Ugh

May. 26th, 2017 08:43 pm
nightdog_barks: (Sun)
Oppressively warm and humid day, supposed to be much worse tomorrow. :-P

There was a pretty little House Finch on one of the backyard feeders just a while ago. Layla barked at it. :D

Reading Neal Gabler's biography of Walter Winchell.
nightdog_barks: (Glass Full of Rain)
We FINALLY got some decent rain early this morning, along with lots of thunder and lightning. Now it is partly sunny and not too bad.

Stayed up way too late last night when I noticed TCM was showing Eraserhead and I watched the first 30 or so minutes of it. Have any of you guys ever seen it? It's certainly ... um. I mean, I did think some of it was actually funny, like at the beginning when Henry (Jack Nance) is in his apartment and there's dead ... plants/ivy/vegetable matter all over the place, and he looks straight into the camera like, "You see what I have to live with." I stayed with it until the first scene with Mutant Baby and then I went to bed (it was about 1:30 in the morning).

Does anyone recognize either/both of these two Housefics? The second one (hiding in rafters watching funeral) sounds vaguely familiar to me but I can't place it ...

EDITED TO ADD ... One fic found, one fic ... well, maybe. Are you out there, [personal profile] verbal_kint? See comments on this post for details, thanks to [personal profile] menolly_au. :D

Have been reading Jay McInerney's Brightness Falls. It is set in 1987, which seems like a lifetime ago and another world. McInerney doesn't appear to believe in consistent question marks, though, because there are many many sentences like this -- "Who is this person," Russell asked Donna. But there are other sentences where people are asking questions, AND THERE ARE QUESTION MARKS. I don't know. It's just an annoying tic in an otherwise good book.
nightdog_barks: (Sunflower)
Chiclets, it is WAY warmer than it should be today, and the humidity is horrific. I went for a quick grocery trip and it was a sauna outside. No wonder the weather guys say we could get some ugly storms tonight. :-P

We finally had one of our own tomatoes, and it was DELICIOUS. It was a Carnival, and it was tender and sweet. Sadly, I don't think we're going to get very many tomatoes of any kind this year; maybe it got too warm too soon again, but there are only about five or six young fruits in various stages of green on the plants now.

Had a very funny moment on one of our late-night walks a couple of nights ago -- Layla and I walked past a house with a fenced backyard, and the owner had been a nice person who had cut a small opening in the wood so their dog could see out. So we're walking by the fence, and Layla goes up to it and then jumps back in alarm, and there's a dog! The thing is, though, the opening is only big enough for the dog's muzzle and eyes, so it's like there's this disembodied dog face STICKING OUT OF THE FENCE.* I told Layla it was okay, but it was obvious she was at least mildly freaked out, and I was sure she was thinking OMG MOM WHERE'S THE REST OF THIS DOG? OMG OMG. :D


*I will totally admit to being initially spooked myself, because it did look creepy and besides, it was a very windy night and we'd just come upon a large plastic trash can that had been blown over and was rolling merrily in the street. Layla gave that a hard stare. And right after that was the Disembodied Dog Face. :D

Friday

May. 12th, 2017 04:01 pm
nightdog_barks: Illustration of a young girl wearing a cat mask bandit-style (Mask Girl)
Partly cloudy, partly sunny, cooler than it has been, which is a relief. There was another young opossum in the backyard last night -- Layla was barking at it ferociously and scaring the hell out of the poor thing (it was backed up against the fence as far as it could go without becoming one with the fence), so we made her come back in the house. We have not seen the baby bunnies in several days, so I'm devoutly hoping they've hopped away to other, greener yards.

Finished reading Charlie Jane Anders' All the Birds in the Sky, and while I liked it, I didn't love it. It was definitely a page-turner, but the more it went on, the less connection I felt with any of the characters, and I thought the SPOILER ) was ridiculous. So, well. One thumb up?

Now reading Anthony Loyd's My War Gone By, I Miss It So, which is a nonfiction account of his time in Bosnia in the 1990s as a war correspondent. As one might expect, it is not a fun read.

Thought the second episode of American Gods was much better than the first. Guest spots from Gillian Anderson and Cloris Leachman really lifted this one. Still enjoying Class on BBC America.

In old news, President Potatohead and his cronies are still pigs.
nightdog_barks: (Star Dog)
So I'm not sure if I ever mentioned it here, but back in March I decided to pull the trigger on an Embark DNA test ... for Layla. We were curious, what can I say? I'd thought about doing it sooner, but I always held off because we had a truly pants result from a test on our previous dog, Chango (an obvious Chow/Border Collie/something mix that the testing people interpreted as ... Pekingese). But that was many years ago, and surely, I thought, canine genotyping has improved since then! Plus Embark has really good reviews! So I stuck a cotton swab in her mouth (she bit it), swabbed it around to get a lot of saliva (she was very baffled), and sent it off.

