12 June 2007 23:21

I want to start this entry by stating that I am no more injured then the last time I posted. Nicole is similarly unscathed. Xena is fine and in my possession. I still have (afaik) all my stuff (except for a handkerchief which I was fond of, alas). Almost all of it is in working order.

I am on a train. When I post this to my blog, I will be in Den Haag. I will now pause for a moment to go find some wood and knock on it.

When I last typed, I believe that I was sitting in a laundromat in Antwerp. I think I wrote about the cathedral. Did I mention that I left Xena tied up outside directly outside the main entrance? Whenever she is alone in a strange place, she fears being left there forever and so urgently tries to attract my attention so that I can come rescue her. She barked loudly the whole time that I was in the church. I could hear her barks echoing. I’ve come to like the acoustic of external dog barks resonating in large stone vaults. However, I can see how others might not feel the same way. But it really gives a feel for the resonances of a space.

Anyway, when I came out to get her, the ticket seller yelled at me for a bit, saying that everybody was scared to come in because there was an alarming, barking dog next to the door. I apologized profusely and felt really guilty. What if somebody’s vacation was ruined because they were too frightened to see the cathedral and they only had half an hour of opportunity to do so (because they went to the museum first or something)?

We biked to Mechellen. The trip was uneventful. Painfully uneventful. Some folks yelled at me for letting Xena run along side the bike in the woods. The LF 2 is really poorly laid out for a long section of in Belgium. It has no signs and it’s really boring. Also, people who live close to Antwerp are often unfriendly and hostile and scowl at you in a threatening manner when you say hello as you bike past. And some of them seem to like to deface signs for bike routes. By spray painting over them so you can’t read them, or drawing in new arrows pointing in wrong directions or taping over parts or removing signs entirely.

When I got to Mechellen, though, I pulled out my Routard and started calling the three listed hotels. None of them took dogs. In the Netherlands, every hotel takes dogs. In France, people adore dogs. Even in Germany, people are quite warm feeling towards dogs. I think Belgians are desperate to differentiate themselves from their language-sharing neighbors. As such, they’re not too fond of dogs.

A friendly older woman approached me and started telling me about her bike tours. She gave the excellent advice of calling small towns’ tourist offices before 4:00 so they could book you a hotel. Great advice. She also said I probably wouldn’t find a hotel at all for the evening. Yikes.

There may or may not be a lot of hotels in Mechellen, but they’re not well marked. In Antwerp, I sort of walked around, looking for hotel signs and knocking on doors. Apparently, I was very, very lucky. Anyway, I biked past and so went into a very swanky looking hotel. There’s no camping around there, so I was kind of stuck. But they didn’t take dogs either! The woman at the desk, though, was awesome and called a much more moderately priced hotel and booked me a room.

So we ended up at the Hobbit Hotel. I mention it by name because the owners are REALLY REALLY nice and are just starting out and want some publicity. So it’s a typical utilitarian two star, but with really good service and good breakfasts. The owners eat the same breakfast as the guests, so it’s tasty even if there wasn’t an excess of choices. Also, as much espresso as you want. Also, there’s wifi in the bar area. It’s free, but you have to ask about it before you can get the password. They also offer secure bike parking and I think also bike rentals. It’s about 2 km from the center.

I booked two nights because of the cathedral. It’s carillon has the most bells in the world. UNESCO lists it as a world heritage site. They have regular concerts, three times a week when the carillon school is in session and one time a week in the summer. The concert was the next day at 3:00. So we walked around, got some food, went into a bar with a gay flag, got some more food and generally slacked until the concert, which lasted a little more than an hour. It was widely ignored by one and all.

Sometimes, laptop artists worry about something often called “performance aspect.” What this tends to refer to is the visual component of performing an instrument. For instance, if you go to a piano concert, usually it’s possible to see the pianist. You can see her gestures and get a sense of her musical interpretation by how she moves her body. This extra-musical information is widely believed to be the main reason that people pay to go to concerts. If you want to listen to the Goldberg Variations, for example, a CD of Glen Gould may be the best possible musical way to hear it. But if you go to a concert, it won’t be as polished, but you can see the pianist moving around. So goes the common wisdom, usually offered as reasoning for why laptop music is lacking.

