Tuesday, December 30, 2008

flip baby flip

Merry Christmas and almost Happy New Year! My favorite Christmas gift this year was a Flip video camera that I got from my parents. So I decided to become even more of a blogger-type-internet-loving-techno-geek and start my own youtube channel (the camera can upload them directly onto the site for you, so I figured why not?). It took me a while to figure everything out, but I have uploaded my first video from the holidays, mostly of my sisters and I being silly at the ice forum. What can I say... I've got mad skills. Or is it "skillz"?

Friday, December 19, 2008

ying and yang

I found a small part of our home together that serves as an excellent illustration of the difference between me and my husband. And why I sometimes want to kill him.

This is my bedside table.

And this is Joe's.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


I found myself in a certain mood the other afternoon that requires looking at old pictures and reading old letters. There's a box that I keep in my closet just for when I get in these kinds of moods. Mostly, it has my London memorabilia in it (posters, letters from friends, programs, my IDS portfolio). I found my travel journal that I actually did a pretty decent job of keeping up with for my semester abroad, and I have been reading it for the past day or so now. It's funny to read about things that I did as though it was someone else that did it... I guess the passage of time can do that. The strangest parts to read are when I write about little details or funny things that happened that I don't really remember. I guess that is why I kept a journal. But anyway, I had a written a note to myself (what an odd concept... "dear future me, check this out!") to look up a certain poem that I discovered while in London. I couldn't remember much about it, nor had I written it anywhere in the journal (other than the title and author) so I googled it. I still love the poem... maybe even more now because of the feelings and the memories it brings with it. Here it is:


By Wislawa Szymborska

From "Nothing Twice", 1997
Translated by S. Baranczak & C. Cavanagh

I prefer movies.
I prefer cats.
I prefer the oaks along the Warta.
I prefer Dickens to Dostoyevsky.
I prefer myself liking people
to myself loving mankind.
I prefer keeping a needle and thread on hand, just in case.
I prefer the color green.
I prefer not to maintain
that reason is to blame for everything.
I prefer exceptions.
I prefer to leave early.
I prefer talking to doctors about something else.
I prefer the old fine-lined illustrations.
I prefer the absurdity of writing poems
to the absurdity of not writing poems.
I prefer, where love's concerned, nonspecific anniversaries
that can be celebrated every day.
I prefer moralists
who promise me nothing.
I prefer cunning kindness to the over-trustful kind.
I prefer the earth in civvies.
I prefer conquered to conquering countries.
I prefer having some reservations.
I prefer the hell of chaos to the hell of order.
I prefer Grimms' fairy tales to the newspapers' front pages.
I prefer leaves without flowers to flowers without leaves.
I prefer dogs with uncropped tails.
I prefer light eyes, since mine are dark.
I prefer desk drawers.
I prefer many things that I haven't mentioned here
to many things I've also left unsaid.
I prefer zeroes on the loose
to those lined up behind a cipher.
I prefer the time of insects to the time of stars.
I prefer to knock on wood.
I prefer not to ask how much longer and when.
I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility
that existence has its own reason for being.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

FDX, baby!

This weekend Libby and I went to our first flyball tournament, the Jingle Bell Jump in Talladega, Alabama. We carpooled down with the captain of our flyball team (Double Dog Dare), Dana, and one of the other long time members, Angie. Between the two of them they have SIX dogs: Josie the greyhound, Huey and Dustin the whippets, Siren the staffie mix, Bailey the american eskimo, and Ivy the border collie. Angie also owns Rooster (who is Libby's twin, except he is a red heeler mix instead of blue) but he didn't come to this tournament. If you go here, you can see the dogs. Rooster is in the far right column. Anyway.

So in our van there were 3 people and 7 (SEVEN!) dogs. It wasn't as bad as it sounds. Dana had taken out all of the seats in the back except for one captain's chair in the middle. Three dogs were in their kennels in the far back and the rest were loose. They all behaved very well.

Let me preface the rest of this post by saying that I had pretty low expectations for Libby. Everyone had said that the dogs usually freak out at their first tournament. It's loud and crazy, with about 200 or so dogs all in one big room barking their little heads off. Plus, the days are long with racing usually starting at about 7am and going as late as 8:30pm.

But Libby was a CHAMP! Her first race she didn't do too hot, but still better than I would have thought. She was definitely excited and knew that her goal was to get the ball and come bring it back to mom. She was really calm in her kennel, but barking and howling like crazy in the ring waiting to run. She never balked at the hurdles on the way down, but we had to pull her halfway through the first race because she kept skipping the jumps on the way back. Fortunately, though, she stayed in our teams' lane and still came right back to me. She just didn't want to jump. I would have been happy if that was all she did- she was focused on the ball, she didn't even notice the other dogs or people, she came right back to me and would stay with me and wait for her next run... it was way more than I had hoped for!

For warm-ups later, we put a gate up by the box to make sure she would come back over the jumps. The next two races she ran PERFECTLY in all 5 heats per race. The first one got her her first title (FD). The next ones she ran got her her SECOND title (FDX)! We figured out that for some reason she only skipped jumps on the way back in the left lane, and unfortunately her last race of the weekend was in the left and she had to get pulled again. And unfortunately, a lot of other dogs were having meltdowns on our team, so it was kind of a disaster near the end of the weekend anyway. But I was super excited that she had gotten two titles her first weekend (apparently that is really rare and everyone was really impressed). Hopefully we'll be going to our second tournament in January. If we can fix the left lane problem, she'll be up for her third title!

So for now you can call her Libby Caldwell, FDX.