Tag Archives: Water

Dog Sit

Recently, my sister asked if I wouldn’t mind dog sitting.

I love dogs. Love them! So why not?

I have a dog myself: Louis, my 14 year-old dachshund. More dogs? An additional dog? Sure! Why would I mind? What would there be to mind?

Turns out, I did mind. I mind, a lot.

So much minding over so much to be minded about:


1. Smell

Dogs smell. Not just the ability or the power (to smell) but the fact of the thing itself (the smell of dog). Dogs. Smell. Did you know that? This dog, the one I’m dog sitting, smells. Like dog. Like a big dog, so much bigger than a dachshund, let alone a 14 year-old dachshund and his dachshund smell I’ve been smelling for so many years I don’t smell it anymore. Big dog smell. In my house. Just wafting around, riding the currents of our A/C like some rude, musky little ghost.

2. Space

I live in a tiny place with tiny furniture and this dog – with his big dog paws and big dog butt and big dog poops and big scoops of dog food that go into making the big dog poops – cannot seem to maneuver without bumping into something or knocking something down or pushing something – a carefully placed something, mind you, that brings together the room just so – totally, utterly into the worst space imaginable (i.e. to be crushed underfoot or under such garish light or harsh angle(s) as to force me on more than one occasion to question my sense of taste; my ability to see the beauty in life itself).

3. Hair

 Everywhere. Every goddamn nook and cranny in a home full of nooks and crannies. This dog’s hair is not fur but hair, OK? Tiny little eyelash things that – while pixyish and cute upon first blush – have become a plague upon our household. They, too, ride the air currents, whirling here and there, landing where they will, be it in the corners of the room, on the stovetop or in unguarded eyes and noses and mouths. Actually, forget about simply acting as a garnish on our spaghetti or in our tea, these little hairs everywhere are now are part of the chemical makeup of every single thing to be found in our place.

4. Water

This particular dog spills about half the water he drinks out the sides of his mouth while drinking. Socks are a luxury we can no longer afford, lest they become soaked in pungent spillover dog-snot water. Thank god for the hardwood floors, though our place being as old as it is, the water tends to pool in odd places where the wood is uneven, thus forming a series of pools that somehow remind me of the surface of the moon.


So, you know, after all this I realized something rather crucial about myself: I may not love dogs. May never have loved them at all. Just my dog. My singular, very particular dog who himself has caused me no end of trouble. No other dogs need apply. I’m good. I’m set.



Recently, a friend asked to if I wouldn’t mind babysitting.

I’m still laughing.

I have not stopped laughing.



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Filed under Animals, Dogs, Family, Interruptions, People, Pets

Bob’s Bag

The other Thing that happened at Goodwill was Bob.

His actual name isn’t Bob.  I can’t remember what his actual, real name was – or is – although it occurs to me that I never outright learned it in the first place.  But I feel that he is – or was – very Bob-like.  He emanated Bob; was infused with Bob-ness.  Absolutely reeked of Bob.

So, OK. Bob.

It wasn’t so much him, I guess, but what he did.

To tell you the truth, the Goodwill I worked at was, top to bottom, an almost-new Goodwill: they[1] had found an old building, gutted it and built the Goodwill from the inside out.  So that there was an intervening, makeshift period as the Goodwill was becoming a Goodwill that lunches were eaten, stored and discarded here-or-there, that garbage floated this-way-and-that and that bathrooms were take-it-or-leave-it rented Port-O-Potties with pathetic rations of tissue.  There wasn’t any running water for months, although Team Leader Annica seemed to think that hand sanitizer was even better, matter of fact.

For her, it was altogether primordial.

On and on it went like this.  The flies, naturally, flourished.   Generations upon generations.  Ancestors and descendants.  Whole genealogies of flies!  Mothers and sons and fathers and daughters and cousins and nieces and nephews and grandparents and on and on.

Enter Bob.

Bob was from the B-Cohort; those hired after the Goodwill had officially opened its doors to the public.  Those of us in the A-Cohort were, naturally, suspicious and resentful of B-Cohort.  We, after all, had been there since the beginning, before you lot came around with your bodies and enquires and before the flies even and yes, we know there are, like, a ton of flies around.  You think we’re not aware of the flies??

