Monthly Archives: June 2011

Why giving your dog a human name might be a bad idea.


1. You might accidentally call someone gay. But we’ve already been over that.

2. Say you’re walking your dog outside and he tries to eat a dead lizard, so you say, “No Kevin, don’t do that!” There may be a human Kevin nearby who turns and stares at you with a confused look because he’s just trying to get into his car, and he doesn’t understand why he shouldn’t do that. Is it rigged to explode?

Dog Kevin has wonderful ears.

3. Your maintenance guy comes to inspect your air conditioner. He’s charmed by your dog, but gives you strange looks whenever you say, “Come here, Kevin!” As he leaves, he asks your dog’s name. When you say it’s Kevin, he says, “No, really, what’s his name?” When you explain that you named your dog after a baseball player and a TV sitcom character, he begins laughing uncontrollably and declares, “I am Kevin as well!”

4. Imagine your dog’s name is Jenny. She gets out of the yard a lot and you have to go driving around looking for her. When you do, sometimes there is a little girl named Jenny who lives down the street and comes running over to your car whenever you yell, “Jenny! Come here, girl!”

5. Put yourself in my shoes when I decided to name my guinea pig Mr. Mort Guffman of the Oppenheimer Foundation. Try to picture the looks on the faces of passersby as I tried to walk my guinea pig down the street on a leash and harness, and whenever he slid out of it (“like a sausage”) I yelled, “No, Mr. Mort Guffman! God, you’re such a silly pig!” I bet 90 percent of the people who heard that thought I was talking on a bluetooth device.

Also, I used to set up a pen in my front yard so my guinea pig could romp in and nibble on the grass.

 

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Three albums you should dig.


I recently bought several albums and my joy from these purchases is immense. I don’t normally do this kind of thing because, although I think I have pretty good taste in music (I do, after all, listen to NPR’s All Songs Considered), I don’t like to make recommendations because if someone buys/listens to the album and hates it, I am completely overcome by self-doubt. So I’m kind of going out on a limb to say that you will dig these albums, and I’m happy I purchased them.

1. Fitz & the Tantrums, Pickin Up the Pieces

Song that got me hooked:MoneyGrabber.”

Key to this album: This band doesn’t use a conventional six-string guitar in its compositions. The main instrument is a vintage organ, and frontman Michael Fitzpatrick rocks it like it never went out of style. There’s a crazy soul vibe to each song, but there are modern twists you never would hear in an R&B tune from the ’50s. For example, one line from “MoneyGrabber” so eloquently says, “I don’t think twice for the price of a cheap time whore.” Heh.

If there’s one thing that will throw you off: Fitzpatrick’s weird attempt at a trendy hairstyle. Peter and I agree that the videos are awesome, but we just can’t get past his funky, Rogue-from-X-Men ‘do.

My favorite song on the album: “Breaking the Chains of Love.” It’s the first track, and there’s something about it that’s infectious. It’s like ebola, but it won’t kill you, and it won’t make you bleed from every orifice of your body, which is nice, because you’re infected but there aren’t any visible symptoms.

2. Foster the People, Torches

Song that got me hooked:Pumped Up Kicks.”

Key to this album: I don’t like to dance, and this album makes me want to dance. Each song has one little piece to it that makes it catchy, makes you want to hum it until you can’t hum anymore because your throat is sore. In “Pumped Up Kicks,” there’s this little kazoo-like noise that underlies the chorus. It gets stuck in my head and I can’t get it out, but not in a bad way, like with “Hello” by Lionel Richie.

If there’s one thing that will throw you off: If you don’t like electronic music, which is something I’m just getting into, then this may not be the album for you. Some songs are pretty heavy on the electronic stuff (I don’t know the technical term — I told you, I’m just getting into it). “Life on the Nickel” has what I would consider to be a bit of a drawn-out introduction, but it’s really good once you hear the song and understand its context. Wow. I kind of sounded like a snotty hipster prick there. Awesome.

My favorite song on the album:Houdini.” If for no other reason than it makes me dance when I’m driving on the Turnpike, and Kevin gives me weird looks.

3. Decemberists, The King is Dead

Song that got me hooked: Didn’t need one. This is one of my favorite bands, and I would have bought the album without hearing any songs. That’s what happened when I bought the album prior to this one, The Hazards of Love. Although, hearing “Down By the Water” on the radio certainly didn’t hurt.

Key to this album: The folk flow is so natural. The songs seem perkier and more upbeat, but some of the lyrics are downright depressing. Herein lies the magic of Colin Meloy and his merry troupe of musicians. This is a classically great album. Also, this is low on the list because I’m expecting you to already have heard it. If you haven’t heard it yet, you really are missing out. While you’re at it, buy the rest of your albums. I would use the first three albums as a primer, then delve into the whole “dissected, fragmented concept album” idea with The Crane Wife, then go right into The Hazards of Love, which is the definition of how to tell a tale with music. And bring tissues for “The Hazards of Love 4 (The Drowned).”

If there’s one thing that will throw you off: Nothing. It’s perfect.

Favorite song on the album: A tie between “Don’t Carry it All” and “Dear Avery.”

