Sunday, January 23, 2011

May You Live In Interesting Times

Every now and then life becomes a little too interesting. Fascinating, really, and perhaps not in the ways one would hope. "May you live in interesting times" is alleged to be, depending on the source, both a blessing and a curse. It's supposed to be of Chinese origin but then again, anyone other than me remember that, "In China it is considered a compliment to the cook if you burp after eating!" legend?

Ah well, at least it was an interesting claim, even if I can't help but envision tourists, pleased as punch and belching for the gold, smiling broadly at their completely horrified Chinese hosts. I guess I should be thankful that the same prankster didn't try to pull something like, "And in Albania the only courteous thing is to chew with your mouth open while eating solely with your feet!" "In Russia it is the custom to fling Bortsch at passing strangers!" "In India unless you hang your host out the window by his or her heels you have committed a grievous sin against etiquette!"

I'll bet he or she tried, but the burping was the only thing that caught on. Anyway, yes, while interesting as a claim, it wasn't exactly a good thing.

However, while you still have a pulse you stand a chance at regaining some comforting boredom. Less intrigue, more sameness. Bring on the rut, I say!

I'm going into that because as all parents know all too well, occasionally your kids will become so interesting that contemplating joining the circus, the French Foreign Legion, or one of those strange cults that focuses insane amounts of energy on constructing temples from dryer lint seems the only reasonable option. My son has been posing some interesting problems of late and that's where I've been. Being riveted, so to speak.

I apologize for my long absence from the blogosphere and for being as vague as I can be without actually disappearing from view altogether. Sometimes you want to talk about problems, sometimes you want to get busy solving them. At still others you want to kick the stuffing out of a problem, take its lunch money and insult its mother to boot. I leave it to you to figure out what stage I'm in with my son.

I did want to thank blogger and all the people who dropped by after being named a blog of note. I'm truly honored, particularly since I've neglected the bejeebers out of this blog while being otherwise entranced by ye olde life problems. I've chosen not to tell anyone other than a few close friends the specifics and I'm doing that not to be mysterious but rather to spare you, and them, the necessity of having to join me in the "Oh what the hell, really?" chorus.

We all sing it sometimes though, don't we? Here's hoping all of your lives are free from that particular rendition at the moment.

Hey, to up the interest of the situation? Smack dab in the middle of the WTH Chorus my son had a mole removed and it came back as Malignant Melanoma. Yes, he's still twenty. He didn't invent a time machine and come back to visit me well into his seventies. Don't skip your skin checks, folks. No kidding, sunblock is your friend. For even more interest, it was caught as a surface grouping of cells that hadn't spread yet. For a moment or two there the Hallelujah Chorus easily drowned out the What the Hell singers.

There have been some funny things in life, of course. It wouldn't be the holidays without some absurdity. In fact, it wouldn't be life.

So for everyone who has followed the journey of Puddles, the wonder mutt I have something for you: we now know what Puddles is. You see, one of my online friends informed me that there is such a thing as a DNA test for dogs. Although Rob has fun answering, "North American Good Dog" in response to "What breed is she?" I couldn't pass up the opportunity to buy a test as soon as I knew they existed. A mystery solved for sixty bucks? Less than your average interactive Murder Mystery Theater evening, right? Besides, I shudder to think how badly I'd have to hurt Rob to get him to go to one of those things. I'd likely need to be drunker than a medieval laird too, so there's that.

We awaited the results anxiously. Friends also asked, "Any word?" after being told that, indeed, there would be an answer. A drum-roll would be in order, but so would some warming up of the singing pipes because that chorus I mentioned? Here it comes:

My dog is a Labrador Retriever, English Setter, and American Eskimo Dog. No, I'm not currently drunk, by the way. For real, that's what the results said. My thirty pound, Fraggle-impersonating, terrier-masquerading dog is a mix of things I never would have guessed. I was sorely tempted to mail a picture to the lab so that the technicians could join in the chorus.

For those of you not in the know, this is my dog:

I even know what percentages: Labrador is the most at a level 2, constituting 37-76% of her DNA. English Setter is somewhere in the realm of 26%- 36% and American Eskimo Dog is less than ten percent.

Two bird dogs and a yapping cotton ball. What is even more astounding? We read the breed attributes and Puddles has the personality (and tail) of an English Setter.

You never can guess the outcome sometimes, can you? I thought she was part Terrier of some description and part Sneaky Neighbor Dog. But it all lines up and makes sense.

Thank again to Blogger, to the people who stopped by here and to Hilary, who was actually the person who emailed me in order to say I needed to stop my comforting, escapist routines, get my butt back over to my blog and take note. Only because it was Hilary, she was far kinder and diplomatic than that.

I've always felt like if you are supposed to be doing something, the universe will let you know, somehow, some way. I have no idea why Blogger chose a blog that had been inactive for nearly two months but I was and am, really touched.

I have some absurd stories saved up. Time to get back to remembering that sometimes the outcome of an interesting situation can both a surprise and delight you, after all. For now, I leave you with the cutest image I currently have in my possession: