August 30, 2006
August 17, 2006
July 25, 2006
July 23, 2006
June 5, 2006
What I didn't say in the previous post is that today's visit is the last visit Ella will make to that vet. We've been with this vet for over two years, and while we haven't always been happy with the service, we've felt some loyalty. But today was absolutely the last straw.
I was waiting in the exam room while Ella, sedated a bit, was getting her X rays. When the orderly, a Neanderthal bruiser I'll call Frank, brought her back into the exam room, he set her down on the floor. She sort of slumped there in a boneless, trembling puddle, then started bashing her head against the floor.
I immediately got down on the floor and lifted her up to keep her from hurting herself. "I can put her in a crate, like usual," said Frank, "or you can hold her in your lap to keep her from hitting her head."
Now, Frank doesn't seem like he's cruel, just like he's not all there. "I'll hold her," I said.
"Are you sure?"
Yes, I was fucking sure. I sat on the floor of the exam room with her until she had settled down enough that she wasn't going to hurt herself. This was before the vet explained to me about the hallucinogenic properties of the sedative, though I had guessed it myself from the way Ella was acting.
Frank came back with the vet to take Ella to a crate to finish "waking up." When Frank picked her up from my lap, she peed all over me. The vet apologized to me for the mess, but she's my dog. I wasn't upset about the mess. I was upset about the treatment.
I don't even want to mention the incident from last year that has made Ella forever fearful of this vet's office. You'll just tell me that we never should have taken her back again after that, and you would be absolutely right, which seems obvious in hindsight.
June 5, 2006
Before today, I had never had the opportunity to help a friend come down from a bad trip.
It turns out that the sedative the vet used today to calm Ella down enough that a steady X ray could be taken is in fact a hallucinogen. After the X ray, I sat on the floor of the examination room and held her in my lap while she twitched and trembled and weaved her head around like a snake charmer, or Stevie Wonder. According to the vet, Ella was seeing colors. She would sniff or lick my face as her nose went by, but only in passing. Her eyes were completely dilated, and if I hadn't held an arm around her head she would have bashed it repeatedly against the floor or the wall.
This was not nearly as cute as it might possibly sound. It was fairly disconcerting.
June 5, 2006
It was a jam-packed weekend. Most critically, I finished the long overdue final draft of a novelette called "Not of This Fold," which is about Mormon missionaries and alien first contact. That goes into the mail today, and means I can get back to my novel Inclination. The goal is to finish the first draft of that by the end of the summer, so I can finally shave this beard off.
Saturday night, Laura and I went to a dinner party in Brooklyn with some friends we don't see often enough and who are now moving to Maryland. Why didn't we hang out more??? Because we're bad people.
Ella spent last week doped up on an anti-inflammatory because of a slight limp in her right hind leg. She still occasionally pulls up the leg and hops along on three legs for a few steps, but otherwise we don't see much sign of the limp. Still, she goes in for X rays today to see if there's anything to be seen. The poor fuzzball will have to be sedated. Our Maryland-bound friend's guide dog recently was treated for Lyme disease, so we're also going to have the vet check for that.
I got my hair bleached and cut yesterday, and also spent some time recording future Accidental Terrorist chapters for my podcast. Plus, I squeezed in a viewing of the French film Irréversible, which is probably the most profoundly disturbing movie I've seen1.
But that's not to call it profound. In fact, though I'm still mulling it over, the film struck me as a pretty facile exercise by the time it was over. Still, the brutal fight in the basement of the gay clubwhere one man has his arm broken at the elbow and another's head is gradually caved in under repeated blows from a fire extinguisherwas the single most horrifying scene I've ever watched. It was so horrifying, in fact, that not only did I walk away from the screen afterward and not come back to finish the movie until seven hours later, it undercut the more infamous rape scene that comes later (or earlier, in the movie's backward chronology), in which Monica Bellucci's character is assaulted in an (apparently) unbroken nine-minute take. Bad as it is to watch, for me the worst part of that scene is the tiny figure that appears at the end of the underground passage where the rape is taking place, stops, and leaves again. That just ground my guts.
What is the point of this movie? Is it an honest attempt to illustrate of the fragility of the thread that supports our holds aloft our happy, civilized lives? I'm not sure that anyone who can sit through this movie in its entirety really needs to have that lesson shoved in his face. I'll admit it, I feel violated, though I did go back and finish the movie, just to see if it would redeem itself. I don't think it did.
Finally, I'm jotting these notes from my new office high above 37th Street in Manhattan. I actually have a window at my left that looks down on the street! This is the life.
1 Which may only tell you what kind of movie I don't normally watch.
May 29, 2006
May 10, 2006
April 21, 2006
This was the scene Laura called me to see out our back door this morning. She was already there taking pictures:
Our tulips, which we didn't plant but were just waiting for us, under the ground, have been opening slowly in sequence from the front of the yard to the back along the north fence, then from the north to south along the back fence. This reflects the amount of sun falling on each portion of the yard. There are yellow and pink tulips along the side, red along the back. Ella likes to lounge amongst them. If you look closely enough, you can see the fallen soldier she has crushed beneath her monstrous fuzzy body.
Ella went to the groomer yesterday. The cut will look good once it's grown out a little and gotten some curl back. But for now she is soft as satin.