Saturday, September 20, 2014

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #358

Entry #358
September 20, 2014

Hello Everyone, Wimsey here, coming to you as usual from the Upper West Side of Manhattan but ensconced for a long weekend in my secondary apartment several blocks away from my normal crib. My human Maria left for a long weekend on Thursday to visit her mother leaving me with her friend, Elizabeth, who normally only looks after me during the day when Maria is off at work.  Elizabeth is off at work too but in her case her office is conveniently located in her apartment and well within snouting and drool range of yours truly. And whereas sadly I cannot interfere with Maria’s work (at least not directly), I have free rein (or leash) to do so at Elizabeth’s. This week I took her to one of the out of the way pet stores where I had previously purchased my brown dinosaur and she tried to buy me off with a blue dragon—the theory being that I would amuse myself with the blue dragon and allow her to work. Like most theories concerning my behavior this one turned out to require some modification since the amusement consisted of me pushing the dragon at Elizabeth and squeaking it in her face.

Well I always have a tremendous time when I stay with Elizabeth because she is so easy to annoy and being annoying is one of the principal reasons for my existence. Or so I’ve been told.  Now one of the most important aspects of being annoying is understanding your target annoyee. For instance, I like to annoy Maria by being independent so she thinks that I don’t care about her and I like to annoy Elizabeth by being so attentive that she requires regular recourse to the gin bottle. Unfortunately Elizabeth had to leave me for a few hours on Thursday evening to go to an event at a Champagne bar in Tribeca that she claims was work related (in much the same way, I imagine that I might say an event in a butcher shop is work related) and I was most put out by this.  And whereas when Maria leaves me alone it’s a big snooze fest (literally) Elizabeth’s leaving me alone calls for some retaliatory action. Generally I like to move things around or shred some mail and such like just to let her know that she’s done wrong.  I also like to induce the guilt to which she is susceptible by being near the door when she comes in and then pointedly eating and drinking my untouched food and water.  But after she returned this time she inspected everything and nothing was missing or shredded so she concluded that maybe I am maturing.  That lasted until she went into the bathroom and found that the bathmat had changed its location.  Also that it had sprouted hair. Black and tan hair.

And then of course there are my nighttime activities.  I can confirm to anyone interested, that taking Ambien is ineffective when a Giant Hound is having an exciting dream and kicking the radiator or when he is sleeping next to the head of the bed and emitting periodic clouds of pungent digestive gases.  And then, as is my custom when staying with Elizabeth, somewhere near 7am I get up, flap my ears loudly, stretch, have a nice refreshing drink of water and then climb into bed with her to let her know that I am ready for my walk.

Both Elizabeth and I are sorry that we could not go to visit Maria’s mother as well, however.  We all did this several years ago and Maria and Elizabeth were reminiscing about our visit.  My favorite part was all the delectable Hungarian food I was served (Maria’s mother is an excellent and prolific cook and baker) and also having Maria’ s mother hand strip meat off of Buffalo chicken wings for me.  Elizabeth’s favorite memory is of walking down the long hallway at our hotel in search of ice and looking down and finding me quietly and, for the one and only time in my life, heeling at her side, sans collar or other Hound control equipment.  Then there was, the look on a fellow guest’s face as she emerged from her room to see Elizabeth walking a Giant Hound down the hallway by his dewlap instead of by a leash. She flew back inside. Maria’s favorite memory was of her mother refusing to feed me dessert crepes until they had been properly warmed up. But the hallway escapade ranks pretty high on her list too.
 
Also this week I experienced a “crise de nub” as the French would say.  In addition to noisy blue dragons, the other way Elizabeth tries to buy peace is by the liberal dispensing of bully sticks.  But I like to turn bully sticks into nubs and then throw them around and play with them and fling them places so that Elizabeth has to crawl around on her hands and knees to retrieve them.  Well this week I lost my nub and made Elizabeth hunt with me through my vast toy pile and under the furniture to no avail (nub hunting being another time wasting activity with which I plague Elizabeth’s life). My humans concluded that I had probably eaten the nub and forgotten about it because I am basically stupid. So when Elizabeth woke up on Friday morning I left the newly found nub prominently displayed in the middle of the rug for her admiration.  It will make her crazy trying to figure out where I found it.  Elizabeth immediately texted the exciting news to Maria that the errant nub had been found. It is a pleasure to be able to bring meaning and excitement to my humans’ otherwise boring and desolate lives. 
 
