Saturday, May 23, 2015

Dogs Life

This morning I was having a very pleasant dream when Dog #2 decided it was time for me to get up.

I have lost all control over my mornings due to these dogs.  Every morning is the same.

Dog #2 kicks it off with an Oscar-worthy performance of passive/aggression. "Don't let me wake you," he seems to say through loud, nasal exhalations and vigorous ear-shakes.  I find myself fantasizing about having easy access to a tranquilizer gun by the bed.

He keeps up the performance until I get up.  Like this:

We go downstairs, emancipate Dog #1 from her crate.  Dog #2 has not yet accepted a crated existence.  I know: this is all my fault.

We head outside to our tiny yard, for ablutions.  I don't even care.  I am in my pajamas in clear view of the ample street and automobile traffic of Sheridan Road.

Dog #2 pees and then heads immediately back inside anticipating breakfast.  Dog #1, on the other hand, takes advantage of this outdoor time to smell literally every goddamn smell there is to smell. There I am, in my pajamas, in clear view of all the passersby, strangers and neighbors and strange neighbors (actually, I guess I'm the strange neighbor in this scenario), hollering "GINGER!  GINGER!  COME!  GINGER! GODDAMMIT!" and she's all:

So I have to wander out into the dewy, peeful yard to pick her up and bring her back into the house.

Once inside, it's time to feed them.  While they tear through their food like they haven't eaten in years, I am now free to sit down with my morning Coke Zero and have a little time to check out social media and have a general blogaround.  

This lasts for about 13 seconds because Dog #2 has a digestive system that operates at Mach 3 and now he has to poop.  Have I mentioned this is how it goes every morning?

So back outside we go where Dog #2 immediately poops, which I then pick up and throw away, failing to have noticed that Dog #1 has sneaked outside and is once again ignoring me while smelling every goddamn smell there is to smell.

Back out, still in pajamas, through the dewy, peeful yard to bring her back inside. This brings us to now, as I sit on the couch writing this while the other two humans who live here and both the damn dogs are sleeping.

I still love all of them.  Dogs and human a lot.  

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Another Note on Giving Up God

Even before I  decided to let go of god, I was always confounded by one of the primary objections to atheism.  Someone comes out as atheist and someone, aghast, asks "how can you be so sure?"

I was confused because I couldn't grok why believing that there is no god required more confidence than believing that there is one.

But some recent hearsay has clarified it a little for me - people are wondering how you can be so sure because the stakes are so much higher if you don't believe than if you do.  If you don't believe and the religious text in question is correct, you go to hell.  If you do and it's wrong, no harm/no foul.

When the lightbulb went on about this (arguably, a whole lot later than it should have) it reminded me of a Bible verse from Revelation (note: Revelation. There is no book in the Bible called Revelations.  I know a lady who is routinely driven bonkers by that common mistake):

Because you are lukewarm and neither hot not cold, I will vomit you out of my mouth
-Revelation, 3:16

I remember that verse from my Christian schooling (which was ample, you guys).  Maybe I remember it because it's so gross, or maybe because it's very evocative.  As I interpret the verse (and I'm no scholar), I'm pretty sure it implies that god doesn't care to be treated like a safety school.  God doesn't want to enter into an agreement with you that if neither of you have found someone by 40, you'll just marry each other.

If you're going to believe in god, I think you ought to believe in God.  Not believe in "well, I might as well just in case."  

My atheism is a life choice.  I can't know for sure if there's a god or not. You can't really prove a negative.  I really don't think so, especially not in the way god has been explained to me for my whole life.  But it doesn't matter: I choose to operate under the assumption that all we have is us, so we'd better be good to each other.  Ain't no one coming in to rescue us.  We're on our own.

And I also don't want to live my life lukewarm.  I'm not going to believe in something because I'm scared I might be wrong. Such weak tea! The very thought makes me want to vomit myself out of my mouth (not really - but that is an excellent descriptor, right?  Even if the logistics are a little hard to conceive).

I love, by the way, to talk religion. I'm neither scornful nor precious about it.  If you want to discuss this, tell me I'm wrong,  ask me questions, go for it.  I probably won't offend you, unless you're one of those people who are super quick to offense.  If you are, stop being like that; life is short with or without god, don't waste it with your dander up.  There's probably a Bible verse to that effect.

Monday, May 11, 2015


I hate starting a new book.  But I love to read.  I love to be in a book, fighting the battle between oh my god what happens next and savor savor savor.  You know that feeling?

I love to be under the spell. I remember reading A Tale of Two Cities while sitting on the patio between 11th and 12th grade and moving the book closer and closer to my face as the light dimmed with the setting sun, unwilling to break the spell before Dickens did.  I remember reading To Kill A Mockingbird in the tub and letting the water run cold, unwilling to break the spell before Harper Lee did.

I love that.  Love it.  It is a great joy of my life.

But, man, starting a book is a chore.  I take no pleasure in introduction.  I'm not one of those people who cracks open a book eagerly.  Beginnings are work. But once I'm in, I'm your best friend.  I will love you so much I'll sit naked and chilly in a cold bath, I'll find a way to read in the dark.

This is probably why I love to re-read books.  I love to pick up a book that I loved and remind myself of why I loved it.  Over the weekend I re-read One Hundred Years of Solitude and found it just as weird and beautiful and sad and gorgeous as I did the first time I read it, but I was liberated from the what happens next battle, because I knew what happened next.  Reading that book at 20 is a real different experience than reading it 46. I know.  I've done it both ways.

I've read To Kill A Mockingbird a dozen times, at least.  I've read Middlemarch four times.  I've only read Ragtime once, but I intend to read it again this year.  I've read Gone With the Wind four or five times, but never as grown-ass woman, because I'm not sure I could take all those happy slaves  - but I'm sort of interested in revisiting Scarlett now because I suspect she may be a real feminist hero. Great Expectations is an old friend that I have visited a few times.  I spent last Sunday on the  couch, hanging out with Bridget Jones for the third time.  Lonesome Dove?  Read it at least 5 times. I've made my way through the Harry Potter series three times.  Maybe four.

It's not just the comfort of the familiar.  We might not ever really change, but we do grow and the books we love grow with us. There's value in it.  I love it. Plus it's so much easier than starting a new book. I'm lazy.  I can live with it.

Some of the other big readers I know don't re-read because there are too many books out there they haven't read at all.  I get that.  And I admire that.  But I hate starting a new book.  I love revisiting an old one.

While I live, I'll read.  And I don't plan to regret what I haven't read.

When the lights go out, I won't mourn Moby Dick (I tried, man, I did. That book is boring) or Proust.  Maybe Proust.  I would like to read Proust. But, really, when the bill comes due, I'd like to pay it while reading the Circle of Prydain.  Those were the first books I really loved.  And I have read those five books 20 times.  And I hope to read them 20 more while I breathe air.  I hope they're the last thing I read.

That said, recommend some books to me - I'll read them.  I hate to start books.  But eventually, you get in them.  They'll never be The Book of Three, but they may make the re-read list.