karma tried to bite me in the hand.

I’m a big believer in karma. I often find myself acting in a certain way, or doing specific actions with the notion of karma in mind. It’s as if the karma police are a real entity and not just a completely depressing Radiohead song. Treat others unfairly and they’ll lock you up in the moral slammer.

Needless to say, when we ran into a dog running down our street yesterday, my rescue instincts kicked into high gear. Bruno has had several recent escapes (that we hope to have quelled) and I’ve been incredibly grateful to all those who have helped retrieve him and keep him safe. It was only fitting that I do everything possible to save this dog.

I spotted him coming back from lunch with Nicki and Lisa. Lisa and I (crazy dog people) began trying to coax the mini dachshund out of the road while Nicki parked the car.

This little guy was a spitfire and highly unfriendly. He wouldn’t let us get more than two feet from him and was barking his little head off the whole time. He snapped at me when I moved too close and refused any treats we offered.

I literally have never been around such an obnoxious little brat of a dog.

As we herded him toward a nearby house it dawned on me that this was our nextdoor neighbor’s dog. They weren’t home so we continued trying to shuttle him back into their yard. It also dawned on me that humans herding a dog is completely backwards in nature.

Ten minutes go by. Then twenty. This little ass refused to go back to his home. At this point we’re sweaty and frustrated but fully committed.

A few minutes more and we get him back in the yard. Success!

But it was short lived. He scampered right back out under a hole in the fence.

At this point I wanted a tranquilizer gun and a potato sack, but we improvised with our hands and angry voices. We got him back in and Lisa shoved a stone tile in front of the hole. Mission accomplished.

I wrote our neighbors a note about the incident and as I walked it over they pulled into the driveway just in time to make me look like a creepy stalker hanging out in their yard.

I retold our saga of woe and anticipated a glorious response. Instead, neighbor man seemed largely annoyed and not super interested in rewarding me with a medal or roses as I had suspected he would.

Oh well. I still felt good about what we did and knew I would’ve done it again in a heartbeat. It was comforting to remember that when I had reclaimed Bruno from (different) neighbors I thanked them as though they had given me an Oscar.

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McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park

After dinner tonight Jim and headed to FiddleSticks to play miniature golf. Sadly, when we got to FiddleSticks, we learned that it’s no longer in existence. It’s now a Christmas light company. Go figure.

On our way home we ran into a mob of people walking to the Railroad Park in Scottsdale. We saw signs for event parking and pulled over to find out what was going on. It turned out to be week three of a summer concert series. We weren’t expecting much but decided to check it out.

Somehow, this was my first time at this park. I lived in Scottsdale for three years and drove by the park easily 150 times, but never went in. I’ve always loved going to parks but had missed this one, unware of all it had to offer.

Jim had been here many times and gave me a tour when we got there. Frankly – this park is amazing: ice cream shop, museum, carosel, train rides, general store. It’s a veritable paradise for families in the area – like walking into 1950.

There were easily 400 people there for the concert, the lawn was covered with blankets and chairs and picnic baskets and there were hoards of kids and dogs.  As it got darker, there was a sea of glow sticks that reminded me of being six years old at the Enka Fair.

The concert started at 7:30 and the music was great. I looked up the concert schedule and it’s a different band every Sunday night through July 4.

It was such a surprise to stumble upon such a fabulous event. Phoenix is a huge city and it can be hard to establish a real sense of community, which made the night even more pleasant.

graduating in due time

I had a conversation with my mom this week that brought to light some of the startling similarities among our college experiences.

My mom finished her Bachelor’s degree at Boston University in 1970. She went on to earn two master’s degrees at BU, in Education and Historical Preservation.

I got my Bachelor’s degree at Arizona State in 2005, and am currently pursuing an MBA.

My mom and I both witnessed significant historical events while in college that had serious effects not only on our lives, but on the entire country. For Mom, it was the Vietnam protests and shooting at Kent State. For me, it was September 11.

I think we can both pinpoint exactly where we were and what we were doing when these incidents occurred. Spanning more than 30 years, they spurred the same feelings of fear, uncertainty and grief.

Following 9/11, I can remember some unrest on campus, but activity was more peaceful then aggressive. It was a different story at BU. I read this week that following Kent State, outraged students threw firebombs at an administration building, and several fires were set on campus.

University Officials, weary of the unrest, cancelled all ceremonies and festivities with regard to safety. My mom remembers the university forgoing final exams and ordering students off campus.  They cancelled commencement ceremonies and simply mailed diplomas out to students. My mom never got to walk with her class.

Here’s where the irony comes in.

When I finished college, I didn’t really want to go to graduation ceremonies. No one did. Seems absurd now. We were so overjoyed with our newfound freedom that having to commit to anything sounded miserable. It didn’t help that at one of the country’s largest universities, these ceremonies are quite a process.

Fortunately, along with most of my friends, family and common sense convinced us it was ridiculous to miss the ceremonies. I still fondly remember graduation day and am grateful I attended.

I can only imagine what a different story it would’ve been if we didn’t have the option to attend, and were never publicly recognized and lauded for our achievements. What kind of world is it where a college education is so taken for granted that students are too lazy to participate in commencement?

Bur back to my mom’s situation – Boston University has decided that it’s time to make amends to the class of 1970 and that everyone deserves a graduation. The university has invited several thousand alumni from that class to return to Boston on May 16 to participate in graduation.

The class of 1970 has been invited to two days of events for what would be their 40th reunion weekend, said Meg Umlas, the university’s executive director of alumni relations.

On May 15, BU will hold a special remembrance service, where a tribute will be held for the Kent State victims, deceased classmates, and the late Howard Zinn, a former BU professor and an antiwar activist. On May 16, before the graduation, the class will have its own convocation ceremony at Rich Hall. After the ceremony, graduates will walk out onto Nickerson Field and join the BU class of 2010 for commencement (Boston.com).

One woman interviewed about returning to graduate said the following: “I don’t know if I’ll know anybody, but I feel like I’ll hug everyone. I just want to a chance to say goodbye and say what a nice class we were and that we were worthy.’’

I’m not whether scheduling will permit my mom to make the cross-country trek, but I certainly hope she can attend, and if not, at least her accomplishments have finally been given proper recognition.