Sunday, November 26, 2006

A Dog's Thanksgiving

I have so much to be thankful for this year. Mostly, I am just awfully glad to still be here after my epic battles with congestive heart failure and pancreatitis earlier in the year. I am grateful to my moms for taking such good care of me--for the long trips to Bowie to see my canine cardiologist, for the many hours in the kitchen concocting good things for me to eat when my meds messed with my appetite, for their patience with my occasional incontinence and my new lower energy levels (though I will point out that our holiday weekend festivities included a 3-mile walk out on my trail). I am also grateful to YOU, my legions of friends and fans here in Roxie's World, who held me in the light during the scary moments and celebrated with me during the joyous ones. You all taught me that the blogosphere is like the "real" world in one very important way: Love makes the virtual world go 'round, too, if you're lucky enough to find it and to hold onto it once you do.

I raise my paws to every one of you and wish you health, happiness, and peace during this holiday season. May the world find more of all three in the coming days. May the citizens of the world join together to create more of all three in the coming days.

I asked my moms what they were feeling thankful for this year. They rolled their eyes, rubbed my ears, and said, at the same time, "You, silly, and your other mother." Then they said they were both grateful that Democrats would be taking over Congress in the new year, even though they are reasonably certain the Dems will find ways to disappoint them once they are in a position to actually do something again. Still, here's a short but good list of reasons to be grateful about the shift in power in the Congress, which includes the fact that Bill Frist will no longer be Senate majority leader and that George Bush will be a lame duck faced with a Democratic majority in both houses. There is much to be thankful for in those changes alone.

Moose and Goose are also very thankful that Goose wasn't seriously hurt in the accident that cut short the life of their trusty Subaru. They are still sad to have lost the rugged little wagon that could, but they are looking forward to getting a Prius for Christmas and having a car that is just a bit gentler on the planet. That's my moms for ya: Hand 'em a lemon, and they'll whip up a batch of lemonade on the spot. Goose will slip in some vodka, Moose will set out some snacks, and--presto!--it's a party, kids! Seriously, the Post ran an article this morning on the gathering, indisputable evidence of climate change and how animals, businesses, and regional planners are adjusting to it. (Read it here.) Moose read it and thought, yet again, of all the precious time that has been wasted in the past few years on the pressing problem of how to sustain life on this planet over the long haul.

On a lighter note, we are all thankful that the college basketball season is underway and that so far at least both the Maryland women's and men's teams are undefeated, while both Duke and North Carolina have already suffered losses at the hands of less highly ranked teams. (Pardon us while we indulge in a hearty shout of "nanny nanny boo boo, nanny nanny boo boo!") We're not exactly "thankful" for comedian Michael Richards' insane racist diatribe during a recent comedy performance (see part of the rant and his "apology" on Letterman here), but we do feel vindicated in never having liked Seinfeld, which always bored or annoyed us. We'd be even more grateful if, in the coming year, we would hear a whole lot less about the following profoundly uninteresting people or things: Tom Cruise, Kevin Federline, Paris Hilton (whoever she is), Brangelina, the latest makeover show, the latest "reality" show, the latest attractive young white woman to disappear under mysterious circumstances. Oh, yeah, and Donald Rumsfeld. We look forward to hearing nothing from him in a matter of moments.

Human or canine, large breed or small, shedding or non-shedding, we hope that you enjoyed a bounteous feast this weekend and that you feel rested and ready for the chilly, busy season ahead. Let us know what you're feeling thankful for, ye humble denizens of Roxie's World. We hope you need all the toes on all your paws to count your blessings and that you'll find ways to share your blessings with others. Hokey as that might sound, it's a dog-gone good way to be. Peace out, friends.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

CNN: Canine Network News

Fans of Roxie's World could be forgiven for occasionally forgetting that this is in fact a dog blog. (There are a lot of us out there in the blogosphere. Try Googling the phrase "dog blog" and see what happens.) What with all the carrying on about politics, basketball, and pop culture, not to mention the occasional usage of a phrase like "the vertigo of the signifier torn loose from the signified," you might even think that my moms the English profs occasionally do more than type for me. This possibility came to my attention recently when one of my most devoted fans (I might even call him the Official Gay Stalker of Roxie's World) said he read one of my posts and grew concerned that Moose (rather than yours truly) suffered from a seasonal skin allergy to autumn leaves. Thank you, Jason, for making me realize we might be having persona management issues here at Roxie's World.

