Friday, August 28, 2009

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #134

Entry # 134
August 28, 2009

Hello Everyone, Wimsey here coming to you from the currently soggy Upper West Side of Manhattan where the fragrance of my moist coat is perfuming the air in a most delightful fashion. But this week it has generally been mostly sunny and humid causing my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth no end of distress on our walks. Not that their discomfort matters much to me, it’s only that I have been dissatisfied with the abbreviated duration of our early evening walks which we take together I am just getting started after the first hour and a half when I am summarily hauled out of the park and back into the air conditioning.

The ladies claim that they are only protecting my health but I know that they are selfishly reacting to the fact that their hair and clothes are sticking to their bodies and rivulets of sweat are running down their backs. Even more disappointing are my afternoon walks, as Elizabeth who can often be persuaded by the power of some judicious domiciliary oppositional towing (for those non-Hound owners-this is-towing the opposite way from home- a Hound speciality) to abandon her plans for the day and spend it with me tooling around Central Park (ref. post re: Wimsey The Time Vampire) has been resistant.

However, Thursday the weather finally turned nice and thanks to my superior judgment in these matters our afternoon walk turned into a three hour Wimsey extravaganza. (We even met a Spanish tourist who congratulated Elizabeth on being with me. She didn’t look very grateful though. Perhaps she was thinking about all the physical therapy).

Anyway, I barely had time to take a nap, cadge part of Elizabeth’s snack and deal with the recyclables before it was time for my next walk. But I must say I am really enjoying this idea of spending my afternoons with Elizabeth. I especially enjoy keeping her company over lunch where I like to sit directly in front of her and express my approbation of her culinary choice with a stupendous display of my manly charms. Somehow this usually causes her to decide that she is not so hungry after all and the contents of her plate make a magical migration to my food bowl.

And of course the sticky summer has meant piles of deliciously sweaty tee shirts for me to inhale. I think all tee shirts should be manufactured to smell like this—kind of like pre-washed jeans. I believe that we Hounds would have many good fashion ideas if only we had an outlet for our talents, like on that TV show, Project Runway:

Project Houndway

Tim Gunn: Well Heidi, this should be quite exciting—it’s our first group of Hound designers.

Heidi Klum: Yes, Tim. As you know in fashion one day you’re in and the next day you’re out; only this is the first group of designers we’ve ever had who all want to be out.

Tim: I think we’ll see a lot of usual things Heidi. After all Hounds are known for their creativity.

Heidi: Well let’s bring them in.

Tim: Gather round designers. Designers, I said gather round!

Heidi: They don’t listen to commands Tim. Why don’t your try some liver?

Tim: Thanks Heidi. Anyway, designers, for this challenge we want you to design your signature look. We will all trot over to the Mood fabric store and you will have half an hour to steal what you need.

Bloodhound: I don’t trot, I pace.

Afghan Hound: If he paces, I’m going to gallop!

Basset Hound: I waddle.

Deerhound: And I like to prance.

Tim: Designers, Designers, please. It was only a figure of speech. Get over to Mood any way you want.

Daschund: Taxi!

Later in the workroom…

Tim: Designers, I’m here to see how you’re all doing. Afghan, what’s that you’re making. It looks like a rug.

Afghan: No, it’s a coat.

Tim: Where are the buttons?

Afghan: The beagle ate them.

Tim: And why is it so shaggy looking?

Afghan: It’s pre-shedded, that way the new stuff won’t show.

Tim: Very clever. And Basset, what have you made.

Basset: I have made a lovely pair of trousers. Low rise.

Tim: I see. And greyhound, what’s that?

Greyhound: It’s a track suit.

Tim: But is looks like it’s made of rabbit fur.

Greyhound: Exactly. You’ll have to run pretty fast to escape being nipped by me.

Tim: I like it, Motivational athletic wear is very fashion forward. Beagle what have we here?

Beagle: It’s an evening gown.

Tim: But it’s made of meat! I didn’t know Mood sold meat.

Beagle: They don’t. I stole if from the supermarket next door.

