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The thing about me and Dog Oliver is that, as a team, we're a dog with anxiety and overstimulation issues working with... a human with anxiety and overstimulation issues.

Cut for discussion of my training issues. )
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Ahahahaha, yes, Dog Oliver is making progress! We spent about half our evening walk pacing in front of this lovely little black pit, and while he knew the other dog was there and kept looking back to see him, Olly stayed nicely at heel and didn't bark once. Then on the last leg we ran into this Obstacle Course of Things to Shriek At (a woman walking another dog towards us, two humans alone that he wanted very badly to meet) and while he pulled twice and barked once, it only took him a hundred feet or so to settle down and walk nicely again. For him, this is very good.

Next up, dog class! We might or might not have failed the class overall, but we've definitely made a ton of progress over the last several weeks. I'll be signing up either for the same class (if we failed) or a different one at the same place after this class ends. Stress or no stress, I love training too much to pass it up, and it's certainly good practice for next time.
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So of course I'm updating this instead of studying more for tomorrow's Plagues test. (Admittedly, I've been studying long enough that my left hand is completely covered in writing--this being one of my odder study habits. It'll all come off tomorrow morning, but for some reason writing information on my skin helps me process it better.)

Er. Time-wasting activity ahoy?

Also spent a chunk of time this afternoon working on desensitizing Dog Oliver to cat by tying him to my foot and then hanging out in my room with all doors open, allowing cat to roam about the apartment. Cat proceeded to stalk to the corner just in front of my door, peer around the corner, and sit there watching us for a good twenty minutes.

Cat is creepy.
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This morning, I slept in a whole hour more than I should have, and consequently decided to skip my morning class and enjoy an hour of lazy, lazy Internet fun rather than doing the Right Thing and studying for my Linguistics test this afternoon.

Unfortunately, I decided to watch a video which included the sound of mewing cats. This prompted Oliver to come racing into my room from the living room, where he had been napping on the couch, and starts barking at me. It took a while for me to figure out what was going on, since Oliver will bark at me for a lot of reasons, first among them irritation at not being fed, and I had to stop and make sure I'd done that this morning. When I figured out it was the cats setting him off, I closed the tab the mewing kitty was in... only to reveal a tab full of pictures of cats. This had very little impact on the barking.

I should probably mention here that Oliver appears to have taken the tortoiseshell who lives in the building behind mine as his Sworn Enemy. He's never had any particular interest in cats or indeed enemies before now, being an extremely lazy little dog, so I can only attribute this to apartment boredom.

Eventually he climbed up on my lap to have a better look at the laptop, realized that it was not a live cat I had hidden on the desk, and subsided.
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 I have no deep thoughts at the moment. All my life is consumed by work and classes and I have a test tomorrow and I CANNOT FOCUS on anything except the dog. (And reading analyses of Huge, which I totally need to catch up on. I keep meaning to read the novel, as well, because I love the TV show so much.) I just noticed that I keep forgetting Poppy when I do run-downs of Official Ace Characters in Media in my head, probably because she doesn't fit the Alien Inhuman Man aromantic stereotypes at all, which I love about her. Gotta stop doing that. Why is it anyway that most of the official ace characters have been male? Is it because of the stereotypes relating to male interest in sex? Must chew on that.

This morning's walk involved a box turtle, which Mighty Hunter Oliver totally failed to notice but which was ADORABLE. The evening walk included a chance meeting with another neighborhood dog, which involved... less barking, anyway, and very happy body language from the other dog, so I am counting it a win.

One of the things I notice about Oliver is that he is totally gung-ho about meeting other dogs and gets very anxious and insistent upon doing so if prevented from approaching--but then once he's up close and sniffing them, he has absolutely no interest in the new dog past initial contact. At the park he mostly wanders around sniffing things or solicits petting from the other humans. (I take him anyway because he seems to enjoy it, but sometimes I think he'd be just as happy if there were no other dogs there, or if they magically vanished once their interesting smells were gone.) 

