Future Dogs

Some of you may know of my dream of someday owning a pug, which I would name Manfrick.

A pug, which may or may not also be named Manfrick.

Imagine, if you will, a calm household with an aura of creative enlightenment. 40-yr-old me is in the sunroom, reading a book on anthropology in a comfortable modern armchair. I decide to give my dog a treat.

“Manfrick! Here Frick! C’mon Frick!”

A small energetic pug comes waddling as fast as he can waddle, feet clattering eagerly on the wooden floor, occasionally spraying doggy saliva as he pants with excitement at the prospect of human attention. His little bulging eyes look up at me adoringly as I pet him.

“Good boy Frick!”

All the while, he would be waggling.

This was my dream for a while. A small dream, but a dream nonetheless. Well, my travels have changed me. My hosts in Anoka, Alex and Syneva, had the coolest dog ever and the projected Manfrick in my head has changed. It is no longer a pug. Besides, pugs can get eye injuries from their eyes sticking out so far and their faces not sticking out enough. (The sniffling problems, rather than being another drawback, were part of the attraction for me.)

“What is this cool dog that replaced those terrible pugs?” says Attractive Girl with a shudder.

Wait, Attractive Girl, you don’t like pugs?

“No. They are not attractive at all.”

Dude. That’s why pugs are awesome. Anyway, to answer your biased question, here’s the new Manfrick:

Old Manfrick: NO! New Manfrick: YES.

This is an actual picture of Alex and Syneva’s French bulldog, Thomas Peterson. He is awesome. Friendly and strange and funny-looking and not too excited and still just a little bit wheezy. I want a Thomas Peterson!! (Except of course it would be named Manfrick.)

Also, isn’t Future Dogs a great band name?

Oh my gosh, it really is!!

EDIT: Wow, I also just noticed that Thomas Peterson has his own blog! What an amazing dog!

Tornados and High Adventure

So, last night there was allegedly a tornado within a mile of me. “How do you feel about that Zach?” ask some curious dudes. I feel… excitement!

I was chatting with my friend Jong-hun at about 2:30am, when suddenly we heard meteorological violence transpiring. We thought it was hailing, which was odd because we hadn’t heard it begin raining. So we opened the curtains of his second-story room and saw that it was not hail, it was just rain falling sideways. Smacking full force against the window.

It was like someone had, without warning, thrown a hurricane switch to ‘ON’. One moment: calm. The next: trees flapping around like flags. The wind was so strong and gusty that I could actually see rain turning corners around buildings and such. I was in awe.

Then, I realized that my car windows were still open. Dang.

Hopping into my flip-flops, I ran to the front door of the building, which was being violently pelted with sideways rain. Taking a deep breath and steeling my resolve, I opened the door and swam through the air to my car, where I jumped inside and furiously began rolling up the windows.

I thought about staying in there for a bit and enjoying the relative safety, but I could already feel wetness seeping into my jeans from sitting on the already soaked sponge car seat. So I ran back in.

I was soaked. Sirens were blaring. People were beginning to congregate and exchange nervous conversation. Some grey-haired fellow named Mark came down and began informing all of us impractical youths about all the useful information he had heard on the news. For example: a Walmart lost its roof. A home was damaged in Millard. I was just happy, and kept hoping there would be a tornado.

It made me realize, I have a really weird attitude toward disaster. Most people, arguably rightly, think “Disaster = UH OH. Avoid.” My brain, somehow, thinks “Disaster = WHEE!! Enjoy.” Probably has to do with the musicians-having-broken-brains thing. Tornados (and most other disasters, thankfully) are unfamiliar to me, therefore my mind automatically embraces them. Further, it gets excited by them.

I remember how excited I was to get West Nile fever. I don’t think anyone really understood, but I was truly thrilled. It was an absolutely awful experience, and I did not enjoy life at all at that point, but I was comforted by the knowledge that this dangerous experience was high adventure. Seriously, I didn’t just have a fever, I had a soaring fever and an infected spine! I might die from a relatively rare disease! Or at least have neurological complications. How awesome is that?! Answer: way cooler than some run-of-the-mill flu.

The storm passed really quickly. It hit really hard and pounded Omaha for a while, but after just 20 minutes or so it had tapered down to a slight drizzling. I was left to drive home in a wet car feeling slightly disappointed that I hadn’t been closer to the danger. (As it turns out, I was still pretty close, just not tangibly.) But I’m still a little bit high from it: high adventure can happen anywhere. I’m ready for more.