Saturday, October 31, 2009

I Do Dream Of Her Actually

Today was a milestone day. Yes, we probably registered more Pupkin contestants than ever before but not by a large margin. Yes, I had to tell two other people that Emily has passed but that wasn't it, either (By the by, want to feel shitty? Look into the eyes of a third grader on Halloween right after she asks, "Where's Emily?")

Today was Teddy's day. His girl has been watching him closely and hoping that he'd reach a few milestones. His birthday last year was an important one and she gave him a rip roaring birthday party that park users still talk about. One more Pupkin was another and he made it today. He got all the way to the park, he walked the ring in his costume (Barbara Eden was an amateur next to Teddy), he waited for the results and he won one of the two special fan favorite awards. The crowd chanted his name when his number was called.

Getting home was, I hear, slightly more problematic. He walked part way, he was carried a block and finally caught a ride the rest of the way. He has a lot of fans and with good reason, he is a spectacular boy.

There's no way to know how many more milestones he has in him but it was good to see this one. Bittersweet to have him there without his friend, Emily, but wonderful to see him. Here in the 'hood we respect our elders and it may have taken a village but Teddy made his mark again today and for that I am sincerely grateful.

A Little Bit of Humiliation

I'm off to assist in the creation of an event focused on the humiliation of dogs for fun and profit. This being my biggest outing since Tuesday I will be well ready for a nap by 2 when I get home and perhaps before. If you're veeeeeeerry good, though, I'll show you some pictures.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Blurry Birthday

You can surely tell that in my upright moments I'm clearing the photos out of the camera. It's in preparation for the biggest week in my neighborhood which has, through a quirk of the calendar, been crammed into one regular-sized weekend this year. Tomorrow is the Pupkin and the Carnival of Carnage and, of course, trick or treating. Sunday we're up and at 'em early for the marathon and for some of us in many neighborhoods we kick off NaBloPoMo. Many photos will be taken, you can bank on that.

This slightly blurry shot is chock full of Quewlkat's personality. It's one from the surprise (ish) birthday dinner that Bebe threw for her in the middle of the month. The rest of the shots are up on Flickr if you're so inclined.

Have fun out there this weekend!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

This Is What The Internet Is Really For

 Almost a year ago Audio Girl and Eco Foodie adopted two beautiful kittens. One thing led to another and it wasn't until a couple of weeks ago that I was finally able to meet the kittens. Ravi (above) is descended from Morris the Cat. On more than one occasion he actually struck a pose and waited for me to take the shot before he moved again. Once he even looked at me like, "Go on, take the shot, I can't wait all day!" Clementine (below) is more of a recluse. She had to be coaxed (read: tricked/dragged) out from under the couch in order to be photographed. I was able to convince her to eat a couple of treats out of my hand, though and she's super sweet. If I'd had more time maybe I could have waited her out. Though, the ladies might have been not so thrilled to have me lying on the floor in front of their couch for hours on end. You can see the rest of the photo shoot here.

Asking For More **EDITED**

The polls mentioned below are tweaked now so that you can select multiple answers. Mrs. G has begged us all to take them again. Thanks!

Apparently I'm not afraid to just keep asking and asking for stuff. I promise to give back. I will write content at some point. Still sick, didn't think I'd stay at home today but the early morning hours sent a signal that I should do just that.

Now I'm up again and I'm asking you to wander over to the Colony and take some polls if you will (the top 2 entries have polls). The site is just over half a year old and Mrs. G would like to learn a little more about who's reading, what they like now and what they'd like to see in the future. (Thanks Jules for ringing in already in the polls and the comments, you are officially a champ.) I will warn you that some poll questions request multiple answers but the poll software doesn't yet allow for multiple answers. I'm not sure if that's possible to correct or when it will happen but in the mean time just follow your conscience or your bliss or the north star, some information is better than none, right?

Off to sip my ginger ale. Go wash your hands before you go to another site, I don't want you giving this to anyone else.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Home Sick?

Over at the Colony everyone is asking questions today. For reasons unknown and unimportant my question got a little lost in the shuffle but no matter. I'm inspired to ask a question here, too. Questions are cool. Sometimes a little dangerous, I suppose, but cool.

Aaaaaaaand I forgot my question. I guess I really must have the flu no matter how I try to deny it. No fever, no chills anymore, just the blahs.

So let's turn this on its head. How about you ask me a question and I'll answer it? I'm sure I can answer things.

Also, why don't you head on over to Chili's and say hello. A sad thing happened Chez Her last night.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Came home sick from work today. Flu symptoms. Not the worst ones but slightly bugged stomach, chills and fever. Took a nap, ate some toast, drinking some juice.

In the mean time the debate rages on both in front of and behind the scenes about my use of the word "cunt." Aaryn wanted to widen the discussion (take that imagery!) so she took the crux of it to her own blog. The post has only been up a few hours and the discussion is already heated. I'm sure she'd love it if you gave it your two cents.

OK, now get out of here, I might be contagious!

10 Crowned Dogs

I (heart) TemporaryTattoos

1. I don't actually mind the rain. I kind of like it. I've always liked the cozy feeling of it. After the dog became more unpredictable and couldn't go to off leash hours rainy days were great park days because there were fewer other people around to get angry at her.

2. Speaking of dogs, the Great PUPkin is upon us, hopefully Saturday. It all depends on the weather. Clinton Hill Blog has an interview with Kath about it. If you've got any contacts in NYC please send them over, it's hilarious fun with or without your own humiliated dog.

