Thank the Maude
I got Lila’s Monday Fever last night at bedtime - this sudden spike in my body temp that wasn’t a hot flash, and came with a teeth-grinding headache. Looooong night ensued. It broke in the early hours of morning, and I went back to sleep for an hour and a half after the alarm went off.
Bowie just waited it out, even though brekkie was very late and he didn’t get his usual morning romp around the yard on leash. He goes in his crate with the door wide open in the morning after Chris goes to work - but sleeps on the couch all night.
We just came back from our daily morning 45 minute walk around the east side of Kent. He rolled in something nasty and had dried whatever the hell it was, shit, blood, guts, I don’t know, all over his neck and I found out by putting my face in it, so that was fun. Nothing a shit ton of scrubbing and Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Castile soap can’t solve.
Fortunately he was super chill on our walk and only pulled a few times. Now it feels like the fever is coming on again, and I have so many tasks to accomplish today that I could cry. I wonder if he’ll make room on the blue chair for me, I think it’s already nap time. Thunderstorm is rolling in, the birds are singing, the temperature is perfect, and I just don’t wanna.
Sigh. I made a nice iced coffee with sugar and half & half. Time to knock a dozen things off the list.
Fever? What fever?
Thanks for being mellow today, Bowie.
Oh my Maude, I never imagined that ordering a port-a-john for a farmers’ market could be so Mauddamn complicated. I may have just lost a half hour of my life that I can never get back having the most repetitive conversation with possibly the dumbest person I’ve ever spoken with and what the hell just happened?
Dog is crazy again today.
And I don’t have time to walk him all day long.
The Triumph of Progressivism: Graduation 2013 and 1968
All of this.
Many of you soon-to-be college graduates are determined to make the world a better place. Some of you are choosing careers in public service or joining nonprofits or volunteering in your communities.
But many of you are cynical about politics. You see the system as inherently corrupt. You doubt real progress is possible.
“What chance do we have against the Koch brothers and the other billionaires?” you’ve asked me. “How can we fight against Monsanto, Boeing, JP Morgan, and Bank of America? They buy elections. They run America.”
Let me remind you: Cynicism is a self-fulfilling prophesy. You have no chance if you assume you have no chance.
“But it was different when you graduated,” you say. “The sixties were a time of social progress.”
You don’t know your history.
When I graduated in 1968, the Vietnam War was raging. Over half a million American troops were already there. I didn’t know if I’d be drafted. A member of my class who spoke at commencement said he was heading to Canada and urged us to join him.
Two months before, Martin Luther King Jr. had been assassinated. America’s cities were burning. Bobby Kennedy had just been gunned down.
George (“segregation forever”) Wallace was on his way to garnering 10 million votes and carrying five southern states. Richard Nixon was well on his way to becoming president.
America was still mired in bigotry.
I remember a classmate who was dating a black girl being spit on in a movie theater. The Supreme Court had only the year before struck down state laws against interracial marriage.
My entire graduating class of almost 800 contained only six young black men and four Hispanics.
I remember the girlfriend of another classmate almost dying from a back-alley abortion, because legal abortions were almost impossible to get.
I remember a bright young woman law school graduate in tears because no law firm would hire her because she was a woman.
I remember one of my classmates telling me in anguish that he was a homosexual, fearing he’d be discovered and his career ruined.
The environmental movement had yet not been born. Two-thirds of America’s waterways were unsafe for swimming or fishing because of industrial waste and sewage.
I remember rivers so polluted they caught fire. When the Cuyahoga River went up in flames Time Magazine described it as the river that “oozes rather than flows,” in which a person “does not drown but decays.”
In those days, universal health insurance was a pipe dream.
It all seemed pretty hopeless. I assumed America was going to hell.
And yet, reforms did occur. America changed. The changes didn’t come easily. Every positive step was met with determined resistance. But we became better and stronger because we were determined to change.
When I graduated college I would not have believed that in my lifetime women would gain rights over their own bodies, including the legal right to have an abortion. Or women would become chief executives of major corporations, secretaries of state, contenders for the presidency. Or they’d outnumber men in college.
I would not have imagined that eleven states would allow gays and lesbians to marry, and a majority of Americans would support equal marriage rights.
Or that the nation would have a large and growing black middle class.
It would have seemed beyond possibility that a black man, the child of an interracial couple, would become President of the United States.
I would not have predicted that the rate of college enrollment among Hispanics would exceed that of whites.
Or that more than 80 percent of Americans would have health insurance, most of it through government.
I wouldn’t have foreseen that the Cuyahoga River – the one that used to catch fire regularly – would come to support 44 species of fish. And that over half our rivers and 70 percent of bays and estuaries would become safe for swimming and fishing.
Or that some 200,000 premature deaths and 700,000 cases of chronic bronchitis would have been prevented because the air is cleaner.
Or that the portion of children with elevated levels of lead in their blood would have dropped from 88 percent to just over 4 percent.
I would not have believed our nation capable of so much positive change.
Yet we achieved it. And we have just begun. Widening inequality, a shrinking middle class, global warming, the corruption of our democracy by big money – all of these, and more, must be addressed. To make progress on these — and to prevent ourselves from slipping backwards — will require no less steadfastness, intelligence, and patience than was necessitated before.
The genius of America lies in its resilience and pragmatism. We believe in social progress because we were born into it. It is our national creed.
Which is to say, I understand your cynicism. It looks pretty hopeless.
But, believe me, it isn’t.
Not if you pitch in.
12 Fantastic Victory Garden Posters
During World War I and World War II, gardening took on a distinctly martial air. Citizens were encouraged to grow their own backyard produce (dubbed “war gardens” in WWI and “victory gardens” in WWII, which shows how far the art of positive spin had progressed in just a few decades). Culled from the Library of Congress, check out 12 fantastic food posters from that era. Start a garden and salute.
Do dogs see ghosts? I think Bowie sees ghosts. He stopped while we were walking today and kept turning around to stare at a spot a few inches to the left of my ear, then looked back to my face, then back again, over and over again. When I encouraged him to keep walking, he kept looking over his shoulder at me, and then ended up sitting down and staring again. He’s been sleeping for the four hours since we got back and I’ve had the most productive afternoon since we adopted him.
He’s a showoff. He lifted his leg so high while taking a crap next to a fire hydrant that he planted his poop right on top. Try not to laugh for three days about that. Turns out not everybody wants to hear that story, either. No I did not take a picture.
Why all the sleeping today? Sleeping with such deep snoring. Is it possible he’s really my spirit animal, overcome by the need to nap when the weather is cold?
On Saturday, four days after his neutering, he became Opposite Bowie and spent the entire day bounding through our world — 45 lbs* of pure speed and muscle. He kept nipping at everyone’s faces while leaping at them. He chewed on everything. He dismantled the wood pile over three hours, one log at a time. I was terrified that rather than calming him down as promised, neutering him made him revert to his true puppy nature. Lila wondered if he was jumping so high because he no longer had those giant heavy balls dragging him down. She had a point.
He’s now on the far other side, lazy dog bordering on comatose.
Anyway, so glad we have this awesome being in our life. He’s the best.
* I swear he was 46 lbs before the surgery. Those were two huge balls.
Turning the heat on. Screw it, it’s my day on my weekend, and my ass, hands, and feet are freezing cold.
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