Books, General, Walks with the dogs

Can you smell what the Rock is cooking?

12.21.07 | Comment?


I have a heavy bag and a speed bag set up in the basement.  It’s useful exercise to punch things that won’t hit back.  Yesterday evening I was rat-a-tatting on the speed bag when the internal bladder popped.  Reactions: ‘bladder’ is a funny word; I flinched and ducked like I was having a flashback to the ‘Nam; I was quietly satisfied that my manos de piedra had reduced a flimsy bit of Chinese-sourced rubber to a status of a discarded party favor.

Heather Armstrong is one of my favorite writers on the intertubes.  Not only is she funny, but brave and honest.  These seem traits shared by her husband, who writes about Heather’s depression and how it affects their life together.  It’s all worth reading, but a certain passage is worth me repeating:

To the people out there who denigrate mental health awareness and treatment, I say this: You aren’t helping. You are making it worse. Stop being an arrogant know-it-all. You aren’t right. You are wrong. If someone tells you they need help, your opinion means less than that of professionals. Stop being ignorant. Stop being obstinate. Stop insisting that your loved one, partner, child or co-worker “get over it”.


 In other news, the other evening the dogs completely ignored a dead rat we passed on the sidewalk.  I am glad for so many reasons.  As much as I enjoy playing tug-of-war with Vinnie, I would have to draw the line at the carcass.  In the past we have come across dead squirrels, ranging in squishiness from ‘man-hole cover flat’ to ‘looks alive like it just fell off the power line’.  Despite their, especially Boris’, obssession for chasing live squirrels, we have safely passed each of these dead specimens.  Once Vinnie sniffed at a dead crow, but that’s as close as they’ve come to necrophagy.  What would happen if we came across a dead person?  I’m reading Philip Roth’s Everyman right now, and there’s a scene where the main character, in his youth during World War II, sees the corpse of a German submariner washed up in the surf of the Jersey shore.  Not specific to my circumstances, but worth noting as an example of a good writer weaving history into the complexity of a character’s past.

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