Cute New York Dogs and Memories of Pepper

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   Author’s note: I wrote this over a week ago and tried to edit the text for typos today.  My editing bumped the post to the top of the list.  If this happens again, please just ignore.  Thank you.

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  I have dog fever, for whatever reason.  I want to pet and cuddle with almost every dog I see on the street.  Can’t wait till I get one of my own again.
      My last dog was a whippet mix we adopted for free out of the newspaper.  I’ll never forget the first time I laid eyes on her.  The owner had a toddler, and the toddler was holding a milk bottle in one hand and a soggy oreo cookie in the other.  I watched Pepper, the dog, quietly emerge from the kitchen.  It was clear that she had a plan.  She walked up to the toddler and gently–ever so gently!–pulled it out of the baby’s hand and ate it.  The kid didn’t even perceive it was missing at first. 
      That is the first impression she made of me: gentleness and self-control.  Most dogs, including my boisterous, goofy golden retriever, would have bowled that kid right over to get the cookie.  Pepper was a delicate, calm dog.  So gentle with that baby!   
       Dogs are so special.  Super special.  I never had a favorite dog–I just loved each one in a different way.  
       When I get a dog again, I’ll probably get a whippet or greyhound or one of their mixes.  Maybe a borzoi or saluki.  Sighthounds are nice and calm and quiet, which I like.  Not the smartest dogs, but whatever.  Everything in life is a tradeoff. 
       I also like mutts.  Really weird-looking Heinz-57 types that don’t look like any other dog in the world.   
            One great thing about NYC is all the dogs one gets to see!  More dogs than you can shake a stick at.  I like to take pictures of them if their owners don’t mind.  People love to talk about their dogs.  It brings out the best in them. 
      Here are four awesome cute dogs outside of a coffee shop in my neighborhood!  SO CUTE!  What kind of dog is that GORGEOUS one at the very front?  Is it a mini queensland or something?  The shaggy one with the dapple coat and white toes!  So pretty!  AWWWWW!
 

   Here is a cute dog in a blanket!  His owner says his name is MIDAS!  Look at those big soulful eyes!

Three Cheers for Chickens!

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     Some women window-shop online to kill time.


      I browse petfinder.com (and craigslist).  The bird ads.


       Have I ever told you how much I love chickens…?  Because I do!  I think chickens are awesome creatures.  What is not to love about chickens?  Consider how gnarly they look!

Look at this awesome chicken!  Adopt him if you can.  His face!  His feet!  His nifty tail! 
This is a beautiful chicken.  See how perfect his feathers are. 

      They look fantastical.  They look monstrous.  Gorgeous. Look at those faces.  Tell me it isn’t true.  


       They also do everything right.  They are predictable.  They are docile.  They are delicious (is that obscene?).  The babies are so cute to look at that I wish I had a baby chick on my desk with me right now!  


     And they come from eggs.  How cool is that?  


      I love chickens!

Parrot Goodness III (Parrot Misses Me!)

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    Oh ma gawd, Parrot just melted my heart!


     I walked in the door ten minutes ago.  It’s 3 in the morning.  I was going to make a snack, so I let Parrot out of her cage.  I gave her a peanut.  Then I went to my desk in my bedroom.


     Parrot flew from her cage and landed on my shoulder!  She came to me! She’s never done that before–flown to me. She is sitting here on my shoulder right now!


     I feel so badly about neglecting her to spend all day and night at work.  She deserves better.  


      Here is beautiful Parrot.  I wish I was as pretty as Parrot!


Have You Seen This Bird?

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    I saw this flyer on a pole in the East Village this evening.  I thought it was sad, so I wanted to do my part:

click to enlarge

         This poor dove, LoviDovi, is missing.  If you have any information please call 1 212 388 9780

         I hate it when I hear about people’s birds getting away.  Parrot is clipped.  I’m seriously considering letting her feathers grow out so that she can fledge, but it makes me nervous because I’ve heard so many stories of birds flown out the window.  Realistically, that is unlikely to happen in my apartment…I guess there is something to be said about living in a 19th century Jacob Riis-esque walkup after all…natural light?  Who needs natural light?  Don’t you know sunlight gives you wrinkles and skin cancer?