Well I have to apologize for being late with the post this week—Elizabeth started looking rather peaky last night so I prescribed a medicinal gin and tonic and had to monitor the results. Unfortunately all the relaxation was undone this morning because at about 6am I began having a vigorous series of dreams that required me to kick the bed repeatedly.  Then I’d wake up, flap my ears, fall back asleep and repeat.  I did climb into bed with Elizabeth as usual at 7am but by this time she was already awake so it wasn’t as much fun as usual.  We spent a lovely couple of hours down by the river and stopped for a muffin and coffee which I enjoyed very much and left a pool of drool to prove it.  There is talk this evening of mai tai’s and Forgetting Sarah Marshall which Elizabeth hopes will turn into Forgetting Wimsey Bloodhound and make her think she is back in Maui instead of on her couch with me.  As if.

Well it’s a short post this week since Elizabeth has huge piles of work to do which means that I have huge piles of work to do making sure that she cannot do it.  Oh, and lest you think that my being annoying is limited to my actual humans, think again. Last Saturday evening I was standing around outside my building “chatting” with some friends when someone leaned out of their window and shouted “That’s obnoxious.”  I don’t know, I think the sound of me is rather pleasing. Anyway…

Until next time,

Wimsey, The Alarm Clock Hound
 



Friday, September 12, 2014

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #357

 
Entry #257
September 12, 2014

Hello Everyone, it’s me, Wimsey, coming to you from Manhattan’s Upper West Side where fall weather just might be starting to creep into the seasonal rotation. This doesn’t mean that my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth have abandoned air conditioning me totally, since I like frosty conditions, but it appears likely that their electric bill will soon be in for a break.  Just in time for a bout of Indian summer I think.

But first things first.  Those of you who read last week’s post or took a look at Facebook know that at long last my lazy humans have gotten around to publishing my book (s) The Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art on Amazon and that a celebratory meal was planned. Although this was supposed to include a piece of poached salmon for me from the fancy fish store, it was decided instead to order a giant pizza with mushrooms and extra cheese. Well this was fantastic and there was drool aplenty, so it was a good thing that we ate in the yard. Or rather that I ate and my humans attempted to eat in between cutting up delectable morsels of pizza and hand feeding them to me.  We famous authors should always be fêted and feasted as befits our stature as literary luminaries. 

Elizabeth has just begun sending out press releases in the hopes of getting newspaper book reviewers to take a look at my masterpiece. The received wisdom on this is that these august personages do not review self-published books. However, my view of this is that none of these other self-published books ever had me in them. I mean who could resist me? Clearly no one on the Upper West Side. This week a lady crossed the street to tell Elizabeth that she lives down the street from me and always enjoys hearing me bay. And she didn’t even qualify it by adding, “Except when he meets Pluto at 6 am.” I am the toast of the town—it’s just that the rest of the town doesn’t know it yet.

Anyway, the (supposedly) impending fall weather brought Elizabeth’s StitchFix box which was much anticipated.  StitchFix is an online personal shopping service that Elizabeth tasked with finding Hounding clothes for her (us) that were inexpensive (i.e. those that you don’t mind seeing splattered with drool and miscellaneous organic matter), washable and were not tee shirts and jeans.  I closely supervised the opening of this box and I was not impressed. Not the least of which was because it turned out not to be a box of toys and snacks for me. The nerve. 

Anyway, StitchFix sent a baggy blue tee shirt (I guess because the racks of them in Elizabeth’s closet were insufficient or they considered that baggy ones are more chic than those that actually give her a shape) which promptly went in the return bag. Next there was something dubbed a “knitted coat” that struck myself, Maria and Elizabeth (and trust me, we never all agree on anything) as perhaps the ugliest garment ever made.  Where to begin. It was huge (it was a size small in the same way that I am size small when compared to a pony. OK, well maybe a horse)—little Elizabeth looked like she had been swallowed whole by a blueberry. The sleeves came beyond her fingertips and it had giant pockets on the hips, in a spot where no pockets should ever be. Then Maria, who is much taller tried it on and it was equally misshapen on her and by some fashion miracle, those pockets were still on her hips too and the sleeves hung down over what she likes to call “her monkey arms” (the better for reaching me when I do not wish to be reached). I was hoping that this item would end up in my toy pile but it too was sadly banished to the return bag.
 
