Friday, April 24, 2015

7ToF: if I had a pony, I'd ride him on my boat

1. I have a love-hate relationship with my iPhone. Right now it's mostly love because I've learned how to work with its little idiosyncracies. But Siri and I have never been friends. Siri is the part of the iPhone operating system that allows you to speak in a normal voice to give your phone commands or even to ask google-type questions. "Siri, what's the best sushi restaurant nearby?" you hear a nattily-dressed hipster say casually into his phone on an iPhone commercial.

The siri/genie that lives in my phone is having none of that being ordered around shit. I'm sorry I couldn't understand you is the answer I hear from her, over and over. I rarely even try anymore.

It's possible that Siri remembers when I got my first iPhone several years ago when MadMax was 12 or 13. On more than one occasion I caught him and his friends cackling hysterically as they asked Siri (on my phone) highly intellectual questions like Do you fart? So it's possible, if Siri is programmed to have a five year memory, that she is still boycotting my phone. Dean's Siri works just fine. Few things make him happier than ordering Siri around. At least one of the women in his life does what he tells her to do.

Anyway. The point of this entire thing is that I figured out that I can change Siri's voice to male and British. So now I feel like I'm ordering James Bond around. It doesn't work any better than it used to, but it makes me happy. Daniel Craig can tell me he doesn't understand me anytime he wants.

2. I forgot to tell you last time that when we went to see Still Alice, it reminded us of one of our all-time favorite songs, Lyle Lovett's "If I had a Boat." We were Lyle fans way back before he even married Julia Roberts. My lord, we're old. We even saw him in concert once when he opened for Bonnie Raitt. There are lots of great Lyle songs, but I think "If I had a Boat" is still my favorite, not the least because of the third verse, where Tonto says "kemo sabe, kiss my ass I bought a boat and I'm going out to sea." Since I've been reading Sherman Alexie's Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven for my short story class, it seems appropriate, even if Lyle is thoroughly, thoroughly white (as am I).

3. OK, so let's start celebrating midlife. For my short story class yesterday we read two stories (Updike "The Happiest I've Been" and Tillie Olsen "I Stand Here Ironing") that are at least in part about learning from the past. So Celebration #1: We've got lots of past to learn from. Of course you're never past the age of making mistakes, but one of the best things I've learned from my past is how to learn from my past. :-)

4. It also came up in discussion of those two stories how many mistakes we make when we're young that are unavoidable. You don't know anything when you're young, in spite of the fact that you think you know everything. It's entirely possible that the wisdom of being older is simply knowing that you don't know everything, therefore maybe being a little bit gentler, a little bit more humble, which makes mistakes less glaringly obvious. So, Celebration #2: we cover up our goofs better.

5. Celebration #3: A few days ago I was reading over some drama on FB that one of my younger women friends posted and I thought, OH MY LORD I'm so glad I'm past that age. My irl friends and I have our ups and downs, but I am so thankful that I'm past the age where a single remark or a snipe-y interaction can ruin my day.

6. Betty Neels. Have I told you about Betty Neels yet? I just discovered her a couple of months ago. She was a prolific writer of romance novels from the 1970s until her death in 2001--she wrote over 130. They're the ultimate comfort read. No violence, no sex, no profanity, and completely and utterly predictable plots. But sometimes that's just what I'm in the mood for. Try The Magic of Living or Henrietta's Own Castle.

7. Give a dog her medicine: What's your best method for giving a dog a pill? Jazz is on a daily arthritis medication. We tried shoving it in cream cheese, but turns out she doesn't really like cream cheese. Then we tried wrapping it in sandwich meat, but she is amazingly adept at eating the meat and spitting out the pill. I have no idea how she does it. Our current method works great--like all people who have both cats and dogs, we noticed that Jazz loved dear departed Cinder's food with a great love, so we can put the pill in a spoonful of canned cat food and she slurps it right down. But it's a bit messy, so if anybody has a better idea, let me know.

And that's it for me, have a great weekend. I'm going back to the pop-up box for comments so nobody's gets lost-- I really want to know how you give your dog medicine--so you'll have to check back to see if there are replies. Sorry about that, and we can keep discussing this in the future and see how it works.


Laurel said...

1) How to give dog medicine? I've had mixed results with peanut butter, baby food, shredded cheddar cheese molded around the pill until it becomes a BIG cheddar cheese ball and lately I've been thinking about inserting the pill into a vienna sausage! I think that would be the awesomest. Homer is on ear drops right now--that's another toughie. The prescription is 5 drops in each ear, and after the first drop, she's "NO WAY JOSE!" about it.
2) IF I HAD A BOAT is also one of MY favorite songs, for the same reason. I also like SOUTH TEXAS GIRL (if that's the one where he explains how to pronounce Mexia, TX). Lyle Lovett is awesome.
3)Siri… She doesn't understand me. And, she talks down to me, too. I rarely speak to her, but one time I asked her something like, "Where is the nearest post office?" and first off---I never should have told her my name, because she uses it ALL the time in a very condescending tone. So, her answer was, "I'm sorry, LAU-REL (really unkindly), I don't have access to maps in Australia". Okay, who said anything about AUSTRALIA? Maybe I should change her gender and voice, too, to get rid of how she says my name.
4) the more you hear Sherman Alexie on that podcast, the more you are going to LOVE. HIM. He's so honest, it kills me.

Cheery-O said...

peanut butter is our magical solution for feeding the golden retriever his aspiring (arthritis) twice a day

BarbN said...

See, here is the problem with the pop-up window. It seems to work better, because I know both of you have had comments disappear in the past, but I can't "reply" to each comment, I have to start a new one. *blergh* anyway. Laurel, similar to vienna sausages, I've also considered SPAM. But I just can't quite bring myself to buy it. Even though the time is right there on the phone, I've started asking Siri what time it is just to hear the James Bond voice (although really it sounds younger than James Bond, I just don't know any other male Brits to compare it to). Last night he said, "It's 7:10 p.m. Good evening, Barbara." That's the first time he's used my name (and how the heck did he find out?), so maybe now he will start using it all the time.

Cheery-o, for whatever reason, peanut butter never even occurred to me. But I'm not sure that would be less messy than the cat food. I'll try it.

KarenB said...

Butter. Butter has always worked with our dogs.

Siri scares me - I haven't talked to her yet on my phone but I keep thinking I should just go ahead and figure out how she works. Maybe a male British voice would make it all more appealing.