Sunday leftovers.

This week’s edition of the Grosse Pointe News carries this headline, in 72-point type at the top of Page One:

Nobel laureates opine

I’m sorry I can’t tell you much about the story — I let my subscription lapse, and wouldn’t you know the first missed copy would be one with “opine” out front — but I assume they’re referring to the gathering Jack Lessenberry talks about in this column. He mentions his disgust that neither of the Detroit dailies saw fit to cover this event, although I guess only the most foolish optimist would point out, “But if they had, they wouldn’t have used ‘opine’ in the headline.”

So I won’t.

I used to work with an opiner, that is, a woman who used “opine” instead of “said” in her copy. She was also fond of “averred,” “demurred” and, on one memorable occasion, “ejaculated.” (All over her copy!) I think I’ve talked about her here before, so I’ll spare you my personal opining on the practice. There are editors who claim no word other than “said” will do, and I agree that 99 percent of the time it’s the only choice, although I reserve the right to use “asked” and “added” where it seems appropriate. Like “said,” both are pretty invisible in copy, and in some cases even more so; I’m picky enough to be bothered by reading, “‘At what cost are we willing to continue this war?’ she said.”

At least, that’s my opine-ion. As I am known to aver.

This weekend was one for computer maintenance. I did a big backup to the big LaCie, then beefed up the blogroll here at NN.C, a chore I’ve been putting off forever. I started putting in all my bookmarks, then realized I only visit about one-third of them on a regular basis. So I made that the new criteria for the blogroll — I have to visit regularly. Some I visit less regularly — Laura Lippman’s main site is only updated monthly, but it’s always worth visiting, particularly this month’s update, “Waiting for Lippman.” Ashley Morris, regular commenter here, is getting a lot of traffic as he emerges as the Rudepundit of post-Katrina New Orleans. But the ones I’m visiting are the ones I include. Suggestions for new ones welcome. And read nothing into the order; the server randomly scrambles them with each page reload.

Another housekeeping detail: If something important happens on “The Sopranos” this week, I don’t want to hear about it. We’re having a new floor installed in our family/TV room, and we’ll be getting only non-premium, non-digital cable on our primitive 13-inch bedroom TV, so not a word. I’ll catch up via On Demand later and we can all have a nice chat, but this week? Mum’s the word.

I guess I should add, if blogging gets intermittent in the following week, don’t call 911. I’ll have my hands full keeping the house from falling into full disaster-area status, and the dog out of the polyurethane.

On to the bloggage:

Everyone who goes to Paris remarks on the dogs in restaurants; every establishment seems to have a house pooch, who loafs around the joint while customers fail to freak out over the germs. My sole objection to having dogs in restaurants here is that they’d be American dogs — some overbred, others undertrained, still others wearing Burberry raincoats. Having watched the incredible bad karma spread by a single shithead who decided to bring his macho pit bull onto the playground at Foster Park in Fort Wayne one afternoon — and then put the dog down the slide, wheee, and no I’m not kidding — I kind of lost my trust in my fellow dog owner. (If I’d had a gun, I would have confronted him. If I’d had a cell phone, I would have called the police. Since I had neither, but did have a three-year-old, I opted instead to just leave.)

But even if dogs were allowed in restaurants here, I’d hate for it to be because of these people, examined in the Sunday NYT:

Health care professionals have recommended animals for psychological or emotional support for more than two decades, based on research showing many benefits, including longer lives and less stress for pet owners.

But recently a number of New York restaurateurs have noticed a surge in the number of diners seeking to bring dogs inside for emotional support, where previously restaurants had accommodated only dogs for the blind.

“I had never heard of emotional support animals before,” said Steve Hanson, an owner of 12 restaurants including Blue Fin and Blue Water Grill in Manhattan. “And now all of a sudden in the last several months, we’re hearing this.”

Oh, I only wish it were April Fool’s Day:

One 30-year-old woman, a resident of Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., said she does not see a psychotherapist but suffers from anxiety and abandonment issues and learned about emotional-needs dogs from a television show. She ordered a dog vest over the Internet with the words “service dog in training” for one of the several dogs she lives with, even though none are trained as service animals. “Having my dogs with me makes me feel less hostile,” said the woman, who refused to give her name.

“I can fine people or have them put in jail if they don’t let me in a restaurant with my dogs, because they are violating my rights,” she insisted.

It’s a good thing she wasn’t identified, because otherwise she’d be risking about a million pieces of hate mail pointing out exactly why she has abandonment issues. Would you trust this woman to bring a well-trained, well-behaved dog into a restaurant? You think Foofie would like quietly at the feet of her mistress and wait until it was time to go? I don’t. If Foofie starts coming into restaurants, I’m going to start carrying mace.

For Foofie if he comes near my entree. And then, for Foofie’s owner. Put this in your emotional support pipe and smoke it, babe.

Posted at 2:18 pm in Housekeeping, Popculch |

29 responses to “Sunday leftovers.”

