Tuesday, July 05, 2022


Chloe--aka Honeybee, Big Fuzz, Chlo-Chlo, Chloe Bean (to analogize with our dog Ellie, who was sometimes Ellie Bean), and occasionally Douglas (that one's just me being goofy for no reason; don't worry about it) was the only "problem" dog we ever had, sort of.  Not that much, but when she was young and full of beans, she tried to establish herself as the alpha dog by occasionally attacking the other dogs, all of whom were extremely unassuming, to the point where for a brief while it wasn't clear if we'd be able to keep her.  But she grew out of that quickly enough (and really, she was always obviously the alpha anyway; she didn't need to attacking anyone to prove that).  She was always a little difficult; you were never one hundred percent sure whether you could trust her around strange dogs or people she didn't know.  But people she did know, she loved very intensely.  I don't think I can adequately express what a noble beast she was.

(I remember one incident: when I got back after a year in Morocco, she was unbelievably glad to see me.  It was really hot so I decided to sleep downstairs with the air conditioning, and several times during the night she came over to visit with me, which each time involved urinating all over the carpet in excitement.)

She was diagnosed with lymphoma about three weeks ago.  We were able to keep her comfortable with steroids for a while, but yesterday (some holiday that was, not that it would have been anyway) the end had clearly come.  She was fourteen years and seven months old--ancient for such a large dog, but that is cold comfort.  I had sort of had the idea that the end might be at least a little easier given the advance time we had to mentally prepare for it, but that did not work out.  Of course, it's impossible to really clearly remember mental states, but my subjective impression is that out of the three cats and seven dogs I've had to say goodbye to, this was the hardest.  But we did the best we could for her, it's very obvious that she went at exactly the right time, and--somewhat miraculously--both my brothers were in town, so she was surrounded by all her favorite people.  If it had to happen--and it bloody well did, in spite of magical thinking to the contrary--it happened as well as it could have.

I sometimes think that it says something positive about humans that we're willing to take in pets in spite of absolutely knowing that this is inevitable--and then we keep doing it, even after learning from painful experience.  Not, as we can easily see, that that appears to translate into a less cruel society, but it's not nothing.  I suppose.  Anyway, I put some more pictures after the jump.  As you can see, her muzzle really grayed as she got older, to an extent that I don't think I'd ever seen before in a dog.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

William H. Gass, In the Heart of the Heart of the Country (1968)

More and more, I'm thinking that Omensetter's Luck is a more important novel than its cultural cachet would suggest: it was published in 1966, so not at the foremost of the postmodern, but what it does--it seems to me--is to visibly bridge the divide between Faulkner and your more postmodern sensibility (I didn't name a postmodern author there because Gass' particular brand of postmodernism seems pretty sui generis).  I've never read anything like it before or since, and while obviously it has its partisans, I feel like it should also be a fairly standard college English text.  And I should read more Gass.  I think he's an important writer.

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Saturday, June 25, 2022


There is nothing good in the repeal of Roe.  That's for sure.  I shudder when I think of the pointless death and suffering and life-derailment that will come in tidal waves, and not exclusively to women either.  Oh it will.  The "justices" who voted for it should spend the rest of eternity floundering around in an ocean of boiling feces.  As should all their enablers.  Let's not be coy about this.

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Sunday, June 05, 2022

Steve Katz, Creamy & Delicious (1970)

I read Katz' first novel The Exagggerations [sic] of Peter Prince some time ago, and enjoyed it in the way I enjoy a lot of these old works of avant-garde metafiction that, let's be honest, feel a little quaint these days.  But I never bothered to look any further with Katz.  I was peripherally aware of this book, and I think I could've read it if I'd wanted to; I don't think copies were prohibitively expensive, but, well, I didn't.  So this Tough Poets rereleased seemed like the opportunity.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2022

That's why Greg Abbott says "hey man, nice shot"

But to be slightly serious for a moment: I wonder what Abbott would say if you asked him: do you think America failed these innocent victims?  To me or you or any non-psychopath, this question seems extremely easy: there are legitimate debates to be had over the degree to which government should get involved in day-to-day life, but at the bare minimum, a country has to be able to ensure that its people aren't constantly murdered.  We call countries that can't do that "failed states," and then everything else that they can and do do seems kind of trivial by comparison.  Yes, we've built a more-or-less functional interstate highway system, and that's impressive and everything, BUT WE CONSTANTLY LET PEOPLE BE RANDOMLY SLAUGHTERED.  Kind of overshadows your accomplishments.

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Thursday, May 26, 2022

A known fact

Bloodthirsty ghouls like Greg Abbot and Wayne Lapierre, Ron DeSantis, and Marjorie Taylor-Greene (if I'm misspelling her name, don't tell me; I'm not going to look it up and risk seeing a picture of her) love school shootings, the bigger the better. They blare "Celebration" by Kool & the Gang and pop champagne corks whenever a new one happens.  I can neither confirm nor deny that they're incapable of reaching orgasm without envisioning giant stacks of dead five-year-olds, but people are certainly saying as much.  Some people might say that's unfair, but those probably wouldn't be grieving parents.

Friday, May 20, 2022

William Beckford, Vathek, an Arabian Tale (1787)

I had really wanted to read this for a long time.  Seems like a fun bit of Orientalism, maybe.

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