Dog v. Porcupine

I stumbled across this post from back in 2008 when I first opened this space and since most everyone reading today wasn’t around back then (and since I have NOTHING to write about right now), I thought I’d rerun it. I’d forgotten all about it and it gave me a chuckle.

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This is C.’s dog, Buddy. Buddy isn’t all that bright and C. is the first person who’ll point that out. You see, Buddy likes to chase porcupines. They’re slow and easy to catch! This is the sixth time that Buddy has had a quill facial. You would think that he’d learn after the fourth or fifth time that porcupines = excruciating pain, but not our Buddy.

You can’t see it in the photo, but he had quills running all down his chest and legs and some in his back, as well. He had to be anesthetized in order to have them removed and is sleeping it off behind the sofa. C.’s bank account is $400 lighter for the trouble (x 6 = $2,400). Oh, Buddy. Stop chasing porcupines. They’ll always come out on top.

A deep cut begets deep anger

“Daddy, I don’t want to go to school anymore. They tease me.”

It has come to light that my little 5-year old peanut of a daughter is being teased in kindergarten. At recess, she walks around the playground by herself. Kindergartners who have older siblings are taught early on how to stick the knife in. 9-Year Old Daughter has sailed through school without any of this nonsense, so this is new to me. Something biological kicks in when you discover your child is being picked on. A chemical reaction. It has fostered a swelling of anger in me that I’ve never experienced before.

Every class has one kid who is singled out and relentlessly hammered by everyone else. I had a bit of a problem with being picked on back in Eastpark Elementary School, but it was nothing as compared to what happened to poor Joy Keck. You didn’t want to get near Joy or you would get “Joy Keck germs.” Her torment continued straight through Midpark High. I don’t recall her having one friend. I’d love to report that after high school, Joy gave Cleveland the middle finger and is now a successful cardiologist with homes in Beverly Hills and Geneva. But the truth is she committed suicide.

Mrs. Wife is taking the calm, rational approach. Writing letters. Trying to separate fact from fiction. I, on the other hand, would very much like to walk into her classroom and ask, “Honey, which one of these mutants is picking on you?”, rip their tiny arms out of their tiny sockets and calmly ask, “Anyone else?” As satisfying as that would be, it’s probably the wrong approach.

I just read an article about how kids are reluctant to report that they’re being bullied. If you report you’re being bullied, you label yourself as a victim and are likely to walk around feeling like one. If you make a public declaration that you’re a victim, you’ll be treated like a victim by everyone around you. Kids know this.

My greatest fear is that if we don’t get a handle on this, it’ll snowball and there’ll be no end to it. She’ll end up with the same low self-esteem her father is plagued with.

More China-bashing

Regular readers have enjoyed my occasional tirades against China, an evil country, run by corrupt individuals. The fact that I once suffered at the hands of a manager who was an insane, yammering Chinese woman only made my loathing of China deeper and richer.

I don’t blog about hard news stories often but if I stumble across one that’s going to reinforce my prejudices, I’m more than happy to oblige.

The Chinese steal every western technological innovation they can get their tiny hands on because they lack the freedom of imagination and creative juice necessary to invent things like Apple products and movies. Although, admittedly, they’ve gotten pretty good at hacking into the computer systems (a western invention) of other countries via the internet (another western invention). Also, paying royalties doesn’t mesh with their agenda of crushing the west.

My latest out-loud laugh at China came when they canceled Super Girl. Super Girl is an American Idol/Pop Idol rip-off. The official reason for the cancellation was that the show exceeded the :90 minute, state-imposed, time limit placed on ALL talent competitions. Additionally, it was branded as “vulgar, manipulative and poison for our youth.” The culture minister issued a harsh statement saying, “What the market chooses is not necessarily a good thing.” Have you seen Jersey Shore or Teen Mom? He might have a good point. He also said, “…we can’t have working people reveling all day in low culture.”

In its place, the state will run shows with programs that promote “healthy morals, public safety and practical information about housework.” One fan of Super Girl blogged, “I will never be happy again!” and another suggested that, “Maybe we need another revolution.”