I bring up performance aspect because carillon concerts have none. Was I listening to a live performance? Was I listening to a MIDI file? I don’t really have any way of knowing how “live” is really was, except that bells were actually ringing. The process that activated those bells, however, was invisible. Does the lack of performance aspect make a difference to carillon concerts? Is this why virtually nobody else was paying attention (or are they not as tickled pink as I am by hearing Strangers in the Night dinging out of a church steeple?) I once heard Carmen performed at the Grote Kerk in Amsterdam and others were listening. I think I have too little data to draw conclusions, but it’s something to think about. Nobody whines that they can’t see the bell-ringer.

After that, I wanted to go into the cathedral, but I really did want to upset anyone like I had in Antwerp. The cathedral had a very large square in front of it, filled with hedges. I tied Xena up, to a tree in the hedge, far enough from the door that nobody would be alarmed to enter, but close enough that it would be clear where her owners were. There didn’t seem to be any residential houses nearby. The French and the Dutch don’t seem to mind barking dogs too terribly much, so I figured it was ok.

The church had an amazing number of relics. They had St Celestine, who is rumored to have some sort of prophesy (and who is my patron saint, according to me), and a bunch of other saints. So many relics! It was awesome! No cathedral is complete without having several display cases full of human bones. Also, they had the most amazing pulpit ever. I can’t even describe how florid it was, covered with animals and plants and saints and crucifixion, frogs, snaked squirrels, apples, all so very ornate and overdone and carved in wood. Pictures will be forthcoming via flickr.

After a while, Nicole got worried about the dog and went outside to check on her. The police were holding her leash. Some woman with two dogs had come by and become very worried about our obviously abandoned dog. (You can tell she’s abandoned because she’s wearing a collar has no water bowl near her). The woman offered her water but she wouldn’t take it! Clearly, this calls for police intervention. Nicole false claimed to have been unable to hear the dog barking. The police gave her a talking to, but let her keep Xena. You can’t take the dog in the church, you can’t let her bark outside. The hotel folks would have been happy to look after her (almost too happy, though), so I guess that was a solution. Also, it’s a solution to take turns, which is what we did with the city museum and the other church that we visited. I told the hotel owner about this when we came back for the evening and she was shocked. Belgium has too many laws, she explained.

The next day, as we were checking out, she asked if we’d forgotten anything. The dog, maybe? It would be ok if we forgot the dog. Xena is charming to everyone, except to cops and concerned ladies who offer her water.

We started down the path to Leuven, the home town of Stella Artois. The bike route took us down a canal. For the whole day. On the same canal. Although we were instructed to cross from one side of it to another at the halfway point, so I guess that broke up some of the monotony. At least it was easy going. And people started to become more friendly again, which was a relief. Also, the last bit smelled like beer. mmmmm

We got to Leuven and Nicole asked me why it was famous. I suggested we stop for a beer (maybe a Stella) and look at the guidebook. As we got to the Grote Markt, I said, I’m going to guess it’s known for it’s beer, it’s cathedral and it’s stadthuis (aka, city hall). That thing was ornate when it was built. But then, on the advice of Victor Hugo, they decided to cover every possible nitch with statues of notable personages from the region. The effect is astounding. It puts Brussels’ flamboyant Hôtel de Ville to shame. I’ve never seen so many statues at such high density. And at the base of every statue were a bunch of tiny bass reliefs showing even smaller people. It’s amazing.

We sat down in a café facing the stadthuis and asked for a beer recommendation. The waiter brought us really strong beers. Biking in the hot sun + really strong beer = unable to walk afterwards. Nicole was more steady than I, so she went first into the cathedral and then I went. The inside is charming, plus the altar of the previous church still exists under the newer church. And they have lots of relics. And a life-size carving of a falling horse as at the base of their pulpit, so complete that it actually has a carved asshole.

The town is a college town, and thus has lots of vegetarian food at reasonable prices. I found it to be entirely charming and worthy of a longer visit than I allocated for it, but when I went to find a hotel in town, they were full because of some university event, so we went on to go camp as we had originally planned.

My fietsroutsen maps of the Netherlands have campgrounds marked on them, which is a very useful feature. My Belgian maps not only cover far less ground, but don’t mark campsites, only mention their general vicinity. Some of them have had signs from the bike routes, so I just hoped the one right outside of town would be similarly marked.

