My dog has an identity crisis…

March 11, 2010 at 1:07 am (Uncategorized)

We adopted Luka under the impression that he was a black lab-saint bernard mix. I secretly never believed the saint bernard part though, because when we adopted him he had lab written all over his face. Months later, his hair is long, his tail is flowing, and his ears are just as curly. The lab is still SORT of there, but the saint bernard seemed to make sense.

His heritage being written down on paper doesn’t stop me from protesting that he’s half ______(fill in the blank) every time I watch too much Animal Planet. However, the other day I had an actual challenge to his breed while out on a walk.

A woman riding a bicycle deliberately crossed the street, caught up to us, and stopped right in front of us to chat. (Now, normally I don’t like to stop because Luka loves people, and Luka loves hard. He’s known to knock you over with his excitement, all the while licking every inch of your face, neck, and ears.) I was startled that someone would go out of their way to see him, I mean, he’s handsome but..well actually, he’s handsome enough to stop traffic, sure.

ANYWAY — this woman swears that Luka and her dog, Isaac, could be twins. Isaac is a FCR, or flat coat retriever, which essentially is a black, less furry golden retriever. The woman promised that she’d see me on a walk one day with the famed Isaac and I’d see. She also continually kept encouraging me to “google it!” Sign of the times much?

I’m a good listener, so I googled.

Here’s what I found:

Flat Coated Retriever                                                                                           Luka 

Opinions?

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Anonymous in the City

March 11, 2010 at 12:48 am (Uncategorized)

What is blogging without anonymity? Whether it be comments or the actual blogging, the ability to stay anonymous is often key to keeping the conversation going.

Anonymity gets a lot of negativity thrown at it, but here are a few (semi-positive) things that I’ve come up with for the blogging world:

  • How else is someone going to threaten your life, compliment your writing, and challenge your ideals all in the same comment?
  • Without blogger X, how would you of gotten that great review on that new restaurant you love?
  • If commenter X hadn’t brought up that controversial comment about a certain someone you’ve been deploring, you might not have even thought about it again.
  • If a random, anonymous comment challenges your ideas, you can take it as unbiased (in a sense) and truly consider the comment and not the commenter.

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CVS can read my mind

March 9, 2010 at 1:12 am (Uncategorized)

I’ve gone into CVS three times now with the hope that I could buy some crystal light. Three times I’ve walked out disappointed, and thirsty.

I can’t understand that a store that sells such a variety of items (most recently you could buy a leather coat for $29.99!), wouldn’t sell a simple drink mix. Riddle of the sphinx?

ANYWHO, today I walked in, fingers crossed, that amongst the drinks I would find my beloved crystal light mix. I searched, and searched, walking up and down aisle 9.

TADA! “New item” — crystal light.

life complete =)

Also, CVS is reading my mind…

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Some Narrative Journalism…obviously about Luka

February 18, 2010 at 5:35 am (Uncategorized)

“We’re just going to look…” I said as we walked to the car.

It was one of those freezing fall days, where you could of sworn it was winter. The red and orange leaves drowned my car and littered the grass – Halloween decorations flew in the wind.

It was the first day I had to use the seat warmers since last March, and it was the first day I’d worn gloves. The night before, a Friday night, had been so cold that we’d forgone going out. Instead, we made some popcorn, and rented Marley & Me.

That’s where this fiasco all began.

Marley & Me was a book before it was a movie, and I had read it a year prior. I remembered thinking how the menacing yellow lab, Marley, could have been a clone of my yellow lab. I also remembered how terrible of a puppy Shana was, and how now at 7 years-old she had only just calmed down. If anything, this movie made me glad I was 196 miles away from home, and away from the zoo that is my house.

This movie did the opposite, however, for my boyfriend Carl.

The entire time after the movie all I heard about was how Carl needed a “pal.” Not a dog, but a “pal.” A couple of month’s prior I had talked him into adopting a kitten by observing, or rather making up, how lonely his first cat was. I convinced him Layla needed a friend, and so a few days later we brought home Tessie. The fact that I had won in the kitten battle seemed to push Carl further into the idea of adopting his “pal.”

I was happy with the two cats, but I entertained the idea.  I even threw in “a puppy would be fun,” to back up my falsities.