So, let's get this straight: I am a dog. I do all the writing here. I am passionate about politics, basketball, and pop culture because I am an exceptionally intelligent dog who spends quite a bit of time on the couch beside my moms in front of our plasma TV. We have digital cable. With premium channels. Mind you, I'm not bragging or anything, just trying to explain the extraordinary range of my interests and knowledge.

Still, being a dog, I do care about dogs and dog issues. Which is why NBC4, the Washington DC affiliate of NBC, is my all-time favorite TV station. Aside from great on-air personalities (the sardonic/maternal Doreen Gentzler, the sardonic/slutty Wendy Rieger, and the new weather guy whom we call Hispanic Eddie Munster), they do a lot of great dog stories on News4. It's like Animal Planet with weather, traffic, and the occasional murder story. George Michael, head sports dude, is a major dog person, so every year he covers the glorious Westminster Dog Show (which, as my devoted fans know, has been won by Wire-Haired Fox Terriers a record thirteen times). He also stages an annual event, right there in the studio, called the Terrier Races, a hilarious and amazing event in which mostly Jack Russell terriers run around a track at warp speed. This year's race airs live tonight at 5:50 on NBC4, but you can also watch it via webstream from here. You GOTTA see this, people! It's more fun than watching the Democrats squander their moment of triumph in a petty leadership battle!

In other canine news, also featured on NBC4, there is the made-for-the-holidays story of Max, a heroic Shih Tzu, who took a bullet for a young child--and now is in need of a new owner! (See photo above.) This past Saturday night, according to News4, Max "was in the arms of a young boy when shots rang out on a Northeast corner in D.C. One man was killed and three other people were also hit in the gunfire. The 4-month-old-puppy was hit in the leg by a bullet that could have easily killed the young boy who was holding him. The child was never hurt." Unfortunately, the surgery that was needed to repair Max's injury was so expensive that his family had to put him up for adoption. (Read the full story on Max here.) The Washington Humane Society stepped in to cover the costs of the surgery and is now helping to find Max a permanent home. (You can donate to the WHS here.)

Can you resist those eyes, good-hearted citizens of Roxie's World? Can you resist the big cast, with its "Happy Holidays" message, on that tiny little leg? Can you say no to the tiniest little canine super-hero of them all--when YOU have so much to be thankful for this holiday season?

I know you can't. I know you'll do the right thing, but right now I gotta run--the Terrier Races start in less than fifteen minutes! Race ya to the couch, sports fans!

Update: Buddha scores huge upset in NBC4 Terrier Race! See awesome slideshow of incredible race HERE! Buddha, baby, you RULE! Arthur, you were a great champion, but there's a new kid on the track.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Grrls Are BACK

(Photo by Jonathan Newton, The Washington Post)

Election season is over, and the holidays are just around the corner. Nancy Pelosi is publicly embroiling herself in a battle over who will be the new House majority leader, while Moose and Goose agonize over what vegetable side dishes to serve with Thanksgiving dinner. Are they daring enough to serve brussels sprouts to a houseful of Moose's midwestern relatives, or will they settle for some mildly updated version of green beans? Now that the legislative branch of government is safely in the hands of Democrats, you'd think the fate of the republic hangs on the answer to this single question.

To which your favorite dog blogger replies: Who cares? It's college basketball season again! Oh, joy! Oh, rapture! Oh, mighty women of the University of Maryland who snatched the national championship last year when they were barely out of diapers. We are on pins and needles in our house waiting to see what they'll do now that their secret is out and everybody in the country will be gunning for them.

Those of you who are new to Roxie's World might want to look back in the archives for our paeans to the Lady Terps and their fabulous coach, Brenda Frese, as they pounded their way through last year's NCAA Tournament. Click here, and see the posts for April 3, 5, and 6. You'll notice in the post for April 6 that I mention a sign my moms made and took to home games last year that said, "Fear the Brenda." The highlight of every game for them was the moment when their sign was flashed up on the jumbo-tron in the Comcast Center for all the world to see. Thus, you can imagine Moose's delight this morning when she caught a reference to the sign in a column by Washington Post sports writer Mike Wise. To see the column, which is a nice tribute to the faith Maryland athletic director Debbie Yow had in her young coach despite the skepticism of the "women's basketball fraternity" (is that more or less sexist than "sorority" would have been in this context, Mike?), click here. Wise refers to my moms' sign to make a point about how tightly wound Coach Frese supposedly is and to introduce never proven allegations about possible recruiting violations by Frese.