I thought we might have gone too far when we passed the gypsy camp. (like, with real Romas), but when we got to the top of a hill and could see nothing but rolling fields in every direction, I knew we had gone too far. A family biked up behind us, so I asked if they knew where a campground was. They lived next to one, but it “wasn’t wonderful” and the owner was “kind of crazy.” How bad could it be? I just want a flat spot and a shower. We biked with them the way there. They explained that the path we were on was only for bikes and agriculture. Also, it was the hilliest part of Flanders. I think I broke a speed record for the dog trailer. They also talked a tiny bit about Waterloo. Napoleon was defeated because he failed to account for the little hollows that run through the hills.

The route was beautiful. Rolling fields (of barley!) on either side. Farm houses in the distance. Moody, grey skies. It was the prettiest part of the trip.

We got the campsite and the owner was, as advertised, kind of crazy. The campsite had a large grey, greasy lake in the middle in which steely grey fish would slither around, just beneath the surface before returning to the murky depths. The fish were huge. The lake was a breeding site for mosquitoes. He insisted the water was lovely. Spring water! Drinking water before it got in the lake. You can’t drink the lake water, but right before it goes in, you can. We asked where the showers were. “The toilet is over there, go to the end and then up, you understand?” Showers? “The toilet is over there, at the end.” I started to become suspicious, but he started asking questions about our dog. Was she friendly? Had she ever bitten anybody? He proclaimed his love for animals and said that if we ever came back riding a live elephant, we could camp for free! He kept talking about this for a while and the light was fading, so we rushed to set up the tent as fast as we could when he finally wandered off.

Nicole went to powder her nose (for European readers: she went to use the toilet). She came back. “It’s uhhh rustic. You’ll need to jump over a trench to get there.” Good gods, open sewers! ewwww! I went, past the moldy, mossy, abandoned caravans, marked with yellowing “for sale signs” and there were slugs in the toilet. (Not, like, in the building. I mean, in the bowl. I peed on a slug.) I told Nicole that I didn’t think it had been cleaned since the Carter administration. She pointed out that there was no Carter administration in Belgium. We started joking about what political event had lead to his abandoning toilet cleaning. Maybe it was personal. Maybe his wife left him and he didn’t realize they needed cleaning. Or maybe she had died. Maybe she had forgotten to clean them one day and he had killed her and left them unkempt in warning and protest. As it got darker and the skeeters swarmed, this theory became more ominous. The frogs screeched their mating class in the background. The birds screamed like banshees. It was the loudest campground ever and it was all animal sounds. The less than quarter moon was hidden behind a cloud and I could hear the large fish darkly rising to the surface to snatch bugs from the air and splashing back down to the opaque bottom. Why had he asked so many questions about how mean the dog was? Why was there nobody else in the campground? Who owned all the greenish empty caravans? What happened to them?

We finally went to sleep, although I woke up about a million times. why had the frogs fallen so quiet all of the sudden?

When we got up in the morning, he was no where to be seen. The showers . . . yikes, I wouldn’t have mentioned them either. And did I mention how weird the water tasted. Drinkable lake water, eh? We packed up as fast as we could as the greenish clouds swirled menacingly overhead. Xena, usually eager to frolic in campgrounds sat nervously near the gate, anxious to leave. the bottom of our tent was covers with odd roundish, slimy, oozing creatures.

We peddled up to the top of the hill, where we had last seen the bike route and spent a while riding through the town, until we came back to the inexplicably grey camp ground. The route went right past it. And then around the back. And then meandered and then came back to the other side. We didn’t see a single person. I started looking for signs from the Blair Witch movie. That’s how today started. It got better. And then it got worse.

Dog Travel

One of my friends here was impressed with the logistics of bike travel and the logistics of dog travel. However, neither is particularly diificult. In the interest of being informational, here are some tips.



First of all, get a microchip put into your dog. (In the case of pets, this is literally a mark of the beast.) Put a collar and ID tag on it too. Dogs in Europe need something called an EU pet passport. If you are in the EU, get this from your vet. If you are in America or another country, find the website for your country’s embassy/consulate for the EU member state in which you intend to arrive. They will have a form which you bring to your vet in your home country a few days before you leave. (Some countries require advanced planning in the form of rabies tests done at least 6 months before arrival. Those countries suck.) Have your vet stamp the form several times with an official looking stamp. Many European countries love official-lloking stamps and will request them whenever possible. The pet travel form is good enough for airlines. Take your dog’s pet passport with you whenever you travel.


