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Tuesday, May 14

advice from the dog: How to Be a Better Animal - Tips & Tricks for Humans

My dog Lila needs only one name.  Like Madonna.  Or Bjork.  Or Macklemore. She's a superstar. And she has tips for you, Humans.

How to Be a Better Animal 
Lila's Essential Tips & Tricks

1.  When you're thirsty, drink.  When you're hungry, eat.  When you're sleepy, sleep.  When you're bored, make sure everybody knows it by racing in huge circles around the yard and kicking up enough dust to facilitate climate change.

2. Don't fly in planes; bark hysterically at them.  They're dangerous.

3. Give some credit to your fellow animals.  If your water bowl becomes inexplicably empty and has failed to magically refill itself by the time you're thirsty again, bark at it a few times.  Sometimes you have to ask. If you ask, your fellow animals will often step up to the plate and help you out.  After all, your water bowl may be magical, but your fellow animals probably can't read your mind.

4. Give credit to yourself.  If  Ghostly Black Storm Riders or Crazy-Scary Demon Witch Vampires invade your yard (and they will!), don't wait for anyone to save you.  You are smart enough, strong enough, and have enough fur to fend off danger.  It's okay to put up your hackles - everyone gets scared sometimes - but don't let fear prevent you from leaping into the necessary battles.

5. Remember that not all battles are necessary.  Sometimes it's okay to let a guy and his dog walk past your house without getting worked up about it.  And sometimes when your ball rolls under the couch, it's better to think about it for awhile before going ballistic (so to speak).  Figure out when you need to be fight-ready and when it's better to lie on your belly with your nose stuffed under the couch and pointed towards the ball lodged under there and meditate on your situation for awhile.  Say to yourself: Do I really need my ball right this second or will this other ball next to my foot suffice for the moment?  Are those really Ghostly Black Storm Riders out there, or is it merely the neighbor cleaning his grill?

6.  Don't be hot.  Or cold.  Or wet.  Well.  Maybe wet.   If it's hot, stick out your tongue, collapse onto your side on a cool patio, and accept the heat.  It just is so just be in it.  If it's cold, curl into a tiny ball against the arm of the couch, bury your nose in your tail, and accept the cold.  It just is so just be in it.  Those are just external stimuli.  You don't have to focus on them.  They don't have to make you miserable. Rain is different. If it rains, climb up onto the table under the ramada and stand there with your ears plastered back against your head.  Try to stay as far away from puddles as possible.  Try to avoid becoming wet in the first place.  Same goes for snow.

7.  Love your fellow animals with abandon.  If they make you happy, tell them so.  They'll appreciate it.  Lick them, make growly noises of love into their ears, and do the love boogie whenever they come home or wake up in the morning or return from the bathroom.  After all, someday your fellow animals will be gone.  They'll leave for work, and you won't know when - or if - they're coming back.  So don't hold back with the boogie-ing and growling.

8. You don't need to spend a lot of money to have a good time.  It really is the simple things.  Forego the huge TV and go outside to chase doves or look for cats out the front door or find yourself an old sock to chew on.  Go for a walk.  Go for a run.  Take a nap.  Good times. 

9. It's easy to make friends.  Make a new friend every day.  That guy over there?  He could be a friend.  Go talk to him.  Wag a lot so he knows where you're coming from. Put your paws on his chest so you can look him in the eye.  It's a good way for you two to get to know each other quickly.

10. Don't go around expecting to meet enemies. Expect your fellow animals to be good and most of them will prove you right. 


Wednesday, April 17

suggestive wines (or parental shenanigans)

My parents.

You remember how duplicitous they are? How they regularly drive to to the Clock Shop in the minivan and pretend it's all about clocks and minivans for the benefit of the neighbors?

Well, it's not all about clocks and minivans which, if we didn't all know it before, has become abundantly clear now that my parents are sending us Suggestive Wines on a semi-regular basis.

Here is a picture of the Fetish Wine they sent me in December of 2002 (according to my phone). Actually, I believe it was last January, and I believe my phone is a creature of the devil. Or maybe it was simply (and understandably!) addled by the sexy lady-silhouette printed on the pornographic bottle of wine my parents sent me.

Do Mom and Dad even know what the word "fetish" means?
For the sake of humanity, I hope not. 
And here is a picture of the Sexual Chocolate wine that arrived on the porch just this afternoon:

Do Mom and Dad even know
what the word "Chocolate" means?!
Brunings. These are the people who are doing all the damage.
If you live in Ohio, you should go there to support my parents' "clock" habit.
Because the people at Bruning's are awesome
with all their clocks and their wine and their shenanigans.



Tuesday, April 9

the art of salad

It takes me eight hours to make a salad these days.

First I have to decide to make a salad. That takes awhile.

Then I have to pick things out of the garden for it: lettuce, spinach, radishes, carrots, and green onions.

I take a turn around the herb pots: thyme, mint, oregano, chives.

Then I have to carefully wash each individual leaf, because now that it's warm, everything is covered with tiny bugs.

I add dried cranberries, walnuts, good fatty salad dressing. 

Grind on some black pepper.

Grate on some parmesan.

Then I spend three hours taking pictures of the salad.

And, finally - voila! Eight hours later, I'm eating the world's most temporally inefficient, economically unsustainable, and environmentally irresponsible salad.

And it's totally worth it.

World's best, most fiscally irresponsible salad.