Tales of a neighborhood Facebook page

We live in a society. And in a society? There are rules.

I’m woman enough to admit that I don’t know it all. As a dog-having person living in a neighborhood, who can I turn to advice? How will I find out the social norms and expectations of my community so that I don’t end up cast out to survive on my own in the wild with nothing but my sixteen-pound dog for warmth?

Enter the neighborhood Facebook page. Continue reading

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Lists and the women who love them

Last year was a busy blogging year for me… just not on this blog. I launched my webcomic, which – like a shiny, new toy – has gotten the lion’s share of my attention. I’ll admit that I’ve found myself missing this space and hope to give some more attention to my first blog-child in the coming year. (We’ll talk more about that later this month – stay tuned.)

With that in mind, I wanted to start off the new year with a new post. When a friend told me about 50 Happy Things, I just knew that this was the perfect way to kick off 2016 (and to help me find some positivity in a year that seemed to be full of sad news from the world at large). Plus, I love lists. I have a list of the lists that I keep. It’s like list-ception.

You can visit Tales from the Motherland for the full lowdown, but here are the basics:

  • Set a timer for ten minutes.
  • During those ten minutes, write a list of 50(ish) things that made you happy (or that you were grateful for) in 2015. (After time was up, I went back and added some links, comments, and photos – you know I can’t resist a good link roundup.)
  • Add your post to the list of bloggers participating in this flood of gratitude. (Don’t have a blog? That’s okay! You can do this on your own – either just for yourself, or to share with your friends in another format. Also, if you want to tell me some of the things that made you happy in the comments, I’d love to hear them!)

I armed Tavish with a stopwatch, which he promptly ignored in favor of going back to sleep. (Hosting people for New Year’s Eve is exhausting, apparently.) So, looks like I’m on my own. Here we go… Continue reading

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Adventures in Fur-tility: Pets as practice for children?

(Alternate post title? What to expect when you’re deflecting.)

Stop me if you’ve heard this one…

At the dog park | biologicalclockie.com

Courtesy of my new webcomic – click to check it out!

I’m not going to ask for a show of hands, but I have a feeling plenty of us have been on the receiving end of this sort of comment.  After all, there are people who think any plans for your uterus are fair game for conversation.  (It’s called uterUS because we’re all in this together. As a society. Or something.)  And obviously any and all choices you make in life are geared toward your eventual role as parent.  (Ladies and their universal desire for babies, am I right?)

When you put those two together, the only conclusion is that you adopted a pet to practice your nurturing skills.  Sort of a placeholder until you can fulfill your biological destiny – keep a plant and a pet alive, and then you’re obviously ready for parenthood.

I’m often at a loss regarding how to respond to this sort of nonsense. (Or I think of the perfect Jerk Store comeback later, a la George Constanza.) A withering stare is always appropriate.  I’d also vote for a blunt and snarky comment about how rude this whole topic is.  Or perhaps one of these?

  • “You’re right.  Having a pet really has prepared me for parenthood.  If crate and clicker training worked for Spike, it will work for a baby.”
  • “Not only am I getting some practice in, I also have a reliable vet and groomer already lined up for my baby.”
  • “Oh, crap.  I think I did this backwards. I had a kid for a few years as practice for my pet, but I gave her up when I got the kitten. Wonder what happened to her.”
  • “So many good lessons.  If my kid cries when I leave the room, I’ll just toss him a Kong filled with peanut butter to distract him.”
  • “I figure I should practice it all – so once Fluffy turns 18 and can finally move out, then I’ll be ready for kids.”
  • “How dare you!  That’s not a dog. It’s a kid wearing a designer faux fur bodysuit.”

Anyone have a good response to this question? Share yours in the comments!

(Don’t forget to swing by Biological Clockie and check out my new comic!  You can also follow along on Facebook and Twitter.)

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Pugs? Just Say Yo

I recently bought an awesome new t-shirt that says “Pugs Not Drugs.”  (It’s from a cool organization I just discovered – the Chris Atwood Foundation.  Obviously, Manly the Pug is doing some good work out there.)

Pug life, yo.