You need a dog carrier to take a dog on a plane. Your dog is checked baggage, alas. The airline’s website will give you information that lets you figure out what size carrier that you need. Put a dog pillow or newspapers down in the carrier. Throw in a toy of some kind, like a kong stuffed with treats. You will also need hamster-style water bottles, maybe a couple of them in large dog-size. Fill one of them the night before and stick it in the freezer. Fill the other at the airport (or before you go to same). My dog had panic attacks for 2 weeks or so after fyling, but was unharmed in the long run. Do not drug your dog.


Most countries want you to buy a ticket for your dog. Alas, as far as I know, you can’t get a eurail or interrail pass for your pet. The price of dog tickets varies widly country by country. In Germany, it costs the same as a child ticket. In the Netherlands, your dog can traverse the entire country for around 3€ / day. Small dogs in carriers/bags travel free everywhere. Theoretically, you dog must be muzzled, but so far, this hasn’t been enforced in my experience. Heck, my dog is so quiet, so sleepy and blends into shadows so well, that most train conductors / passport agents haven’t noticed her at all. I hand them her ticket and they say “This is for a dog!” as if I have tried to save fare by passing myself off as a caninie.
At least in Germany, taking a dog on an overnight train with sleeping benches is insanely expensive. This may be true in other countries as well.


This is a really fun way to travel with a dog, imo. It combines all the best things in life: dogs and bikes. If your dog is small, there exist baskets especially designed for them. There are also specifically designed trailers for any size dog. Doggy Ride is cheaper than kid trailers (that I looked at) and is a better shape for a dog. The trailer hitch will attack to almost any kind of bike. Realisticall, though, your bike should be multi-speed if you want to tow a dog. Three speeds at least. Probably more if you’re going through especially hilly areas.
I threw down a very cheap foam mat on the bottom of mine to provide padding. There is also a hook thing that (theoretically) keeps your dog from being able to successfully escape. In practice: make sure all the zippers are closed because your dog can jump out the top. Also, zip the zippers around to the top of the openings rather than leaving them at the bottom, because a dog can “dig” them open by scratching if they’re easy to reach. You dog will probably be unhappy the first few times out. I calmed my dog by asking her co-gaurdian to ride behind the trailer saying “good doggie” over and over again, which helped. Now she’s happy to jump in, but that took some time. She’s still nervous some times, alas.
The trailer folds up to a reasonable size and thus can go on any train.


Obviously, campgrounds are fine with dogs, but most will charge a tiny supplement and demand to see a pet passport. Most two star hotel chains are also fine with dogs, but will also want a supplement of around 5€. Guides published by trourist offices almost always contrain information about whether listed hotels take dogs. Most hotels do. Most hostels do not, but some will is you are with a group that takes up an entire offered room. (ie: two of you in a two-bed room).

Stuff to bring

Aside from the documentation mentioned at the top, bring some sort of small plastic bowl that can be filled with water. Make sure to offer water to your dog very often. And obviously, it will need walks, so bring a leash and also plastic bags in case you walk it in a city. Even Paris is getting serious about making people pick up dog crap, so don’t be a part of the problem. Also, getting a ticket sucks. Also bring treats, food and a toy or two. I didn’t want to bring a whole sack of dog food, so I pre-measured many days of food into zip-lock bags and brought those. The dog could eat straight out of the bags and I had baggies for picking up after her. My first time out with the pooch, I brouht along her pillow, but it got wet in the rain and was heavy, akward and smelly. Now, I just bring a foam pad, which is lighter. I wanted to get her a thermarest, but they’re incredibly expensive in Holland. anyway, she’s happy to sleep on the foam.


I prefer taking my dog with me. I can take her into almost every restaurant and even department stores. However, I can’t take her into churches, castles, museums or grocery stores. It’s ok to tie her up outside a store or a church, but she barks like crazy when left alone in a strange place, which might bother other people. And museums take too much time – I can’t leave her barking alone for hours or somebody will think she’s abandonned. I also cann’t leave her alone in her trailer, as she will destroy it by trying to escape. In the past, I have left her alone in hotel rooms, which was fine, even if against the rules. It’s also possible to leave her alone in an airline crate. Dogs find it soothing being locked in boxes and they can’t hurt airline carriers.