OK, one more, but without as much detail.

4. Lykke Li, Wounded Rhymes

Song that got me hooked:Get Some

Key to this album: It’s refreshing. I know that word when used to describe any sort of art tends to be a bit cliche, but for someone who really dislikes a lot of new, popular music, Lykke Li’s voice is so different and powerful. She’s like a Scandinavian Fiona Apple, without the piano.

If there’s one thing that will throw you off: I’ve heard tell some people don’t care for the lyrics of “Get Some” (“I’m your prostitute. You’re gonna get some.”); others have said her voice can be grating. I don’t agree with either.

Favorite song on the album:I Follow Rivers

On a totally unrelated note, Kevin pooped out his first foreign body today: yellow string from his rope toy. Guess which toy is no longer in service as a result? That’s right, his yellow rope toy. He’s sad, and kind of pouty, but I took him for a really long walk and we met some new people, so he’s napping and I don’t have to deal with his accusatory stares.

Facebook face slap. Also, how I accidentally told a PetSmart cashier he’s gay.


Let’s say there’s someone you really don’t like. You wouldn’t be friends with them on Facebook anyways, but just to make sure they never see your bizness, you block them.

I never have blocked anyone. I’ve done the thing where I stay friends with someone but can’t see their status updates anymore, usually when they spam my wall with tons of nonsense related to games (oh Farmville, you crazy bastard). So to get a better idea of why this goes on, I asked people on Facebook if they’ve blocked someone and why.

Responses:

  • “Does it count if you were only friends with the person on facebook because he was the bf of your best friend?”
  • “Farmville.”
  • Two other people liked this one: “yes. i hated the updates every 5 minutes on the games they were playing (farmville is SO stupid), and the other questions/quizzes…it was annoying….so i blocked them…then deleted them. and don’t feel bad at all!”
  • One other person liked this one: “I blocked my exhusband….does that count?”
  • “people who post 20 things per hr so my phone is blown up with wahh wahh waahhhh and if ur a yankee fan u must go”
  • The inimitable Steam Me Up, Kid chimed in with this one: “I block angry people, and people who post photos of the carcasses of animals they shot. That’s about it.”
  • “ive been blocked numerous times. i guess im an asshole. but ive never blocked anyone myself.”
  • “i block people who are negative, vulgar and curse a lot… just don’t need to see that :)”
  • “No, I wouldn’t know how”
  • And, my sister: “I was blocked by someone for being friends with someone else they didn’t like. So, I blocked the person who blocked me cuz I thought it was stupid. I think I still have her blocked, but I’ve heard through the grapevine that she took the block off of me.”

This got me thinking: Why haven’t I ever blocked an ex-boyfriend? The short answer is that I want them to see how successful I am. The long answer involves me printing out any messages they try to send me and having my NEW DOG, KEVIN, release his bowels on them.

So why haven’t I blocked any of my adversaries? Surely there must be someone who is just downright rude to me, and I don’t want them to ever try to contact me or look at my photos. Wrong. Again, this category mostly consists of people with whom I went to high school or college. Mostly college. And they can see that I have a great job and graduated with honors as the outstanding graduate for my school and choke on their lemon drops.

Of course, as I write this I’m speaking sternly to my NEW DOG, KEVIN, telling him not to eat his stuffed hedgehog.

Oh, I’m sorry. Did I mention that I have a NEW DOG, and his named is KEVIN?

O hai there.

Kevin enjoys fetch, rope toys and more fetch. He’s my apartment buddy. He’s almost 8 months old, and he doesn’t evacuate indoors … unless we’re at Peter’s house, because Kevin gets really confused.

I named him after Kevin Youkilis from the Red Sox, and also after Kevin Malone from “The Office,” because every time he eats I yell, “Superfeast!”

Kevin will be a dog about town once he is neutered and has all of his shots, so I’m really looking forward to exploring the dog-friendly side of Martin County.

Where is this going? I don’t know. I got a mild concussion on Saturday and my brain has worked well since. Also, Kevin just ate the foot off his hedgehog.

Also, I promise my next post will be more interesting.

One last quick anecdote:

The day before I went to pick up Kevin, Peter and I went shopping to get puppy supplies. We went to PetSmart, and I got a little squeaky cupcake toy for $1.17.

I love the little cherry on top.

At the register, I turned to Peter and said, “Do you think the cupcake is too girly?” Both Peter and the guy behind the register replied that yes, it is girly. “Oh well,” I said. “If Kevin doesn’t like it, I’ll just give it to Patrick. He’s gay.”

The cashier stopped and stared at me. He was glaring, and it was really uncomfortable. The first thought to dart through my head was, “Oh crap, is he gay?” Then I looked at his name tag: Patrick.

I started laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe. I had tears running down my face and I was trying so hard to apologize, to tell him the Patrick to which I was referring is this guy:

The Official Patrick.

Peter helped me recover, and the cashier was just as embarrassed as we were. “I’m definitely not gay,” he said, handing me my receipt. All I could say as we walked to the door was, “Sorry I called you gay.”

And in the time it took me to write this, we have lost our dear friend, the Tiny Hedgehog. May he rest in peace.

Poor little guy.