Okay, I’m hurting here for some inspiration and something, anything to write about. I see some of you just swimming along, putting forth blogs of wisdom, mirth (yes, I said mirth), stories about back to school, about the trash that’s gracing our television screens (and btw, they were hysterical) and inspired poetry. They’re wonderful! I laugh and they tug at my heartstrings or it reveals something about you.
Me, I’m the little kid that’s been made to stay in the shallow end of the pool.
I’m watching everyone else splashing and having fun in the deep end. Or I’m the kid in the deep end, just learning how to swim and dog-peddling rapidly, not getting anywhere. Or the kid that their parents threw in the deep end with floaties on her arms and they’re yelling, “Swim, swim.” And I don’t, I just stay there, floating, sweating in the sun.
Enough with the swim analogies, but I figured it’s summer, hot and it was apropos.
So I looked up where the expression “dog days” came from and what it means. Whatever. Read on, it’s all I got.
Why a Dog Does Nada When It Gets Hot
My intensive research is solely from the internet so you know, it must be true. Wikipedia says that the term originated from the Latin term, diēs caniculārēs and it’s mostly associated with hot weather and Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky (and also satellite radio) and way back in 1813 it was “believed to be an evil time…the Sea boiled, the Wine turned sour, Dogs grew mad, and all other creatures became languid; causing to man, among other diseases, burning fevers, hysterics, and phrensies.”
That does kind of describe how I feel sometimes when it’s gets hot — languid and hysterical at times. And I get the phrensies too (looked it up, it means “irrational excitement.”) Yep. When I’m not languishing, I’m getting irrationally excited.
But the Wise Greek said the Greeks had it all wrong — that Sirius wasn’t the brightest star and maybe the expression came from when it gets hot, dogs lie really close to the ground, panting and all that, not doing much of anything. And, the expression also stuck in the 19th Century when it was determined that dogs contracted rabies (more than any other time of year) during the sultry days.
Look at that. Nearly four-hundred words and hopefully, you know more about dog days, constellations and rabies than you knew before.
I’m Not Complaining But…
I remember watching an episode of CBS Sunday Morning where the Fast Draw Guys (you know the guys that draw stories on whiteboards) and it was about the temps humans are the most comfortable with. I couldn’t find it on YouTube, but if I remember correctly, those temps are between 65 and 75, 78 degrees Fahrenheit. So, if it rises above that, we begin to get uncomfortable, sluggish and hot. Below that and we’re complaining about the cold. I don’t know where you are, but it’s hot and humid where I am.
So, I’m kind of like that dog, lying close to the ground.
Uninspired, sluggish and ready to snap at someone who may say the wrong thing to me.
I’m off to shake off the dog days. I’ve just finished a few work things so I’m going to do the things I’ve been wanting to do. Paint a room, work on a desk my hubby’s building for me and organize my office.
That is, if it’s not too hot.
Enjoy Florence and the Machine below — she’s singing about those dog days being over. And they will be soon! Then we’ll start complaining about the cold.Photo creds: Dog with fan, Fan blowing on dog
I haven’t been writing posts because I’m actually down in Hilton Head, South Carolina, trying to shake off Vegas. It’s steamy, rainforest hot down here, moss hanging from trees, glasses fog up when you walk outside… These are real dog days. Everyone moves in slow motion. Of course, I love it.
You’re so right about the fact that we’ll all be complaining about the cold soon enough. Great that you added that little bit of perspective.
Have a beautiful day, Brigitte!
Lisa, I’ve been to Hilton Head. It’s gorgeous there and I lived near Charleston for a time so I know that heat you’re talking about. It is oppressive at times — will wear you out. But still, better than Vegas, huh? Sweat all that Vegas out, enjoy and stay cool. Thanks for taking the time to stop by while on vacay and you have a beautiful day as well, my friend.
It’s hot here too. I feel your pain love. We must plan a party bus to Mexico or something. We will find shenanigans and phone spouse’s for bail money. It will be epic.
Or we could sit on our patios and pretend we did that and write about it.
Hey Rep, I’m in on the Mexican party bus thing and I’ve commented on your blog about other ideas….stay cool, mama.
“pretend we did that and write about it.” Perfect!
Yes, Rep is wise and what a great idea!! Margarita you can come along. :).
I’m on that bus waiting for you two! lol 😉
Bring the tequila and lime.
NOW you’re talkin’!
You are welcome to hop on the party bus too.
Yyaaayyy! I’m not usually a party girl…you two make it very appealing! 😉
I think our fiction party would be a lot wilder than our real party, but I’m still game. 😉 On the bus or the patio, it matters not.
I’m having a blast with the fiction party…and that’s just as much energy as I can muster! lol
You dear Brigitte are relegated to the shallow end. You are just treading water waiting to catch your next big wave. This post was very apropos(had to check my spelling on this one) for the hot steamy languid summer we are having.
