nightdog_barks: Red Mobil Pegasus flying over an open book (Pegasus and book)
It actually rained a bit this morning and is still overcast, giving us a temp of 86 degrees (30 degrees Celsius), which is amazing for mid-July. Unfortunately, the humidity is 70%, making it feel as though it's 95 (35 Celsius). I'll still take the cloud cover.

Was very sad to see this news -- Maryam Mirzakhani passes away, aged 40. First (and so far, only) woman to win the Fields Medal, genius mathematician. Wife and mom. And just 40. JUST FORTY. What else might she have accomplished? Seriously, cancer can go DIAF.

Sigh. Still curious to see who the 13th Doctor will be, even though I fell out of love with the show this season and I'm really not sure why.

Here, have a somewhat blurry pic of Layla (taken this afternoon) --



Oh! Editing to add that I forgot to mention I saw a bat last evening, flitting around our backyard at just dusk when the sun was going down! I think Layla was barking at it. :D
nightdog_barks: 1930s movie poster of Buster Crabbe and a lion (Movie Poster -- Jungle Man)
And by warm, I mean it's about 95 degrees and feels like 105. :-P

Layla got me up at about 4 in the morning, woofing (very softly) that she needed to go out (she was lying). Anyway, I was sitting in one of our deck chairs while she lounged on the deck, when our wind chimes suddenly ... chimed. EXCEPT THERE WAS NO WIND. It was dead calm, close and stifling, with what appeared to be a full moon. So I got up and aimed my trusty little flashlight at the chimes. (These are our wind chimes. I love them.)

There was an anole lizard clinging to one of the chimes. "Oh, hello," I said. Made me smile. :D

Reading Lev Grossman's The Magicians, enjoying it so far.
nightdog_barks: Periwinkle flowers by Pierre Joseph Redoute (Flower periwinkle)
Ended up not buying marigolds; instead got periwinkles (cora vinca) for the same price (99 cents) because Mister Nightdog_barks likes periwinkles. So, periwinkles, and we planted them today. Layla helped by snuffling at the dirt in the flower pots and then flopping down in the jasmine bed. :D
nightdog_barks: Crispin Glover as Mr World in American Gods (Mister World)
1) Ugh, a very blah day today. Mostly sunny and humid, but looking forward to tomorrow because our local Calloway's will have marigolds for 99 cents. Our two big flowerpots out front are empty and some bright, happy marigolds will look nice up there.

2) Still reading the Walter Winchell bio, and was amused to learn that his first job as a "real" newspaper columnist (as opposed to working for an industry organ) was for a publication (the New York Graphic) widely regarded as the worst newspaper in America, if not the world. In covering one crime story involving a killer named Carillo, the editors found that they didn't have a photo of the man, so they used a picture of the actor Leo Carrillo (note spelling) instead. :D

3) Layla may be two and a half years old, but she proved last night she still has some puppy in her when she stole one of Mister Nightdog's running shoes and neatly bisected one of the laces.

4) Still watching Doctor Who and Class, but right now I think I am getting the most enjoyment out of American Gods. Crispin Glover as Mr. World in the last episode was just a walking Ball of Sheer Crazy and was absolutely terrifying. That smile omg.

5) Working on a fic but it is going very slowly.
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
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.

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.
nightdog_barks: (Horse Weathervane)
Bring May flowers? April flowers, more like it, since the seasons are sped up this year. It is just now calming down -- it started raining at about 12:30 this morning and pretty much rained the rest of the night and into the day. At least we didn't have any hail -- we had nickel-sized hail last week with a few golf balls thrown in, which was no fun. O_o

I am so far behind in replying to comments, both here and on AO3. I can only blame my free-floating anxiety and general sense of dread, which has gotten so much worse since ... well. Really, since last November. :-P

In good news, there are definitely chicks in the wren nest cave -- the parents have been feeding them and I can hear the babies squeaking. Layla has seen the parents coming and going and simply watches them (the wrens ignore her but do dive-bomb the squirrels and warn away other birds). She chased a pair of doves that were in the back yard yesterday -- made them fly and then went bounding across the yard in pure, unadulterated canine joy. She was so happy.

Also in good news, some of the tomato plants are blooming (the Rutgers and Black Krim, definitely; will have to look at the others). (Editing to add that one of the Carnival tomatoes is also blooming; nothing yet from the Better Bush.)
nightdog_barks: (Green Tree)
It's a warm, overcast day here. It doesn't seem to bother Layla. :D

 photo SAM_0160_zpsmob0wqba.jpg
nightdog_barks: Illustration of a young girl wearing a cat mask bandit-style (Mask Girl)
1) The other day when I walked outside to get the mail, five or six crows flew overhead. This reminded me that a couple of weeks ago when Layla and I were walking at night, a duck flew right over us, honking LOUDLY. Both events made me catch my breath -- there is a curious sense of almost awakening when something like this happens. This is why I love fall.

