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Posts Tagged ‘dog’

First Holy Poutine Ladies Night Communion

Posted by crowbiz on May 11, 2010

Who says I don’t get out (other than me)?  Last Saturday was a veritable barnbuster, crammed with both a First Holy Communion party – whoa!  AND – AND – AND – another poutine party, this time a ladies-only affair.

Part 1:  Body of Christ.  We attended the First Communion party for the son of some old friends, though there’s not a lot to say here, other than I had a good time seeing folks, noshing, and watching others drink what seemed to be about 87 pitchers of beer (blood of Christ, etc…).  We ended up staying far longer than anticipated, as things got funnier and blurrier by the hour, so I actually had to dash between events – and fit in a little supply shopping – before the Ladies’ Poutine Party.  Our lovely hostess, eager to unload massive amounts of First Communion sheet cake (which prompted my ultra fabulous quip, “Holy sheet cake!”), sent departing guests home with platefuls of wrapped slabs.  Whether by subversive design or divine intervention, we ended up with the following piece:

The Chosen One

Sure, others may have walked out with “Bless” or a chunk of frosting crucifix, but can you blame me for feeling smug?  Naturally, no one in this house dares eat it for fear of being stricken with paralyzing guilt and a sudden urge to tithe.

(Special hello to my most supportive blog fan, Miss Rose, who was in attendance.  I promise that when I find the photos, I will blog about the hole-in-the-Speedo.  Not to be missed!  Actually, it would have been really hard to miss.)

Kitchen Action

Part 2:  Ladies Poutine Club. Given my mission to promote poutine to the masses, I was especially pleased to be included in a let’s-try-this-at-home gig.  It only took several months of planning, since finding an open weekend evening among us in-demand jet setters is a task worthy of an MIT graduate student.   Theme names were adopted, among them, Fryda Kahlo, Grace Slick, Olive Oil, and the like.  In honor of my grandmother, Viola, I guess I’ll just be Fryola.  Our mascot was Daisy the Westie who’s job was to ensure that the souls of any dropped fries did not come back to haunt us, or cause a slippery accident with five drinking women scurrying around the kitchen.  Perhaps unwisely, I wore what I thought was “relevant” clothing, namely, my red CANADA polar fleece zippered jacket and my synthetic fur scarf, or as I call it, my “neck weasel,” which the Poutine Pup eyed all night.

Fryda Kahlo's classy joint - a significant upgrade from a picnic table

Fry, baby, fry

Grace Slick brought her brand new deep fryer – see similar occurrence here – and after a confused start, a phonecall to a family frying expert, and an internet search, we fired it up.  O! for a fryer to lose its virginity to a batch of potatoes destined for poutine!  There is surely a tier in the Appliance Afterlife where such service will be amply rewarded!

Daisy ...waiting for a moment of carelessness

Yet another version

My first serving

Without purists to interfere (other than me, but I shelved all judgment), we were free to mix and match our poutine toppings with abandon.  Though standard cheese curd served well, we were all pleasantly surprised by a sprinkling of gorgonzola – brought by ME, so see, I wasn’t being a cranky purist.  Both homemade and jar gravy were used, as was a bewildering array of ethnic condiments.  Stealing the show were Indian coriander chutney and Belinda’s Smokey Chipotle Ketchup (hot, but I’m a weenie).  My beverage of choice was a framboise lambic, with a touch of wine in between trips to the kitchen.  French music played – no, not Canadian, because no one in the universe wants to hear Anne Murray, especially when eating, and Leonard Cohen would have been too depressing.  Since we ate from plates like civilized ladies, we did lose the roadside quality of the poutine experience, but at least there was no danger of bees.  Also, with poutine flat on a plate, the lower fries do not get soggy, which is either good or bad, depending on your perspective.  I was willing to trade the usually desirable sog for the good company and china.  Really, it all goes back to “there is no such thing as a bad fry,” except perhaps the one for which you are battling a dog on the kitchen floor….

Which leads me to my feigned poutine overdose pose, sprawled on the floor as if in need of medical assistance.  We tried the shot over and over, hoping to get just the right look of bloated excess, unconsciousness, and desperation; I lay face down with a few stray fries strewn just out of reach of my slack-jawed face, a few more fries clutched in my crabbed hand.  Daisy, however, could not suspend her duties as floor monitor, and thus kept diving in, as terriers do, for the quarry.  Rats, fries, whatev.  After clunking heads and coming lip-to-lip many times, I realized it wasn’t working as planned, and it  was also unfair to tempt the poor dear with floor fries next to an apparently dead body.

For me, there will always be a next time.

Poutine Coma, Take 1

Poutine Coma, Take 2

Poutine Coma, Take 3



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Stella’s Dining Room

Posted by crowbiz on October 11, 2009

While shocking examples of pet spoilage can easily be found in our culture, Stella here represents a fairly normal middle-class dog existence.  She’s good in that she doesn’t whine about getting what all the other dogs have, mostly because her cognitive capacity can’t process “keeping up with the Jones” and also because she probably knows she’s lucky enough to have humans who will let her cuddle on their laps, which is like cuddling with a 50-pound sack of elbows.