Either way your presence online is like a cool splash of fresh crystal water on my face…
Audra, thank you and I read your other comment. This one scared me at first since I took it to mean that I was one of those annoying kids in the shallow end that someone WANTS to splash cold water on and scream, STOP YOUR WHINING. I’m relieved that you think otherwise. (just kidding, I know what you meant) and thank you dear one, I love being a cool splash of fresh crystal water. You managed to bring beautiful poetry/imagery to my whiny dog day post. Thank you. 😀
oops that should read NOT relegated
And girl, you have been putting out PURE GOLD lately.
Just let it come.
Cuz when it DOES come, I treasure every word you say.
I love your swimming analogy. It’s ok to float.
Or, in the great words of Dory from Finding Nemo,
Just keep swimming….just keep swimming…
Your adoring fan,
Dear Lis, shucks girl, flattery will get you everywhere and thank you! :). You are such a sweet person and I’m your fan as well. Great minds think alike and all that. I’m heading over to your post — that George Clooney pic was nice. ;). He seriously has some white teeth, doesn’t he? xxoo
Yes he does!!!!
I hope you get over your writer’s block soon Brigitte 🙂
Thanks, Sandee. Seriously information about dogs, rabies and constellations — I’m pulling stuff out of the air here. :). Thank you!!
pretty darn good for having nothing to say
I do not complain about the cold because I complain about the heat – figure I have to put my money where my mouth is or whatever the heck that saying is
Thanks, Lou Ann. Glad you took the time to read. I know what you mean and I think that’s the saying…and yeah, I try not to complain about the cold. You can wrap up in lots of layers but sometimes you just can’t take enough clothes off. :).
I don’t want to scare people – it is just this year that I decided that exposing my arms is okay (something that did not bother me when I was younger) and who cares if my legs are ghostly white?
Exactly, who cares? I don’t lie in the sun and sweat and if I do go to the beach I’m under an umbrella. There was a time when it was GOOD to be ghostly white. I want those times. Stay cool. :).
I can’t wait for fall. Summer is my least favorite season, and the humidity here has just been brutal.
I’m with Audra–you are not relegated to the shallow end of the pool. You’re just summernating! I just made up that word–if hibernating is sleeping through the winter, then summernating is like the summer version of it. It’s hot and humid, it makes everyone cranky and tired, everyone is in “summer brain” mode. So it’s best to lay low until the cooler weather comes in.
…and I’m all for laying low in a cool pool of water. ANY end!
I second that.
I’m with you. Summer is my least favorite as well! I like that: summerating, cool word, Weebs. See, at least you gleaned some inspiration. ;). And thank you, I don’t want to be in the shallow end, I’m summerating. That’s what I’m doing! Stay cool and thanks.
Ah, Brigitte, you’ve articulated beautifully exactly how I’ve been feeling! I’ve got lots of pictures to show it – at a thousand words a pop, no less! – you’ve done it exquisitely with many fewer words. You go, girl! xoxoM
Why thank you, Margarita. Your pics were inviting and cool this morning too. Thank you — did you write a post as well? I didn’t catch that. I’m going to check it out. Thank you, friend. xxoo
No, I’ve had a post “rising” in my head (kind of like bread rising in the oven), but it needs a lot more kneading! xoxoM
Well, knead it and roll it out, woman. Can’t wait to read. :).
You and ME TOO lady! The days are running together in a pool of sweat. Yesterday ran into today in a good way though! Most excellent post!! 🙂
Hey Honie, winter will be here before we know it, but thanks for the validation. :). Thunderstorms are supposed to happen soon here and I do love me some thunder.
I think we all feel like “the little kid that’s been made to stay in the shallow end of the pool” at some time or other. And sometimes, most times. But although you might feel like you’re spending time in the shallow end, your posts are always a big splash. In a good way. 🙂
Yeah, as long as I’m not the whiny annoying one, it’s okay. The one wearing the tee-shirt because she burns easily.
And thank you, Carrie — nice to know I make a big splash with you. 😀
I’ve always liked the term “dog days.” There’s something evocative in those words, the same way there is in “Indian Summer.”I think I first encountered this term in the book “To Kill A Mockingbird.”
High heat & high humidity get to me. The high heat by itself I can take in small doses, but humidity ruins me. Where I live it rarely gets above 80 in the summer (although two or three years ago it got to 108 here–we were hotter than Mississippi that day!), and our nights can be chilly. At least you have four seasons. We have two: not quite summer and not quite winter.
Yeah, me too. Indian Summer — forgot about that one. I made hubby read “To Kill a Mockingbird.” He HADN’T read it. Or Catcher in the Rye, which he didn’t like cause he said the guy was whiny. Anyway.
And I hate humid. Been there done that for long periods of time, but I shouldn’t whine…down south they’ve got triple digits. shudder.
Where you are sounds perfect, but I do love the seasons.
I heard San Fran was like that as well. Met a couple once who opened up a wine bar in Asheville and they left SF because they said they got sick of it never getting too hot or too cold. Humans, we’re never quite satisfied, huh? Thanks, Smak.
