Tiny Tim

I was watching "A Christmas Carol" the one with Patrick Stewart at like 5am the other day. I started to think about the role Tiny Tim has in the movie. How he pulls at the heartstrings of the viewer/reader with his crutch, and impending death (without Scrooge's influence of course.) I think most people know many of the lines in Charles Dickens' story, but the ones that I found that I was the most familiar with were those involving Tiny Tim. His character is a perfect icon for the Christmas spirit. He is so young and innocent and opens his heart to anyone who asks. I think most Christmas movies have this character in them.
I actually like Tiny Tim. He is so genuine. He loves unconditionally. I think this is why although I really hate the concept of him dying it almost has to happen. I'd hate to say it but I think that it is truly inevitable that as a person grows up they stop trusting other people. I like the idea of remaining as open hearted as Tiny Tim is, but I don't think that I'm being a pessimist in saying that he would be ripped apart in the real world. I try my best to look for the good nature in people, but it is incredibly difficult when you have seen how horrible it can be when a person takes advantage of someone else's good nature.

I swear I am not writing this out of bitterness. In fact I have been thinking a lot on a subject also related to Christian values, forgiveness. Any time I say the Lord's Prayer (I'm not exactly religious, but I still say it occasionally) I think about how there is a strong emphasis put on the idea of truly forgiving anyone who has wronged you. For several years now I have had one rather strong objection it was a kind of "I forgive everyone, but that one." I think I have finally gotten over it enough that I can genuinely say that I forgive that person. I won't ever forget, but I am finally able to say that I am in fact getting over what happened. I am not exactly able to trust everyone without restraint, but I am not as guarded as I was. I hope that next year I will greet people more in this way; "With an open smile and with open doors I will bid you welcome, what is mine is yours."


Religion and Misunderstanding

I haven't written in quite a while, and I have two ideas. I'll save one for tomorrow.

With the holiday I've noticed religion a lot more recently, specifically Christianity. It seemed a little odd to me to see wreaths at work and in other offices after coming from a college where secular humanist approach was taken to... well just about everything. At our Christmas party the owner of the clinic made a speech, and in it he said something to the point of "at the clinic we all must remember and believe that this time of year is about Christ." I suppose I should have known it was coming, but it was still surprising to me.

In the midst of all of my personal frustration with the rather evangelical nature of Christmas, driving yesterday I heard this story. Last week's show called "Shouting Across the Divide."
I was appalled and really disappointed by the Serry and Chloe's stories. Even though this country has good ideas about freedom and what every person's rights are, we don't always live by or even consider these founding ideals. It breaks my heart that this continued for so long. It infuriates me that her teacher was able to continue teaching. I don't understand how this can happen. I have been through "diversity training" before, and I always think it is a load of crap, but maybe that's because to me it just seems like common sense to me. I guess it really isn't though to a good portion of our population if something like this could happen, and no other parents would object.


December 1st

I think if you met me in October you would think that I hate Christmas. I hate that Christmas decorations start showing up before Halloween, especially in stores such as Wallmart. But today is December first, so I turned all the Christmas music in iTunes one, and am now starting to lighten up to the other decorations around. I really do like Christmas time, and especially like Christmas music, I just don't like it coming any earlier than it has to.


Election Results

I was astonished to hear first that the house had been taken by the democrats, then the senate. I think after 6 years of Bush, and the 2004 elections in particular I had pratically given up hope. It kinda made me wish that I had joined the DNC in their campaign efforts (they were looking for people to help campaign in different areas.) Anyway, congrats DNC! I'm impressed.


"Every time..."

I've herd a few stories from other people at work about troubles with pets who won't stop licking themselves. If you think training an animal to sit is difficult, try getting them to stop self-gratifying in front of you.

Despite the fact that I have herd several stories, I honestly think that my cat is the weirdest. When we first got him he started. He would come up and sit on my lap, or my boyfriend's, and promptly start licking his penis. We tried to punish him for a little while, but it didn't work (of course). We also tried picking him up and putting him elsewhere. The funny thing is, if he is not sitting on one of our laps, or at least in very close proximity he won't do it. For instance if he is on the bed licking himself and I get up and leave the room he promptly stops, and follows me, then will sit on my lap once I sit down again, then continues! Once he reached 6 months old we thought that getting him neutered would help. We were planning on doing it regardless, but figured that would be an added bonus. It didn't even slow him down for a day. The moment he came home he started again.

