LUST AND LONGING IN MID SUMMER

For the first time in more than a week, the sun in shining. The air is dry and just warm, not hot. The fullness of summer is upon the land.

Yea, verily and forsooth, too. Summer has come, dragging with it the lust and love of the season.

This past month and a half has shown no evidence of this being one of our better summers. There has been the horror of the rotting front door. The attack of the carpenter ants. The collapse and demise of the hot water heater, not to mention one minor fender bender that has put a dent in our previously perfect front fender. And of course, the continuing insanity of our government.

There have also been a couple of lovely times. The days with Tom and Ellin in Connecticut were a definite “up.” The arrival of Duke the Dogge was another high point and one that shall continue for years to come. One of the most enjoyable parts of adopting a new pet is that they keep making you crazy and laughing for a long time. Vacations pass, but pets are in for the long haul.

Speaking of lust, Duke is one lusty little not-quite-a-boy pooch. One of his most obvious needs is a potent urge to hump Bonnie who, in her elderly wisdom is saying “Get off me you big lump! I’m a lady and I was neutered 9 years ago!”

Poor Duke the Dogge. He is packed full of youthful hormones and seeks only for a passionate humpette. Alas, none is to be found. His hormones will retreat as time moves on, but for the nonce, he’s pretty wild about Bonnie. Her feelings are, to put it politely, mixed. She is cautiously pleased by the attention and equally annoyed by Duke’s persistent nosing of her nether regions. And every time he tries to go “a little too far,” she snarls, then yaps at him for a long time. I swear she is yelling at him for being such a dog.

But what can he do? He is a dog!

The snarling and imploring of the two of them is either a Shakespearean tragedy or comedy. I’m not sure which, but perhaps contains elements of both.

So the summer moves on. I shall take my camera and see if I can acquire pictures of a scene in progress.

HOTTER THAN FIRE – RICH PASCHALL

Hot Summer Dancing, by Rich Paschall


Summer is in full swing, just like your dance moves.  The nights are hot and the days are sweltering.  We can tell by the sweat running down your flushed face that you are not just a Hot Child in the City, but that you have the Dance Fever.  It happens to many so do not be five alarmed.  In The Heat of the Night, you just have to get up and move.  We are not handing you a Hot Line, just our top ten HOT dance tunes.

If our last top ten list of Dance Songs did not get you out of your chair, we think these will do it.  They are hot, really hot.  In fact, they are so hot all the titles tell you so.  Yes, they all have heat (or fire) in the title.  Since you have heat in your shoes, get up and bust a move to these dance tunes. Click on any song title for the song and video, or get the entire playlist at the end.

10.  Hot Blooded, Foreigner.  Sometimes dancing is not enough in the 1978 hit.  “Well, I’m hot-blooded, check it and see / I got a fever of a hundred and three / Come on baby, do you do more than dance?”  The single sold more than a million copies and also appeared on the Double Vision album.

09. Heat Wave, Martha and the Vandellas.  There are many hot versions of this song, especially this one by Linda Ronstadt, but we thought it was best to go with this Classic version by Martha Reeves.  The 1963 release went to number one.  Yes, it was a hot hit.

08. Just Like Fire, Pink.  “Just like fire, burning out the way / If I can light the world up for just one day / Watch this madness, colorful charade / No one can be just like me any way.” And no one can be just like you on the dance floor.  Get up and groove to this 2016 pop hit.

07. Heat of the Moment, Asia.  This was a 1982 hit for the alternative rock group.  “It was the heat of the moment /Telling me what your heart meant /The heat of the moment shone in your eyes.”

06. Hot Fun In The Summertime, Sly and the Family Stone.   We can see that you are starting to pant, so it is time to slow the playlist down for a couple of songs before we have a scorching hot finish.  This 1969 hit added a bit of funk and a bit of soul to the hot tune.

05. Too Hot, Kool and the Gang. The smooth 1979 R&B hit should add some soul to your step.  “Oh it’s too hot, too hot, lady / Gotta run for shelter / Gotta run for shade.”

04. Hot Stuff, Donna Summer.  By 1979 the disco queen was rocking up the tempo with this single from her seventh studio album, Bad Girls.  “How’s ’bout some hot stuff, baby this evenin’ / I need some hot stuff baby tonight.”

03. Hot, Hot, Hot, Buster Poindexter.  This infectious dance tune got an over-the-top performance in 1987 by singer David Johansen as Poindexter.  It will add a bit of calypso to your dancing feet.

02. The Heat Is On, Glenn Frey.  This tune was recorded for the 1984 movie Beverly Hills Cop.  It received a Grammy nomination for Frey and a lot of air play.  The music video was very popular in the early days of MTV.  “The heat is on (flames are burning higher) / The heat is on (baby can’t you feel it) .”

01. Hotter Than Fire, Eric Saade.  The Swedish pop star scored so big with the 2011 dance tune that there were actually two official videos.  The first one featured pictures and graphics, while the second one had Saade dancing through many sets.  You might be cooler than ice, but your dance moves are Hotter Than Fire.