The real reason it was canceled is that bureaucrats were caught off-guard by the show’s astounding popularity. The show relied on audience votes to pick the winner and the LAST thing the Politburo wants is for people to become accustom to voting.

I just won a pair of tickets to the Broadway musical Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. (Which, as an aside, I would never pay to see. It’s just not my thing.) Mrs. Wife and I will soon be reveling in some low culture and I’ll bet our life will be better off for it.

If Christian fundamentalists were to come into power here in the U.S., I could see them doing the EXACT same thing as the Chinese communists. Canceling shows they deemed “poison for our youth.” Controlling what’s allowed over the airwaves so that only their approved messages came through. They’re cut from the same cloth.

Bombs Away: Parts I and II

Each morning while my Mac is booting up I stand at my window, cup of coffee in hand, and survey my fiefdom. I’m ten floors above 6th Avenue and from that vantage point the streets look like veins, flowing with taxis, buses and pedestrians.

On Wednesday morning I saw something new outside my window. Overnight, the hotel across the avenue had been ringed with concrete NYPD car/truck bomb barricades. Many high-profile buildings in Manhattan have cement barricades that are disguised as planters, but the temporary ones used by the NYPD are more function than form. They’re pretty obvious. The cops are expecting trouble.

The Warwick Hotel isn’t exactly a top-tier hotel and I couldn’t imagine what high profile guest would warrant protection against a possible truck bomb. It seems absurd. Then it came out in the news. This week, the UN General Assembly is meeting and this turd will be speaking:


Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran and “wee man” syndrome sufferer, is staying right across the street. Boy, is the hotel catching hell. There will be protests. Great. I don’t want to be collateral damage! Why can’t he stay at the Iranian consulate’s residence? More importantly, if I see him, would that count as a celebrity spotting? I hope he wears that snazzy 1988 Members Only jacket.

Two anniversaries. One dark. One light.

This weekend here in NY/NJ, everyone is focused on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Is it like that where you live, or is it the third story in the newscast? It looks to me like the overwhelming display of grief is reopening a lot of old wounds. But it’s necessary. It’s right. The memorial. The special programing on TV. The visiting dignitaries. It has to be done.

Mrs. Wife and I lived in the East Village, less than a mile from the WTC. We both worked in midtown and had to walk home because the transit system was shut down. She was six months pregnant and was wearing terrible shoes that chewed her feet up. We had to stop so she could rest. The streets were choked with people trying to get home. It’s the only time I saw New Yorkers not complain about being inconvenienced. The air stunk like burning electricity for weeks after. South of Houston St., where we lived, was a militarized zone and we had to show ID and pass an armed checkpoint in order to get home. But we were alive and so were all of our friends, and that’s what mattered.

Architectural purists complained about the design of the World Trade Center but I loved it. I would ride my bike there all the time. If you stood with your back against one of the towers and looked up, an optical illusion made the tower seem as if it were bending over you. Even more so if you had a few good bong hits in you. They were astonishingly tall buildings. When flying home, those two towers were the first things I’d see. Hello, fellas! It’s good to be back!

Here’s a very good exhibit that’s up in Bryant Park for only two days. There are 2,819 empty chairs lined up across the lawn; one for each life lost in the attack. They’re all pointed south where the World Trade Center once stood.

chairOur wedding anniversary is 9/11. Not THE 9/11. Today is 12 years. For the first few years after the attacks, I didn’t feel that being in a celebratory mood was respectful or right. I feel awful that some families were torn asunder and that my beautiful shining city has a big gash in it. But I’m reclaiming 9/11 to celebrate my marriage. 12 years is a pretty damn good run. A lot of folks don’t make it this far, but we did.

I lived in New York City, but 9/11 is so much more than a terrorist attack to me.

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The annual 9/11 remembrance has given rise to a new sensation. In addition to the sad reflection and thoughtful meditation, 9/11 also serves as a reminder that autumn is upon us. It’s the opening weekend of the football season. The weather turns cool. The theater season gets underway. The kids are back in school. It’s time to swap out my summer clothes.

Also, it’s the final week that this place, a New Jersey summer institution, is open.

Mrs. Wife and 9-Year Old Daughter place an order.