White People and Dogs


Yay! So, last night I went to the local bookshhhhtore to see Christian Lander speak and sign copies of his book, Stuff White People Like.

It was so much fun. First of all, he was a very down-to-earth, average guy in a t-shirt and jeans and he just seemed so at ease and natural being in front of a crowd. He told the story of how it all happened, and it’s definitely inspiring and a little bit WTF-ish at the same time… He started a blog in January 2008, and through friends forwarding it around it grew in popularity to the point where, a month later, he had hundreds of thousands of hits every day. Hundreds of thousands. In one month’s time. Shit! By the summer, he had appointments with four of the top 5 literary agents in LA, and signed with William Morris. The book deal at Random House (yup, Random-Publisher-of-Books-Written-by-Exes-House, again) happened right after that, it was published by the end of the summer, and he went on Conan O’Brien in September. That’s got to be one of the all-time fastest success stories ever. He told it so well, too… very humorous, self-depracating (which is a white person thing to do, of course) and also, very grateful. He acknowledges how lucky he is, and how this is NOT the norm. In addition, he had a lot of intelligent things to say about societal and class issues relating to privilege…and how, if you are able to do and enjoy the things on his list of Stuff, you are fortunate because it means you have money and time. Which is not something everyone has. So he doesn’t want people to lose sight of what they are lucky enough to be ABLE to enjoy, no matter what your actual skin color is. He touched on some interesting points regarding race and culture, too… it showed that he is a PhD dropout. In a good way.

So yes, it was a success and I was glad I went. Afterwards, I even got in line to have my book signed. I have never actually gotten a book signed at an event like that, mostly because it always feels sort of fanboy/fangirl-esque and I never feel comfortable doing it. And I’m not really impressed by signatures. Anyway, last night the mood was so friendly and positive, I couldn’t help it but get in line with my friends to get my book signed.Β  He had asked everyone to think of what we wanted him to write in our books, otherwise he was going to write some standard thing about Tucson vs. Phoenix (a popular topic at this given crowd). RaeAnn had him sign the #38 page– “Arrested Development“–in her book. I couldn’t think of anything, but saw that “Dogs” are one of the Stuffs White People Like, so when I got to the table, I said, “Hi, my name is __, and my dogs are my children.” He immediately scrawled out, “Your dogs are NOT human. -Christian.” in the front of my book. Awesome! I love it.

After having a drink with friends, I went home and popped open the new laptop and GOT TO WORK. I wrote several new pages of my book. Like I said, a fire was lit yesterday. Lisa M. said it best to me yesterday: “You now have a nemesis!” She’s so right! Even though I don’t hate my ex, there is room for him to fill this role. We have discussed how necessary it is for successful people to have a nemesis; someone to drive you on to great things and bring out the competitive spirit. Lisa’s still searching for her next nemesis, and I was, too… until yesterday happened. So I am very, VERY glad it happened. Aggravation has swiftly turned to ELATION and an overwhelming sense of I’m-gonna-git-you-sucker.

Today, the landlord’s supposed to get over to my house to fix that stupid broken door. We’ll see. I can’t wait to have it fixed because I have two dogs in my house right now who, even though they are lucky enough to have a perfectly good and fully-functional dog door, they are too stubborn/stupid to use it. It’s driving me nuts.

I’ve always known Hurley doesn’t ‘get’ the dog door. I have lured him through it several times in the past, and praised him when he did it. But he truly hates pushing the plastic back with his snout. I don’t know why he can’t get over it. He loves being out in that yard. You’d think he would be all over that dog door, going in and out of it all day long. Nope. He’s too delicate a flower, apparently, to let anything touch his perfect little face. Cripes.

And Olive is… well, let’s just say she isn’t as bright as Hurley. She’s a mimic, and will copy things he does. She now eats her food in the same way he does, which is to take several pieces of food in the mouth and move across the room, drop the food on the floor and eat it over there, and repeat the process for about a half an hour until all the food is finally gone. She also runs out into the yard after Hurley dashes out to do his patented “Bark at Planes and Birds” routine, and will just bark up at the sky like she knows what she is barking at…when she clearly doesn’t. She looks around with a dopey grin on her face, barking in any and all directions, here and there, looking pleased with herself for doing it. Because obviously, whatever Hurley is doing is something very important. Even though she has no clue what that is, she wants in on it. Somehow. And so, she barks. Stupidly.

