I'm hyp-mo-tized by the reaction concerning a Mrs. Darwin post about sex, that great unmentionable. (Sex, not Mrs. Darwin or her post.) As one perpetually interested in borders, and not just the borders of hems relative to knees, it's interesting to see the titanic struggle between the great intimacy/openness of the Internet and the understandable guardedness of the Catlick blogosphere. At the border of extremely conservative internet sex post and daring Catholic post is where Mrs. D unwittingly landed.
So what else? Well our new dog came home last night. A joyful moment though it seems unseemly on the heels of Obi's death. Not that Obi will be forgotten or replaced.
The course of canine love rarely runs smooth and we found to our chagrin that our new dog is afraid of stairs. Deathly. He came upstairs with us last night but wanted no part of the return trip. At 80+ lbs, he's not easily carried, especially since he's not an inert mass but a wild, gesticulating puppy-like six-year old.
We tried lining the stairs with tempting treats but that only increased his suspicion. He smelled a rat. Given that his "pee-pee sack was full" (as my wife puts it), it seemed that was motivation enough. But it warn't. We waited about an hour, both of us downstairs, and other than a few squeaks he wasn't going anywhere.
We tried wrapping him in a sheet and carrying him down but that didn't work out too well since he was fighting us and my wife didn't want to use force.
Finally it was decided: let's bring the crate upstairs and carry him down that way. So we constructed the crate in the bedroom and then moved it to the hallway and then carried him down. Mission accomplished. Don't know what we'll do after this, but at least he won't be living upstairs forever.
I've been wanting to read One Nation Under Dog in which the author tries to explain how it is that our society has gone dog-crazy as far as the accoutrements needed (i.e. dog spas? come on...) but I suspect it is part of the cultification of any activity. For example, I love to ride my bike, but I don't have gear. Don't have a helmet (should!) or read magazines about biking or learn about gear shafts or tires or the best odometers, or wear a Spiderman outfit, or monitor wind resistance. But the hardcore bikers, whom I'm not criticizing here, have a lot of extras that make them fit in with other bikers in addition to helping them (surely the tight-fitting clothes are great for long rides and girls anyway do look good in spandex). People like to take their hobbies seriously and really get into them, getting all the gear, learning all the latest techniques. It's the adrenalin rush of the new thing and I suppose as well as surely the status of it. But people have a need for status and if that floats their boat, who am I to say that it's okay to get excessive with blogs but not bikes or dogs? So I'm not sure the whole dog phenomenon is different from the way we take all of our hobbies to the max. Americans tend to like to work hard and play hard and the latter apparently includes dressing up their pets and spoiling their hounds.
Michael Jackson's sad saga reminds me of the fall of the Roman Empire. Even when you have all the resources in the world (Jackson had a personal doctor whom he paid $150,000 a month), you can't pull out of a slide very easily. Once Rome started to fall and once Jackson started going down the path he did, it's very hard to turn around and re-group. Unlike some pro athletes who are oblivious to the perils of fame and fortune, Jackson's awareness of the pitfalls was keen: in '88 he said he didn't want to become another Elvis Presley. He'd learned from Elvis's example. What went wrong? The drugs, the plastic surgeries, surely. If the plastic surgeries came first than that explains the drugs. The key moment, it seems to me, was when he wanted to whiten his face. [UPDATE: Cristina reminds me that the bleaching was in reaction to a skin condition, so it's now explicable.) Why did he want to make himself look white when he was one of the most celebrated entertainers of all time? Is it that affirmation sought and missed in childhood can't be filled up in adulthood? Is it that seeking from other humans are sense of worth is a recipe for disaster? Fortunately with God all things are possible, including the healness of our brokenness.
The results of the Bulwer Lytton bad fiction contest are in.
Writing badly is fun and relatively easy. What follows is something I wrote years ago, imagining through fiction of what it would be like to be hauled off towards a hanging:
I tried not to feel overdramatic, as they half-carried us up the big hill... The symbolism of the day ending as my life was ending brought tears to my eyes and I realized anew how difficult it was to get tears off your cheeks when your hands are tied. I had to rub my face against Gina's hair, which was not an unpleasant endeavor.But I don't want to cheat the reader by simply quoting my old bad stuff. You have the right to some fresh bad writing:
It was a dark and storm-filled day when I checked the Drudge Report but found I'd mistyped the URL as drudge.com and the site that came up was unfamiliar and sort of disagreeable as is limburger cheese although perhaps it's a similarly acquired taste.
I went about that summer lustily singing that Neil Diamond that goes "Some people gotta sing!" only I changed it mentally to "Some people gotta write!". I met a girl; "C'mere big boy," she said. I dated her in part because she admitted never having heard the word "narcissist" and my last girlfriend had called me that. I'd always resented being called narcissistic not because it wasn't true but because it didn't come from me.
Oh God but she was pretty as a tallow flower! Her hair (as well as that of her hares - she kept various mammals of the family Leporidae) was gold, each strand the color of a fine French cheese. Her lips were like the red sirens of police cars which give you the choice of pulling over or gunning it depending on whether you think you could outrun them and whether you figured they had one of those helicopters handy. Her body had curves made for sin which, by the way, is where the word sinuous comes from. And her nose! It was Aquilian, flanked by eyes that were like gazeable gazelles...
The 2009 winner:
Folks say that if you listen real close at the height of the full moon, when the wind is blowin' off Nantucket Sound from the nor' east and the dogs are howlin' for no earthly reason, you can hear the awful screams of the crew of the "Ellie May," a sturdy whaler Captained by John McTavish; for it was on just such a night when the rum was flowin' and, Davey Jones be damned, big John brought his men on deck for the first of several screaming contests.