Tim: Well it does look rather delicious. I particularly like the short rib embellishment and the carpaccio sleeves. And as it‘s an eco-friendly material, it’s very green.

Beagle: It will be very green if you keep it in the closet too long. It’s meant to be fast fashion.

Tim: Well we can feed it to Michael Kors when he gets cranky. Deerhound, what’s that?

Deerhound: It’s a hat.

Tim: But it looks like a pair of antlers.

Deerhound: It does? I hadn’t noticed. I just thought it had a very pleasing shape.

Elkhound: Hey! He stole my design!

Tim: Now designers. Stop that. There will be no showing of teeth. The judges are the only ones who get to do that. And now for our international visitor, the English Foxhound.

English Foxhound: Right ho, Tim. I’ve designed an absolutely cracking pair of trousers. And please don’t call them pants—in the civilized world, pants are the tasty undergarments that I steal from the laundry bin.

Tim: Very well. But these trousers seem to be missing something—they look like chaps.

English Foxhound: Yes, a jolly good idea isn’t it--they allow better access to the fragrant bits for a Hound’s nose. Saves a bloody great lot of poking about and such. Much more sensible this is, I think.

Tim: I suppose. And speaking of bloody, Bloodhound what have you got for us today?

Bloodhound: It’s a dress full of holes.

Tim: But I don’t see the dress!

Bloodhound: I guess I got a little carried away with the holes part.

Tim: Yes, I can see that. But I suppose it would be cheap to manufacture. Anyway, thank you designers. Make it work.

Hounds: But we specialize in making things not work!


Not that there would be great scope for any fashion creativity with my humans—their criteria before they buy anything is to assess how they would feel about it being drool coated and smelly. I guess their style could be described as Hound casual. And both the ladies are going to go down to Nick Arrojo’s studio (he’s the former hair stylist on What Not To Wear) soon to get some of their sweaty locks chopped of. Somehow I can imagine the discussion:


Nick: What kind of style would you like?

Humans: One that looks good with a lot of drool. Or alternatively, perhaps something laminated that the drool slides off of. Also one that looks good drenched in sweat or when it’s rained on.

Nick: And what kind of color would you like?

Humans: Something that goes well with Wimsey. Here, we brought in a garbage bag of the fur he shedded today so you can see his color.

Nick: What a lovely color he has! But here look at all my new Arrojo hair care products. They should help.

Humans: Do you have any DeHounding Shampoo to remove his stench? Somehow men never want to bury their face in your hair and inhale deeply when they get a nose full of Hound.

Nick: I can see the problem. Let me spin you around and surprise you…

Humans: But we’re bald!

Nick: I did leave a few tufts on top. I call it The Wimsey. Now let me color it a lovely Wimsey red.


Well I personally can’t wait to run my nose through their shorn locks. (Little dogs are welcome at a lot of New York hair salons which is rather sizist. I think it would be amusing if one of my humans showed up with me in tow ((or vice versa)). Anyway, I am not sure the new haircuts will improve my ladies’ dating prospects any. They need to be able to discuss something other than poop. Of course last week they did have a spirited discussion about broccoli…

Anyway, we end our time together with a visit to the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art where we have a rather early work of Paul Cezanne’s to view. Both Picasso and Matisse described Cezanne as “the father of us all” for creating the foundation of modern art. However in this painting, Madame Cezanne in a Red Chair, (Paul Cezanne 1877, Boston Museum of Fine Art, Boston, MA) there is just the beginnings of his preoccupation with viewing the world through different planes. But we can see here the remarkable juxtaposition of patterns that must have delighted Matisse as well as wonderful, small brush strokes that build to a geometrical whole. We can sense the solidity and almost monumental quality of Madame Cezanne which is enhanced by her off center positioning on the chair; and we can almost feel her weight as she leans on its arm. Cezanne painted more than thirty pictures of her and she was required to sit for hours, quite still. We think that this must have been extremely boring for her, not to mention that in this painting her broad, empty lap and the large arm chair just beg to be filled with something both beautiful and entertaining. But what could that be? Yes—a magnificent Hound, draped comfortably and diminutively in her lap so as not to overpower her fine figure! I am sure her face looks much happier now. And the Hound has lifted his head in an interrogatory way as if to express Madame Cezanne’s sentiments of “aren’t you done yet?” Madame Cezanne and Wimsey in a Red Armchair.

