Category Archives: dogs

Modified Goals

Dislcaimer: Three categories of statements in this post:

1) Some of these statements are very serious.
2) Some of these statements are very unserious.
3) Some of these statements are confusing even to me. I don’t know if I mean them or not.

My backup plan for life since I decided to be a nurse and not a lawyer has been to go to law school if I’m 32 and not in a serious relationship with no prospects of having a family. Women who are 32 and not in a serious relationship are kidding themselves if they think they still have prospects of having a family. Except my mom. She’s an exception.

Anyway, my new back up plan is to go to med school and become a surgeon. My experience today was that life changing. Not an eye surgeon though. That’s too meticulous. Orthopedics all the way. It was the most badass thing I’ve ever seen in my whole life and I want to be wearing the green scrubs and giving someone a new hip.

Also, at lunch today, there was a realistic discussion about childbirth from people who have given birth. And I have decided that I do not want to ever do that. Plus, I just finished The Kite Runner which was single-handedly the most devastating book I have ever read and there’s no way I could have my own child now. I will adopt if I ever have kids. And I’ve mentioned before how no man wants to adopt kids unless he can’t have his own kids. So the odds of me being in a serious relationship with the prospects of a family at 32 are very slim. So someday I will be replacing hips. It’s almost a given.

And even if my biology takes over and I decide I do want to have kids, I probably can’t because I think I accidentally got x-rayed today in the post-op area. I walked past a door just as the x-ray guy with the portable x-ray machine pressed the x-ray button or however that works and it went off when I was unaware and unprotected.

X-rays straight to the ovaries. I’m probably barren. And totally ok with it. I hope this blase attitude doesn’t come back to haunt me someday. Like if I do want to have kids and I’m devastated that I can’t, I’ll think back to this day and realize how stupid and foolish and ungrateful I was.

But for now, I see my future role as everyone’s favorite aunt. Who also gives people new hips. And has 3 dogs.


What’re Yinz Playin’? Rundown?

The new Pittsburgh Dad episode references one of the greatest games of all time: Rundown a.k.a. Hot Box a.k.a. Pickle a.k.a Stolen Bases (I’m sure there are other names, too).

I really think we played it at least once a day in the summer. The best times were after dinner when my dad would play with us. Sometimes Rascal (RIP, puppy) would run off with the ball if you didn’t catch it. Sometimes he would get in the way if you were running and cause you to get out.

– baseball, softball, wiffle ball, any ball, something to throw
– sometimes baseball or softball gloves depending on the type of ball you use
– 2 things to use as bases (cones, clothes, pizza boxes, etc.)

– min: 3
– max: 500
– ages: 1 – 92

– Runners run between bases, try not to get out, and count the number of times they safely reach a base
– Throwers throw and try to get the runners out

It really is like Great Depression era fun. Simple and economical. Kinda like stick ball. Actually, easier than stick ball because it requires less players and no stick.

Later this week I’ll post more simple/easy/hella fun/inexpensive games like Spud which is perhaps the greatest game to be played with a kickball other than kickball itself. You forgot about it until now, didn’t you? You’re welcome.

I actually missed my true calling as a summer camp athletic director and need to get this out of my system. Expect a flood of old school competitive activities to come your way. The benefits are that you all can maximize your summertime fun. Relive the glory days and whatnot.

Being a summer camp athletic director really is an art. Whoever invented the game of “Dodgeball in the Racquetball Room” is actually a freaking genius and they deserve the utmost respect, admiration, and gratitude because it’s the greatest game I’ve ever played and I sincerely mean that. Also… Hoopla: the most inspired Quidditch interpretation I’ve ever come across.

If I was a summer camp athletic director, I would owe so much of my ingenuity to those who came before me. I wish I had taken a short life detour and spent a few years of my twenties actually doing this. Oh well. No going back now.

I guess I could still invent new games for you all but there would be no way to test or tweak them. So, I’ll just post the old ones. The timeless ones.

Also, today when I was exhausted from nursing school and thinking about how I should have done anything but this, I thought about what my dream job would be. My first thought was “I want to get paid to run.”

Any kind of running would be fine. On a treadmill, on a track, on a trail, through the woods with no path, up and down stairs, through the snow or mud or sand or swamps… whatever. Obviously, since running offers no service or product to society, this could never be a real job. Unless you’re like a pro-athlete runner. But there is NO WAY I could start that so late in life and with my average level of athleticism.

