Friday, October 31, 2008

A Pickle Halloween

Princess Kaylie as a spooky silly pickle for Halloween. Boo! Happy Halloween!

All Dogs Go To Heaven

Foster momma Judy sent this to crazy lady, and she felt the need to share this heavenly battle with my readers:
You can generate your own signs here. The site's owner felt the need to explain (not apologize, since he has no control over the folks who use his software) here. Regardless, crazy lady anticipates many more hours of procrastination.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

Averting Disaster

Remember my love for Bambi?
Beautiful, delicious, not-so-smart Bambi? While I miss the thrill of the hunt, I have been spending hours every day, for the past couple of weeks, learning to "come" and understanding my place in the household. Crazy lady suspects that I have been formally trained as a huntress, and cats were the favorite "bait" used to train me. She has no proof, but at least she has some understanding of my distinct hatred for those furry little beasts.

Regardless of my past training and incredible drive, we now...

(1) take walks using a Halti. I can still drink, eat and bite, but the Halti gives crazy lady more control during our walks.
(2) have started to use an electric "shock collar" for moments when I wander the yard, play off leash, or stalk a delicious prey. Crazy lady used the collar on herself, to make sure the shock was not harmful. It was a soft jolt, but the tests for her carpal tunnel syndrome are much more painful.
(3) tether me in the mornings, while crazy lady works on her edits and outlines in the office. Crazy lady tried to take a picture, but I was too busy sulking. I prefer the special collar and the Halti over tethering. I now glare at the wall while she works.

We went for special training with John at Euro-Training Kennels, and crazy lady has been following his instructions. Isis' mom Jen came along, to observe the shock collar training, take pictures, and provide additional insights about my behavior. I have been unusually comfortable with the shock collar, and crazy lady suspects that it's not a new experience for me. She will never know--- that's one secret I am going to keep.

Wild Dingo was right, however-- this is hard (but necessary) work! Crazy lady loved what Wild Dingo wrote in the comments section of the Bambi incident: "...truthfully (and i don't mean this as criticsm because i'm not perfect) but your little Bambi hunter should have halted and stopped the minute you said so, no matter what drive he's in, prey, play, praise or food. prey is a strong drive but your leadership and command should be able to stop him in his tracks. but it takes a LOT of training. hard training. Training you may not be so keen on." Wild Dingo recommends, an excellent web site for information and resources.

Well, I'm exhausted.
Training has been hard work, and I suspect crazy lady will remain consistent and diligent. She can't forget the sight of my bloody, smiling face during the Bambi hunt. I loved every moment of the hunt, but crazy lady says that my safety is more important than tasty venison. Bummer.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Are you fireproof?

Crazy lady can not stop laughing-- but I think it's hysterical laughter. Only in the U.S. would this film be # 4 in the country (and that's not a compliment). Here's a bit about the movie, from Daniel Radosh's excellent article found here:

"Caleb expects his wife, Catherine, to make his meals and do his laundry, and never shows any gratitude when she does. Catherine wants affection and appreciation, but communicates solely through sarcasm and nagging. Also, Caleb selfishly extinguishes Catherine’s cherished scented candles—although I’m pretty sure that excessive use of scented candles is itself grounds for divorce in 12 states.

But the overriding problem is Caleb’s Internet porn habit. “That’s the kind of man you’ve become,” Catherine shouts at him. “There is nothing honorable about it.” Caleb can save lives every day, but he will never be a decent human being as long as he follows the Way of the Masturbator."

Remember to read the comments, following the article. Priceless. I think crazy lady has enough material for at least a dozen more books...

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Powell Effect

In his unambiguous endorsement of Barack Obama on "Meet The Press" this morning, former Secretary of State Colin Powell utilized one of the major tenets of the Powell Doctrine: overwhelming force. This wartime edict, employed by Gen. Powell in the first Gulf War, is meant to assure the demolition or capitulation of one's enemy. In a seven-minute torrent of clear, concise and blunt language, Powell used his eponymous principle to divorce himself from his party and the tactics of the campaign run by his longtime friend and Republican nominee, Sen. John McCain.

On McCain's handling of the economic crisis: "He was a little unsure as to how to deal with the economic problems that we were having, and almost every day there was a different approach to the problem.... He didn't have a complete grasp of the economic problems that we had."

On the selection of Gov. Sarah Palin as McCain's running mate: "I don't believe she's ready to be president of the United States, which is the job of vice president... that raised some question in mind as to the judgment that Sen. McCain made."

On the McCain-Palin focus on William Ayers: "I think this goes too far, and I think it has made the McCain campaign look a little narrow. It's not what the American people are looking for."

