July 28th, 2006


Peace and Harmony in the Rat Cage

This is impressive. They are all four sharing a corn cob, peacefully and calmly. Nobody has pulled it away from anyone, nobody has stepped on anyone else's head, nobody has freaked out and tried to hide it behind themselves, nobody has gotten all greedy and -- wait.

Never mind.
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What is home?

Hm, this looks interesting. Via serenejournal:

From the altfriday5:

1. What makes you feel as if where you live is your "home", rather than just somewhere to stay?

All my stuff is here. More than that, all my stuff is arranged in a manner which is pleasing to me, and I know where it all is. I plan to be here for a long time, and I like that idea.

2. How "homey" does your current abode feel to you?

Pretty homey. I am dissatisfied with five things:

1. It gets really hot upstairs.
2. Downstairs is not laid out well for entertaining.
3. People using the pool are sometimes noisy, as are people at the school next door during the school year.
4. No backyard; dogs not allowed.
5. The gate is irritating when we want people to visit or deliver things.

Other than that, it's great. It definitely feels like home. We're not here permanently, but we are here indefinitely; we are probably not moving out until we're actually buying a place. I don't think we could find a rental we'd be happier with.

3. What would your dream home be like?
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4. What would your nightmare home be like?

Squalid, dark, cold, and inconveniently located. Things would break all the time, it would be too expensive, and the neighbors would hate us and each other. It would be shared with roommates of odious personal habits, loud and horrible musical tastes, and no sense of privacy whatsoever.

5. Of all the places you have lived in your life, where did you feel most "at home"?

Here. I was attached to the house I grew up in, but that was strictly the house and the backyard. I didn't feel like the city at large was really home. Here, I have lovely home-feelings for (parts of) several cities in multiple directions. I haven't even been here any appreciable length of time, but this is it, can't get me away, will dig fingernails into ground to avoid being pulled elsewhere.

In which I am interviewed by firecat

1. do you play piano or just listen? what's your favorite piece/composer?

I play a lot more than I listen, because I'm bad at finding music I like. Right now, I am mostly playing things I got from Gilbert DeBenedetti's website, because they are (a) free and (b) simplified. I am particularly fond of the versions of Beethoven's Für Elise and Moonlight Sonata that are there.

2. i love the gravity's rainbow review in your quote file. when/why did you start collecting quotations?

When I was at TAMS, so somewhere between ages 15 and 17. This:

"Dressed in hunting shirts and armed with muskets with long, grooved barrels, they [early American revolutionaries] preferred to ambush their opponents or engage them in hand-to-hand combat rather than fight in traditional formations. They also tended to kill unnecessarily and to torture prisoners."
-- George Brown Tindall & David Emory Shi, America (Brief Fourth Edition)

was the first quote I collected; I wrote it on a piece of notebook paper, because that textbook had to be returned at the end of the semester. Later, when I had multiple sheets of paper, I turned it into a computer file, and have been occasionally adding things ever since.

Why is basically because I didn't want to forget them. If I could memorize them, I'd do that instead, but my memory is somewhat faulty and requires external support.

3. once you run out of greek goddesses, what will you name your rats?

Well, they're not all goddesses now; Niobe's a mortal, Echo's a nymph, and Clio and Calliope are muses. I average out to somewhere between one and two new rats per year; at that rate Greek mythological figures should hold me for basically ever. If at some point I suddenly began keeping much larger numbers and by some miracle ran out of names, I would probably expand into either historical figures or other cultures' mythologies. While I'd rather not reuse names or name a rat "Eris Jr." or "Tyche the Third", I might consider alternate spellings / variations of names I've used before (so it's just barely possible that there might be a Kalliope some day).

4. what do you think of stephen jay gould?

I think he was a fantastic author. I have most of his collections of essays. He was also a pretty influential thinker; punctuated equilibrium makes a great deal of sense, particularly in some of the ways it's been synthesized with other modes of operation. I got to see him speak once, at the University of Texas, and that was a lovely experience.

When creationists misquote him or pretend that things he did say mean things completely different from what they did, I get angry.

5. what kind(s) of dog(s) would you have if you had the right sort of back yard for them?

This is another one of those problems where I have a lot of incompatible desires. I really like working dogs, such as border collies or German shepherds. I like that they're smart, I like that they can do useful things, I like their pointy noses. However, I don't have anything useful for a dog to do other than kind of hang out and keep me company, maybe fetch some stuff now and again or do a bit of obedience. A border collie would not do well with me; it would be bored out of its skull. I also like larger dogs; andres_s_p_b was bitten by a German shepherd as a child and is therefore somewhat wary of big dogs.

I absolutely don't want a dog that's going to have aggression issues around other dogs, kids, or (ideally) smaller animals such as cats. Sighthounds are gorgeous, but they have really high prey drives, which makes them unlikely to get along well with small pets.

The breed that seems to best match my needs, as far as I can tell without interacting with a truly enormous number of dogs, is either a smooth-coated collie or a standard poodle; while this is interesting information, it doesn't actually help me find a dog, because I'll be looking in shelters or possibly accepting an accidental puppy that someone needs to find a home for. I prefer mutts to purebreds in any case, so what I'm really looking for is a dog that's smart enough to train easily but not so smart that my boring ol' home will drive it crazy, [submissive/dependent/what's the word I'm looking for?] enough to learn what I want it to learn instead of how to manipulate the humans, active enough to play with but not so active that it needs more exercise than I can give it, and friendly or at least neutral to every other living creature in the world. Reasonably attractive is a plus.

Ideally, I want a young adult dog that has all these qualities and has been perfectly raised, beautifully trained, well loved, and just lost its perfect owner in some kind of tragic accident (or overseas military assignment, or something -- perfect owners don't just get rid of perfect dogs).

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