Our dogs, ourselves.

I look in the mirror, and I look one way. I look OK. Presentable, anyway. Good enough for what I need to do that day. Then I pass a reflection in a store window, in a mirror at the gym, or on a Zoom camera, and all I can think is: Who’s the old fat lady?

A friend says when we look in our own mirrors, we have our own presets. We know what we’re supposed to look like, and so we see ourselves that way. But other mirrors tell the truth. This is a very strange conversation, but it makes as much sense as anything. It’s like the United States, when we tell ourselves we live in the greatest nation in the world, the land of freedom and opportunity, and all of that is our preset. I heard an interview with an Afghan woman on the way to work out this morning. She was spitting with anger at how betrayed she feels by the United States, and who could blame her? She’ll probably swing from a rope before too long, if she isn’t killed some other way, for the crime of being educated, English-speaking, intelligent.

I saw a tweet by Ted Cruz, jeering at the CNN correspondent covering the fall of Afghanistan. She’s female, and she wears an abaya on the streets when she’s working. Cruz jeered at her “burkha.” It’s not a burkha, you dumb fuck, Mr. Harvard, it’s an abaya. Didn’t we learn this after 9/11? An abaya is a full-length dress, usually black, worn with a hijab, but leaving the wearer’s face uncovered; a burkha is the garment that covers everything and the wearer can only look through a crocheted screen. That’s three terms of art about Islamic religious dress for women; is it so hard to remember? I remembered, and I didn’t go to Harvard.

But of course, not remembering, calling everything you don’t like a burkha — because we agree that’s the most medieval garment, the worst one — is its own mirror. It says, who gives a fuck what these awful people call their outfits? The guy can probably expound on different styles of cowboy boots, but can’t be bothered to step outside his comfort zone, even to sound smarter than he is.

I turned off the radio on my way back from the pool. It was a lovely morning, and I wanted to enjoy it, feel thankful that I don’t live in Afghanistan or Haiti. There will always be a Haiti. You have to enjoy good fortune when you have it.

How can it only be Tuesday? It feels like it should be next Thursday.

Two pieces of bloggage today, neither of which has anything to do with Afghanistan, Ted Cruz or Haiti:

Do you talk to your dog? (Of course you do.) What sort of voice do you use? And when your dog talks back (of course it does), what kind of voice does it use? The WashPost investigates:

Most nights, as he is about to go to sleep, Josh Lieberthal gets into an argument with Werner Herzog. It is often over the pillow, which the 30-year-old communications specialist refuses to cede.

“You gave me part of your pillow,” the argument goes, in the German director’s soft, accented timbre. “The pillow is actually part mine, now.”

The voice belongs to Lieberthal’s dog, Rocky — a 5-year-old wheaten-poodle mix, or “whoodle” — with whom he and his fiancee share a bed. The argument is one that Lieberthal has with himself. Rocky’s voice, which Lieberthal provides, is that of the 78-year-old director of “Grizzly Man,” which just seems to suit his dog.

…He doesn’t remember when, or how, or why he — er, his dog — adopted a thick German accent, dropping the “w” and “th” sounds, but he and his fiancee do it all the time now. Even, occasionally, when they’re not with their dog.

“I feel like a crazy person,” he says. “But at the same time, this is just so normal for us.”

Of course it’s normal! Our last dog, Spriggy, had his own fantasy sitcom, the scripts for which we would sometimes improvise as we dressed for work. It was called “The Spriggy Show, starring Spriggy! Co-starring Alan and Nancy” and the episodes usually involved Spriggy getting into some sort of mischief and escaping all consequences. There was the one where Spriggy called the state of Michigan and ordered a truckload of sand to be dumped in our back yard. That one came after a blissful camping weekend where he ran wildly on some sandy riverbanks. There was the one where he talked the dumb hound dog next door, Samson, into letting him climb up the bigger dog’s back so Spriggy could raid the dumpster at Casa d’Angelo, the nearby Italian restaurant.