On some senior Republican Party members who "drop the suggestion that [Obama] is a Muslim and he might be associated with terrorists": "What if he is [a Muslim]? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer is no, that's not America." And then he eloquently told the story of Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan.
On the direction of the Republican Party: "It has moved more to the right than I would like to see it." "Over the last seven weeks, the approach of the Republican Party and Mr. McCain has become narrower and narrower."

On the Supreme Court: "I would have difficulty with two more conservative appointments to the Supreme Court, but that's what we'd be looking at in a McCain administration."

Yes, Powell had many nice things to say about Obama: "He has met the standard of being a successful president, being an exceptional president. I think he is a transformational figure, he is a new generation coming onto the world stage, onto the American stage." But Powell's full-throated endorsement gave a loud-and-clear voice to the murmurings of disappointment with the Grand Old Party, the McCain campaign and McCain himself.

By Jonathan Capehart | October 19, 2008; 5:00 PM ET

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Real Picture from the Debate

US Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain (R-AZ) reacts to almost heading the wrong way off the stage after shaking hands with Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) at the conclusion of the final presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, October 15, 2008. REUTERS/Jim Bourg (UNITED STATES) US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN 2008 (USA)

The Many Faces of McCain


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bambi? Yum. Lunch.

Today, I developed a taste for Bambi. Crazy lady had just returned home, and she was on the phone. I had to pee, so she let me outside. Five seconds later, she saw a deer race by the open door-- with me chasing her, at full speed! I barely heard the, "holy shit, oh my god, stop, stop, oh my god, stop, ewwww, gross, stop!"

For an atheist, she certainly said god's name a lot.

I was too intent on capturing and chomping on the deer. I had grabbed the deer's hind legs and swung my 32 lb body full speed against the side of the beast, causing it to fall on the ground. It tried to kick me, but I was able to immobilize it with my strong jaw. I felt water hit my body, but didn't stop. Did crazy lady honestly think the hose would stop the hunt?

The deer escaped, and I chased it around the area and into the neighbor's yard. I was able to jump and sink my teeth into the deer 5 times. I could hear crazy lady running after me, swearing and falling over bricks. I was too fast, and having too much fun!

Crazy lady was finally able to stop me by getting in between myself and the injured deer. She calmly said "stop" and "stay" while holding out her hand. I stopped and stayed, smiling at her and covered in blood. I figured, "hey, I did all the work. She can have the final kill." I walked away and decided it was time to poop in the neighbor's yard. I ignored crazy lady's "un-frickin-believable" and let her take me home.

Crazy lady hosed me off and checked for injuries, especially since I was covered in blood. Although I wasn't hurt, she took me to the vet and I had to have a rabies booster shot. Animal control came and took care of the deer. They were very impressed with my prey instinct. One officer gave me a compliment: "Wow, she's so tiny and pretty. I wish I could have seen her take down that big deer. Amazing that she's not hurt. She'd be a great search and rescue dog, if properly trained."

Crazy lady can't sit or walk since she tore her groin muscles during the chase. She needed a distraction from her injuries, so crazy lady did some research about Formosan dogs, my breed from Taiwan. She was surprised at how a puny dog (her words, I prefer "beautiful sleek bitch") could take down a large animal. She found out that, through selective breeding, my ancestors were trained to hunt deer and wild boar. Here are some pictures she found from 1926:

Doesn't this look like my great, great, great grandma?
Crazy lady knows that she can't remove the prey instinct, but she made an appointment with a special trainer to see if he can teach me to "come" next time this happens. She's also keeping me in the dog run and house, to try and prevent this from happening again. Will this happen again? Absolutely. There are lots of deer around here, and I had the time of my life!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008

United Airlines Evildom, Part 3

Here is United's second response to losing me at the airport, and crazy lady's campaign to improve airline travel for our pets:

"Your comments make it clear how much you care about your dog and I am truly sorry we weren’t as responsive to your needs and concerns regarding your dog as we should have been on this occasion. I can only imagine how upsetting this must have been for you. It was never my intention to negate the gravity of your concerns, my goal was to assure you that your feedback would be taken seriously and given the attention deserved. While we can’t change the circumstances you have shared with us, we can take action to ensure we are more responsive to those guests traveling with their pets. The detail you have provided as well as our internal investigation into your concerns has allowed us to see where we need to improve. We will use what we have learned to avoid a similar situation as well as to ensure we are more responsive to the needs and concerns of our guests and their pets in the future."

Crazy lady has learned from SFO management and the USDA that United has taken steps to improve their pet care policy during travel. They are proposing a better tracking method, to ensure animals are not lost during transit. SFO management has also told crazy lady that the United employees responsible for losing me at the airport have been "formally reprimanded." Crazy lady has promised to keep an eye on the policy changes, to make sure bureaucracy and politics don't prevent "positive change."

