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Special Announcment:

In a bid to make “The Storyteller Chronicles” less, well, all over the place, and at the behest of my photography teacher, I’ve started a new blog.  It’s called Corianne’s Colors, and it can be found here. Corianne’s Colors will be focused on my photography and artwork.  Hopefully this means I’ll be able to concentrate more on the writing side of things over here.  Anyway, check it out, enjoy and let me know what you think.

Doggy Psychology

Picture 007

Max, you're expression perfectly sum up my feelings about what happened the other night.

I like to think that I understand dogs, Max and Lulu especially. I want to believe that the hours spent watching Animal Planet, and reading dog training advice (not to mention talking to the Trainers)  during my breaks when I was working at PetSmart weren’t for nothing. I’m quietly smug when I see other people struggling with doggy issues that I know all about. I want to think of myself as a competent dog owner.

The past three years with Max and Lulu, though, have showed me that for all that I though I knew, there’s a million things that I didn’t know.  And just when I think that I’m getting the hang of things, they throw me for a loop, and I’m left struggling in the dark.

For instance, a couple of nights ago I was going to bed at about 2 am. This isn’t as bad as it sounds–I had fallen asleep while reading earlier, and this just happened to be when I woke up,  and had time to brush my teeth and put on pajamas and do all of those other little annoying things that a decent person does before going to bed.

As I was settling down, Max started looking for a toy. This isn’t unusual, because you never know, but I might just wake up in the middle of the night and decide to play with him. Plus, it gives Max a distraction if he’s awake and I’m not. The problem was where he was looking for the toy. He kept pawing at the wall next to the bed, like the toy he wanted had fallen between the bed and the wall.

I thought this was a little strange, but gamely moved the bed away from the wall to try and find the toy he wanted–shih tzu‘s are stubborn, and it’s hard to distract Max from a toy he wants. The problem was, there was nothing there. Max crawled under the bed and looked around, all the while growling and chuffing at me like he wanted to play, and I was hiding a toy from him.  He got back up on the bed, and started digging at the bedding–that was really odd, because when I made the bed in the morning I make sure that any toys that spent the night with the dogs end up on the floor.  Still, I pulled back the blankets and sheets, examining each layer to see if I’d somehow missed a thin toy or something.

I hadn’t, so I put the bed back together, and pushed it back up against the wall, and tried to settle down again, but Max was having none of that–he still kept digging at the wall. I wondered if a walk would distract him from whatever it was he was looking for. Upon putting on shoes–the universally recognized symbol that Cori is about to go outside at our house–Lulu perked up and  followed me to the front door. Max kept digging at the mattress and wall.  I was able to call him to go on the walk, and we were able to get things taken care of, and we headed back upstairs.  Upon re-entering the house, Max, my velcro dog, the one who doesn’t like to be more than 10 feet away from me at any given time, made a beeline for the bed, and started digging and growling and huffing again–still playfully, though with a tinge of irritation.

It had been about forty-five minutes since this whole thing started, and I wanted to go to sleep–and it obviously wasn’t going to happen until Max had figured out that there was nothing there, so I grabbed a blanket and pillow, and went to sleep on the couch–cussing all the time. Here I’m supposed to be at least a quasi dog expert, and I just let my dog chase me out of my bed. As I lay on the couch, I pondered what could have caused Max to behave in such a manner–did we have mice? Possible, but we live on a third floor, and the wall he was digging at is an inside wall–it didn’t face the exterior and isn’t connected to a neighbor’s wall at all. Besides, it would be a weird place for mice to show up, I’d expect them in the kitchen or the bathroom, not the bedroom where the dogs spend most of their day.  Something from the utilities, perhaps? We-e-e-l-l…that wall has electricity, and I THINK it’s where the dryer vent exits, but there isn’t gas or water running through that wall. And as for the dryer vent–we have had starlings nesting in it, but there nest had been cleared out, and a cage put over the exterior hole so they couldn’t build a new one there. And besides, even where there were birds living inside that wall, Max never showed them any interest.

Finally, I convinced myself that it was something from downstairs that Max was smelling, that it just happened to come up along that wall. I wasn’t terribly satisfied with that explanation, but it was an explanation. Explanations are important. Especially when it’s nearing 3am and I want to sleep.

I heard Max in the bedroom for perhaps another 15 minutes, then he decided that whatever it was he wasn’t finding wasn’t worth spending the night away from his person, so he came out to join me on the couch. I took that as a sign that it was okay to move back into the bedroom, and did so with the resolve that if Max’s adventure were to continue, he’d spend the rest of the night locked in the crate.

Fortunately, he had calmed down to the point where his half-hearted growls could be quieted with a heavy hand on the shoulders, and I was able to get some sleep, and even make it to class on time the next day, throughly puzzled about what had happened, and why it had happened.

The next night, I went to bed at a much more decent time, and Max settled down quickly, the way he normally does. While I was going to sleep, I was thinking about the dream I had had the night before, trying to figure out if I could frame it into a story (the answer is no, at least not at this time) and I wondered if what Max was did the night before was the result of being woken up from a dream.

