Monday, October 31, 2011

Are you a Psycho?

In honor of Halloween, I have a fun little test. I actually have to hand it to Big Black Cat for reminding me of it just in time for Halloween.

The rules for the Psycho test.
1. Read all the text
2. Write down your answer
3. Do not change your answer, so write it down somewhere (or post it below)
4. I’ll respond to posters with the results as I get them, but I’ll post the answer to the psycho test tomorrow.
**I don't think I really need to mention, but this test doesn’t actually tell you if you’re a psycho, but the answer might creep you out

Are you ready?

The Psycho Test

Maria’s mother died. At the funeral, Maria sees a really hot guy. She’d love to try to meet up with him, but funerals aren’t really the place for that sort of thing, so Maria finds out who he is instead. The really hot guy is the son of one of her father’s friends.

Two weeks later, Maria kills her sister.


Post your answers, and I’ll let you know if you’re a psycho or not…

Oh, and just so as everyone knows, according to this test, I’m a psycho. (Shocked?)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Almost treading water

As you might have guessed by checking out that counter over there → I’m in full panic mode. I turned in a chapter last week, and got one back from the advisor of doom. This means my brains have gone to mush. It feels like finals week every week. I've beaten back the dissertation, but it's already oozing out the sides of my computer and it's back to work for me. I seriously don’t know how I’m going to keep this up, and I still have a little over a month before the Dissertation is due into the office, so this is definitely the long stretch.

Oh, right, and because my brain is mush I have a hard time remembering that other people don’t know (and often don’t care) that grad school is crazy. So I’ll leave you all with a clip from The Simpsons and beg off. I swear, I’ll get back to the usual me… someday. Maybe even someday soon. Oh, and if anyone has questions, feel free to send ‘em my way. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Couch Slayer

First off, I’ve been sort of a bad person. I received some blog awards, and I didn’t acknowledge them here. It’s not that I’ve been too busy, but these blog awards are difficult to send back out into the world. I keep coming up with the lists of people I’d give the awards to, but then I forget and another month goes by. So that’s coming up, maybe over the weekend, we’ll see.

Today’s story is about Indiana, the couch eating dog.

Here’s a picture of him. Isn’t he sweet and cute? 
Indiana, couch slayer

But beneath that teddy bear like exterior lurks the heart of a couch eater. Well, actually, his palette is not so discerning as to have a preference. Oh no, he eats all manner of things from wallboard to rocks, and everything in between, and it is only by the grace of Cernunos that the dog still lives.

When we first brought this sweet dog home, he was everything a person could want in a dog. He was sweet with soft fur and strong personality. He quickly charmed the other two dogs of the house, and generally made himself at home. But then we went out for dinner with my parents.

When we came back our cute little teddy bear was lying on the floor, wagging his tail, looking much like the cat who ate the canary. Then we saw the first tuft of carpet. Then we saw another. Our horror only grew as we found a hole 8 feet wide and 8 feet long in the carpet. Everything was gone, the carpet the carpet pad; it even looked like someone had licked the cement slab. We just stood in horror staring at the hole in the carpet. Then someone said “What did he do with it? He didn’t eat it, did he?”

We searched, but found only a couple puffs of carpet fiber. He had actually consumed the vast majority of the carpet. *Sigh*

That weekend we tore out the carpet and laid down tile. $1000 (My peeps are awesome sauce when it comes to doing tile floors).

We thought that would solve the problem, I mean seriously, good luck eating tile flooring dog.

The next time he was left to his own devices, he chewed a hole through the wallboard. I patched it up with some putty, but I can still see it.

Floor boards? Chewy snacks.

Books? He just devours them. And not because they were just laying around. No, no, he went and pulled them off the book shelf and eviscerated them in the middle of the living room. I could have cried—okay, I did cry.

DVDs? They’re good for cleaning the teeth.

Plastic bags, thread, the sewing machine, the garbage, anything and everything, including things I had previously thought impossible to consume. I was wrong. When he ate rocks we took him to the vet, and she just laughed. Looking back at that moment, it was a lot like watching the nurses trying not to laugh when I said my daughter had stuffed cheerios up her nose.

Except the kid cost $15 to have her nose looked at. The dog: $1500.

