Thursday, August 28, 2008

Pug brunch

Pugs in a fancy new shopping lane in fancy Bethesda.

We were supposed to go away this past weekend but canceled at the last minute due to a migraine. We went out for Sunday brunch in a strange new place to pretend we were on vacation. It was nice, but I don't think any of us were really fooled.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Mt. Fuji morning glory

Grown in a pot like the Japanese do. I am ridiculously pleased with this.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

General Announcement to PR People

If your name and phone number are listed as PR manager on the website of a major national organization, you might want to consider answering the phone "Hello, this is Name, Major National Organization."

As opposed to, "Hello?"

Seriously. We didn't even answer that way at the Reptile House, where outside people had no way of getting our phone number. Isn't this basic business etiquette?

Monday, August 25, 2008

No prejudice here

Originally uploaded by Karl Kuchs

I've never posted a black pug with its chin down. Black pugs are much rarer. We keep meeting new pugs in the neighborhood lately, but never a black one. But Flickr has everything anyone could need, so here we are.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The dog mind

Rose follows me around the house no matter where I go. Lilly does not do this, because she long ago learned how to identify the subtle signs of imminent Pug Fun or the lack thereof, so she doesn't have to waste energy. Rose is more willing to take her chances and also, I guess, after living her first four years in a cage, figures she's already spent enough time lying in one place.

But I feel kind of bad when she uses all that energy to run down the stairs after me when I'm getting a glass of iced tea and coming right back up to the office. Or when she leaps up in the backyard likewise when I'm just grabbing something and coming right back out.

Since I talk to them all the time whether they understand it or not, I always say, "no wait I'll be right back."

I just noticed that now, when I say "I'll be right back," Rose does not get up and follow me.

This is what I love about dogs.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

General Announcement to Pug Dogs

There is no conceivable circumstance in which a pug dog would leave even a single edible molecule behind in a food bowl. This should be obvious to both of you via a moment of reflection upon your own behavior. Therefore, it is not necessary to run to each other's bowls after every meal to lick them clean. It is absolutely certain that there will never be anything left in the other pug's bowl. Thank you.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Pug eats local

On Monday I finally crossed off my to-do list something that had been there for years, ever since we moved to this neighborhood. I took some pictures of this small vegetable farm that is around the corner from me.

This farm is only a couple of blocks from downtown Silver Spring office buildings, metro, etc. Every year I assumed the bulldozers were going to roll in and ugly McMansions would get crammed onto the lot and I'd kick myself for not getting the pictures. Just like I still kick myself that I didn't get pictures of the Orthopedic Truss company on Bonifant Street, or the artificial limb place on Wayne, or any of the other pleasures of urban decay that are rapidly vanishing from the neighborhood.

I don't know how much longer we'll be able to walk around the corner and buy figs, but at least I didn't miss out on taking the photos.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Went herping and all I got was this lousy fungus

Actually it's a really spectacular fungus, isn't it?

We went to try to look at some tadpoles again. We perceived a lot of things swimming away faster than you could see them, and also a lot of little things jumping into the water before you could see them.

It was somewhat less eventful than the last trip. We used the GPS this time and didn't get lost, although I found the dirt road rather terrifying, and even worse was the HUGE bee-like insect that got into the car on the way back. I swear it looked like the nightmarish creature in this video.

Really, it's a lot better to go to the zoo.

Friday, August 15, 2008


I am happy to report that after deciding on Wednesday that I was going to give up trying to get anything done for the rest of the month, on Thursday I accomplished absolutely nothing.

It feels so good to make a resolution and stick to it.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Cry uncle

August: I concede defeat. You win.

If you asked me, I would say that I hated winter more than any time of year. But in reality if I were paying attention I'd realize August was the lowest point. I spent last August basically lying on the couch with migraines for the whole month. The year before that it was lady-part-problems. I spent a few previous Augusts lying on the same couch sick with stomach problems. This year it looks to be a reprise of the lady-part-problems.

It's not even that hot this year, so although I hate the weather, I guess that's not it. I don't know if it's the shortening days playing some kind of primeval hormonal havoc, my body crying out in protest at never getting a summer vacation longer than a long weekend, or what.

Whatever it is, I am not fighting it anymore. I will not bother feeling bad about not going to the gym. I will not resist the urge to take the pugs to an outdoor restaurant on a weekday evening and have for dinner a margarita and spinach-cheese dip, followed by a piece of cake covered in whipped cream from Whole Foods. I will not expect to finish any major projects, start any new ventures, or make any life decisions. I give up. Ambition, plans, and goals, see you in September.

Monday, August 11, 2008

And a lovely pug evening too

Rose and Lilly at a free concert on Saturday night by the Dixie Power Trio. There are four guys in the band actually, and when asked, the answer was that they are the world's largest trio.

They played a song called Zydeco Dog that refers to a dog that wants to stay out all night. That's Lilly - we were out for at least two hours and we still had to drag her home. While Rose is all "Ooo, we're going home now? Really? Really?"

(More pug internet celebrity: this same picture on the website of our cool new local dog store, Living Ruff.)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Glorious pug morning

I walked the pugs to the farmer's market this morning and shared a brioche with them. Usually only Rose will come with me, but this time Lilly condescended to accompany us.

Just as we were finishing, the man at the bakery came running over. He had dropped a croissant on the floor, so he gave it to me for the pugs. For them, of course, this was like winning the lottery.

This is just how Lilly is, she's that lucky person that these things happen to.

I bet she remembers this and I don't have trouble convincing her to come next week. If the baker drops a croissant again I hope he does it sooner, though. It would have been nice to be able to eat my whole brioche myself.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Why newspapers are dying

This morning I read a restaurant review in the Washington Post Weekend section which contained the following sentence:

"Let's be honest, Mexican food is pretty straightforward with variations on a cheese, meat and tortilla theme."

I immediately had to drop everything I was doing and write a curmudgeonly email which began "I know you've downsized the staff, but what's going on here, are you having the high school interns write the restaurant reviews?"

Seriously, this is Washington DC. This is an audience that has a high level of culinary sophistication. The existence of Mexican regional cuisines is not a secret nowadays, nor is the existence of dishes beyond Tex-Mex tacos and enchiladas. And surely it's not news to readers in an area with such a large Latino population that "plantains are a fruit similar to bananas."

I managed not to also comment on the style of the quoted sentence, so really, I did exercise some restraint. But, although I know from personal experience that it's the time of year when a lot of the grownup editors are on vacation, there's really no excuse.

(The title of this post is stolen from my famous writer friend Beth Harpaz, who forwards around terrible newspaper stories under this heading.)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Mysteries of technology

Words that my MS Word spellchecker does not recognize as correctly spelled English words:


Words that it thinks are perfectly fine:

The f-word itself, spelled out
"the f-word"

Monday, August 4, 2008

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Typing more words on the internet

There is this new blog I am writing for:

Go read it and click on all the ads so I make some money, unlike on this gloriously ad-free labor of love and curmudgeonry. Thanks!