Sunday, April 04, 2010

Birthday Girl's Lament

(to the tune of "My Girl")

I want sunshine
on my damn birthday.
It's still cold outside
and it's almost May.

Well, I guess you'll say
what can make me feel this way?
Seattle (seattle, seattle!)
Fuckin' Seattle. (Seattle!)

I've got so much water
I've got prunes for feet.
It's been cold so long
I don't believe in heat.


I don't need no mountains,
or green covered hills.
The cold and the people
make me want to take pills.


Fuckin' Seattle.
I want sunshine on my damn birthday!
I'm tired of all these cloudy days

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Eyes Have It

They say the eyes are the window to the soul, and that's how I knew she was gone. We'd lain on the floor with Daisy most of the morning, reassuring her, petting her, reassuring ourselves. I was looking at her when it happened: her eyebrow and right eye had been twitching but she'd watch me when I moved, then her eyebrow slowed and suddenly she wasn't looking any more. Within two minutes, her body tensed, her eye rolled up, her tongue came out, and she was dead. It was hard to sit with her, hard not to call our excellent and generous vet and have her put Daisy "to sleep". Hard to gauge whether Daisy was suffering, any more than a being on the verge of death would suffer, feeling her body shut down. I'm sure it wasn't painful. Her breaths got shallower. She seemed at times to be dreaming, as her paws would twitch, though her eyes were open. I will remember staring into those eyes for a long, long time.

There is closure, and there is completion in life run its course, all the way to death at the finish line. We cannot know what any other being wants, whether that other is human or canine. Even if someone writes down their wishes, we can't be 100% sure that the-person-who-wrote-those-wishes will feel the same as the-person-who-is-facing-death. With a dog it becomes infinitely harder. So we went with our gut, knowing we had a conflict of interest, wanting to keep her with us longer, wanting it all to be over so we could get down to grieving and get on with our lives, sadder but also no longer angst-ridden trying to figure out what she might eat, since she couldn't tell us that either.

Witnessing a loved one's death isn't for everyone. We surround ourselves with animals, so we've had more than our share, and we've got a rough decade ahead of us as the remaining 3 cats and 3 dogs "go to college." I'm awestruck, saddened beyond words, grateful, all at once.

Daisy came to us 15 months ago from the Seattle animal shelter. It was clear she'd been an only dog, and it took her a while to get used to being in a pack. The beach was new to her. But those eyes, man. Mischief. Curiosity. Love. Determination. Happiness. She would greet me gently when I came home, waiting for the other, more rambunctious dogs to finish. She'd come up and put her head between my knees, and I would scritch her head, down her back, and end up at her butt as she sidled between my legs. I will miss her more than I thought I would. Go in peace, and good luck at college, love.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Welcome to the Dark Side

For anyone who doesn't know me, I work for Google. Have done for almost 3 years. Enjoy it. A lot. I'm just stunned at the level of antipathy getting directed at Google lately. Talk about being in the down part of the news cycle. It used to be people loved Google and what Google did for them. The media couldn't write enough positive stories. The excellent search. The free email with lots of space. And the ads were occasionally useful. These days, though, there's this nebulous fear that Google Will Do Something Evil. That the data Google collects, which is collected in the service of giving you better information when you search, is going to be turned over to... the government? the advertisers? Someone Who Will Do Unspeakable Things With Their Newfound Knowledge Of Me And My Searches And Email And Photographs And Everything Else I Put In The Cloud. Today Google had to pull their Olympic-themed logo because of outcries that Google was capitalizing on the very sad death of a luger in a practice run.

Yes Google collects information. It also makes a lot of what it knows available to you and gives you control over a lot of it. But how is it wrong or evil to show you an advertisement that interests you, as opposed to one that doesn't? Are you such a marketing tool that you can't resist when you see an advertisement for something you want? I didn't think so.