“Are we gonna get in trouble, Spriggy?” Samson would ask in a Southern accent. “Hey, can I get one of those meatballs?” Spriggy, deep in the dumpster and speaking with his mouth full, would reply that he couldn’t find any. “And his head pops up, and he has spaghetti hanging off it,” Alan would say. “Hmm, good note,” I’d say. “Make sure to tell the writers’ room.” More from the Post:

Sarah Coughlon, 27, has an ongoing bit with her girlfriend that their dog, Maurice, is the manager of the Bedford-Stuyvesant WeWork.

“He’s also sort of bumbling and, no offense to WeWork, but they seem sort of bumbling. And so I think he’s, like, kind of overwhelmed,” Coughlon says. “He’s really doing his best.”

Maurice, a mix that Coughlon describes as “a German shepherd that has beagle ears,” has a Midwestern accent for reasons that Coughlon cannot explain and always refers to his owners as “the ladies.” Coughlon, who works in advertising, doesn’t even go to a WeWork. Maybe this whole weird comedy bit comes from “trying to sort of make sense of the fact that our home that’s like our sanctuary suddenly becomes a workspace and that my girlfriend becomes my officemate. And that’s a weird relationship for us to have,” Coughlon says. “I think we are sort of trying to mediate that through the dog.”

“The ladies.” Cracks me up.

And if you watched “The White Lotus,” which was a very very fine HBO limited series that ended Sunday, you might want to read this interview with writer/creator Mike White.

And that’s it for the midweek. Enjoy talking to your dog.

Posted at 9:51 pm in Current events, Television |
 

55 responses to “Our dogs, ourselves.”

  1. David C said on August 18, 2021 at 6:02 am

    The worst part of lyin’ Ted is that I’m almost sure he does know the difference. He just does it to be a dick. Not a week goes by that he isn’t somewhere saying something stupid that make you think “doesn’t he know”. Of course, he knows. He’s playing to the rubes on Fox.

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  2. alex said on August 18, 2021 at 7:32 am

    My paternal grandmother used to give voices to my toys when I was a kid. In broken English. It was very charming and sweet and one of my most cherished memories.

    I talk to my pets by channeling their voices back to them. My cat always sounds like she’s complaining, moaning, so I simper in sympathy and it’s amazing how it gets her rapt attention and she falls silent and stares at me. I always baby-talked my dogs. I miss having a dog and look forward to adopting again one day when this household is ready for it.

    Re: Afghanistan, I read this piece last night and maybe I’m being foolishly optimistic but it left me feeling a little more hopeful about the future than anything else that’s been in the news this week:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/baradar-taliban-leader-afghanistan/2021/08/17/d8485398-ff83-11eb-a664-4f6de3e17ff0_story.html

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  3. Mark P said on August 18, 2021 at 8:45 am

    I’ve never talked for my dogs, but for some reason when my wife and I married, I talked for her cat. He was a fluffy, white, casually evil cat that put my wife in the hospital for a week by biting her. He sounded like a Southern Mickey
    Mouse. “My daddy was the Debbil!” That’s “Devil”’in case you don’t speak cat. He always sounded kind of stupid. I stopped doing cat voices after he disappeared. He almost certainly became a coyote dinner.

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  4. Julie Robinson said on August 18, 2021 at 9:15 am

    Alex, you’ve lived in Indiana under a succession of Republican governors who talk of moderation yet always sign the legislature’s odious bills. I fear Afghanistan will be like that.

    We’re going full Florida with a 4 pm reservation for dinner, hoping to achieve some social distancing. After all, 42 years of marriage should be celebrated. We have a twin here at nnc, married the same date, but I’ve forgotten who. Happy Anniversary to you too.

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  5. Jeff Borden said on August 18, 2021 at 9:18 am

    We talk to Cosmo all the time. He’s a great sounding board. And he is amazingly manipulative. He knows precisely how to wield his body language and face to charm humans into submission.

    I used to envy graduates of Ivy League schools, but the stupidity exhibited by Cruz, DeathSantis, Cotton and Hawley has me proud of my Kent State diploma.

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  6. JodiP said on August 18, 2021 at 9:44 am

    We are nowhere near creative enough with our animals! I love the sitcom bit.

    We had a cat who was a compulsive liar–we’d do her voice making up outrageous things the other animals did. We finally got her in to Liar’s Anonymous, but it did little. She lied until she crossed the rainbow bridge.

