“I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center.” Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Old dogs and swine flu

My sister recently learned that her dog, Cerebus, who had been sick for awhile, had multiple tumors. There was nothing that could be done to cure him. She was very sad to have him euthanised. He was a very lucky dog; he lived a good life. This is the problem with dogs- they get old and sick and die. It's so sad. But we can give them the privilege of euthenasia, which is denied to people. Below is a photo of Cerebus with Barb, on his last day with her. Though I wasn't really in the mood for a party, I couldn't miss my friend's Swine Flu party. Yes, these are painting masks, but this is New Zealand- we make do with what we can find. Fortunately, Roberta and her partner travel a bit, and find premium tequilas in the duty-free shops. They are also excellent cooks and prepared a delicious Mexican pork stew. Darin and I were pretty hungry when we got to the party, because we'd been up to Maungaturoto and back that afternoon. We took advantage of the sunny clear day to spray pesticide on all the thistle we were unable to eliminate with our machete. The land was pretty pugged up from the cows and sheep that were recently grazing there. We had fun slogging around in the muddy areas, trying to facilitate the drainage.
My sweet puppy Ruby waited a month to come into her heat cycle, just before we take a two week holiday to the US. If we had booked the dogs into the usual kennel, they would tell us we can't bring her if she's in season, which would leave us in a real bind. Fortunately we have a housesitter to look after our house and animals while we're away. If there are challenges, my sister lives just 5 minutes away so they should get it sorted. I better remind Darin to check the fire alarm batteries, just in case.
I finished reading Garlic and Sapphires and really enjoyed it. Of the three foodie books I read recently, this one was the best. I would definitely read more of her writing. The Man Who Ate Everything was a bit tiring and old, but I enjoyed The Man Who Ate the World, which is a modern update on the former title. I am up to chapter 14 in Wally Lamb's She's Come Undone, and it is due tomorrow. I tried to renew it, but can't because other people have placed holds on it. This may be the best, because it is a very sad story. The main character has crazy family issues, and I'm about to go back to Fargo and see my family. I need to be in a good place, mentally, for this trip, and Wally Lamb's book is not going to assist this. So I might come back to the story of Dolores Price at some point. For the travel, I might take Freakonomics, a nice lightweight paperback that my brother-in-law passed to me. The library came through for me again, and bought a brand new book I requested: The Ten-Cent Plague: The great comic book scare and how it changed America. I have this now, and might take it along instead.

Now for some art. Check out this most excellent street artist, Banksy: It says "I must not copy what I see on the Simpsons". Check out more of his stuff here.