          Still hunting for Threepenny Opera tickets.  Tomorrow I will escalate my ticket-grubbing schemes.  What I’ve done so far hasn’t panned out.

        Am also frightfully broke, so I got on Craigslist and landed a modeling job for tomorrow.  I have scrutinized the hell out of it and it seems legit (modeling gigs are a cesspool of scam artists–you have to vett very carefully to get honest, paying work).  I’m one to talk–I knocked a year off my age to meet the qualifications, and I’m counting on the HR or secretary person not checking it when I present my ID and sign the modeling release.  Whatever–my clavicles can hold their own against any teenaged Ukrainian competition.  HA–good thing all that college is paying off!

       Sick.

A Neon Amongst Cardinals: Notes on Alienation

(note: I am seriously wondering if an academic article with this preposterous title could pass peer review and be published in a social sciences journal somewhere.  I honestly think it may be possible.)

          In my aquarium, I have a number of cardinal tetras (Paracheirodon axelrodi).  You have probably seen them before, even if you don’t keep fish yourself. These small fish originate in the blackwater rivers of the Amazon basin, and they have an iridescent blue and red stripe on each side of their bodies.  They look like this:  

            When the cardinals are relaxed—or when they are not particularly stimulated, if “relaxed” is too anthropomorphic—they spread out a little, venturing away from each other.  They nibble at rocks or pick at the gravel or maybe take a nap in the foliage, whatever.  If anything alerts them, though, they immediately tighten up into a school, or shoal.  The more agitated they are, the denser the shoal. 
           
           If you looked at the shoal carefully—perhaps at 1 AM while sitting on the sofa with The Goebbels Experiment on the DVD player, an unexamined periodical in your lap, sucking down uncaffinated  Diet Coke like a severely dehydrated Mormon and waiting for your brain to turn off without benefit of tranquilizers—you would notice that one of the fish in that group was different from the others.  He was almost like all the other cardinals, but not quite.  It’s not your imagination—something is definitely off about him, but you can’t put your finger on what it is right away.  Like when someone at work shows up with a new hairdo.  If this fish was a person lined up to get on an airplane, he would definitely get profiled and yanked for additional security inspection for some reason.  Every fucking time. 
             
           The fish in question is, in fact, a neontetra, Paracheirodon innesi. He is closely related to the cardinals.  His red stripe extends only halfway down his body, however, and he’s shaped a bit differently.  He looks like this: 
            
          The neon shoals with the cardinals and they allow him.  But I gotta tell you, he never looks really comfortable.  He’s always drag-assing at the end of the shoal or lifting slightly off of its side, breaking its symmetry.  He’s not entirely tuned in to the effortless hive-like communal mentality the cardinals share (watch video of flocks of starlings on YouTube if you want a better understanding of my point). When they just hang out, he conceals himself in the plants.  If you were eyeballing him from my couch at one in the morning, your coffee table strewn with uncaffinated Diet Coke bottles and interchangeable weight plates, you might think: That fish looks self-conscious.  He’s totally fucked and he knows it.  However shrewd, however accurate, this would not be a very consoling thought to have at this time of night, hearing Kenneth Branagh’s voice reciting from Goebbels’ diaries (some of the footage in the movie is awesome, though).  
He was sold to me by mistake at the fish store; somehow he got put into the cardinal tetra tank.  He was rounded up with some others and I took him home.  It took a little while before I recognized him for what he was. 
 It’s a bit of a dilemma.  I realize that it is not going to be taken up at the United Nations anytime soon, but it bothers me nonetheless.  I could return him to the store, and then he would go to God knows where—neon tetra Shangri-la or someone who kills him immediately because they forget to de-clorinate the tapwater.  At least I know that my tank is a healthful habitat; I monitor the chemical parameters of the water, I watch the denizens like Big Brother.  I have introduced a few other neon tetras in the past, but because they were tiny juveniles (I cannot find mature specimens), the big angelfish gradually picked them off.  The original neon tetra is too big for them to eat, so they leave him alone.  The last of his kind.  A practical Ishi of the aquarium, he is. 
 You can see where this is going.
 Will post the rest tomorrow. 

