Thursday, February 26, 2009

General Announcement to Pug Dogs

When I am lying in bed between 7 and 7:30 AM, the following actions do NOT signal that I am about to get up and feed you:

1. Turning over

2. Yawning

3. BREATHING. Please note this one carefully.

4. Pulling the blanket over my head

5. Yelling from under the blanket, "I work at home, I don't have to get up this early!"

In the future, when I perform any of these actions, please MAINTAIN YOUR POSITIONS. There is NO NEED to leap up and seize the day until I indicate this clearly by placing my feet on the floor.

Thank you.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Differently abled

Last night we were trying to trim Lilly's nails and in the course of the struggle, a memory popped into my mind - of a three-legged Chihuahua that we used to know.

He was a nice dog. And, he had 25% less nails to trim.

I think that the next time we have an opening in our household for a dog, I'm going to see if I can find one that is missing a leg.

Yes, trimming the pugs' nails really IS that bad.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Home away from home

Crummy cellphone picture of the pugs in the hotel just down the street, to which we were banished during floor refinishing. When the couch wasn't soft enough for them, they got all the extra pillows you see in the photo. So they really had a good time, don't let those tragic expressions fool you.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

General Annoucement to Hotel Proprietors

If you're going to give someone a 4:45 AM wakeup call, could please you be damned sure you're calling the right room? Thank you.

Monday, February 16, 2009


All evening, snapping and popping noises come from behind the plastic curtain that separates the construction from the rest of the house. They even caused Rose to bark in the middle of the night as if someone were at the door.

The man of the house was sent to investigate on several occasions, particularly because this blog's Hollywood Correspondent recently reported the discovery of a rat in the closet of her nice house in a nice neighborhood. He insists that we do not have rats, numbats, porcupines or any other creatures that might account for the noises.

I can only conclude that the kitchen is haunted. Do you think they might turn out to be useful spirits who could once in a while pull their weight by making me a cup of tea, at least?

Friday, February 13, 2009

More Wisdom from Webcartoonists

FW: Speaking of your life right now… you recently made a big move from Brooklyn to Tucson. What do you think of the change?

DG: There are a lot of great things about Tucson: The weather, sure, and the cost of living. And it’s walkable if you live in the right part of town and sort of squint. And they have these hot dogs wrapped in bacon with beans and onion and pickled radish and cucumber and salsa on them. And the space — you aren’t always competing for limited space. You aren’t always figuring out how to make enough money to get by. There’s enough space and leisure, that without their scarcity to occupy your mind, you find it drifting to thoughts like, Am I living a morally defensible life?

FW: Ack.

DG: Who wants to think things like that? And what the hell kind of reason for living in a city is “the weather?” So, I’m moving. Across the country. In a Toyota Corolla. I should be back in Brooklyn by April.

From an interview with the author of Cat and Girl.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wisdom for hard times

I hope that those of you who straddle the twin lips of the crevasse between WTF and OMG can make a break for either camp and parts beyond. I hope we stop scaring each other into groupthink hoarding. I hope we enjoy each day with a hot or cold beverage and a sweet or savory dish.

-Chris Onstad

Monday, February 9, 2009

More stuff you don't want to know about your house

There is a pug in this picture to create an aura of calm, while you consider whether it is possible that YOUR pipes look like this inside, too.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The internet is dying

Here's the other thing about Facebook. Or the other two things. Or something.

The internet used to be where I went to talk to people I wouldn't have met otherwise. And, like the famous New Yorker cartoon put it, where no one knew that you were a dog.

People didn't used to post under their real names. Sure, this meant that some people felt freer to be assholes. But it also meant that you could talk about adult issues and politics and be snarky and funny and not worry about what your mom or your boss thought.It's a good thing for people to be able to discuss things that they're not sure their mom or their boss would approve of, you know? What's more, it's a good thing to be able to discuss them with people who don't already agree with you, who don't live in the same place and know the same people and are likely to have exactly the same world view.

But on Facebook, you not only have to use your real name, you can't talk to people you don't know, and you can't even read people's stuff unless they've approved you as a friend. There's no browsing around and experiencing ideas and thoughts you'd never be exposed to otherwise.

Now, to some extent this is no great loss because most of what people post on Facebook is trivia. But it's the principle of the thing. I'm afraid something important is being lost, if this comes to be most people's idea of the online experience.

Maybe I am panicking for no reason. I guess there are a zillion public blogs and messageboards out there, so plenty of people still want strangers to read their stuff and maybe interact with someone new. Maybe this is an addition for those kinds of things and not a replacement. But it worries me.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

It's all connected, part 2

Lately I saw the episode of Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" that takes place in DC. He he visited a place that I've written about for the local paper, and he ate chili dogs with a famous writer that I sort of know (well, I know his wife and dogs better, but I've been in his house, and he's been in my backyard).

I felt cool, once removed. It was nice.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

General Annoucement to Pug Dogs

Bowls are designed for the purpose of holding food while you eat it. Beds are designed for sleeping on. There is no possible advantage to removing food from the bowl to the bed to eat it. Please refrain from this unsanitary practice in the future. Thank you.

It's all connected

This week, I figured out that someone I didn't recognize who'd sent a friend request on Facebook was a "real person" I'd interviewed for a story a year ago; I heard someone call in to a radio show who was another real person I'd interviewed for a story for the local paper; and then I was checking a site that aggregates pet news stories and saw one of my own.

My life is weird.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Peer pressure

I finally gave in and joined Facebook. It turns out that it's as bad as I thought, and worse.

I much prefer to use a simple tool that does one job well. I don't need my refrigerator to connect to the internet or my phone to make toast. I don't want to scroll through a dozen irrelevant menus that make it harder to use the thing for its main purpose. But that's the modern way, to add features just because you can, not because they're a good idea.

So similary, I like Twitter and Flickr and a blog and messageboards that all different things well. I never longed for a one-stop-shopping experience, so there was no problem that I needed something like Facebook to solve.

But it turns out, it's not just that it tries to do too many things, it's that it can't even decide on one way to do each of them. There are several slightly different ways to post things, several slightly different ways to see material displayed... Basically, the thing seems to have been designed by a committee that gave up and, instead of making any choices among competing alternatives, just decided to do everything, no matter how confusing that was.

It's better than MySpace because at least people don't make sites with horrible designs and music. But instead, it's got a totally bland design that you can't customize at all - I feel like I am hanging out in a bus station. It's a clean, well-lit bus station, but it's exactly that comfortable and stylish.

I don't get it. I don't know how this became so popular. But, as we know from the case of Microsoft, bad design is no obstacle to worldwide dominance in software. I can only surmise that this is one of those things that's a result of EVERYONE being on the internet now. I suppose many of these people have only ever used badly designed software, so they don't even imagine there could be an alternative.