Back to the dog door. I thought Olive c0uld be my key to getting Hurley to finally accept the dog door as a viable alternative to getting in and out of the house. And at first, it was promising. She did jump through relatively quickly, and I praised her, and we coaxed Hurley through. Which didn’t really work. I still had to hold open the plastic so he could climb through after he just pouted and sniffed at the plastic for almost 15 minutes. But Olive did it. She went in and out a couple of times yesterday.

But it stopped.

I left the two of them outside while I took a shower yesterday afternoon before going out to the bookstore, and then while I got ready. They were out there for about 45 minutes. In that time, neither of them came in through the dog door, but I saw that they’d pawed repeatedly at the sliding glass door, though. Paw and nose prints were all over that thing. When I went out back before I left, I saw Hurley had dropped one of his toys right underneath the dog door, as if to show that he acknowledged the existence of the dog door, but was perplexed as to how to use it, so he just dropped his stuff and gave up.

That door is apparently insurmountable, to both of them. They were ‘trapped’ outside this morning for almost an hour. I figured if they wanted in enough as I set their food down, they’d figure it out. NOPE. They just lay down forlornly in front of the sliding door, gazing sadly in at their food with dejected looks on their faces. The dog door mere feet away from them. The food right inside that dog door. Honestly. I laughed so hard at them, and then finally did the coaxing trick again to force them to come through the damn dog door at last.

And once they were inside, oh man, did they leap for joy and make a ton of noise as they danced around and panted with big smiles on their faces. Like they had done something GOOD. When in fact all that happened was I bailed them out, again. Ridiculous dogs!

So, in closing, that landlord needs to get that door fixed right the hell now, because my dogs are too stupid to handle life without it. Sigh.

Look at their dumb faces. See what I put up with?!!




7 responses »

  1. Hurley has the largest snout ever. Love him!

    I like that web site about what white people like. Lauren originally told me about it because David Sedaris is on the list. I was nervous meeting him and like you said felt like such a fan but Lauren went with me and basically held my hand. haha What a nerd.

    Glad you had fun last night.

  2. Oh and Hurls has, what my aunt calls, a rubber stopper nose. haha I am such a white dog lover, ain’t I? πŸ˜‰

  3. I cannot for the life of me remember the dog-door method I once read about somewhere…

    All I seem to be able to recall is the story my dad told about the time one of his coworkers arrived home from work & couldn’t figure out why BOTH of his dogs were OUTSIDE to greet him, and refusing to go back through the dog door.

    A skunk had let himself into the house.

    Don’t try that method.

  4. Hurley has the longest, most graceful snout on the planet. I always grab it and kiss the top of his head. Maybe he is afraid of breaking his delicate snout on the dog door flaps…

    A skunk in the house? Oh my damn, that would be horrendous. Luckily the most that would get in here might be a little lizard. There are no places for a skunk/squirrel/raccoon/deer/bear to hide around here! But no worries…I will NOT try that method. I’ll just open a can of dog food and hope they smell it and get lured on through. That’s a whole lot easier and if all goes well, I won’t have to take a tomato juice bath afterwards.

    Update: the landlord was here, and he fixed the backdoor. It works like it’s a new door now. Halleluiah! And you can bet Hurley is happy about it. Olive, by the way, was in the backyard when I pulled up to the house after work today; she had used the dog door! So at least one of them has potential. πŸ™‚

  5. Hee. Aw, your dogs are slow. πŸ™‚ Good thing they’re so cute. I thought my sister’s dog Beauty was the only one who carted her food away to be eaten. We thought it was because she was the runt of her litter and that’s the only way she could get anything to eat, but maybe it’s just a Weird Dog Thing.

  6. Yay for the fixed door! FInally!

    I used to read that site about what white people like. I can’t remember why I stopped. Have you read his book? Is it funny? Better than the site? Man I am just full of questions today…

    Maybe the doggie door is a puppy thing, something that needs to be ingrained from when they were young so they get over the “fear” of it. Like how I never got my cats to stop running up doorframes at a young enough age and now they think it is totally appropriate to freak me out while I am doing laundry but clawing up the doorframe like mad kitties.

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