For some reason, drunks flock to my french bulldog, Lulu, as if she were a kiosk dispensing wine samples at  an all-night liquor store.  If we’re out on a walk and there’s a drunk within staggering distance, guaranteed he’ll find his way to her, cooing, occasionally crying, invariably getting down on the ground the better to shower her with affection. Akemi is always horrified but, for her part, Lulu seems to really enjoy the attention, encouraging it by running through her routine of adorable antics including – but not limited to: the sit and stare, the stretch and yawn, the bat and bark, and, when all else fails, she’ll just crawl around on her stomach until someone notices.  So it was today when, in the midst of a sidewalk conversation with Martin Gero, three inebriated fellows, obviously fresh from afternoon cocktails in the park, descended upon us.  At first, I thought they were looking for spare change but it become instantly apparent that they weren’t interested in us.  They only had eyes for Lulu.  And, after some fifteen minutes of cuddles and cackles, they picked themselves up and continued on their winding way – much to Lulu’s disappointment.

In similar fashion, Jelly always seems to draw the attention of elderly ladies who will always take the time to stop, inquire as to why I’m carrying her  (“Bad hips.  Oh, I know what THAT’S like!”), and then offer her a pat and a few words of encouragement before heading off.

Maximus, bless his heart, is a magnet for cute Japanese girls.  There’s just something about his rugged good looks and easy-going manner that has made him an irresistible to them ever since he was a puppy.

Sadly, the only thing Bubba attracts with any consistency is the amorous advances of much larger dogs.

And they freak him out.

37 thoughts on “August 14, 2011: Laws of Attraction!

  1. 😆

    So…which of your children most resemble you? My initial thought is Maximus…but for some scary reason, my gut is saying Bubba… 😛

    das

  2. Dear Joe,
    Love your purple floral shirt, ver much like an aloha shirt..nice.
    Your photo is one of pure fatigue and what might be a very tired “spirit” which is so unlike you. Please pardon my broken recording of…get some rest, get some sleep.
    Oh…love the pix of the babes – never get tired of seeing them.

  3. I’m with Akemi on being horrified if drunks approach my dog. How dare them even look at her! They might stumble and hurt her. But you have posted a video of Lulu crawling on her stomach before and that is the cutest thing! I’d have to stop and comment about that too. Your dogs are just people magnets. Does Martin have an appartment in your building? Does Carl have an appartment in your building? Maybe the studio could keep an appartment and let visiting writers stay there, like Carl.

  4. If only you could find some way to turn your dogs’ animal magnetism into a money making proposition…. thanks for the great pics.

  5. I have a Yorkie who he thinks that he’s pretty tough stuff. When we got him, at four months, he was wrestling avidly with a pug about 10 times his size. I’m sure he’d love to meet your bunch.
    Nola S.

  6. Elway’s home from the hospital! Now, just hoping for a peaceful, seizure-free night. Lovely pics of your bunch, Joe, especially like the one of you and Bubba. Give them all squishes from all of us. 🙂

  7. I know how Lulu feels; I have attracted bums and hobos all my life. They will shamble after me for miles. This ability has yet to prove useful.

    Currently baking up some pork cutlets, and my visiting sis deigned to make a terrific potato salad (after I boiled the taters and eggs for her). Gonna watch 2010 French film “Heartbreaker,” I highly recommend it when you need cheering up. Also bought American Vampire at the comix store, read a few pages and was hooked, but have to wait til company leaves to be able to curl up and lose myself in it.

  8. @Das: Sorry to hear about your stress. Has anybody ever tested you for high-functioning autism (Asperger’s). Please I say this with the greatest respect — the OCD, the anxiety in social situations, preferring to be alone. There are a lot of people of my generation who really have never been tested or thought about being tested. At a fundraiser, an adult male came up to me and talked to me about having just been diagnosed. I asked him if that was a good thing for him or not, having a label now, and for him it was. But for others, it doesn’t mean anything or they would prefer to have no labels. Just a thought. Please don’t get offended that I’m wondering.

    @Deni: Sorry to hear about Elway. How is he doing today?

    @For The Love of Beckett: I saw the stage collapse last night; it was horrible. I’m so glad you weren’t hurt, but send my love and sympathies to those who were involved.