3. Scalzi does an interesting analysis of the recent interaction (or lack thereof) between the White House and FOX News Network. Check the comments, too, because a lot of people are disagreeing with him but for so many different reasons. Fascinating.

4. There are a lot of jaw dropping pieces of information in this short piece on Gothamist about a foiled terrorist plot malls. The one I found most interesting, though, is that the conspirators were hampered by an inability to get automatic weapons. From experience in my own area I've got to wonder exactly what the hold up was and how committed they were. Did they just not have transportation to the Carolinas? Is Massachusetts that much stricter on gun control? Was their internet connection down?

5. Are you dressing for Halloween? My Mermaid crown (pictured) is being resurrected and perhaps re-tooled and  I'm getting my face painted. Probably also spraying the hair pink for funsies to match my glasses. I have no dog to dress so I have to step up. Pony Express is helping. I'm not going full costume, though, but if I were I could pull from this Feministing list of non-racist, non-sexist ideas.

6. The Flu, both H1N1 and the plain version, are getting a lot of air time these days. Hysteria has lessened, at least in my neck of the woods (it's possible we were naturally vaccinated for this strain by our spring outbreak)  but it's a constant rumble. They've installed hand sanitizer dispensers in the lobby of my office building, next to the elevators. So here's a link to Get your info and your rumor-righting from there, please. Also wash your hands and for the love of Pete stop licking your neighbor.

7. I loved the idea of doing a neighborhood Halloween Boo when Melissa did her How To last year. I love Sundry's take on it this year. I don't live in a place where it's possible but I can live vicariously through others. Boo!

8. The reasons we're glad that German Shepherds are loyal are legion. This video (via Gothamist, which I haven't watched, too scared, too sad) illustrates the point. They can be fucking smart and agile and determined and if we do not command respect and utter loyalty they will do some straight up stupid shit.

9. I wanted to write here about my grievance with misuse of the word "went" which I've been hearing in a lot of places where people should know better but now I can't think of an example. It's so wrong that my brain banishes the misuse completely! I'll keep you posted if I think of one. In the mean time, now that I know how to detect the appropriate usage parameters for "My friend and I" vs. "My friend and me" I am amazed and a little frightened at the number of smartypantses (yeah, I did it) who have no clue. Really? You write for a living and you're using that wrong? Who's your agent? **Ah, while proofreading I thought of one, "I would've went if I'd known about it." National TV, talk show host, funny and articulate lady. How does that not just sound like 12 hands of fingernails on a blackboard?**

10. There have been a lot of stories about domestic abuse lately. In specific, stories about ways in which systems that are meant to help abused people are being twisted to harm them. Surely you've heard that some insurance companies are classifying domestic abuse (and c-sections by the by) as pre-existing conditions under which they can refuse coverage to a patient (read: woman). Here's another set of folks that ought to be hung by their short hairs from a very tall tree (via Feministing). Yeah, she's being evicted because she reported her abuser to the authorities. The rationale is that the abuser was conducting illegal activities which violate the lease. Yet, because she got him removed from the premises by reporting said activities (the weapon and, you know, the threatening to kill her) she's got to go. Warms my heart, 'cause you know me, I love a strict interpretation of a text whenever I can get one.

Whassup with you today?

Monday, October 26, 2009

I Can't Spell That Word

At some point in college the phrase "Goin' to Indiana" became a euphemism for "Booty Call." I guess someone had one of those fake Canadian girlfriend things going on except she was in Indiana so we made a short hop and there conclusions were (name that TV show). I don't know that many, if any, of my college cabal read here but in case they do I want to make aboslutely sure we're clear that I'm not talking about that kind of trip!

I am going to Indiana, though. I'm going to Indiana to act, just act, for a whole week at the beginning of December. Which, at this juncture, might be even more satisfying than the other meaning of the phrase.


We'll do two one-acts, my dating play and another similar one. My good friend, Peter Weekly, will direct and a friend of his from DC will be my onstage partner. I'm petrified. I'm excited. I'm blase. I am woman, you know hear me...something.

Hard on the heels of this offer came some hoopla over some language I wrote on the internet. So much of the hoop and then a huge heaping helping of the la that my excitement for anything from brushing my teeth to performing at Carnegie Hall has been sapped. So, for the record, I am really glad to be going to Indiana, I'm just recovering from going to the Golden Gloves over one, four-letter word, so it'll be a while before you can read any expression on my face.

I thought you ought to know I was going, though.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I'll Do It If...

Actually I think I'm going to do it anyway, even if no one else agrees to come along with me. It'll be a little weird, I'm traveling and all, but it's doable. It's totally doable. I rarely miss a day anyway, right?

What am I talking about?

Why NaBloPoMo, of course! I'm going to go for it again. Fourth year, I believe. What about you, are you getting on the bandwagon? It starts a week from today.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Happens All The Time

I had planned to talk about something else today. There's always so much else to talk about but, it seems, it's another one of those days.

Of the four dogs pictured above only Dorothy remains. Cameron/The Lion went first a few years ago after a lengthy battle with cancer. Emily/The Tin Dog you know plenty about. Last night word came sweeping down the grapevine that Georgia/The Scarecrow has passed. Sylvie still stands and if we put those fake ruby slippers on her she'd stand right still forever and ever. She hated those slippers.