So anyway… my next thought was that I could coach running. But with no real experience or expertise, the closest I could get to that would be teaching P.E. Not my cup of tea. Full-time teaching was never something I considered as a fitting career option for me. Although, I would love to have a whistle. And be able to blow it for the purposes of controlling large groups. Whistling really loud and yelling “Bring it in, people!” on a daily basis is kind of a dream of mine. More sadistically, I’d like to have a whistle to blow while controlling ruthless running drills like suicides. That makes me sound like some kind of Hunger Games dictator.

Anyway, since running or coaching running wasn’t gonna happen I decided to see what would happen if I Googled nursing and running together since nurses do everything. For real. If you have a nursing degree or are on your way to one, think of your dream job (or way you want to make money, no matter how ridiculous it is) then Google it with nursing and I guarantee there will be a job for you. Case in point: astronauts and nursing.

Well, after a brief internet search of  the “running + nursing” combo, this is what I found: Certified Fitness Nurse


I definitely wanna work in a hospital for awhile and gets lots of experience working in different units and all of that. But when I’m ready to settle down a bit and stabilize my life and work a more regular schedule, certified fitness nursing is where you’ll find me. It can easily fit into my overall public health goals.

I have a passion for the cause of decreasing rates of diseases like hypertension and Type-2 diabetes which are basically preventable and/or more manageable in the vast majority of cases and the saddest part is that they’re unfortunately correlated with a poorer quality of life and shortened life span. Conditions like these are a huge burden to the healthcare system as well because they’re associated with so many health complications. They also disproportionately affect people with lower socioeconomic status the most (for various reasons).

Prevention is where it’s at. And the best way to prevent stuff like this is through good diet and exercise. That’s where my role as certified fitness nurse will come into play!

Then after I get the hang of that, I’m going to start a non-profit to promote good diets (with access to affordable healthy food) and increased levels of exercise (with access to fun an inexpensive places to play and work out) for all kinds of people everywhere. I’ll petition professional athletes (and other rich people who like sports) for financial support and endorsements. Once this thing is up and running, I’ll become head athletic director and invent new games so that people can continue to enjoy exercise forever and these games will be spread throughout the non-profit’s facilities nationwide. I’ll have a team of unpaid interns to assist me because innovation is best performed in groups. I get to have a whistle during trial/pilot sessions.

I think that’s a good plan. It was quite spontaneous. Literally just created as I typed it up. Michelle Obama is my inspiration.

Speaking of internships, lil brudder applied for a summer internship with the Pirates. If he gets it, that’s badass and I’m going to be 500 kinds of jealous. I don’t know how many people apply for these things but I think he should get the position. I’m pretty sure he’s the only Pirates fan who’s still 100% loyal/optimistic. I try to be, but I have my off days. He never has an off day. This is a recent Facebook status of his:

Pirates runs scored=18 (worst in MLB by 10 runs )
Pirates runs allowed=25 (2nd fewest in MLB by 1 run, Fewest in division by 9)
bats just need to get going!

He’s also the richest self-made 21-year-old I’ve never met. He’s been getting zero financial assistance from my parents since he was 18. This was his choice also. They would help him through college if he wanted it. But he doesn’t need it because he’s so freakin’ rich because he’s a hard worker and smart with money. He bought himself PSU football season tickets last year (and they weren’t the cheap seats, either) and still had tons of money left in his bank account. Way more than I’ve ever had in my life. Resourceful and responsible are good adjectives to describe him, I guess. Since he started this road to wealth at a pizza shop, he knows how to do bitch work and will gladly do it. He also has mad people skills (everyone adores him) and knows the ins and outs of communication stuff since that’s his major. Basically a PR guru in the making. He’s also an incredibly talented amateur sports photojournalist and he’s really experienced with other types of media stuff (like video editing and whatnot). Super athletic and loves sports too. No matter what internship task was presented to him, he’d excel. Obviously, if it were my call, he’d be hired. And not just because he’s my brother.

To finish off a lengthy stream of consciousness post, here’s a little something for your pre-bedtime entertainment: Steelers vs. Ravens


This post is about crying, in honor of the 19 video “no cry” challenge that was on Reddit. See how far you can make it.

