Modelling in spare time. Vatican. Photo: a © signature mmm production

If there is any follower left who isn’t yet aware of my new blog, please let’s move over here for more moments to spare, new time to waste and more positive presence (I’ve been called thus by a blogger, thank you, Nick).

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: Spare

WPC: Bouncing or bound boundaries?

Boundaries, limits, borders. Let’s see.

1. I have never felt to have sufficient boundaries. And look at me now. Who said that if a frog had wings, where the end of it would be? I’ve always felt that nobody has gotten to my wings yet. And still I refuse to fly.

2. Unlike having boundaries imposed, which I view as something external, I draw my own limits most gladly and often. I tend to speak up if I have a problem and not suffer in silence. Masochism may be a drug of the nation, but I have moved. To hedonism. Which brings us to:

3. Borders used to be much more defined, back in the days of smuggling Brooklyn chewing gum, fancy pencil rubbers and alluring deodorants. When you get to the Slovenian-Italian border now, there is nothing there except a wave of nostalgia.

4. This blog has a photo posting limit. I’m closing in on it. Not quite clear what to do.

5. My days have time limit and I have acquired too many excellent and prolific bloggers to follow. I’m terribly behind you all and it’s accumulating. It’s breaking my heart a little but I WILL make up for my slacking and come abreast. The same goes for my favourite writer and her instalment novel.

6. Where exactly is the division between a photographer and someone who takes photos? Or a writer and someone who writes? In the second case I came to observe that it might be the moment when one lets out one’s characters to play rather than having the stage just for oneself. The case of photographer is trickier. Is it when one sells the first photograph? This I did only a few times and only together with articles for magazines a long time ago. As for my characters? They are still bound. (As in: taxi drivers know their streets, whereas drivers of taxis use GPS.)

7. In the case below, the scaffolding has provided just the right inter-species boundary. And yet they caught the same kind of sleepy. (I remembered just in time that this is a photo challenge.)

≈ Manja Maksimovič ≈

Photo: MM

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Boundaries.”

Girl who will get a dog when she is 9

This 8-year old girl, who celebrates today, is thinking: I want to have a dog. I have two already, one of them is behind me, but they are not completely alive. 
Sometimes I have this one too, a real and warm one, but he is only visiting.
Fonzie, explain to him how to come to life.
What are you saying? I only have to wait one more year?
Ok. Paws are all ready yet.

≈ Manja Maksimovič ≈

Photo: MM

Auguri, bestia!

Our bestia called Fonzie is two years old today! Yeah! Here is the last year in pictures, one for each month. Thank you for being a very good model and friend.

Photo: MM, Zedd and E.

A quick dog story

A girl grows up wanting a dog. She loves to visit relatives and those who live on a farm all have at least one. Her family saves bones and leftovers all week and she is allowed to feed the dogs so that they grow to love her. Maybe they would anyway.

Reksi is the favourite. He is the only one who is allowed to roam freely. He is yellow. They are friends.

Alas, her family never owns a dog.

Many many years later, in 1999, as NATO planes keep crossing the country on their way to bomb the capital of her ex country, her sister says yelping can be heard from the big trash container in front of their parents’ house. They have a look. The container is empty, apart from a cardboard box and ten white fluffy things, so brand new that the species is unclear.

It is ascertained that they are puppies, blind, fidgeting, crying.

Just the night before sister was saying to mom how they really should be getting a dog.

Now there are ten.

What to do? They learn from some friends that their female dog just had her litter. She can do with three more. The veterinarian chooses three strong ones and they take them home. The rest stay behind.

They soon learn that the female dog is a crappy parent to her own litter, and do not wish to let her have the puppies any more. Fine. They shall bring them up themselves. They are four humans, they will split the work of feeding them by bottle every three hours, nights too. Parents remember when they had babies, daughters don’t remember anything, they just feel the peace of taking care after powerless beings.

Feeding process is particularly endearing, and painful too as their claws and teeth grow. One of the three is getting whiter and bigger, his tummy drags on the floor after feeding, they call him cow, with love. The other two are the same, little bestias molesting the cow to such a degree that he likes to hide under the kitchen furniture where nobody can reach him, including humans.