This morning my mother called with her own sad news. I'm always a little nervous when she says that since she's in charge of Aunt Rena who is ailing, and yet tough as the toughest of nails. It wasn't Rena, though, it was mom's favorite feline, Valentino. He peed in the house endlessly, he was a long haired shedder and he was mean to all the other cats but he was a love. He slept on Rena's bed and sat in mom's lap and they both apparently loved the stuffing out of him. He got hit by a car Friday morning and went mercifully quickly. He's being cremated now because mom decided she just couldn't dig another hole. Well, she said not a big one, she could dig a little one so I assume his diminished remains will be properly buried soon.

More treats for all. Much love for all. Yet another two moments of silence.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Where Were You At The Time?

About Dan Brown and his books...I read them. There's usually something educational in them and I like being able to speak with first-hand knowledge around the water cooler so I read them. I am not, however, a huge fan. I like that he made a special effort to give back to his home community but, having been a part of his home community, I also know a little bit about his pre-famous past, which helps to keep me from putting him on a pedestal (Did you click on that link? He doesn't need my puny pedestal. "The Official Web Site of Bestselling Author Dan Brown" has clearly built a nosebleed quality pedestal for him already). Oh, and I read Digital Fortress. If the way he wrote that female protagonist doesn't make you want to kick his balls up through the top of his head nothing will.

I'm not very far into the new book, less than 100 pages, but he's officially lost me. I don't think what I'm going to share here is spoilery in any way. It's a bit of exposition, a bit of officious, ignorant exposition.

"In 2001, in the hours following the horrifying events of September 11...[f]our scientists discovered that as the frightened world came together and focused in shared grief on the single tragedy..."

"The frightened world came together" can only be something dreamed up by someone who only watches nothing but US-produced news and has taken care not to speak to citizens of other countries for the past 8 years. Yes, many people around the world were kind to Americans and lent their support. Many people of different nations were killed and many people from different nations had compassion for those who experienced this tragedy. However, there were dances of joy in some countries. It was not uncommon to hear, "That's terrible but, really, what did you expect?" or, "Given what you've been doing it's lucky it wasn't a lot worse." or my personal favorite, "Where were you people during the blitz?"

The world did not come together in support of America (aside: why the fuck should it?) and if that's what you were getting out of what was going on at that point then you just weren't paying attention. Where do you think the colossally stupid Freedom Fries bullshit came from?

Less than 30 pages later there's already been another heavy handed 9/11 reference. I can tell it's going to be his thing for this book. Since he's set it in Washington, DC I guess it's no surprise but it's making my foot itch to kick him in the crotch like never before. Of course, despite the great strides I have made lately in weaning myself off of language (not ideas, language) that does nothing but make my blood boil I'm going to keep reading. I'll probably like a lot of it and I know I'll be really glad to be able to speak with authority about it even (especially) the parts that piss me off.

Which I guess makes this nothing more than a warning: Be ye prepared, ranting to come!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Close To My Heart

I probably talked about this back in February but just in case I did not I'll recap. Mickey Rourke was nominated for an Oscar for his work in The Wrestler. A well deserved nomination indeed. Six days before the event his closest associate, a chihuahua named Loki, died. Loki had been to all of the other awards shows with her man and already had a custom made white tux for the Oscars. An artisan in Queens, Betina Wasserman, understood what a blow that must have been and made Rourke one of her soldered glass pendants with photos of Loki and sent it to him in time for the awards ceremony. Loki was proudly displayed on the red carpet.

I thought about getting one made of Emily at the time. It seemed indulgent and, of course, she was right there in the flesh so it also seemed like it might be overkill. Then she wasn't there in the flesh and I wanted a pendant but it was too much to even try and decide on photos to memorialize my girl. One day while trying to do just that I actually had to stand up and walk away from the desk, too much information.

Last night I got a little package in the mail from JRH. I shook it and I dared to hope but thought, no, why? When I opened it I found this necklace and I immediately put the lid back on. I...couldn't. But I planned an outfit around it and donned it as my last item this morning. Even discovered at the time that there's a photo on each side. I couldn't do it myself so thank you my friend. I wanted this.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


A lot of dog-related things happened today. Most of them were very good but I am a little raggedy around the edges now so I'll 'splain later. Why don't you go read what I wrote over at the Colony instead. It's kind of funny even.

NWW: Pictures of Words Making Pictures...

Since I don't want to assume you can read backwards that says:

This edition of
Lost Symbol

is limited to 1,000 copies,
signed by the author for
Water Street Bookstore.

"Where it all began"

*This copy lovingly procured for me by Queen Bee. Thank you!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dog Pile

Remember when I told you to worry more about my friend's dog than about mine? Well, dear old Jekyll outlasted my Em but not by much. He let go today in his own bed with his people around him. Please follow 117 Hudson protocol and give your pets extra treats and love for all they're accomplishing i.e. breathing, lying there, standing, drooling.

If you've got an extra good thought for my friend Minnesota Matron that'd be nice, too. This isn't the only death she's been dealt today.

Adopt, Ride, Reform!

1. It's getting chilly out folks so please be mindful of creatures who might be cozying up to your warm car engine. It happened to this grungy but gorgeous specimen here in NYC. I feel like there should be an entity besides 911 that you call when you find a cat under your hood but there isn't and the cat is safe (for now, as it was rescued by a city agency it was sent to the CACC which is a very full, kill shelter). My childhood cat, Blackie, (shut it, I was 3) was found in this exact same circumstance and was saved because the janitor at my dad's school stopped dad from starting the car and possibly hamburgering the cat so this is an issue close to my heart. Spay. Neuter. Adopt. Seriously. If you recycle your cardboard boxes then adopting your pets seems like a good fit for you.

