Wednesday, June 29, 2016

an enabling technology.

My new-found ability to accumulate–"hoard" wouldn't be too far wrong–library e-books, in a private collection free of return dates, has fed my lifelong habit of reading a dozen books at once. I've only met a handful of other people who do this, and I appreciate why it's not common. For those of us who do it, it is our mood and setting that dictate what books we want to dip into, and in what order. There are occasional books (and series!) that I will chew through without a break, but those are less common.

To look at the books I've finished so far this year (ending with The Fast and the Furriest), it's mostly fiction, because non-fiction just takes longer. (And some of them, like Unnatural Selection, are not exactly sparkling.)

These lists don't count various books I've given up on because they sucked.

Books For Falling Asleep
  • Dog Sense
  • Cat Sense - John Bradshaw
  • Anti-Intellectualism In American Life - Richard Hofstadter
  • Quiet - Susan Cain
  • Moby Dick: or, the White Whale - Herman Melville
  • Cubed - Nikil Saval
  • NeutroTribes - Steve Silberman
  • The Worst Journey in the World - Apsley Cherry-Garrard
  • The Horse, the Wheel, and Language - David W. Anthony
  • A People's History of the United States - Howard Zinn
  • The Fall of Hyperion - Dan Simmons
  • The Neutronium Alchemist
  • The Confederation Handbook - Peter F. Hamilton
Books Not For Falling Asleep
  • Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men - Lundy Bancroft
  • Self-Compassion - Kristin Neff
  • Children of the Self-Absorbed - Nina W. Brown
  • The Highly Sensitive Person - Elaine N. Aron
  • 10 Minute Obedience - Amy Dahl
  • The Gifts of Imperfection - BrenĂ© Brown
  • Drive - Daniel H. Pink
  • Peopleware - Tom DeMarco
20 books! All of which I carry around in my phone everywhere I go. And this isn't the full full list. I don't really miss the physical paper. Is that a good thing? My best guess is that it's good because I'm reading more.

Monday, June 13, 2016

dog, dog, more dog, and also dog

I'm still on leave from work, so life is still mostly Dog and Emotional Processing. The dog helps, in unexpected--to me, because I've never had my own dog--ways.

I've been bad about taking her for morning walks, but then in the afternoon (not very smart, because it's hot) I've been motivating to take her on excursions. Saturday and Sunday we went to the two closest off-leash areas, and she did great! She was tired.

(On the right there is a standard Jack Russell Terrier sleeping position.)

I'm not sure how her obedience is with other people: she's very focused on me, very much My Dog™. She's excited to see me, and when she's most excited, she doesn't actually want anything except my company and attention. Faced with that daily onslaught of unconditional love and patience, I could possibly start believing I deserve it as much as I think everyone else does.

It's hard to know what her story is. Clearly she started out well-socialized and cared for, and then later encountered abusive people, and spent time as a stray. People with lots of rescue-dog experience say she's settling in really, really fast, relatively--I guess rescues often try running away, so it's a while before you can have them off-leash. On the first day, she did check the yard perimeter and had a short go at digging under the fence--good luck digging there without a pickaxe--but we started obedience class the day after we got her, and we're kind and gentle and take good care of her, and she's super smart, so trust and communication have been happening quickly. When I took her off-leash on Saturday, I started training her to come immediately to a dog-whistle, and she got it super fast. ("Ooh, the whistle means food and scritches! Lemme check that out!") It's a tool for rare use, just for interrupting squirrel chases or if she's stalking someone's picnic.

I tried her out with doggie daycare a couple times last week, and while she made it through without incident, she was clearly unhappy overall. After some discussion, we realized that she and I would both be happier if we bring her along to the East Coast next month, instead of boarding her. That's its own little project, though luckily she can ride in the cabin. She will hate it, since it's 6 hours of not being able to stand up, but (although she lacks the temporal consciousness to make the connection) she will hate it less than not being with us.

(Someone is ready to come back inside. Or wondering if I'm coming out.)

She's good company.