"I have gone mildly insane again"

Remember Michelle, crazy lady's friend who writes the Thursday Night Smackdown blog? The really awesome human being who was having "medication issues?" Well, to quote her most recent entry, she has "gone mildly insane again." Paxil is the devil for some manic depressives, and a 17+ day period is not helping matters. So, a bunch of folks are stepping in and "guest blogging" for Michelle, until her hormones/meds/body/life reach some sort of balance. Claudia, the author of cookeatFRET, is first on board tonight. Yeah, Claudia!

Please take a moment to check out their blogs and lend your support to these wonderful human beings. Crazy lady often worries about her friends, but loves how everyone gets together to support each other during times of crapola.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Two more books...

Cover art by Alejandro Luna.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Coffee, not ignorance

Today was a “spa day.” Hair, nails—the full beauty treatment. Crazy lady also wanted the doctor to check my leg and give me my booster shots. So, she dropped me off at the vet this morning for my beauty and health regime, and then headed to the closest coffee shop for some much-needed caffeine.

Crazy lady was exhausted and running on very little coffee and food fumes. She has been working 20-hour days, trying to finish the final changes on two new books, due to her editor at the end of this month. Her carpal tunnel was causing her hands to shake, she had a headache, and she (badly) needed a shower. Overall, she was grumpy and unapproachable.

So, imagine her shock when the man standing behind her in line wanted to discuss politics. He started talking about the similarities between Obama and McCain, last night’s debate, how they remind him of his children picking a fight, blah, blah, blah. Crazy lady was not in the mood for a discussion. She wanted her caffeine. She let him talk, but didn’t comment on his diatribe.

Until he mentioned religion.

As in, “no matter who the candidate, at least they have god’s support, and the U.S. can maintain our moral superiority over other countries—maybe even teach those countries a few good Christian things.”
You see, crazy lady is an atheist. Some people think that she doesn’t tell coworkers and acquaintances her pen names because of the violence in her stories. The reason is more complex—it has to do with people’s sensitivities around religion. Crazy lady’s books and short stories are banned in some parts of the U.S. because she is highly critical of organized religion, especially Christianity. She has been known to call Christian fanatics “Bible-thumping psychotics” and “crazy-ass Jesus freaks” in stories and readings.

A sleep and caffeine deprived grumpy lady who is approached by a “Bible thumping” man in the coffee shop is a dangerous thing. Now, as some people know, crazy lady has two types of arguments: emotional and cold. Emotional arguments are ones that she purposely loses because she is tired, and wants people to go away. She has very little invested in these arguments.

The cold arguments? Scary.

Crazy lady always begins a “cold argument” with questions. She starts to innocently ask the person various questions about their position, using their answers to align her response. She let’s them talk, and brings them into a feeling of security. She purposely misleads them, makes them think “ah yes, here’s someone I can teach.”

Then, she slaughters them.

Anyone who has had a “cold argument” with crazy lady—or has witnessed this kind of argument—knows what I mean. The room gets quiet, people listen, some try to step in and help the poor soul who picked the fight with crazy lady. The man in the coffee shop? He answered crazy lady’s questions, suggested she go to his prayer group, mentioned U.S. superiority in medicine. Her questions started to get harder—was he familiar with the concept of cultural relativism? Read any Gramsci, lately? (her personal favorite ) Hmmm… how, exactly, did the U.S. remain superior in the area of stem cell research, with the development of an “ethics committee” used to “monitor the science?”

Then, she quietly and coldly explained how & where he was wrong, pointing out various passages in the Bible, quoting various political analysts, and using his own logic against him. She also explained the differences between the candidates, and their perspectives on domestic and foreign policy. The entire coffee shop was quiet, listening to the argument. Some people tried to intervene, with one woman reading passages from her Bible. Five minutes later, crazy lady picked up her coffee, wished everyone a wonderful morning, and left a very silent room.

My recommendation? Don’t pick a fight with crazy lady when she is tired, grumpy, hungry, and caffeine deprived. It’s not pretty.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Ouch. I have a boo boo.

Last night, before bed, I was innocently taking a pee. I had found the perfect spot and was settling in for some bladder relief when a raccoon fell out of my tree and on to my head. I forgot my bladder and tried to kill the raccoon. Neither of us won because crazy lady stopped the fight. Wow, even raccoons are scared of crazy lady when she's angry! She saw that I was limping and carried me home. I have a boo boo on my leg:
I'm healing nicely, but crazy lady won't let me go to the park today. Don't worry. I have found my revenge. I won't let crazy lady work today. She was trying to decide on artwork for another book:
Instead, I stepped all over the pictures and licked the camera:
Ah, revenge is wonderful.