Thursday, May 7, 2015

Can a tree sneak up on you?


    Walking the dog is my job. I'm not complaining. I like walking the dog. It's the most normal thing I do. Fun too. Exercise. Air. Interaction with a dog, the one sentient being in my life who is always, always, always glad to see me. Often conversation with other people who are walking their dogs though, to be honest, more often than not we merely introduce our dogs to each other—"Kitty, I'd like you to meet Nelson. Nelson, this is Kitty"—and never bother to introduce ourselves. Which is odd. 
      Still, it's all good. I let the dog pick the route. Often, first thing in the morning, I'll let her pull out of my grasp, go bounding down the stairs and tearing around the house, hard to the left, through the side yard. I lope along after her, knowing she'll pull up on the raised ridge of pine trees between our yard and the village property behind it. She's very considerate that way, for a dog. 
     So I catch up, lean over, snag her leash from the pine needles, and we traipse into the parking lot for the Village Hall. She assumes what I consider the "Standing on a dime" position, all four paws draw together, doing her business, looking up at me, slightly abashed, and I'm watching her, intently for some reason, to return her gaze I suppose, and lean forward, a little, and feel something damp and fragrant slap me on the forehead.
     The fat white blossoms shown here, wet and cold with the morning dew. I had been so focused on watching a dog shit, as if my observation were a necessary component to the act, as if I had to monitor it to ensure it was done properly, that I never noticed the glorious white tree in full bloom—a "Sugar Tyme" flowering crabapple. An inch above my face, my head was practically among the branches. I thought there was a lesson there. It's spring. Look up, and around. See the flowers. The dog will take care of herself. 

81 comments:

  1. There's nothing like the aroma of a blooming crabapple.

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  2. Cute story; walking a fluffy white dog and noticing the fluffy white crab apple tree blossoms. That is indeed a lovely tree. We have one in our neighborhood, but not nearly as full as this one. It's true, though, we often overlook things right "in front" of us. When I walk to the train, I pass by my neighbor's beautiful front garden, but usually am too hurried to even notice it.

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  3. Here's one for you dog lovers/owners: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/04/16/the-look-of-love-is-in-the-dogs-eyes/

    I don't like it when I see people walking their dog while talking on their cell phone. The dog knows.

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  4. Robbie the RobotMay 7, 2015 at 7:05 AM

    Did you hear about the agnostic with dyslexia who stayed up late at night worrying about whether there was a Dog?

    Are you not entertained?

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    1. good one and yes we are entertained, Maximus

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  5. It's a dyslexic agnostic with insomnia, you ninny. One step further would be to characterize our current President. Did you hear about the narcissistic dyslec agnostic with insomnia? He lays awake at night wondering if really is dog.

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    1. not funny, you Republican

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    2. Racist tea-bagger. Go away and hate elsewhere. Hating hater-face.

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  6. It's a dyslexic agnostic with insomnia, you ninny. One step further would be to characterize our current President. Did you hear about the narcissistic dyslec agnostic with insomnia? He lays awake at night wondering if he really is dog.

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  7. My dog and I start almost every morning at the 60 acre dog park near home. We regulars often remark that we know all the dog names but few human names. Well, it is their park, after all. But it's a great place to watch the foliage change with every season.

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    1. Well Anon not anon, bitter scribe and jackash can rest their fine brains today a bit then.

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  8. "I am because my little dog knows me." Gertrude Stein

    Tom Evans

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  9. A story about Neil's bitch. Taking a dump. Okay........

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  10. I think the reason we watch the dog crap is the anticipation(?) of what type of mess it will be. Will it require 2 paper towels or 4? What is the likelihood of my fingers actually getting immersed in the shit? It's definitely more of an issue for me at night, when the balance of the leash, the light and the dog takes more brain cells than a tired person can handle.....

    RC

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  11. use a small scooper

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  12. nothing wrong with a light column now and then, esp. if writing 7 days

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  13. the point of the story isn't about the dog pooping, nitwit anon at 8:16 am

    note the vivid descriptions of the flowers

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    Replies
    1. It's spring. Look up, and around. See the flowers.

      I stand corrected. That is a stunning piece of writing. One can almost smell the nectar. It's Faulkner with a bit of Hemingway and Dickinson. (Angie, not Emily)

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    2. You're right. A really good writer would spend his time posting pointless snark on someone else's blog.

      Delete
    3. Snark is all Steinberg writes. At least Anon quoted the gifted scribe instead of scribbling uncorrobated, unverified crap like this:

      "For instance, the most sordid gay bathhouses exist between the ears of the fanatics who hate the people they imagine frequenting them. Emails minutely cataloging these sexual practices are sent, not by triumphant gays — I don’t believe I’ve received one, ever — but by sputtering religious fanatics supposedly disgusted by the practices they’re chronicling, as if straight sexual acts would look beautiful given similar trip under disgust’s microscope. Their own self-assigned torment, to pass their lives gazing at what revolts them in cathexis — our second word, a psychology term, “the concentration of mental energy on one particular person, idea, or object (esp. to an unhealthy degree).”