The way I figure it, Max sees me opening up parts of the wall all day long, in the form of doors, windows, cupboards and drawers. If he had been dreaming that I (or someone else) opened up the wall by the bed and hid something there, then I woke him up by coming to bed, would he know the difference between dreams and reality? And, if in his dream,  it was a really good toy or treat or whatever, than of course he’d keep going after it.

I don’t know if the dream explanation makes any sense, after all, I can’t exactly ask Max what he dreams about (well, I can,  I just don’t get an answer). As long as it means that I don’t have mice.

Breaking Up

I’ve been thinking about this for a long time, and have come to the conclusion that “The Storyteller Chronicles” needs to be put on hold.

This may be a permanent move, it may not–but I don’t see myself continuing with this blog in the near future.  It’s funny how that happens–when I didn’t have anything to do, I had a lot of time to think, and therefore write.  Now that I’m back in school–even though I could make the time to write, I don’t want to do a travel log of my days and classes, and I’m having a hard time coming up with random subjects to write about.

So, goodbye.  I might be back.  I might not.  I might recycle this URL, I might not.

Well, I’ll see what happens. Or, I’ll see what happens anyway.  If I’m not blogging about it, I don’t know how y’all are going to find out…

Any more drama, and I’m going to have to turn into a theater major

This adult gorilla uses a branch as a walking ...

Image via Wikipedia: This has nothing to do with my post, I just thought it was amusing that it was suggested as a feature image.

I thought it was over.  I thought I had gotten all the drama out of the way for, if not the semester, than at least the first month.

I was wrong.

So, I missed the first day of school on Wednesday.  I was upset by it, but not terribly, because the first day is simply all about meeting your instructors, going over the syllabus, and making sure you have the right book(s).  For me, this semester…well, it hasn’t quite worked that way.

Anyway, what with modern technology having progressed considerably since I went to school the first time, my syllabuses can be found online. So, last night, I looked up the syllabus for the class that I missed–and, wait a minute…

The names of the lessons were along the lines of “Forming study groups” and “becoming involved” not, as one would expect from a stress management class “meditation” and “keeping thins in perspective”.  So, off to find the catalog to see if I could figure out what exactly was going on.

Well, it turns out that the class I was signed up for wasn’t stress management, it was college success, which, frankly, I should have taken ten years ago.  So, off to see if I could get that changed.

Begin act two.  Or one.  Or the prequel.  Whatever.  This drama thing really isn’t a good move for me…

So, I causally mentioned a hiccup regarding my grades a few posts ago.  Here’s what happened with that.  According to the records, I got an “E” (which is like an “F”, but for some reason, UVU doesn’t give “F”s) in my math class, which put my GPA below a 2.0, which means I got put on academic probation.  Well, I got an email from my math professor explaining that my failing grade was caused by a computer glitch, and I actually got a “D” (which still means I have to take that class over again), which would raise my GPA above 2.0, and thus take me off of academic probation.  The thing is, that hasn’t happened yet.  And, because of the academic probation, there was a hold on my record, so I couldn’t add a class, and, for some reason, I couldn’t drop the class I didn’t want.

So, off to campus today to meet with my advisor, to try and get this fixed.  After explaining the situation twice–she couldn’t understand me through the tears–she was able to take the hold off my record, and agreed that I really needed the stress management class–which, by the way, is not only full, but has a wait list that’s over 20 individuals long.  Which makes two classes now that I know I’ll be taking over the summer.

So, barring, say, a meteor strike, I figure everything that can go wrong has already, so it’ll be smooth sailing from here on out–right? Right?

Why are you laughing like that?

Requisit Resolution Post

While I acknowledge the end of one year and the beginning of the next as a perfect time for change and renewal, I’ve never held much truck to the idea of making resolutions–they don’t tend to stick.

That being said, I have been thinking about what’s happened in 2010, and what I would like to happen in 2011.  Personally, emotionally, I think I’ve made great strides in 2010–and accomplished something I wasn’t planing on–namely, going back to school.  I don’t remember if I made any resolutions for 2010–I could probably look them up here, but I’m far to lazy to do that (now watch WordPress find it automatically for me…)

so, here they are, my goals for 2011.  The goals that one might say I’m resolute to see happen…

  1. Get (and maintain) at least a 3.5 GPA.  Seeings how I got a “D” in one of my three classes this semester, this might be hard, but I think I can do it.
  2. Go to church at least three times a month, and all three meetings at least once a month.  Along with this, scripture study and prayer every day.
  3. Blog every day.  WordPress has a Dailypost challenge thing to help remind people to blog everyday.  I’ve signed up for that…it’s a little intimidating, blogging every day was the goal of The Storyteller Chronicles, and I failed miserably.  So were trying it again.
  4. Write every day.  Not connected to the blog or homework.  Stories, free-writes, whatever.  Every day.  Connected to that…
  5. Write a novel.  150,000 words–that averages out to about 410 words a day–not counting things like outlining and editing.  It doesn’t have to be ready to send to an agent, let alone a publisher.  It doesn’t even have to be good.  It just needs to be a complete, lengthy story.   Um, eep.

Looking over this list, it’s going to be tough, but an easy goal isn’t really a goal, right?  So, here’s to big things happening in 2011!  Now if you’ll excuse me, this big, ambitious list is making me tired.  I’m off to take a nap.

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