Puppy Teeth

The Tooth Fairy left a dime, but Josie didn’t know how to spend it.

Yesterday, Josie O was gnawing away on a beef tendon while Joe and I looked on dotingly. Suddenly she started doing that peanut butter stuck to the roof of the mouth thing.

Me: She must have a piece of tendon stuck on her teeth.

Josie: (spits out little gristly looking thing)

Me: Aren’t you gonna eat it? You worked so hard to chew it off.

Joe: (puts bit of stuff on finger tip, offers it to Josie) Wait a minute, it’s a tooth!

So Josie, who still has some gaps in her mouth arsenal at 10 months, is still cutting teeth.

Josie O, Bite Free for [1] Day(s)!

I don’t know if Josie really got stung by a wasp yesterday or not. She napped most of the day, and when her eensy dose o’ Benadryl wore off, she was as lively as ever, with no limp or sign that anything had happened. I never saw any swelling, so for all I know, she just stepped on something sharp. Regardless, she got a restful day out of it.  

When Josie was at her most pitiful, I put Musette down next to her bed, to see if maybe she’d be sympathetic.

Musette (leaning in): Aw… What happened to–  (stiffens) No! She is my sworn enemy! (stalks off)

I think Musette wants to try a friendly overture, but isn’t sure she wants the consequences. Come winter, when the outdoors ceases to please, that’s when it’ll happen. “The power of boredom compels you!” 

Josie O learns about stinging insects.

Josie and I were outside when she suddenly let out a yip and ran for me and the front door, in that order, whimpering and holding up her left front paw. She’s been interested in the bees and wasps, so I figured she got stung.

Once inside, she got in her bed and licked her paw while I got a Benadryl gelcap and poked it with a pin. Gave her about half a drop, mixed with some honey, and now she’s like Bill Murray when they gave him the truth serum in The Man Who Knew Too Little. (“Are you a member of our Frequent Renter’s club?”)

Don’t know what kind of bug it was, but the first-aid instructions are the same. Good thing it wasn’t her face, or we’d be at the vet right now. So far her paw isn’t swollen very much at all. For all I know, it was an ant. 

Poor little pup

I gave Josie O my Popsicle stick to chew on while we were on the porch, and after a few licks, she accidentally pushed it through the crack between two boards and it was gone. She stared down in the exact manner of a kid holding an empty ice-cream cone.

The Littlest Coworker

A funny post about short stories, by Steve Hockensmith

Just want to take a moment to pimp fellow mystery author Steve Hockensmith, who writes a bunch of stuff, including the Holmes on the Range series, which I love. In his recent blog post, he writes about the art of the short story.

Playing Dress-Up While Rome Floods

 

Recently, I decided to try watching Battlestar Galactica. Angel Joe and I never saw it when it was current, and we haven’t watched Sci Fi in ages, but Battlestar Galactica is mentioned so often on The Big Bang Theory that I thought we should give it a try. My verdict: I was fascinated by the whole Cylon premise, but disliked the unremitting violence. It’s all, Pow, pow, kaboom! Yell, yell, yell! and Thwack, thwack, blood. But Joe wanted to keep watching it. Now, he’s never been into that kind of thing, and I suspect there’s something else going on — namely, he’s found something he likes reasonably well that I don’t, and this allows him to watch without my constant interruptions. My dad and I are the same way. We need the video paused while we have a snack, a drink, a pee, a little tidy, some petting of the critters, whereas Joe can lie on his shoulder blades for three hours straight. The divot halfway down the back of our sofa is from his head. So we compromised. Joe watches BG with headphones on while I putter around doing other stuff, and I ask him about the Cylons later on. 

So a couple of nights ago, he was watching BG and I was upstairs experimenting with a new singing persona, slapping on new make-up over old, taking pictures in the unflattering LED lighting of our john, and generally achieving the look of an aging drag queen. I went downstairs for something, and instead of blessed silence, I heard the hissing of water coming from somewhere it shouldn’t — namely, from under our kitchen cabinets. A pool was spreading toward the middle of the floor. 

Me: Joe!

Joe (lifting one side of headphones): Yeah?

Me: The kitchen is flooding.

Joe turned off the water and we sprang into action. My one regret is that no one was there to film a computer geek and a woman in a tiny top hat and corset get down on their hands and knees to mop up water with microfiber dog towels. 

That’s the best of the story. The hose from the water filter to the refrigerator water/ice dispenser had gotten crimped under a cabinet and worn through. Joe replaced it the next day, and I’m wondering if there’s money to be made by installing webcams all over the house. 

New review in Richmond Times-Dispatch

 

It’s short, so here’s the whole thing:

Scary messages in the soup, slugs in the bedroom, strange lights in the woods — and a painting that seems to age while its subject does not.

All that — which may have Oscar Wilde chuckling in the clouds — takes place in “The Portrait of Doreene Gray” (306 pages, Minotaur Books, $24.99), the second in Esri Allbritten’s series of Chihuahua mysteries featuring the staff of Tripping, a magazine devoted to the paranormal: editor Angus MacGregor, writer Michael Abernathy and photographer Suki Oota.

This time out, the three are off to Port Townsend, Wash., where rich, 58-year-old Doreene has put the painting by her twin sister, Maureene Pinter, up for sale. Determined to make a feature story out of the supposedly magical portrait, the journalists soon see the stakes elevated when death enters the picture. Meanwhile, Doreene’s Chihuahua, Gigi, finds herself depending on the kindness of strangers.

Clever and comical, Allbritten’s second outing is as entertaining as its predecessor, and the reader’s verdict on it is reached quickly: Aye, Chihuahua.

Yet another good writer/reviewer. I like “death enters the picture,” and I LOVE “Aye, Chihuhaua,” ’cause he spelled “Aye” the Scottish way, not the Mexican way. Clever. 

Here’s a link to the full article. He reviews four other books. 

 

An interview with the staff of Tripping Magazine.

Angus, Michael and Suki bring the banter to the Killer Characters blog today. It’s like a short bonus chapter of The Portrait of Doreene Gray. Come on over, ask them a question, suggest a location for a book, or tell about some inexplicable experience you’ve had, especially if it’s motel-related. 

Cliché – What’s the original meaning of that word?

It wasn’t until I read my own first line in a review of The Portrait of Doreene Gray that I realized I’d used one of the oldest writing tropes in the book.

Outside the darkened windows of Doreene Gray’s second floor bedroom, a squall buffeted the house and whistled across the gingerbread trimming.

Yup. I’d essentially written, “It was a dark and stormy night.”

Then I thought about the word “cliché,” and then I wondered what the heck it meant in the original French.

Wikipedia to the rescue.

The word is borrowed from French. In printing, a cliché was a printing plate cast from movable type. This is also called a stereotype.[6] When letters were set one at a time, it made sense to cast a phrase used repeatedly as a single slug of metal. “Cliché” came to mean such a ready-made phrase. Many authorities say that the French word “cliché” comes from the sound made when the molten stereotyping metal is poured onto the matrix to make a printing plate,[7][8][9] including the statement that it is a variant of cliquer, “to click”,[10] though some express doubt.[11][12]

Pretty interesting, non? Anyway, this is all by way of pointing out that there’s a new review for Portrait. Bonus points for her use of “inveigling.” Haven’t heard that word in ages

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