Archive for May, 2011

Contest Redux

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May 31st, 2011 Posted 8:35 am

“Last day of May,” says Spence. “Just about time for a new Friend of the Month.”

“Should we remind everyone of the rules?” Admin says.

“Can’t be too careful in this world.”

“Belt and suspenders.”

“Plus safety pins.”

“Okay, enough of that,” Spence says. “Once a month one Friend of Chet is chosen as Friend of the Month. The winning team – dog and human – will receive an autographed copy of the latest book in the series, and the Friend of the Month picture will be posted on the blog’s front page sidebar for that month, where Ian is now. The choice will be random.”

“Based on complex formulas first devised by Isaac Newton and later refuted by Heisenberg?”

“Exactly. No need for anyone out there to post a picture every month – once you’re a Friend of Chet, pictured in the gallery, you’re in the pool. And let’s admit that some of the friends aren’t from the nation within, and that’s fine.”

“Is this clear? Or does it sound like something written by the government?”

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Memorial Day

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May 30th, 2011 Posted 7:53 am

“This year,” says Spence, “we should also remember all the dogs who have served.”

“Read my mind,” says Admin.

Have a good Memorial Day, everybody. Bernie and I are going on a long walk. First I have to wake him.

Welcome Cinnamon and Shadow, Sasha, Crash, Unusual Trio, Very Cute Dude, Mabel, Roxie, Jaslyn. Harry and Jack: please try again.

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Sundays With Ingrid

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May 29th, 2011 Posted 9:20 am

Cracked-Up Katie was well within smelling range. She smelled like Grampy: cigarettes and booze.

“Little girlie, totally lost,” she said. “Or else running away from home. Is that it? You running away from home?”

“No,” said Ingrid, fighting the urge to back up a step.

Cracked-Up Katie squinted down at her. “Bet you are,” she said. “Bet your whole life’s hit the fan and you’re taking off. I’m a real good guesser.” She stuck the sunglasses in her piled-up hair. “Or used to be,” she said, her voice a lot quieter all of a sudden. She glanced around. Her gaze fell on the Coke can. She stepped into the gutter and scooped the can into her shopping bag automatically, like an assembly-line veteran; a shopping bag, Ingrid noticed, that came from Lord & Taylor. “You a Coke person or a Pepsi person?” said Cracked-Up Katie.

Fresca was Ingrid’s drink, but she said, “Pepsi.”

“Me, too,” said Cracked-Up Katie. “Plus rye. What’s your name, sister?”

Ingrid knew better than to give her name to strangers, especially strangers like Cracked-Up Katie. On the other hand, she had to say something. But what?

“Forgotten your name?”

“No,” said Ingrid. Who could forget Ingrid? Ingrid, a name that might as well have been Geek, Dork, or Loser, a name she absolutely hated, inspired by a long-ago movie star in Mom’s all-time favorite movie, Casablanca, curse it forever. Why couldn’t Mom have fallen in love with something starring Drew Barrymore? Drew Levin-Hill: cool, essence of. But no. When she was eight, Ingrid had finally thought up a nickname, but it hadn’t caught on. Nicknames, she learned, were something others had to give you.

“Then what is it?” said Cracked-Up Katie. “Your name.”

Had to say something, real name out of the question, no fake names coming to mind except Miss Stapleton from The Hound of the Baskervilles. “Griddie,” said Ingrid.

Cracked-Up Katie’s expression grew thoughtful, her forehead wrinkling, pushing ridges of dried pancake makeup out of the furrows. “Griddie,” she said. “Cool. Mine’s Katherine, but you can call me Kate.” She held out her hand. Ingrid shook it.

Surprise. The only person who’d ever bought into her nickname turned out to be Cracked-Up Katie. And a second, smaller surprise: how cold her hand was.

From Down the Rabbit Hole.

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Stephen King/Entertainment Weekly

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May 28th, 2011 Posted 8:07 am

“Hey,” says Spence. “We seem to have made Stephen King’s Entertainment Weekly recommended summer reading list. It’s in the June 3 issue.”

“Don’t interrupt,” says Admin. “I’m planning my funeral music.”

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The Books



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