I also collected 84 virgins today. Tomorrow I get to set up an absurd amount of crosses for work. Go me. 
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I finally achieved emerged flies this afternoon! After two weeks of waiting, it feels awesome to sort of have something to do at work other than obsessively check my stocks to see whether they need mushrooms or water. On Thursday, I operate! (My work makes for the best elevator conversations. I managed to distill the summer's project into one sentence, guaranteed to freak out irritatingly inquisitive people: "Oh, well, I watch flies having sex!" Right now, it's closer to "I operate on flies to see what effect that has on their ability to have sex!" and that's not quite as sharp. I think I still beat my friend's analysis of the effect of the end of the Confederate War on Southern conceptions of masculinity, but it's a narrow thing.)

The dog continues to be constantly itchy and secreting nasty gunk from his eyes. I think he's finally developed an allergy to duck. Next time I go out and buy food, I'm getting him a new protein. 
I have been feeling off, lately. I hope it's not connected to my gnawing worries that seventeen hours for a semester including research is unsustainable for me. At least this fall, I haven't a roommate to lose. (That would be the other consideration; I may simply just not be getting enough social contact. Pity they don't sell vitamins for that.) Well, I only need to survive this one, and then I can take thirteen and twelve-hour semesters for all the rest of college, and have a proper class-less summer besides. Treat myself kindly and all that. 
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 The Oliver and I went to the dog park today. This wasn't so unusual, since Oliver likes bustling around and meeting other dogs and I like not feeling guilty for being the whole of his social interaction. On the other hand, Oliver also has a nasty habit of becoming anxious on lead and pulling, barking, and lunging at people he sees and would like to meet, which is something I have been attempting to divest him of. He was very, very, good, which had the effect of making me very pleased.

On the way out, I ran into my supervisor at work and he just ambled by her and ignored her, which was exactly the kind of behavior I want out of him. Such a good boy.
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 Wow, it's been a long time since I've remembered I meant to post in here. A lot of that is that I simply didn't have the energy to do it until recently; class and work and then a move and then a graduate school visit and then another move and then class and work again will do that to you. (I'm taking 17 hours again, which hopefully will not kill me in the same way that it did last year. Hopefully I'm not being enormously stupid again.) One of those is Human Sexuality, which I anticipate being either enormously interesting or horrifyingly exhausting or possibly both, particularly since an acquaintance I am not yet out to is taking it with me. And I have the dog with me, who is a Very Good Boy, but I don't have the Bestest Roommate In The World, so it gets a bit lonely in my apartment.

Ahahahaha. So much work. 
I think the main issue with this year is going to be avoiding biting off more than I can chew, since I just don't have the spoons to deal with all of it. Work is eating me up, and so is worrying about Oliver and my roommate situation, especially since I'm having to run about and put up flyers since my last roommate will be stuck paying rent until she finds the complex a new person to swallow up, and she's several states away at present. That and managing my blood sugar levels is pretty important. I can already feel myself beginning to forget to eat several times, especially since the way my schedule on campus is set up makes it fairly difficult for me to find a good time to eat lunch and usually by the time I'm heading home my blood sugar is way down. 

I did decide not to Honors-Option Human Sexuality on the theory that writing a paper about HSDD which was not an analysis of the issues inherent in HSDD but rather an uncritical analysis of the topic was going to trigger me into oblivion. (I still might write that former paper. It would make a good submission to the next Asexual Feminism zine, if I can find the time to get it done.) I'm seriously considering simply skipping HSDD day when it comes up for reasons of mental health at this point, and speaking with my professor about why it upsets me so much. For that to happen, though, I will need to be able to calmly discuss HSDD without shaking with a mixture of rage and anxiety. 
At least I'm doing some pretty cool work with the flies, even if all the sensory work I'm doing kind of makes me feel like Dr. Frankenstein. 

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