    Our new-ish dog, Hamilton, has become Sgt. Freckles in the last few days because he is vigilant about anyone walking past our house and has a freckled belly. He has a very shrill, unpleasant bark, so we are training him to “just watch” when he wants to sound the alarm, but instead of that command, we’re using “stand down, sargent, stand down.”

    I could go on about what the felines get up to, but it’s mostly complaining about the lack of good service.

    I follow an IG account starring Penny the tabby who is voiced by the owner’s 3-year-old. It’s aymie91 if you want some lighthearted stuff.

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  7. ROGirl said on August 18, 2021 at 9:52 am

    I’m sitting outside an urgent care place waiting for it to open so I can get a covid test. I was told a while ago at work that I was exposed to someone who tested positive. I’m fully vaxxed, feel fine, but I could have it without symptoms.

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  8. Deborah said on August 18, 2021 at 10:08 am

    This 140 page PDF by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction about what went wrong in Afghanistan, is a long slog https://www.sigar.mil/pdf/lessonslearned/SIGAR-21-46-LL.pdf I only made it through 34 pages but if you just read the executive summary and the intro you get the idea. It was a mess from the beginning as we all know, but it’s interesting seeing it all laid out item by item as it is in the report, poor planning (or no planning), poor staffing, corruption etc etc. This was the 11th and now final report during the 20 year duration of the disastrous project.

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  9. Mark P said on August 18, 2021 at 11:02 am

    I’ve talked about the sunk cost fallacy before. Biden’s critics can’t get over it. The only way we could have succeeded in Afghanistan would have been to go all 19th Century on the region, including invading Pakistan and murdering insurgents left and right. And warlords, too. The fact is, as bad as we are, we’re too civilized to have “won” in Afghanistan. We ought to dump the morons complaining about getting US troops out of harm’s way, including any general officers, back in the country and tell them to have at it. They’re oh so brave with someone else’s life.

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  10. Jeff Borden said on August 18, 2021 at 11:24 am

    These videos are quite old, but they are among my favorites in “humanizing” pets. Many, perhaps most of you have seen them, but if not, they will bring you a smile, whether you love cats or not.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0M7ibPk37_U

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q34z5dCmC4M

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  11. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 18, 2021 at 11:35 am

    Nancy, you *did* graduate from “the Harvard on the Hocking.”

    I wonder if that LIFE reporter knew what they were starting back in 1950 . . .

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  12. Sherri said on August 18, 2021 at 11:41 am

    Pakistan is nominally an ally and has nukes, so invading Pakistan was never on the table.

    I found Steve Coll’s book Ghost Wars helpful in understanding some of the interplay between the CIA, the Pakistani equivalent ISI, and the muhjadeen, and Afghanistan up to 9/11.

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  13. David C said on August 18, 2021 at 11:44 am

    I practice my active listening with the cats. “Mrow!!!!”, “What? You say you want a window open.” They say it helps enhance communication, but I don’t see it.

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  14. Mark P said on August 18, 2021 at 12:09 pm

    Sherri, “nominal” is the operative word regarding Pakistan. Actual allies don’t provide refuge for actual enemies. But of course invading Pakistan was never on the table in the 21st Century.

    But we actually did, if only on a small scale, when we went after bin Laden.

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  15. basset said on August 18, 2021 at 12:52 pm

    MarkP, what did the cat do that put her in the hospital for an entire week? Would be hard to feel safe around that animal afterward, I would think.

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  16. brian stouder said on August 18, 2021 at 12:57 pm

    All our cat Cleo ever asks for is “Fooood!…Food!”

    Our working theory is that she’s got a lot of puppy-dog in her.

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  17. Dorothy said on August 18, 2021 at 1:32 pm

    I hate to be Dorothy Downer but I thought of you when I read this (and yes I know you subscribe to the Times but I’m sharing it anyway): https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/18/travel/blindsided-abroad-vaccinated-but-testing-positive-on-a-trip-to-europe.html

    I wish we could have some kind of lineup, like a county fair pie-in-the-face booth, with Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Jim Jordan, Kevin McCarthy (awww use your imagination – add anyone else you think deserves it) but the opening in the wall would be between the top of the thighs and the belt line. And give each of those pompous asshats exactly what they deserve. Sort of like corn hole but with much heavier bags of sand. And maybe not sand. Maybe gravel. And a mechanized way of delivering the bags rather than humans tossing them toward that opening.