Well that’s all for this week. I am hoping for an improvement in the climactic conditions for next week’s metropolitan adventures.

Until next time,

Wimsey, He Whose Belly Must Be Rubbed
















Friday, August 21, 2009

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #133

Entry #133


August 21, 2009

Hello Everyone. It’s me, Wimsey coming to you from my heavily air conditioned perch on Manhattan’s humidity laden Upper West Side. The weather has been frankly disgusting this week and for a Hound to find something disgusting is saying a lot.

And instead of a long Sunday walk in the park I got a long bath in the tub which, in spite of being fed a quarter pound of roast turkey during the proceedings, was not at all a happy substitute. And given that my regular bath is usually an evening affair, my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth were at a loss to entertain themselves whilst I slowly air dried. The usual post bath cocktail drinking was deemed inadvisable given that a late afternoon park perambulation was still to come. So they settled on trying (with an emphasis on trying) to read the Sunday papers, little realizing how difficult this could be in the presence of a bored, wet Hound. I got to display my virtuoso newspaper pouncing skills which greatly impressed Maria as she usually reads the stuff online.

But the good news is that at least for a few days the ladies were relieved of the obligation of apologizing for my stink to the hordes of aspiring Hound petters. It’s been all “He smells, he’ll drool all over you and he’s going to steal your water bottle. Still want to pet him?” But due to the hideous weather my walks and hence my interaction with the public have been somewhat curtailed as my humans have been less than eager to hang about dripping with sweat and chatting about me . And my cooling coat seems to have become permanently affixed to my fur --but I suppose it’s better than the trail of humidity soaked clothing that my human Maria leaves behind when we come in from a walk. As for Elizabeth, after walking me she walks straight into the shower. But it is all part of the privilege of being a New Yorker and taking care of He Who Must Be Walked A Lot.




West Side Hound

I’m living with a human named Maria
And suddenly she’s found
How disgusting a Hound
Can be

I’m living with a human named Maria
I fling drool in her face
And stink up her place
And produce gallons of pee

I’m living with a human named Maria
And suddenly that name
Sounds so inane
When bayed by me

Maria

Bay it loud and you’ve damaged her ears
Bay it soft and you’ve aroused her fears
Of what you have done

I’m living with a human named Maria
Her life will never be the same
(I crush her bones
And eat her phones)
And she can put the blame
On me


Maria
I’ll never stop annoying Maria
I’m the most persistent Hound
That she could have found
Poor Maria


And on Wednesday we had a rip snorting thunderstorm that downed many peeable trees in Central Park and Riverside Parks causing me much consternation. Maria thought we should go out for our evening walk in the middle of it, but sagacious Hound that I am, I not so respectfully refused. I eagerly await the advent of more clement weather so that my lengthy walks can be resumed. And as it turns out, this Sunday I will be short one member of the entourage. Elizabeth is going to the Hampton Classic Horse Show (yes in the posh Hamptons!) to help out with the ASPCA booth and agility event. Although I hate being deserted I am looking forward with intense pleasure to smelling her when she gets back and of course I am expecting a placating present (a pony!?) But I never understood the purpose of horse shows; I mean all the horses do is jump over stuff. I think Hounds could put on a much better show.


The Wimsey Classic Hound Show

Events

Ring One:

Open Jumper

Backyard fences

Baby gates 3’ and under (novice)

Baby gates 3’ and up (senior)

Returning humans 5’6” and under (novice)

Returning humans over 5’6” (senior)

Miscellaneous obstacles (including indoor and outdoor furniture and small children)

Ring Two:

Hunters on the Flat

Field Hunter Rodent (deceased)

Field Hunter Rodent (live)

Field Hunter Garbage (unbinned)

Field Hunter Garbage (binned)

