I’ve been tagged in another one of the those blog post chain thingies called “the Elevens”, this time by Liquor Store Bear. When I participated in the last one from Beerbecue I promised that it was going to be my last one because as I stated then, I’m not a big fan of these. However, I find myself unable to disappoint LSB because one, I love his blog, two he’s just so F’n cute and three, he probably has the 60+ stuffed animals in my house on speed dial and I don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night to some kind of fluffy, death-ninja type squad (do an episode on that CSI!).
But on a serious side, I think every now and then it’s good to stretch yourself and write something that would normally be outside your box. And LSB has given me a chance to do that since he hasn’t really given me anything “booze” related to fall back on.
However, I will adjust the rules a bit. First, I’m going to answer two of his questions instead of just one. Hopefully this effort will buy his forgiveness for slacking with the other rules. Second, I’m supposed to come up with 11 question of my own. Well to be honest I can’t come up with 11 questions that are better than his (pretty deep stuff for a buzzed fur ball) so I’m going to let those be the ones I forward. And finally, I’m not going to tag anyone. Honestly, I don’t have enough followers that I can pick on 11 different blogs from the last time so I’m going to do this; if you’re reading this feel free to consider yourself virtually tagged, or infected (like the rage virus in the 28 Days movies) which ever makes you feel good about your involvement. If you feel like participating great. If not, you can just pretend you didn’t read my blog today.
As always what I WILL do is suggest you follow the chain back up and check out the blogs that LSB and the person before him tagged. You’re likely to find a new blog or two to follow. So that said, here go the questions..
Question 1) Did you have a lovable animal when you were little, and was there a point when you decided it was childish? What was the trigger?
I had a stuffed dog when I was young that went everywhere with me. I don’t even think I ever gave him a name, but we were inseparable. I even have baby pictures of me with him. By the time that I got old enough to remember, he was already showing signs of age. He’d lost one of his eyes, his fur was beginning to fall out, and mom had to sew up little “accidents” from time to time but still he followed me everywhere.
There was never a point where I consciously thought that it had become “childish”, but one day he just stopped following me around. He no longer went to bed with me, he no longer sat on the vanity as I brushed my teeth in the morning. We no longer watched TV together. Instead he just seemed happy to sit on the chair in the kitchen and greet me every morning when I came down for breakfast, or when I came for dinner.
This went on for quite awhile and then one day, he wasn’t there. When I asked my mom about him her answer was straight forward, “I didn’t think you wanted him anymore.” I was crushed. After all, it was fine that he didn’t follow me all over the house anymore, but that didn’t mean I wanted him gone.
But like every kid I got over it after awhile. But there’s still a connection to animals deep within me that I’m sure is from those days. I bought a stuffed tiger one year for a Halloween costume and he ended up in my truck. It just felt right for him to be there, giving the kids something to focus on when we’d take trips. Although I suspect the true reason is that I like the idea that he’s protecting my truck against would be thieves. More than 12 years later, he’s still there.
When my kids were born, the ex and I made time capsules for them that contained everything from the tape the were measured with the day they were born, to magazines and newspapers from the month they were born, to a VCR tape of events I recorded from the year they were born.
When my son opened his on this 18th birthday, the first thing he pulled out was a green dragon. When he asked me about it I explained that it was his first gift from his first visitor at the hospital, who unfortunately had since passed away from cancer. The dragon had sat in this bedroom for years when he was a baby until one day when he was about 5 they became inseparable. Then one day, like my dog, it no longer wanted to follow him around the house anymore, so I put it away hoping that he’d appreciate him later. Who knows, maybe one day he’ll follow his son around the house.
Question 2)What is the most memorable book or movie for you?
Man this one is tough. Maybe it’s the childhood thoughts right now, but the most memorable books for me at the moment are the ones I used to read to the kids when they were young. Three pop to mind.
The first, “Good Night Moon” was the first book we read to the kids when they were old enough to start asking for stories. Written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd, it’s a short little story about a boy who’s saying good night to all the things in his room. The illustrations are basic, but contain a great amount of detail as the story moves forward. It’s the first book each kid had read to them, I don’t think it gets more memorable than that.
The second book is by Australian children’s author Graeme Base. If you have kids who you still read to, and haven’t seen one of his books, I encourage you to seek them out. One, “Animalia” is an awesome alphabet picture book where every page is dedicated to a different letter of the alphabet. Each page tells a mini story, like, “Crafty Crimson Cats Carefully Catching Crusty Crayfish” with pictures that are very elaborate, containing hundreds of items that all start with the same letter – like a cobra, calculator, or coke can.
But it’s his book, the “Eleventh Hour” (Elevenses? See what I did there?) that we really enjoyed. The book tells the story of Horace the elephant who is about the celebrate his 11th birthday. Told in rhyme, it introduces the guests (11 total) and tells of the 11 games they played that day. But at the height of the party (at 11:00), the guests are shocked to find that someone has stolen all the food. Who could do this? Well that’s where the book really shines. You’re never told. The story finishes with all the guests claiming innocence and asks the reader to determine who the thief is. There are clues hidden on each page that you must decode and figure out. The puzzles call on a wide range of knowledge from the reader, and in truth might be a little difficult for younger kids – but not adults. As much fun as my kids had listening to the story, dad had more fun grabbing the book and a note pad one weekend and not giving up till he’d discovered who the thief was.
The last book I want to touch on is “The Velveteen Rabbit (or How Toys Become Real)” which I’m going to be honest, I hated. The story revolves around a young boy who catches scarlet fever and while the adults wonder if he will survive, the doctor instructs them to remove all the things from his room and burn them. Amongst these items is his beloved stuffed rabbit who ends up falling out of the pile of doomed items out in woods. What follows is a story of how the rabbit continues his existence without the boy, ending in a magical moment that I won’t spoil but you can probably infer from the title. Why do I hate it? Because it always made my eyes water at the end when I read it. Yeah, I’m an old softy, live with it. My daughter had a stretch where this was the only book she wanted read to her and I never denied her, but man was I happy when she started asking for other books.
And I think that’s a good spot to end it. It’s no coincidence that I end on a book about a stuffed animal who wishes he were real. After all one might believe that Liquor Store Beer hopes that one day through love, he might have a chance of becoming a real bear on day. But then he’d have to sleep in a cave, shit in the woods, catch trout in the rivers and hope that campers have beer in their picnic baskets. And why would he want that? He seems to have a pretty sweet gig going on as it is. So no, probably not…
Here is the full list of LSB’s questions:
- Did you have a lovable animal when you were little, and was there a point when you decided it was childish? What was the trigger?
- Do you believe in astrology? Why or why not?
- Do you think there’s a divide between physiological addiction and physical addiction, and where do you think alcoholism falls?
- Is there any topic that you consider absolutely out of bounds as far as humor goes?
- How much attention do you pay to politics?
- Are you hopeful about our planet? Why or why not?
- If you are a parent, how is your parenting different from your parents’? Is this deliberate? Why or why not?
- What is the most memorable book or movie for you?
- How many “presences,” for lack of a better word, do you have on the web? Are they true to who you are in real life, or do you maintain some distance between your web representation and your private reality?
- What’s the closest you’ve ever been to death?
- Do you prefer your martini with gin or vodka?