2. We've been over and over how I really like kids I just don't have that burning urge to keep one myself, right? We've also been over how that doesn't keep me from getting attached to some of the cooler specimens on the planet. Nora Smartypants can't be more than 8 years old, I think she's only 6. She likes to write stories and make them into self-published books. Please go read her latest work (scroll down) and note that she blurbed it! She is fantastic.

3. I want you to start your holiday shopping here. Thanks to Feministing for the tip. Also? Please don't buy me one.

4. I have had occasion to talk a lot about internet trolls lately. I think I've finally extricated myself from a bad spiral with a particular instigator (not here) but the subject is on my mind because dang that shit was hard. Derek Powazek talked about it a little and went over the "green hair" theory. I'm not sure what I think about it.

5. So apparently 53 Republicans have signed a letter to POTUS requesting that he fire a gentleman whose job title is "Assistant Deputy Secretary at the Department of Education for the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools" because in his non-work life he has worked for and with LGBT youth. So, to recap, because he's keeping a category of youth that they dislike safe they want him fired from a job where he is tasked to keep all school kids safe. I would write more but my head just exploded. Terrible mess. Very hard to see the keyboard now.

6. A dog's age ago (kind of literally) Wayfarer was delving into the meaning of marriage and what the sanctity thereof might mean. He got sidetracked. Here's a little nudge for him. I know he's too busy to be reading blogs these days so if anyone talks to him please nudge him on this item's behalf.

7. Frequent Women's Colony contributor, PhD in Yogurtry, posted an interesting piece about health care from a provider's perspective. If you've never known anyone who is clinically depressed or don't believe in such things you probably shouldn't read it since you'll think it's all bunk. Anybody else should please jump right on over.

8. I don't know if you've been reading about Al Franken's anti-rape legislation. (Thanks to Susie Bright for this particular assessment.) The summary is that currently if you work for certain companies (Halliburton) your contract can include a promise to take all disputes, including proven criminal actions like, say, rape, to arbitration. Franken's proposal is to deny government contracts to companies who require such clauses. 30 Republican Senators voted against the bill (Hi Not-President McCain!). They had more than one objection but the interesting one is this, "the government had no business interfering in a private contract between a company and its workers." I'd love for someone to cross reference how many of the objecting Senators also identify as pro-life and therefore think their government has every right to interfere in contracts between me and my cunt.

9. I know that I'm a stinking socialistic commie fascist government blowing pig because I voted for Obama (or something) but I really like it when governmental agencies work for the good of community. (COMMunity, COMMunist, it's no wonder people hate me.) Here in NYC I'm told (by Gothamist) that school buses are being offered as rides for Senior Citizens to get groceries during the school day. If you read the rest of the article it shows you how the math works out so nobody is being fucked by this. You know, I'd be OK with being a little fucked so that this kind of good could occur. I'm glad I'm not but still...

10. I'm getting a lot of my good political news from Susie Bright these days. I like that. It seems that the economic downturn is helping more politicians to see the light about prison reform. Of course they're looking to reform as a money-saving measure rather than a humanity-saving one and yet, I'm encouraged. (Yes, it's still true that it costs more to kill someone than to keep them in prison for life. And we're right back to the whole pro-life argument, funny that.) 

In conclusion, reform a human, adopt an animal and give a senior citizen a ride to the grocery store and you will make me happy. You want to make me happy, don't you?

Monday, October 19, 2009


What are you eating for lunch today?

I feel as though my lunch (roasted brussels sprouts, onions, broccoli & carrots; half a can of tuna; blue cheese dressing; oreo thin crisps) is weird. I'll feel better if other people are weird too. (Or werid, as I first typed it.)

Are you and your lunch weird?

Will you come sit next to me?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

What Do I Always Do On Sundays?

You can see the rest on Flickr.
It's an eclectic group of shots. 
Some of them have a bit of promise even.

Inside Voice

I don't have to go outside today. There is absolutely no reason for me to leave the house. When I got up this morning and had to put on pants so as not to traumatize the Fresh Direct delivery man I didn't have to choose weather-appropriate pants. I could have worn shorts if I wanted because I am staying inside all day long.

This is fucking weird.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Turn Up The Noise

I have to just tell you all of the yummy things I ate last night. Bebe threw a surprise (ish) all girls dinner party for Quewlkat's 24th birthday. She is a wonderful cook, not too complicated, but putting all the right flavors to make your eyes roll back in your head with delight. If you're hungry you might want to get a snack before you read my list.

Salted mixed nuts
5 variety pitted olive mix
Red caviar on brown bread with a touch of butter
Rose Prosecco
Carrots in garlic and butter with herbes de provence
White rice with edamame (you've seen it with peas, it's better this way)
Chicken piccata
Shrimp Scampi
Made from scratch  3-layer vanilla cake with lemon curd and raspberry curd filling, buttercream frosting, raspberry sauce & our own individual candles (I got to take a piece home, too, guess what's for lunch!)
Coffee, tea, water, merlot etc.

I am hungry today but, seriously, nothing sounds particularly satisfying after all of that. Sometimes I wish Bebe lived in my kitchen.

Friday, October 16, 2009

I....Uh....well.....You see....

