Wednesday, August 31, 2011


This is a little late, but I just thought to check online again, and here's an updated page on He Who Was Known as Ditka. I remember those first few days I had to try hard not to want to call him Ditka (or, occasionally, José). Now it's strange to see him with that name.

Monday, August 22, 2011


Fabergé Easter egg.

Fabergé Easter egg.

Fabergé Easter egg.

Fabergé Easter egg.

Red pepper.

and speaking of pretty...

A new interview with the lovely and talented artist (husband) Stephen O'Donnell is up on Laura Stanfill's cool writing blog. It's part of her Seven Questions series. I thought the questions were really smart and gave him a lot to think about and talk about. You can take a look here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

the continuing adventures of nicholas c. o'dittle

When you're moving to a new home, there are lots of adventures to be had.

There's the initial discovery of this place. Running all around as soon as you're let down by the nice Indigo Rescue lady. This weird place with half-made paintings all over and questionable creatures lurking.

There's the scary moment when the Indigo Rescue lady leaves and you're left with these two strange people you don't really know. They talk to you in goo-goo voices and take you on a long walk in the neighborhood, but you don't pee. You're not sure you're ready for the commitment.

There's the trip to the big pet store for more supplies, and there's lots more exploring in the apartment and sitting in laps and being petted, and you think you're kind of starting to like these strange people.

The woman holds you and says, "Nicholas, Nicholas, Nicholas."

The man is very tall and he looks down at you and grins and says, "Dawg!"

They take you out on more walks. All along neighborhood streets full of Art Deco apartment buildings and up to the park. You don't hesitate anymore; you trot along fast and the tips of your ears make a tiny flopflopflop as you go.

But you don't pee. You're not sure you're ready for the commitment.

Around seven (you know this because you're a very sophisticated dog who can apparently tell time), the tall man who calls you Dog leaves to go to another store and get you a new blanket. The woman kind of wants to give you a blanket that was once used by someone named José, but the tall man who calls you Dog thinks you need your very own, new blanket. You agree with this. Not only are you your own man, but, well, these people have a little shrine to this mysterious José, with a book and a framed portrait and plastered paw prints and things, and you think that's a little odd.

You keep these thoughts to yourself.

You're glad the tall man who calls you Dog is the one who has gone out to do the shopping, because he's clearly the one for the job. He's the Adrian behind your new wardrobe with the dashing green collar and matching harness and leash.

You sit in the woman's lap while she taps at the computer and posts pictures of you for her friends and family to see, and you think this lap fits really nicely. Then the phone rings and it's the tall man, and he wants the woman with the lap to tell him the size of the bottom of your crate (which incidentally matches your wardrobe). As she measures it, you pee on the rug.

You are ready for a commitment.

There are more walks and more adventures. There's trying out different places to sit in this new place.

And discovering the doppelganger who lives in the mirror.

There's the first play.

There's watching the tall man do yoga in the morning.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Things to do after work when you're [impatiently] awaiting word on adopting a new dog.

Step one. Call Mom and talk about dogs. Have her turn the phone over to Dad. Talk to him about computers. And dogs.

Step two. Get on the internet and read about dogs.

Step three. Try for about three minutes to work on writing.

Step four. Give up and get on the internet and read about dogs.

Step five. Make frozen pizza and watch a movie. Look through your collection for something that might be about dogs or at least heartwarming. Select White Heat.

Step six. Think, hmm, Cagney would make a great name for a Chihuahua.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

names not to name your dog

When Stephen and I finally got serious about looking at dogs for adoption, we came across a tiny guy named QBall. He was one of a few we met yesterday, and though he was incredibly cute (and I fell a little in love at first sight as he was very meticulously trying to attack a bit of fluff out of the air), he was more energetic than would be good in our apartment.

As we browsed doggies online, we've tried to keep the renaming impulse in check because that's far too personal before you know a dog is actually going to be coming to live with you. But we couldn't help it with QBall. When I got José, I would have liked to rename him, but I figured two and a half years old was too old - it would be too confusing. I don't think that anymore, and... well... QBall.

It's just not our kind of name.

[can i say, i still think horatio is one of the best dog names ever...]

We couldn't help but play the rename game with QBall, wondering if there was something we could come up with that rhymed or sounded similar...



Ru Paul...