Friday, October 31, 2008

Mac gets Photographed

The lovely Ms Moucri took some glorious shots of Mac last night, while I played photographer's assistant and dog wrangler. Please enjoy her handiwork, and don't forget to check out the rest of her work on flickr.

Monday, October 27, 2008

My Boyfriend, My Hero

I know you thought my boyfriend was a pitcher. Ok, he is a pitcher. But he's also a slugger! (And the winner of Game 4 of the World Series.) Does it get any better than this??

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

We Support Love- No on 8

Mac and Booker (and themacinator and C) attended an impromptu protest in our neighborhood today. Mac wore his Diva sweatshirt and a homemade sign provided by C saying "We Support Love." Booker wore a charming bee costume and a similar "We Support Love" sign, as well as pink toenails. Pit bulls in costumes are always big attention getters, and their appearance in the Laurel district was no exception. Mac likes to attend protests, and to wear costumes, so this was a double whammy for him. Plus, he feels that pit bulls are the recipients are much discrimination, so he likes to stand up for other unfairly maligned groups. Being a queer pit bull is just the icing on the cake...

B says no on 8

There were about 10 of us spread around the intersection and a few of Oakland's Finest protecting us. When I drove by the first time, there were a bunch of "Yes on 8" people there, being very vocal. Apparently, earlier today, and earlier this week, they had been particularly verbally abusive and confrontational. By the time we got back with our gay pit bulls, the anti-equality people had been escorted away by the judicious OPD officers. The No on 8 people were being polite and appropriate, therefore were allowed to stay.

Please, if you live in California consider voting against Prop 8. It is a hateful bill. I don't care who you marry, who you want to marry, but equality under the law is what I believe this country is about.

A shout out to purified thinking water for this awesome image:

Friday, October 17, 2008

Macscapades, or, Mac is Available for Adoption

Mac has a hard head. About two or three years ago, he broke my nose. Through no fault of his own, his hard head hit my soft nose, and well, as my dad says, "whether the rock hits the pitcher or the pitcher hits the rock, it's going to be bad for the pitcher." As my sister pointed out, it's thoroughly possible that in breaking my nose with his hardasrocks head, Mac just may have straightened my nose.

Anyway, Mac's head struck again last night. Literally.

Mac does not like cats. When he sees one, he turns into The Hulk. Normally, he is a very quiet dog- rarely barks, never whines, etc. But cats bring out his inner voice. He turns into this loud roaring barking machine, which pretty much guarantees he'll never catch a cat, since they can hear him coming from a mile away. Last night, we were sitting in my car by my house, not moving, I was on the phone, and lo-and-behold, a cat dared to cross the path. Mac did his usual routine, but through in an added twist. He jumped front feet on the dashboard (he's done this before) but his hardasrocks head hit the windshield. And the windshield cracked. Seriously. This was, of course, the end of my phone conversation. This was not a tiny little slice. Nor was it something I could fix myself. No, this is a $250 window demolition. Thank you, Mac. (Of course Mac did not even seem to notice that his noggin hurt.)

I am offering Mac for free. He comes with toys, outfits, a month of meat, a freezer, treats, a clicker, and some training. He is neutered, chipped, probably semi-UTD on shots. And he has a really hard head. You could probably use it for some kind of log splitting or other backbreaking competition. Car not included.

Pictorial proof:



(no mac isn't REALLY available for adoption. i just... say that)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sam Walker: Fantasyland

I love baseball. I know that's obvious. When I was little, my dad was in a "rotisserie" league. I don't think I ever knew why it was called a "rotisserie" league- maybe I thought they made that up, since everyone else played "Fantasy" baseball, or maybe I thought they ate a lot of rotisserie chicken. I don't know, but I do know that I played a lot of rotisserie baseball with dad. I collected baseball cards at the time, so I knew a lot of the stats in my pre-teen brain, although I didn't always know what they meant, and I rarely knew more advanced (or nerdy) stats like WHIP or OPS- just thinks like strikeouts, saves, HRs, etc- things actually printed on TOPS or Upper Deck cards. (Sidenote- weren't Upper Deck cards cool? When they came out it was like baseball cards had just soared to a new level.) Anyway, Dad and his good friend Harvey were in this league of dorky baseball dudes (I don't remember any other women) and every year for a few years Dad had a team- LODI- which stood for "Long Distance" because he was always travelling, and Harvey was the "Commissioner" of the league, who we called, and still call, the Commish, and together, we'd have this father/daughter bonding experience of planning our draft in the off season, and I would go with him to draft our team. I even got to help him pick our players. Pretty nifty for a baseball dork. This was before the internet (yes, I remember that time) and we would go to get the newspaper and read the boxscores every morning to see how LODI was doing. So much fun!