Times I’ve cried during a romantic-type chick flick: 0

Times I’ve cried when a person dies in a movie: 2
– Age 11: Beth dies in Little Women
– Age 21: Ellie dies in Up

Times I’ve cried when a dog dies in a movie (or comes close to dying or is sick, wounded, lost, loyal, protective, noble, etc): 5,000,000,000

I obviously cried during all the dog clips in that 19 video list. Those weren’t the only times I cried. But reliably, as soon as I saw that one was dog related, I prepped for tears. I ALWAYS lose it at that part in Homeward Bound when Shadow’s like “Oh, Peter. I worried about you so.” And at the end of My Dog Skip when the dog can’t get up on the bed, I start bawling. Not just tears. It’s at the level of audible sobs.

My first memory of dog death tears was during 101 Dalmatians when I was like 4 or 5. When the puppy dies (right after Perdita gives birth) and Roger is rubbing it, I definitely cried. It was a moment of self-awareness. As a 4 or 5 year old, it was hard for me to understand why I was crying because I’d seen the movie many times before and knew the puppy was gonna be ok. I still don’t really get it actually. But I do know that I cry at least one tear every time I see that scene to this day.

I cry about dogs even when there’s no death, too. For real, Balto makes me cry. I cry during that one just because dogs are noble and heroic and loyal.

And when I’m at home in my WNY bedroom and Lucy lays outside my door in the morning until I get up, I cry on the inside from love. She’s basically Nana.

Even things that aren’t dogs but are kind of like dogs make me cry. Example: Lilo and Stitch. Although, there are a lot of other components in that movie that make me cry the whole time, too.

Reading about dogs is a problem as well. When I was 11 and recovering from appendicitis with severe peritonitis, I read Where The Red Fern Grows to get caught up for school. Why they assign that book is beyond me. It just makes every  6th grader cry. Anyway, this poor kid from a hopelessly poor family has 2 dogs. That sets me up for tears all by itself. Anything about poor kids (especially ones with rough situations… e.g. Lilo and Stitch, City of God, Children of Heaven) makes me cry. Orphans especially. I had to stop watching The Cider House Rules in the middle because the orphans were making me cry so hard I had a dehydration headache.

The combo of poor kids AND dogs is obviously unbearable.

So, anyway, at the end of the book, one of the two dogs basically has its guts ripped out by some kind of large mountain cat. Disemboweled to the point that the entrails fall out and get caught on a damn bush on the way home. As I recall, the boy didn’t know the injuries were this bad until the insides of the dog (probably the intestines) get stuck on the bush. Don’t quote me on this though, because I read it so long ago. Anyway, that dog obviously dies. It’s sad. Super sad. But at least the other dog is gonna live, right? I mean, that one only had minor injuries. Oh, hells no. It gets worse. The 2nd dog then dies from grief. Before she dies though, with her last remaining bit of strength, she drags her body to the first dog’s grave and dies on top of it…

Holy. Shit.

I mean, my God… there has never been a sadder piece of literature ever written.

I was crying so hard at the end that my parents thought I was having some kind of medical problem and probably dying myself having just almost died a few weeks earlier.

Aside from dogs and poor kids in rough situations, the #3 biggest thing that makes me cry is lonely old people. I think that’s why Up was a struggle throughout and not just when Ellie dies.

Tears during every part. EVERY. DAMN. PART.

I also cried when she found out she couldn’t have kids. And like the whole way through that montage, honestly. Then when the mailbox gets knocked over. Then when Carl hurts the guy for knocking the mailbox over it gets worse. Then there are periodic tears until the end. Even at the “happy” end of the movie (I call it bittersweet) when Carl and the kid are eating ice cream, I cry.

Up makes everyone cry, though. More than once. If you don’t cry during Up, you are living in a glass case of non-emotion.

Anyway, Up has a happy-ish ending from a loneliness perspective. The lonely old person ceases to be lonely. This, however, is the saddest lonely old person thing you will EVER see.

Whenever I get a substantial amount of something bad in my eyes (like sunscreen) and can’t flush it out well, I watch La Maison en Petits Cubes. My eyes are then clear in no time.

Speaking of eye problems and crying, tomorrow I have an ophthalmologist appointment because something is very wrong. I kind of have a feeling it’s going to end with a referral to a neurologist due to other non-eye problems I’ve been having. This scares the poop out of me and makes me want to cry. But there’s no use crying until you know it’s bad with certainty.