"Every time you masturbate, God kills a kitten."

So what happens when a kitten masturbates?


Too Big

I think everyone has days or at least moments when they think about... well everything. When you think about the whole world and what's going on in it, or even just the whole country. Sometimes it inspires me to think about what it is I want to try to do in that world. How I would like to be able to influence it. Sometimes though it is just so overwhelming and makes me want to go back to bed. Today is one of those days, and I'm not sure of why.

I've been trying to figure out where my next steps will be, and what I need to do to reach my goals. I keep thinking, maybe I want to be a teacher. I applied to be a substitute and never heard back, so I assume they disliked something about my resume. Then there's the possibility of going back to school, which I suppose is the easiest solution. My only problem with that is, what do I go to school for? Physics and Astronomy, teaching, administration, TESL, technical theatre, economics? I am interested in way too many things, and I really don't know what direction I want to go so at this point I think further education would be a waste of time. I half-heartedly want to just leave for China, because that truly is the easiest direction for me to go right now. I just don't know, and some days I find it so frustrating thinking about the things I want to do, and trying to figure out a way to accomplish all of them.



I have lots of stuff to say but I am so frustrated. I was going to try to clear my mind a bit, looking at friend's web pages and stuff, but Firefox and my computer had a fight. I lost all my bookmarks. Stupid.

Something happened this week that made me wonder about the freedom of speech, in a forum such as a blog, and one's profession. I've read all sorts of articles on military websites about people getting in trouble, even being court marshaled for stuff they write on their blogs. Most of the time those things make sense to me, because they have important policies on operation security. Like if your are going to Iraq you can't give people information on when you are going to be doing what and where, because it potentially exposes the plans of your unit to the enemy, especially when those things are written in a public area like the Internet. But until this week I had only thought a bit about what could happen in a normal job.
I very purposely choose not to write names of people I work with, or where I work or anything of that sort, simply because I don't think it would be polite to my coworkers. I know I personally wouldn't want someone to use my name frivolously on the Internet. It makes me concerned though, that this has come up in my workplace. I have done everything I can to make sure that my blog is not search able for my employer, just in case they don't like what I write. But it's also absurd to me to do this because of how incredibly wrong I think it is. I mean even if a person writing about their personal experiences at work had used their company name, and even the first names of co-workers, I don't think that it would be justifiable to fire that person for keeping a blog. I understand the company's side of it to some extent, that you could actually tarnish the image of the business if you said something bad enough. And when I really think about it I don't think that an employer could really do it, but if you look on the Internet there are stories of it occurring, and I think for any blogger who herd it suggested, it is a frightening thought.


So cool.

Today I was helping a doctor do a surgery, she was trying to find a bleeding vestal in a dog's abdomen after a spay. She looked up at me and said "your going to need to put on a pair of gloves." I was really excited. I put on the gloves that were at least a size too small. The doctor had me hold the exterior wall and some fat that was in the dog's belly out of the way so she could find the vestal. It was really neat. I could see her belly move when she took deep breaths. I told the doctor that out of everything I have seen and done since I have been working at the animal clinic, that this made me want to be a veterinarian the most.


Oh noooooo!!!

Comments turned off! I don't know how that happened. They are fixed now! Please post comments.

Thank you.

Media Explosion.

Last night I watched the Daily Show. Jon Stewart did a segment regarding Bill Clinton's interview with Chris Wallace. I was completely unaware of what had happened, considering that the news exposure I get now consists of what other people bring to my attention, the Today show in the morning, and the Daily Show when I stay awake for it. Watching the segment I became really frustrated. I hate the way the media treats people. To me it is completely absurd how any outburst of enthusiasm or frustration or anger creates a backlash of media attention. Howard Dean during the primaries, Tom Cruise on the Oprah show, and many others who have gotten similar criticism for showing... well something other than a pre-scripted completely predictable rhetoric. I really don't understand. Why when there is something dramatic on a scripted television series we love to watch, and when it happens in real life to a public figure we love to criticise.