Next, we had a pair of black leggings. OK, they are not jeans but same idea. Elizabeth kept those for which I am very grateful as I like the way my drool looks on black. Next we had this black and white woven faux sweatshirt thing which was a marginal upgrade from her blue fleece hoodie and finally, there was a messenger bag.  This was requested as Elizabeth is going to experiment with abandoning the giant black fanny pack that she needs to carry because of all the stuff that I require when perambulating about town.  Personally I think the bag is going to end up in a pile of poop when she bends over to scoop, but we will see. 

Anyway, Maria is planning on ordering office clothes from StitchFix so I will have another box to inspect and critique. I was so inspired by all of this (I love fashion so long as it’s not me that’s wearing it) that I crashed New York Fashion Week which was going on behind me in this picture. I somehow managed to get onto the Lincoln Center Plaza and join a crowd of fashionistas exiting down a ramp, at the bottom of which were girls handing out fliers for an upcoming show.  They were so busy staring at me that they forgot to give me my flier which I was cruelly prevented from obtaining on my own.

OK, so all that was pretty exciting, but there’s more! This coming Thursday Maria is going to visit her mother for a long weekend and I am going to visit Elizabeth for what will seem like a much longer weekend. At least for her.  She has already done some serious shopping in the liquor store and broken out the bottle of Ambien from the medicine cabinet in anticipation. And better yet, I will be back for an entire week in October when Maria goes away on business to Chicago. We are going to have so much fun. Well I will, anyway.

So, from time to time (or all the time, depending on your point of view) humans do things so idiotic as to make it incredible that Hounds do not rule the earth.  This latest example of human foolishness comes from a professor at Arizona State University who did a study and then published a paper on the astounding discovery that dogs prefer people who pet them to people who praise them.  Now first off, Hounds do not listen to humans on any topic. Period, and secondly if a human is praising a Hound then the Hound has done something seriously unHound- like and could probably use a refresher course at the Wimsey School of Houndly Deportment.  So for anyone who has not yet realized it, here are a few more items to add to that list:

Hounds prefer someone who feeds them to someone who pets them.

Hounds prefer someone who feeds them the lunch they are eating over someone who feeds them that rubbish in the kibble bag.

Hounds prefer someone who is inattentive about stuff left on a kitchen counter to someone who is vigilant about stuff left on a kitchen counter.

Hounds prefer someone who will chase them because of the stuff they stole that was left on the kitchen counter to someone who is too lazy to chase them because of the stuff they stole that was left on the kitchen counter.

Hounds prefer someone whose refrigerator door is easy to open to someone whose refrigerator door is padlocked.

Hounds prefer someone who they are able to shove off the couch to someone who gets up voluntarily.

Hounds prefer people who will sleep on the couch rather than disturb them when they are ensconced on the bed to bed hogs who will try to share the bed.

Hounds prefer messy people who leave items of clothing lying around to neat people who hide items of clothing behind closet doors or in closed drawers.

Hounds prefer people who think they are wonderful creatures to people who know that they are entitled and manipulative brats.


Well you get the idea—I could go on at length on this subject, but seriously, if a professor can get paid to do a study like that, what is next, a groundbreaking treatise on “”Dogs prefer to chase squirrels rather than to get a bath”?

Anyway, I am off to rest up for my stint of being the perfect houseguest (not).

Until next time,

Wimsey, The Pestatarian

 



Friday, September 5, 2014

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #356

 

Entry #356
September 5, 2014

Hello Everyone, it’s me, Wimsey the Wonderful coming to you from the suspiciously summery precincts of Manhattan’s Upper West Side where once again I was forced to wear my cooling coat. This was very disappointing considering the calendar says it is September. Isn’t there some fashion rule about not wearing a cooling coat after Labor Day? 

