For the past week or so, I have been dog sitting.
More specifically, I have been dog-sitting a dalmatian.
Like pretty much every pet owner ever, I've begun wondering what the dog is thinking. As near as I can tell, here is a complete list:
Last week my friends were out here in LA, scouting for apartments and potentially a new house as part of their grand adventure here in the Great State of California. (We are legally mandated to call it that because we don't want the tourists to know we're broke.) I was happy to put them up while they pursued their quest.
For whatever reason, they brought their 16-month-old daughter. (School's out? Daycare gets expensive after the first 78 hours? They are responsible, loving parents? -Don't ask me. This whole parenting thing is like quantum physics: I just put the elements together in a room and indirectly observe the resulting collisions.)
Fortunately, despite being a two-legged physics experiment, their daughter is the most adorable baby in the world.*
*With the exception of YOUR baby. Your baby is super-cute. Like, unnaturally so. So amazingly cute, it's really transcended all normal baby-dom and attained a class-of-its-own level of cuteness that makes it unfair to compare other babies. It's like comparing Rod Carew to Mary Steenburgen. They're both great at what they do, but your baby is in a whole different line of work when it comes to cuteness. Plus, your baby is probably not going to marry Ted Danson.
(That's not a knock against Rod Carew. He was, like, an important sports guy. Or something.)
After five days of intensive research, here is what I have learned about babies:
Count, count, count them up.
Break, break, break them down.
These are: The Little Details.
Back in the day (which is shorthand for "many, many years ago") I was an exchange student in northern Germany. Now (which is shorthand for "yesterday") I'm back to catch up with old friends and brush up on my rusty, rusty German.
24 hours in: so far, so good.
Das sind... die kleine Einzelheiten.
I once heard someone refer to directing as "death by a thousand questions."
Dim Sum is like that, but with food.
Wow, what a boring weekend. Stayed home, vacuumed under the entertainment center, thought about adopting a dog from the pound, and made my signature sweet potato pancakes. SO domestic.
I had coffee with a buddy this morning though and he just got back from a bachelor party in Vegas. WILD!
These are the highlights, as he told them to me at the Coffee Bean this morning. Names have been changed to protect the innocent.
South Korea, bomb scares, wind chill factors, vintage ties.
They're not the lyrics to a Billy Joel song. They are... The Little Details.
It's a new year!
...Which, naturally, leads me to thinking about new endings.
You might think that's morbid. I like to think it's pragmatic. Like, what's the likely conclusion of this new and unfolding situation? There's a lot to consider. The world today is a pretty fast-paced place and even with 24-hour news, internet video and on-the-spot tweets, it can be hard to keep up.
To take it all in, we have to examine... The Little Details.
It's 4pm, New Year's Eve. I'm laying in my hotel room, trying to nap after six hours of hoofing it around Manhattan. Halfway down the block, the crowd has gathered in Times Square. A countdown begins, even though it's still light out. "4... 3... 2... 1..." and with a outburst of cheers, New Year's has been rung in for St. Petersburg.
I try to roll over and tune it out, but there's no sleep. The biggest party in the country is starting right next door and, thanks to one of my good friends who happens to work for Dick Clark, I have an all-access pass.
The following article consists primarily of excerpts from an upcoming ethnography detailing one man's life and career in Los Angeles, California.
It is by no means comprehensive.
Instead, it is a collection of... The Little Details.