So it's dull and gray and raining and it might snow later. I'm going to my dance class for the first time since Emily got sick. My powers of surprise are greatly diminished. I'm sort of stabby and angry at a lot of the....what do call

On the flip side, I'm going into the recording studio today and I don't actually mind rain.

It's just the cold.

My brain is a little scrambly today. Do you think anyone will notice?

Oh! Read what I wrote elsewhere instead, because I only wrote part of it, it's an interview with one of my favorite bloggers.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Theme Day!

Not exactly on the theme of doubt, though it does play a part, but my favorite "Jew on a Journey" is writing about the ever-changing nature - the evolution, if you will - of his faith. I don't hold the same beliefs he does (and he wouldn't expect me to) but I hold the care and continuity of his exploration as an example of how I hope to deal with my own.

For All Those Who Doubt

As a rule I'm sort of terrified of people who are sure of stuff. I suppose I should say I'm skeptical or unnerved or something but really it's more than that. On Monday Night/Tuesday morning Craig Ferguson shed some light on that. I'm sure he didn't do it just for me but he did it nonetheless so thanks Craig, I knew you had my back. The clip above is his interview with Mitch Albom. They talk about a bunch of stuff but when they finally get to the topic of Albom's new book about a priest and a rabbi (seriously!) Craig does about 30 seconds on the concept that without doubt there is no faith ergo people who do not doubt do not have faith. Listen to Craig, don't read me. Then pass this nugget of wisdom along to folks Glenn Beck.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Where That Is Else

It's Wednesday so I've written some fluffy (yet passionate) stuff about TV over in the Rec Room at the Colony. If you read me, you read me, it's not a big deal but please go read Aaryn in Family Room today. She's talking about Oklahoma, she's talking about Choice and the conversation in the comments is riveting even this early in the day. I'm sure she'd love to hear what you have to say, too.

NWW: Coming Home

I photographed the whole unwrapping process because it was oddly intricate and had a lot of unexpected elements. You can see it all here and read the commentary.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I Am Serendipity's Bitch

I arranged with the vet to donate all of Emily's unused medications. We had a lot of pretty expensive stuff left over and, while I would (and have in years gone by) accrue debt if need be to care for the baby girl, I know that it's simply not possible for some people. I don't know if what I had will help anyone but I'm going to hope and pretend that it did. Going in to actually drop the stuff off was another matter. I wanted to do it myself but I didn't want to go in alone and I didn't even want to go in with just another human. I also wasn't crazy about going in with just a borrowed dog since that might imply a swiftness of replacement I'm really not comfortable with.

Enter NDP. We used to walk together with our shepherds about once a week but have fallen out of the habit. She recently got back from a fabulous vacation, heard through the grapevine about my girl and checked in. We agreed that beginning our walking again would be a good thing, even if we were down a dog. I was seriously considering just going to donate the meds on my own but secretly hoping she'd call for a walk and this evening she did.

I met NDP and her Tim on the street and we walked over to the vet. I have a lot of respect for the receptionist at my vet, she's been nothing but organized, helpful and kind. She was on the phone when we walked in so I lounged at the window to wait while Tim thoroughly sniffed the premises. The receptionist swiveled in her chair and picked up a paper shopping bag from behind her. I looked around to see who she'd be serving before me. She handed me the bag. NDP helped me out and said, "Oh, you're getting Emily back!" It was Miss Em. There's a cardboard box and some literature in the bag. I think there will be a tin inside the box but I haven't opened it yet. She's smaller than I expected but a little heavier, too. NDP asked if I wanted to take her home before we continued our walk but I didn't. I figured I'd just take her for spin as we did in days of yore. It was a good walk.

Now my girl is back home. It's sad but it's a good thing.

It's Tuesday

1. I have a new shower curtain rod. Doesn't sound exciting? Maybe not and yet the comfort of having a pressure rod (heh) instead of a light piece of aluminum delicately balanced (usually) on top of the tiles is a bit of a treat, especially when accessorized with my new goldfish shower curtain.

2. I also have a new piece of art in my bathroom, a photo finally in a frame that's been waiting for years, new dishes for the cats, a lip pencil sharpener, a new necklace, a new (fake) purse and a million other little things. Having a hard core shopper visit for the weekend helps to round out your home.

3. What I don't have? Well, my dog. Also, a Nikkor 18-200mm lens. Slurp. I went to mecca with Kath last night to replace her dissolving camera and priced my desire while we were talking to Abe in the used and refurbished section. Going to have to save in the vicinity of $450 sheckels. But WANT. And it would, I think, change the face of my photography.

4. It's cold, y'all. Not like freezing cold but pretty dangitall cold. I am unimpressed. I think it's because it never got really super warm this summer so I find myself kind of surprised.

5. Tomato Nation contest is on! You know you want to donate. Seriously, schools need help. I'm about to put in an order for things I so don't need because Alita's school got $1 million cut from their budget and one of their strategies for closing the gap is to have the kids sell wrapping paper and chocolate covered pretzels and the like. The TN contest helps teachers to help students without the distribution of extraneous gift tags. Please consider rifling your couch cushions for change and helping out. There are prizes involved, too.

6. I went to off leash hours in the morning a couple of times this weekend. Queen Bee had never been since Emily didn't handle them well so I thought she would like it and she did. It's quite a sight, that sea of caninity writhing and running all over the park. Chrome was kind enough to call and invite us to go with her and the boy and his dog so I wouldn't feel like some perv at the playground and we had a really nice visit. It wasn't too hard on me. I think that's because it wasn't something Em and I did together in the last years so it's not a missing piece activity. Walking with Timbo will be. I did feel a tinge of desperation, reaching out to every dog I could get my hands on and carrying bribes in my pocket.