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  18. Mark p said on August 18, 2021 at 1:33 pm

    Basset — my wife was feeding the cat and petting it when it turned and bit her. After a few days she had red streaks running up her arm. That time required daily antibiotic shots for a week. Almost exactly a year later, it happened again almost exactly the same way, and she ended up in the hospital with an antibiotic drip for a week. She was so out of it she doesn’t really remember anything about it. She still loved the little bastard, so he didn’t get to meet his daddy the Devil, at least until the coyote got him.

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  19. Bitter Scribe said on August 18, 2021 at 2:05 pm

    But of course, not remembering, calling everything you don’t like a burkha — because we agree that’s the most medieval garment, the worst one — is its own mirror. It says, who gives a fuck what these awful people call their outfits?

    In the book-within-a-book in “1984,” it is explained that it doesn’t pay to know too much about Oceania’s enemies. It gave the analogy of ancient Hebrew priests: All they had to know about everyone else’s gods was that they were phony—they didn’t need to know the details about Baal, Moloch, etc., and would be looked on with suspicion if they did.

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  20. Icarus said on August 18, 2021 at 2:18 pm

    Dorothy @ 17:

    Can we include Right-wing Barbie, aka Tomi Lahren? Also, Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene?

    asking for me.

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  21. Dorothy said on August 18, 2021 at 2:35 pm

    Why yes, Icarus, and I forgot Laura Ingraham & Jeanine Piro.

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  22. alex said on August 18, 2021 at 3:24 pm

    I saw Laura Ingraham’s brother on a program explaining that their dad was a neo-Nazi nutjob and that’s why his sister turned out to be such a kook and an asshole.

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  23. David C said on August 18, 2021 at 3:34 pm

    Make room for Kayleigh McEnany too.

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  24. Dave said on August 18, 2021 at 4:19 pm

    I’m looking forward to attending that county fair, it would be such a delightful time to take part. I fear the potential roster of pie-in-the-face or gravel-bag-to-the-midsection may grow too large, I’d like to add the Florida governor and the former governor, now senator. I’d also throw in Marco Rubio but I’d rather have a shot at the other two.

    I keep thinking about your mirror theory, that’s very true. When I see a picture of myself, I wonder how I look so old when I can’t see it looking in a mirror. We really do see what we want to see in a mirror and then we see a picture or a shot of us on a Zoom call and realize, oh my, is that truly me?

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  25. Deborah said on August 18, 2021 at 5:02 pm

    Jeff B, I love those Henri videos.

    I talked to our cats but never talked back for them. They had quite the little personalities. I wish we could have another cat or two, but my husband and LB both have severe allergies.

    Back from a 7 mile walk in high humidity, which was really stupid. I put off some errands that required walking a far piece, even when it was cooler a few days ago. It’s not that hot, just really humid. First thing I did back home was hop in the shower, that’s the second one today.

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  26. Scout said on August 18, 2021 at 5:08 pm

    Our cats all have their own voice overs and some pretty amazing critical thinking skills for creatures with no thumbs. They really like to have a running commentary when there is mutual grooming action.

    My Dad’s memorial service was yesterday. As a Korean War Vet who’s ashes will be placed in a columbarium at the National Memorial Cemetery in Cave Creek, AZ, he had an honor guard flag ceremony there followed by taps on a lone trumpet. It was actually very moving and as the young man handed the flag to my Mother, he said it was with the thanks of the President of the United States. Mom leaned over to me and through her tears, said, ‘Thank god Dad waited til Biden was POTUS to go.’ We had a continental breakfast afterwards which also included a couple of pitchers of beer for toasting the man who liked to say it was always 5:00 somewhere. I sang a rendition of “In Heaven There Is No Beer, That’s Why We Drink It Here” for my grandies who had never heard it before. It was a proper send off for a truly kind, funny and gentle man.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HlKpWdrq-4

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  27. LAMary said on August 18, 2021 at 5:56 pm