I can’t argue with that message, and it got me thinking (a dangerous prospect, I realize).  What other societal ills could we get rid of with rhyming dog breeds?   Continue reading

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Sometimes, it’s better to be stirring

The news lately has been pretty upsetting, infuriating, and depressing. (I’ll leave it to you to decide which bucket you put each story in.  However, it seems to me that they all fit neatly – and horribly – into all three.)  It’s tempting to bury yourself in cute animal videos, holiday shopping, and other distractions. I know I’ve been tempted.

However, while I was putting up my Christmas tree the other night, I happened to pop in the DVD of one of my favorite specials – ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.  Surprisingly, the animated tale of some mice breaking tradition and stirring on Christmas Eve inspired some deep thoughts.  In particular, this song proved quite relevant to my state of mind:

Frankly put, sometimes the world kind of sucks.  (I’ll leave the eloquence to this brilliant lady.)  It can seem kind of hopeless and that it will never change.

I can’t believe that.  I can’t let myself believe that.  One of my biggest pet peeves is when people let the world happen to them and claim they have no agency in the situation.  Obviously, sometimes terrible things happen that are out of our control.  However, we can’t just sit around waiting for a miracle to fix our problems, whether personal or societal.  After all, even a miracle needs a hand, right?

I mean, does your dog just sit in the kitchen hoping that food will magically fall to the floor? Okay, bad example.  He probably does. BUT… he probably also considers counter surfing when he sees an opportunity to make his own gastronomical miracle happen.  I prefer to keep an eye out for chances to give those needed miracles a boost, rather than waiting for them to just happen.  I aspire to be a counter surfer for change… or something like that.

I’ll return to our regular scheduled goofiness with my next post… just felt the need to get this one out there.  Can you think of any other lessons from holiday specials that we can take to heart during these times of trouble?  Share in the comments!

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When puppies make puppies…

Blog the ChangeThis post is part of Blog the Change for Animals, a quarterly blog event dedicated to shining a spotlight on animal causes. I originally had another post planned for today, but it’s still in limbo due to a nasty case of writer’s block. So, I decided to share a post I did last year (with a few tweaks) about a topic that never seems to go out of style.  (Just ask Bob Barker.) 

From time to time, I write about some of the more interesting search terms that bring people to this humble blog. One of these search terms inspired today’s post. Those fateful words? “I want a puppy that makes puppies.” Well, dear searcher… what exactly do you mean by that? I kind of hope you’re looking for some sort of child’s toy that I haven’t heard of yet. Or a puppy prodigy that spends his spare time building Lego replicas of other puppies. Continue reading

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Would you forget if you could?

Riddle me this, dear reader… is there anything you would erase from your mind if you were given the option to forget something completely?

That’s right. I’m getting all Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind on you today.  (Although, for the sake of this exercise, let’s assume that there are no odd side effects or shady corporate employees to consider.)

So, what would it be? The red pill or the blue one? If you choose to forget, what memory would you erase? It could be anything – a relationship that ended badly, the loss of someone important to you, or an embarrassing moment.

I spent a lot of time thinking about my answer to this question. Continue reading

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This is how we moo it

As I try to get back into the blogging groove, I thought I’d try to resurrect the Friday linkage as well. I didn’t have the motivation to come up with a theme today, so you’re getting a hodgepodge. Let’s get to it.

via giphy.com

  1. First up, your punny pet names: Chick Vitale, Hendy Kaling, and Mooey Deschanel. (Okay, the last one is really more of a punny cow name… and the middle one also has a farm association. Bear with me – I’m easing back in here.)
  2. A Pun-Off? I can’t believe I didn’t know about this before.
  3. Seriously, give me all the puns.
  4. If I ever get written up at work, I hope that it’s for this reason and this reason alone. I now have something to aspire too.
  5. Listen, this blog is not just fun – it’s educational. Please allow these twenty adorable animals to teach you the facts about Ebola.
  6. This blog is literary too. We tackle the great authors, after all.

Finally, I give you today’s video:

It was the glasses. I couldn’t resist.

In case you missed it, here’s what we were up to on the blog this week:

Have a great weekend, friends!

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