Play the entire hot playlist with Bonus tracks here.
Related: Can’t Stop The Feeling

HOOK AND PAN – A VERY SHORT STORY

Shiver me timbers,” shouted Hook as, once again, Peter Pan eluded his grasp.

“Shiver me what?” teased Pan. “What timbers? Where?”

“You know,” said Hook. “Timbers. Like … I don’t know … the timbers on a roof. What do I know about wood? I’m a pirate, not a contractor!”

For a brief, confusing moment, Hook saw a mental image of himself. Contractor in a lovely, rather rural village. Overcharging customers. Taking his own, sweet time getting the job finished. A couple of assistants he could treat as slaves. Children and a wife to bully. Maybe piracy could be a land-based industry …

Nah. Too complicated. Besides, he already had a ship …

72-BW-Rigging-Beaver-3-052916_072

“Well,” teased Pan, “If you’re going to talk about timbers, you should at least know what you’re talking about.” Pan darted away and perched high in the rigging. Hook could hear the boy’s laughter and the soft bell-like sound of Tinkerbell’s merriment.

“Damned that fairy,” he muttered. “Someday I’ll get her. And that annoying lad. Just you wait … ”

But Pan and Tinkerbell were already gone. All that remained was a hint of sparkling pixie-dust falling slowly through the salty sea air.

DOGS WITH SUPERPOWERS – BY ELLIN CURLEY

Tom and I have had some awesome dogs. And some of them had some mad skills.

For example, Tom had a Giant Schnauzer named George. He was a serious herder. When Tom had a party, everyone always ended up huddled together in the corner of one room. George would be happily asleep nearby.

In addition to herding humans, George was a skilled dog herder. Often when Tom came home from work, he’d find six to eight dogs from the neighborhood in his backyard. George had collected them and brought them home. Tom would have to shoo the dogs off and send them back to their own homes.

Tom had a radio show years ago and he wrote comedy skits for the show. One was about a dog advice columnist and was called “Ask Dr. Dog”. Tom would put George in front of a microphone and point at him and George would bark on cue. Another hand signal and George would stop. Better than most human radio personalities!

Friday was a Shepard mix of Tom’s. He would obsessively steal silverware. Tom never knew why, just that he would sneak off with forks or spoons or knives in his mouth.

One day, Tom followed Friday to see where he took his stolen dinnerware. Friday had a big stash behind his favorite chair. The amazing thing was that Friday had organized the cutlery by type. All the forks were together, all the spoons were together and all the knives were together. That requires a level of cognitive skills that dogs are not supposed to have. It was a surprising feat for a dog.

I had a wonderful Golden Retriever Border Collie mix named Sam. Everyone loved this beautiful dog. But he was an escape artist and a food thief. He got out of a locked crate and actually bent some of the bars in the process. He also got out of a house with all the doors shut. We have no idea how he did it. After that we nicknamed Sam, “Hairy Houdini”.

Sam’s other talent was stealing food very, very discreetly. One day I put a chicken sandwich on the kitchen table for my son, David. David called up to me asking why I had given him a lettuce sandwich. I insisted that I had made him a chicken sandwich. I went into the kitchen and David was right. There was no chicken in the sandwich. But the sandwich looked totally normal. No signs of tampering. Except for one telltale piece of lettuce on the floor next to the table. The smoking gun! We found out later that Tom had actually watched Sam carefully pull the chicken out of the sandwich, leaving the rest of the sandwich intact.

Sam also got some Rugellah I had left in the car with him for a few minutes. But the cookies were tightly wrapped in two layers of aluminum foil. When I got back to the car, the two layers of foil had been carefully unwrapped. There wasn’t a single tear anywhere in the foil. And there were only a few crumbs left sitting in the middle of the package.

One other dog of mine and Tom’s also had a superpower. His name was Caley and he was a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. He was an extraordinary Frisbee dog. He could catch almost any Frisbee you could throw at him. He’d jump in the air and do all kinds of twists and flips, backwards and forwards, to get to the Frisbee. As impressive as that is, many dogs can do that. Caley could do something else.

When we had landscapers working in our yard, they had to pick the rocks out of the soil to create planting areas. Caley was out with the landscapers. The boss knocked on my door and asked me to please keep Caley inside. Apparently when the men threw a rock away, Caley would retrieve it and bring it back to them. So he was slowing the work down. We tested him to see if he was bringing back the same rocks that had been thrown. And he was.

A year later, the landscaper was standing outside the house with me, reminiscing about the amazing rock trick Caley had done the previous year. Caley came running outside and went right up to the landscaper. Then he ran off. He came back with a rock in his mouth and dropped it excitedly at the landscaper’s feet. He waited, wagging his tail, for the rock to be thrown for him. He remembered the rock game and wanted to play it again!

There are a lot of talented dogs out there. These are just some of our stories about our dogs with unique talents.