Is this REALLY a good idea?

Yes! Well, if you like your dog and it’s healthy. I wouldn’t bring my dog on a grand tour of European capitals because those trips are all about slogging through museum after museum. But if I want to go across a countryside from village to village (which is more fun anyway), the dog is great to have along. Also, people like dogs and it opens up communication.

i’m back

I’ve been in Berlin, Prauge and Dresden in the last week. It’s 10 hours from Dresden to Den Haag and if you have a dog with you, in order to get a sleeper car, you have to reserve the ENTIRE compartment, so unless you find 5 other people to go in with you, it’s 200 extra euros. Also, Czech border gaurds don’t notice dogs unless you hand them petpassports and if you do, they think you’re trying to pull something. Alas, pet passports don’t get stamps.

More later. I’m really tired.

Back from France

I’m back and I want to share all. I wasn’t sure where to start, especially since the trip ended much as it began: biking across Paris, towing a dog, trying to make a train connection. The second trip was a bit more hectic than the first because it involved a much farther away train station, a shorter time and a case of wine. Some Parisian yelled «Bravo!» as I struggled uphill across and intersection, trying to pick up speed to make the train on time. We had an hour and 5 minutes, two foldy bikes, a foldy trailer, dirty clothes, camping gear and the aforementioned dog and case of wine. And a medieval-style bugle that I bought in Orléans. 20 minutes to unfold everything. 20 minutes to bike from Montparnasse to Gare du Nord, 20 minutes to refold. I highly recommend sprinting across Paris with so many things, especially down the hill from the Sorbonne to the Seine.

We arrived in Paris the day of the election. The streets were crawling with Gendarmes, prepared for possible unrest following the results.
First stop, was the bakery near where my apartment used to be. God, they make the best bread in the world. First thing off my bike and I step in dog shit. Yay Paris. Some older French ladies approached me and spoke to me about my dog trailer. Maybe it was the nice weather. Maybe it was the expectant air around the election, but probably it was the dog. I almost never had conversations like that when I lived there.
The streets were full of flics and first-time roller bladers. At every corner, there were grim-looking cops in riot gear and young people on wheels desperately clinging to phone poles. Xena was trying desperately to escape her trailer as we slowly crossed the city. Nicole rode behind me, repeating “good dog!” over and over again. She said the scowling gendarmes broke into amused smiles as they spotted the dog.
We arrived in Orléans later that evening and went to the tourist office, which was closed. They also had cops everywhere. I tried to call the campground listed in the guidebook, but they didn’t answer their phone. Rather than ride the 5km to the campground with the risk of having to ride another 5 km back, we went to the Ibiss, a 2 star hotel chain in Europe, roughly equivalent to the Motel 6 in the US.
And everywhere I went that day, I head over and over «C’est un chien!» It’s a dog! but I felt very proud of myself when a kid added, «C’est genial!» That’s brilliant! indeed. My goal was to take my dog with me and avoid the hassle of trying to find a sitter, but I don’t mind amusing the French also.
Over dinner, I learned that Sarko had won. I hate that guy. He said several months ago that the (poor, immigrant) suburbs should be cleaned out with a pressure hose, a comment that contributed greatly to the riots that followed shortly thereafter, leaving many cars burned. His parents were immigrants! He’s like the Ward Connerly or Clarence Thomas of France. In the time leading to the run off, he actively courted supporters of Le Pen, the ultra-right nationalist who adores Joan of Arc. Not because she was an awesome cross dresser who could place a cannon, but because she drove France’s foreign enemies out of France – you know, like um, immigrants. Because immigrants are totally against the country they want to live in (yeah, I hate France and want to destroy it). And Joan of Arc was not accompanied by a huge bunch of Scots who were also foreign and there to help her.
As I was walking back to the hotel, I heard whistling and shouts. A huge crowd of youths came up behind me on the Rue de Jeanne d’Arc. They had a bedsheet banner that had an anti-sarko slogan on it. Other folks were joining them as they marched. The joiners had their cell phones in hand and busily SMSed and called their friends to let them know to join in. (I heard one guy saying something about “le podcast.”)
as they marched down the largest street in town, towards the cathedral, under the huge patriotic banners and flags the town hung for it’s yearly festival, the older, whiter, richer Orléanaise leaned out their apartment windows and looked worriedly on the crowd below. In the expensive apartment, old white folks worried. In the street, a young, diverse crowd marched, whistled and gave speeches.
WhenI heard Sarko won, I was disappointed, but not surprised. The poll numbers were in favor of him. He was running against a woman. Her “yay I won” speech after the first round was wooden and boring in a manner unsurpassed by even John Kerry or Al Gore (although maybe Bob Dole could give her a run). But still, I hoped somehow she would win and I was angry that she hadn’t. But then, I saw these other angry kids and marched with them for a while. They were unhappy, but engaged. Their actions demonstrated hope. They weren’t in the street just because they were angry. They were in the street in their smallish town because they knew it mattered. Their participation in this semi-spontaneous march meant something, not just to them and the worried old folks, but to their whole nation.
I felt tears in my eyes. How can such a great country be so stupid? I went back to the hotel to sleep.

