5 year anniversary!

  • Dec. 18th, 2010 at 4:39 PM
my_daroga: Sirius from Diana Wynne Jones' Dogsbody. Based on my dog. (dog)
On December 17, 2005, Mr. Daroga and I picked up our first dog from the pound. Eventually named Mr. Darcy for his combined vulnerability and attitude, he's been a fantastic companion ever since. I just wanted to commemorate that, because I love this dog, and I think a lot of people who've met him have, too. He's the model for the picture of Sirius from Diana Wynne Jones' Dogsbody in the icon. He's the one who I couldn't take outside for months and months because he became dog aggressive after the three month period during which he was too terrified to un-tuck his tail.

When we got him, the pound said he was a year old. The vet said he was three or four. Which means he must have been somewhere in between, because he didn't grow, and he's probably not nine. But I guess we'll never know, and judging from some of his behavior, maybe it's best that way.

Thank you, Mr. Darcy, for five years of love and counting.

Then, and blurry, I'm sorry.

camera shy
Now-ish. Hey, greybeard.

Name Those Cats!

  • Jun. 3rd, 2010 at 6:35 AM
my_daroga: Sirius from Diana Wynne Jones' Dogsbody. Based on my dog. (dog)
Note: I promise this journal will not devolve into all-new-cats, all the time. No more than usual, anyway.

So, yes. My much-loved Kitty-Kate passed away on March 5th, and while I can't say I'll ever be over her, exactly, the bedroom was feeling lonely without cat company and Mr. Daroga and I succumbed on Sunday to the lure of the shelter. Note to self: "looking" = "taking home."

One of these beauties appealed to Mr. D right away, seeing as she managed to be both hyper and lap-sitty within five minutes, but her sister would not hear of her leaving alone. So... we got two. Which I'm sure will be excellent for them while we're away, and as insurance against the dogs. Kate was only ever a one-cat cat, by her own preference as far as we could tell, but these two are super-bonded and get into all sorts of trouble. They're less than a year old and came from a house that was raided by police because there were 20+ animals living there. They're surprisingly well-adjusted and used to just about anything--they also get into just about everything and I'm not even sure how they do the things with food bowls that I've come home to find.

The dogs are, in one case, ignoring their existence and in the other, veering between intense interest and jealousy. They'll adjust, but I keep telling Mr. Darcy that if he shuts up and sits still, they'll probably be all over him in no time. Dogs do not understand "let her come to you."

Anyway, we're having trouble naming the little beasts (so far they're Cat and Other Cat), so I'm opening up the floor to recommendations. They don't have to be girls' names. They don't have to be sister/twin/pair names. They can be fandom-related or not. Ideas?

moar new kitties

cats and jealous dogfaces )

Band photos, but not on stage.

  • Mar. 7th, 2009 at 11:37 AM
my_daroga: Mucha's "Dance" (self)
Some more photos; mostly a recording session where I took pictures of random things in the room. But first, some puppies!

[livejournal.com profile] deathmask_revel's baby, Auryn.

Mr. Darcy with Auryn's Christmas gift. Auryn ripped its beak off shortly after and it was retired.

+17 studio photos )

I just had a thought: are you guys curious about the actual recording process at all? I realize that I might be doing things lots of people don't have access to, that maybe I should share.

Five associated things, list one

  • Feb. 25th, 2009 at 12:41 PM
my_daroga: Orson Welles (orson)
Five things [livejournal.com profile] inlaterdays associates with me:

I started "seriously" taking photos in March of 2005, when I visited Seattle for the first time and brought Mr. Daroga's 80's Minolta with me. The photos in the daffodil fields in Skagit county were sort of a revelation; I realized I loved how they looked, and that I had taken them. (That particular lens, too, has a quality I fear I cannot match with my digital.) I joined DeviantArt, and started taking more photos, and spent a lot of money on film and developing.

Sometimes I think of "doing something" with photography, only I don't know what. I haven't made a disciplined study of it, and I'm not sure what direction I'd want to go. I love candid shots, street scenes, taking photos of little things no one notices. I haven't delved much into studio or portrait work, because I guess my documentary impulse is stronger. I'd love to find some direction here, and really learn what works and what doesn't.

Phantom of the Opera
Ah,imagine my not-surprise that this came up. But what to elaborate upon?