For the record, Frese's program is not under investigation for any recruiting violation (as Wise notes), and Moose is a little ticked that her admiring tribute to Frese's powers of intimidation is invoked in the context of some baseless "controversy" no doubt generated by members of the "fraternity" whose teams had been walloped by Frese's scrappy grrls. I had to sit Moose down and explain that miscontextualization happens when you put your words out there for all the world to see. Being an academic, Moose isn't used to people actually reading what she writes. She's got a lot to learn about this business of the public sphere. Fortunately, she's got a good teacher--ME!

Get on the bandwagon, kids. Click here to get tickets for Maryland Women's Basketball: The Sequel!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Sittin' Pretty

Well my soul checked out missing as I sat listening
To the hours and minutes tickin' away
Yeah, just sittin' around waitin' for my life to begin
While it was all just slippin away.
I'm tired of waitin' for tomorrow to come
Or that train to come roarin' round the bend.
I got a new suit of clothes a pretty red rose
And a woman I can call my friend

These are better days baby
Yeah there's better days shining through
These are better days baby
Better days with a girl like you
--Bruce Springsteen, "Better Days"

You know there are better days ahead, fans and fellow citizens of Roxie's World, now that a fabulous grrrl like Nancy Pelosi is going to be sittin' pretty behind poor old George W. Bush for the last two years of his spectacularly failed presidency. We hope you're still savoring the many victories of this past Tuesday and that you noticed Roxie's World was spot on in its maiden efforts at political prognostication, to wit:

  • Senator Man on Dog Rick Santorum went down hard, fast, and whining, as was noted here on Wednesday;
  • Senator Macacawitz George Allen lost in a squeaker to Jim Webb to hand Dems control of the Senate;
  • the land of Moose's birth, the Ohio River valley of southern Indiana and northern Kentucky, helped deliver the House to Dems, as three key districts in Indiana and one in Louisville flipped from Republicans to Democrats. As soon as NBC announced that Anne Northrup had lost her Louisville seat, Moose confidently declared that Democrats would take the House.
Our only mistake was to be nervous about our home state of Maryland, which, as it turned out, went from sky blue to cobalt on Tuesday. Puppy-loving, "what, me, a Republican?" Michael Steele lost by ten points (54% to 44%) to our new favorite political nerd, Ben Cardin, in the race for senator, while Baltimore mayor Martin O'Malley turned Bob Ehrlich and his incredibly annoying family out of the governor's mansion with a 7-point (53%-46%) victory. We heart O'Malley in part because he spoke passionately throughout the campaign about the importance of making higher education affordable and accessible in Maryland, but also because O'Malley is a huge fan of our beloved Bruce Springsteen. Click here to read about O'Malley's use of the Boss's music and his thoughts on citizen activism out on the campaign trail. Rock on, Gov. Let's make the Free State our own "land of hope and dreams."

Now that we've proven our mettle as prognosticators, Roxie's World has a word or two to offer by way of political analysis. How do we explain the shift in the political ground that took place in the United States on Tuesday? Here, in no particular order, are our best guesses:

  • Economic populism: The Democratic message that the Bush tax cuts have favored the wealthy and undermined the functioning of government seems finally to have gotten through to middle- and working-class voters. The Katrina debacle probably helped to make this point, but you have to give Dems credit for finally finding the nerve to say that tax cuts during times of war and other national emergencies are irresponsible. Stay tuned to see if they have the guts to roll back some of those tax cuts. (Here's a piece from The New York Times on economic populism and the new class of Democratic winners.)
  • It's the war, stupid: Another message that has gotten through is that the war in Iraq does not and never did have anything to do with "the war on terror." People are furious because the war has been mismanaged and because there is now broad acceptance that it was started on the basis of a lie.
  • Big tent beats base: Progressives have mixed feelings about all the "blue dog" Democrats who were recruited to run in conservative districts, but the strategy was clearly effective in appealing to moderate and independent voters. Moose is uneasy about this, too, and worries about Dems going all mushy in order to keep those voters, but she reminds herself that with Dems in control of both houses of Congress the leadership will be able to shape the legislative agenda so that it's less conservative from the get-go.
  • Pretty beats ugly: We think that the real brilliance of the Democratic recruiting strategy was in finding candidates who were cuter, smarter, and nicer than the troglodytes they were running against. From Bush's smirk to Cheney's scowl to Hastert's bloated cheeks to the cruel twitching of Rush Limbaugh's upper body, the Republicans just aren't doing good body language these days. They look and sound mean, vindictive, petty, cruel, arrogant, and out of control, while Dems are these smiling happy people who want government to be competent, transparent, and responsive to the needs of its citizens. What's not to love?
Let us know why YOU think Dems won. As always, Roxie's World is eager to hear from you. Meantime, kids, it's back to our happy dancing. :-)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I Won't Cry for You, Rick Santorum!