Travelin’ / Upcoming Concerts

I will be playing in Berlin on May 18th at Zentrale Randlage as a part of a conference going that weekend. I’ll be playing tuba &/| laptop and Nick Fox-Gieg will be playing computer and doing visuals. It will be cool. Our part will only be about 12 minutes. I don’t know what time, yet or much else, really.

And I will be playing a short set of a larger “show and tell” concert in The Hague on May 24th. The venue is Verhulstpl 17. I don’t know what time yet. I’ll probably be playing some tape music, but might also do some live laptop.
I’m leaving Sunday to go to France for the Joan of Arc festival in Orleans. It turned out to be cheaper to buy something called an interrail pass instead of buying a ticket to Paris and another to Berlin. Theoretically, this means that I can go anywhere within commuting distance on the 21- 23 May or 25-27 May. Realistically, this means: Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, France maybe Denmark. It would be nifty if I could play some music someplace, since my transit is already paid, but, yeah, it’s way last minute and I’m not sure who to contact.
Xena now has a very official looking pet passport. It’s a little blue booklet with a Netherlands flag and an EU flag on it. Getting citizenship in the Netherlands is so easy for dogs! she can legally travel all over the EU (except for England). I got her a trailer yesterday, so I can pull her around with a bike. The trailer doubles as a crate/ “pup” tent. (ha ha ha). I’m now looking for a human tent. The idea is that camping is cheaper than hotel rooms. The reality is not so clear however.
Long-time readers will recall that last summer, I was planning a bike trip, but got lyme disease and had to cancel it. This year, hopefully, I’ll avoid dread disease. Nicole, Xena and I will be heading out along the Loire, following the route of Jeanne d’Arc on the the anniversary of her having travelled that way. Except she got to ride a horse and not tow a dog. On the other hand, she was wearing armor and had the constant risk of death, so I think it will be more fun for me than it was for her.

Happy Dog

Xena has fully recovered from airplane trauma. Almost. She’s become incredibly obedient, which is strange, but she seems very happy, running around and sniffing at things. The only things that freak her out now are loud noises and hurricane force winds. I had kind of forgotten how cute she is, like when she runs her forehead into my feet to show affection. What a great dog.

In other happy news, I went to a film festival going on Rotterdam, but which is not the official city festival. It’s the Reject Film Festival and they’re showing a bunch of short films by my friend Nick. It was great last night. A bunch of films and a three course meal for 10€. It’s still going on, so everybody who can should check it out.
I will go to the official festival later this week, but tonight I have lab time.

Twitching Dog

So it kind of alarms that Xena shakes and twitches while lying down. I went to look at a vet website (since my Oakland vet office is closed and it’s late at night here and doesn’t seem like an emergency). Apparently, some twitching can be cured with Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors.

Lovely. I’ve given my dog anxiety. Will I have to share my zoloft with her?
I went out for dinner and left her crated at home, but put on my ipod to keep her company. I chose a text sound playlist, so she would hear people speaking. She really did not want to go in her crate. When I came home,the ipod was making airplane sounds.
Good lord. If anybody has any dog-calming suggestions, I’m all ears.
In completely unrelated news, I spilled granola under my space bar.