7. We also had a nice walk with Teddy, met up with Rocket and visited with the Bobster.

8. You know I don't think I'd ever been to Katz's deli. We got a pastrami and swiss on rye and it was one of the best things I've ever tasted. The experience of Katz's and the hoops you have to jump through to get your food, though, was stressful.

9. So that purse? I did the whole Chinatown knock off illegal thing. I've never done it before. I usually stay on the street with 9-1 dialed and my finger over the 1 in case the adventurers get kidnapped and sold into white slavery. It was fun and a remarkably low pressure shopping experience until the bartering began. Woof. I can't do math that fast. I think I went only about $2.50 over my top desired price for my purse. I think. I've still never spent $30 on a purse in my whole flipping life. I like it though, it's stylish and my camera fits in it so I feel good about the purchase.

10. I got asked to sing back up on someone's CD. I'm ridiculously flattered and thrilled. No one's ever thought I was good enough to back them up before. I'm supposed to go into the studio on Friday to start. Very nervous. Very excited.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Conquering Hero

 One of the many, many things that Queen Bee and I did this weekend was to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. She is not a fan of heights but hates the fear so will often try to push her boundaries. We started our trek with the understanding that we could turn around at any time if anyone felt like it. The diciest moment was perhaps when I asked her to stand against the railing to take the picture above of her with the Statue of Liberty (quite blurry) over her shoulder. She didn't want to stop, though, she called King Bee from dead center of the bridge (pictured below) and we rewarded ourselves on the other side by inviting BeBe out for coffee before we took the subway back to the BK.

Success, she is sweet, no?

On Her Last Day



 Kath & Alex have a new kitten. Kath went over to a friend's house just to take some pictures of the poor feral little stray...famous last words.
She might be named Trinity. You might need to help them choose something else. Keep in mind that she's made out of color swatches. Not pictured: her left rear leg which looks like she shoplifted it from a marmalade cat.
The household's other four legged inhabitants are trying to ingratiate themselves with the newcomer and plot her swift and sure demise. I'll leave you to guess which activity goes with which animal. Be ye not afraid, precautionary measures are being taken.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Isn't This Always The Way?

You get exponentially more famous after you die. My girl is on the NY Times Web Site today (thanks to Kath for the heads up). It wasn't even her best Halloween costume but the masses will eat it up, I'm sure. I think this one was my favorite.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Under A Little Sapling

I've always thought that I'd have to be careful when my dog died. I assumed that people would dismiss that sort of grief and expect it to be less. I knew there would be some people who understood and I'd have to be careful to stick close to them and steel myself against the others. I have found that to be wholly untrue up to this point. The only even marginally questionable comment was "Sounds like you need a puppy." I think we can all praise my fortitude in biting back, "No, actually I don't need a puppy I need my fucking dog back and that's not god damned well going to happen now is it?" But that was only one comment I know it was meant to be helpful.

I wrote yesterday about living in my own version of Stars Hollow. At the time I thought I was just being funny or at least exaggerating a little. I'm not too proud to admit I was really wrong.

Queen Bee is on her way to visit me right now. She was planning to come this weekend anyway but moved up her arrival when Emily passed, after giving me the option of coming up to visit her instead if I needed to be away from home. After writing two beautiful tributes to my girl Kath fed me dinner on Saturday then took over the hosting of Southern Girls Supper Club for Tuesday so I wouldn't feel I had to clean and we wouldn't have to cancel. It was just the right thing to sit in a room full of dog ladies who knew and loved Miss Em and just be. And eat. It's easier to eat if the food just appears. Yesterday Chrome took her lunch break to hike over to my office from hers and deliver time, an ear, cupcakes, champagne and poetry magnets from her and Zelda. Teddy's Girl offered me a walk with Teddy. Ulserad, who lives up north near the Bees, ran into Queen Bee and heard what had happened so while I sat at home last night alone, not having to go out and walk my dog the bell rang and it was UPS delivering me a bouquet of multi-colored roses because he "thought [I] could use a little color in my life" right now. A couple of hours later he called and we shot the shit for a long time, which we haven't done probably since at least the beginning of the baseball season. The people who have called, e-mailed, texted, blogged and commented to make sure that I'm still upright and moving forward are too numerous to list here but no less appreciated. It's clear to me that if the internet were a quirky Connecticut town we would all be squished into my little peach colored house eating burgers and cupcakes and washing dishes and some version of Luke would be delivering ice and helping me dig a grave in the back yard.

Thanks for that. Thanks to all of you. I can't tell if I'm getting better or just getting used to feeling this bad. Right now I don't think that matters. Looks like you don't either and I appreciate that.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


I'm also talking about animals over in the Rec Room today. It's a but more upbeat, though.

Maybe you want to save the upbeat until after you read a post that my new friend Mary M. put up in the Family Room while she was thinking of Emily. It's very kind and true, I'm sure, but I needed a tissue.

NWW: Together Again

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

10 Changes

I'm figuring that writing it out is the only way to go. I'm also figuring that you'll understand if the it's one specific topic around here for a while. While I'm at it I'm also figuring that I'll understand if you have to walk away and come back when things lighten up. We'll all get through this one step at a time. Heck, if people refused to write one topic, even a toughie, to exhaustion Dooce wouldn't be famous, right?