    One of my cats bit me years ago and while I didn’t end up in the hospital, my whole hand swelled up a lot. I went to the ER and got a shot of penicillin and a scrip for antibiotics. Cat’s teeth thinner and sharper than dog’s. It’s like getting an injection of bacteria.
    My dogs all have had lives beyond dogginess. The recently departed Smokey was a talented tap dancer and fan of reggae. The current cat team has Potato who uses the computer whenever we forget to cover the keyboard. He’s working on some secret project. Everything he types is in code. His vocalization is limited to an enthusiastic good morning meow that ends with a question mark. Hero, the feral that my son and his girlfriend adopted and parked with me only talks when he’s hungry and Clementine mostly just purrs. She sits next to me on the arm of the chair and puts one paw on my arm and purrs. She is a talented pianist too. Her compositions are very avant garde.

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  28. Cullen said on August 18, 2021 at 6:07 pm

    When I first met my future wife, she had a magnificent Rhodesian Ridgeback named Ivan. She would construct whole conversations in Ivans voice, which was like a 5 year old would talk. I had just come off a brutal breakup, and my first instinct was to run away as fast as I could. This was crazy. I don’t need this. Long story short, within a week, I was speaking Ivan. I had a Karelian Bear Dog named Drago (Ivan Drago, Rocky movie reference) It was meant to be. We’ve been together 15 years, and we joke that if it weren’t for our dogs, we wouldn’t actually talk to each other.

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  29. David C said on August 18, 2021 at 8:09 pm

    If you live in Wisconsin and get bit by your own cat, get an infection and have to go to the doctor, lie through your teeth about how you got your injury. I was bit by our cat and he had to spend a week in cat gitmo because we were a month overdue on his rabies vaccination when he bit me. They send the cops out and everything. It’s such a huge overreaction.

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  30. Deborah said on August 18, 2021 at 8:16 pm

    Scout, the memorial you had for your dad sounds lovely. I’m glad you had that meaningful send off.

    My husband got an email today from his younger sister in Charlotte about her last viewing of their mother’s body before the cremation. It was a very moving description and we both cried and cried. I was relieved because it was the first time my husband has cried since his mother’s death. He’s usually such a crier that I was concerned he didn’t cry before. But I realize he and his siblings have been so relieved that their mother didn’t suffer a long time that made them happy not sad. But now they can relax and grieve and acknowledge their own loss.

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  31. Mark P said on August 18, 2021 at 8:18 pm

    I forgot about a little female calico we still have. She used to sleep on our bed while the Devil cat slept on the floor. In the middle of the night she always jumped down, went up to Devil cat and said, “Hey, big boy!” He always ended up swatting her, and she always ended up going back to him.

    We also had a big gray cat that was as sweet and affectionate as any cat we ever had. For some reason he had a gravely voice from all the alcohol and cigars. Unfortunately he wanted to be an outdoor cat. A coyote got him, too.

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  32. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 18, 2021 at 9:44 pm

    Scout, that took me back to northwest Indiana and “da Region” with Frank Yankovic and that song. Blessings on your memory of your father. Theologically, I have some questions about heaven having no beer, but I grew up in a very Lutheran town, so . . .

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  33. beb said on August 18, 2021 at 10:16 pm

    Julie, My wife, Denice, and I were married on August 18, 1979. That most make us the twin you were thinking of. Between a punched nerve and a pair of wore out knees, she’s in too much pain to think about going out.

    My wife likes to talk to our cats. I don’t. The cats ignore her every bit as their ignore me. The only thing they respond to is the diner bell. Not that there is a literal bell, but come 11 PM they all waiting for the day’s wet food.

    Dorothy @17: I’m thinking more of stocks and over-ripe tomatoes. I would lover to get Mitch McConnell there with a bushel and a peck to lob at him.

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  34. Dexter Friend said on August 19, 2021 at 2:21 am

    I heard a long interview with Steve Zahn in which he praised the cast and Mike White (the fucking weirdo from “Chuck and Buck”), as a great project. Later as it began airing, I began to wonder what the hell this show was about; callers to the radio show I listen to on XM began trashing it as well, and I heard no good things about it, as I nodded in agreement. Then at the end of episode 4 the discussion turned to a horrible abrupt ending, as somehow that bad information was circulating that was it…the ratings were so bad it was abruptly cancelled. That was a lie, as 2 more episodes aired. And lo and behold, the whole goddam miniseries was tied together and ended well…well enough for me anyway. This was a total Mike White deal. I still say he’s an uncomfortable-to-watch weirdo, but that’s just me, thoughts, really.
    I kept feeling White may have inspired by the old cable show “John from Cincinnati”, one of the nuttier shows ever, with hints of “Lodge 49”, a great, much loved show that the fuckers cancelled despite a large cult following.