Aaron Sorkin had the introduction to his new show done very well (Studio 60). First of all it was the type of speech I had missed since he left the West Wing, one filled with guts, emotion, and ideas. Second, the hype following his monologue was exactly what I am talking about the media doing on a daily basis.


Shortest Blogoff in History.

I don't know who won, but I don't care. Thursday felt long, and I completely forgot to post. Friday I realized I didn't post, and after a while I didn't care. I've had a bit of a cold all week, so that's my excuse.


Work Dinners

I never quite imagined I would work in a place where we would have these dinner meeting type things, although I imagine that most places have them now. Today I will be going to my second dinner with my job. So far it seems like we mostly do these when a representative from a company wants to meet with the staff to encourage product education. Most of the time the will come in with pizza, or our chosen lunch, but on occasion we get these big group dinners. I don't even remember what tonight's is about, but I will after dinner. I actually think it is a pretty good strategy to encourage the use of your product in other businesses. I learn a lot more from their representative than I do from packaging, or hearsay around the office. The only problem is I feel somewhat skeptical every time.


Stew, Soup and Sauce

Today I attempted to make beef stew. It reminded me of something that happened in China.

The first time I tried to make spaghetti I was in Shanghai. I was suppose to meet with my language partner, but I had begun the sauce as soon as my classes were done. He called, and I suggested as he had never had spaghetti that he come over while I cook, and join me for dinner. When it was dinner time my earlier mistakes were showing, I had hoped the access water would evaporate off, but that hadn't happened. I served it as it was... very liquidy, with mushy noodles (I'm always critical of every dish I make.) After a little bit of time eating and talking my language partner looked up and said "this is very good soup". I thanked him, then explained that I was trying to make sauce, not soup.

Today I made a soupy stew. It still tasted decent though, and I have lots of leftovers.



About two weeks ago we adopted out all of our kittens who were ready for homes. Then last week we got a few more. Three more to be exact. Then today we get another kitten... back. This little guy was adopted out, and was returned. The poor little guy apparently had too much energy for his new parents. What??? How could anyone adopt a puppy or kitten and not expect 1) High energy 2) Accidents in the house 3) Minor behavioral problems, like trying to rip up the carpet, or begging. Babies are babies, even if they are animal babies. The have to learn, and parents need to be patient. It makes me sad that the he is back, but I'm kind of glad that he's not going to be staying with people who don't want to play with the little guy.


Blog off.

Okie, so a friend challenged me to a blog off. I've been trying to write more frequently and this gives me further excuse to do so.

So for today I couldn't remember something that I wanted to do online, so I went to bravotv.com, and found this http://www.brilliantbutcancelled.com/ It was pretty interesting. A lot on Firefly of course. I had herd a lot about Firefly in college. Many people recommended it to me because I speak Mandarin (or at least I speak some Mandarin.) Anyway, I finally saw it, and although I was not hooked at first, after about 4 episodes I was really looking forward to the next. Serenity is the only movie I have ever seen in the movie theater twice. I was never interested in either Buffy or any of Joss Whedon's other work (other than Toy Story,) but this particular series was really good. I think to some extent it tapped into when I was a child and watched Star Trek TNG, or Sliders. But it was also more adult than both of those shows. There was a depth in each of the characters he created, and the viewer got much more interested in the back-story.
However I think the only way they can continue the story, and be as successful at it is to go back and make a season two, that would have occurred before the movie, or to use a lot of flashbacks like in "Out of Gas".


That was close.