Anyway, 10 things about this new world.

1. You should read these two lovely tributes to Miss Emily from Kath. Kath and Alex have been instrumental in keeping my brain from exploding (along with many other people) and I am terribly moved by the way Kath has reacted to this loss. Please thank her for me.

2. I can stay up late and get up late. I used to get up at 6:00am, get showered and dressed, walk the dog, feed the pets and then leave for work. Now I could probably sleep until 7:30 and still leave for work on time and clean. That is less comforting than you might expect.

3. Queen Bee is coming to spend the weekend. She was planning on doing it before Em's passing but I think she's coming a little earlier now. She'll be here by the time I get out of work on Thursday.

4. I called in (heart) sick to work yesterday. I thought I could and should make it in there for at least part of a day but once I was up and showered it just didn't feel possible. So I checked e-mail and voice mail from home and called it a day. It was a good idea. I don't actually know how I'm going to manage to get myself to go today but I've got to start somewhere. If I don't make it the whole day I don't. All I can do is try.

5. I'm writing and animals on tv themed piece for the Rec Room tomorrow. It didn't make me as sad as I thought it would. It helped.

6. For a dog who almost never barked and in the last few months lost her bark completely my dog was apparently pretty noisy. It's so quiet here.

7. Walking the dog in the morning was a way to test the weather and see if I was appropriately dressed for the day. I won't have a test run any more.

8. It's hard to be in the kitchen. Emily almost never went in the kitchen but she stood right outside looking in. So much of the last few months has been about convincing her to eat more, or anything at all, so the kitchen is more of a minefield than I expected.

9. I haven't taken down the ramp to help her up to the bed or recycled the cardboard box that was elevating her food dish or washed her dish. I keep thinking I'll be able to do it and then not so much so I'm waiting. Queen Bee can help.

10. I came in from the street fair last night and about an hour later found that I still had my shoes on. Often I come in and just take my shoes off but if I know I'm just sitting for a bit checking e-mail and then will have to go out with the pooch I keep them on to keep me motivated. If I'd come home at that time of day just a few days ago it would make sense but at that point, even though it was only 4:00pm, I was, or could be, in for the night. I could take off my shoes. I could get into my pajamas. I could strip buck naked. But if I do that the tears are cold when they drip on my stomach.

Monday, October 05, 2009


My friend, Aaryn, is an adoptive parent (I feel like there's a way to phrase this that I have done incorrectly, someone please let me know if that's the case). She wrote a piece for the Family Room today that drew my attention to a woman who, in Aaryn's words, makes "[the octomom] look good."

The idea that adoption is somehow inferior to other kinds of parenting has always been abhorrent to me. To hear what this woman has done actually makes my blood feel all boily inside my body. To believe in any way that family-strength bonds cannot be formed with people who do not share our blood is, to my mind, to clearly misunderstand the mechanics of love. (Are you blood related to your spouse? I hope not.)

Because I am lucky an example to support my thesis came up right on cue today. I have known Quewlkat since she was three years old. I have been her teacher, her babysitter, her foolish sidekick and her friend. Recently through my suggestion and her determination she has gotten a job in my neighborhood. Today, knowing that I am broken, she took it on herself to give me a call. She stopped by and brought me a bottle of wine called PETs, a petite sirah whose proceeds go to the ASPCA, in honor of my Emily. We talked out our problems and cried and drank a toast to the best dog ever to grace the planet and we were perfectly comfortable wherever we were emotionally because we are family. We share not a drop of blood and yet there is a steel cable of a bond between us that no one can sever. Give her back? You say that as though it were possible.

It is not.

The Club

CRISTINA: "There's a club. The Dead [dogs] Club. And you can't be in it until you're in it...I'm really sorry you had to join the club."
GEORGE: "I... I don't know how to exist in a world where my [dog] doesn't."
CRISTINA: "Yeah, that never really changes."

OK, so I modified it a bit. And it might be slightly hyperbolic but it's still true. You can tell when you walk into a room with someone whose had a dog die. I'm learning a lot.

On the day that I found out Emily had terminal neurological issues I got klutzy. I think it's important to say here upfront that I am frequently klutzy even when I'm not sad. It happens regularly so do not interpret this observation as a cry for help. A cry for a good supply of band aids perhaps but not the other thing. I was cooking for the dog, she needed protein and I had put a couple of chicken breasts in a pie dish covered with foil and ovened them up for a few minutes. Somehow when I took it out to check on it I completely flubbed the foil removal and wound up sticking my forefinger right in that first rush of steam. Man, they do not lie when they say that a steam burn is the worst kind. Really is. Later I was opening a package, you know the kind with that stiff plastic that, should you return the product, you need to pay a restocking fee because there's no way to get into it without completely destroying that packaging. It's awkward and ugly and nearly impossible. You better want that fucking electric toothbrush because it's like the freaking Olympics, if you don't really want it you won't win. It's also relatively dangerous and I worked hard to keep my fingers away from the scissors as they jerked all over the place. In so doing I managed to slide my finger (different finger from the burn) along one of the recently cut, razor sharp plastic edges. I even went one better and slid it directly along the thin opening of a paper cut I'd gotten without noticing (see above re: constantly a little klutzy) earlier that day. Wow, I knew right away it was bad and managed just to wrestle product from plastic before I had to staunch the bleeding.

