Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Dog's Days Are Over

  If you are a dog lover, please refrain from reading this post. You will think I am a terrible person. Don't get me wrong, I like dogs just as much as anyone else. The difference is that my dog was more of a nuisance and trouble maker than all other dogs I've encountered. I think we picked the wrong one out of the litter fifteen years ago when we thought we had chosen a female. Nope. Instead we picked Sid. It doesn't really make sense why the dog acted the way it did; thrashing the garbage on a regular binge, running away for hours on end, viciously attacking the mailman, or just being an irritable animal. Although Sid had many, many negative traits, there are still those lingering funny memories and stories that are worth remembering. Sid recently expired after his final garbage feast. My parents told me that his usual energy level was fading and he could barely walk up and down the street. Plus his stubby little legs probably couldn't support the weight of his sausage body. 
  This is a momentous occasion not only because the dog lasted for so many years, but because its wild antics created a well known reputation in town. If anyone knocked on the front door of my house Sid was there barking ferociously. But he was all bark...at least indoors, anyway. He definitely took a chunk out of the mailman after being maced. The dog seemed invincible. After running away for hours or stuffing himself with garbage or even a pound of fudge, we came to believe that the dog could recover from any incident. If Sid was anything worth complimenting, he was definitely a good guard dog and an entertainment on Christmas morning. I'll insert the picture from last XMas. It was always funny that Sid shared the anxious excitement of Christmas Day with everyone else gathered around the tree. If you were sitting on the floor unwrapping your gift, Sid would waddle over and inspect the package with intense curiosity - pressing his nose to the surface and puffing rapidly. Usually this led to ripping off little shreds of wrapping paper bit by bit, occasionally sticking to his teeth. If he happened to open one of his own edible gifts, he'd prance around with it all morning, or devour it in a minute. Oh, the good times. Just look at Santa's little helper!
  One incident that I will always remember is ordeal with my sister's expensive handbag. Although I wasn't there to experience the event firsthand, it goes to show how well the stories depict Sid's behavior. One night my parents were out at a friends house when they got a distress call from my sister. She said that Sid had a bag stuck on his head and she couldn't take it off because the dog was panicking and biting anyone who tried to help. When she explained that the bag was one of her more expensive purses, my parents promptly rushed home to save the bag. They found Sid with his head inside the purse with the wooden handles tightly choking him. Being choked was old hat to Sid; on walks he always pulled his leash so tight that he barely breathe between violently loud wheezes. So, my parents struggled to remove the purse from Sid's head while my sister cowered in fear for the safety her bag. After a few bites to the hands they freed Sid, who then hacked up two whole gummy worms. I wonder if all that trouble was really worth two pieces of candy. For Sid, I think any endeavor was worth the sacrifice if it involved food. 
  Although Sid was unpleasant (to say the least) most of the time, it made the good times even better because it proved that he could be a good dog if he really wanted to. I think part of the reason for his unacceptable behavior is the fact that he was half Jack Russel / Australian Cattle Dog. One side is rambunctious and energetic, the other has an insatiable desire to be outside and to run. We walked him all the time, but it was never enough. I'm sure being in the house at all was more than he would've liked. The fact that he ran away at any given chance removed any possibility of granting him the privilege to wander the yard on his own. Yes, there are certain things we could have done to solve this problem, like maybe an electric fence. I don't think Sid felt pain, so that would never have worked. Despite all the embarrassing and destructive things that Sid instigated, the dog was a major part of my life at home. Sure, it would've been nice to have a dog that was friendly and well behaved all the time, yet Sid's erratic behavior was certainly unique compared to the other family pets in town. I feel like I'm being rather nice with this recap of Sid's life. If you ask me in person what I thought about him I might sound cruel. It's difficult for some people to understand because they didn't live with the animal for fifteen years or see it on a daily basis. In conclusion, I think I've painted an accurate picture of Sid in this post and I could write much more. I would rather tell you in person. So do you think all dogs go to heaven? Wherever Sid went he he's having a hell of a good time!

  Now for the weekend. On Saturday afternoon I took a cab to Siam Paragon with a few friends to look around. Everything there is incredibly expensive and you can find almost any name brand store there. We even found Maserati, Lotus and Lamborghini showrooms with the cars inside. On Saturday night the St. Gabriel's faculty treated us to a fancy Chinese buffet at the tallest hotel in Bangkok. From our own private room on the 80th floor we had a great view of the city skyline. The buffet was endless. I think we had twelve courses including an assortment of fried seafood, soft shell crab, wonton soup, dumplings, salad, and sushi all before my main course of Australian lamb chops. After eating forever I felt like passing out at the table because I didn't want to move. It was the biggest meal I've eaten in a long time. I imagine that's how Sid felt after his occasional feast. When we had all finished we went up to the top of the building to enjoy the view from the outdoor rotating observation deck. Bangkok is not a tall city compared to New York. The hotel is easily recognizable from the roof of any building. 
  On Sunday I went with a friend to the Pantip electronics market to pick up some desirable computer programs. I bought Rosetta Stone for Thai and Pro Tools 9, one of the most advanced music studio programs. Normally Rosetta Stone and Pro Tools would cost upwards of $200-$300. I bought bootlegs for $10-$20. Pro Tools is nearly impossible to set up because there are so many loopholes you have to jump through to trick the computer into running the imitation program. I guess I got what I paid for. I decided it did more harm than good, so I bailed on the installation. As for Rosetta Stone, I still have to dabble with that. I'll report back when I've tested it out. 

  Plans for October break: I have a month off to do whatever I please. My plans thus far involve a solo trip to the beach for a few days (location to be determined), taking a train from Bangkok to Cambodia with a few friends and traveling around there for a week, then flying from Cambodia to Vietnam to meet more of the Loyola group for a week. This is the rough outline of things I would like to do. A more detailed plan will be posted prior to departure. 

Song of the Day: Same Same but Different
  The spotlight is on Empire of the Sun, another band from Australia! I think most people recognize this group from the singer's unique voice and their eccentric futuristic/tribal outfits. They have a knack for falsetto and catchy pop songs. I can't say that their album is worth acquiring. However, there are a few songs that are solid hits - 'We Are The People', 'Without You' (New Version) and of course 'Walking On A Dream'. The remix for today is one that I heard and downloaded a few years ago while scouring the internet. It took me ages to find an mp3 of proper quality and it was definitely worth the search. This house mix is brought to you by a Polish duo named WaWa. If I recall correctly, their name comes from the rearranged letters of Warsaw. Both of these versions are immensely popular. WaWa is still relatively unknown, so you're in for a treat! By the way, all this talk of Sid and Australian bands reminds me that I desperately would like to go to Australia someday...maybe at the end of next semester!

Empire of the Sun - 'We Are The People'

Empire of the Sun - 'We Are The People' (WaWa Remix) <<<Download

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