Yesterday my day didn't start off so well. I couldn't seem to hold off a vain for the life of me on a single animal. Then I did not hold a dog properly or well enough, so my doctor shot a microchip into "never never land." A lot of my days have been going this way lately so I was thinking about how maybe I should quit and things of that nature. Then I was thinking, that I really do rather enjoy this job still, and it was only a few screw ups. One of the things you learn doing theatre is that if you dwell on your screw up you don't keep your mind on the moment, and things will continue to go wrong, so I decided not to let that happen.
Fairly soon afterward we were called to a room. It was an annual so I drew up the vaccines, and got a fecal loop, and as my doctor and I are about to enter the room she stops and says... "I had a dog, that went by the same name and was this same breed a few years ago. The dog was so bad that the owner pinned it to the floor and sat on it while we gave the shots." "So I should get a muzzle?" "No, it might not be necessary." Or something to that effect. This dog was a one of those large breeds I have discussed in previous posts, that is considered aggressive, but I had not seen behave poorly at the clinic, so I was just a little concerned when entering the room.
We get in the room and the dog is sitting next to the owner. The dog stands up slightly excited when we come in. The owner commands it to sit, then lay down, which the dog abruptly obeys. Everything goes incredibly smoothly, we get the dog on the table, where it proceeds to be very friendly and covers my face with kisses, and the doctor check over eyes, ears, teeth, and the whole body, and gives the vaccines. As we are doing this part of the exam the doctor is talking with the owner, and we find out that this lovable dog is in fact the dog that she saw before, after a lot of training. By this point we are getting ready to draw blood. Normally as a technician I would hold the dog's head in the crook of my elbow, and use the other hand to hold off a vain on the dog's leg, however in this case the owner is standing next to the dog and holding it's head so in order to hold off a vain I am standing in front of the dog, and reaching down across it's leg with one hand. (For those you who know better methods at doing this type of thing please tell me as I am new to being a vet tech, and really don't know better.) I was trying my best to get the dog's leg well rolled, and have a good grip when I feel the dog's head hit mine, or so I think. I have had lots of dogs hit my head with theirs lately so I assumed that was what happened, but the doctor backs up quickly, and the owner first hits the dog, then tells it "NO! BAD DOG!" Repeatedly and pins it to the table. The doctor and I move to the back of the dog, and from both the reactions of the other people in the room and thinking about it for a second and sensing that I did in fact feel teeth, and not just a head hit my jaw I realize what must have been very frightening for everyone but me. We draw blood from a back leg, get a fecal sample. The owner asked me if I was okay, and apologized. Then we let the dog down and toss it a cookie as quickly as possible.
It didn't bother me so much when it happened, and in fact I am much more happy that it happened to me than my doctor because that would have frightened me much more, but it made for culmination of my bad day. The rest of my day actually went very smoothly, and one thing's for sure, I am never going to take it for granted if a dog seems friendly, and I'm also very glad that learning my lesson was not as hard as it could have been.



I got so frustrated yesterday. This woman brought her dog in, she's over 60 years old, and she takes her dog to us regularly for shots and anything he needs. She has an outstanding balance with us, and when her visit yesterday was added to it it was more than $800. She normally pays us $75 a month, but right now she can't even afford that. In addition we charge a monthly billing fee. My feeling about this situation is that unfortunately I don't think that she will ever get out of this debt. It really frightens me, and bothers me that she is stuck in this situation.
I realize that at the clinic we provide a service that she has to pay for. I am also aware of why we have monthly billing fees, but it really bothers me that we have to. Some of the people at work had good suggestions for how she could avoid further debt with us in the future, but the situation made me think about how much I would like to be able to tell her how to get out of debt and stay out of debt. I really wish there was something I could actively do to help her. I have some vague ideas, but nothing great. It also makes me really sad that I assisted in putting her further in the hole with our clinic. The whole thing just stinks.



One of the reasons I particularly like our clinic is because we take in animals. I never thought that a veterinary facility would accept strays. I thought that they would just refer them to an animal shelter, but we take them in. I would not like to call the clinc a "no kill shelter" but we certainly try our best. We have had some of our animals for years, but most of them have only been around for a few months. I adopted one of them. He is a 6 month old kitty named Harry. I wish I had a huge yard and lots of property, because then I could adopt more animals. I think with my tiny space though one is enough, especially the way Harry tears around the house. One I have grown especially attached to is Sasha. She is a year old Pit Bull. She's small though, only around 35 pounds. I've started taking her for walks in my time off because she has so much energy and she bounces around the cage. Everyone thought she was a puppy because of her energy level. I hope that she gets a nice home with a big yard very soon. :)


Nothing much to say.

The recent long period of silence was mostly due to the fact that I didn't have too much to say. I mean, I've had plenty to do. Lots of animals and the like, I even took a small vacation. But I really haven't had much to say.

Two of my friends got married in the past few weeks. I am sad that I couldn't go, but I wish them well.

I'll write once I find more to write about.



