One of the funnest parts about blogging is making blogfriends. Blogfriends are like radio DJs. Based on the selective information that person provides about him or herself, you develop an image in your head of what he or she looks, thinks like and even what their real name is. Then you get to meet the person and poof! Everything has to be recalibrated to match reality.
Carpetblogger just met Chirol of Coming Anarchy for a couple of beers beneath the Galata Bridge as he passed through Istanbul. Fortunately, we remembered to ask his real name right before meeting up. He had just visited Azerbaijan and oddly, he didn't find it all that compelling. Hard to believe. Here's a piece of advice if you're about to meet a blogfriend for the first time: He or she will probably be younger than you expect.
Enidd is one of my favorite bloggers. She lives in Kyiv --er, Molvania --and I can't believe we weren't real friends when I lived there. Stalin and Fluffy, however, would have kicked the Carpetdogs' skinny white dogasses out of principle.
Enidd has a feature called On The Couch, in which she poses questions to her blogfriends. She directed some questions to Carpetblogger. Carpetblogger promises to direct questions to someone else, probably Wu Wei, whom we met in Kyiv last summer, or The Copydude.
1) how did you meet the carpetdogs?
We knew the carpetdogs back before they had passports written in three languages, back when they did other things besides sleep all day.
The most precious dogchild came from the San Francisco SPCA, in 1996, at a year old. He's always been a willful dog, which was probably why it was already his second visit to the SPCA when we picked him out. The fact that he later flunked out of three Canine Good Citizen classes just endeared him to us even more. He was just a lot smarter than those dumb golden retrievers and suck-up labs. Some might even say gifted. You can't blame him for being frustrated in that environment.
The other, less precious dogchild came from an Aussie rescue in Hood River, Oregon, in 1999 at about two years old. She is known as the Supermodel -- beautiful but dumb as a box of hair. On the other hand, she had never gone to the vet for any but routine reasons, she has never seen a doggie neurologist, she has never contracted deadly diseases, nor has she exploded pus all over the walls. Some argue that she is, in fact, the better dog.
When people ask us why we don't have children, we point to our dogs as evidence of our bad parenting skills. We ignore basic principles of obedience. We play favorites and encourage unhealthy rivalry. We don't believe in traditional educational systems. We left them alone with a complete stranger for a year. Not much better than dirty hippies, really. And anyway, we don't even live in the same country, so it would have to be like immaculate conception.
2) you switch on the tv, and hear the scariest thing you've ever heard. what is it?
Bush re-elected. 1/20/09 is not that far away, right?
3) enidd's dying to know why you were kicked out of baku - but if you'd rather not say, tell us why you decided on ukraine (for a while).
There isn't enough bandwidth to cover the whole story and names would have to be changed to protect the craven. So, you'll just have to wait for the book (or a nice Napa Valley Cab at Enidd's new house in SF). The readers' digest version is that the wheels of the petrocracy bus in Azerbaijan were really, really painful.
4) there's only one jar of peanut butter left in the whole world, and it's in your kitchen. do you send it to your elderly, cancer-ridden, peanut-butter-o-phile relative, or pretend it never existed?
Well, I still have that salmonella-ridden jar of Peter Pan. I could totally give that to the elderly, cancer-ridden relative. That would be ok, right? What could it possibly hurt?
5) yushchenko or yanukovych?
I'm sorry. I have no idea who those people are.