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  35. Dexter Friend said on August 19, 2021 at 3:13 am

    https://www.facebook.com/vinniefriend/videos/1065101743526655

    Pogo speaks. Maybe only my Facebook pals will be able to see this clip. Pogo is my Labbie.

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  36. Suzanne said on August 19, 2021 at 8:57 am

    Oh my gosh, Jeff(tmmo) “da region”! When little naïve me from Ft Wayne entered college at IU in the mid-70s, I kept meeting people from “da region” but none of them could ever define it and it was kind of hilarious. I had never heard this name so I was often asked what they meant. The answer I almost always got was “You know! The Region!” But I didn’t know.
    Finally someone just a few years ago told me that “da region” is north of Hwy 30 and west of I-65. So now I know!

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  37. Heather said on August 19, 2021 at 9:35 am

    I guess I’m kind of a boring cat owner. I talk to mine but I don’t give her a voice. I do think of her as a quite proper little miss though with her delicate little paws and demure attitude (except when she is demanding pets and brushing).

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  38. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 19, 2021 at 10:04 am

    Don’t know about setting the border at I-65; I’d put it somewhere around Michigan City. Portage, Chesterton, Valpo should be in it, and I’d include LaPorte and MC. Jean Shepherd and Ralphie, though, are our heart & soul.

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  39. Scout said on August 19, 2021 at 10:41 am

    Thank you, Deborah and Jeff (tmmo). I have cried plenty for the loss of my Dad, but am simultaneously happy for him that he has been released from his pain and the ravages of dementia. And I too question that heaven has no beer because my Mom and I are convinced that Dad’s micro brew bestie was waiting for him with two chilled mugs full.

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  40. Suzanne said on August 19, 2021 at 11:14 am

    If there is no beer in heaven, my dad is very unhappy there. I will be, too, although it better be good beer.
    At my dad’s celebration of life party, long delayed due to COVID, most of the family broke out in a rousing rendition of Tom T Hall’s “I Like Beer” because Dad always sang it at family gatherings!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOiyksNlrY0

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  41. Julie Robinson said on August 19, 2021 at 11:24 am

    beb, I’m sorry you and Denice weren’t able to celebrate. I hear pinched nerves are truly excruciating. I know a lot of so-called elective surgeries are being cancelled right now. Our morning paper had a picture of a man who had complications after open heart surgery, had returned to the ER, and was given a choice of a waiting room full of Covid patients or the heat outside. Talk about Catch-22.

    Anyway, we tried a new restaurant, went early to avoid the crowds, and were the only patrons for the entire time we were there. It’s a women-owned place and the food was excellent, if expensive, but everything here is costly. I hope they can make it.

    D and I are allergic to animals and now we are living with four of them. We put an air purifier in the bedroom and leave the door closed all the time. But it’s quite an adjustment, especially the food and potty messes and smells. The doggy is getting old and has some real issues with solutions elusive so far. Our daughter is on a trip so it’s even worse because they are so bonded. Ick.

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  42. rb said on August 19, 2021 at 11:43 am

    Lovely bit about Lyin’ Ted – the more I learn about the educational credentials of his ilk, the more I think the Ivies are WAY overrated.
    Nice bit about dogspeak – our briard Biscuit sounds uncannily like Scooby-Doo.
    Hope you’re still going to France. Bon séjour.

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  43. Deborah said on August 19, 2021 at 1:00 pm

    Yay! We got approval from the Santa Fe Historic District that we can proceed with our project as we submitted in our package. We have still to receive the building permit required by the city which the window replacement company is obtaining for us. And the windows will be field measured by them either next week or the week after when I’m there. The Historic approval is for the whole building but the building permit is only for our 4 units, not the A-hole’s unit, she will be required to obtain the permit for her unit which she probably won’t and then she’ll be hit with a $4,000 fine because they already know about our circumstances with her and they will be taking her to court too. She’s in for a lot of hurt. This afternoon we have two Zoom calls with 2 different law firms to see if we want to work with them.