  1. basset said on May 14, 2006 at 9:12 pm

    That woman with the “emotional needs” dog has a lot more wrong with her than a dog or an orange vest can address.

    and I say that as a dog lover from way back with a golden retriever nearby… our site is, supports finding new homes for abused/abandoned goldens.

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  2. Amy Alkon said on May 15, 2006 at 3:41 am

    Regarding the “opiner” (I loathe writing like that)

    I’m reminded of Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules Of Writing. Here’s number 3:

    Never use a verb other than “said�? to carry dialogue.

    The line of dialogue belongs to the character; the verb is the writer sticking his nose in. But said is far less intrusive than grumbled, gasped, cautioned, lied. I once noticed Mary McCarthy ending a line of dialogue with “she asseverated,�? and had to stop reading to get the dictionary.

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  3. Mindy said on May 15, 2006 at 7:16 am

    While vacationing in Breckenridge, Colorado a few years ago I was amazed to see dogs everywhere but restaurants. Many shops had a dog sunning himself the in doorway. Lots of residents walking around the town had a dog trotting along close at their heels yet I never saw one on a leash. Made me feel like the worst dog owner to ever draw breath because my dog isn’t trained well at all.

    I’ve seen only one shop in the Midwest that has dogs in residence. Connor and Tate will greet customers at ThreadBear, the famous yarn shop in Lansing. It’s tough to look at any of that fabulous yarn when there’s two adoring faces to pet.

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  4. alex said on May 15, 2006 at 7:46 am

    There’s a place up in Ann Arbor that allows dogs, I hear. My folks used to go up to the art festival and take their lab to dinner.

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  5. 4dbirds said on May 15, 2006 at 9:22 am

    The Germans allow their dogs in restaurants also. While tolerating, no even welcoming dogs in restaurants, the Germans would look down their noses at Americans bringing young children into their establishments. Probably because the dogs were better behaved.

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  6. Randy said on May 15, 2006 at 9:44 am

    My alligator brings me great comfort. And when he goes out at night, we have a “don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t bring blood stains into the house” kind of agreement.

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  7. Dorothy said on May 15, 2006 at 10:33 am

    You have company, Mindy, in the badly trained dog department.
    And hey – do you knit or crochet? I was cheered to read that you shop for yarn! I’m a crocheter. Tried knitting but it’s too slow for me. If I stuck with it and practiced I’m sure I’d get better, but I’m too impatient.

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  8. mary said on May 15, 2006 at 10:39 am

    I don’t know which is worse, opiners or deciders.

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  9. brian stouder said on May 15, 2006 at 11:04 am

    “I don’t know which is worse, opiners or deciders.”

    Well – lots a times de ciders gives me da shytes, dontcha know?

    which is opine in de arse

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  10. brian stouder said on May 15, 2006 at 11:20 am

    Hey moms – here is a story sure to become a Lifetime Movie (that saying is a running joke between Pammy and I, for their endless supply of “Based on a True Story” dramas – which usually feature Lindsey Wagner or Barry Bostwick)

    an excerpt –

    Updated: 6:00 p.m. ET May 14, 2006
    PONTIAC, Mich. – A woman whose father was charged with kidnapping her as a child 30 years ago has been found living in Arizona, her mother and sheriff’s officials said.

    On Mother’s Day weekend in 1976, Laura Gooder’s estranged husband, Eric Douglas Nielsen, picked up 21-month-old Genevieve Rachel Nielsen for an overnight visit. They never returned.

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  11. mary said on May 15, 2006 at 11:40 am

    I think that woman’s life was based on a Lifetime movie, not the other way around.
    I see Donna Mills as the mom, by the way, not Lindsay Wagner.

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  12. brian stouder said on May 15, 2006 at 11:51 am

    Depending on the details of the pre-kidnap period, maybe Charlize Theron – done up in a similar “mix of alcoholic coarseness and a sort of reluctant, defiled femininity”* as in her Monster movie

    *got that marvelous phrase from

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  13. Dorothy said on May 15, 2006 at 11:51 am

    Brian you should have said “Lindsay Wagner and/or Barry Bostwick.” I think they are interchangeable.

    Happy to say I’ve never watched any of those movies on Lifetime. And never will in my lifetime.

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  14. mary said on May 15, 2006 at 11:57 am

    Those Lifetime movies are just the thing when you don’t want any surprises, which sometimes I don’t. I got into watching them when my kids were small and I couldn’t watch anything that needed my continuous attention to be understood. That left the Weather Channel, QVC, and Lifetime. Another good thing is the Intimate Portrait programs. They give biographies of famous people. My favorite was of Marla Maples Trump. It’s been long rumored she was a call girl before hooking up with the Donald. This intimate portrait, although very soft focus and kind to her, skimmed over big chunks of her life and never explained how she made a living in NYC and how she managed to be at so many of the very elegant parties frequented by powerful executives. Wholes in the resume, as we say here in HR.

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  15. 4dbirds said on May 15, 2006 at 12:03 pm

    My hubby calls Lifetime the “Women good, Men bad” Channel.

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  16. brian stouder said on May 15, 2006 at 12:11 pm

    “Wholes in the resume, as we say here in HR.”