Saturday Night Grocery Shopping

My apartment is outrageously close to a grocery store. Being the fat kid that I am, this is definitely a selling point for me. My last apartment in Pittsburgh was also within easy walking distance of a grocery store. Being so close definitely makes my life as a single lady much easier. I can effortlessly shop multiple times a week and so it’s easier to buy/consume fresh fruits and veggies without them going bad. Although, I still have a tough time with the bananas. You can’t just buy two bananas. You have to buy seven. Shopping a lot is also good for procrastinating.

Anyway, my Winn Dixie is called the Crack Dixie by locals. Since I am now a local, I obviously refer to it as such as well. It used to be really crappy apparently before it was remodeled and also attracts sketchy people. Both for the fact that it used to be crappy and also because midtown Mobile is much like New Orleans, in that it has lots of dicey streets and nice streets within a few blocks of each other so you’re never really safe and in a crime-free area. In fact, a police officer was shot at the Crack Dixie earlier this month.

I like it though because this mix of what would be separate neighborhoods all in one neighborhood means that shopping at the Crack Dixie causes you to run into the most diverse group of people. It’s basically like being at the South Side Giant Eagle. People of all ages, races, and income levels. I kind of love it. It’s a good people watching spot so I’m always entertained while walking around to get all the stuff on my list.

Every time I have to get peanut butter, however, it irritates me that I can’t get natural peanut butter in the bigger jar. I eat a lot of peanut butter so I always have to buy more peanut butter and I would have to buy it less often and it would cost me less money if they just packaged natural peanut butter in the family size container. FYI, don’t eat regular peanut butter. So much trans fat. They hydrogenate the shit out of it so it lasts forever. They take peanut butter, which is a relatively healthy food, and turn it into a terribly unhealthy food. Natural peanut butter tastes exactly the same and it’s just a little bit more expensive. Not even a lot more expensive. Like barely more expensive.

I’ve also recently gotten addicted to french bread pizzas. They’re so horrible for you, I know. And I honestly hadn’t had one for years. But I bought a box on a whim and considered it my junk food for the week. But then they gave me a coupon at the check out. 75 cents off if you buy two boxes. Well, damn. That’s a deal. So, next time, I got two boxes and used my coupon. But then they gave me another coupon. This has happened 3 times now and there’s no end in sight, apparently. This is a cry for help. Someone break into my apartment, take the coupon, and rip it up. Break the cycle. I’m powerless here because it combines the addictive power of french bread pizzas and my inability to ignore a money saving opportunity. Eating french bread pizzas regularly makes me feel unhealthier and makes me like myself less. It’s lowering my self-esteem and that’s a problem but I can’t stop. And I can’t even avoid that aisle because that’s where the Mexican and Italian food stuff is. And, as a poor nursing student, what do I eat more than Mexican and Italian food? Nothing. I absolutely NEED to get pasta sauce and tortillas. Maybe I’ll light a candle and burn the coupon tonight. I think I have enough willpower for that.

Being able to buy alcohol in the grocery store at any hour of the day is also bad news. Countless bottles of wine. I really only crave wine during the hours when liquor stores in PA are closed. So, in the old days, I just had to ride out the craving and deal with it. But now, I can just walk on down to the Crack Dixie and get some. I’m really good at not overindulging all at once for the purposes of making it last since my budget doesn’t include much room for non-essential purchases. For some people, poverty leads to alcoholism. But in my case, it prevents it. Maybe my self-control skills aren’t as bad as I thought. Time to take advantage of this power realization and burn the french bread pizza coupon for real!

I wish there were coupons for wine.

But it’s probably good that there aren’t because my life would quickly become me in my PJs with some wine and the dog and HGTV every night. No thank you. This Bridget Jones scene is forever burned into my brain.

That movie is pretty freaking hilarious though.

Also, speaking of dogs, Mary is puppysitting this one right now:

I WANT IT. So cute!! I just need a little buddy. This apartment is too quiet and empty sometimes.

And thank the merciful Lord that Kansas won. My bracket is still in contention for winning the class pool. I could win $25. That’s one month of water/sewage use!

