WWTK Wednesday - Inspiration, Pets, and Inconveniences

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Welcome to We Want to Know Wednesday Q&A hosted by:

Impulsive Addict, Janette, Mamarazzi and Seriously Shawn


{1} You have been asked to give a 10 minute speech to teenage girls. What is it about?
{2} Do you have a pet? Tell us about them. No pets? Why?
{3} What is the biggest inconvenience about the place you’re currently living?
{4} What do you think is the single best decision you have made in your life so far?
{5} What are the THREE "nevers" of your life? (things you would never do or have never done)

You have been asked to give a 10 minute speech to teenage girls. What is it about?
Most likely it would be about anti-bullying and treating others and oneself with kindness. I was bullied mercilessly in grade school and high school, so I am appalled at A) the way children and teens can justify treating another human being with such cruelty, and B) how easy it was for me to believe all their lies about how worthless I was and that I didn't deserve friendship or kindness from them.
From about 6th grade on up, I was told on a daily basis (yes, DAILY) that I was "too ugly to live" and that I should kill myself because no one would ever want to be friends with a dog-faced loser like me. This all came from a few girls who banded together and either the other kids were too afraid of them, or they just wanted to be "popular" and not have the bully gun pointed at them, so almost everyone in our small school joined in.
I grew to where I hated school, I hated the teachers, I hated my classmates and I hated myself when I was there. It's still hard for me to be around crowds of people -- strangers or familiar faces -- because there's still some small scared part of me that thinks that none of them will be nice to me or want to be friends with me. I've come a long way since my school days, but I still have that fear of reaching out and a general mistrust of people considered to be my "peers".

Do you have a pet? Tell us about them. No pets? Why?
Fiery Fame the Magnificent Orange thinks my art supplies are really his.
We have cats, so we're technically the pets to them. Fiery sees my husband as a giant pillow and he sees me as the food dispenser. Feta sees my husband as the food dispenser and she sees me as That Bitch Interloper Who Steals Gavin's Attention.

The dogs are much more "pet-like" in that at least 50% of them do what we tell them to do. Bishop is terrified of thunderstorms. And new people. And bees. And moths. And shadows, tree branches, Christmas wreathes (seriously!), new furniture, hats, flags and rugs. I'm sure I'm forgetting something in that list. He's scared of a lot of things, but if someone were trying to break into our house, that dog would put himself between me and anything or anyone coming after me.

Red and Fiery, best friends.
Red is a decrepit Lab we found on the highway in the middle of a terrible thunderstorm one night. No one claimed him and after 6 months, I gave up and said "OK, so he's our dog after all." He recently had a stroke and was in such bad shape for a few weeks, we had scheduled a visit to have him put down. What little doggie therapy I was doing with him must have made it easier on him, because even though he still toddles around and sometimes forgets where the house is or who we are, he's still a generally happy dog who loves rolling in the grass. I still feel bad when he sneezes and falls down because he can't balance very well.

Geordie LaForge
Geordie LaForge and Lt. Bark-ley are the mini-dachshund brothers we adopted last summer. Geordie is completely deaf and 95% blind -- we think he can see bright light and shadow out of one eye. Except for his odd circular walk (he spins in circles as he's walking/running), you wouldn't really know he's blind by watching him. He can follow his nose pretty well, and tends to follow Bishop around in the yard since Bishop is huge and white and light reflects off him enough for Geordie to see him from about 5-10 feet away. His only real issue is that he doesn't care where he is when it comes to potty training. He knows the difference between outside and inside, but he just doesn't care. He'll cop a squat no matter where he is.

Lt. Barkley
Barkley, is mostly well-mannered and acts as Geordie's seeing eye dog. He's also extremely smart and I've taught him so many tricks and he knows his obedience. Unfortunately, he's also stubborn and takes a cue from Bishop where he has selective hearing. Some days he totally ignores me, staring blankly at me as if to say "What's in it for me?" when I call for him. While Bishop may get that same look from time to time, he knows I mean business. Barkley does not and will often give me the equivalent of the doggy middle finger as he trots off in the opposite direction of where I want him to go.

What is the biggest inconvenience about the place you’re currently living?
It's a very old house, so it's got a lot of 'old house' problems (stuff breaks constantly due to age -- everything under the house is 15-20 years or more, and everything inside the house is at least 10 years old), but the biggest issue is the well water -- it's nasty. Full of rust, iron, magnesium and sulfides that no filter can get rid of, I refuse to drink it. I feel bad making my animals drink it, but I've seen the dogs drink nasty, stagnant pond water by choice, so they must not mind too much. The water turns our clothes orangish brown and smells kind of like rotten eggs. We're moving by the end of July, so that will all change.

What do you think is the single best decision you have made in your life so far?
Deciding to meet Gavin in person. I'd been a member of Plenty of Fish for a couple of weeks, and had been on eHarmony for six months (big super fat fail, btw), and I was matched with a crapton of freaks and geeks (and not the cool sexy kind of geek, either). I got over 200 messages in the first two weeks being on POF, I responded to maybe half of them, talked to 3 of them online semi-regularly, and of all of them, Gavin is the only one I decided to meet in person for a real, honest-to-goodness date. Yes, it was a coffee date in the middle of the afternoon, and I had an emergency "save me" plan from a coworker in place should he have turned out as unbearable as all the whackos I had met on eHarmony, but it turned beautifully. So beautifully that we've been married for 2 1/2 years now, and are expecting our first little rugrat in August.

What are the THREE "nevers" of your life? (things you would never do or have never done)
I have never traveled outside of the U.S. This is something I want to do, badly. I don't care if it's going across the border into Canada, I want to travel outside the country one day. My ideal is to tour Italy, France, Spain, England, Scotland and Ireland. I'd also like to go to Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Tibet, Russia, and maybe India.

I've never completed my college degree. I've come close, only a few credits shy. This is something I desperately want to do, but every time I reach for it, my dream gets yanked out from under me, either by extreme illness, extreme lack of money, or extreme "boss-being-a-dick-and-won't-let-me-leave-an-hour-early-to-get-to-class-on-time-so-I-fail-because-I'm-tardy-every-week." Yeah, I'm so glad I don't work there anymore. But I really would like to finish my degree. Not that it would help in the job search because it means I'll want more money than $8/hour, but it will make me feel... official.

I never eat at Taco Hell. If I've fallen down a well opening and am trapped for days and days, and your only options of getting food to me is either lowering Taco Hell food down to me, or dropping grubs, earthworms, roots and berries down the hole, I'll take the bugs and berries. Thank you.

I've never had major surgery. This is something I hope to never have, too.

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  1. I feel the same way about mickeyD's... funny Taco Hell.

  2. I can relate to your number one answer and I am SO sorry you were treated that way! There's just no excuse for it. My students have always learned early in the school year that bullying is what upsets me more than anything else and I absolutely do not tolerate it.

    This is my first time to your blog and I really enjoyed reading more about you! So now I'm following! I hope you'll take a moment to come by and visit me too. Thanks!

    Twins Plus One, Three Times the Fun