What a beautiful morning it is here in America! Not much time for blogging today. We stayed up late last night, and I am one sleepy but very happy political animal. Meantime, Moose and Goose are both heading off for a conference in Philadelphia tomorrow, but we couldn't resist a little gloating. We love this picture of Senator Man on Dog's concession speech, with his whining, husky children at his side. We are about as pleased as it is possible to be that the voters of Pennsylvania so soundly rejected Santorum's toxic bigotry.

Moose wanted to go downtown last night and stand outside the White House with signs saying, "America to Bush: Go F--- Yourself!" Goose poured her another glass of wine and gave her a lecture on restoring civility to political discourse.

Then, after Lincoln Chafee had gone down to defeat, Goose said, "Message to 'moderate' Republicans: Go home, get on your yachts, and examine your souls."

Roxie's World heartily recommends that you tune in to the fabulous celebration and gloat-fest going on right now on The Stephanie Miller Show. They've pulled out all the stops and their very best sound clips to herald this giant leap forward in Operation Take Back America. YippppEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Saturday, November 04, 2006


(Image "borrowed" from

Today is Laura Bush's sixtieth birthday. Let's put a paw in the air and TOAST her longevity, her astonishing ability to aid and abet the evils of her husband's administration with a steely smile on her face and a pack of cigs close at hand. To celebrate, we've got a special birthday greeting to the nation's most famous unemployed librarian from the ageless and evergreen First Lady of Popular Music, Ms. Barbra Streisand. Put on your dancing shoes, and click on this link.

On this Saturday before the midterm elections, Roxie's World has a few predictions to make about who'll be TOAST on Tuesday. We're not going out on a limb to suggest that we should prepare to say a heart-felt BYE-BYE to Pennsylvania Senator "Man on Dog" Rick Santorum, but we're also willing to venture that Virginia Senator "Macacawitz" George Allen will be looking for a ghost-writer to write his memoir come Wednesday morning. (Too bad Jim Webb will be too busy being a senator to take on that job, eh?) Moose is hoping Dems will pick up some House seats in her home state of Indiana, even if some of those races have tightened up considerably in the last week or so.

We're not making any predictions about Dems taking back the Senate, and we're still nervous as heck about our home state of Maryland, but we've got some helpful decorating ideas for Nancy Pelosi, assuming she's through "measuring the drapes" in the speaker's office. (Do you think they really do that? Don't you think it's likely they've got those measurements on file somewhere? Of course, after six years of iron-fisted Republican rule, such information is probably classified, and fabric shops in Georgetown are probably under strict orders not to take orders from Democrats. Forget the drapes, Nancy. Let's go with some nice wood blinds. Drapes are just filthy dust-catchers anyway, and they'd undermine your platform of clean government.)

What do you think, loyal fans? Will Tuesday be a tidal wave that sweeps Republicans out of office from coast to coast, or will it be a tempest in a teapot that fails to dislodge the smirk on Karl Rove's puffy face? Will the sleeping giant of the American middle class at long last awaken from the coma of voting against its own interests? Will the machines work? Will the votes get counted? Is there a snowball's chance in hell that the odious Virginia marriage amendment will be defeated? Roxie's World is dying to know what you think.

Oh, one more piece of TOAST on the non-political domestic front: Moose and Goose's beloved ten-year old Subaru may be on its way to automotive heaven. Goose was hit last Friday at the (dangerous) intersection of Larch and New Hampshire Avenues. Goose wasn't hurt, thank goodness, and the damage didn't seem to be that serious, but State Farm wants to declare it a total loss and give them $5700. Not bad for an old car, but Moose is sad. She's kind of sentimental about the big green wagon, which has been a reliable war-horse of a vehicle
that was great to have around back when Moose and Goose were buying (and hauling) sinks, toilets, and light fixtures on a daily basis. They've found someone who says he can fix the car for $3400, so we're planning to light a fire, crack open a bottle of wine, and try to decide whether to fix it or get the family a sweet new Prius for Christmas. Once again, fans, your opinions are welcome.

Right now, though, we need to go cheer on the Terps, who are trying to knock off #19 Clemson down in South Carolina. Go, Terps--TOAST those Tigers!