Addendum, With Puppy

Mike , whose mojo Knows No Bounds, had this information about the tire swing:

The tire swing is a Mark di Suvero creation from the late 70s. He’s a well-known and important artist in the American modern/contemporary art scene, and has recently contributed a second major work to the Grand Rapids community at the Frederik Meijer Gardens. Mark works out of NYC in a very cool studio near Long Island City in Queens, but keeps a home in California as well.

“Motu,” the title of the installation that you played upon, is of Latin origin. It’s derived from the city’s motto “Motu Viget”, which roughly translates to “Strength Through Activity.”

Yesterday Virginia took me to the home of one of the families for whom she is a nanny. While there she showed me a box-full of two-week old shih-tzu puppies, for which she acted as a sort of midwife, even saving one of the puppies from suffocating.


I looked up the shih-tzu in an old book I inherited, where it had the following information:

The shih-tzu – or “shitzoo”, in some parts of the Midwest (c.f. “kazoo”) – is a small dog, originally bred as a guard dog in China. Its agressive personality and fierce loyalty make it much harder to hate than most small dogs, and it has, in fact, been removed from the canonical List of Yappy Dogs (Smythe, 1886).

When attached via velcro to a broom-handle the shih-tzu makes an excellent dust-mop, and such is its personality that it views such behaviour as a sort of fun rough-house. They may also be used by hand to clean window sills and doorframes. Care must be taken when shaking the dust from the shih-tzu coat (Stewart, 1999), and we recommend that the dog actually be brushed instead.

Shih-tzu puppies – unlike the offspring of other small dogs – are born (Freud, 1886), rather than found secreted under rocks. From a quite young age they develop an instinctual hatred of Microsoft Internet Explorer 5, and will often cry when in the presence of a computer on which it is deployed. This hatred manifests itself later in life when the adult shih-tzu, which is often employed in web design and development, will go out of its way to write Javascript which causes IE5 to crash.

The shih-tzu is impervious to all known vectors of physical harm, although employing this trait in military or commercial ventures has yet to succeed (as exemplified in the Carnivorous Bomb Shelter Disaster of March, 1959).

The adult shih-tzu is best sustained with a steady diet of socks and the ankle-bones of small children.

Who the hell writes this stuff?

In other news I just finished cooking up a huge pot of borscht, enough bright red soup to last me the week. In the process I burned my left thumb something fierce, and every few seconds I must stop typing in order to immerse it in icewater.