Happy Trails

Not that kind. The other kind.

Arden and I, after much wrangling with the airlines, are planning to fly out this afternoon for AZ’s not-much-warmer weather, family, and much relaxation.

I’ll be checking in, mostly as I succumb to the utter boredom that is having no work to do, including my annual end of the year post on my favorite albums, and possibly an overdue review of Milk.

Arden says Happy Halloween, and LOCUSPOINT arrives

I’m pleased to announce the arrival of Sandra Beasley’s Washington, DC at LOCUSPOINT, featuring poetry by

Derrick Weston Brown
Michael Gushue
Natalie Illum
E. Ethelbert Miller
Rod Smith
Maureen Thorson
Rosemary Winslow

This edition also features the most extensive list of poetry resources at LOCUSPOINT so far. Thanks to Sandra and the contributors for participating!

Arden asked me to post this:

And this, for all her adoring fans out there:

Arden in the Big City

Since moving to DC, Arden has decided that she, too, wants to climb the nonprofit career ladder.

Here she is seen in my office, where she’s interning and assisting me on a few important chewing projects.

She’s also a bit of a micromanager, wandering around the office to visit the staff to make sure they’re doing they’re work. Such a taskmaster!

Happy Birthday!

Today is Arden’s birthday and she’s turning two!

Here’s a picture of her with her birthday presents:

She got a parka for cold nights when we go camping and a companion, Pablo, who she likes to bite and drag around the house. Also, she sleeps on him. It’s a match made in heaven.

Arden asked if I would post some pictures of her from the holidays, so here they are:

Ho ho ho!

This is her little reindeer costume my mom got her for Christmas. She totally loved it!

And here she is in her Mizrahi party dress, which she wore to my mom’s birthday and our Christmas Eve party.

Don’t you just want to kiss her?

I love you, little princess!


Arden was attacked last night.

My boyfriend was walking her when one of his neighbor’s dogs—a vicious, snarling thing—started beating against the security door of his neighbor’s house. This dog has done this every time we’ve walked by since he moved in. The door wasn’t latched properly and after a few pushes, it sprung open and the dog made a beeline for Arden.

It bit her four times and, in the process of saving her, my boyfriend was also bitten. The dog attacked them for about a minute before the neighbor came running out, hysterical, and tackled the dog. “I’m so sorry,” she kept saying, “It’s my son’s dog and I’m taking care of it while he’s in prison. I don’t have any money.”

My boyfriend wrapped Arden up in a towel and called me in class to tell me what had happened. I left and we raced to the animal hospital.

She has one puncture on her back foot that bled so much it looked like her foot had been chewed off. Her thigh has an enormous double puncture wound in it that required staples to close, and she has two shallow bites on her flank.

The vet says my boyfriend’s quick thinking saved her. He grabbed the leash and held it up as high as he could so that her neck wasn’t exposed to the attacking dog.

Arden can’t walk today and is uncharacteristically quiet. I’ve got her on the couch next to me, wrapped in a blanket to keep her warm, and she’s sleeping and resting. I’ll be spending the day with her to help her recuperate.

I am completely and totally outraged that someone has a dog that would do this. It’s irresponsibile to even treat a dog so poorly that it reacts this way, and it’s even more irresopnsible to have a dog like that, not muzzle it, and then leave your goddamn door unlatched!

Ask Arden Anything!

Welcome to the first edition of our weekly feature, Ask Arden Anything! We received several compelling letters from readers already this week and Arden described the process of choosing one as “arduous.” In the end, she felt one correspondent needed help more desperately than the others.

Today’s letter comes from “somewhere on the East Coast”:

Dear Arden,

You seem like an articulate pup, I bet you’re paper trained. God
bless you. I have a 2 1/2 year old son who really enjoys pooping his
pants. He lacks ambition. Any advice that would translate into the
human sphere?


Up to My Elbows

Arden responds:

Dear Elbows,

The process of housebreaking your toddler is a challenge for any new mother. Although I have been sterilized by my compassionate owner to ensure that I do not bring needless puppies into the world, I can empathize with your plight. It wasn’t so long ago that I, too, was “pooping my pants,” as it were.

My advice to you, Elbows, is to swiftly swoop down on your child immediately when he poops and shout at him with a stern NO! This will let your child now that his behavior is inappropriate. With equal swiftness, you should rub your child’s nose in his feces while continuing to shout NO! Then, lock him in a small crate for up to five minutes. When he emerges, shower him with praise and affection.

Another tactic is to place your child’s butt on the toilet every hour on the hour until something happens. Eventually, the child will poop, and he will begin to associate pooping with the toilet. This is how I was housebroken as a puppy. My owner—wonderful!—took me outside every hour to “take care of business” and to give me adequate opportunity NOT to do it in the house. Your child can learn much the same way. When he does finally poop in the toilet, throw a party! Let the golden shower of praise begin, and let him know you’re proud of him. He will never poop in his pants again, unless you leave him locked up in a crate all weekend long, in which case it’s not really his fault.


Arden answers your questions every Friday here at Kinemapoetics. Submit your question by emailing chasjensATyahooDOTcom with the subject line “Ask Arden Anything.”