The results came back this afternoon.

50.0% Golden Retriever
36.1% Labrador Retriever
13.9% ... Belgian Malinois

:D

For what it's worth, I think they're pretty much on track with what we'd suspected. Two thumbs up, 10/10, would rec Embark.
nightdog_barks: (House and Wilson B&W)
Title: The Fifth Time Wilson Promised Himself Never Again to Attend Any Bachelor Party Involving House
Authors: [personal profile] blackmare and [personal profile] nightdog_barks, with a significant contribution from [personal profile] perspi
Characters: Wilson, House
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: No
Spoilers: None
Summary: Wilson really needs to learn to stay away from the damsels in distress.
Author Notes: Written for the Housewarming Party at the Dreamwidth sick_wilson community. Cut text is from the film Gypsy.

Yes, we'll have a real good time ...  )

Thursday

May. 4th, 2017 06:00 pm
nightdog_barks: In the morning mist, a huge oak tree rises in a field (Field Oak)
Ugh, very blah because I did not sleep well. And the night before last, I woke up in a start at 3:59 a.m., feeling as though I had JUST fallen asleep -- like I had been reading, and fallen asleep without putting anything away. I turned on my bedside light -- nope, there were my glasses, there was my full water glass, there was my book with its bookmark neatly inserted between pages. Oy. What the fuck, brain? The feeling was so strong ...

Anyway. Started reading Charlie Jane Anders' All the Birds in the Sky. Liking it so far, and the two lead characters (Patricia and Laurence) remind me vaguely of Meg and Calvin (or Charles) from Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time.
nightdog_barks: Man on a white horse (Passion)
So I read Kij Johnson's The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe and really liked it. It's basically sort of a fanfic remix of H.P. Lovecraft's The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, with the protagonist changed to a middle-aged lady professor of mathematics. Reader, I loved her. Vellitt Boe was smart and sensible, and I could've easily read another hundred pages of her adventures (my paperback copy was only 165 pages, so it's a very short book). I know she could easily have slipped into Mary Sue-dom, but she really didn't ping my Sue-dar at all. Okay, I did think the Quest went on a little too long, but that was my only complaint. Two thumbs up, 9/10.

Also I have been watching Class on BBC America and enjoying it, especially Katherine Kelly as Miss Quill. I also watched the first episode of American Gods and thought it was pretty good (I read Gaiman's book years and years ago but don't recall a great deal about it). I am amused to see that Ricky Whittle (playing Shadow Moon, the main character) is a Brit -- I thought he was an American. :D

Weather has turned cool and windy again. This is an up and down spring.

Hello, May

May. 1st, 2017 06:12 pm
nightdog_barks: Illustration close-up of an owl's face (Owl Face)
Yesterday was my birthday. Just as I get the hang of being 58, I have to start working on 59.

Weather was beautiful today, and I saw a pair of scissor-tailed flycatchers perched on a telephone line while I was out. :D
nightdog_barks: (Jalapenos)
Tabasco plants have flower buds and one has one bloom. :D

We were supposed to get big storms today, but now they're saying no, everything is east of us. Dammit.
nightdog_barks: (Dorothy)
Literally, it was a blur. I had my annual eye exam, which involves doing the pupil-dilation thing so the doc can peer into the depths of your skull eyeball. It's not a fun activity, and I actually skipped it last year because I am a big wuss. Anyway, my life was a bit fuzzy around the edges most of the day. It's all good, though -- no diabetic damage, and the "little cataract" (doc's term) in my left eye ... is remaining little. :D

Started reading Sebastian Barry's The Secret Scripture, and so far, despite some very long sentences, I am enjoying it. *g*
nightdog_barks: English robin on a white background (English robin)
I was so sorry to hear that Jonathan Demme has passed away. We saw his Talking Heads' concert film Stop Making Sense in the theater when it came out, and it was a revelation in movie-making. I own the DVDs for both that film and his Neil Young: Heart of Gold, which is (almost) equally terrific.

Finished reading Elif Batuman's The Idiot last night, and ... well. I really liked it. I liked it a lot. I thought Batuman did a pitch-perfect job capturing the voice and outlook of a 19-year-old college freshman and thrusting us into her life. What really disappointed me were the many stupid comments on the "pro" review sites (Slate, the AV Club, the Washington Post), left by people who had never read the book but thought they knew everything about it. I know, I know -- you're not supposed to read the comments. :-P

Weather is on a yo-yo string; ridiculously warm yesterday, almost chilly today. Have not seen any baby bunnies for a couple of days now (and I am glad; they are adorable but I want them to move on because Layla). Also noticed we have another tomato, this time from one of the Black Krims.