Where you are sounds perfect
Well, we are the happiest people in America! http://prometheantimes.com/2012/07/06/beat-the-heat-with-schadenfreude/
I loved “To Kill a Mockingbird,” but I’m with your husband on “Catcher.” Holden Caulfield is a neurotic little bee-yotch.
we’re never quite satisfied, huh?
I think that’s the nature of the human condition. In my life, every time I’ve gotten a pay raise, for the first week or two I feel rich, but a week after that it’s just normal.
Yes, I read that about you when I’ve first discovered you, you lucky guy you. Aren’t you just so special? 🙂 He was the same; once he got into TK a Mockingbird, he liked it too. But he’d read some of Catcher and he’d stop me and go, “Is this guy ever going to stop whining? Poor rich little guy…wah, wah.” You’re exactly right though. It’s that whole goal thing; you reach one and you want another one and another and another….
Wow. Dog days and swimming analogies—I can relate to all of that, here in Hotlanta.
Me? I’m just treading water, and I’m about to go off the deep end.
Oh Robin, Atlanta! I’ve got nothing to complain about. I’ve seen what you guys are going through but please don’t go off the deep end — !!. Thank you :).
I meant–in a good way (and that’s possible, you know. 😉 )
Oh well good! Here’s to going off the deep end then. ;).
(and staying cool while you do.)
Definitely hot and humid dog days in Maryland this summer. 90s again today for the millionth day this summer. No surprise it was the 3rd hottest July on record here.
I’m dragging, I feel like my posts are dragging, and my novel writing is absolutely dragging. Count me in the group ready for fall to begin!
You know it is here too and the humidity is up. I think that’s happening nearly everywhere. I’m right there with you J. I’m so ready for Fall. Thank you.
Yeah, you are totally not a shallow end kind of girl. No way. Love the song!
Why thank you, Fish! Isn’t that song great?? Makes me want to beat a big drum at midnight in the moonlight.
haha love it! It’s been hot here too but our summer is too short and you won’t catch me complaining – I don’t want to jinx anything! 🙂
Thanks, D. I know…we’re always complaining about something! Ha…thanks for stopping by and stay cool or in your case, enjoy the heat. :).
Thanks I so LOVE summer!
Love that last picture. It makes me jealous of that dog and his floppy ears. Well, maybe I don’t want floppy ears, or to have bad breath like a dog…but you got to admit, those ears just make you smile, especially that wind-blown look. It has been hot this summer, and my dog has laid around a lot…of course, in the winter, she lays around a lot too, so I guess all year are dog days to her. But seriously, I feel like you with the blogging this summer too–swimming in shallow water. I’m become very lazy in blog posting. I just want to concentrate on my book and forget about everything else.
Hi Char, he’s cute, huh? I think this summer blogging “eh” is going around. I know what you mean about the book thing though. I’ve been avoiding that lately. Excuses, excuses. :). Thanks, Char.
Evidently you did not really see what I tossed up today.. someone else’s poem and someone else’s art work yo buy..lol..I have brain drain and am going to really try to come up with something intelligent, witty and memorable.. just not sure when..
BTW– this is a great post!!
Lynne, I did and it was great! That’s what we all want intelligent, witty and memorable — I try for that all the time, sometimes it happens and sometimes not so much. But I’m so glad you enjoyed and thanks for commenting — it’s so appreciated.
It could also be a crocodile day, because they do exactly the same thing : lie around with their mouth (?) open to ventilate their insides. Very often, here in Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, I remember seeing them like that or a dog panting just like you describe and wish I could actually ventilate myself in the same way so I wouldn’t feel so warm, so sweaty and yes, grumpy! 😉
Cooling off in the water on the beach is my best answer for now! I’m off that way, right now! 😉
Hi Jul — so nice to see you here! Now that sounds like a wonderful way to embrace the dog days — cooling off in the clear, turquoise water in Mexico. I’ve seen pics of your part of the world and they look gorgeous — a place I want to visit. Thanks so much and be well, friend. Cheers!
freezing cold and blowing a gale in my part of the world. love this song by florence; one of my favourites 🙂
Oh Sara, stay warm! I know, I love the song as well. Watching her perform it (never have seen her live) is great too. Thank you.
Just love your post and last pic with the cute dog is my special fav! actually I prefer the heat (not too much though) than the bitter cold!
Thanks so much and glad you enjoyed. Yes, the bitter cold is rough (I experience that here as well) but I’m so OVER the heat. Nice to see you here and thanks!
You’re not trapped in the shallow end, you’re doing laps. You’ll be back in the deep end soon enough. For now, you’ve earned a bit of paddling with us kiddies and our pool noodles.
I’m trying, Kathy! I really am and thank you! I like pool noodles, especially when I’m in good company. :). On Aug 13, 2012,
I don’t know how ‘good’ the company is. Pool noodles lead to a lot of dick jokes in my crowd.
How can anyone in the phrensies (love that word-thanks) be stuck? You’ve got mad dogs and oscillating fans in your blog. What could be better than that…(well, maybe a chocolate fountain)…but mad dogs? You’re just a step away from clever cat stories.
Ha! Thanks, LL. Maybe I do have some clever cat stories…now where did I put those? :).