Well, Sam Walker has written the book about my childhood. Or at least, why Rotisserie leagues are what they are, where they came from, why they're controversial, and who the big-wigs are in fantasy baseball. And my dad's league didn't make up the name, and they didn't eat a lot of chicken. (My family ate a lot of rotisserie chicken, but we don't get the credit here.) This is a pretty awesome book, if you care about stats, or if you like to dorkout about balls hit hard vs contact, etc. Sabermetrics vs fantasy vs scouting, etc. If this is greek, or boring, this book will not interest you. If you still want to trade baseball cards, and not just on their value as cards themselves, but on the value of the player, to help complete your little roster, then this book is awesome. It's a nice supplement to "Moneyball," which describes Billy Beane's now not-so-new method of building a successful low-budget team, using mathematics. Walker jumped into the league for the experts in fantasy ball, and expected to do well. "Fantasyland" is his story, and the chronicles of his humbling. Go Streetwalkers!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Believe It.

Your home insurance policy has a breed restriction list. Your renter's insurance has a list. Your condo has an HOA and they have a list. Your apartment complex has a list. Even if "everyone has a dog" the list exists. Even if they "told you that you could have a dog" there is a list." And this list can come back to bite you in the butt. Sure, pit bulls are on there, but so is everything else.

An adopter handed me this list the other day and told me it wasn't exhaustive, but that this was a sample. I have such a hard time convincing people of this- that breed paranoia, especially for large dogs, exists- but it's real. When bringing home a dog, it's paramount to *do your research first.* Get permission to have your dog in writing. Check with your insurance agent *first* and bring home the dog second. It's not worth losing your insurance or your new dog.

Secondly, and more selfishly, don't think that pit bulls are the only "bad" dogs out there. Or, that they're bad at all. Breed specific legislation does not work. All dogs bite, all dogs get bad reputations, and targeting individual breeds (as you see on this list) is ridonkulous. What do pit bulls, greyhounds, and bassets have in common? Well, almost nothing except that you can't live in a house owned by this company with one of them. And they usually have four legs and a tail. It's important to look at the human with the dog, and the actions that happen, not the breed of dog. Or we'll end up with draconion lists like this one, and I'm not sure what dogs we'll have left.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Robin Maxwell: The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn

I picked up this book because I needed something fast and brainless. I didn't want to think, I didn't want to be depressed (I just finished Bret Easton Ellis- enough depression for awhile), and I thought Tudor England would be fun for a minute. No. Not fun. Poorly written, tedious, and I've read this book- or a version of it- before. Only whichever version I've read before was done better. I didn't have the energy to put this book out of my sight and start another, but I should have.

The only profound insight I gained from this book (if you can call it that) is that we are obsessed with English scandals. Why? Diana is the latest Anne, or something like that. I can't stretch the metaphor too far, because I mean the "royal we," as evidenced by how little I care about this book- I don't care much about Diana and her love for royalty, either. Maxwell tries to make some profound feminist points through Queen Elizabeth and her mother Anne, "Tomorrow I die because I lusted not for flesh, but to comand my own destiny. This is not a womanly act, I know, but I have oft thought that in this way my spirit is much the same as a man's." But I've heard it before, and much more eloquently. Please, save your head: don't read this book.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Your Dog Did Not Get Stolen.

He escaped. Seriously, I hear all the time- "someone stole my dog." Ok, it's possible, I guess. But if your dog was unattended in the yard, chances are, the dog got out, and you didn't find him. Sure, maybe he ended up with someone who didn't know that the proper protocol was to bring him to the nearest animal shelter (which means you didn't have tags on him telling him to bring him back home), and they kept him, which is *technically* theft, but I don't think that's what you mean. You mean, someone came into your yard, and stole your dog out of it. I'm still waiting for a good answer about WHY someone would do this- I get the Cruella deVille theory, but really, how many people out there are wearing dog-skin-coats these days? And we've debunked the bait-dog theory (well, most people have) and if you really want a bait dog, all you have to do is walk down the street and catch one, not enter someone's private property and steal one and risk getting bitten or shot. Or maybe your dog is just SO special and SO pretty and SO unique that the only way to get one just like him is to get HIM exactly? Right, that's it. Your dog got stolen because he was him.

I doubt it. More likely, your dog got out of your yard. It might have been the easy, human-error way- someone left the gate open. It might have been the more subtle human error way- your fence was built too short, or the gaps in the fence were built too wide, or something. Or, it might have been the even MORE subtle human error way- your dog figured a way to get out of the yard. He scaled the "unscaleable" fence or dug out of the sunken fence. Why is this human error? Because you left him there unattended, and your dog was bored. He needed enrichment in his life, or he saw something more exciting on the other side, and didn't comprehend human concepts like "fence" and "property line." Can you blame him? Well, I guess you can, since you're already blaming this phantom dog-snatcher.

Thanks to Carolyn for showing me this video, which finally demonstrates my case. I'm pretty sure this would constitute an escape-proof enclosure, for most dog-owners. I'm pretty sure most dog-owners who came home to find their dog gone would blame someone else (phantom dog-snatcher). But no, it was the wiley beagle (aka subtle human error).