This is something that somewhat came up in my last post, and over the last week at work, but it just hit home for me. How should you treat an uncontrollable animal? Cats can be crazy, toy dogs can be angry, gun dogs hunt, and large breeds can kill with a single bite. I realize that not all animals are uncontrollable, and I know that the best of animals can simply have their days, but when do you as an owner draw the line? When do the authorities have the right to step in?
In the past week two things have happened that makes me ask this. One was the case of dog killing cat (both were owned by the same person.) The other thing is my uncle's dog was killed by an unknown dog. We had several discussions on what you do when it is your animal that did something last week. If it were my dog that killed ANY cat I would have a lot of difficulty restraining myself. In fact I am sorry to say that I don't think I could. My mom was just telling me about how the dogs they had for a while would go and kill the neighboring chickens, so they got the bright idea to tie the chicken around the dog's neck as punishment. This didn't work of course, as soon as the rotting chicken came off the dog's neck within days it would go kill another one. I only know a little bit about obedience, and how you need to catch an animal in the act in order to use negative reinforcement, but I think I would still punish the dog regardless. I am completely aware that it is in their nature to do such things, but honestly I don't think I would have even a wink of guilt about punishing an animal for doing such a thing.
I can not even begin to think of what I would do to a dog who killed another dog, or a cat someone owned, or bit a child. There is no specific law that delegates if a dog should be restricted to a yard and house, or put down. Some states have dangerous animal laws where you have to do things like register your dog, and confine them with signs posted unless they are on a leash. Like I said before I know that not all bad breeds are bad dogs. I have met some of the sweetest Pit Bulls and Rottweilers, but those two breeds are the top two breeds responsible for canine homicide, and some of the dogs that have killed were reported to have never attacked prior to the incident. It seems fair to me that there at least be some laws regarding most breeds, at the very least to inform the owner of what their rights are just in case. But only 15 to 20 people are killed annually by dogs, so it is very rare, and I am not in any way advocating strong restrictions on large breeds or their owners, as I don't think that would be fair either.
One other thing that this made me wonder about is can you as a bystander defend a dog? The people who live near my uncle came out with baseball bats to chase these dogs out. If they had done anything to the dogs they would have been held responsible though. Kinda makes sense, but I rather think it stinks. Only in certain states could you kill a dog who is harming your animal, and it seems that most places it depends on the animal. This is one area however, where I am somewhat more understanding. I mean, if the people who saw the Rottweilers kill the dog were able to kill them too, then two owners would be devastated. I rather hope the the owner of the Rotts probably has enough to think about. I don't know. I rather think that if my dog did something that drastic, I would probably have to have them put down.


Working in the Service Industry

One of the difficult things about working in an Animal Clinic is that the pets brought in are often like their children. But there is a huge difference between a child misbehaving and an animal misbehaving. Imagine being a kindergarten teacher, of course you have a few students every year that are the bullies, that may bite or kick another child. Of course you can talk to the parents about this behavior, and you can also give them an honest evaluation (and let their future teachers know about your experiences with the kid) in the form of grades. Sometimes the parents will just blow you off, thinking that their child either isn't actually like that, or that the behavior is completely acceptable.
Now think of that kindergarten kid as a 100 pound dog, or worse a 30 pound crazy paranoid one. Now imagine not being able to give the parents any sort of evaluation. Even if the thing bites you this is something that we are not suppose to tell the owner. I really appreciate the owners who know if their animal has a history of biting, or just know that the animal can be difficult and are straight forward in telling us. I think the ones who insist that Teddy did not destroy his bed, because he never behaves like that at home are pretty funny (there is a reason we try to keep at least some of the shredded remains.) The owners that drive me up the wall though, are the ones who seem to think it is cute when their animal becomes aggressive toward us, and blame everything on us.
Okay, I admit not only does the giving them shots not help at all, but sometimes the animal might just hate one person in particular, or a group. Some dogs hate men because they were beaten by a man when they were little, or they will just hate one person in the whole clinic, unfortunately with those cases some times we figure out the trends after the fact. I really appreciate the owners who tell us their animals habits, it helps to make my job much easier.

This post was edited for content on 10/6/06. It became too specific, and was rather unfair to someone I have gotten to know better.