And so they grow. The first time they are brought to the garden is memorable. They search the cover of leaves to hide under, peeking out like lions in the savannah.

It is clear that they cannot keep all three, or they win and humans become their minions. So the selection must be made. Not surprisingly (but not quite unanimously at first) they decide on the cow whose name is Žak (pronounced Jacques, the other two are Mak and Pak). He needs them the most.

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Žak in 2010 with another one of my Aries friends who will soon celebrate himself.

After his brothers are given away to good homes and Žak realises that he is the last dog standing, his demeanour changes. He calms down considerably but is never big on petting and is known to growl at approaching people, especially children. Seeing that he mostly looks like a white golden retriever, people are often surprised at that. One woman says that he is “the meanest goldie she has ever seen”. As it is, he has never learnt to bite, for any reason, whereas his brothers are proper piranhas. He uses his voice instead.

He grows up into one splendid dog and lives to be 13.5 years. Another woman observes: “He is handsome, but he knows precisely how handsome he is.”

He lives through many adventures, the most notable being the mountain stroll from Ljubljana to Maribor with father, and is loved by everybody. He loves to swim very much ever since he is put into the plastic pool in the garden and ordered to sit. When he feels the water around him, he lies down on his back like a pensioner and just swims with it. After that he swims in every body of water he sees, including the Ljubljanica river in my ex city and the VERY cold Alpine stream on New Year’s Day.


Photo: MM

He is one of the proofs that all things happen just in time and just as they should.

And the time was 16 years ago today.

One more thing: if there are conditions, get your child a dog. None of you will ever forget it.

≈ Manja Maksimovič ≈

On friendship

The Cat and the Dog
by Trilussa
(Translated from romanesco – old Roman dialect – by John Du Val)

The cat said to the dog,

“Look at it this way:

you’ll never see me pay

any respect to the man.

In fact, if I’m in the mood,

I scratch him on the hand.

But you, you fetch his slippers,

lick his boots and slobber.

What does it get you? A kick!

He chains you to a stick

and chokes you with a collar,

or keeps you in a kennel,

then crimps your ears and tags you,

bobs your tail and clips you,

because it’s the latest fad,

and, brother, you’ve been had!

Look at me. I’m a cat!

l’ve stolen again and again,

but the man’s never tried

to keep me muzzled or penned.”

The dog replied,

“But I’m his friend.”

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Friends on Trubarjeva street in Ljubljana (by MM)

For two happy friends

I have a friend from the early age, from the times when the fear of dogs still had to be overcome with her help, when the passed bicycle test called for the biggest celebration, and when the Atlas and its magical maps were only reachable by a flight of imagination. The Zbilje lake was closer to hand, and wet for real. And then I got the first postcard – was it from Turkey? Or Barcelona? – and I thought: she has got what she wanted. And that was before Australia. I’m happy that I meet her every time I visit my old country and that her dog (because there must be always a dog, always female, always happy) is doing better. Here is another happy dog for her:

When I was going to the university, I made another friend, even though we shared the classroom in the high school as well, just at different times, and her good friend once found my forgotten scrapbook under his desk and scribbled something in it, which must have been closest to someone accidentally coming upon this blog nowadays. She must be a friend whom, for some strange reason, I see least of all my friends. (I wish to alert mutual friends to kindly direct her to this location so that she can see this.) However, she was a part of the surprise package deal that I got for my 40th birthday, and that was indeed a memorable occasion. She was always a hippie soul but ended up in a (in my mind) highly unlikely political job. Talking to her is always an experience and I wish the day will come (or a week) when we can talk a lot.

In the meantime, I’m posting a poem by Leonard Cohen which she wrote in my scrapbook a long time ago:

the 15-year-old girls
I wanted when I was 15
I have them now
it is very pleasant
it is never too late
I advise you all
to become rich and famous

(From: Leonard Cohen: The Energy of Slaves, 1972)

And here is another little something that will always remind me of her: the dandruff into snow scene from Breakfast Club, because she likes it so much:

dandruff snow

And what do both women have in common? They are both quite tall, direct, honest, heart-felt, with a wicked laugh. But what joins them on this occasion is that they were born on the same day. This day was today 40-something years ago, the same year as me. And a good one it was.