    Joe: Love the purple, but your face makes me want to just give you a big hug. You look very, very tired.

  9. Cocktails in the park, now thats handy. Terrific doggy pictures, they are adorable, thanks for sharing. Bubba looks comfy, nice pillow for you. Hugs all around for the pups.
    @Deni, hope you all have a good night there.

  10. Black Chinese Pugs = cute Japanese girls. Got it! Thanks! 😉

    For some reason, my beagles always garnered the attention of 19yr old girls, typically white. It was great back then, but now that I’m over 30, I feel kind of like a creeeper. I always feel like asking them, “so where’s your older sister?”

  11. Joe, thanks for the cute dog pictures. I needed cute today. When I was walking this morning, I saw someone who had a dog that looked like Jelly.

    Have a good evening and hope you can get some rest!!

  12. 3 days in a row, this might become a habit….

    You should post more dog pics, lots more dog pics.

    And food pics, lots more pics of restaurants I can’t afford.

    Best wishes,

  13. @PBmom– I know many adults who obviously have undiagnosed Aspbergers– sadly long ago it simply wasn’t really known. You either had autism or you didn’t– no levels. But those symptoms really aren’t just or even mostly Aspberger Syndrome.

    LOL laughing at the dogs attractions. They all attract me and that’s saying a lot since I am generally a BIG DOG person.

  14. You know…Bubba is a handsome lad. Jelly usually steals the tan pug show, but actually Bubba is really quite good looking himself.

  15. joe, do you know if mgm is going to release the sg1 and atlantis movie scripts to the public? or, even better, novelize them?

    i know you’ve spoken about it before in your blog, but i was just wondering if… i just want ‘something’. 🙁

    ~still wishes for combo stargate movie, covering sg1-atlantis-sgu (with s/j confirmation of course! :p )~

  16. Sorry Joe…but she asked…

    @ PBMom – Never would I be offended! I’ve suspected something like Asperger’s…the only problem is that I am empathetic…I think…and I do get sarcasm…but maybe not as a child (I really don’t remember). And I am a visual learner so I can read body language and facial expressions quite well…I can read people quite well (my grandmother was very good at this, so maybe it’s something I inherited from her). However…

    1. I didn’t walk or talk until I was about 18 months old. I would just sit on the floor, playing for hours with a clothespin, or the fringe on a pillow. For years my mother thought I was mentally challenged, until a teacher told her I was very bright.

    2. When I did talk, I was monotone, and talked like a Hollywood Indian. I’ve never had good motor skills – can’t roller or ice skate, took forever to learn to ride a bike, and simply canNOT play games that involve balls – I am just very physically awkward.

    3. I did not (and still don’t) like change in routine. I do not accept change well (I will fight it tooth and nail), though I can usually adapt afterwards.

    4. I have a very hard time making eye contact. I have ‘white coat syndrome’. I have to have my own car when going places, so that I can escape if need be. I hated school. As a child I hated going to parties and gatherings, and though I am better, I still sometimes stress over it. Oddly enough, I do not have a problem in public places, surrounded by strangers – and I will talk to strangers first chance I get (like here!). I did this as a little kid, too – would not talk at home, but as soon as I was out in public I’d walk up and start talking to the first stranger I’d see.

    5. I hated games that involved other people – I preferred to play by myself.

    6. I am a habitual hair-twirler…especially under stress.

    7. I was (still am) a terrible daydreamer. However, the ‘daydreaming’ doesn’t always involve thought – more like just staring, with white noise playing in my head, enjoying the ‘moment’. I also don’t pay attention to what people tell me – probably because of the zoning out thing.

    8. When I went to school, I could only handle going to school. I couldn’t switch gears between two things, so I never had a job while I was going to school, and never participated in extracurricular activities. I would go for walks or play in the woods with my dog, but that was about it. When summer came, then I could do stuff with my friends because I wasn’t focusing on school. Needless to say, juggling job, home, husband, spirituality, doctor appointments, and everything else that comes with growing up really takes its toll on me, thus my need for a lot of quiet time…that I piss away on the internet. 😛

    9. I have obsessive interest in things no one else cares about. And I TALK about those things even though no one wants to hear it…which means that all my friends know about the Wraith. 😛 As a little kid I was fascinated with astronomy, Native American culture, and dirt. Yes, I had a dirt collection. Also, I have to finish my thought or I get very frustrated.