Dining is serious business

Dining is serious business

Her dining area is in one corner of our kitchen, and we thought she might like a little ambience.  Candles and flower-filled vases were nixed for obvious reasons, but I did find this lovely and skillfully executed paint-by-number portrait of a cocker spaniel for 50-cents.  Really, even when you look up close it’s very well done.  Though spaniels aren’t really Stella’s kind, she does seem to like it.

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Dog Is My Co-Pilot

Posted by crowbiz on May 15, 2009



Rarin' to go

Rarin' to go

You’ve seen the bumper stickers, which do nice double duty expressing one’s love of dogs and skewering sticky-backed religious proclamations all in one (a favorite of mine is “Jesus would use his turn signal”)  However, this post isn’t meant to promote misty-eyed sentiment about all the joys that dog companionship brings;  those who love or have dogs already know this in full measure, and those who don’t like dogs have deeper problems than I care to entertain right now. What I aim to consider is how Dog Maintenance is a useful and potentially dangerous tool for one’s productivity.  In the right measure, it can provide mental lubrication and inspiration, but if employed carelessly, can become a day-long unfolding conduit to procrastinatory guilt.  



Let’s tackle the latter.  Dogs need stuff.  Food, walks, more or less grooming, playtime, toys, cuddling, other dog time, more walks, chances to get into a little trouble, and whatever else you may provide, which is your business.  But don’t let this be your excuse for an unavoidable time-suck when deadlines loom and unpleasant tasks await.  Need to start cleaning the basement?  Well, you could just take the dog out for a little walk first, get that out of the way….  Is there a dreaded phonecall to be made?  You know, you are supposed to check between your dog’s toes for ticks, and even if you don’t live in the country, you’d feel mighty bad if you were negligent here.  By the way, did you remember to put the heartworm pill sticker on the calender from April through November?….  Have a stack of papers to grade (ahem)?  Oh, that’s going to take a long time, so I ought to give the dog some attention now to hold her over for a while….  Don’t kid yourself.  Whenever unenjoyable or daunting work needs to be tackled, it’s never a better time to (choose up to eight):

– organize five years worth of photos

– call your friend who sent those reprints found in the photo pile

– walk the dog

– google that vexing term you keep meaning to get to

– play with the dog

– deadhead flowers

– decide this would be a good time to wash the dog’s bedding

– more menial jobs that could fill 17 more pages….

** Warning!  Cat people, do not try to substitute your cat for this story.  It isn’t intended to apply to cats for various reasons.  No, I’ve got nothing against cats, or not much.  I had cats for approximately 30 years; I like cats; I’m over cats. Anyway, cats and blogs are a toxic mix.  If you don’t want to take my word for it, read a few, but don’t say I didn’t warn you, and don’t come crying back to me.  **

On the other hand, having a dog around is a great way to enjoy companionship during work time without the downsides of humans.  Those of you who work from home, raise your hands.  It’s fine to talk jibberish out loud when with the dog; in fact, he prefers it.  Want to belt out a song at 9:48 am?  Try that in your cubicle. At least at home you have an appreciative audience who would actually like more.  Dog Presence is like having a silent, nonjudgmental coworker around, and you feel slightly accountable to some entity, albeit furry, so you’re likely to get some things accomplished.

Long walks are the clincher for me, and all the more justifiable with a young, high-energy dog.  We both get our exercise and I get to casually inspect people’s yards and houses from an acceptable distance (hint:  pretending to adjust the dog harness is a great way to stop and try to look in people’s houses from the sidewalk.  I won’t name names, but you there on Chapin Parkway, that’s a really ugly lamp in the front window.)  The less obvious but sizable benefit is that this is my mental exercise; many people use their daily workout to think things over, brainstorm, compose, problem solve and all those other cognitive functions we can’t manage when required to pay attention to other tasks of the moment.  Insecurity prevents me from revealing my own dog duty mental miracles, because it would be easy for the outsider to say, “You walk three miles through the city and can’t come up with something better than that?”  But without the walks, I wouldn’t even have that.  Plus, unlike being in the gym, you can still talk jibberish during the walk!  The late, great ZuZu did a fine job getting me on this path 12 years ago.  Stella continues the tradition, and oddly, seems to poop less, which cuts into my mental time less.  Does the dog make me a better person?  That’s too hokey to answer, but I’ll say it helps.

It’s not a one-way street, though.  Sure, there is the occasional squeaky toy pressed insistently into your left buttock, or the rare whine-in-your-face, sometimes accompanied by a Frito-scented paw on your leg, but none of these distractions actually require you to think.  The interruption can usually be cleared with a few human noises and hand gestures to dismiss the dog – if only kids and coworkers responded so quickly and easily.  And the dog still loves your lousy singing.  

Every dog is just a four-legged Carl Rogers, so if you have one, start self-actualizing.

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