Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ye olde dog days

Apparently, I mention the dog days of summer in a post every July. Last year, I tied it in to National Blog Something That's In Draft Week, or NaBloSoThaDraWe as you most likely know it. I may still have to do that in the next few days. After all, I'm nothing if not cyclical...

I always figured the phrase "dog days of Summer" had something to do with how dogs mostly just laid around in the shade or under the porch looking for relief from the heat. Thankfully, in these progressive times, we have Wikipedia. Else I may have gone my entire life thinking that and thus never knowing the true origin of "dog days."

According to Wikipedia, it has something to do with Sirius--not that satellite radio people--also known as the Dog Star. In olden times, people would sacrifice a brown dog at the beginning of dog days. Why brown? Well, that's what I'd like to know. Unfortunately, Wikipedia didn't say, which pretty much can be taken to mean no one alive today knows the answer.

On a related note, we had a brown dog when I was growing up. Just wandered up one day, which is how we got most of our pets. I named it Brown Dog--there was sort of a clever descriptiveness to it, I thought. We also had a pet named Whiskas. It was a cat. But I digress.

While sources differ on the exact dates of the dog days, they roughly run from early July through mid-to-late-August in the northern hemisphere on planet Earth. And so, these are they.

Maybe they also could be referred to as the Blog Days of Summer. Because it seems that while physically I've been doing lots, my mind has mostly been lying around under the porch hiding from the sun. Thus resulting in an even greater lack of blog posts than usual.

I figured that I would try and catch you up on all that's been going on in Bonetropolis the past couple of weeks with a series of bullet points. But then I thought maybe that sounded too violent, so I'll just continue in paragraph form.

Last week was the birthday of someone very important to my existence: he who bore me. We commemorated with dinner at a Mexican restaurant. Then Dad regaled us with tales of what it was like when man landed on the moon, which occurred the day before his birthday, coincidentally.

Sunday, they left on a two-week cross country trip to the Grand Canyon. Currently, they are in Flagstaff, Arizona. He called Monday from near Dallas. It was raining. "Don't you have some way of checking the weather radar on the Internet?" As if I know a secret trick no one else knows.

But I suppose it's kinda nice to feel like he still needs me now and then. They grow up so fast.

Speaking of, Nephew Bone has been doing well. He is walking upright with the skill of someone six weeks his elder. He'll be a year old three weeks from today! And I thought time flew before. Oh, and he also swallowed a leaf. Don't ask how we know.

Meanwhile, yours truly has just been doing the usual--work, sleep, running, pondering my eventual retirement from competitive Scrabble, and of course, golf. This past weekend, I came within 18 inches of my first ever hole-in-one. That would have been the single greatest moment in my life--not to be confused with the greatest nine minutes of my life.

So, that's the story from Bonetropolis. The dog days are almost over. Hopefully, my mind will soon crawl out from 'neath the porch of no ideas to once again frolic through effervescent fields of minutiae and skinny dip in streams of hilarity.

"Babies squalled as August crawled past old folks in the shade. The weather vane was stuck, and White Oak Creek would drop, when dog days came around..."


  1. I hear you. Not much is happening in Xinh City either.

    It's nice to know that there's someone else out there who shares the almost obsessive need to find out the answers to things.

  2. Ah yes the dog days of summer are almost over. I'm feeling it too. Not writing much but getting some reading done.

  3. Maybe they used a brown dog because brown dogs were common and easy to find. Or maybe they used them because they weren't easy to find and a rare brown dog would make the gods happy.

    This is by far my favorite line: "Hopefully, my mind will soon crawl out from 'neath the porch of no ideas to once again frolic through effervescent fields of minutiae and skinny dip in streams of hilarity".

    I'm sure the end of summer and fall will bring you many ideas and happenings to spur those ideas.

  4. I love the anecdote about your Dad. That's priceless. He really is all about making the blog, isn't he? :)

    I think we need some new pics of Nephew Bone walking.

    Also, I'm very anxious for you to post something from draft. You started that wild craze, I think it's definitely up to you to continue it.

  5. Funny I was born the day before man landed on the moon

    you could have asked me about dog days--which personally I think truly happen in August--anything to prolong summer. Loved the whole Bonetropolis paragraphy

    Loved the anecdote about your dad also

    And we see how you became a writer--Brown Dog

  6. Happy Birthday to Pappa Bone who without we would have no Bone...which would be truely sad.

    And we all know how you figured out how Nephew Bone ate a leaf...don't worry all us parents have had similar's amazing what all can travel safely through that system. Of course the funnier stories are those of kids who decide that article of clothing (is it really clothing...perhaps containment is a better term) is a great place to carry all items.