    10. I have always had my own personal drummer. I have never been interested in fads (in fact, as soon Indian culture became popular during the New Age movement, I lost interest and turned to other things). I don’t follow the latest styles, I don’t even understand it…fashion, and fads, that is. I don’t like – nor do I try – to fit in. I tend to think abstractly but take the comments of others literally…go figure.

    I guess that’s the worst of it. 🙂 I know a couple people with what I think is Asperger’s, but they are VERY socially awkward, even as adults, and not good communicators (either they don’t talk, or they overpower the conversation). And they seem to be very rude and blunt (which I try not to be – but maybe I am and I don’t even know it).

    Gonna shut up now.

    das

  17. Great dog pics, Joe! What it boils down to is basically, your dogs are cute!

    How is your “dealing with petty bullshit” quotient today? Mine is at about 11. Is it possible to divorce blood-related family members? It seems estate settlement really brings out the worst in people. Or money does in general I suppose.

  18. @Gforce Estate money DOES bring out the worst in people and shocks you at the people you think will be the most quiet and cooperative among you. That is why when we die, and if Patrick does not survive, we are donating all our estate money to the school that Patrick is currently going to (it is a nonprofit school for autism that has done miraculous things with him), or another local autism charity where I know the money will do the most good. Solve that problem before it even occurs.

  19. Awwwww….love your baby doggies!! 🙂 Lulu! Jelly! Maximus! Bubba! They always make me smile! 🙂 That’s sweet that they all have their special gifts. Dogs are like that. Dogs have ability to sense when your feeling down or not feeling your best. They want to comfort you and make you better. 🙂

  20. @PBMom: He’s back at the hospital for the day. 🙁 Our quiet night wasn’t to be and he started back up early this morning. This is not his usual way of having seizures, so we’re all very concerned. When it comes to seizures, you never know. He’s in good hands for today, anyway. Thanks for asking! 🙂

    Hi Joe!

  21. @Das You might have adapted some of your social skills or had a variant on this. Patrick loves to be around people as long as they aren’t in his 6-foot personal space. He loves to watch people at the mall. I also thinks he understands our jokes or sarcasm because he will laugh appropriately. I also think he, in turn, will joke around with us. Because he is still very much nonverbal (but getting better with the IPad and communicating), sometimes I still underestimate his abilities. I’ve noticed when I tend to cry, Patrick is also more easily tearful so I do think he has the ability to empathize. Or I will say something that makes him cry and the eyes well up (sometimes it’s because he doesn’t want to do XYZ so what I’ve asked him to do is making him cry, and sometimes I think he does it to try to get out of things. At the moment, I think he prefers to be out doing errands and stuff versus being at home.

    There is a really cool video where the first 2 minutes of it, you have an opinion about this person with autism who is rocking back and forth and making weird vocalizations, but then she starts communicating with a computer and reveals that she is quite brilliant, in fact. If you want to see the video, I can get you the link. It made me cry.

    Some things make me suspect Asperger’s given what you said, like in #10: “I think abstractly but take the comments of others literally.” If you haven’t seen the movie Temple Grandin, watch it. Her abstract thinking was amazing. Also like #9. Patrick’s godfather’s son can tell you very sport statistic you would ever want to know. And he will talk on and on, and we let him because we are totally comfortable with that. And #7. And well, the whole picture with the rest of your list, I wonder if you do have this. The saying goes,”If you know 1 person with autism-spectrum disorders, you know 1 person with ASD.” Everyone has a unique presentation. Patrick’s sense of people (reading people as you would say) is amazing. He can pick out people who do not feel comfortable with him and will avoid them (Like a “If you don’t want to be around me, I don’t want to be around you thing). We would have volunteers come into the playroom and work with him and they would come out and say, “Wow, I couldn’t get him to do anything today.” I would ask them, “How were you feeling when you went in? Nervous, distracted, etc.? And I would get a mixed answer sometimes. Then, and then when he started to act out, not work with you, etc., how did you feel then? Frustrated, etc. It would happen to me, too. I would go in and work with him, and I remember this one specific time I was sitting on the floor waiting for him to do something. I was looking at the clock, thinking, I have a lot of stuff to do, I have to get this or that in the oven. When we finished, I took a self-inventory and realized he was picking up on those feelings. Next time we went in the room when I cleared my head, we had a terrific time.