I guess what comes to mind most strongly is how I've attempted to "reclaim" POTO fandom--I don't mean externally, from someone else, but for myself. To have a fandom I can operate in. The source itself seems to matter less, aside from the fact that I feel comfortable within it because I know it very well (I love Buffy, too, for example, but feel ill-equipped memory-wise to write or participate). Also, Phantom fandom is small enough to make a little splash in, which (as you know) I have tried to do. It's less, maybe, that I'm still obsessed with the story/characters and more that I still find them useful/interesting enough to build that interaction around. It's something consistent I can go back to and mine. That said, I don't actually feel that any given version of it (even Leroux) is a masterpiece. Which is probably why it's allowed for so much expression over the years. You can't do much with perfection; it's the flawed that can stand to be tinkered with.

I have always loved dogs, for as long as I can remember. When I was a baby, we had an Old English named Tuppence who (I am told) guarded me while I slept and cleaned my face off after I ate. We had to give her away when I was 6 months old and we moved to Saudi Arabia, but I romantically half-believe that experience set me up for life. (As a side note, I also romantically think my un-remembered year in Arabia set me up for Lawrence.) I am far more likely to notice dogs than people on the street. I remember specific dogs at the dog park, but never their owners. I suppose love of dogs is fairly common because they have been engineered to be perfect companions: at their best, they are obedient, respectful, true, multi-purpose, and aesthetically pleasing. I like cats, too--in fact, I like all animals--and I love having both for different reasons. But I will always put dogs first, if given the choice.

As to what I like in dogs, specifically, I especially appreciate functionality. I don't mean I need a dog to pull a sled or flush game or keep my sheep, but that it bothers me very much that we've bred dogs who cannot survive on their own. All the bulldogs, pugs, dachshunds, etc into whom we've intentionally bred health problems seems, to me, to be abuse, plain and simple. Maybe you think they're cute, and maybe the fact that they're pets means survival isn't an issue, but it bothers me that we've twisted these creatures for no other end than we think it's adorable that their faces are squished so they can't breath and their bodies are deformed so they can't run properly or give birth naturally.

As to my more personal preferences, they tend towards the working/herding group, the sheepdogs and such. I find those qualities to be more advantageous for home life (sticking around, guarding, etc) than the prey-driven and running-off breeds. Overall, though, I love the mutt, and I think that given the fact I've been successful in rehabilitating a problem dog, it's my duty to do so whenever I can.

As you may have noticed, writing and I have a bit of a troubled relationship. I love it when it goes well, because it's easy. I hardly ever edit anything, and I've been rewarded fine (both academically and fandom-wise) for not being terribly careful. I don't mean I'm sloppy, or that I'm not working at it, but most of what I put out there has been tweaked very little between my brain and your eyes. So I've learned some fairly bad habits, and haven't learned the value of careful editing and plotting and all that.

That's probably why most of my stuff is short. I don't let you see the longer stuff, because it would take more work, and I haven't gotten my head wrapped around, say, rewriting my Phantom novella.

I'm always of two minds about what I want to write, as well. I know full well I've no aspirations to greatness, to literary merit. Most of my favorite books aren't "literary classics," they're whatever moves me. If I could affect someone the same way, I'd be happy. But at the same time, part of me doesn't seem to want to accept this. It's not exactly conscious, but I'm blocked a lot of the time from just going wild and writing what I'd probably want to, if I thought about it.

Orson Welles
I think the thing that draws me to Orson Welles is the complexity and contradiction of him. He was multi-talented, an actor, writer, director, artist, everything. He was an attractive man who is "not my type." And he's at the center of controversy, even today, about what he means to his field(s) and no two books you read about him will paint the same picture. In fact, there are opposing camps of Welles scholars, some of whom seem to want to deny him any agency in his work at all, and some of whom want to excuse his every indulgence. His "failure" is either entirely his fault, or entirely the world's. Of course, most are somewhere in the middle.

In this, he reminds me of the last historical individual I was obsessed with, T.E. Lawrence. Multi-talented, a little (or very) odd, and ultimately disappointed by life, leaving an uncertain legacy that will be argued over for generations. I wonder if that quality is what attracts me, and what it is about that that does. It's true that on my bookshelf, these two men are the only people who take up a comparable amount of space, though in personality/interest/scope they're nothing alike.