Field Hunter Picnic

Field Hunter: Miscellaneous Repulsive Mystery Material

Field Hunter V-8 Skunk Challenge Cup

Indoor Sandwich Hunter
Indoor Family Dinner Hunter (cooked)

Indoor Family Dinner Hunter (raw)

Indoor Dirty Panties Hunter

Indoor Miscellaneous Dirty Laundry Hunter

Indoor Hunter: American Express All Possessions Challenge Cup

Ring 3:

Green Hound

Maiden Landscaper (holes)

Maiden Landscaper (ornamental bushes)

Maiden Landscaper (flower beds)

Maiden Landscaper (yellow garden gnome creation)

Senior Moonscaping Home Depot Challenge Cup (fence chewers also eligible)

Ring 4:

Puppy

Puppy Indoor Peeing (hardwoods)

Puppy Indoor Peeing (carpets)

Puppy Indoor Peeing (valuable Oriental Rugs)

Puppy Indoor Poop Hiding (behind couch

Puppy Indoor Poop Hiding (under bed)

Puppy Open Humper

Puppy Open Chewer (furniture)

Puppy Open Chewer (clothing)

Puppy Open Chewer (electronics)

Puppy Open Chewer (hands)

Valium Challenge Cup: All around worst behaved puppy

Ring 5:

Conformation

Novice Don’t Look at Me I Was Sleeping

Novice It Just Fell Over By Itself

Novice It just Happened, I Don’t Know How

Novice Are You Sure Your Shoes Didn’t Come Like That

Novice I Have An Evil Twin

Novice Clothes With Holes Are the New Black

Novice You Did That Yourself

Novice What Steak I Didn’t See Any Steak

Novice The Cat Did It

Anyway I think the Wimsey Classic would be a very glamorous event and be way more entertaining than watching horses jumping over fences. And speaking of glamour, it is time once again for us to visit the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art where we have a glamorous oldie but goodie—Rembrandt and one of his most famous paintings Man In Oriental Costume (the Noble Slav): (Rembrandt van Rijn, 1632, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York). Here we have Rembrandt at his theatrical best: a topical subject —contacts with the mysterious East having been only recently established, an opulent golden light suffusing the rich costume of the dignified subject and the beautiful brush work of his most imposing hat. Yet somehow the painting is missing something. Something that can be remedied by the insertion of a magnificent and dignified golden hued Hound! The Hound’s demeanor lends even more gravitas to the man and his wrinkles and haberdashery echo those of the oriental potentate. We are sure he must be a wealthy and powerful man to be accompanied by such a glorious creature as this Hound. Wimsey and Man in Oriental Dress (the Noble Hound).


Well that’s it for this week. Let’s hope for a change in the weather around here. I will be making my ritual supplication to the Hound Gods (hint: it involves a lot of leg lifting).

Until next time,

Wimsey, winner of many challenge cups












Friday, August 14, 2009

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound


Entry #132
August 14, 2009

Hello Everyone. It’s me Wimsey coming to you from the Upper West Side of Manhattan, which, given all the adulation that I received this week, has apparently become the vacation spot of choice for the Hound lovers of the world. My human Maria and her friend Elizabeth don’t get to vacation anywhere because where they go, I go and finding a vacation spot that would welcome a one such as me is tough. Even when attending out of town dog shows, Maria and I would remain hidden in the car whilst Elizabeth checked in 2 people and 1 dog. Not two people and a giant, smelly drooly, massively shedding and baying dog. Their view was that what the front desk didn’t know wouldn’t hurt them and anyway my humans are very adept at dehounding rental cars and hotel rooms. Too bad about their own apartments.

But before I continue with the events of the week, I want to let you know that I have a new video on YouTube: It concerns some energetic fun I had with a Bumble Ball.



