Dog Days

August 17th, 2011

Right now we’re in what is commonly referred to as the Dog Days of Summer.

I used to think people called this time of year “the dog days” because it’s so hot, even dogs don’t want to move from their nice comfy spot in the shade.

But it’s actually because historically, August was when Sirius, the Dog Star, was the brightest star in the sky.

So everyone back in olden times thought Sirius was to blame for bringing all the heat.

They didn’t know about meteorology and seasons and stuff like that. They also thought the reason winter came was because Hades had kidnapped Persephone, the daughter of goddess of the harvest, and was forcing her to live with him in the underworld. So the goddess of the harvest was so mad, she was making it cold.

Oh, old timey people. You make me laugh.

So what the old timey people would do when it got REALLY hot was find a nice fat dog, then slit its throat as a sacrifice to Sirius, to make him be less mad and stop it from being so hot.

(Author’s note: There was no ASPCA back then to stop people from doing stupid things like this).

And guess what? This did not even work! It stayed hot. And someone was minus a dog.

But this is how the Dog Days of Summer got its name.

So if you’re feeling a lack of motivation or just generally blah right now, you should know that you’re not alone. It’s not the fault of anyone’s dog (not even Sirius, which due to gradual shifts in the earth’s rotation, is no longer the brightest star in the sky during August).

But these ARE still the Dog Days.

But don’t worry, because there are a LOT of people working to try to get us out of our doldrums right now (thank God, because when I’m done trying to work on my current project every day, all I want to do is have a nice cocktail and be entertained by someone else’s project).

Here are some other people’s projects that I’m enjoying right now (I’d tell you about mine, but since it’s the Dog Days, I’d just fall asleep while doing so):

After long and exhaustive study, I’ve determined that one of the reasons the shows on the USA channel are so entertaining is because the network makes a conscious effort to match the color of their sets to their main characters’ eyes.

Case in point, Necessary Roughness, USA’s new show about a single mom sports psychologist who works for a pro-football team in New York City:

As you can tell from the above photo, this show is already good because every week Dr. Dani Santino (who just got divorced from her cheating scumbag of a husband) has to solve the mystery of what is wrong with her patient (always a new patient every week, always some kind of athlete, or married to one), and also has to juggle the guys she works with, pictured above, some of whom are kind of hot for her (the one from Buffy and one from Gilmore Girls)!

(I’m sort of mad I didn’t think of this show, because I was into sports psychology as far back as 2004, as you can tell from this blog entry. DANG!)

But the important thing is that in almost every scene, USA Network makes sure actress Callie Thorne’s golden brown hair and eyes match something golden brown on the set, usually leaves, so the show has a sort of warm, golden, autumnal feel to it. Don’t believe me? LOOK:

Just like USA’s Royal Pains Dr. Hank (about a “concierge doctor” for rich people in the Hamptons—but really, he’ll work on anyone who’s hurt, for free) always has to solve a medical mystery in each episode, he ALSO always has blue sky and ocean (or blue shirts or blue paintings) in every scene to match his sparkling blue eyes!

This show always leaves me feeling happy and soothed, even in the Dog Days of Summer, even if someone has been hemorrhaging blood and had to be medivacked to Hamptons General. Because it’s so pretty!

But wait! People have more pretty projects coming out during the Dog Days, not just on USA Network:

My publisher in the UK is releasing this fabulously gorgeous edition of Abandon on September 2:

AbandonUK

I know. Beautiful, right? It’s coming to a Tesco (or Waterstones) near you! (And also available on Amazon UK!)

And on September 15, the Book Wish Foundation is releasing What You Wish For, a collection of short stories, poems, and even a cartoon by some of your favorite authors, including Alexander McCall Smith (#1 Ladies Detective!), Cornelia Funke, Ann M. Martin, RL Stine, Joyce Carol Oates, John Green, and even me!


Mmmm, soothing blue!

All the stories are about wishes (mine’s about a kid who wishes he’d stop getting bullied . . . until his sister informs him that wishes don’t come true unless you work at them! Then he launches a scheme), and 100% of the money from the book goes to Darfuri refugee camps in Chad.

Here’s a review:

Publishers Weekly
Short stories that revolve around wishes form this volume created to raise money for Book Wish Foundation, a nonprofit organization working to build libraries for Darfur refugees living in Chad. Mixing poems, stories, and even a comic, the book includes offerings from 18 all-star authors such as Meg Cabot, Alexander McCall Smith, Cornelia Funke, Joyce Carol Oates, Nikki Giovanni, Ann M. Martin, and R.L. Stine. Works range from humorous to poignant, but the theme of wishing unites the volume. Cynthia Voigt’s retelling of Cinderella, which puts her stepfamily at the forefront, is a standout; others include Francisco X. Stork’s heart-wrenching story of a 15-year-old living in a group home while his mother is in prison, and John Green’s profound and funny contribution, told in lists, about a boy who falls for the picture of the orphan his mother is supporting in Kashmir. The essay that closes the book, by Book Wish cofounder Logan Kleinwaks, offers a clear, concise picture of the plight of the more than 100,000 refugees from Darfur and their wishes for a better future. Ages 12 up. (Sept.)

And here’s just one of the many places you can go to buy the book, and help do some good!

Meanwhile, I know everyone is gearing up to go back to school (well, everyone except me), even though it’s the last thing anyone wants to think about right now.


Aahh, now, are you going to go ahead and have those TPS reports for us this afternoon?

And part of that involves trying to figure out what you’re going to wear this year (besides, of course, the Banana Republic Madmen collection).

Well, fret no more because Seventeen Magazine has put out their Ultimate Guide to Style book, which I randomly read while He Who Shall Not Be Named In This Blog was fixing the remote (you know it’s the Dog Days of Summer when even the remote stops working).

This book is FANTASTIC! Even if you aren’t going back to school (and don’t even have your reading glasses on because you were watching TV and not expecting to read a book), this guide has LARGE PRINT tips and LOTS OF PHOTOS for EVERYONE on how to put together cute outfits with things from your own closet (but also on where to snag stuff if it’s not in your closet, such as your mom’s closet and/or stores and whatnot).

I LOVE IT. GET IT.

(PS I think my perfect look for fall is going to be Boho chic.)

Well, that’s it for now. Remember:


It’s not our fault!

And don’t worry:

The Dog Days will be over soon enough. And when that happens, stay out of Florence’s way:

More later.

Much love,

Meg