    THAT was a good’n! LOL!

    btw – the Hallmark channel is another low-impact movie channel; whereas the Lifetime movie channel might mostly appeal to mini-van women with to-do lists on their refrigerators, Hallmark channel seems aimed mostly at Crown-Vic women with pics of their grandchildren on theirs….although my lovely wife enjoys both of them

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  17. Dorothy said on May 15, 2006 at 1:48 pm

    Sheesh I never watch either of those channels. I usually turn to Turner Classic Movies or something like that if I need to veg out in front of the tube. But all of this discussion is making me think that I really need to just shut it off most of the time and pick up something to read. Maybe then I can stop bitching about never having TIME to read.

    Most recent TCM viewing: I Want to Live with Susan Hayward. What a dame!

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  18. brian stouder said on May 15, 2006 at 2:14 pm

    “But all of this discussion is making me think that I really need to just shut it off most of the time and pick up something to read.”

    On the weekends, I split the difference and watch BookTV – which then makes me go out and buy this or that book.

    Feels like atonement for watching Formula One racing and Survivor (which by the way, Terry got hosed over! – but who didn’t like Cerie)

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  19. Mindy said on May 15, 2006 at 3:14 pm

    Dorothy — I’m primarily a knitter but also crochet. Both are challenging with my badly trained dog in the house because balls of wool are really just portable pieces of another animal meant to be carried around. This weekend is Fort Wayne’s third annual fiber fest; perhaps I can claim that he’s my service dog and that I must have him there with me for emotional support. This would also serve as an unscheduled sheep herding demonstration.

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  20. mary said on May 15, 2006 at 4:27 pm

    Does your dog have any retriever in him? My lab can’t leave balls of yarn alone. It’s really a pain to try to crochet when he’s in the house. My next door neighbor’s twins will be in junior high by the time the baby afghans are finished because Smokey needs to drag yarn balls around.

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  21. Dorothy said on May 15, 2006 at 4:51 pm

    Mine is half golden retriever and (we think) half border collie. He’s gotten much better about bugging my yarn but I have a picture of a red explosion taken not long after we got the dog (and the new house), when I went to get the mail and he destroyed 3 skeins of yarn in about 2.5 minutes. I thought only cats played with yarn!

    I was a member of a terrific fiber arts group in Cincinnati. My favorite thing about it was the head of the group was not the President. She was the Queen.

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  22. mary said on May 15, 2006 at 5:01 pm

    I think we’ve established that our emotional support dogs would be unwelcome at knitting or crocheting class.
    My lab is one of those very people oriented sweet dogs though, and I’ve considered enrolling him in the therapy dog group that visits here in the hospital. He’s very gentle and careful about meeting new people, and he loves to just put his head on your lap or on the bed and get petted. The time committment is maybe more than I want to take on. To qualify for the training, I’d have to commit to eight hours a week of visiting and a grooming before each visit.

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  23. Michael G said on May 15, 2006 at 8:22 pm

    Years ago (many) my then wife and I came home from work to find a half eaten bird and a guilty looking cat on the living room floor. “Damnit”, she exploded, “kill all you want, but eat all you kill”. True story.

    Should I have written “she said” instead of “she exploded”? “Said” sounds a little bland given that she did kind of burst out with it. I fell down laughing. The bird, by the way, was an outside one the cat had dragged in through the cat door.

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  24. basset said on May 16, 2006 at 1:47 am

    >>he loves to just put his head on your lap or on the bed and get petted

    in the golden retriever world, a dog like that is known as a “love sponge.”

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  25. Mindy said on May 16, 2006 at 6:16 am

    My Lab actually does very well around the yarn as long as I keep the skein out of his sight since it looks like a ball. He won’t dig it out of the knitting bag like my other Lab would. That boy liked to steal whatever he could get. He once ran through the house with a small project on the needles, took it through his dog door, and got it tangled around the swing on our deck. Didn’t drop a stitch, amazingly. But the skein was a mess.

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  26. mary said on May 16, 2006 at 10:50 am

    It’s got to be a lab thing, then. I’ve never had a dog who stole yarn before, but Smokey ALWAYS does. He can’t resist yarn. I have to hide my work basket from him. The great danes I’ve had are more likely to sleep on your project. They tend to be very laid back dogs.

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  27. Mary Broderick said on July 5, 2006 at 3:54 am

    Why would you send hate mail to someone for bringing a dog in a restaurant? You also talk about wanting to pull a gun on a man for sending his dog down a slide. Are you serious?

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  28. Pet Portraits said on August 17, 2006 at 5:25 pm

    Emotional support dogs? Now i’ve heard everything 🙂

    I can’t believe that those comments came out of the mouth of a 30-year old woman. I agree with you – I wouldn’t trust her to bring a dog to a restaurant!

    Where do they find these people?

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  29. Dog Training said on November 22, 2006 at 11:29 am

    I think it is ok to take a dog into a restaurant as long as the dog is well behaved and does not disturb other diners. I would rather have my well behaved dog sat next to me than some of the kids let loose amongst diners!!!!!!

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