpiness and water

29 Jan

Weekend was all about the H2 to the O! In various forms. First, in the form of frozen water, and the sport played there-on: HOCKEY.


Stephen and I went to a live game of the Idaho Steelheads with some friends. So fun! Although I am probably the only hockey fan (and yes, I like it enough to call myself a fan now. I will choose to watch it on tv even!) who doesn’t like the fights. I mean, I enjoy them in that I understand they are a big part of hockey, and one of the most fun things about the sport is how much it has retained its schoolyard sensibilities, and fighting is a big part of that.  But it just stresses me out. Their poor mothers watching and worrying!

It is pretty funny to see them both throw their gloves to the ground, though. It reminds me of that moment when you can tell two dogs are about to fight; their body language suddenly goes aggressive. And then the refs just stand there and watch, which is also amusing. But the fight though! Punches! Scary! And what’s the point? I mean, they know the fight is going to be broken up. Here is where Stephen would interrupt with points about how fights impact team morale in the game, and how much that matters to game momentum, and the noble role of enforcers, etc. In any case, hockey is fun, fights and all.

And now I’m going to boringly rant at you. Let me tell you how stupid the Idaho Steelheads’ mascot is.

Firstly, Steelheads is a great name. It sounds tough, it’s unique, and it’s regionally appropriate. Awesome! But who is the big costumed critter at the Steelheads games?

Yes. A bear. Dressed in fishing gear. So if you didn’t already know that bears eat steelheads (aka rainbow trout), you would know that now. Also, the team the Steelheads were playing on Friday? The Utah Grizzlies. Our mascot was basically for the other team. ALSO HOW HARD IS IT TO MAKE A FISH COSTUME? I mean, really, guys. If Colby can try to make the mule a hardcore mascot, you can at least TRY to get a steelhead fish to look mascotly. Or not! Make it a pun! Get someone just wearing a hockey uniform and a “head” of “steel.” Just put an old fashioned knight’s armor helmet on him if you want. DONE AND DONE. I would even support this: 

It’s not like your bear mascot is especially intimidating. This guy is just as tough-hocky-hardcore as your smiling bear IN A FISHING VEST:

YOUR MASCOT BLATANTLY WANTS TO EAT YOUR TEAM. I really . . . I just . . . don’t see the logic. Googling “why is the Idaho Steelheads mascot a bear” got me nowhere, so maybe I’m the only one. 

Ok, rant over. On that topic anyway. New rant! Covering Aqua: Part Deux of this theme post: Water with Animals in it!

 On Saturday I went to the new Idaho Aquarium with Gretchen. What a bummer that was.

except the seahorses. they are always cool.

I love me a good aquarium. I really wanted to love this place. It’s really small, but ok, it just opened so it’s still growing. It smells like a dirty fish tank, but ok, it’s working on its ventilation system. I was open-minded until I got to the shark/stingray petting pool.

"don't put your fingers in shark mouths."= excellent life advice

Even then I thought, ok, these are some little sharks I don’t know about that don’t grow too big.

ba dum. ba dum.

But nope. I couldn’t get a good pic, but there was clearly a baby hammerhead shark in the petting tank. So what are they going to do when those grow up? They have no room for them. Let alone the fact that there was no supervision over the shark/stingray petting, so kids could just stick their hands in and grab the poor animals any old way they wanted. And you can talk about parental supervision all you want, you know that some of the parents would be just as bad, though. “Here, kid, let me show you how to grab a shark by the dorsal fin!” I didn’t actually SEE anything bad there (not that I was really looking), but at the stingray tank in New Orleans Aquarium, where they even HAVE supervision, I have seen people basically pull the animals out of the tank just because they can. And even if I hadn’t seen that, I have, you know, met a human or two in my life, so I know what they can do. And what they can do really well is disregard rules when they feel like it, especially when there’s no one there enforcing said rules.