    And our Dog has had a pretty good summer so camping trip with two more trips to go. She loves camping. Usually poops dirt for a week or so afterward from eating all the food on the ground. The first night of our campout she didn't get much sleep as she had to check on everyone who was funny when someone in the top bunk moved cuz she couldn't figure that out at all. Night two she was too tired to care. (btw: we were camping in a cabin...highly recommended for high altitude camping! I wish I had a travel cabin!)

    and I think if you travel the blogosphere you'll see that lots of us are suffering from the dog days.

  7. Xinh - Ha, Xinh City! I like that. How about Xinhxinhati? :)

    Yeah, though sometimes I kinda miss not knowing. Like misheard lyrics to songs. Those are fun. Sometimes I just keep singing them the wrong way even after I google the correct lyrics.

    Daily Panic - Reading and changing your profile pic, I see :)

    PennyCandy - That's an interesting hypothesis. Were brown dogs once rare? Hmm, I wonder.

    Thank you :)

    TC - Haha, wild craze. Yes, that caught on nearly as well as New Coke.

    We probably do need some new pictures. I really wish my phone had video capability.

    Pia - And we see how you became a writer--Brown Dog

    LOL Yes, surely only those with a most keen eye could have seen the promise in those early days.

    Renee - Well, I'm guessing dirt is an upgrade in that situation.

    I'd love to go camping. But it's way too hot for that right now. Also, I don't have a tent.

  8. I knew it had something to do with the star patterns, but not sure what. I too always associated it with the dogs finding the cool spots under the porch. I will refrain from passing this post on to my husband as he will get the idea that it would be beneficial to sacrifice my litte brown dog. :-) Happy dog days...

  9. Last summer you tried to make me blog something that was in draft--only had about 500 drafts then. Couldn't chose

    I didn't mean I was born the day before. I meant it was my birthday, and while before and later I realized how significant this was it really meant nothing to me as I had a boyfriend who stood me up. Then i didn't have a boyfriend. Then I did. Then....

  10. Interesting about the dog days...

    I know the Egyptians use to look to the rise of Sirus which, when it rose in the morning sky, also indicated the rise of the Nile--as it is a winter star (found east of Orion), it should be visible in the early morning hours just before dawn...

  11. happy birthday to the big bone!
    your words made me smile (of course they did they always do!).. when you said 'he who bore me' haha MY middle son Nick.. often says.. Hi sweet mom who birth me! haha he is silly like u bone! the dog days info.. ( i learn so much from you T-bone!)
    congrats on the 'near hole in one!' keep on puttin bone!

  12. (National Blog Something That's In Draft Week, or NaBloSoThaDraWe). I know it neither way, probably because, even in it's shortened form, it's way too long for me.

    I'm sure your father is a lovely man, but he didn't bore you,well he may have, they usually do at some point, but your mother bore you, you're father will never know that pain. I know, very feministy, and so unlike me, especially given the tranquil forum you have, and I love. I just couldn't help myself.

    Happy Birthday Daddy bone.

    I always thought dog days came from that old Al Pacino movie - meaning really hot boring days at the end of summer when we start to feel like robbing banks, holding hostages, and rallying a crowd while yelling Attica, Attica.

  13. "But then I thought maybe that sounded too violent, so I'll just continue in paragraph form."

    That is the funniest thing that I've read in a while!

  14. I've been pretty busy and have ideas for posts but can't find the time. Yes, dog days- almost gone. Glad to hear you and your dad are still hanging out. Tell him happy belated birthday for me. Have a great day.

  15. Kontan - I was thinking maybe that was why Brown Dog ran away. But it's been so long, I can't remember if it was July when he disappeared or not.

    Pia - Well, a year has passed. Can you choose this year? Or feel free to post one NaBloSoThaDraWe entry each day for a week.

    I can totally see how boyfriend issues would make the first man on the moon seem insignificant, especially if the standing up occurred on or near one's birthday :)

    Sage - I've always kinda considered you the resident star/constellation expert.

    Lucy - Thanks! :) Wow, I haven't been called T-Bone in a while! I enjoyed that. Just don't start calling me Koko the Monkey.

    Cooper - Augh! I thought I changed that to "reared." Guess not. What about "begat?" Oh well, maybe "bore" wound up being funnier anyway.

    You know way more about movies than do I. Maybe you could do some hosting duties for TCM? I get tired of seeing those same two guys on there all the time.

    MamaZen - Oh, thanks! You picked out a line I figured no one would notice. I love when that happens.

    Michelle Johnson - Well, may you find time to write more. And may I find more ideas.

  16. Oh good! I'm not alone. I was trying to compose a blog all last week. Not that nothing has happened but more so nothing blog worthy. ...but school is around the corner!

    which means there will be plenty of material and no time. le sigh.

    And kudos on the golf!