That night I had this moment of clarity about why kids (and adults) cut themselves for emotional release. Well, more specifically I saw why they cut instead of burn or some other kind of mutilation. The burn is a slow kind of pain and it's endless. I was once told that the reason you have to ice or put cold water on a burn immediately is because if you don't cool it down your skin just "keeps cooking" deeper and deeper inside you. It's the kind of pain that makes you screw up your lips tight so you can hiss long, slow streams of air out of them. You hold yourself very tight while it's going on. The cut, though? It was like someone cut a valve in my air hose. All of a sudden, whoosh, the satisfaction of vomiting out an armful of worry and fear in one cleansing sigh. Then I bled and had to find a band aid and it was clear that something had occurred and clear how to fix it so I did. It was satisfying.

As much as I accepted and was operating under the assumption that Emily was going to die soon I still got surprised. I kept hedging that she might go that night and she might be around for months because it was true, because I didn't want to be an alarmist or a wolf-crier in the event that she, steel girl that she was, hung on in good spirits for a long time. So it's still kind of unbelievable to me that my girl is gone. Sometimes I'm hungry but then sometimes I want to vomit. It's really hard to leave the house but then again it's almost impossible to come back. She's not asleep and blocking the door, she's not standing by the table, she's simply not. It's a combination of her dependence on me and the basic muscle memory of how days go when you have a dog, so many more hours in the day now that have to be filled. I am alternately unable to move and jumping out of my skin. I feel somehow frightened to live in this new world which is hilarious if you think about it too long considering how fearful my dog could be.

Yesterday I figured out something else. I went out to meet Kath and Alex and walk through a street fair and as I hit the fresh air I suddenly understood why people run. Not treadmill running but those people who insist on running out in the open no matter the weather or their health or any other dictate of sanity to keep one inside. I felt as though I should start running, I don't run, ever, I hate it passionately, but as I thought about the fact that I was already outside and the inescapable conclusion to that would be having to go back inside, inside a house with no dog, my body wanted to run. In my head, or perhaps in my adrenal gland, it felt as though I needed to put some distance on the pedometer but quickly, that if I ran hard enough and fast enough and far enough I could miraculously put enough space between me and this terribly feeling that I could safely enter my apartment without getting that cliched punch to the gut. I didn't run, I walked and I talked with people who knew and I ate a little and felt a little nauseous and eventually I came home.

We always joked that Emily was a dog of very little brain but the thing is, she taught me a whole lot. And I guess that isn't going to stop any time soon.

Friday, October 02, 2009

One Of Those

Turns out it's going to be one of those kinds of days. The might-as-well-laugh sort. I picked up the dog's food after her cursory licking of it. I didn't want the cats to eat it before she got a chance to go back to it. They've got their own food and this was half a cup of rice & broccoli and probably half a breast of chicken so it was expensive and they really aren't supposed to have chicken. I put it safely on the stovetop and walked away. Kept meaning to put it in the fridge but forgot. I went back just now and it's all gone. Well, there's a mouthful of rice neglected in the corner but other than that it's pristine.

You're welcome cats.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

You Know The Drill

I've made some new friends in my colleagues over at The Women's Colony. Sometimes it's scary to be the new girl and there's always a period of adjustment but then, more often than not, there's that sliver of commonality and you're off to the races. I'd like to tell you that we all share a fondness for Hanes briefs and Burt's Bees lip balm but I suppose that wouldn't warrant much of an entry.

Today, here on the East coast I, through an accidental medical experiment, found out that, had she not been on steroids, my dog would more than likely be dead now. I fed her by hand and I heard from afar the heart stopping thump when she fell off the ramp to the bed. I spent much of the day chewing over whether medicating her was a misguided end run around nature and consequently unfair to her even though there's no way I couldn't have at least tried the meds.

Much further West my new friend, Minnesota Matron, moved her laptop into her living room to be closer to Jekyll. Jekyll has been her companion for nearly 17 years. He is older than all three of her children. While he has become ill in increments over a long period it is only this week that his distress has been acute enough to convince the whole family that letting him to go is the right thing to do. But the vet is out of town. So Jekyll sleeps while the Matron grades papers and waits for the vet to come tomorrow and help her boy.

You know the drill. Hold them close, give them treats and let them get up on the couch. You'd think, given events of the past weeks, that I'd be hard pressed to find anything left that qualified as a treat for my pooch. Two slices of turkey, the last bite of my sandwich and 3 hot dogs cut into easily manageable chunks and served by hand would indicate I've retained some wiggle room.

And it's not even time for bed yet.

Godspeed Jekyll, you're a good puppy.

Blearzug Gleezle Blorp!

I need to write today. I have so much to write. I barely really wrote at all yesterday. And yet...

The together of the words thingee is not so much with the gooding.

You know?

Here, go somewhere else instead. Via TonyComstock I found this brilliant piece by Amanda Palmer about why it's OK, nay necessary, for artists to be perfectly comfortable being paid for their art. Discuss. No, seriously, please discuss because I want to talk about this.

My segues will be all serendipitous today, too, because the other place I want to send you is a link posted by Neil Gaiman who happens to be Amanda Palmer's boyfriend. This comes at the end of one of his posts about Banned Books Week and it's a response from a librarian to a library patron who objects to a book. I like it not only because I agree with the book being kept on the shelves but because I think there's a lot to learn from the measured, respectful and factual argument he sets forth. In another move by that old bitch Serendipity the way he handles the comments (they're numerous, nay voluminous, but well worth at least skimming) directly relates to what I've been thinking about recently.

Happy reading!

Wish me luck.