Anyway, the week got off to a bang or should I say a bay as I made an astounding and outstanding discovery—if you bay into someone’s crotch it muffles the sound and changes the bay’s timbre. So now in addition to:




the greeting bay

the you over there come play with me bay

the I’m bored bay



the give me that bay

the give me that right now bay

the making the traffic light change to green bay

the if you don’t let me out of this show ring I won’t shut up bay


the I see a water bottle bay

the let’s charge down the stairs faster bay

the pathetic why can’t we cross against the light bay and

the peeved why am I not getting what I want bay,


I have added the crotch bay. And speaking of baying, the AKC asked to borrow me in October to stand around in midtown Manhattan to help promote their upcoming Meet The Breeds event at the Javits center. They apparently want a conspicuous canine. My humans were also asked if I bay on command as they felt that this would add to my conspicuousness-- as if a 127 lb. bloodhound standing on a street corner in midtown Manhattan wouldn’t be conspicuous enough. My humans opined that getting me to bay probably wouldn’t really be a problem and that the relevant question is not whether I bay on command but whether I stop baying on command (as those of you who read this blog can surmise, I do pretty much nothing on command). Now while dog lovers are charmed by the sound of me baying, I can frequently send a crowd of pedestrians scurrying in terror with even one of my modest “change the light” bays. But somehow I don’t think this is what the AKC had in mind by being conspicuous.


And speaking of meet the breeds, there has been a bumper crop of tourists meeting me this week. The highlight of this was Wednesday-- it was like Mayor Bloomberg had decreed Wimsey Appreciation Day-- when groups of exchange students were being led around Central Park by various guides. Not only was I surrounded by oohing and ahhing picture taking and petting young adults, but one guide even stopped--with me in the center of a circle--to lecture the group on The Bloodhound. Considering that I have apparently become one of the major attractions to be seen in Central Park, it was quite appropriate. Maybe I should start charging for my appearances (I mean the monetary kind of charging, not the kind I usually do).


Anyway, when all the tour groups had passed there were still many individual tourists interested in meeting me. And we were in deep discussion with two of them on the all important issue of my gunky ears and the helpful nature of the R-7 ear cleaning system when a teen aged lad approached and said he overheard that I had a website. Well of course Elizabeth handed him one of my cards and proudly announced that I have a blog, YouTube videos and also was on Twitter. And the next thing you know the fellow had tweeted about meeting a Hound who tweets. The initiative and immediacy of action of this member of the younger generation was most impressive, but is got me thinking about the end result of it all --not only questions like “Why is this telephone hooked into a wall?” but “Why does this book have so many words?”




Hamlet (Wimsey Twitter Version)



Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Mother married his father’s murderer, Uncle Claudius. Bad dude. Father’s ghost confirms murder. Advises revenge.

Hamlet v. depressed. No shrinks in 16C Denmark. Hot court chick Ophelia confesses her love. Hamlet tells her to buzz off, preferably to nunnery.

Hamlet has actors reenact father’s death. Claudius flees in panic. Guilt confirmed (or maybe just had urgent need for the loo).

Claudius exiles pesky nephew cum step son to England. Plans to have him murdered there. (English v. good at such things).

But first Hamlet has chat with mother and accidentally kills Polonius, Ophelia’s father. Oops. (Hiding behind curtains when Hamlet in murderous rage re: Claudius v. dangerous).

Ophelia drowns self in river. Hamlet realizes always loved Ophelia- nunnery stuff was just the depression talking. Becomes even more depressed.

Ophelia’s brother Laertes vows revenge. Hamlet unable to reach England-pirate trouble apparently. Tells BFF Horatio he is prepared to die.

Which is good because Claudius now on murder plot overdrive. Poisons both Laertes sword pre friendly fencing match with the H-man and prepares thirst quenching goblet of poison in event Laertes swordsmanship sucks.

Laertes nicks Hamlet, then Mother drinks poison and dies, then Hamlet stabs Laertes who dies, then he stabs Claudius (and just to be on safe side makes him finish goblet of thirst quenching poison) who dies. Finally, Hamlet dies.

Everyone suddenly dead! Arriving Norwegian Prince Fortinbras horrified at carnage. BFF Horatio tells the tale. Hamlet carried away in honor. Fortinbras ascends throne on the basis of Norwegians being much more cheerful than Danes.
The End

Using the Twitter Method of Advanced Education it should be possible to finish college by the time one is twelve.