What I've read about Welles really makes me like him. I don't think he was perfect, or blameless, or any of that. But he's delightful, even sometimes in his arrogance (and who's to say some of it wasn't earned). And while some consider his acting "hammy," I think he's one of the most charming people I've ever seen on screen, even when the movies are bad. Dirty little secret: my current affair with him actually began as a result of my using his image (this icon, in fact) as the avatar for a male Carlotta-figure for an rp. That character has taken on a life of his own, but he sparked a re-examination of Welles' work for me which prompted... well, what you see.

I could go on for days on any of these! So feel free to discuss, if I said anything interesting.

Photos: Denali National Park Kennels

  • Dec. 22nd, 2008 at 11:05 AM
my_daroga: Mucha's "Dance" (mr. darcy)
Here it is, folks: the end of the Alaska trip series. The last day was mostly travel, and before we left my brother, sis-in-law, and I only had time to get down to the kennel where they keep the sled dogs that still patrol the park in winter for poachers and signs of motorized traffic. Dogs are still more efficient than snowmobiles for this purpose and less invasive. The Alaskan Husky is not bred to an AKC (or any other) standard but for the qualities--both physical and temperamental--that make them good sled dogs. So they all look a little different. These dogs are also bred for friendliness to strangers, as they spend a good part of the year as a visitors' exhibit. Even so, the dogs all have their own space and can choose to interact with people or not, as they wish. They seemed pretty happy when I was there.

+6 )


  • Dec. 16th, 2007 at 2:08 PM
my_daroga: Mucha's "Dance" (mr. darcy)
My brother and sis-in-law's Christmas present:

Dylan by ~my-daroga on deviantART


Darmoth, Super Puppy!

  • Nov. 21st, 2007 at 8:01 AM
my_daroga: Mucha's "Dance" (mr. darcy)
Now that it's arrived at its intended destination, I can post this publicly:

Darmoth by ~my-daroga on deviantART

Made for [livejournal.com profile] darmoth's mommies; he's a good, happy boy who was hit by a car as a puppy and lost the use of his hind legs. But M&M have given him an awesome life.


Don't Look Back: my former dog, Dylan

  • Nov. 15th, 2007 at 7:54 AM
my_daroga: Mucha's "Dance" (mr. darcy)
I'm fairly confident that this is the cutest creature who ever lived:

After my parents moved onto a boat, Dylan went to live with my (older of two but still younger than me) brother. I was sad. But now I have Mr. Darcy, so it's all good.

All of my dogs have had D-names. Dickens, Dylan, Darcy.

puppy hate

  • Oct. 16th, 2007 at 6:40 AM
my_daroga: Mucha's "Dance" (mr. darcy)
In Stanley Coren's Why We Love the Dogs We Do: How to Find the Dog that Matches Your Personality, the psychologist and author of The Intelligence of Dogs seeks to provide a fool-proof method of choosing the right sort of companion for your personality by combining research into historic figures and a new breed classification system based on temperament, not AKC groups.

Unfortunately, while it is somewhat interesting to read about why Eugene O'Neill loved his Dalmatian, this reader has been woefully misled and misunderstood.

In Coren's new system, there are seven breed groups: Steady, Self-Assured, Consistent, Friendly, Protective, Independent, and Clever. You take a personality test, which measures Extroversion, Dominance, Trust and Warmth on a scale from Low to High, and match up the best groups for each of those aspects. This gives you eight breed groups (two for each score) and from that, you can supposedly rest assured that any dog from a group that appears more than once will be a good match. Under no circumstances, actually, should you own a dog in one of the groups that appears only once or not at all.

What's particularly exciting about my case is that while I feel the personality test gave me accurate results, it returned every group at least once and Consistent dogs was the only one to appear twice. So what kind of dog should I have?

Bedlington Terrier
Boston Terrier
Dandie Dinmont Terrier
French Bulldog
Italian Greyhound
Japanese Chin
King Charles (English Toy) Spaniel
Lhasa Apso
Sealyham Terrier
Skye Terrier
Tibetan Terrier

Do you see anything wrong with this list?

I like to think I like all dogs. I'm certainly capable of enjoying individual dogs of all varieties. And my score does reflect that my preferences aren't strong. But this is probably the very last group I'd want a dog from. And it's not just my prejudice against their size and squished faces. "Consistent" is about the last thing I care about in a dog. According to these scores, I shouldn't have gotten along with any dog I've ever loved.