But Bob.

Bob had a solution.

"Is that a breast implant with a penny in it?!" He asks as I type.

Et voilà.

Yes.  He put a penny in a baggy and he filled it with water.  Then he stuck it to the wall and *winked*, actions that quite suited Bob, the gregarious, Bob, the earnest, Bob magic man and whose one lazy eye flickered with a certain shamelessness that was hard to ignore completely.  (I may have added the wink).

Good ‘ol Bob.

See, Bob’s Bob-like behavior didn’t exactly strike me as aberrant or weird.   He and it were just another and another quirk of the place itself.  Bob was atmosphere, he was au jus.  Just like how Manger Steve managed to sigh-slouch-slide into his black shrivel chair in a way that was invariably…graceful.  The way a dancer’s body sways in time to music only it can hear, or the way a hot air balloon simply gives in and deflates over and into its basket.

Or like how Annica would invariably declare that the lunch special next door was pretty good, actually, for oriental food anyway, so long as you picked out all that Chinese seaweed.[2]

And like how Fat Don could reduce cashiers to tears but was also truly heartbroken at all the mismatched Crocs that were donated to the store on an almost daily basis.

What reason, then, was there to deny Bob his bag?

But then, whyWhy this bag?

A few working theories.

  • All of the below.
  • The reflection of the penny in its transparent womb, compounded with the fly’s compound eyes and the light of the day, will appear to the fly to be a predator (i.e. a hornets’ net, or a horde of wasps or one singular, giant wasp or hornet), and thus serves to make it chase itself away for you.
  • The reflection of the water’s tiny prisms against the light assaults the fly with a dizzying array of colour and movement, disorienting the creature and forcing it to make a hasty escape to a more welcoming reality.
  • The fly sees its own reflection, possibly magnified, and in a fit of fly-self-hate and/or fly-on-fly hatred fleas.  Flees.
  • Your average housefly has a crippling fear of drowning and an equally crippling, incurable claustrophobia and will do whatever it can to avoid enclosed bodies of water.[3]

Whatever the reason for the bag – Bob’s Bag – Bob’s faith never wavered.  It would work.  It does work.  And before I left Goodwill it seemed as though – yes – there were less flies buzzing around the place.

Who knows.

My take?

It was just such a Bob Thing to do, you know?


[1] The collective “they”.  You know, Them.

[2] Seriously.  It was bok choy.

[3] My favourite.

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Filed under People, Places


Our landlord called tonight to let us know we can’t use the water until 3PM tomorrow afternoon.  There are sewage problems in the downstairs unit.


It’s like breathing.  Taken for granted until you can’t take advantage of it anymore.  Or blinking.  If you knew how often you needed to do it, you’d become disillusioned by your own poor design.

Not to mention tiring circumstances.

The more pressing problems – no showers, no toilet – will really press in time. For now, I’m not that dirty (ripening but still not ripe!) and if I have to, I can hold off using the toilet for for-EVER.  All things being equal.

No Big Gulps tonight!  No million cups of tea!  No prune ‘n rhubarb pie!

No.  The immediate problem is dinner.

What to do?


Nothing that requires washing.  Self-contained food only.  What does that leave us?

Apparently, all our produce comes from exactly the 1980s.

Together at last?




If I combine the above with, like, spices, mix with soy sauce, white vinegar and raw ramen packs, does that count as a food?

You know, please?


Is it really necessary to wash everything before you prepare it for eats?  What’s the danger here regarding germs and sickness, really?  I mean, OK.  So, I licked a bare foot once.

Why is it that, made red and swedish, these are IRRESISTIBLE?

The question is: whose foot?

How far removed from that is this?


Stephen (imploring):  Cindy…Cindy would you like to order a pizza?

Cindy (meek, exasperated, murderous):  Yes.  Yes…OK.

Stephen (cautiously buoyed):  O-kay.  Just…come out of the corner.  Back into the light.

From deprivation to salvation!  I live to fight another day.

And now…I have to pee.

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Filed under Interruptions