Pooches, Poltergeists, and Potty-Training

Alas, poor Yorkie! I sniffed her well.

I accidentally read another dog book. I had just finished reading Jack London’s Call of the Wild (which stands the test of time as far as stories told from a dog’s point of view), when I picked up The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. I was interested in the mute and miscarriage aspects of the book, not realizing that it also centered on unnaturally wise dogs (unlike my own hounds). I admit that I had also recently read Marley & Me (for the miscarriage aspect, of course) and Garth Stein’s The Art of Racing in the Rain (because Garth is cute a fine writing teacher). The wonderful Mary Guterson’s Gone to the Dogs is on my short stack to read. This is a lot of dog books for someone who doesn’t read dog books.

What strikes me in regards to connections, though, is the huge popularity of Edgar Sawtelle and The Lovely Bones, which both feature an Upstanding Teenager Who Doesn’t Complain About Chores as well as The Ghost Of A Fine Person Wrongfully Killed (and both of these might be one and the same character).

So, for an added chance of penning a bestseller, I must not only feature a character who is The Ghost Of A Fine Person Wrongfully Killed, but make it The Ghost Of A Fine DOG Wrongfully Killed. Maybe throw in a transvestite and base it on Shakespeare.

If This Dog Could Talk

Pre-orders, anyone?

As far as dog books go, the finest scene I’ve read involving a dog in recent memory is actually from a sailing memoir, in which Janna Cawrse Esarey tries to train her chocolate lab Scout to go potty on her sailboat. If you want a belly laugh, check out The Motion of the Ocean: 1 Small Boat, 2 Average Lovers, and a Woman’s Search for the Meaning of Wife. I’m enjoying it so much that I almost hate to finish it.

And sign me up for an Upstanding Teenager Who Doesn’t Complain About Chores. I want one of those.

All I Want for Christmas

I asked MIM (The Man I Married) for just one present this Christmas: to hook up the refrigerator’s ice maker, which has been dry for five years now. I often lay awake at night listening to the ice maker struggling to make ice out of air, thinking it must resemble the sound of my uterus all those years, unsuccessfully trying to churn out babies. Willing itself to create something out of nothing, the ice maker whirs, clunks, and heaves, but nothing pops out.

Find the Nude Lady

MIM grumbled but consented. He spent the day drilling holes through the cupboards to run water from the sink to the fridge on the other side of the kitchen, taking multiple trips to the hardware store. He rearranged the cupboard contents as he threaded the new water hose through the cabinets. The waffle maker is now mixed in with the teacups, sawdust sprinkles the popover pan, and I found a shower cap stuffed in with the Ziploc bags. His reasoning: it’s plastic, so that’s where it belongs.
Still, after a hard day’s work, the ice maker refused to work. MIM could not diagnose the problem and gave up.
But when he returned home from work the next day, I greeted him with news: “I think I fixed the ice maker.”
“How?” he asked.
“I turned the freezer back on.”

Two Archived Posts

Submissive in 2009

Filed under: Writing — Jennifer D. Munro @ 5:24 pm Edit This

12/31/09. Yesterday, I reached my annual goal of submitting my work to publications 100 times, so I cheated a bit and counted my submissions today towards my 2010 total. I’m pleased with the acceptances this year by Harpur Palate, South Dakota Review, Crossed Genres, and the King County grant, and I’m still waiting for responses on many. I had bizarre acceptances from two places that I’d submitted my work to as much as 3.5 years ago and/or withdrawn my work from, and one small journal published my work without asking (but at least they let me know after the fact). I haven’t written much, but at least I’m still hanging in there on the business end.

Santa Proved His Existence in Ballard

Filed under: Family — Jennifer D. Munro @ 3:42 pm Edit This

12/30/09. My seven-year-old son, “LM”* spent last week at the community center holiday day camp. On the first day of camp, the director called me to tell me that he had a problem: LM’s shoe was on the roof. LM had done a high kick, up sailed the shoe, and that was that. The shoe could not be retrieved. LM assured us that on Christmas night Santa would stop at the community center first, where Saint Nick would find LM’s shoe on the roof when he landed. Santa would then bring the shoe here and put it in LM’s stocking.

Sure enough, there was LM’s missing shoe (complete with the smelly sock that flew up with it) in LM’s stocking on Christmas morning. It wasn’t the coal we had been threatening, but you’d never think a child would be so thrilled to find a dirty, soggy shoe in his stocking.

The Little Monster

*My son is not my biological spawn and as yet is not my legal child, either. Although I am the one who cleans up his vomit, gives him cookies while refraining from eating them myself, tells him 43 times a day to hike up his pants, and (worst of horrors), is forced to leave the liquor store while vodka-shopping** when his school calls my cell to say that he’s in trouble again, I am not legally his mother. This technicality requires me by confidentiality agreement (who the hell knows what I signed during the process of foster-to-adopting? I would have signed away my firstborn, but the whole problem was that I didn’t have one) to cast a certain aspect of anonymity upon his mischievous, already-too-big person.

Thus, I dub him for the purposes of this Blog The Little Monster (LM), a name I affectionately called him to his face on Halloween and sometimes not-so-affectionately call him when he is not around. Thankfully, these days he is more often The Little Monkey than The Little Monster.

 **My liquor store now carries bacon-flavored vodka, as well as wasabi-flavored, rootbeer-flavored, and bubble-gum flavored vodka. Can you guess if any of the flavors I’ve listed is a joke?

Whatever Happened To That Shoe?