Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Rose's $2000 haircut

Not very stylish!

Rose had an MRI and spinal tap, and our bank account had a severe money-ectomy.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

On the road

Here are some of the exciting animals we did not see at the zoo in Providence, RI:

Babirusa (butt disappearing into cave)
Mara (one ear flutter barely visible in cave if you crouched down at the right angle at the right moment)
Binturong (great exhibit where you could crawl under and stick your head up one of those clear plastic bubble right in there with the binturong, if it hadn't been hiding)

We had the perfect timing to see a sloth actually moving in one indoor exhibit but otherwise that one was all, like, saki monkeys and GLTs, which I have had enough of for a lifetime and never liked that much in the first place.

They did have some great tropical birds - but the main effect of that was just to make me think that my life would be richer if I could manage to give a shit about birds. Sadly, I just can't.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Puggy Christmas!

Puggy Christmas!
Originally uploaded by wombatarama

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Travel advice for out of towners: think twice about taking the bus

The other evening I got off the metro in a strange neighborhood. I knew I had to go south on Georgia Ave, a major-north south route, but wasn't sure which way that was.

But I was in luck - there was a city bus waiting at the corner. So I stopped and asked the driver if I was walking south.

He was all, "Uh..."

I finally got an answer by asking if it was the downtown direction or the Maryland direction, but he even had to think pretty hard about that one.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Embittered former academic - who, me?

In the 1960s, faced with the possibility that her husband would be jailed for his activities in opposition to the Vietnam War, Carol Chomsky resumed her education: a doctorate would be useful should she need to become the sole family breadwinner.

-New York Times obituary for Carol Chomsky

Well, weren't those the good old days!

Saturday, December 20, 2008


I managed to finish my holiday shopping while buying only the following for myself:

Panamanian Golden Frog T-shirt, on sale
Panamanian Golden Frog mug, on sale
Expensive black tights that I actually needed
A third package of Manatee Margarita chocolate, to ensure that I actually give away the first two.

I bought a dozen things that were actually gifts, so really, that's pretty good, isn't it?

Friday, December 19, 2008


All of a sudden I am constantly hearing the phrase "high net worth individuals."

When did it become unacceptable to say "rich people?"

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Pug Life

Yesterday I got a letter with the return address "Department of Police, Animal Services Division." My immediate reaction was, oh no, what did we do? Even if they have invented off-leash cameras, I know we haven't been to the park since the summer.

Uh, right... I realized after half a second that although the only other thing we get from "Department of Police" is traffic tickets, this was just a dog license renewal notice.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Why publishing is dying

I am designing a website for a friend, who shall remain nameless for the purposes of this post, who has a book coming out next month.

The publisher told her that she MUST have a website for marketing purposes, but provides no support for this at all, which is why I am doing it. My friend asked several times what to do about a 'buy' link, and they ignored all her emails.

Then, after the site was already done, someone looked at it and said "include more places to buy." They provided a link to their catalog, which includes a number of sites to buy the book.

One of those sites is Alibris, which in case you don't know, is a used bookseller.

When she inquired about this, she was told "it's a corporate decision." In other words, !%&$ you, author, and your sales numbers and your royalties.

This is just one of many stories I could tell but I will leave it at this: they will blame it on the economy and the web and people not reading anymore, but if the publishing business is collapsing, they have no one to blame but themselves.

It's a shame, really. I kind of don't want to publish a book so much anymore after this experience, but I really liked reading them, you know? It will be sad when they are gone.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The melting pot

Yesterday I passed a store that is about to open, with a big sign out front:


It's a great country we live in.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Household Tip of the Day

Recycling and reusing is all well and good, but avoid using an envelope marked "Expiration Notice" as a bookmark, especially in a book that is turning out to be somewhat less than a page-turner.

(Yeah, I just figured out why I haven't gotten the last few months of Cook's Illustrated.)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Party animals

Dog tic-tac-toe at the dog club Christmas party - you know, like Downs are O and Sits are X.

Lilly was brilliant at this when we played, even though we ended up on the Down team which was always harder for her. It made me feel bad that her talents and skills are being wasted. Or maybe she prefers retirement? I don't know how to tell.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Cat toys for hard times

I don't usually do this, but I think that my current column is a hoot.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Friday, December 5, 2008

Elsewhere on the Internet...

Lilly and Rose on Pug-A-Day

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Bare keepers

OK, I guess I'm actually kind of glad that all the zoos I've worked for were too stuffy to have an idea like this. I really wouldn't want so much of my skin exposed to all those sharp claws.

Dudley Zoo (UK) keepers strip for fundraising calendar

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Another career change? No thanks.

I have resumes posted on some of those big sites where you can set it up to automatically search for appropriate jobs and email you the ads. This morning, one of them thinks I should apply for a job as a lawyer for a local public school district, or, if I am not feeling so ambitious, as a legal secretary.

I think where I should really apply is the company that programs that search agent. Even I could do a better job than that.