That’s how we ended up driving to Menands, N.Y. on that fall day. We traveled the 30 minutes from Clifton Park, N.Y. to Menands, N.Y. and arrived at the Mohawk Humane Society, the same place both Tessie and Layla had been adopted. We walked through the cat section, and while I held back every urge to adopt them all, Carl pushed open the door with the giant paw prints on it.

The overwhelming smell of wet dog hit me, and the yelping pierced my ears. Immediately I felt terrible for these canine leftovers.

We began walking from cage to cage, examining the stats on each dog like we were purchasing a car. Some dogs weren’t good with cats, some dogs weren’t meant for apartments, and some dogs just weren’t friendly. Seeing all the cages and the anxious look on the dogs’ faces, I felt they needed a “pal” too.

We walked through the dog room for what felt like hours. We had a few dogs that seemed friendly enough, but no one seemed to click with us. Feeling defeated, We walked to the last cage.

We looked inside at the tiny black puppy, seeing his big curly ears before we noticed anything else. He was a lab mix, and he had just gotten to the shelter a few days before we had. He had literally only been on the adoption floor for two minutes.

He cowered in the corner with every strange bark he heard. He didn’t look like he belonged there. He looked like he had been transplanted from his home by accident, and he wasn’t sure how to get back.

He was perfect.

We took him out to play in the exercise pen to see if he would open up to us – he did. He ran circles around us, chased balls, licked our faces, and got dirt everywhere.  Carl and I discussed how we’d take care of him, if he’d fit in our schedules, in his apartment, in our lives. We decided that we couldn’t make the decision in front of him. We knew we couldn’t be honest in front of a face like that.

We took a left out of the shelters parking lot, and found a Dunkin’ Donuts. I suggested that we get some coffee and discuss our options. Carl agreed, and we pulled into the coffee shop.

I ordered a cinnamon coffee, and Carl ordered a hot chocolate. We discussed our options with the man who took our order. He reaffirmed our beliefs. “Adopt the pup. Just do it. Ya’ll gonna love him,” he said, and handed over our order.

Carl and I sat down at the sticky, wobbling table, sipping our drinks.

“Lets just adopt him. We’ll make it work. We can’t leave him there,” I said.

Carl nodded, and with that we both threw out our full cups and raced to the car.

Flying into the parking lot of the shelter, I prayed that no one had scooped him up. They hadn’t. Within 20 minutes we had filled out the paperwork, paid the $250, and scheduled when we’d pick him up.

Three days later, with a green leash and collar in hand, I walked in to pick up our puppy. Luka, a name Carl picked out, happily hopped into my car, rested his head on the center console, and looked up at me as I drove him up the Northway back home.

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To Wiki, or not to Wiki…

February 18, 2010 at 12:43 am (Uncategorized)

Wikipedia has been the source of a lot of controversy in both the academic and social worlds. For a while, Wikipedia was the laughing stock within the world of JSTOR and LexisNexis. A website where the user could alter information was unheard of. The fact that I was able to change Benedict Arnold to Alexis Gaines within a matter of minutes just made Wikipedia a joke.

 

“Never has starting an argument been easier than to click the word “edit” on a Web site and rewrite history, science or a current event. Who says the United States landed on the moon first? I am pretty sure it was Russia. JFK was never assassinated; I’m to assume he lives a carefree life with Elvis and Tupac in the Florida Keys.” (site found)

In recent years however, Wikipedia has made efforts to increase their academic standing. If you look up “is wikipedia reliable” on the website, you can find a whole page devoted to reliability and verity.

Wikipedia articles should be based on reliable, published sources, making sure that all majority and significant-minority views that have appeared in reliable, published sources are covered”

Wikipedia seems to believe that their material is reliable, however others seem to be in opposition of such an idea. The example that Stephen Colbert provided with his African Elephant stunt was an effective jab at the reality of wikipedia. His creation of “wikiality” led a revolution of sorts in the wikipedia world.

“‘Wikiality,’ which he defined as “a reality where, if enough people agree with a notion, it becomes the truth.” To demonstrate, Colbert told viewers he was going to silence the endangered-species lobby by claiming that the population of African elephants had increased threefold in the previous six months. Within hours, so many changes had been made to Wikipedia, the popular, communally edited, online reference site, that its administrators had to restrict access to its “elephant” and “Stephen Colbert” entries.” (site found)

The fact of the matter is, that if a simple comedian/television host could alter an endangered species’ information on wikipedia, the information cannot be trusted.

