New author, new dog, more newspapers

6 Oct

It’s been a good past few days. My little brother is bringing me more newspapers than I can handle—USA Today and The New York Times. Also, I at least look at The Wall Street Journal, which he actually bought a subscription for before he began taking classes at UB. Of course there’s always The Buffalo News, too. I’m basically a newspaper glutton. I like seeing which things what paper covered, what news overlaps to all the papers and who did the better job writing about it. Usually it’s the Times that trumps.

But in another world, the book world, good things are happening. I discovered Anne Lamott. She’s kind of like Annie Dillard but more honest. In fact she gives new meaning to the word honest. She’s so honest that to say refreshing would be trite. It’s more like being drenched with sweat and getting buckets of ice water dumped on your head. She’s also unfailing concrete. Which is probably why she’s such a good writer. She never loses you in abstraction. I like how she’s writing nonfiction yet she frames everything in narrative. She tells stories. The book I’m starting with is “Traveling Mercies.” It’s about her faith journey. I recommend it. She’s the opposite of prissy or stuck-up. She’s been where ugly lives, in all parts of her life, and she writes with no pretention that she’s perfect or even close. Some people say they’re not perfect, but they sound like they think they are. She describes how she came to faith in Jesus Christ, the journey to Him. As someone who grew up in the church, her perspective is one I often forget.

Unrelated to any of the abovementioned is something that happened last night. My mom came home with my little sister after her ballet lesson, and they had something with them: a new dog. I didn’t realize its newness at first because it seemed so much like the dog we already have, large, black and furry. The one we already have is a standard poodle, meaning a big poodle, and his name is Kody. So after I reached the bottom of the stairs, this new dog bounced up to me and began nuzzling my legs, and I reached down to pat him. Everything seemed normal for a moment. But then I realized his muzzle was furrier and his fur glossier and blacker than Kody’s, with none of his silver tint—just pure black. Then I noticed Kody behind him, wagging his tail and staring at me with his big brown eyes like “Don’t you love me anymore?” Before me on the green and black tiled kitchen floor were two very similar dogs. At this point my sister’s giggling and the whole story pours out.

Now, my family has a weakness. It’s dogs. They love them. Since I was little, we’ve probably had like 13 different dogs, not all at the same time, of course. My mom saw the dog on Craig’s List. I know I know. That sounds weird, but she did. The listing went something like this, “Five year old labradoodle (That’s a mix between a poodle and Labrador) looking for good home.” Now, it’s the next part that really piqued my mom’s curiosity: “FREE.” If you know anything about the popularity of labrodoodles and goldendoodles and all other kinds of doodles, you know they’re at least more than $500. And my family also happens to especially love poodles and poodle mixes because of our hair allergies. So my mom went to check the dog out, to see why it was free. Turns out it’s quite normal. The owner works all day, and she feels bad for the dog because it’s alone too much. Also, her son left for college so there was no one to take care of him. After the dog ran around outside and looked awfully cute with his tennis ball, my mom decided to take him home for a couple trial days. If he’s OK—no weird quirks or snarling—and if my dad agrees, Fido stays.


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