Also, tomorrow Rachel’s picking me up and we’re going to her parents’ house on the river for a BBQ and fishing. This is everything I want a Sunday to be. They’re basically my adopted family at this point. I like having an Alabama family. Southern hospitality is everything you think it will be and more. Her mom’s gonna force some leftovers on me. And I’m more than ok with that.

Stress About America, Not Marriage

So… State of the Union drinking game… I got a little too drunk. Thank goodness we didn’t have class today. Before you judge me, keep in mind that the outlook has been kind of bleak as of late. Empty promises and false hope all across the board. It’s a difficult thing to stomach without significant intoxication.

The weird thing about my drunk habits is that I always overdress for bedtime. On a sober night, I just sleep in undies and a t-shirt. After a drunk night, I wake up wearing every article of clothing I own. This morning, I got out of bed wearing my Steelers sweats, an IUP t-shirt, and a Penn State hoodie. My intoxicated dressing habits indicate that I’m subconsciously missing the homeland A LOT.

Speaking of home…

‘Cause it’s a long and rugged road
And we don’t know where it’s headed
But we know it’s gonna get us where we’re going
And when we find what we’re looking for
We’ll drop these bags and search no more
‘Cause it’s gonna feel like heaven when we’re home
– The Wailin’ Jennys

Relevant (from 10/2/11): Maybe I need to go everywhere not because I’m a transient non-settler but because I actually believe in home and settling more than anything so I’m desperately searching for exactly the right place?

And the truth is I’ve been dreaming of some tired tranquil place
Where the weather won’t get trapped inside my bones
And if all these years of searching, I find one sympathetic face
Then it’s there I’ll plant these seeds and make my home
– June on the West Coast, Bright Eyes

Yep. More than three months later, I can conclude that the previous sentiment was, in fact, an accurate assessment.

This is also why I have real problems with even getting to the point of considering a relationship with a guy. I mean, some of that does have to do with the Matt disaster, but even before him, I refused to date anyone seriously because I just didn’t like any of them enough. I’m picky, but it’s because I believe in passionate living way too much. And I’m not going to settle down in a place or with a person until I know it’s absolutely worthwhile… in that it has the potential to be exactly right.

A huge part of me knows that home is Pittsburgh because I guess that’s my ultimate goal but there’s obviously something else that’s pulling me away from Pittsburgh and making me need to explore everything. Maybe it’s so I know, with certainty, that Pittsburgh is the place? Maybe I have to know for certain that what I’m looking for isn’t someplace else and that it was in Pittsburgh the whole time. Or I guess the other possibility is that it isn’t Pittsburgh and that’s the reason I left. Which makes me sad because I want it to be Pittsburgh. But obviously, the reason I didn’t stay is because my soul is in search of something else. Or maybe Pittsburgh is the place but I’m subconsciously in search of the person to establish a sense of home with. I don’t know. All I know is that I’m here in Mobile right now. And probably half starting over in New Orleans next January. And then going from there.

It’s hard to feel panicked about anything when you don’t even know what it is that you’re looking for.

And the fact that girls are starting to become afraid of the fact that they might end up as a lonely crazy cat lady with a tedious life is insanity to me. First of all, I would never let my life become lonely because I inherently just stumble across good people who become my lifelong friends. Secondly, I’m never going to have cats. I generally hate them. I might be a crazy dog lady, I guess. That doesn’t even sound so bad though. Thirdly, tedious? Yeah, that’s not gonna happen either. I don’t know how it’s possible to feel like life is uneventful when there’s so much to do and see. And there are always ways you can channel your boredom into helping other people also.

So, I guess even in the worst case scenario of perpetually being single until I die, life still seems pretty damn awesome. Still getting a boat no matter what happens. And having the time and resources and lack of obligations to allow me to actually travel the world regularly seems awesome too. Life is what you make of it. Don’t be stressing about how you feel like you’re not going to get what you want. Make it what you want, no matter what the situation is.

Plus, I feel like all guys our age are just developmentally behind in some way. They don’t have the same values or motivation. I’m tired of babysitting. But I’m not ready to date 30 year olds either. Maybe in another 3-4 years I will be. We’ll see what happens.