2) More people are putting up Halloween decorations, and last night Layla and I saw this in someone's front yard. The height measurement is wrong, by the way -- it's eleven FEET tall, not eleven inches. Layla was Not Happy. She was curious, and she didn't try to drag me away from it, but at the same time she didn't want to get too close. I couldn't blame her -- it was pretty damn spooky!

3) Squirrels have been throwing acorns on the deck. Sometimes they manage to hit the grill and there's a loud CLANNNNNGGGGG!. :D

Three things make a post.
nightdog_barks: (Green Tree)
Ugh, I hate this time of year, and it's always like this. It's the middle of September -- it's supposed to be getting cooler, but instead it gets HOTTER. At least it's only one more week? Seriously, fuck this weather.

Ahem. Well, even if it's not cool outside, Mister Nightdog is cooking a brisket and the house smells wonderful. I finished reading Uprooted and really liked it, although I'll admit I think it could've lost about 20 pages and had a better, tighter ending because honestly, the ending seemed to go on FOREVER. After that I read Kelly Link's early collection Stranger Things Happen. I liked all of it except one story -- it was called "Louise's Ghost" and both the main characters were named Louise. No thank you.

Now I am reading Darryl Pinckney's Black Deutschland, which is about a gay black (American) guy living in West Berlin in the 1980s, before the Wall came down. It's pretty good.

Oh, and also I think Layla and I heard a coyote last night. We heard a high-pitched yip-yip-yip, but it didn't sound like a little dog yip, it sounded like a big dog doing a yippy sing-song. Whatever it was, Layla did not like it. :D
nightdog_barks: (Flower: Poppy)
I'm not sorry to see you go. :-P

Reading Colm Tóibín's Brooklyn because I wanted to read the book before seeing the movie. It's been a while since I've read one of these "slice of life" novels, and I'd forgotten how ... quiet they can be. Maybe too quiet? We shall see.

Watched most of The Danish Girl last night and was once again swept away by Alicia Vikander's stunning beauty. Was also amused to see Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts in it, all cleaned up and looking very fine, as I totally associate him with the psycho wannabe thief and all-around lowlife Eric Deeds in The Drop, where he assumes a completely acceptable American accent (as do Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace). :D

Also, in somewhat local news -- it's one of the oldest tricks in the book.

And last but definitely not least, a bonus pic of Layla ...  )
nightdog_barks: A tiny cartoon dog barks NOW in all directions (Now Dog)
Well, the WiFi feature of my camera seems to be mysteriously WORKING again, so here's a shot of Layla looking Very Serious from this afternoon. :D

 photo fe7f6b86-1d38-4b30-8de4-97df3cd3a610_zpsyboe3woo.jpg
nightdog_barks: (Glass Full of Rain)
This is the third straight day we have had TORRENTIAL rain. It is like monsoon season or something.

Watched the Tony Awards last night and really enjoyed it -- the performances from Waitress, The Color Purple, Bright Star, and Hamilton were just outstanding.

And ... now the rain is letting up, although it's still thundering. Layla felt the need to come sit in my lap for a little while. All 60 pounds of her. :D
nightdog_barks: Red Mobil Pegasus flying over an open book (Pegasus and book)
1) Well, John Harwood's The Ghost Writer is NOT going on my "What I've Read This Year" list. I hated the story-within-a-story format, which surprised me because I've loved David Mitchell's novels where he used much the same technique. Whatever; I hated it here, and I'm sure it didn't help that the narrator was an idiot and I didn't care about him or his (complete lack of a) love life. I gave up a bit more than half way through, but I did read the last chapter. It really didn't help -- I'm not giving anything away by saying that at the end the narrator falls out of a tree.

2) Now reading Joe Hill's The Fireman and liking it much more.

3) Ran errands today and stopped by World Market and Sprouts. Got a couple of nice soft bath towels at World Market for about $8 (had a 20%-off coupon), and Sprouts had fresh Georgia peaches on sale for 88 cents a pound (and they were RIPE and smelled DELICIOUS, which is just amazing).

4) Layla was woofing and bouncing around the deck late this afternoon, so I went out to see what was the matter. There was a little green anole lizard sitting in the branches of our potted Meyer lemon tree, and she wanted it to come play with her. :D

5) There is an invisible (5) here.
nightdog_barks: (Tumbling Dice)
Very cool (almost chilly) and very damp today after some morning rain. Tomorrow it's supposed to rain more. That rhyme about April showers is a lie.

