Sunday, February 26, 2006

Saturday Night Review...

Last night, plans changed. I'm going to go to see The Second City in around two weeks, after I visit Utah next weekend. I'm looking forward to it. If you want to go with, please send me an e-mail.

I had dinner with friends. As always, it was especially tasty and very unique! The food is always organic, well made, and complemented by a glass of wine!

Unfortunately, they are having some troubles with their cute dog, Arlo (check him out with me and Jessica). He's developed a barking and howling problem when they leave him home alone. So, they're now learning how to untrain these habits before their neighbor turns from nice to nasty.

It's always so interesting to me how dogs can have such emotional problems. My parents have a dog named Zoe who barks at me whenever I wear a hat. If I'm not wearing a hat, everything's fine... but put the hat on and she goes NUTS. Additionally, if she's left home alone with me, she hides in my mom's closet for the duration of the day. I have to coax her out with treats just to eat or go outside.

I suppose this a little like any other animal... I grew up with two dogs, two cats, and a lizard. My main cat was a tabby who was always in an interesting mood. His best friends were neighborhood dogs... and being that he was neutered and declawed, he had to come up with methods of protection while he was running around with animals 10 times his size. So-- he'd curl up his little clawless paw into a fist and BOX any dog in the NOSE that would come too close for comfort. This was always amusing because it sent even the biggest dog running in the other direction. He also learned to crawl backward up trees using only his back claws. I guess you learn to use what you've got... and hey, no wonder he was moody. :-)

The poor lizard was my only pet that didn't have mood swings. He unfortunately was often at the mercy of my smart cat however. My cat learned to open up the lizards cage (very carefully) and would often times come tip toeing down the hallway with a tiny green tail hanging out of the side of his mouth. Luckily, my cat wasn't too viscous and I was always able to grab him, order "drop him," and he'd open his mouth and the lizard would hop out. The hardest part was usually tracking the lizard down after he scurried away.

Let's see... in addition to all of these house pets, I also spent some time on farms of one kind or another... being that I grew up in Oklahoma. One of my most fun childhood activities was horseback riding. I rode English and Western at a local barn close to my house. That's where I found out about the wild moods that horses can have... as well as how smart they really are. When I would go to the barn, I was never allowed to say the words "horse show" because there was one horse there who hated horse shows so much that he would intesionally go lame for days if he heard these words. :)
For the most part, I had pretty reasonable luck with riding. Unfortunately though, because I'm so tall, I would always be given the very largest (and often most difficult to manage) horse available. This was usually a horse named Woody who had a huge attitude and loved to misbehave if he was given even an inch. My only real negative horse experience came when one day my teacher asked me to canter a new huge horse. He wouldn't canter, but she was certain I could make it happen... so I kept riding him in a circle, yelling and pushing him to canter.... until he finally bucked, trying to throw me off! Lucky for me, I stayed on. I was inside of a small arena with a metal fence... so falling off could have been a huge deal. I remember the soaring feeling as we went upward and then my teacher cheering "you stayed on!!" as we landed back on the ground. Apparently, this horse had never actually learned to canter. He was a mature horse that had never been trained to show and had huge, less movable muscles... the teacher was trying to retrain him and slim him down, so he could be used for shows. It's AMAZING to me the things people sometimes decide not to mention. Ever since that day, I've had a persistent knot in my right shoulder that came from the whiplash effect of it all.

Well, I suppose that's almost enough animal stories... but maybe just a note about Alby...

RPI has a great albino squirrel named Alby. Alby is quite domesticated and will eat out of a person's hand. Alby used to have just one web site devoted to her, where you could buy t-shirts and post photos of squirrel sightings. From my search today however, I can see that news of her has spread... she is now mentioned on 694 individual web pages according to Google.

I believe that this is the original Alby page: It contains photos of Alby and apparently since I was at RPI, she had a few babies; their pictures are available too.

Here's a spot to buy an Alby t-shirt:
Rumors involving Alby:
Her own photo gallery:

She apparently seems to be taking over the top spot as "unofficial school mascot" and has even been incorporated into an RPI logo:

But, of course - how could Alby be such a celebrity without at least a little controversy? Check out the scarry squirrel site here:

Haha... anyway, have a good Sunday!

:-) Angie

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