    Just some things to think about. Thanks very much for sharing with me.

  22. Re: Asperger’s

    I have to weigh in on this one, as I have an Aspie at home. Autism Spectrum Disorder comes in as many variations as there are people. I have known Aspies who are exceedingly friendly, exceedingly withdrawn, with great eye contact, with terrible eye contact, who have a great sense of humor, who never laugh at jokes, who get sarcasm, who take everything at face value, etc. I think most Aspies I have met have some difficulty with nonverbal communication, and most are uncomfortable with change. Sometimes, Aspies can read social cues when they are relaxed, but during stress or in busy places cannot process nonverbal information well.

    Das, your experience with school sounds familiar to me. My son could not handle extra activities at all when he was in a public school. Now that he is in a classroom that is a better fit (private school), he is able to take violin lessons and he even started to learn golf last year. It was such a milestone for us, that he could do something outside of school.

  23. I can relate with Lulu. Drinks are drawn to me, also. 🙄
    I like Max too. So his appeal maybe more wide spread than you thought 😉 .
    Great picture of you and Bubba!
    I’m excited for my 16 year old son. His high school is letting him take an online accredited French 2 course in study hall. I’m so glad he is interested in a foreign language!
    Das: one big difference in you and an Asperger relative I have: You can always find the right words to write. You have the gift of gab in written word. With my cousin, everything is a procedure or formula. She has memorized the correct response to situations and can pass for normal if there are no variations. Faced with a situations she hasn’t prepared for? Then…it could get messy. For example: When my Uncle was in the E. R. and expected to die. My cousin was reviewing his will in the waiting room and planning his funeral. Disgusted out my other relatives but I thought it was funny.

  24. Joe, always love the dog pix. My shepherds usually cause most folks (including big tough guys) to move to the other side of the street….never understood that since my biggest shepherd is constantly carrying a Frisbee and wagging his tail in hopes of a good game. Interestingly enough, young kids love to run up to them and give them a hug (freaking out the parents 🙂 ). I was in the TO area last week and saw many, many pugs. Even saw the “pug mobile”. When I lived there over 10 years ago, Yorkies and mini schnauzers seemed more popular. Was super glad to get home to Alberta and away from the heat and humidity!

    @das-You sound like many artistic personalities I know and with your sense of humour and talent for expressing yourself, I’d say you’d fit right in.

  25. Drunks, elderly women, Japanese girls, and large dogs.

    Interesting.

    Site stats are interesting, too. I just checked mine out for my blog and the day before I posted an entry discussing Transporter I commented in your blog about how I was going to post on it the following day. And I received many more visitors the day before but not so many on the day of. That’s what I get for writing entries days in advance. 😉

    Here it is:

    http://doctordarby.wordpress.com/2011/08/01/transporter-the-series/

    What it basically discusses:

    Transporter: The Series wouldn’t be Transporter: The Series without these things from the original movies. (Refer to link for the list.)

    There’s one thing I left out of the list: the music. There’s some decent music in the Transporter movies. The simplicity of the rhythms and beats in places, and the suspenseful nature of the ensemble effects in other places provide a nice balance for the various contexts from scene to scene.

    Next time I post about something of interest and announce it I’ll be sure to announce it the day off. :p

    Anyway, I hope Maximus is doing well!

  26. My labrador retriever attracts middle-aged guys and little kids.

    The whole “Autism spectrum” thing is very complicated.

    I think each of us has their own unique personality – it’s just that some of us vary from the norm a bit. I’m not sure what value there is in labeling people as ‘Aspergers syndrome’ once they are adults. But that is just my opinion.

    My daughter is an Aspie and her main difficulty is her inability to “read” people and respond in a socially acceptable fashion. It resulted in her being ostracized in grade school and middle school. It didn’t help that she was a lot smarter than her peers. However, now that she is in high school and has found her own little group with similar interests and their own little quirks (most of them are “technical theater” people – ‘nuf said), she is doing just fine.