And oh, man, and there were SO MANY KIDS THERE. I literally think Gretchen and I were the only two adults who were there sans child. It was ridiculous, to the point that I felt like people were hostile about us looking at stuff for longer than five seconds, because we were taking up precious time when their kidlet could be tapping on the glass of “Nemo’s” tank. Most of the fish tanks were no bigger than the ones you’d see in PetCo, so there wasn’t a lot of sharing space. But, ok, whatever, Boise is very family-friendly, and this is catering to that, and that’s fine. There was very little focus on conservation or education though, which was also really annoying (there was NO focus on conservation that I noticed, but I will give them the benefit of the doubt that some info was there and I didn’t see it). A lot of the tanks had no labels, and the ones that did had labels that were these electronic do-hickeys that changed screens way too fast for me to read, let alone for a kid to read. 

hey, this looks cool! No idea what it is, but whatever! FISHIES.

The last room before exciting the aquarium had balloon sculptors, who were making balloon octopi and balloon sharks and such for the kids. Cute! Especially since toddlers and balloons go together SO WELL. We were in that room maybe five minutes and heard at least three balloon pops. Loud, violent, and startling noises+an extremely crowded room of 80% children=MAGIC.

Doesn't that fish look sick? I'm no marine biologist, but I think I've seen these fish before, and they didn't have brown stuff all over them.

But everyone else seemed to be having fun, so maybe I’m just a spoil sport. The last aquarium I went to was in New Orleans, and that shit is tough to beat. The gift shop goods at least seemed rightly embarrassed to be there: there were little dolphin sculptures and such that had “California” written on them. Which makes about as much sense as having your mascot be your team namesake’s main predator, but what do I know? Well, I know I want my $9 back from the aquarium, but not much more than that, apparently.


He was born a ramblin’ man

3 Oct

Remember how my last post I was all, “Yeah, my dog is totally pampered and I am the best dog-owner EVAH and no dog could want for more than my special, special dog, and I am a wonderful person.”? Yeah. I let my dog get lost yesterday.

We took him for a long hike in the foothills Sunday morning. We’ve let him off-leash exactly twice on other foothills trails, and he was pretty good. He would run ahead a bit, then turn around and run back to us, and repeat. He got out of sight a few times, but always came when we called (eventually), and always stayed on the trail. Yesterday we let him free about a mile and a half into the trail (when it officially became a loose-dog allowed section), and he took off like a dog chasing a bat out of hell. Like a dog on a mission. A mission to totally ditch us and return to his stray trampin’ roots. 

By the time we started yelling his name, I’m sure he was out of hearing distance.  The dumb dog has a microchip, a license, and a tag with his name and my number on it, so I figured if someone else on the trail had found him they might be calling me.  We tried to figure out how to access my voicemail via Stephen’s phone, but randomly pressing # at various times after calling my own voicemail didn’t work, so. We split up and searched, and after no luck Stephen went on to search off the trail while I walked back to the car, where I had left my cell phone. By this time we were well into the steep, woodsy trail, where there were plenty of ways for Cosmo to have run off trail any which way, and he had been on his grand adventure for about 40 minutes. 

I was, surprisingly, not too worried. I am somewhat good in these situations, refusing to panic over The Worst until necessary (I’ve always been good at delusional thinking). I did ask everyone I met on the trail if they had seen a little brown dog, and everyone was really nice and sympathetic. “He’ll find you,” a very sweet woman told me, while patting my shoulder. She was jogging back to the trailhead with her big black dog, and had stopped when she saw I was without the pup who had greeted her on her way up the trail. While we were first looking and calling his name I had asked another couple on their way back to the trailhead. They hadn’t seen him, but promised to keep their eyes out for him as they finished their hike.

And keep their eyes out they did, because when I was about a mile from the trailhead, they were walking back up towards me, with Cosmo. They had two dogs of their own, both off-leash, so Cosmo was on one of their spare leashes. As soon as he saw me he about yanked the guy’s arm off, so they let him loose to run to me. The fact that he ran PAST two friendly dogs, ignoring their excited play-with-me-bounces, just to get to me, was about as pure expression of love as I’ve ever had directed towards me (have I mentioned he ADORES other dogs? He does.). 

Ok, the story doesn’t end there though. Because these extremely sweet, wonderful people returned my puppy, (who was soaking wet, somehow) and then walked on their merry way. And since I had given Stephen the leash, I was left with houdini and no strait jacket. And a mile left on the trail. Which is the length those awesome people had walked to return Cosmo, by the way, and all up hill. He had apparently found some other hikers who smelled better than us, and he had followed them back to the trailhead. The hikers had called my phone, then were planning on just leaving him tied to a post, but my favorite people ever decided instead to just walk him back to me. How nice is that? Except now they were walking away. As was their right. And I had to escort my 40 pound leashless dog a mile back to the car. 