So, all that stress that’s out there… I just don’t feel it or understand it. I really really have no idea why everyone else is FREAKING OUT about this. Let’s all just relax, ladies. Don’t define yourself by the existence of men in your life. Live it up. That’s what our twenties were for. Honestly, once you have that first kid, your little black dresses will never look the same, if you can even fit back into them at all. And you won’t have time to go out and wear them either. I’m really seeing no perks of being married right now. It all seems like one big disadvantage to me. Date men, yes. Marry them, no. Freak out about not being married, DEFINITELY NOT.

Things That I’m Obsessed With: Octopus Edition

1) They’re freaky/terrifying as hell and I’m incessantly fascinated most by the things that scare the shit out of me.
2) They’re beautiful. Proof.
3) They’re super intelligent. Nastily advanced nervous systems. You can’t legally operate on them without anesthesia in some countries.
4) They’re kind of autonomous and badass. They’re very free creatures who solitarily roam the open ocean being smart and killing things and adapting in the most impressive ways to survive. I’m jealous of their ability to live in water. That’s all I’ve ever wanted.
5) Females die protecting the eggs. Even if the sacrifice is for evolutionary rather than emotional reasons, that still makes them fierce mama bears and I totally respect that.
6) They can eat sharks. WTF!!!!

Articles about octopus behavior/intelligence (basically from just a two second Google search that you could have done for yourself):
What Behavior Can We Expect of Octopuses? I love that there’s a whole website devoted to cephalopods! I bookmarked it immediately.
Through the Eyes of an Octopus Their brain WRAPS AROUND THEIR ESOPHAGUS. That’s weird, yo.
What is this Octopus Thinking?
–  Are Octopuses Smart? I want to have one as a pet. Like a dog. They’re probably totally capable of playing fetch. I’d made it learn all kinds of cool tricks like shake and sit and roll over. Speaking of which…
Behind the Meme: Secrets of Octopus Intelligence More comparisons to dogs.
An Octopus’ Intelligence Compared to the Dog. Even more comparisons to dogs. And sweet jesus, I need to get that book. All those goofy Jacques Cousteau videos we watched in 3rd grade truly made my life.

When one thinks of how long it takes to teach a dog something as simple as sitting up or shaking hands, one must admit that an octopus learns very quickly; and that above all, it teaches itself. We did not show it what to do. With a dog, it takes months of patient work before the animal will do what one wants it to do. The difference between a dog learning and an octopus learning is the difference between training an animal and allowing an animal to exorcise its intelligence in determining the means to be used to overcome an obstacle in certain circumstances.
– Jacques Cousteau, Octopus and Squid: The Soft Intelligence

This is what I envision what my life with an octopus would be like:

Courtesy of Deanna Molinaro. Someday I’m actually going to buy the print because I’ve been wanting it forever.

My biggest fear about having an octopus as a pet is that it would get out of its tank (which they do all the time in captivity because they’re super smart like that) and like creep (like this) into to my bed do evil octopus things in the night while I sleep and I would wake up 2 seconds before my death to feel, in my last moment of life, only sheer octopus-induced terror. Which is ENTIRELY unrealistic but that’s the only thing I’d be able to think about if I had one in my house. Plus, they need the ocean. Seeing them in their little zoo aquarium spaces always makes me kind of joyless. I stare at them forever though so I’m part of the problem by basically reinforcing the fact that zoos have them because people want to see them.

Paul the Octopus had an ok situation, I think. He was adored by the entire world. Paul single-handedly combined my love for octopuses and soccer and I’ll love him forever. RIP, dude.

This is one of my all-time favorite YouTube videos. Pulpos: Suave Inteligencia. That’s freaking ridiculous. The combo of Spanish and octopuses being smart is unbeatable. If I was stranded on a desert island and could only take one YouTube clip, that might be it. Or maybe this. Things that I’m obsessed with: UZoo Channel Edition.

Finally, the thing that sparked this whole entry was the video that Ben sent me today. My first thought was that kayak fishing on the ocean is definitely something I need to do regularly. I feel like it would terrify me and I’m not sure why but that makes me really excited to do it and now I probably won’t stop thinking about it for 3 days. My second thought was some semblance of a freak out regarding what I would do if I caught a goddamn octopus and it’s huge tentacles were 2 inches away from my body while I sat low to the water in my kayak. My third thought was complete devastation that the asshole killed the octopus, even if it was accidental. The lifeless and defeated way it just hung there on the line was traumatic. They’re so beautiful and seeing one like that is the most tragic thing in the world. I really can’t even deal with people who don’t catch and release their fish. Things that probably influence my feelings on the issue: the emotional attachment I have to Hootie my goldfish, the fact that I saw a bluegill struggle and die at my grandparents’ pond at the tender age of four because my cousin couldn’t get it off the hook fast enough, and this (skip to 1:52-2:14). The Little Mermaid also probably significantly impacted my life in other ways but there’s enough discussion in that can of worms for a whole other entry.

