Talking Pets

For years, I had voices for my pets.  They each had their "own voice" and they spoke quite differently...Bella cursed way more than my ever patient and disciplined Riley would ever think to do.

When at home, I just spoke out in "dog voice" whenever I felt like it, or rather, whenever my dogs felt like it.  Sometimes, around close friends and family, I would use "dog voice" as well.  But to anyone else, not so much.  In fact, one time I mentioned I used "dog voice" to a friend and he asked me what they sounded like and I couldn't do it.  I was embarrassed and my whole face was red and felt like it was on fire.  I just couldn't voice my animals.  But in the privacy of my home, there were conversations to be had!

I miss this, and sometimes still use "dog voice" to speak for Bella and Riley from beyond the grave.  Mostly Bella, mostly cursing.

However, this voice of my animals has always been around.  As a kid, my stuffed animals talked, and walked, and each had its own voice.  One might have guessed I would become a puppeteer one day.

My stuffed animals are mostly long gone save for the few special ones sitting on a shelf near my bed.  My animals are sadly gone as well.  But, there is a kid at home and that kid has a beloved stuffed dog named Boo and a beloved blanket named Mr. Snuggles.  And those two characters speak plentiful.  Especially Boo who loves donuts, sleeping, his own version of kung-fu that he calls kung-boo, and most important, his beloved kid.  Boo, a bulldog, talks a lot and sometimes when he isn't talking the kid will say, "mom, make Boo talk and move".  And so this dog comes alive with his own voice and his own character.  I puppeteer him around on a lot of adventures and daily tasks and to be honest, I can't imagine doing things without the silly thing.  I have even caught myself speaking in Boo's voice IN PUBLIC.  Alas, it's fun, and I enjoy it, and it'll probably stick around well past my kiddo's toys too.

......what was that?  What made me think of writing this down?  Oh, well, yes....a colleague said the word donut, and in Boo's voice, I said aloud (as if Boo where here), "Donut, did someone say donut??"

Ah well.



RIP Beastie Bella

I feel a little more dead inside now that I've had to say good bye to me dear sweet bulldog Bella. She was my "discount" dog with a crooked tail that ended up at the vet more times than can I care to admit over silly things and serious things alike. She was my heater at night, and my beggar at meal time. I will miss her tooth gauge and her snoring. I have a million wonderful and funny things I could say about her but like Riley who died less than a year ago...I just want to keep them all to myself. I will forever miss you Beasta!


Automatic Transmission

A year ago this time I bought a new automatic transmission car.  

A bit of a background, I learned to drive on a manual transmission car. For a short period of time my mom had an automatic car that I would borrow and so, while I say I ONLY drove manual transmission, it's mostly true. I would borrow my mom's car when I went to places where I needed a more reliable vehicle than my old Ford Ranger...I had also rented some automatic transmission cars too...so, I mean,it's not as though I had NEVER driven automatic transmission vehicles, they just weren't my everyday usage. So anyway...

After having only driven a manual transmission car for a long time (skipping the real number there), up to last year, here is my one year assessment of the A.T.:
  • I STILL try to shift. Either my hand is floating and swinging at air over the space where my shifter used to be, or my foot is jamming into the floor board where my pedal used to be.
  • I forget to put the car in park often; lucky for me, the car is smart and won't turn off until it tells me over and over (...and over) that I'm not in park.
  • It is way less entertaining to drive but way better in stop-n-go traffic (my knees thank me).


Serial Season 2 Episode 7

If you are listening to the Serial season 2 podcast and you've listened to episode 7 where Bowe Bergdahl's friend Kim Harrison reacts to his joining the US Army, then you'll understand the passion of a mom, so to speak, towards her child who just enlisted in the Army.

This episode brings back a memory of when I was 17 and pondering my future.  One of my forerunners for a period of time was the US Army.  I went as far as taking the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) at a military processing center.  It, at the time, was this huge leap in managing my own life.  I made this choice.  I went to the recruiter.  I went to take the test.  I went and talked about where I wanted my future to go...

As you might imagine where I'm going with this story, my mom did not want me to enlist.  She didn't really want me to go anywhere, but generally speaking would have supported my choices.  But the US Army?...that was just not something she was into for me.  She told me this, tried to get me to see both sides of the token.  I vaguely listened.

Then one day (a day we look back on and laugh about), the Disabled American Veteran's (DAV) called our home asking if we had any stuff to be picked up as we were regulars, so to speak.  If you're unfamiliar with the DAV, they will come to your home and collect small household items and clothing donations.  We tried to give something every time they called on us.  On the day noted that they called, my younger brother answered the phone.  He was young then and confused the message...he understood something about the military and what he thought he heard as "Steph" (instead of stuff), and this all happening in the morning.  So he goes to my mom with a legitimate concern that the military would be coming to pick up Steph in the morning.  My mom flipped out, worried I had signed some papers and not told her, or not understood what I was really doing and signed papers anyway...she even went so far as to call the recruiters to yell at them for coercing me.  It's all fuzzy now, the memory of how everything went down and what all was said but I knew then that my mom had real concerns about me joining the military.  She knew me better than I knew myself I guess...and well, I never enlisted.


Criminal Podcast, Episode 4

"...if a child is intelligent enough to formulate a question they deserve a truthful answer [...] life is often not very pretty but by the same token it is often extraordinarily beautiful..." Linda Vernon, Criminal Podcast, Ep4 speaking about explaining death, and things to her daughter Kathleen Vernon



Like Being Back in School

When it happens to be 9:30 pm the night before you owe your child's teacher a party supply sign up sheet and your printer will not print...just draw the damn thing...

Frankly, it looks better anyway.  Stupid printer.




This is all so mundane, but if you really ended up hear to keep tabs, see my last post on why I am doing this...(besides of course, to break the tedium).

This week's activity is to take a photo of something I am grateful for and post it to social media with an explanation, this to be done at least twice this week.  I honestly feel like I could do this a few times a day all week...there's constantly something popping up...but worry not.  I will not be one of those people that posts only around the holidays (every day) on the "I'm thankful for ..." kick.  I like it, but, ugh, yea, enough already.

Of this great list of things many are functional (like heat and clean water) and some are frivolous (like my favorite pink scarf).  I take most all things for granted as we are all prone to do, and I don't know that I can pick any one or two out as THE ones.  I could go the route of saying, "ignore the ones that we should all be grateful for and pick personal things" or I could go big-picture items as in the things no one notices is under their nose until it's gone...so I wonder, do I go with those that so many are without (practical well engineered infrastructure) or silly (Staedtler Lumocolor correctable pen) or even mushy/personal (name of friend here)?

What would you choose?  What thing are you grateful for?

Just a small list I started but probably won't pick from because most of them are too mushy/personal...
  • My ears so I can hear my child's voice (especially when she breaks out into song at some random time (not unlike her mother)); and also so that I can hear music because it honestly puts me in a great mood and so many times more than not, motivates me.
  • My eyes so I can see my beautiful child; and so that I can easily read and drive and function without the inhibitions of blindness.
  • My mom, for which I cannot imagine life.  She's my solace.
  • My lovely bulldog Beastie who lets me hang on her.
  • My gigantic pink calculator, how else would I do my job? (Don't even suggest I do math in my head).
  • My reliable car so that I can go the places I need and want to go.
  • Twitter because honestly it does kill the tedium (and I guess other reasons too).
  • A good book so that I can escape. (this but multiplied to a magnitude of some great number)
  • Certain people who shall remain nameless because it's almost torture to get me to tell someone how much they mean to me unless I can tell them in some stupid comedic manner, let alone announcing it in some public manner which leaves me vulnerable.