Watched Lincoln the other night and enjoyed it. Afterwards I fell down a Wikipedia rabbit hole -- guys, meet the last person to have looked Abraham Lincoln in the face. (The Life magazine article cited at the bottom, #6, is a somewhat more detailed write-up, although you have to scroll a ways to see it. But then you get to see all the cool period ads.) :-)
nightdog_barks: (Bunny Ears)
Out of its nest and causing us tsuris keeping the damn dog from treating it like a squeaky toy. (We're putting up stray lawn chairs and more tomato fencing, but omg she's so curious about this tiny furry creature.) :-P

 photo SAM_0167_zpsejnlx9v4.jpg

Editing to add that I have just discovered there are TWO baby bunnies, not one. TWO.
nightdog_barks: Drawing of a coyote (Coyote)
Three in the morning and Layla is barking. I'm awake because I have Satan's Own Insomnia, so I get up and put my glasses on and go to see wtf she's barking at.

Well, she's barking at one of these (that's a young opossum), and it's trying its best to hide under the blade of a shovel propped up on our deck. It pokes its head out, and I guess it can (kind of?) see us as possibly amorphous shapes through our sliding glass door, so it opens its mouth (common possum defense tactic), starts making a RRRRRR-noise at us (common possum defense tactic), and weaving its little head around like a snake (WTF?). Both the dog and I just watched, baffled. (I was actually reminded of that silly Moon Moon meme.)

Anyway, we watched the bizarre head-weaving for a couple more minutes, and then I turned the light out and we all went back to bed. Or I did. Layla was restless all night. :-P

Also today I saw this wonderful news story -- Brooklyn woman returns from travel to find pregnant pigeon nesting in her pasta strainer. :D

Goings On

Apr. 18th, 2017 06:46 pm
nightdog_barks: (Tomatoes)
We have a baby green tomato! Carnival turns out to be first past the line -- all the other plants are blooming, but this is the first fruit I've seen.

Also in the news ... I thought the little baby cottontail I first wrote about on April 14th had been relocated by Mama Bunny, because the fluff covering the nest had gotten much sparser and Layla didn't seem to be interested anymore. BUT NO. We discovered this afternoon that Little Bun is still here. Layla was very excited, so I moved a bit of fluff away, and lo and behold there was a tiny hind leg, kicking. The burrow (and it looks like a decent burrow now, not a shallow scrape in the soil) is deeper -- the only thing I could see was that little hind leg. Not that I wanted to see any more; I'm sure it's got enough on its tiny bunny mind, being barked at by a giant black dog. *g* I had been planning to remove the lawn chair and tomato fencing we've got over/around the nest, but obviously ... can't do that now.

I finished reading Zadie Smith's Swing Time, and I felt pretty ... meh about it. I loved the first section, when the (nameless) narrator and her friend Tracey are little girls growing up in London, and I really wished Smith had kept that focus instead of opening up the story to include this Madonna/Angelina Jolie mashup character that Nameless Narrator worked for. Parts of the book were terrific (especially the early parts), but as a whole it just didn't work for me. Anyway, now I am reading Eunice Lipton's A Distant Heartbeat: A War, a Disappearance, and a Family's Secrets, which is nonfiction and is about Lipton's search for the details of her uncle Dave Lipton's life -- an uncle who died very young, fighting in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in the Spanish Civil War. I also bought Charlie Jane Anders' All the Birds in the Sky and a collection of short stories, The Djinn Falls in Love & Other Stories (edited by Mahvesh Murad and Jared Shurin).
nightdog_barks: (Happy Pink Stove)
Today is the second time I have made this recipe, and it is so good. It's sort of like the consistency of crème brûlée, layered with thinly-sliced apples. Very easy to put together, not much sugar. This time we added a teaspoon of apple pie spice and a couple of tablespoons of golden rum, and subbed almond extract for vanilla. The whole recipe is under the cut ...

Dorie Greenspan's Custardy Apple Squares )

Doggo

Apr. 15th, 2017 03:12 pm
nightdog_barks: English robin on a white background (English robin)
Here's Layla, today. Or at least, some of her. :D

 photo SAM_0163_zpssaqjkneb.jpg

I don't think Mama Rabbit has moved the baby -- there was more fluff, though, so she's around somewhere. Otherwise it is just warm and humid, ick.

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What I'm Reading Now

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Brightness Falls, by Jay McInerney

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Winchell: Gossip, Power, and the Culture of Celebrity, by Neal Gabler

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