Whatever the failings of the weather, it turns out that Labor Day was aptly named this year because my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth were hard at work on my art books. After many technical and aesthetic glitches (most of which seemed to require drinking cocktails in the yard) the plan is to actually try to upload them to Amazon this weekend and see if the system will accept them.  As much as I am looking forward to their eventual publication, I do think that the fact that eBooks are odorless is a major flaw.  Perhaps I need to create an app for that.  Of course, the sight of my humans poring over pictures of me whilst I pester them to hand feed me individual cocktail nuts is always satisfying and will be missed. However, as much as I will miss these publishing confabs I am sure that the technical service people at Kindle Direct Publishing will not miss them at all—somewhere there is probably a special folder titled, Them Again.

Anyway, I will be announcing publication when (and if) it actually occurs.  All that will be needed to appreciate the glory of me, Amazon style, is to download a free Kindle app to one’s computer, iPad, tablet or phone and to have some modest credit card cash handy. My books will be available globally too because Hound Love knows know geographic boundaries --which is fitting because we Hounds know no boundaries at all, geographic or otherwise.  I am charging the minimum that Amazon allows for books of this size-- apparently I take up a lot of room even in cyber space--and if it makes everyone feel any better, remember on whom the book revenues will be spent.  Keeping me in toys, bully sticks, vet visits, coats, kibble, turkey, chicken, yams, yogurt, eggs, cheese, gelato, Belgian waffles, hamburgers, nuts, cupcakes, snacks, shampoo, anti-stink spray, ear cleaner, toothpaste, eye ointment, joint supplements and probiotics just to name a few items, doesn’t come cheap. And that is to say nothing of the laundry and dry cleaning bills and all the wall cleaner that hit my humans’ pocketbook in a fairly forceful manner.  It is no wonder they both have to work so hard.

And in two late breaking pieces of news: 1) it has been definitively established that fancy probiotic powders do not impede the free flow of Hound Gas and 2) given adequate time (a year) a Hound can actually learn to nap on his kuranda bed.  This latter development was the highlight of my humans’ summer. That and the Italian Spritz cocktail recipe that Elizabeth brought back from Tuscany (1/3 Aperole, 2/3 Prosecco, a splash of club soda and an orange slice.  Serve on the rocks in a wine glass whilst being mercilessly pestered by a Giant Hound).

So pretty much it’s been “same old same old” around here—the usual round of visits to the pet shops, Apple Store, Boat Basin Café, etc., when I deem the weather cool enough.  But lest you crave more detail, here is a sample:

Summer Fun With Wimsey

1. Elizabeth enters my apartment at midday.

2. I acknowledge her presence by rolling over so she can pay tribute to my tummy.

3.  She puts fresh, non-drooled in water in my bowl and assembles my spa supplies: eye ointment, ear cleaner, toothbrush and toothpaste and anti-yeast pads for the area between my flews.

4.  She bribes me out of the bedroom with turkey.

5.  I have a long drink of water.

6. Elizabeth refills my water bowl.

7. I ascend the couch.

8.  Elizabeth deals with my eyes, the yeast farm in my ears, my choppers and the auxiliary yeast farm between my flews.

9. She puts everything away while I have a drink of water and return to the couch.

10. Elizabeth refills my water bowl.

11. Elizabeth reappears with my collar and harness.

12. I decline to leave the air-conditioned splendor of my couch.

13. Elizabeth bribes me off the couch with turkey.

14. I have another drink of water.

15. Elizabeth refills my bowl.

16. I ascend the couch.

17. Elizabeth bribes me off the couch with turkey.

18. We leave my apartment.

19. While she is locking the door I attempt to drag her down the hallway.

20. I bay to alert the building to the news that I am going out for a walk.

21.  If it’s not too hot or sunny I take Elizabeth anyplace that she does not wish to go and do minimum business in maximum time.

22.  If it is hot and sunny I refuse to walk.

23.  Elizabeth bribes me with turkey to walk.

24. We go back to her building. The elevator guy scratches me. Elizabeth holds my flews to prevent me shaking slime all over him.