Obviously it's just a guide, and I wouldn't have posted about it if I'd just found that site which has stolen Coren's test. But this is a book specifically designed to guide you, and in which Coren is vehement about never choosing a dog from a breed group you don't match. Of course he has to, it being his book. But I believe that unless I'm some kind of freak of nature, this rubric is useless.

Oh, by the way? I scored low on Extroversion, medium on Dominance, High on Trust, and Medium on Warmth. Which I'm not much surprised about.

Take the test yourself!

conditioned responses and me

  • Oct. 12th, 2007 at 6:42 AM
my_daroga: Mucha's "Dance" (mr. darcy)
I've never experienced anything traumatic enough to stay with me in the way that, well, people who've been through traumatic events tend to carry that emotional residue with them. But now I think I understand it.

The other night, the Daroga clan (sans Kitty) went for a walk with human!Darcy and Sacha and The Bass Player. It was late, and quite dark, and we were on the well-used bike path behind the house. We heard someone coming in the distance, and could make out vague doggy-shaped things in front of person-shaped things, but Mr. Daroga was not expecting it at all when one of the doggy-shapes, which was already running towards us anyway (though on leash, as was Mr. Darcy) went straight for Mr. Darcy's face and clamped on to his lip. O HAY THAR PITBULL!

The men at the other ends of the leashes went in, while I yelled "don't get bit!" and tried to spray the dogs with my squirt bottle. And while it was definitely the most potentially dangerous fight Mr. D's ever been in (as in, dangerous for him), no one was hurt. Mr. Daroga apologized needlessly, since for once it wasn't D's fault. (Yes, I realize there are far too many "D" and "dar"'s.)

Crisis averted. Everything fine.

Well, as soon as we got out of range, I started crying and hyperventilating. I couldn't stop. And it wasn't that I was specifically reliving being bit, or genuinely concerned for Mr. Darcy's welfare at that moment. I think I was reliving the emotions of that day when I got bit and the other dog's owner yelled at me with a lot more venom than either of the dogs felt towards each other. It wasn't a specific memory--just the attendant feelings. And I realized that I've been reacting poorly to dog fights since then. Not that we get in a lot of them, but I'm emotionally less capable of dealing with it now.

So I kind of understand conditioned, traumatic responses like that now. Which, aside from being (obviously) unpleasant, is kind of interesting, too. Though it makes me feel weak and inadequate, I must say.


  • Jun. 10th, 2007 at 2:21 PM
my_daroga: Mucha's "Dance" (Default)

sacha by ~my-daroga on deviantART

Piece done "on commission" from her lovely owner. More photos of Sacha, and her boyfriend Mr. Darcy, can be found here.

I am thinking of making a little business out of this; what say you?

Mr. Darcy vs. Sacha

  • May. 2nd, 2007 at 10:21 PM
my_daroga: Mucha's "Dance" (Default)
[Error: unknown template video]
So I finally caught the kids on video. Granted, there's sex, but that usually doesn't happen, I promise! Sacha is Mr. Darcy's girlfriend, and sometimes she stays over. Sometimes they fight. Then they go inside and lay on the couch or chew each others' ears.

Also, here is my treatment of Dr. Quinn moving to Deadwood to open a lucrative laudanum trade. I didn't do the idea justice, but it was the only request I got. Way to make me feel wanted, guys.

Things I've been doing

  • Mar. 26th, 2007 at 7:56 AM
my_daroga: Mucha's "Dance" (Default)
I've been too lazy to write up the things I've been meaning to talk about. No idea why; there doesn't seem to be a pattern informing my LJ posting. As in, I don't seem to post more or less often depending on how busy I am. It just varies independently.

But I've done a few things that I'll show you.

First, a scene from Leroux's Phantom of the Opera, just before the Persian is pulled to a potentially watery grave:

bosom of the waters by ~my-daroga on deviantART

Next, a lovely cat!macro! Inspired by... well, Kate taking over this book last night:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Lastly, a stupid "comic" I made using my flickr account and bubblr. Unfortunately, you'll have to go to the site, since the embedded version won't work with LJ:

Dogfight by l_aurens


my_daroga: Mucha's "Dance" (Default)
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