Heart is still doing the flippy-flop thing, so more tests are in order. Yay me. :-P

I have been watching David Shore's new show, Houdini & Doyle, and I'm liking it. I am not a fan of Michael Weston, but he is surprisingly tolerable in this as Harry Houdini, and I really like Stephen Mangan as Conan Doyle. Rebecca Liddiard is also good as a female police constable, and between the three of them, they make this (admittedly silly) show a decent hour of entertainment. YMMV.

Reading John Harwood's The Ghost Writer and it is okay. Just got Louise Erdrich's and Joe Hill's new novels, LaRose and The Fireman, respectively, and am really looking forward to reading them.

Layla has an odd (?) new habit of coming to me, sitting down, and giving me a paw to hold. Then she'll give me her other paw, so that she's ... sitting up. With me holding her front paws. She seems to like this. :D

Easter Dog

Mar. 27th, 2016 03:43 pm
nightdog_barks: 1930s movie poster of Buster Crabbe and a lion (Movie Poster -- Jungle Man)
Three pics of Layla that I took this afternoon are under the cut.

Read more... )

OTHERWISE. One of the Early Girl tomatoes is turning red, and we have three or four baby peppers on the Santa Fe Grande plants. Also we had a Great Visitation of Birds yesterday -- cedar waxwings (a wrath of waxwings?), bright red cardinals, wrens, and sparrows.

Oh, and we made this granola recipe today and omg it smells SO GOOD. We cut the recipe in half (we DO NOT NEED nine cups of granola) and substituted chopped pecans for the pistachios. It only took about 30 minutes to bake in our oven. Really looking forward to trying it tomorrow morning. :D

ETA that we couldn't wait and tried a bit of the granola by itself, and OMG IT IS DELICIOUS. :D
nightdog_barks: (Glass Full of Rain)
It seems like spring, anyway, although it's cooled down a bit. Last night we got a good round of thundershowers (Layla remains oddly unaffected/unconcerned about thunder) and tonight into tomorrow we are supposed to have more rain.

Speaking of Layla, here is a shot of her that I took this afternoon:

 photo 9447a844-1e48-4bd8-af5c-eef45b38e216_zps5nthombg.jpg

Also, here is a picture of our garden (such as it is) ... under the cut ...  )

In the past couple of weeks, we've seen more night-time wildlife than we have in MONTHS -- screech owls, cottontail rabbits, even a teeny-tiny baby garter snake (that wriggled quickly away from Layla's inquisitive nose). :D
nightdog_barks: (Flower: Poppy)
1) Took Layla to the vet today for her annual vaccinations. She enjoyed the car ride but was not so thrilled when she was actually at the vet's. But it was done, she tolerated being prodded and poked, and she's fine. She weighs 60.5 pounds, which is pretty close to what I had guessed and is right in line with a female Black Lab. :D

2) Yesterday went to Calloway's because they had garden veggies on sale for $1.98. Bought two poblano pepper plants and two sweet banana peppers. The two cayenne pepper plants from last year have survived the cold weather and are putting out new green leaf growth. Also some of the trees in our neighborhood are budding out. Winter? What winter?

3) What else? Almost done with We Are Here, and unless the ending is drastically bad, I think it is a really worthwhile read. Ordered another memoir from Amazon, My Father, the Pornographer, by Chris Offutt (it got a GREAT review in the NY Times). Also ordered an older novel, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, by R.A. Dick (pen name for Josephine Leslie). I watched the movie on TCM the other night -- I first saw it when I was probably about fourteen, and thought it was the most romantic thing I'd ever seen (a widow falling in love with the ghost of a sea captain!) -- and ... you know what, chiclets? It's held up really well. So anyway, I thought I would read the book. And yes, I watched the TV series when I was a kid, too. :D

On the other hand, I also re-watched the 1976 version of A Star is Born, the one with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson, and ... no. Just, no. This is a movie that has not aged well. Except for one song -- Evergreen. Or maybe you had to have been there. :-)
nightdog_barks: (Green Tree)
Taken yesterday --

 photo Layla15_zpsnexdgmj5.jpg

A few more under the cut ...  )

:D

Weather is GORGEOUS here. It really feels as if we have skipped winter altogether and gone straight into spring.

Also! Saw a screech owl last night, for the first time in months and months! It was TINY, sitting on a branch, trilling to itself. :D

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September 2017

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What I'm Reading Now

Fiction
The Magician King, by Lev Grossman

Nonfiction
Alligator Candy: A Memoir, by David Kushner

Jerusalem: The Biography, by Simon Sebag Montefiore

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