25 February 2006
Okay, I admit the weather has been horrible: grey, cold, wet, windy, and -- sometimes -- snowy. Not the best conditions for dog walkies. They don't want to go, I don't want to go. There's the whole ritual of me bundling up, getting the mutts bundled up in their rain coats if necessary, finding a plastic bag for the inevitable ramassage ("I love my quartier, I pick up after my dogs"), the keys, the phone if I'm expecting a call, some change if I want to stop by the bakery...
When it's nice out or I'm feeling particularly energetic, we head up to the Butte-aux-Cailles, around the boules courts of the Boulevard Auguste Blanqui, and maybe even a stroll past our friendly neighborhood police station (it's been a year...I'm still waiting for one of them to say "hi"; they're not very friendly, in fact). Sometimes we stop at the supermarket, where they get tied to the railing by the carts while I'm shopping (sounds cruel, but they get pet by everyone who passes by). I take them into the bakery even though there's a "no dogs" sign (they'd freeze to death or get stolen if I left them outside), and they get to eat up all of the bread crumbs. The boulangère thinks they're cute. She didn't see that one time Lena managed to wiggle into a bottom cabinet, swallowing a few croissants whole before I yanked her out.
Lena's the smaller one, but she's a handful. And now that it's crappy outside and the walkies consist of a quick spin around the block, she's definitely showing signs of stir craziness. For the first time since she was a puppy (six years ago), she has been stealing my underwear out of the laundry bag. BAck when she was a pup and we had a garden, I'd find the undies in the grass or under the bushes, covered in dirt and dog saliva, but otherwise unadulterated. But now she brings them into her basket and shreds them to bits. I'm sure Freud would have a field day here, but whatever. I've begun hanging the laundry bag up on the draying rack in the bathroom.
So now that her "toys" are gone, she's just sitting here staring at me and giving off a little doggie huff every few minutes. If it was sunny out I could let her lie in the sunbeam on the bed (which usually keeps them quiet for hours), but there's no sun. Not even a little. She's not interesed in her bone. She's not even interested in terrorizing her brother, Pedro (who's doing his own passive-aggressive doggie routine of not eating his kibble for three days in a row).
So how to get the dogs out of their winter funk? When I'm in a funk a trip to the pastry shop is always nice, so I think we're going to have to take a trip to the dog bakery this weekend (scroll down to Doggie Services).
24 February 2006
These won't help you find it, unless of course you swallowed Dan Brown's book whole. The film is coming out in May, so I expect a few more lost souls will be trying to follow these little round disks across town. They actually do follow the original Paris Meridien, used in France back before GMT was established. But these little bronze plaques are actually part of the largest "work of art" in Paris, created by an artist in 1995 to honor the French astronomer Arago, who mapped out the line at the Paris Observatory in the 17th century. The little disks can be found from Montmartre to the Parc Montsouris.
This one is at the Palais Royal: in the background is the Hotel du Louvre, and even further back on the left a peek of the Louvre Museum.