I let him have it

What I saw: Captain having the new dog toy.

What I did beforehand: the Bacon Provider got home from a business trip in time to catch a late dinner with me. Then, he had to unpack (and re-pack) his suitcase.


What I wore: dirty jeans and the sweater of intermittent self-pity

Who went with me: Captain and the Bacon Provider and even Schwartz.



How I got Captain: we took in Captain as a foster dog in the fall of 2008. 

Why I saw this show: a colleague of my husband who I met on election night gave him a gift, saying it was “for his dogs.”



Where I sat: on the floor because I didn’t want to miss any of it.

Things that were sad: that this made me feel better.


Things that were funny:

 

http://schwartzville.tumblr.com/post/153928449822/someone-got-us-a-toy-for-captain

 https://assets.tumblr.com/post.js

Things that were not funny: 

Something I ate: toast.

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What it is: a stuffed dog toy of ordinary durability, in the grip of a dog that is determined to rip the face off of every toy, empty out the stuffing, and pull out the squeaker.



Who should see it: as of this writing65,228,264 American voters, or, 2,554,576 more than the “winner.”

What I saw after: Schwartz made his inspection.


Cats on Twitter

It was after I followed @Sockington that I realized Schwartz should have his own Twitter account.  In case you don’t know, @Sockington is a gray and white cat on Twitter with just under a million and a half followers. Lately, he seems to tweet about once a day, and I’ve never heard him offer up anything that wasn’t 100% cat. I’ve never found him laugh-out-loud-funny, but he is what I would call cat-droll; he tweets about cat things like naps and snacks, and uncomfortable changes to routine, and terrors like the vacuum cleaner. Eschewing punctuation, @Sockington resorts instead to an alternating lowercase/ALL CAPS also employed by other funny pets on Twitter, like the deranged urination fountain know as @Frankie_Wah.

@Frankie_Wah is incredibly clever with language, occasionally creating spit-out-your-coffee moments for a casual Twitter feed reader.  He is a fully-fleshed out knucklehead of a feisty little dog, both terrified and aggressive, with a weakness for marking things with a little squirt of dog piss. 
If you go on Twitter and look, you can easily figure out that @Frankie_Wah’s ghost-writing owner is fantasy and science fiction author Tad Williams, and that @Sockington is the brain-child of Jason Scott. You will also discover that @Sockington’s followers are collectively known as Socks Army, and that Scott uses his renown to raise a lot of money for animal charities on Socks’ website.

There are a whole lot of cats on Twitter.  Of course I know that they are people, but they are not tweeting as themselves, they tweet as their cats. Schwartz only follows animals, and most are cats and dogs. There is a young elephant in the Taronga Zoo in Australia that tweets as @MisterShuffles .  There is an atheist tortoise in the UK called @Flo_Tortoise. There are some stuffed rabbits, like @theBaxterBunny and @ZackRabbit, and some stuffed bears, @thisBear and @TheBackpackBear, and some effusive Norwegian rubber finger puppets tweeting as @Happpiii.  
If you hit “Browse Interests” on Twitter, you will see their list of categories:  Art & Design, Books, Business, Charity, Entertainment, Family, Fashion, Food & Drink, Funny, Government, Health, Music, News, Science, Sports, Staff Picks, Technology, Travel, Twitter. No pets. I have tried for several months to get someone at Twitter to answer questions about how they define themselves as a social network platform, but have only so far been rebuffed with automatically generated emails.  
Conventional media sources all dutifully refer to Twitter as a “micro-blogging site.” The persistence of the use of this term tells me that Twitter does have some sort of PR department.  I would argue, though, that Twitter is more of a massive, multi-player game.  The point of the game is to gain as many followers as possible. One of the great things about the pets on Twitter is that if you are a pet and you follow them, they will follow you back.

Someday I will write about the #wlf, the Twitterati, some funny bots, dreadful misuses of Twitter, and what happens if you mention Ayn Rand.



Dolls

A little girl in the 1970s may have been a tomboy, but she was expected to play with dolls.  I had three large dolls and two baby dolls.  The babies came in matching yellow dresses and had bunk beds with a ladder, and all you did with them was put them to bed.  The larger dolls included a bride, a blond in a white pinafore, and a more glamorous flaxen-haired doll in a pink dress. If I had other dolls, I gouged out their eyes and cut off their hair and they did not survive to be remembered.
After I went off to college, my mother had my room repainted and redecorated.  She befriended someone who made beautiful hand-sewn doll clothes for fun, and she sent my dolls to the doll hospital to get the ink removed and their eye-lashes replaced and their hair untangled and re-styled.    At the time, I wondered if the dolls were made-over because I was the one wanting the make-over, but no one had the courage to say. In any case, the next time I visited, there they were, lined up on a shelf, more terrifying than ever.
Some people are afraid of clowns. I am afraid of dolls. They have glassy, unblinking eyes. They have no elbows. They don’t wear underwear, and if they do, it’s doll underwear. Their faces have unchanging, blank expressions. They always seem like they are up to no good, and you never catch them doing anything.  As a kid, I could not sleep if they were sitting up. I would lay them all down so their creepy floaty eyes would close. Sometimes I would also bury them under a nice thick, safe layer of stuffed animals.
I had Barbies too, and I played with them a lot. Barbie wasn’t scary. She was a tiny mannequin. She had a convertible and camper van and friends. Baby dolls don’t have friends. You could make clothes for Barbie and you could carry her in your fist the way you might grip a flashlight.
Stuffed animals were the best though, and the more you had the better it seemed. May of my stuffed animals survived to my adulthood, and were shipped to me to live in this big messy house I’ve called home for the past 17 years.  In September of 2008, a young dog we call Captain came to live with us, and he loves stuffed animals.  Captain really loves stuffed animals. First, he chews off their eyes and their noses, and then he pulls out all their stuffing. Once, we had a mountain of stuffed bears, dogs, rabbits, and ponies. Now, we have none.