For weeks we’d come home and there’d be a trail of detritus that started at the door, and we’d just follow it with dread. He could climb up onto the counters, so nothing was safe: Coffee maker, knives from the butcher block, dirty dishes, remote controls, power chords. Nothing was safe—I kept my laptop in a drawer or in my backpack.

And every time we’d come home, he’d just look at us like “Hi, I took care of the demon possessed throw rug you bought. Also, I think the tea pot may have been poisoned, so I ate it just to be sure.”

Having consumed every challenge known to dog kind, he set his sights higher: the couch. Surely no dog had ever eaten a whole couch. Well, the love seat actually. Now, I have to be truthful: I hated that couch set. It was black leather, and we’d really worn it out. There were some things that were great about it, but it was guilty by association. I’d written my master’s thesis while sitting in that couch, sticking to the cushions, and alternately melting or freezing depending on the time of year. It never looked clean, and it always looked frumpy at best, lounge lizard at worst.

But then we came home and there was a tiny tear in the back of the love seat. Indiana just wagged his tail, but we all knew it, he’d marked his next victim. The loveseat was a goner if we didn’t do something and fast. We went straight out and bought a slip cover (which we should have done long before, really). That night, he tore apart the slip cover, and in case we hadn’t figured out how he felt about it, he peed on the pile of torn canvas. Still, the couch had lived through the night. The next day he tore off a single panel and ate it. Just one. It was like he was savoring the couch.

We moved the couch up against a wall so he couldn’t get to the back panels. When we got home the next time, the couch was pulled away from the wall, and there sat Indiana looking smug, fat and happy. He’d eaten the entire back of the couch.

The next day, it was a cushion.

The day after, an arm.

It was like watching some horror movie aimed at living room furniture. For a while he was content to just eat the skin off the couch (great mother of science that sounds really twisted), but then he started to eat the stuffing. In one afternoon—actually we were only gone for an hour or so—he reduced what was left of the couch to a skeleton with a few scraggly bits of leather hanging off.

And we never found the pieces…

That’s not strictly speaking true, it’s just impolite to talk about where we found the pieces.

So yeah, Indiana the twenty thousand dollar dog. Maybe I’ll get a Chihuahua next time…

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Just a quick note

People often ask me what is so great about being a scientist, and here it is in a nutshell.

Today a good friend of mine defended her dissertation (Yay Dr. Ninja!). We had champagne afterward in the director’s office. One of his jobs is to collect meteorites and have them categorized. So he passed around a meteorite.

A meteorite that might be from Mars.

Seriously, I just held a chunk of rock that’s probably worth a million dollars (it was about the size of my fist). No matter what it turns out to be (though Mars is pretty damned likely given the other evidence, we’ll have to wait for the smoking gun later), this rock fell from the sky and is a piece of another planet.

Yeah, I held a rock from another planet today. That’s why being a scientist is so cool.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

One who panics

Right, so I’m sure everyone here has read the Douglas Adams books (and if not, they’re a real blast and an excellent view into the British psyche), but the title of this post boils down to this: there are two types of people in this world, those who panic and those who don’t. At some distant past, our ancestors were likely presented with the panic scenario, a saber tooth tiger hopped out of the bushes, and those who panicked and ran away, lived to reproduce. Those who did not panic were presumably eaten by the tiger (being slower than their panicked counterparts).

I panic.

I like to think of it as a solid survival mechanism.

So the other day I was thinking about how much time until my defense and I realized that I had sixty days almost exactly. Yikes! There’s still a ton of work to do, but ZOMG 60 days?? That sounds like a much smaller number than two months. So, I’m considering not entering MSFV contest, and to do, you know, that dissertation thing. But of course, the way my luck works is that the moment I make a decision like that, my advisor will push back the date, so I still have two weeks to make a decision one way or the other.

Anyhow, I suddenly can’t even think right. I was sitting on the bench at my hockey game (it’s hockey, everyone sits for at least half the period, you’d just die the other way) and all I could think was “Sixty days? OMG sixty days!”

So, there’s a counter in the sidebar, so everyone knows (and so I don’t waste so much time counting the days on a calendar *sigh*).

I’m known for my foolish decisions, so I’ll probably start querying right before I defend anyway. Eh, I work best under pressure, and I’m going to have lots of pressure, so it’ll be some of my very best work, I’m sure *snort*.