      I mean what the heck is this? In a piece about Pamela Geller? Talk about "existing between the ears of fanatics". This man is clearly unhinged.

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  14. One thing I DID notice this morning: a huge bumblebee hovering over me as I walked, slowly, from my car to the back door. Always nice to see the bees...

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    1. I always enjoy seeing a nice, chubby bumblebee, as well, Sandy. And they're certainly preferable to some of the WASPs commenting on here lately. Ta-dum-dum! ; ) Just a friendly, if lame, joke, folks...

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    2. I laughed, Jakash. Too bad some folks take their anger out on other people's blogs; it must make them feel validated.

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    3. I think Sandy has a crush on Jakash and is trying to flirt with him.

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    4. How did you guess?

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    5. As ridiculous as that suggestion is, it's probably the only explanation Anonymous can come up with for anybody laughing at the WASP joke, Sandy! Sadly, it was even worse than EZ's re-tweets that some are always so upset about. ; )

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    6. Ha, and I still vote on EZ's "tweets of the week".

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  15. We went to the Botanic Garden last weekend, hoping to see the crabapples blooming. Though there were clusters of trees laden with buds, just waiting to pop, they weren't quite there -- yet. A few here and there had started, but they didn't look like your picture. As always, though, there was plenty of other stuff to enjoy. And I don't think I've ever seen it that crowded, not that we're regulars. In the city, however, the crabapples seem to be peaking. Driving around and walking around, there's quite a display. Sadly, the blossoming ornamental pears are on their way out. Spring has finally sprung, but it doesn't last long...

    Nice photo and palate-cleansing post, Neil, especially after some of the more contentious discussions here lately. Hmmm... I guess dog poop isn't really much of a palate cleanser, though. Poor choice of words. ; )

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  16. It is interesting to be criticized for dwelling on a topic that isn't addressed today, or even one day in 20. The beauty of not being a zealot is you can move on to other things. I wouldn't expect them to understand and, indeed, they don't, which they consider an indictment of the writing, failing to realize it's actually an indictment of themselves. Of course, if they could perceive things like that, they wouldn't be the people they obviously are.

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  17. Just so we're clear it is not I, the Ital. Amer woman, writing that ignorant stuff up there.

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    1. If you would just sign in with some made-up name when you comment, we'd all have known that, Ms. I-A W. As it is, every Anonymous contribution here can be mistaken for being yours.

      People reading EVERY comment on this blog (heaven help us) now know that Coey is a woman, for instance, which we can keep in mind when reading her future comments, for whatever it's worth. Other than that, she's completely anonymous, so I don't see what the downside of her using a "handle" on here is. Just sayin'... : )

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    2. I LIED, SORRY. Just so we're clear it is I, the Ital. Amer woman, writing that ignorant stuff up there.

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    3. I really don't get it, but, whatevs...

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    4. I think someone's just trying to confuse us, Jakash -- not worth worrying about.

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  18. "The beauty of not being a zealot is you can move on to other things. I wouldn't expect them to understand and, indeed, they don't, which they consider an indictment of the writing, failing to realize it's actually an indictment of themselves."

    Now there's a fine kettle of a lid for every pan calling the kettle fish black.

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  19. 12:59 anon, you are an ASS and lying coward, va fa indo cullo

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  20. Jakash, you are right, except anyone can sign any name into the url.

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  21. Writing styles will show it's not the same person as well.

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  22. example, see Jack, this way doesn't work either, unless on direct google or other acct that no one else can mimic

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    1. Oh, sheesh! Yes, for anybody who would be entertained by impersonating utterly insignificant, pseudonymous commenters on this little blog, you're right. Unsurprisingly, that somebody might even care to do that never crossed my mind. I commented for years on Eric Zorn's blog, for instance, and that never happened once, nor had it happened here until you just did it. Congratulations!

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    2. I hate the thought that my standards are slipping below Eric's--that's REALLY saying something. It's a column about walking face first, unaware, into a gorgeously blooming tree. Why are you people clawing at each other? Don't get me wrong, I'm not one to judge another man's pleasures, and so long as it isn't me, I don't mind particularly. But geez...

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    3. When I saw there were 30+ posts, I was expecting the blog equivalent of "Dogs Don't Lie About Love." Uhhhhh....

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    4. Neil,

      Well, you DO welcome all to the Steinberg Bakery. I guess this is what eventually happens when you leave the door wide open on a summery day! ; )

      I apologize for contributing to your disappointment, but Mr. Zorn need never know! However, for my part, I've certainly not been clawing at anybody. I just would appreciate it if some of the frequent commenters might deign to identify themselves in a completely discreet manner, for the sake of continuity from post to post. I've tried before and I gave it one more shot here, but I'll be abandoning that noble quest, as of now...

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    5. was just trying to make a point J, as one person did to another that that can be faked, so no quick answer

      I wouldn't disrespect you, can't speak for others and maybe the one who posts so much doesn't want to appear as same person, or show they post a lot

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    6. No problem, whoever you are. And perhaps you're right about the posting a lot. But I feel like anything that discourages ME from posting is a step in the right direction. ; )

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  23. It seems, Neil, that your blog has attracted a few naysayers, who get off on contradicting, misinterpreting and messing with whatever is said or implied by you, your admirers and those who would sincerely and politely point out their disagreements with your statements. I trust that if no one pays any attention to them, they will get bored and go back to ranting and raving on someone else's blog.

