Monday, September 25, 2006

So today was a busy day. Woke up at 7:30, finished preparing for a short presentation I had to give in class ("Support Vector Machine Active Learning for Image Retrieval ...of Doom."). It wasn't hard--saying the title alone took up half my time. After preparing, I squoze (I say it's a word, so it is) in an hour of work, then headed to the animal shelter, where I volunteer on occasion.

Some people are cat-people, some are dog-people, and some are skunk-people. I'm a dog person, so I mainly work with them. We get all kinds; big, little, mean, nice, abused, pampered, friendly, aloof, you name it, we see it. The same goes for the cats.

Between the cats and dogs, everyone who works at the shelter has their favorite animal, who enjoys preferential treatment. They (the animal) get extra pampering, and the employee writes their name on the card, which tells the other employees to "DNE". Do Not Euthanize. It's an unfortunate fact that more animals come into the shelter than get adopted out, so occasionally some must be euthanized.

I have a favorite every now and then as well. Maybe about once a month, a dog comes through who just seems to click with me. They're usually the ones who have been abused, but are just so anxious to be loved that they press their whole bodies against the cage door in hopes that you'll brush them with a finger as you pass, then squirm around your feet in joy when you let them out. What can I say, I'm a sucker for Bambi-eyes.

I haven't had a "favorite" for a few weeks, but I got a new one on Saturday. The past couple have been adult dogs, but this one is a puppy, probably only two months old. She looks like she has a little German shepherd in her, maybe a little husky, but she looks like a bear. So, we named her, originally enough, Bear. She's almost old enough to get her shots, then we'll put her up for adoption and I'll cross my fingers for a good family to take her.

While I was at the shelter, my dad called me on my cell and told me my sister went into the hospital for an emergency C-section. There were some complications with the pregnancy, so the doctors decided to take the kid a month and a half early. I got a (family-wide) email a few hours later telling that I have a new neice, and I have my fingers crossed that everything is alright with her. It's one of those things that we just have to wait and see. I'll be praying.

After I left the shelter, I went home, showered, and went straight to school, where I gave my presentation. It went well, and I was able to answer all the teacher's questions, always a good thing. After that, I went back to work for a few hours (I'm a research student). Not sure what's on the schedule for tonight..."And now let's see / What [the next few hours] will do for me!" --Val Jean, Les Mis.

Hopefully, it has something to do with a beautiful girl, who gets off work at 8 p.m. and seems to like me for some reason, I still haven't really figured out why. :)
Sometimes, you just need to get a fresh start in life. You leave your bad habits behind you, swear you'll never do them again, realistically know you will, but hope that you'll have a net gain in the end. And sometimes, those "bad habits" are simply the lack of a good one, like keeping a journal.

So why start a "rwxr--r--" blog instead of a "rwx------" journal? As Enjolras says so succintly to Marius in Les Mis, "Who cares about your lonely soul?" Why clog up the internet tubes with yet another random blog?

Well, first, I just like writing. I would love to be a published, professional author someday, and writing of any sort is good practice. I also belong to a writing group that does an occasional Extremely Short Story Contest, and this blog would be a good place to post my entries, if only to provide my future children some humor. ("That's really your writing, dad? Ha ha! No WONDER you became a radioactive source handler*!")


Second, my girlfriend, Child, expressed an interest in rooting out my innermost thoughts, dreams, secrets and fears, and this blog should be a good way to tantilize her. I can post pointlessly cryptic messages, then smirk irritatingly as she goes crazy trying to figure them out. (She would probably get the quote from Les Mis, which is why I went ahead and cited it, and I posted the comic behind "radioactive source handler" just to make her paranoid that EVERY thing I say has some background to it.)

Third and finally, you know those "de-motivational" posters? You know that one that has the picture of the sinking ship? It's captioned: "Sometimes, your only purpose in life is to serve as a warning to others." So. Yeah. Here's your warning.