Tag Archives: happiness

Robot Lessons

Lisa Burton

When I walked into the writing cabin, Lisa was in a slumped over position at her desk. “What’s wrong with you? You didn’t pick up a computer virus, did you?”

“Nothing like that. It’s just that Adriana Lima retired.”

“Gonna have to help me with that one.”

“You know, the supermodel. Victoria’s Secret and more.”

“This is about your TV show last night isn’t it? Don’t worry. I’m sure there will be someone new next year.”

“That’s the point. I think it could be me. I’m a concept model robot, so I can extend my height a little bit, maybe thin out some of this flesh.”

“I see… Maybe we should talk about that.”

“Think of all the places she’s been. Things she’s gotten to do. I’ll bet her closet is full of cool clothes.”

“Not many you can wear in public though.” I sat at the opposite side of her desk. “You know how you’re always trying to be more human?”

“Yeah, it’s one of my major programming directives.”

“I think you made it.”

“I don’t understand.”

“There is always going to be someone with more than you. It could be more money, more clothes, better looks, more talent, anything really. The trick is to be happy in the place you’re in, in the skin you’re in. I’ll wager there are people who would like to be you.”

“I doubt it.”

“Okay, lets explore that. I’ll bet your model–”

“Supermodel.”

“Okay, supermodel. I’d wager that she’s never grown carnivorous plants, or fired a big assed gun.”

“You don’t know, she might have. Bet she doesn’t have to chase enchanted beer horns up and down the halls either.”

“Okay, I’ll bet she’s never travelled through time, flown a rocket-pack into space, or visited Windemere before. I’m pretty sure she’s never fed politicians to a Cthulhu monster before either.”

“Yeah, that was kind of fun.”

“Bet she’s never had a meaningful conversation with a yak.”

“Alright, I get it. Still, she has a pretty glamorous life.”

“You’ve been on the red carpet before. You got to perform with Lizzie and the hat. You have your own radio show, and that faux Warhol on the wall behind you is pretty glamorous too.”

“Still faux.”

“There won’t be anymore Warhols, but you’re missing the point. You get to do a lot of things others don’t. While we’re all aware of someone better off, we need to remember those who aren’t as well off either. We can’t all be bestselling authors, but I keep plugging away. Would you really change who you are, even modify your body, to be someone else?”

“I really like my style and who I am.”

“Then be happy with who you are. You can still visit those places. You can make more posters in glamorous clothes. Plus you can take down a casino like nobody I’ve ever heard of.”

“Thanks. That really helps. You work on your writing, I’m going to ride down to the store. Maybe we can fill those beer horns with something special today.”

“Now that sounds like a great idea.”

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Big changes at my house

They say time heals all wounds, but it really doesn't. Wounds leave scars. This isn't a bad thing, because they are part of our makeup. These can be physical or emotional scars, it's really all the same. I wouldn't trade my scars, but it's nice when the pain dies down.

I get up every morning and look for the old pitbull. He isn't there, and I miss him. He used to lay by the front door every day at 3:00 even after our last one graduated. He still expected someone to come through that door when school let out. We're all creatures of habit. I come home from work and glance around even though I know he isn't there.

I've had a dog ever since I was a small child. I've had as many as three at once, but I've never been without one before. It isn't a lifestyle I would recommend to anyone. There have been times in my life when the dog is my only friend. Bad day at work, angry wife, unpaid bills – the dog still loves me.

Sometimes the wound requires a bit of help. Some kind of elixir to speed things along. Sometimes it's a simple cure, like a good beer or a good book. Sometimes it isn't. This time, only a special kind of help is going to work.

Therefore; meet Otto:

Otto is a bulldog puppy. He arrived this afternoon, hand delivered by the breeder. These lovely people drove over from Burley. While it's still in Idaho, it's several hours from here. We also got to meet Otto's brother who is on his way to a family in Nampa today.

My wife and I looked at many breeds, but most of my dogs have been some kind of bully breed. We considered a bullmastiff, another pitbull, another bull terrier. Ultimately we decided to go for the original version.

There was a huge shopping trip last Sunday to get ready. We needed a new dog bed, some food, toys, dishes, the works. I never keep the old stuff, too many memories. Otto got all new stuff, for a new era in our lives.

We have high hopes for Otto. His “mommie” left us with several toys, a bag of food, and a blanket that smells like his brothers and sister. She also gave us a cute puppy book, and a stack of baby pictures of Otto prior to meeting us. We've been looking at videos she sent us for a couple of weeks, and the cuteness factor is pretty overwhelming.

So far, we've explored the back yard, learned where the food and water is, and had a tiny snack. It's Otto's nap time right now, and maybe I'll join him.

If you really need me, I'll probably be down on the floor somewhere with my new friend.

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