After a flurry of weird last-minute postdoc applications and graded midterms here it is Thursday and I am doing all-day jammies AGAIN, which as you know I truly hate.
All Day Jammies, WHY
There are few things more disgusting than going to someone’s house at like 3 in the afternoon and they’re still in their sick saggy jammies. Put on some clothes, people, this ain’t saturday morning cartoons in the early 80’s! I don’t like seeing people in their infantile mode. Jammies are infantile mode. You put on your slippies and your jammies and you snuggle up, and that’s private. Sweatpants are one thing but full jammies? No.
But here I am, stuck inside all-day jammies. To be fair it is only 10:30 in the morning. But for me this is already well past the acceptable jammies line. Also technically my jammies are sweatpants, so arguably a visitor would be none the wiser, but I’d know. I’D KNOW.
Here’s the thing about jammies. You wear them to BED. Where you sleep, with your body all vulnerable and your mouth all hanging open and your old man’s foot-talons clawing you in the night. Bed is this soft place where you go to attempt restfulness, in a stressed out world. You don’t eat in bed. You don’t take your computer to bed. Bed is a quiet reflective place, cut off from the outside world. Otherwise you’ll never get any real rest! Obviously I speak as someone with historic sleeping problems BUT STILL. Books have been written about this. So you wash your feet before bed, for example. In the summertime? You’re walking around outside in flip-flops? Walking through puddles and grass a million dogs have peed on, and dirt, and the horrible toxic grime of the dystopic city-scape? No. You do not put those things into your nice clean bed. You wash the (literal) shit out of them. For example. So when you wear all-day jammies, and you’re sitting on your sick couch letting the dog put his fucked-up feet (never washed! never!) all over them, and you’re spilling coffee on them, and you’re wearing them in and out of the bathroom, and you’re taking the dog outside in them and picking up his shit and getting the hems of the jammies all damp in the slushy snow….then you hop back into bed? Come on people. We are not ape-men any longer.
Speaking of ape-men, I just learned that biologically we are closer to African apes than African apes are to Asian apes. HOLY SMOKES!!!!!!!
I was waiting for an appointment and had 5 minutes to kill and I was at the library so I picked up the biggest book that was within arm’s reach, and it turned out to be a book called EVOLUTION! (it didn’t have an exclamation mark) and I learned that fact about the apes and us and then put the book down. Feel great about this.
I think I am doing all-day jammies because I’m sad. And I’m sad because I haven’t been sleeping. And I haven’t been sleeping because of being freezing cold and drenched in sweat all night long, night after night, no matter what I do in terms of sleeping arrangements. So I think today it was just like, fuck you, bed. You don’t respect me, I don’t respect you.
It is hard to not sleep well. I am reading Michael Ian Black’s memoir and his segments about how much he hates and wants to kill his newborn baby are really potent. How is it possible to go 4 full months without a single night’s sleep? Don’t you die? Earlier in the book he has a total emotional breakdown in the car and has to pull over to the side of the road so he can rock back and forth holding himself and sobbing. This happens because a Creed song about having a baby comes on the radio.
This memoir is pretty awesome.
After reading all this dog science we are actually making an effort to train our dog. Yes he is almost two, and yes, we did believe we already trained him, but now seeing him through fresh eyes we realize he is kind of a piece of shit dog. He gets by on an easygoing nature and natural good looks but really he does not respond to any command. It’s embarrassing at the dog park. We talk about him in bed at night the way I imagine the parents of pre-schoolers talk about their children:
“It’s so embarrassing when he won’t come, and he won’t drop it, and everyone’s looking.”
“He’s just excited to be at the dog park, that’s all. It’s normal.”
“I don’t think so. That fucked up police dog article said that–”
“ENOUGH WITH THE POLICE DOG ARTICLE.”
“Well, NIGEL’s excited at the park, but NIGEL drops the ball when his owner tells him to.”
The other day at the dog park I was as usual apologizing to some lady when my dog wouldn’t give her dog his ball back, and she brought up the police dog article. We both used it as a means of expressing culturally-appropriate shame at the poor training of our own dogs. That police dog article is like the Tiger Mom book for dog owners. Or it’s like when you see Cirque du Soleil and you’re like “those people can’t be the same species as me, I can barely get out of bed in the morning.” And you’re so filled with shame you eat six donuts.
“The part with the infrared camera!” “I KNOW”
I can’t even talk about that police dog article yet, it’s too intense.
So anyway, we’ve been actually spending time training this guy. He’s already better on the leash. It’s about letting him know which behaviors you like, so he can remember. These dog science books are so sad, quoting all the standard dog training manuals, including emo line drawings of people beating their dogs with sticks. Apparently the way you STILL train a gun dog or a sniffer dog TO THIS DAY is to force his head above the training decoy and simultaneously beat him with a stick and pinch his ear hard, until he opens his mouth to cry out, then you shove the decoy in. Then you beat him again until he drops it. This teaches him that picking up and then dropping things causes pain and violence to stop. “Do not allow your dog to peer into your eyes. Do not allow your dog to put his chin on your knee. Do not allow your dog to peer at you from the top of the steps.” What? Why even get a dog. The dog science I’m reading does a great job of pointing out how fucking elaborate the above training scenario is. Isn’t it easier to give your dog a treat when he picks something up? Then he’s like, whoa, picking up this thing is awesome. It seems like it would take him forever to connect opening his mouth to the ceasing of his ear being pinched. Then again I suppose sniffer dogs have been being successfully trained for like 1,000 years so what do I know.
I cry reading the dog books.
How often do you think you mistake human shit for dog shit? I bet it’s more often than you think.
When you pat a dog, you release oxytocin into his bloodstream. You make him so happy! Isn’t that amazing? That’s why dogs are so amiable. “HELLO STRANGER! IF YOU ARE NICE TO ME I WILL GET A HUGE DOSE OF A PLEASURE-DRUG INJECTED INTO MY SYSTEM, THAT’S WHY I’M SO WIGGLY”
the new dog science book I’m about to start (“Inside of a Dog,” gets bonus points for reffing a great Groucho Marx bit: “Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read”) made me cry again when she started talking about how in her book she will use “he” and “him” to talk about dogs, because “‘it’ is not an acceptable substitution, for anyone who has ever known a dog.” SOB
Here’s a thing. Why don’t more people just drive into Canada when they’re about to have a baby? This is something I never thought about before but now that I have thought about it I don’t understand why this isn’t an obvious thing everyone does. If your own country doesn’t present you with a viable option for doing the one thing it supposedly wants you to do above all else, why not just drive to an adjacent country that does? Maybe people do do this and I just don’t know about it. I sure would, if I were going to spawn. “Oops, I’m so sorry Canada, I don’t know why I chose to visit my fictional Canadian aunt when I was 9 months pregnant.” Yes, you’d feel guilty, but I’ll take a little guilt over being bankrupted any day. Maybe they have some system for making Americans pay for health care. I wouldn’t blame them. But maybe not?!
I wish George Bush had presented this as part of his wonderful speech on how America has the best healthcare in the world (the speech where he said poor people can “just go to the emergency room”). “When Americans are ready to experience the miracle of childbirth, they can simply drive to Canada on one of our many well-maintained highways.”