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  44. Deborah said on August 19, 2021 at 5:20 pm

    This weekend is the annual air and water show in Chicago. I’m so glad we’re leaving town on Saturday morning. It’s centered on Oak Street beach which is right around the corner. I really hated it when we had our cats here, the poor things were terrified. I feel for people with pets in these buildings. Tourists come and stand on the properties of the buildings along the lake and smash plants and ruin lawns. Our building has a lovely travertine marble plaza that they cordon off to keep gawkers from spilling sodas etc that can stain the light colored stone. When the building complex has their annual party on the plaza it’s a pot luck and BYOB but they don’t allow red wine in case of spills.

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  45. alex said on August 19, 2021 at 5:58 pm

    A friend used to host an annual picnic at Belmont Harbor for the air & water show and it was a popular party. It eventually moved to the roof of a condo building in Edgewater, where I imagine it continues.

    I’m getting ready for a septoplasty which means quitting smoking which means taking Wellbutrin again to quit. It turns off the brain’s nicotine receptors. I’m on my third day and it seems to be suppressing my appetite more than anything, but I definitely notice cigarettes becoming less pleasurable. By next week I expect to find them utterly disgusting and start anew once again as a nonsmoker.

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  46. A. Riley said on August 19, 2021 at 6:32 pm

    Our two cats have similar “voices” and say similar things because they seem to think similar things:
    — Mom!! Dad!! Where’s my snack?!? Pet me now!! Make him quit bugging me!!

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  47. Deborah said on August 19, 2021 at 6:49 pm

    Alex, good for you on quitting smoking.

    We met with two lawyers via Zoom today and I’m feeling really good about both of them. The second one, the younger Hispanic lawyer was particularly impressive to me. The other older white guy was originally my first choice because of his experience etc but the younger guy blew him out of the water as far as I’m concerned. This is turning out to be very interesting.

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  48. annie said on August 19, 2021 at 7:43 pm

    what do any of you think of Maureen Dowd’s write-up about Obama’s 60th birthday celebration in the NYT?
    https://www.nytimes>barack-obama-birthday

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  49. Suzanne said on August 19, 2021 at 7:52 pm

    You must look at this thread

    https://twitter.com/steventdennis/status/1423788323877892098?s=21

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  50. Brandon said on August 19, 2021 at 7:55 pm

    “Behold Barack Antoinette.”

    She called it an “orgy of the one percent.” Maybe she forgot about Malcolm Forbes and his seventieth birthday party held over two days (August 18-20) in Morocco. In fact, he would have turned 102 today.

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  51. susan said on August 19, 2021 at 8:19 pm

    Maureen Dowd? She still around? Why? And why would I read anything she writes? Questions questions questions.

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  52. Deborah said on August 19, 2021 at 8:56 pm

    I did read the Maureen Dowd opinion article and I thought it was laughable on a number of levels. It made me wonder what grudge she’s holding, maybe she didn’t get invited to a party she wanted to attend at some point or another. I mean maybe former presidents need to be more full of clues but then again, these are highly talented, highly successful people who want to hang with their peers. Yes they shouldn’t forget the folks who helped get them there, maybe that was clueless. But I’m going to cut them some slack, because they deserve some slack when you think how much slack the twice impeached former guy got.

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  53. alex said on August 20, 2021 at 7:04 am

    Dowd certainly does sound like she has a personal axe to grind. Who fucking cares who Obama invites to his birthday party? One thing that obviously hasn’t changed, though, is that Obama caves and compromises needlessly whenever he’s facing a fusillade of media attacks. He should have just gone ahead and had his party.

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  54. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 20, 2021 at 8:19 am

    Alex, healing mercies with your septoplasty; I’ve had three and am told I can’t have any more, so I’m working hard to maintain what I’ve got, but I know full well how much fun the parts after that surgery are . . .

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  55. Deggjr said on August 22, 2021 at 7:00 pm

    Poor Maureen Dowd … it’s not possible to know if she intended to be this self-revealing. https://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/30/magazine/whats-a-modern-girl-to-do.html

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