Jimmy and Vicki's wedding

IMG_0230.JPGWe drove to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho Friday morning to attend Gay’s brother’s wedding. Because of Ouzo’s unexpected surgery, we decided to take the dogs with us. We were surprised to find that both hotels we booked weeks ago accepted dogs. One charged $50 extra and the other took a $150 deposit. Pretty fair, considering we have two big dogs.

IMG_0234.JPGWe checked into the hotel in Coeur d’Alene, got changed and went to the Hitching Post up the street. The ceremony was very short, I took a 7-minute video on my camera of almost the whole thing. We then met at The Coeur D’Alene, the resort at the lake, for drinks before dinner. We had dinner at a Chinese restaurant down the street.

Gay’s father and his sisters drove from Spokane Saturday morning to meet us for breakfast. When Gay was a kid, her father took her to the lake to go boating quite a bit. We drove back to Spokane and we all went to the Arbor Crest winery in Spokane (who knew Spokane had wineries?!) and tasted some wines.

IMG_0252.JPGWe left Gay’s dad and aunts and went to Gay’s mom’s farm, north of Spokane. We spent the afternoon there and even got to see their sheep get sheared. Illy and Ouzo pretended to be herding the sheep.. anytime the sheep got close to the fence, Illy and Ouzo would bark at them and make them run to the other side of the pen.

IMG_0253.JPGWe were tired by then and just wanted to get to our hotel in Spokane and get some dinner. So we dropped the car with the valet, with the dogs inside, and went to dinner at the hotel restaurant. We didn’t want to leave the dogs in the room for fear they’d bark the entire time and disturb the other guests, so they got to sit in the parking garage. The valet was very nice, and very brave considering that they bark like crazy when they’re scared.

Illy does not like elevators, especially ones with slippery floors, so it was always a struggle to get her on the elevators at hotels. She would dig her claws into the carpet outside the elevator and refuse to get on, so I had to push her on while Gay pulled her with the leash. Overall, Illy did not have a fun time traveling (except at the farm), but Ouzo adapted well to it.

Ouzo's surgery

Ouzo after surgeryOuzo’s lousy first parents didn’t have his duclaws removed when he was a puppy, so he’s had lots of trouble with them. A couple days ago, Ouzo tore one of them on his hind leg. So today was his surgery to have his rear duclaws removed. He’s back home and very groggy, which, if you know Ouzo, is strange.

We’ll see how long his bandages last before he chews them off. My guess is that they’re gone tomorrow afternoon.

Exquisite Easton Ellis

lunar parkI never win anything, but today I won a signed copy of Bret Easton Ellis’s new novel “Lunar Park” — kind of silly, given I’ve already purchased and read the book (which I really liked, but that’s another entry). I won the book because my team, The Tardy Terbys, wrote the winning story in an online game of Exquisite Corpse, a surrealist, literary game of telephone, where each person only sees the last sentence written in a collaborative story.

The game is perfectly suited for online play, and the design company the built the software did a good job. You sign up and are placed on a team. You get email letting you know when it is your turn to play with a link to a website that displays only the last sentence contributed with a field to add yours. We wrote the story very quickly, and from the sentences I saw there were some talented and imaginative writers in our random group. I can’t really see how the game helps market the book at all, but it was one of the more creative online tie-in games I’ve ever seen.

If other Tardy Terbys find this, please sign in. It is so fun to have won something as a team of strangers.

Steelers 34, Titans 7

The Steelers absolutely crushed the Titans today, 34-7. It started out badly, the Titans easily marched down the field on the first possession for a touchdown. I started getting bad feelings about the season. A rookie running back replacing the veterans Staley and Bettis, a second-year quarterback that finished last year poorly, a great receiver traded. But the Steelers scored on their first possession and didn’t stop scoring when they got the ball til the 4th quarter. The Titans didn’t punt either til the 4th quarter, but that’s just because they kept turning the ball over. Their offense was worthless. And this rookie running back, Willie Parker, had a great first game of his career.

New Music

This summer has been lacking in good new music, it’s been so bad it’s hard to even find a mediocre CD to buy. The only two good CDs I’ve heard in months are Death Cab For Cutie‘s Plans and the self-titled Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!, which was recommended by our hip New York friend, Cindy (who also got us into Bloc Party, which was our soundtrack through France in July).

I liked DCFC’s Transatlanticism, but Plans is even better — not terribly innovative, just all-around good music. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! is a little like Talking Heads and generally reminds me of good 80s music.

Katrina Death Toll

Mayor Nagin says the body count for Katrina may exceed 10,000!. Previous to Katrina, the worst hurricane to hit the US was in Galveston, Texas in 1900. It killed over 6,000 people. If Nagin’s 10,000 figure is accurate, Katrina is the worst natural disaster in the US in over a century by a long margin. The Red Cross has already said it’s the worst disaster in their 120-year history.

If you gave money for smaller disasters, giving for this one is a no-brainer. 🙂