Now, all information on Wikipedia is not something to ignore due to verity issues. The cited sources at the bottom are always a great way to find academic sources on a specific topic. If one can ignore the so called “facts” and just use the sources as a starting point, then Wikipedia is a great resource. The end all and be all argument is that:

Wikipedia is not a reliable source for facts

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I am the former audience, hear me roar.

February 18, 2010 at 12:24 am (Uncategorized)

I feel like I’m part of a club, “the former audience alliance”…or something like that. I was the reader, the consumer, the viewer. However, things have changed.

I can sit at my desk, writing a blog about the snow, my dog, my brunch date, whatever I so choose. I can publish. I am no longer stuck in my reader role. I can branch out, and I can comment.

Commenting seems to be the easiest way to break out of the reader bubble. The bubble which contains all those who choose not to publish, only to consume. In essence, I appreciated being in that bubble, but being a publisher is far more interesting.

If you write it, I can debate it. If you post it, I can post back. I hold the power through feedback.  I am the former, disgruntled audience. I’m also the former applauding audience. I now don’t have to force all of my opinions into a letter to the editor, I can comment them directly on the article. I can even gain fellow commenters to add and support my comment. As the former audience, we are a growing team.

I love being the former audience, and the current publisher.

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Dear Twitter, I apologize…

February 18, 2010 at 12:15 am (Uncategorized)

Dear Twitter,

At first, I hated you.

I was sick of reading about Heidi Montag’s breakfast, or CNN’s latest find. I was tired of my phone buzzing at all hours of the night, and I was especially tired of sifting through the “news” to find a story I heard about.

I despised you, and I’m sorry.

I’ve now turned off the alerts on my phone, so sleeping soundly has made you more appealing. I’ve un-followed the celebrities, and focused on the news. I’ve realized that I much prefer you, twitter, to sifting through headlines. I’m enjoying being able to re-tweet to friends and family about news stories I find interesting.

I’m going to use you now, in a journalistic sense, of course. I’m not going to tweet about my socks being mismatched (left red, right blue), or that my oatmeal spilled over in the microwave (cinnamon flavor stains…FYI). I’m going to legitimately read the highlights, get ideas for stories, and most importantly, follow St. Rose and find out how I can annoy them enough to let me into their grad program…kidding…kind of.

Yours Truly,

Alexis

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“Oh the weather outside is…weather”….a rant/babbling of sorts

February 16, 2010 at 6:22 pm (Uncategorized)

I think I’m the only one excited about snow…well, the only human. I’m beginning to realize that the majority of my blogs contain my Luka anectdotes, but he just cracks me up, so we’ll have to deal.

ANYWAY

In true Luka-ness, the snow turned him into a canine snow blower. He ran outside, realized it was snowing, and his nose hasn’t left the ground since. I swear, he’s obsessed.

This cute picture isn’t the true reason for this blog though, the true story is in how he dragged me across the grass a good 50 feet before he ran back and trampled my face. Ahh puppies.

Regardless of his adorable face, he most definitely caused some serious hurt. I’m convinced that in my old age of 20 (almost 21!) I’m getting hurt easily. My falling up the stairs last semester really did me in for way longer than it should have, and currently I’m sitting on a pillow typing this, so maybe I need some calcium…or whatever us old people require.

Off to blog about way more journalistic events =)

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Polling

February 10, 2010 at 2:58 am (Uncategorized)

I’ve never done a poll before. Well, actually, that’s not true…I took a poll once for a math class in 7th grade.

“Do you eat cheetos, or do you eat doritos?”

The results were bone-chilling.

Either way, I’d like to do a poll on my blog. I’m not entirely sure that anyone reads it other than my Professor, and maybe my Dad, but here goes nothing! (About my favorite subject – gag – twitter!)

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“Women of Troy”

February 10, 2010 at 2:52 am (Uncategorized)

This semester I’m enrolled in a Narrative Journalism class. It’s something I’m pretty interested in, because it’s a completely different style of writing than I am used to. Regardless — we watched/read this article on the Nieman Narrative Digest site from Harvard (ooh la la) and I found it really interesting. I figured linking it to my blog would be the best way to share it…

link (click for entire article)

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