I ended up half carrying, half collar holding him the whole way. A very nice man offered me his dog’s leash (because HIS dog behaved off-leash. Show-off), but because I am one proud bitch, I turned him down (this was about five minutes into the walk, and I severely regretted it later). Ok, but THIS IS THE BEST PART:

When I FINALLY got to the parking lot, arms and back about to fall off, a woman was getting ready to start biking the trail with her daughter and two black labs. She saw me carrying Cosmo, and said “They’re friendly!” thinking that I was worried about her dogs attacking mine. I answered that Cosmo had broken his leash and was a runner (I was too embarrassed to tell the truth to a stranger, without adding a million caveats about how we’d had him off-leash before and he was normally really good and my boyfriend had his leash and was still looking and I would have still been looking but my phone was in the car and . . . blah. Although saying his leash broke didn’t make me seem much saner, because why didn’t I rig it somehow to still work? But I let them worry that out without my explanation). She very kindly offered me one of her dogs’ leashes, and this time I accepted, because I just had to run him to the car and could then return the leash. So I did, and after I had Mr. Explorer safely in the car, she pulled up on her bike and was all, “did you go to Colby?” cuz see, I was wearing my poser Colby-crew shirt. AND SHE WENT TO COLBY TOO! Class of 1993! How random is that! We totally chatted for a bit, her name is Alison, and I so wanted to be like, “let’s hang out and talk about whoopie pies and a capella groups together!” but I am not cool enough to make a friend that way. Sigh. But yeah, she’s only the second Colby grad I’ve ever met in Idaho (the first guy was kind of creepy. I ran into him while wearing a Colby shirt in the supermarket. He was about 65, wearing sunglasses, and pointed to me, then to himself. I gave him a blank look, and he was like, “That’s me! I went to Colby!” and I was like, “Right on!” and that was it. I was thinking if he had his sunglasses off it would have been even creepier, because he would’ve been staring at my chest (or rather the COLBY on my chest, but I wouldn’t have known that) when he pointed to himself.), and I almost want to write in to the alumni magazine about it. The Time Another Colby Grad Saved My Arms.

Anyway, I don’t think Cosmo intended to run away . . . but his stray dog roots give him confidence that he can do what he wants and where he wants, biznatches. Normal dogs rely on their humans for things like, food, so they might not stray. Cosmo knows how to live on the mean streets, man.  But he was very noticeably more clingy yesterday, and he’s pretty cuddly on a good day, so that’s saying something. 

In summary:

People who are awesome: Boiseans and Colby grads (did I mention Colby-Alison was a coxswain at Colby? She was! Like all the best people)

Dogs who are kind of shitheads: Cosmos

Dog owners who have two thumbs and are never letting their dog off-leash again: This Girl

he is just a natural explorer (pic taken through dirty glass window, please forgive the spots)

Final Augustography Photo!

31 Aug

Photo 31 of Augustography 

For the final day of Augustography, we decided to do a self-portrait theme.




this is what I looked like from 7-3 today. If it was a flipbook, I would probably shift around a few times and stare into space once or twice, but otherwise, this is it. Probably the most real-to-life picture of me ever. (Viv, please note the shirt)

Thanks, Augustographers, and especially Mike D.! It’s been such a fun project!


Urban farmer

31 Aug

Photo 30 of Augustography


my dad, the university dean, tending to his flock (in his work clothes).


Lazy Sunday

28 Aug

Photo 28 of Augustography

loungin' with the paws stick straight. Like you do.


Frustrating way to kill a Saturday

27 Aug

Photo 27 of Augustography

supposedly the "world's most challenging puzzle." It's like, math and stuff.


Dancin’ sushi!

25 Aug

Photo 25 of Augustography

Engrish on the back of my new sushi solar-powered dancin' dude. I especially like the last sentence.

Bonus: Sushi Dude in the sushi flesh! Please do not haul him. 

he shakes his booty for the sun and only for the sun. (sorry it's such a bad pic, I was in a hurry).