Sunday, February 8, 2009

dog parks and fried bananas

This weekend was the kind of weekend God had in mind when he created weekends (I was going for a world record there...). I'm serious. The weather was phenomenal. Our "things to do" list was minimal. Our "eating out" envelope (Dave Ramsey devotees, remember?) was full of moneys. I think the orbit of the moon was optimal too, or something...because this weekend was excellent.

To start with, we visited all 3 of the major Athens dog parks. Our beautiful love Lola gets a big old lack of dog interaction during the week, so we try to give her lots of chances to play on the weekends. This weekend she got super lucky. Just in case you're wondering about the happenin' Athens dog park scene, here's a quick re-cap: Memorial Park Dog Park: (Friday afternoon) Although this park is walking distance from our house, we rarely go there because it's rather small. I went, though, because I had an hour and a half to kill before Matt got home and I wanted to get some exercise and enjoy the weather. Anyway, as it turns out, it's for good reason we avoid this dogpark. It's for snobby people with snobby dogs. Seriously. One of my favorite things about the park we usually go to is how friendly people are and how everyone socializes while their dogs socialize. Not so much here. Not only is the park small and mostly dirt (which means it's dusty and the dogs get filthy), but no one talks to you! They talk on their phones or to their sorority sisters they came with (hate to throw out a stereotype, but...well, no I don't.) I even tried to talk to a few people (not in a creepy way, just in the regular way I'm used to people talking in dog parks) and got SHOT DOWN! What is this, middle school? Come on Lola, we're outta here. So we jogged around the pond and chased ducks instead. Perhaps we'd have better luck Saturday. UGA Intramural Fields Dog Park: (Saturday afternoon) This is where we usually go, and for good reason. An absolutely huge off-leash area complete with leash-free trails and multiple open grassy fields for people and dogs to congregate. Here Matt and I sat in the sun and chatted with other Athenians for 2 hours while all the dogs chased and played. This is the epitome of the Athens dog scene, in my opinion. Everyone playing with each others' dogs and chatting as the mood strikes. Perfect. Lola goes home absolutely exhausted, barely able to climb up the steps to the front door. Mission: accomplished. Southeast Athens Park (Wiggly Field): (Sunday afternoon) This was our first trip to Wiggly Field and although it was much much smaller than I'd imagined, it was pretty decent. Again, it was very sandy and dusty, but at least there were water spouts for the dogs to drink from, and a separate place for very small dogs/puppies. I liked that because often times I worry Lola will run all over or eat the small dogs...and if that happens at Wiggly Field, it's not my fault that the owners chose to put their small dog in the Big Dawg playpen! The coolest thing at Wiggly Field is that there is an agility course section, which is where there are the cool obstacle things that the dogs on Animal Planet do. We took Lola over there and discovered that she doesn't have much agility. Big surprise. Next time we will be more prepared and take treats and toys to lure her up onto the bridges and seesaws. This could be our ticket to fame and fortune. we spent much of our weekend outside, which suits me just fine. I also got in a good dose of Gilmore Girls, Matt caught a few episodes of Band of Brothers, and we spent lots of time with both friends and family (and by ourselves). I didn't get as much laundry or housecleaning done as I'd hoped, but I'm sure there will be cold or rainy days this week to catch up on! Perhaps the most productive thing we did was PREPARE AND FILE OUR TAXES!! Wahoo!! And-- wait for it-- this is the first year ever that I not only don't owe the IRS lots of money (I've always had to claim lots of self-employment income)... but WE GET MONEY BACK!!!! It's a miracle. It's only like $250...but hey, that's $250!!! So we're done and filed federal, now just have to figure out a free way to do state (one advantage to being poor: we qualified to have our federal taxes prepared and e-filed for free!). I'm from a family that has never ever filed taxes a day before April 15...and even since I've been on my own, I've always owed so much money that I wait until the last minute to gather it/mail it in...well, this was just a happy milestone for me.

We finished off the weekend by eating at a Chinese buffet with Matt's parents. Sometimes you're just in the mood for Chinese, and lots of it...and man was it good. Best thing ever: they had fried bananas. Don't knock it til you try it, okay? I think I ate a good banana tree's worth. I should be turning into a monkey any minute now. And I will most definitely not be getting any leg cramps for the rest of my life. You think I exaggerate-- I assure you, I do not. I ate like a mad dog. If I had thought about it, I would have written a letter-- maybe even poetry-- to the chef, thanking him/her for them personally.

I believe that is all. Time to get ready for another long (but hopefully good) work week. I need to make Valentines for my students. As much as my job stresses me out, I really do love my kids. And I really do hope that the work my co-interventionists, teachers, and teaching assistants are doing is making a difference in their lives, because those babies are so incredibly heart breaks to think what many of their lives could become. They were created for so much more than what this world has to offer...



  1. I'm glad that you blog me something to read on sunday nights when i am not wanting to go to bed! ;)

  2. never had fried bananas, but fried plantains are amazing! i think the dog park is so fun...even though we have no dog, haha. it's fascinating to see what type of people bring in which breeds of dogs, and how they all interact.

  3. I'm jealous that you already filed your taxes. I come from a family that always did them really early, and here I am still waiting on a W-2 and a 1099. Mostly, I think I just had too many jobs in 2008 (5 if you're wondering).


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