The local glossy lit/culture mag, The Rake, has an interview with Sherman Alexie called “The World’s Toughest Indian.” I don’t know quite what to think of Alexie. He certainly is a rabblerouser. Apparently, he’s feuding with David Treuer (though it seems like many other Indian writers feud with him as a sell-out, white-assimilationist).

Also from The Rake, I’m reading about Cut Sleeve Boys, a British-Chinese gay film.

From the local arts weekly, I see that Cesar Millan is coming to town this Saturday.

And from The Onion, a dog story: Dog Breeders Issue Massive Recall of ’07 Pugs.

I was at Cupcake having a quick dessert and coffee before coming over to my office to meet with a student (who wants to know why she got a B in the class — umm, hello? weren’t all your paper grades a B or lower?).

A chocolate cupcake with a coffee.

I am very sad that my Minneapolis-based friends are moving away to the coasts. :(


I’ve been trying to tidy up my piles of crap and clean various rooms since I got back from Boston. It’s a never-ending task! Just now, I wanted a glass of nice, cold water, but there are no clean cups available. Boo! I’m too lazy to wash one, though. I should start getting ready to go out for a farewell lunch with friends who are moving far, far away.

Giles poses in the grass.

Obligatory weekly duo portrait.


The local LGBT magazine Lavender has an article about Kiyoshi Kuromiya, a gay activist who died seven years ago. I’d never heard of him, but he seems to have been quite an active figure in various social justice movements, working with the Black Panthers, the Gay Liberation Front, and AIDS groups. I wonder if his papers are collected anywhere. It’d be interesting to see his correspondences and other things that he left behind.

Giles is a canine activist.


In addition to working a bit on my dissertation introduction, I’m planning on finishing off Arnold Arluke’s Just a Dog: Understanding Animal Cruelty and Ourselves, a book I started months ago. I just read chapter two on how college-aged adolescents/young adults reflected on their childhood experiences torturing or killing animals. It’s really quite an interesting sociological study of how people relate to animals in ways that are important for people-to-people reasons (social acceptance, boundary-drawing, etc.). The work is very much in the “symbolic interactionism” vein of sociology/psychology work, drawing out how human behaviors and self-reflection are never entirely separable from social phenomenon. (In other words, the book argues against the reductive understanding of animal cruelty as solely stemming from individual pathology.)

Giles likes to hang out under the bench.

Sometimes he likes to hang out beside me.

This sprawled-out position seems to be how Giles likes to be in warmer weather.


My friend Better Fangs :F? lent me this book The Truth About Dogs: An Inquiry into the Ancestry, Social Conventions, Mental Habits, and Moral Fiber of Canis familiaris by Stephen Budiansky, and I absconded with it. I was only halfway done with it by the end of my trip so decided to bring it home with me. (As I got on the plane, a flight attendant asked, “So what kind of dog do you have that you are reading about the truth of dogs?” She pointed to the book I had clutched tightly in my arms.) The book is a lot of fun to read because the author discusses lots of cool experiments on dog genetics and behavior. He writes about the eye structures of dogs, for example, and how dogs smell. Overall, though, the author claimed two “truths” that I feel are either oversimplified ideas or ultimately ideologically driven (rather than about “science,” as he would claim): 1) Dogs are not humans, and it is wrong to treat them as such, and 2) Dogs are essentially wolves with an overriding pack-mentality that can explain their every behavior (even if it doesn’t seem to). Here are some fun quotes:

Foxhounds and beagles have a reputation for being rather untrainable in household settings and heedless toward their owners, but that is probably not because they see themselves as top dog; rather, they don’t particularly give a damn about anybody being top dog.

. . .

Sure enough, the dogs were consistently fooled, and tracked the sausage-modified bicycle the wrong way.

. . .

A dog that is less motivated is not going to make such a connection because it simply doesn’t matter as much to him. Dogs such as beagles and foxhounds that have been bred to work in packs, to concentrate on tracking smells without being distracted, and to be relatively inattentive to matters of social dominance are naturally going to be less interested in pleasing, or heeding the cajoling of, their human owners.


A historical marker sign for Pauline Hopkins outside her house in Cambridge. The friends I stayed with lived a block and a half away, and I saw the sign fortuitously, having taken a circuitous path from the subway station to their house.

This sign goes unheeded at the ad hoc dog park we visited.

The guest room had this cool robot light switch cover.

This is my friends’ dog Gus, the most gigantic dog ever!

Sign at the baggage claim curb at the airport.


I dragged my drowsy self off the couch this afternoon to have lunch with friend Parick (mmm… Punch Pizza). Afterwards, we geocached with his new GPS toy. I WANT ONE, TOO! We found a cache at Cedar Lake (our third attempt/site).

This was a dog sign at the first geocache site. There were a couple of people making out near the coordinates so we went off to a different site.

The second site was across from the Minneapolis Institute of Art. This stencil was spraypainted on a traffic light box. We couldn’t find the cache.

This feminist power symbol was painted on a bench near the first geocache site we visited. We returned to the coordinates after the weird people making out had left but still couldn’t find the cache there.