25.  Elevator opens.

26. I charge down the hallway hunting for Little Teddy, the neighbor’s mini-doodle.

27. Although I can smell him, I fail to find him.

28. I enter Elizabeth’s apartment.

29. I inventory my toy pile to make sure no canine competitor has disturbed it.

30. I have a drink of water.

31. Elizabeth refills my water bowl.

32. I notice that my food bowl only contains kibble. I want a proper lunch.

33. I stare at Elizabeth until she augments my food bowl with chicken breast, pumpkin and yam. Sometimes boiled egg also.

34. I eat, slowly and carefully, making sure to strew the maximum amount of Vile Kibble all over the kitchen floor.

35. I choose an inconvenient spot and settle in for my afternoon nap.

36. Lest Elizabeth feel lonely produce copious quantities of gas so she knows that I am there even if she can’t see me.

37. I complete an extensive two-hour nap.

38. I have drink of water. I shake my head then wipe my snout on the couch.

39. I demand that Elizabeth stop whatever it is that she is doing (especially if it is work and not related to me) and scratch me.

40. I demand that Elizabeth stop scratching me and play with me.

41. I throw my bully stick nub around until it lands under furniture so she can fetch it for me. It’s her favorite game.

42. Is it time to go out yet? Is it time to go out yet? It is time to go out yet?

43.Elizabeth has pre-walk snack. I demand to share the pre-walk snack.  I wait until Elizabeth gets my equipment ready and then I ascend the futon.

44. Elizabeth bribes me off the futon with duck heart.

45. Duck heart must be cut into 4 pieces otherwise I will not move until 4 pieces of them appear.

46. I have a long drink of water while Elizabeth waits. I suspect that she’s texting Maria again and that the message has some not nice words in it.

47. I charge out of apartment. I bay.  I can smell Little Teddy. He’s got to be around here somewhere. No luck. Sniff the elevator guy’s butt instead.

48. Elizabeth bribes me across the street to Riverside Park after which I decline to walk or do any business until Maria shows up about an hour later.

49. Elizabeth says she hates me. That’s completely untrue. Probably.

And that’s how my summer days go.   Once the weather gets cooler there is a better chance of entertaining me for a longer afternoon walk and I might curtail my summer Pest-a-thon activities. But then again, maybe I won’t.

Anyway, before I leave you for this week I wanted to say how sorry I was to hear about Joan Rivers.  For those of you who did not read my Facebook Post, several years ago I encountered this lady and can vouch for the fact that she was a woman of impeccable taste. I was heading home from disporting myself on the tony East Side and as I was heading west across Park Avenue, Joan Rivers was heading east. As we crossed paths, she fixed me with her discerning eye, pointed and pronounced me “Fabulous! Fabulous! Fabulous!” I took note of this since it is not usually what I am called when humans point at me and raise their voices. Her favorable notice was even more satisfying since Elizabeth was distinctly unfabulous, caparisoned as she was in a hideous ensemble of drool encrusted baggy jeans and smelly tee shirt. Sadly, I did not get a chance to slime her and always regretted this inexcusable oversight.

AnyAroo, stay tuned and I will let my adoring public know when they can own their very own piece of Wimsey.

Until next time,

Wimsey, out of sight but never out of stink








Friday, August 22, 2014

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #355

Entry #355
August 22, 2014

Hello Everyone, it’s me Wimsey, coming to you once again from Manhattan’s Upper West Side where I have been carrying on in my usual fashion celebrating the dog days of August.  My human Maria and her friend Elizabeth have been insanely busy with work which means that I had to redouble my efforts to distract them from the unpleasant realities associated with making a living. I am a true Lily of the Field, I neither toil nor spin but
merely hang around reaping the benefits of those that do. And I am quite a successful Lily of the Field if I do say so myself.  The latest use to which I have put my human’s paycheck is an expensive canister of probiotic powder that is supposed to rein in the fragrant flatulence with which I am so amply endowed.  We are on Day 3 of the first week at half dose and I am happy to report that both with respect to the quantity and the quality of the stench my intestines seem to be going in the opposite direction. This is hardly surprising as the rest of me always goes in the opposite direction so why should my digestive tract be any different. Even my humans are in awe.  I think the plan is to keep me on the stuff for as long as they can stand it, which at this rate will not be very long.