    John (who's been waiting to see the missing "d.")

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    1. It's the aftershock of my archbishop column. They linger for a few days. Jut like, at work, I threw all my personal mail away today without looking at it. They won't stay, but will drift out, looking for fresh outrage. Tomorrow is Amanda Palmer, and that will really drive them off. By the way, dogshit and blossoms is doing better numbers than bigotry did. Maybe I should focus on dogs.

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    2. Mr. S, I think one of those rude writers on here that doesn't just disagree but attacks you might be the guy whose email you shared.

      These days. it's
      not safe for public figures to open up snail mail from people they don't know. Be careful.

      as for the blog here I think sometimes familiarity breeds contempt

      Signed, worrywart

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  24. Where is this Zorn blog? I"d like to tell him a thing or 2 if he's at Republican paper. I searched it but only found a twitter/ tweet or regular Tribune page.

    Is he Jewish too?

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    1. Eric Zorn writes for the Tribune, the other Chicago leftist rag. I believe he has some ties to Oak Park or maybe that is the other insufferable, bloviating gastropod, R. Proper. And indeed, Zorn is Jewish.

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    2. I always thought the Trib wasa more conserve or
      Republican paper.

      I haven't looked at one in a few years. Yes, I know he writes for the Trib but thanks for the other answers. I noticed in a pic he looks a bit like Rahm.

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    3. Oak Park? I wonder if Zorn is gay then.

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    4. For what it's worth, Eric Zorn has a wife and, I believe, 3 children. But what earthly difference does it make whether he is Jewish, gay, or any other label you can slap on him? Like all of us, he is an individual who cannot be reduced to a series of stereotypes.

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    5. Really. What difference does it make. The important thing is that Zorn continue to write more than one column per month.

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    6. Coey, stop your preaching. Try not being holier than thou. Some people are just curious and want to know more about the writer.

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    7. No doubt some do. And others want to find a reason to dismiss the opinions of others based on their "membership" in certain groups.

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    8. Not all, I'm a student of Jewish immigration history, so don't jump to conclusions.

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    9. Then you might find it interesting to look up Eric Zorn's grandfather, Max August Zorn.

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    10. thanks, I like to study the Ashkenazic immigration to NY at the turn of the last century

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  25. Bitter Scribe, where's your sense of humor? Even ANA and Jack have one.

    Mr. S. prob thinks some of his readers are insane, lol.

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    1. Where's my sense of humor? Tell you what...you try writing something that's actually funny, and I'll see if I laugh.

      Here's a hint: Putting "lol" after a remark does not make it funny.

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    2. BScribe, you need a theme song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-sYnWx3lNs

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    3. Okay, Scribe- There once was a man from Nanuntucket.....

      you fill in the rest

      anyone don't take things so seriously

      are you a curmudgeon?

      I usually don't agree with that Steve writer in the St, Huntley(sp) more conserve. but he's right about now some muslims telling us what movies we can watch. Remember when they threatened the theater? Now they or the pc don't think univ. should show Amer. Sniper. Maybe it's the Iraqi who were racist or hated others. The left plays into their hands.

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    4. Nantucket that is

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    5. Hating hate filled hater face. Go somewhere else and hate.

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    6. Hating hate filled hater face. Go somewhere else and hate.

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    7. you are getting repetitive

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  26. OH, so at the Trib, one has to pay just to read a story or column in full? Hell with them- Greedy, just like Col McCormick was anti labor. Ever visit his home and grounds at Cantigy/ Wheaton? Very educational especially the WWI tunnel in the First Division museum.

    And I'm no cheapo looking for freebies. I actually subscribe to the SunTimes delivery.

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  27. So what do you folks think about Brady and deflate gate? They are all overpaid, the lot of them.

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    1. Hating hate filled hater face. Go somewhere else and hate.

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    2. what about the right wingers winning election in england. just announced

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    3. So what do you folks think about Bruce Jenner's vagina and the kradashians? They are all overpaid, the lot of them.

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    4. agree! he's got nothing better to do with his time or money- why go through all that? you might need a bypass someday, keep the medicine for that

      as for the new PM/ well the labour party doesn't appreciate the U.S as an allie. and enables the lazies

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    5. Brady is not innocent

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  28. Neil, I'm not sure if you friends with Zorn or frenemies. Your comments have been confusing at different times.

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    1. I would say friends, generally. I don't want to put on airs.

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  29. It would be nice if he came on here.

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  30. Read in the ST today that now Musl. want to damn musl, want to tell univ. of mich. students



    not to watch amer. patriot, ridic.-hmm some of them will be controlling us soon indeed or we'll have to walk on eggshells

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  31. Who is Amanda Palmer, then?

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  32. speaking of dog topics, get one of those signs that says curb your dog, for the lawn from those pet stores-I got tired of the lazies leaving droppings on my parkway, it has helped a good deal

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