And the of course Twitter will allow students immediate insight into world leaders:

Obama: Good guy to have a beer with

Putin: Not a good guy to have a beer with

Sarkozy: Pretty wife. Sharp clothes. French.

Berlusconi: Older dude liking the ladies.

Gordon Brown: Who?

Angel Merkel: Once groped by W

And so forth.


Anyway, back to my life. Our usual long walk on Sunday was miraculously not rained out (probably because my humans were carrying my raincoat in anticipation of the predicted storm) and we ran into a special group of friends. As my humans were once again pestering me with the camera I began baying at a car across the road adjacent to the North Woods-- the only thing on their viewfinder was my magnificent tush. The car was marked “Livery” and as a couple of guys got out of the car I commenced towing and greeting operations.

My humans were totally puzzled until one of the men approached and Maria noticed the gun strapped to his waist. They were of course some of my beloved police officers from the 20th precinct. In fact one of them was instrumental in procuring me plastic bottles to play with during my July 4th cop-a –thon. My humans were once again amazed at my olfactory prowess—I can distinguish police officers in plain clothes or in unmarked cars just as easily as if they are in uniform and in one of their many types of marked vehicles. And I can always distinguish a police vehicle from the non-constabular kind. This has engendered quite a guessing game amongst my humans as to how I do it, but the best guess so far came from an old friend of Maria’s who was once a policeman. His theory: I smell the gun oil. But I’m not telling.

Anyway, after much socializing with two of the officers I noticed that the third refused to get out of the car. Apparently he was afraid of dogs and shockingly even my vociferous baying at him did not convince him to come out of the car and pet me. I got my way in the end though (as I usually do) when we ran into them later as they were stopped at a crosswalk. I went over to the reluctant officer’s window and put on my most adorable expression and he caved--he reached out and patted my head. Charm has its uses.

And then later in the day I heard my name being called and it was a couple we run into every few months. Short video below.


video

So it was a very enjoyably social Sunday.

Well the other exciting news around here is that Elizabeth finally bought a reed dispenser for her apartment in an attempt to de-Houndify the atmosphere (I have been spending afternoons at her apartment). But reed dispensers only have a few reeds sticking out of the oil bottle while I have a virtually unlimited number of scent dispensing hairs sticking out of me. And I also distribute these widely. Now these reed dispensers come in a variety of herb, flower and fruit scents such as thyme, lavender and pomegranate. But I think there could be other more appealing scents:

Wimsey Brand Reed Dispensers

Tincture of Tush

Rotting Rodent

Loads of Liver

Swampy Nights

Piles of Poop

Elixir of Crotch

Urinal Dreams

Tempest of Tampons

Mostly Manure

Sweet Sewage

Panties Panties Panties

Sweaty Socks

Barnyard Bliss

Rivers of Rubbish

Oodles of Offal

Glorious Garbage

Heavenly Hound

Clouds of Cop


Well before I get too excited just thinking about the lovely scents that these reed dispensers would bring to any home, it is time for our weekly visit to the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art. Today’s selection is one of French post-impressionist Paul Cezanne’s most impressive still lifes: Apples and Oranges (Paul Cezanne, 1899, Musee d’Orsay, Paris). Here we can see not only Cezanne’s mastery of pattern, color, design and composition—note the wonderful crisp lines of the fruit—but also the reason why he is one of the fathers of modern art. Cezanne presaged the cubists in his interest in the use of different planes and perspectives applied to objects in the same painting—it is why somehow the way some of the fruit is sitting appears not quite right. But there is something else that is not quite right about this painting. The fruit is resting on a highly accessible surface and is unmolested. But see how much more real the painting looks with the insertion of a magnificent food filching Hound! And the Hound is assessing the quality of the fruit to determine whether it would be more enjoyable to eat or to play with. He looks about to have some serious fun which adds a dynamic element to the otherwise tranquil painting. Apples and Oranges and Wimsey.

Well that is about all for this week. Am hoping for some less humid weather and some drier humans (although the humid weather does bring out the delicious natural odors in humans that only a connoisseur of scent such as myself can fully appreciate).

Until next time,

Wimsey, Scent Meister