In which I blather about my dog

Xena was acting very strangely and alarming me this morning, but after her walk, she seems fine. She was twitching with every breath and not getting up for her spot on the carpet. ack. but I took her for a walk down to the statue of the kid with the mushrooms and she perked right back up and came in and had food and water. She is funny in the morning, because she knows she has to wait for me to do my routine before she gets walked, so she doesn’t want to rouse herself too much, lest she awaken her bladder. I had forgotten though and thought something was terribly wrong, but I went through my routine anyway. heh. The dog is smarter than me.

She seems kind of sad. I am going to see if she’s allowed in the café from which I buy espresso. There is no food in the house and it’s filthy. I’m guessing that she’s not allowed in the store. I will do much cleaning before Cola returns.

And . . . she is indeed allowed in the café. Also, Dutch for “Sit!” is “Zit!” which caused the café guy to ask if she was a Dutch dog. I wish they all could be California dogs. She’s fine after a walk, but the longer she sits indoors, the more twitchy she gets. I thought she was having nightmares yesterday, but she was awake. Yikes. I guess we go for a walk whenever she starts to twitch and shake. Poor dog. She went more than 12 hours without getting to pee and she didn’t drink any of her water in the crate, she just let it drip on her, so it was like 12 hours of thirst and water torture. I hope she is ok. I haven’t tried leaving her alone yet, but I must go buy food.

In the lowlands

Xena and I have arrived. After spending several hours in a little crate, Xena was very happy to get a walk. As far as I can tell, she drank no water while in transport. When she got back to my place, she drank a few litres and then fell asleep.

Carrying a big heavy suitcase, a dog and a dog crate on the train is a bit of a chore. When I got to the station in Den Haag, none of the taxis wanted to take me because of Xena. Finally one agreed, as long as certain conditions were met, including the dog staying off the seats. It’s hard to explain to a freaked out dog that the normal rules of car travel don’t apply.
My street is a pedestrian street, so after the cab dropped me off, I still had to walk with crazy dog and stuff. It was ok though. We went for a walk and Xena already recognizes the apartment. She’s smart.
Nicole cried at the airport when Xena was carted away in a cage to go into the baggage hold. It’s weird, but it makes me feel better when Cola cries. For two reasons. One is that if I’m stressed about something and she cries about it, then I feel validated. Yes, checking a dog into cargo is alarming. The other is that when I reassure her, I say reassuring things and internalize them, thus reassuring myself. Also, it kinda makes me feel all butch and stuff.
Yay, I’m here. Oh my god, my head hurts. It’s 3:00 pm now. How much longer should I force myself to stay awake? I’d be jealous of the dog for being asleep, but she’s having nightmares.


http://www.musicmavericks.org/listening/. The American Mavericks website is awesome. It’s also useful for paper writing.
Xena got some swimming lessons yesterday. she isn’t comfortable going in water over her head, but she seems to be good at the dog paddle. strangely, lake water has improved her odor. she is also eating again and seems happy. I think she might have had the flu before, when she wasn’t eating. I hope to take her out to the lake again soon.
I made a pot of chilli today and shared it with Angela. chilli makes me happy. Also, the weather has been wonderful all weekend. yay good weather. and i had coffee today and coffee makes me happy. coffee at 4:00 in the afternoon makes me happy after midnight in the computer lab when i have class at 9:00 the next morning! (maybe not as happy in the mornining unless i have coffee then too.)
Reading: Noam Chomsky the Indespensible Chomsky: Understanding Power. a Chomsky book that’s very readable. It’s based on teach-ins, so the words and style is conversational and the vocabulary is less dense. also reading: Henry Cowell’s book on Ives. Also very readable and conversational. It explicitly says it’s not a critical analysis.
Listening to: Ives Symphony No. 4. It’s wonderful. go click on the link at the top of this post to get to the file on the web. also listening to: David Tutor’s live electronic works. Not as melodious as Ives, obviously, but they stand the test of time and are still interesting even after the newness of the medium has completely worn off
Ives’ nationalism and rejection of equal temperment and bizarre agressiveness give him a lot in common with Harry Partch. but my paper is only supossed to be 2 pages long.
I mentioned Tom of Finland in an academic paper about music. wheee!