I’ve been trying to post every weekend, but the plan got interrupted when I got hit hard on Thursday with a fever, shakes, headache, nausea, etc. (Still, I went out with my colleagues that night to see Mama Mia for the fifth time; it was harder to enjoy than usual, but I still floated out of the theater.) Went to Beijing United today and the doctor said it would take me two weeks more to fully recover, and gave me the usual goodie bag of pills and sachets and vitamns. I guess God doesn’t want me to blog at this point in my life. And now, back to sleep.


Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 60 Comments

This clip from “Willy Wonka”, where the Oompa Loompas sing about “chewing all day long” reminds me of what my boy is going through in his teething phase:

August 23, 2007 @ 10:17 am | Comment


Poodles are not nice dumb toy dogs (like Pekingese, for instance). They are hunting dogs. Some have even been used as army dogs for despatch to the battle field. They are highly intelligent, very energetic and extremely hardworking. Poodles have coats similar to sheep; they don’t shed and therefore are suitable for people (such as me) who suffer from allergy. Their wonder qualities made them one of the most popular family pet dogs.

Cookapoos are known as Spoodles in Australia. Here breeders also cross-breed poodles with Labradors, Maltese, Schnauzers, etc, to produce a new generation of “designer dogs” known as Labradoodles, Maltese Poodles and Schnoodles. This Youtube clip is a recording of an Australian morning program where they introduce the audience to these beautiful creatures. Enjoy it!

August 23, 2007 @ 6:18 pm | Comment

@Fat Cat:

I’m sure poodles have all the abovementioned qualities and more, but all the poodles I’ve ever encountered (although most were the toy variety, which Ivan’s isn’t) were neurotic, nippy, and yappy, yappy, yappy. However, that may be a problem of irresponsible breeding and not of the breed itself.

As for labradoodles, schnoodles, cockerdoodles and all the “designer dogs” out there not recognized by the AKC…you know what most of us call them?

Mutts. 😉

And you don’t need to pay top dollar for one. Millions of them are currently languishing in animal shelters, animal rescues, and humane societies.

August 23, 2007 @ 7:53 pm | Comment

As this becomes more and more a poodle discussion I have to give my two (German) cent to it.

I didn’t know that they originated from Germany (and I surely would disagrie with Ivan about the specific character that would give them), but they play a role in German culture in as far as in Goethes “Faust” the devil disguises as a poodle and when Faust finds out his reaction is one of the most cited quotes from German literature: “Das also war des Pudels Kern”. (So that was the poodles core)

The most cited quote acctually is from “Götz von Berlichingen”: “Er aber, sag’s ihm, er kann mich im Arsche lecken!” (You, tell him, he can lick my arse.)

August 23, 2007 @ 10:49 pm | Comment

But all new breeds start out as mixed breeds. For that matter, so do all “nationalities”, including the Han Chinese.

@ Shulan: Germans, “obsessive”? How could I ever have thought such a thing. Nietzsche and Wagner were models of emotional and intellectual restraint…. 😉

August 24, 2007 @ 8:02 pm | Comment

Poodle update: Now my boy is really showing his German heritage. He’s begun rolling around and chewing on the carpet all the time, like Hitler was reputed to do, Der Karpetfresser.

August 25, 2007 @ 6:39 pm | Comment

Note to self: energetic puppies, guns and vodka are not a good combination.

(Richard, moments like this are when I miss the open threads… 😉

August 26, 2007 @ 8:12 pm | Comment

PS, I wasn’t the one getting drunk and breaking out the pistol. My half-German puppy, on the other hand, cannot be trusted with firearms.

August 26, 2007 @ 8:15 pm | Comment


The effect of alcohol on canines is nowhere in comparison with a steak and kidney pie. It turns a nice puppy instantly into a maniac.

August 26, 2007 @ 8:20 pm | Comment

Fat Cat,

I know. My puppy didn’t start demanding vodka from me until I started feeding him red meat. That’s when he broke into my gun cabinet.

PS, HELP! I’m being held hostage! Among his lists of demands are a case of vodka poured into the toilet bowl, with a little “girlie-drink” umbrella sticking out of it! (Well he DOES know how cute he is…)

August 26, 2007 @ 8:25 pm | Comment

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