b Papa Dog's Blog: Maybe I Am Like You and Me After All

Papa Dog's Blog

A Thing Wherein I Infrequently Write Some Stuff

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Maybe I Am Like You and Me After All

I’m far behind in any number of endeavours, so naturally I’ve been using the week-end thus far to do none of them. Last night after dog walk, supper, baby bathing, dish washing, and what have you, I stayed up late* to watch part 1 of Unforgivable Blackness, which you may recall I recommended some time back without yet having seen it myself. So now I’ve seen a little over half of it and still say you should all check it out. One thing it has going for it that most previous Burns docs haven’t is archival film as opposed to archival photographs. I had no idea there was so much surviving film footage of Jack Johnson. It’s worth seeing alone for the awesomely (and lopsidedly) brutal title fights. Somewhere in the last quarter of part 1 there was a moment that struck me with a bit of – not exactly déjà vu, but something related. There was an establishing shot of San Francisco, where the Johnson-Jeffords fight was originally supposed to take place. It showed the view up Market Street to the the Ferry Building, ca. 1910. Just as in a movie made today, you see a cable car coming towards the camera, just to make sure you know it’s San Francisco. What hit me, though, was that I was seeing exactly the same spot where I emerge from BART every weekday to go to work – Spear and Market. The Ferry Building looks exactly the same as it does today, but absolutely everything else, even the width and nature of Market Street itself, is different. It’s like seeing a little part of my regular environs transported whole into a different world. Very strange.

Baby Dog was kind enough to let us sleep (mostly) through the night, not getting up for a feed until about 5 a.m. Thursday night she had woken at one in the morning and fussed for about an hour after, so this was a nice change of pace. She even went back to sleep quickly after the 5 a.m. feeding and didn’t stir again until 7:30. Mama Dog brought Baby Dog back to bed with us, thinking maybe she’d doze a little more, but Baby Dog instead chose to express her new and growing curiosity about my tattoos. You try sleeping in when a baby’s trying to pull off the pool ball painted on your shoulder.

Resigned to consciousness, I crawled out of bed, let Doggy Dog out, and cleaned up the last of the previous night’s kitchen mess, so as not to be subject to ire and/or wrath when Mama Dog found the path to the coffee pot blocked by empty ice cream cartons. (Friday morning was weigh day – down to 194, thanks – meaning Friday night was splurge night.) I checked email, made the regular Saturday a.m. call to the parents, and realised with a start that this is a poker night. I’m supposed to send out a reminder to the regular players a few days before the game, but I don’t have anybody to send a reminder to me. I knocked out a quick note which most players probably won’t see until after the game is history, and even went so far as to call a couple of people known not to check their email regularly. I reckoned then I’d done my bit. Mama Dog took Doggy Dog for a walk and I played on the living room floor with Baby Dog. Baby is quite the floor player these days. She still hasn’t worked out how to crawl, but it’s coming soon. She’s quite an accomplished roller and can hold her head and torso up off the floor for ever longer stretches of time. Any day now.

Baby Dog went down for her morning nap and Mama Dog went out again to take Doggy Dog to the vet. It was time for his annual check-up, and because he’s getting on in years (he’s 8 now), it was time for his “senior dog” workup, which was quite extensive. I was left for my own devices for a while and decided that instead of doing anything productive, I’d watch the second part of the Jack Johnson thing. I couldn’t even manage to do that. It had been so long since I’d taped it that I forgot where I’d put part 2. I spent about forty minutes looking through every tape on the shelf next to the TV until it finally occurred to me to try the obvious. I looked on the same tape that had part 1. Sure enough, there was part 2 right after an episode of Lost. I got about 15 minutes into it when Mama Dog came home.

Doggy Dog’s overweight. Like all of us he needs to exercise more and eat less. Poor boy’s been getting short-changed in the walkies department since the arrival of Baby Dog. We are yet again resolved to change that.

While Mama Dog fed Baby her lunch, I spent a pleasant chunk of time shredding all the documents that have piled up in our “to shred” bag in the last several months…cheques from my old bank account, junk mail with details about our mortgage on it, anything with an SSN, that sort of thing. This is a chore Mama Dog usually does but hates to do, so it piles up. I don’t know why I haven’t been doing it all along. I enjoy watching shit get torn up. She’s all – “This is boring and takes forever.” I’m all – “Cool! It shreds staples! Can I try putting an old sponge in here and see what happens?”

After we all had lunched, we went for a family walk around Rockridge. Destination #1 was Rockridge Kids, where Mama Dog wanted to return a bib. “What’s wrong with it?” I asked. “It’s too small and she hates it” was the reply. It must be noted that Baby Dog has never met a bib she didn’t hate, but the “too small” part is probably the crucial element. While Mama and Baby looked at kinder fashions, Doggy Dog and I went first to Pendragon and then to Diesel in hope of finding a copy of World of Wonders, the third and last of Davies’ Deptford books. No soap, radio. We met up with the ladies back at Rockridge Kids and headed up the street to dba Brown’s, where Mama Dog took this photograph of the Danny and the Juniors posterthat I described recently.

Danny y los Juniors
Originally uploaded by papadogduvalier.

You may find it interesting to compare the photograph to the description in my post, which was done from memory. I was wrong about which arms were raised higher than which other arms, and I’m not really seeing the Mordor thing now (I think there were other shadows not in the poster at play making that association), but for the most part I think I got it pretty close. At Mama Dog’s urging, I went into the store to enquire about the poster. “Offer him ten bucks if it’s for sale!” she called after me. I knew that would be too low, but I never got the chance to offer. The man at the counter – presumably the one who is doing business as Brown – looked up and I said, “That poster in the back window, Danny and the Juniors—” He smiled ruefully. “It’s not for sale.” I shrugged and left. Now, I know this isn’t the case, but wouldn’t it be a hoot if he’d had a bunch of people asking after the poster on account of my post? Well, why not? If you’re in the neighbourhood, stop in and ask Mr. “Brown” if the Danny and the Juniors poster is for sale. Just don’t tell him Papa Dog sent you.

We stopped at what used to be known hereabouts as the Bank of Apartheid so I could get some poker cash, then made a half-hearted foray up to the pastry district (La Farine and Lulu Rae). Finding nothing that suited our fancies (well, not true – Lulu Rae has something called a Pot du Crème that I always fancy, but you can’t get it to go), we headed on home, Mama Dog stopping periodically to take pictures of family members, houses, and vegetation. Baby Dog, who had been chatting and raspberrying through most of the walk, dropped off to sleep a few blocks from home, and she’s still snoozing as I type now. I sat down to write this, and Mama Dog nipped out to get some felt to put on our kitchen table tonight so that we don’t have to haul the poker table upstairs. Now she’s downstairs looking at a an old magic eye book and waiting for laundry to dry. It’s been a thoroughly satisfying weekend day, and if I make it until eight o’clock (poker time) without getting anything of consequence done I’ll be a happy man indeed.
*Almost midnight on a Friday. Woo!


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