free html hit counter

Wednesday, September 29, 2004


This past weekend, I went down to Sheridan for my class reunion. After 10 years, I'd expected to be a little surprised and depressed by how much my high school had changed. Instead, I was surprised and depressed by how little it had changed! Physically, at least, it was almost indiscernable from when I left. The red carpet in the main hallway was not only the same red carpet as when I graduated, it was the same red carpet that was there when I used to go help my mom in the library -- when I was four! Admittedly, though, for 25 year-old carpet, it's looking pretty good. Probably a testament to its original quality.

We were supposed to go to the football game as a group, but it was pouring down rain, and after 9 years in marching bands, I've had to sit through enough rainy games that I for sure didn't want to if I had a choice. Instead we stayed in the auditorium and watched the Sheridan and Lake Hamilton bands perform. Better show than the game anyway.

Overall, my class has aged pretty well, at least the 60ish out of 222 who showed up. As expected, nearly everyone had kids, but it was surprising to see which girls had settled down and even become dedicated stay-at-home moms. Go figure. Got to go out for drinks beforehand with Jon West, one of my best and oldest friends from band, baseball, Scouts, and probably several other activities I'm forgetting.

Even though I knew all the people at the reunion dinner, many of my best friends from my class didn't make it. What I really think I'd prefer is a Sheridan band reunion not tied to a specific year. I know I've got friends from about 5 or 6 different classes that I was in band with that I would love to see. Maybe I ought to work on that.

One thing that the weekend reminded both Heather Marie and me of is how isolated we feel up here. It's not that we don't have friends, it's just that we don't have history with them. We made some great friends in college, but naturally we don't have the shared experiences of two decades worth of growing up together. It's something I hadn't exactly missed until I experienced it again. Sheridan only has one school for every grade (well, two through 6th grade, counting East End), so unlike school systems where multiple elementaries feed into a few junior highs which feed into a huge high school, most of us went through 13 years of school with the same people. And since it's a small town, those were mostly the same people we played sports with and Scouted with and went to church with and everything. That provides for a lot of shared history and close connections, even with you don't necessarily get along well. We just don't have that where we live now.

Even though we're glad to have escaped the small town atmosphere, for the first time we can really understand why so many people go back, and we can imagine ourselves doing that, too...someday. Not soon. And not necessarily to Sheridan, but maybe around there, closer to family and old friends.

In our class bios, nearly everyone said the thing they missed most from high school was getting to see their friends all the time. I agree. Lots of those people, though, still live within 30 miles of their best friends from school. I wanted to tell them to go see their friends, since they can, because to not do so is a slap in the face to those of us who can't.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Last Week Recap

Ok, now that things have calmed down, here's what was going on last week.

Last Monday (9/13) after my softball games (which we won both of, btw), Heather Marie and I took Magaidh for a walk around the block. On the way back, a cute little beagle-mix puppy followed us home. Since we're good, tenderhearted people (or try to be), we took him in for the night. We tried knocking on doors around where we found him, but it was already 11pm and nobody answered their doors. Glad it wasn't a real emergency! I know we're nightowls, but our neighborhood shuts down by 9pm. Sheesh.

So we put up some flyers for people to see on their way to work the next day and fed the poor little thing. He was probably 3 months old and in pretty decent shape overall, although he ate and drank anything we put in front of him the whole time he was here. Nobody called the next day, so after asking around at work and with friends to see if anyone wanted him, we tried to take him to the Springdale animal shelter. We hated to do it, but we were sure that a cute puppy had an excellent chance of adoption. They wouldn't take him, though, because we don't live in Springdale. Nevermind that we both work in Springdale, we do 90% of our shopping in Springdale, and you could throw a baseball into Springdale from our house.

Ditto Rogers and Fayetteville, both of which told us to go to Springdale. Lowell "animal control" amounts to two unsheltered pens in the vacant lot behind the police station, which act as holding pens until somebody can take the animals to the shelter in Siloam Springs (wtf?!), and we could not, in good conscience, consign him to that. After some begging, Springdale agreed to take him in three days. The reason was that they'd have to keep him that long before they could adopt him out (to give owners a chance to claim him), but they were afraid such a young puppy could get sick in the shelter. If we kept him for that period and left the signs up, then they could list us as the former owners and adopt him out immediately.

Fortunately, in the meantime, Heather Marie got in touch with Animal Haven Rescue in Fayetteville. They said they'd have space for him after some adoptees got picked up on Saturday. So Saturday afternoon while Heather was at ShimmyFest, I took him down to their adopt-a-dog day at Petsmart in Fayetteville, and left him with them. They were really nice. They'd already seen pictures of him, and said they were confident he'd find a good home quickly. I wasn't sure, though, until I saw everyone who walked by at Petsmart oooing and ahhhing over him. He's already on their website.

In the 5 days before then, though, I'd started getting attached to him, and I really wanted to cry when he left. We kind of wish we could've kept him, but we really don't have enough space in our house for two dogs. More importantly, we don't really have the time and attention a puppy needs and deserves. As I said when we got Magaidh, "It's hard not to fall in love with something that wants nothing more than to be with you every moment of the day." We hadn't named him because we knew if we did, giving him up would be even worse. They named him Roscoe. Good name for him. It fits.

So, what did I learn? Well, for one thing, worrying about something other than myself and my own day-to-day stress and crap was really good for me. The puppy wasn't completely housebroken, so he needed lots of supervision and care in addition to the normal puppy play and attention. I realized I'd been spending too much time worrying about myself and my own problems instead of just living. The experience also made me realize that I spend too much time on things that aren't really very important to me, and not enough on the things that are.

As an aside, while we were checking the classifieds for lost dog notices, Heather Marie noticed an ad the week before for four free beagle-bassett mix puppies. It ended the Saturday before we found the puppy, and a couple of days later another ad appeared that someone had found a beagle-bassett mix in NW Springdale with a collar and no tags, just like the puppy we found. What a coincidence.

So, that was my week. It broke my heart in some ways, but it was a good experience overall, and I don't regret it. So say a little prayer of thanks and hope for Roscoe for us.

UPDATE: As you can tell by clicking the link above, Roscoe is no longer listed on their website, so we're assuming he found a happy and loving home. Good for him. Godspeed, Roscoe!

Sunday, September 19, 2004


Well, after complaining about having a boring life, it got a lot more exciting this past week. Not in any bad ways, but interesting enough to qualify as non-boring. I'm too tired and sleepy right now (at 10:30pm, very early for me!) to write up a complete account, but I'll give it a shot tomorrow night.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

My Boring Life

Our friend Rebecca was in town from DC this weekend, so we ate out quite a bit and partied some. Note that in our social circle, "partying" is defined as grilling hot dogs and watching a movie. Overall, it really was a lot of fun. I think, though, that we probably need to investigate more group activities that aren't food-centered.

We finally got to see Without a Paddle on Sunday. Very funny movie...although for some reason I keep wanting to call it Up a Creek, or some other variation on that phrase.

It's nothing short of cold here tonight, with lows in the 40's (well, cold for Arkansas, anyway), which is great for me. Autumn is my favorite season, and the colder weather has gotten me excited about it. My plans include a visit to a Halloween fair in Oklahoma, a hayride, and at least one trip to a corn maze. Whoo hoo!

I guess maybe my life isn't completely boring, but it definitely confirms my dorkiness.