Sensitive Parrot

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This is how Parrot looked today when I tried to give her a treat.  Usually she eats from my hand eagerly.

I am working on a sexier blog post (at least, sexy to me), but since I had such a crappy day, I wrote this one instead.

Also, in the bottom is Rooster’s new home.  I got tired of the substrate (that’s code for: I couldn’t deal with the algae anymore.  Too much sunlight around my desk).  

For Rooster, Hope Springs Eternal

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          Today when I went to feed my betta fish, Rooster, and clean his home, I saw that he had built a bubble nest!  See pic: 

 

      Male betta fish build bubble nests in the hope that when a female betta fish comes along, she will be enticed by the nest to mate with him and spawn.  

      I feel a little sorry for Rooster.  I’m sure he built his nest with such high hopes (or the highest hopes a little fish could have).  He has no idea that he will never, ever meet a female betta fish, much less spawn.  I wonder what he would say if he had an intellect and powers of comprehension.  Probably something like, “I never signed up for this, asshole!” 

The parrot is well.  I have joined a parrot forum to learn how to make her as healthy and happy as possible.  In a few minutes, I’m going to let her out of her cage to watch TV with me.  I think Gordon Ramsay is my all-time favorite TV sadist (he’ll get some special attention on this blog in time, no doubt).  One would think that after last night’s events, I would have reached maximum saturation re: sadism and suffering, but apparently my appetite for such things is insatiable.  Relentless. 

Here’s a photo of parrot eating a nut (in case you couldn’t figure that out for yourself, haha).

Miss Margo and Random Doggie Joy

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   Here’s a photo I took of myself today en route to Hoboken.  Sorry it’s so small; I must be mindful of my privacy. I love white–like to think it’s flattering on me. But it’s so difficult to keep clean–especially in NYC where the public transit is grimy! Tip for potential visitors: carry bottles of hand sanitizer!

       After I got my head examined, I took photos of random dogs I saw around Hoboken.  I am crazy for animals.  Aren’t these dogs great?  I especially love this bizarre small furry one; he looks so weird, and I like weird.  I have a special affection for mutts.  Some people get offended when I use that word, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it.  Mutts are very special.  One of my favorite dogs was a mutt…actually, wait, that’s not fair.  All my dogs have been my favorite.  That is what makes dogs so special; each one is different, and you love each one in a different way–not one more than another.

 If he was my dog, I would name him…CHEWY!!!!  I bet you can guess why.
Let your freak flag fly, little dude.

Not sure–Bernese Mountain Dog pup…?  It would be so much cooler in the Alps!

Australian Cattle Dog mix?  What a handsome jack, and smart as a whip!
My mini-dachshund cuteness has magical properties.  If abandoned in the wilds of Alaska, nothing could ever bring itself to eat me, because I am too cute.  I have chewed every pair of my owner’s Jimmy Choos, and she couldn’t stay mad at me for long!  Say, why don’t you offer me a treat? 
Beagle something…?  I love his asymmetrical white socks!  He’s pissed and waiting impatiently outside of the hardware store.

        If you’re disappointed by the cutesy tone of this post, gentle reader, never fear:  I need my fix, and my friend Heinrich has invited me over for supper tomorrow evening.  Or, rather, for suppertime.  I have no idea whether dining will be involved.

       But there will definitely be something on the menu, food or otherwise (is that pun terrible?).  He has plans; detailed plans.  He is like me; there is nothing spontaneous in his character. 

      I do not think that I will be able to wear the dress I wore today on Monday.  I cannot vouch for the pristine condition of my hide.  We’ll see how it goes.  I will not show anyone else, but I will show you.