Happy birthday, M+M!

≈ Manja Maksimovič ≈

Vet drabble

A drabble is an exactly 100-word story. This one is real and happened today.

“Bronchitis,” he said, “from the worms. Do you want to observe them under the microscope?”

A very hands-on vet. In his case, hands blacker than black, delivering the shot gently and deftly. His forest green scrubs in a magic dance with his skin tone.

And later again, after single-handedly handling the dog and the ex-ray machine: “Look, these are his lungs. And this is the shadow.” My Italian is getting there, his Italian has a Tuscan home. Good that you’re fluent, and there. Even though you couldn’t see the worms.

“It’s because he’s a human, not a machine,” you explain.

≈ Manja Maksimovič ≈


Police will handle this in no time. Well-worn gift courtesy of Yolanda. Photo: MM

I think we are drawn to dogs because they are the uninhibited creatures we might be if we weren’t certain we knew better. They fight for honor at the first challenge, make love with no moral restraint, and they do not for all their marvelous instincts appear to know about death. Being such wonderfully uncomplicated beings, they need us to do their worrying.

—George Bird Evans

Happy birthday, bestia!

Today is the first birthday of our bestia, animale, cannellone, Fonzie Fonsini.

The gallery shows him in time, first three photos are from his first days in his new branco, and then one photo for each month to make twelve in total.

His mom is a big, one half white maremmana shepherd, and the dad is the bastard cause he ran away (says Marco). As for Fonzie, he’s still evolving and doesn’t know what he is. Except that he’s ours.

He likes pears, celery, chicken and tuna. His interests include barking, destruction, trying to get on the bed, running next to the bike and getting cats to play.

I’m like that person who stuck his dog’s photo on the pole with the note: he’s not missing, I just wanted to tell you how awesome he is.

Photo: MM

How Fonzie found Bukowski

Bukowski, Charles, is the man on the badge that was pinned to my old, worn-out bag. It’s his black and white portrait with his kind intelligent eyes and rugged face.

I bought it in my old country in August, in a rather ugly posh resort where he wouldn’t be caught dead. It was the only thing worth buying there, upon which I pinned it to my bag immediately. With months it has done my bag more damage than good, including an ugly tear underneath it. The pin got all crooked and twisted but still, I refused to take it off. I loved having him about me at all times: he’s a symbol for me, the way he wrote, in self-defence, is close to my spirit.

Until a few months ago. I went around town (which now got to mean around Roma) and bought a new bag, sales would do that to you. When I got home, I noticed that the pin was gone and only the ugly tear remained. Even though my new bag was very anxious to replace the old one, I still mourned the loss greatly. I felt that it had happened very recently and even thought to retrace my steps of the last few minutes, but then slowly let it go.

Go, Bukowski, you brought me much peace and joy.

Hours later we were leaving the apartment on the ground floor of a Roma apartment building to return home. The dog was leading the way, as always. My eyes were on him, as often. I watched him stick his nose in a fern for a brief moment, turn slightly towards me and continue. It was rather unusual so I looked into his pineal gland (chick pea gland for friends) and what I got was him telling me: “Oh, okay, it’s yours.” I looked at the fern more closely… and there it was, my Bukowski, placed on the earth of the fern, as if to grow, by a passer-by.


What Bukowski was looking at out of the fern (depending on whether he was drunk or not), with and without flash. Photo: MM

I got a bit teary-eyed (but it could have been the cold) and hugged him and told him he did great and he looked at me as if wanting to say What did I do? And I remembered lovely GG and her story about her puppy who protected her from harm in her dreams and chased the nightmare away for good, and even though this story is far away from mine on the scale of things, I felt proud and happy.

And now I’ve got a twisted Bukowski pin and a Desigual bag (I prefer to call it Bilingual or at least Nagual), and now the questions: are these two worlds combinable, and do I dare? The time answered for me: rather than on the bag, Bukowski has ended up on the mantelpiece above the fireplace in front of our smiling family portrait, as a long lost son. He adds something to the house. (Last sentence proudly nicked from Sexing the Cherry. Jeanette goes into your blood like that.)

≈ Manja Maksimovič ≈


Photo: MM