And of course work continues apace on my art books, all of which are now complete but my humans must figure out how to format it so it will look the way that they want it to on iPads, Kindles and mobile phones.  Maria took last Friday off so we could all go over to Elizabeth’s to work on this but my humans concluded that Elizabeth’s Mac is very unhappy with Amazon’s Preview software and with MS Word.  This necessitated a return to Maria’s PC laptop, which meant many happy hours (for me) spent in the yard watching them struggle. Kindle Direct Publishing likes text and Kindle Comic Creator likes pictures but neither one likes both text and pictures.  These sessions generally end in drinks for them and hand fed cocktail nuts for me.

Therefore, I take no responsibility for my tragic absence from the blogosphere—as with most things, it is my humans’ fault.  I had hoped to be able to announce the availability of the books today but sadly Elizabeth had another Unfortunate Encounter with Comic Creator, so no Wimsey art books today but only a consolation blog post instead.  It will be Maria’s turn to tame the technology beasts this evening.  She plans on stopping at the liquor store first. 
But what would make the ladies think that anything connected with me, even on a computer would be easy. And lest everyone jump to the obvious conclusions, let us just say that my humans are a lot better at computers than they are at driving cars, pumping gas or dressing themselves. A very low bar, I agree, but at her company Maria is the go-to person for computer and software help when the IT guy isn’t available and Elizabeth’s idea of a fun shopping trip is an afternoon spent at Best Buy.

But with respect to the whole dressing issue, help may be on the way. Elizabeth read about an online company called StichFix that sends you clothes that they pick out for you based on a questionnaire and your written instructions. Apparently she has gotten tired of her extensive wardrobe of Hounding tee shirts and jeans and requested that they send her new Hounding clothes.  She was pretty explicit about what happens to clothing when I am around and mentioned several times that the clothing needs to be inexpensive and washable and that it is going to be worn with sneakers. She is also open to replacing The Fanny Pack that Ate Cleveland with something more ladylike—provided it’s not something that will fall into my poop when she bends over. We are all eagerly awaiting the shipment which is due to arrive on the 11th. Especially me.  I am bored with sliming, perfuming and porcupining the same old clothes. I want new ones to wreck!

Anyway, Elizabeth’s Mac may be unhappy with Amazon’s book publishing software but fortunately it is very happy with me.  This is probably due to my regular visits over the past several weeks to the Apple Store to get a drink from the Wimsey-sized water bowl that they have at the door and to cool off in their powerful AC. Last week, in fact I was so pleased with the amenities that I gave an impromptu concert that, unlike many of my other concerts, was enormously appreciated by those present.  I had quite a circle of admirers and the consensus was that I was in such fine form because of the excellence of the amplifying acoustics. The only thing better than listening to me bay is listening to me bay loudly. And the only thing better than listening to me bay loudly is having ear plugs.

This brings me to one of my primary grievances, which is that there is never any photographic record of my finest moments.  My concertizing in computer stores, my incessant shopping in pet shops and my being scratched and belly rubbed by entire crowds of people are wholly unrecorded. Apparently when I engage in anything really fun, Elizabeth, who is supposed to spend the day walking and photographing me, feels the need to keep both hands on the leash. Such a lack of trust does her no credit.

So I know that you all must have missed me terribly and want to know what I have been up to. Well the short answer is “same old, same old,” the longer answer involves a lot of texting between my humans on the subject of me being a “gift” and the mixing of cocktails.  When I am absent I know that my adoring public (well Maria’s mother, anyway) worry that either I am unwell or that I am in a snit because one of my humans is indisposed.  But we have all been fine (or in the case of my humans, as fine as you can be when I am around)-- we are just having a busy summer. The fall promises to be just as active— my books should be out and Maria will be out of town for a few days in both September and October which means that I will be staying with Elizabeth and she will be at my beck and call 24/7. And when she is not attending to my every whim, she will no doubt be texting Maria. And drinking gin. And hoping that she has to go to Europe again.

Anyway, hope you all enjoy the last week of summer.

Until next time,

Wimsey, a Hound of the field who neither toils nor spins but is really annoying anyway