Anyway, to conclude, that one YouTube video of the octopus being caught could win an Academy Award for all the emotions it made me feel in two short minutes.

And WHY THE HELL was that creeping octopus on land from the other video delivering that crab to those people? I don’t think anyone will ever know. Octopuses behaviorally are weird and advanced. That’s the take home message here.

I Just Want You Near Me Like You Are Now For Good

That’s a sweet sentiment. I love love love Tinfoil Hats.

It makes me hopeful about life. It makes me not want to settle. I can’t settle again. It’s better to be alone than settle for something that’s not everything you want.

Relatedly, my need to get out of this city and/or maybe all cities is overwhelming. I really think it has to do partially with the fact that I could go to the middle of Wyoming where no one lives and actually scream my face off for 10 minutes and no one would know. But also, more to do with the fact that after shutting down crucial parts of myself to be in a relationship with Matt, the repressed interests and thoughts and feelings are now coming out so uncontrollably fast and hard that I don’t know how to keep it in check.

We seriously argued about the stupidest stuff that really was just a reflection of us being totally different people with completely different interests and backgrounds.  In order to prevent the arguing, I had to ignore crucial parts of myself and not act certain ways and modify my interests. Because of this, I know exactly what I do and do not want in a guy. So I can really only be happy at this point. I feel like I dodged some kind of bullet. Like maybe I got out just in time before that point where I would get too far in. Like I was dangerously close to the event horizon of a black hole and almost never came out again.

And now I’m kind of living like someone who almost died. I know that sounds super dramatic but that’s how I feel sometimes. It was nearly the death of myself. And that’s maybe almost scarier than dying for real. When you die for real, you just cease to exist. When your true self dies, you have to live as someone else for the rest of your days and time drags on and you’re never really happy/fulfilled.

I’m 50% country and 50% city. It’s a dead even split. I grew up in the country so I need the wilderness down to the very core of my being. I kind of freak out in the city. I don’t know what to do with myself and get easily upset by certain things. Like smelling truck fumes when I’m running and not being able to see the stars when I want to. But then again, I know how much it sucks to live in a small town and what it’s like to want to experience new things and meet new people. So when I’m back in that small town for an extended period of time, I freak out then too. Essentially, I’m always only half content. 50% bliss, 50% freaking out. It’s really a miserable existence sometimes. Pittsburgh is actually ok. It’s city enough that you can spontaneously do almost anything and I could go to 7 shows a week if I wanted to but it’s also surrounded by three epic rivers and it was kind of built in the middle of the woods so it still kind of feels like that’s where you are. Western PA woods are the best kind also. Plus it’s neighborhoody so kinda has a small town feel sometimes. And after being here for 6 years, it’s really weird to realize how many people I know or know of. Desi and I went out on a date with the same guy and didn’t even realize it until after it happened. My bank teller realized that he lives in my old apartment. Shit like that. Everyone knows everyone.

Anyway, for the last billion weekends before this one, I left for some kind of country adventure whether it was visiting my extended family or driving to State College and back. And during those weeks I felt stable and balanced for the most part. So obviously the 50/50 thing is necessary. That’s why I think I’ll love Salt Lake City if I end up there. I feel like there are a million adventurers in Utah. Chill people who just like to hike and ski and kayak. Mary seems to think that’s where my soulmate is. More specifically, he’s probably at the Patagonia outlet (which, by the way, is absolutely amazing she says). Our eyes will meet in the ski pants aisle and that will be the start of happily forever.