  27. @Joe: take care of yourself. You can’t help your pups and loved ones (read: Akemi) if you collapse. Eat well, sleep, exercise. Okay, Dr. Mom is done now.

    @das: not the least bit fruitcakish. And we love you just the way you are. 😀

    @Deni: I hope Elway is okay.

    @noelm: yep, I agree with you about Aspies. When they are in their comfort zone with people they know they are usually fine.

  28. Hahahahha I’ve never been much of a pug fan, but I really love your dogs. It’s damn cute when you write about them 😀

    keep it up!

  29. I think it is important I share this video with you all to expound on my point that if you know 1 person with autism, you know 1 person with autism. If you cannot handle 3 minutes of listening to her vocal stimming, then listen to a little bit of it, and then jump to 3 minutes 14 seconds. This is an extremely articulate woman in the written word:

    http://youtu.be/JnylM1hI2jc

    Please don’t misunderstand; I’m not saying this is you Das, but how many of you didn’t think she was capable of such eloquent words? I have a child with autism and I will be the first to raise my hand.

  30. @Sparrow_Hawk I think we should leave that up to the adults who it affects. For this man I encountered, having a name for this cluster of things that apparently tormented him his entire life, it was like a burden lifted off of his shoulders (his words). This grown man was crying in my arms and I was crying because you could tell he had been in pain. For others, it doesn’t. But it’s not for me to decide. If it helps them, I’m all for it.

    I’m so happy to hear your daughter found her niche and found a place of acceptance. You’re a great mom.

    @Deni: How’s Elway?

  31. @ PBMom – I told mom about this, and she poo-pooed it. “You were just a really good baby who could quietly play for hours, not like your sister who was always bouncing around and demanding my attention”. My mom was a slow developer and dyslexic (did I spell that right?), and my dad has all the alphabet things (OCD, ADD, etc), so maybe it’s just a case of me getting the worst of both of them. 😛

    @ noelm – I was withdrawn and quiet until I graduated high school – then I did a complete 180 and now they can’t shut me up! But it’s still part of social anxiety – I was quiet because I was nervous, and now I talk because I’m nervous.

    I’m pretty sure my husband has Asperger’s, especially after this discussion. Poor eye contact, says whatever comes into his head (absolutely no filters sometimes), honest to a fault (“Yes, it does make your ass look big, dear”), talks endlessly – in great detail – about his job, his day, his interests, does not get sarcasm, and canNOT read body language – at all. We’ll be in a situation where we’re talking with someone, and I try to give him the old ‘wink-wink, it’s time to leave’ thing, and he just doesn’t get it. He’ll just blurt out, ‘why are you winking at me?’. Ugh. He was also diagnosed with a sensory disorder as a kid (something gets lost in communication and he ‘hears’ something very different from what you’ve told him – I think daydreaming plays a part), and I KNOW he has sensory integration dysfunction because he can’t handle loud noises, odors (good or bad), and certain food textures. He’s gotten a lot better since we’ve been married, but some things are still there, and part of why I love him. 🙂

    @ Tammy Dixon – I never used to be able to find the right words. As a kid I was very quiet, and even now when under severe stress I become ‘mute’ – I just cannot speak. It doesn’t last long, though! 😀

    Funny thing happened to me when I started using the internet. My brain hurt – it felt like it was being pulled out of my head through my ears. Not pain, but more like pressure. Lasted a couple years, and I attribute it to learning a new style of communication – through the written word. Now it’s far easier for me to type my thoughts than to speak them…unless I’m tipsy. 😀

    @ Sparrowhawk – Awww…you’re just saying that because I make everyone else feel so normal! 😀

    😛

    Better run…t’boomers are coming! Thanks, Joe, for letting us discuss this. I figure it’s all fodder for some upcoming story – just as long as when you write my character, you make her tall and thin, with big boobies and a badonkadonk butt. 😀

  32. @PBMom: He’s back home again, hopefully it’ll hold this time! He’s exhausted, but happy to be with Mom and Dad. I missed him SO much! 🙂

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