Fat Cat

Okay, so this won't be entirely about a fat cat, but fat animals in general. If you think your kitty with the jiggle draggy belly is overweight, you may be right, but you are not necessarily the owner who your vet is the most concerned about. Lately I have seen several cats that don't have a belly, their entire body is not just thick, but like a large deflated football, or like a bag of flour. These cats are fat.
Today we got a dog, I forget the breed, but it's one of those short long dogs with the stubby legs that already looks malformed without any extra help. This dog was fed table scraps and junk like that. The man who brought it in described the dog as belonging in a circus sideshow. He was completly right. This dog didn't just look overweight or fat, it looked like a bloated balloon. he was a cartoonists dream, the real life depiction of these crazy looking dogs.


The Animal Clinic

I noticed the other day that the clinic where I work is usually a very plesant place. Most people come in smiling because they are bringing their animals in for an annual check up (although those faces occasionally change when I read off the cost of their visit.) Mostly the clinic feels like a happy place, perky animals, smiling staff, and clients who love to just sit and talk with our vets. Yesterday we had two of our stray kittens adopted also, so that created even more smiles. But of course like any hospital it is impossible to have all smiles.

I was thinking about how for the vast majority of the time we have animals coming in the client would be happy, but it is those last visits that are the hardest, and they really are heartbreaking. Sometimes you get to know the animal and the client really well because they are coming in at least once a week, and other times an owner will walk in who we have seen a few years before to put an animal down. I worked with a doctor to put an animal down for the first time the other day. Other staff members at the clinic often will try to avoid watching the animal as they die, or after they die, and I can understand why. I don't think it is something that you ever get use to. Regardles of the age of the animal, or even if they have a bad attitude, or if you aren't even familiar with the animal it seems sad every single time.


Perhaps I have some explaining to do

I've been listening to some songs with very strong messages about the world (World on Fire, Mother Father etc.) and looking at photos on my computer I had all but forgotten about. It really leaves me in a funny mood. Thinking about how my mentality has changed through the years, how my friends have changed, how I don't even really know some of them anymore, not really anyway. But most of all how in the world can I even begin to make my imprint on the world, and in what way would I like to do it? I think that I only really began to struggle with this question after I came back from China, and even more so after graduating from college.

For a second I actually felt guilty. I couldn't help but think, I'm in South Carolina working at an Animal Clinic, I'm not doing anything to work towards a global goal. I do kind of wish I had the guts to go in New Orleans, or Indonesia, or other areas of the world with a larger problems. But the reason I am here makes sense. I needed to take a first step, in any direction. I needed to prove to myself that I could survive not being a boomerang child and living off my parents. And I'm writing all this here because that is exactly what this blog is going to be about. Of course it will probably be just my friends reading this to keep up with what I'm doing, but I figure I will probably end up with a handful of interesting threads and stories as I work to try to figure out where to go next.
Horray for a long weekend!

Friday was complete insanity. I came into work expecting to float between being a receptionist and kennels considering it was the day before a long weekend so we were going to be packed, then around 10 till 9 one of my friends tells me that I am in fact assigned to a vet. So I have a very short time to finish what I am doing and mentally pepare myself to be working with her for the whole day.

I think I sat down for maybe fifteen minuites all day. There was one point when we were in two rooms at once and a third room was called for us (we only have four rooms.) I started putting stickes with the room number on the files so I could keep track of who was where. I screwed up a few times in small ways, but I think I am getting better at being a technician. No terribly interesting stories though.

By the end of the day I was completly wiped out, so even though I was suppose to take one of the kittens home, I was too tired to get the litter and food and all to bring him home. So I went in on Saturday to grab the little guy. I just took him back to the clinic a few minutes ago. I miss him already, but in observing him over the weekend and realizing the amount of attention he is going to need, I don't think that I have the capacity to raise a little guy yet. Who knows, looking at his silly face stuck in that little cage I might change my mind after I finish cleaning the little stains he left on the carpet.


Leaving Xanga

I recently changed locations after spending almost a year at home after graduating from college, and I think it is time that I changed locations in the internet world also. As I do not have time to maintain more than one weblog I will only use this one for my own updates, stories and rants. Besides this one is more accessable to other people for comments and the like.

First post finished. Now I get to play with colors and the like, then I can start real posts.