Man wish list:
– At least 6’0″
– Outdoorsy in every way. Like would go camping and/or to the lake every weekend if he could.
– Kinda scruffy but in a well-maintained sense. Flannel shirts all the way. I’ve weirdly only been attracted to guys with facial hair lately.
– Absolutely honest/open about everything and truly believes that’s the only way to live. You can’t force someone to have this value or learn to be that way. They either can or they can’t. They do or they don’t. Don’t waste your time thinking they’ll change and/or come around and/or warm up to the idea.
– Brown eyes. They make me melt. Green and hazel are tolerable. Blue eyes are gross.
– Liberal political tendencies
– Humble, altruistic, loves people/the environment/the world/life
– Good at engineering and/or good at making/fixing stuff
–  Coaches little kids soccer
– Drives a Jeep. We need something to tow the boat with. Also, I’ve been Jeep brainwashed. My parents have always had one for as long as I can remember. And the best days of my life were spent on roadtrips in Tim’s Wrangler. Speaking of roadtrips…
– Must love roadtrips (and be good at them… stops infrequently, sings along with the Ryan Adams, knows how to pack a car, etc.) and also love good roadtrip music. Speaking of music…
– Must love alt-country and punk and everything from the 90s and just music in general. If you don’t go to a lot of shows, I can’t be with you. Because that’s all I want to do.
– Has siblings and is best friends with them. At least one of them has to be a sister. Guys without sisters are emotionally inept.
– Dog person. No cats. Ever.
– Likes good beer and whiskey. Also not a lightweight. I can drink a lot. You better be able to keep up.
– Wants to have 4 kids and is open to a few or all of them being adopted
– Has broad shoulders and tan man arms/hands/wrists
–  Can put up with the fact that I’m motivated and fiercely independent and hard to deal with sometimes especially at the beginning when I have walls. Once I trust you enough not to destroy my heart, I’m the most affectionate/low-maintenance girlfriend ever, I swear
– Can put up with the fact that I love to laugh and be unserious/ridiculous and also that I still have a huge imagination
– Knows that I have the potential to do amazing things for the world with my huge capacity to love and encourages/supports/pushes me the whole way to get things done. The greatest loves are those that make you an even more exceptional person than you ever thought you could be.
– Wants to have as many random experiences and see as many places as possible before we die together when we’re 95
– Knows that life is about way more than just making money and that it’s better to find a career that fits the life you want instead of making your life fit around your career
– Sees right through my shit and makes me accountable for it
– Does not have rich parents. I could write a book on why. But for now, just take my word for it.
– Remembers my birthday every year. I don’t even need a party or a present or a nice dinner or anything. You just have to say Happy Birthday and acknowledge that I’m one year older and happy about it. I don’t care about the whole anniversary thing or any other date that might be important. You just have to care that I’ve successfully lived another year and be happy that I’m around.
– Wants to settle down in Pittsburgh when we’re ready for that type of thing. My kids need to be close to my family and the farm. I want them to be able to have the experience of partially growing up there.
– Believes in lazy Sundays. Reading, cooking, chilling on the porch swing, watching football, napping in the hammock, etc.

I have yet to meet a guy that’s all those things. I don’t think I’ve met a guy that even comes close. Maybe I’m asking for too much. Like the soccer coaching is probably a stretch. And I could just buy a Jeep for myself. But… in general, that’s what I’m looking for. And Matt was so far off of that. And honestly, those things haven’t really changed from when I was 17 so I don’t know what I was doing. We had weirdly amazing chemistry that I got caught up in then it turned into love so even though we had seriously fundamental differences, it lasted a long time. And now I’ve learned a ridiculously critical lesson which I am grateful for and it’s only going to get better from here.

I can’t wait to find the guy that’s all those things or close to all those things. I want to listen to Tinfoil Hats and look this hypothetical person and know that we’re happy in every way on ever level.

Kid, I’m gonna be with you longer than the world can stand
‘Cause there’s a light that’s stronger
Shining out of your eyes
I see it

And even if I never find this ideal man I’m so so happy just being single that it’s totally ok. If I only ever have a dog and a boat, I’ll consider my life successful/happy/fulfilled. As I said, it’s better to be alone than settle for something that doesn’t make you happy in every way. The point of existence is to live happily and it’s very possible to be more unhappy than happy when you’re with the wrong person.

I’m exploding with life and love and hope. Yeah, there’s underlying anger there. But it actually is going away. I’m not a dweller. It’s time to put my brave face on and just expect that he’s going to continue to be a dick and make me upset and so I’m going to find a way to move past it and live my life and not let it bother me.

The miles and miles of hostility running definitely helps too.