Cooper Tuesday: FAQs

I said I wasn’t going to be That Girl who blogs about her dog all the time but one of my favorite bloggers (Tanie of Unicorn Parade) posts photos and anecdotes about her pups all the time and to be quite honest, the world is a little bit of a brighter place for it. I feel better about life just knowing that Georgie, Kichou, Dougal and I are all sleeping underneath the same blue sky.

The last few weeks in Coopertown via Instagram

Cooper gets lots of attention on walks, which I totally understand! He’s super cute and quite unusual looking. If he wasn’t mine, I’d definitely have to stop and talk him his owner and give him lots of pets. But recently I feel like I should either get him a t-shirt or hand out cards with Top Cooper FAQs, though because I am not exaggerating when I say that once a day I have to answer at least one of the following:

Q: “What kind of dog is that?”/”Is that a ________?”

A: I don’t know anything about his background, best guess is Basenji/Rat Terrier mix.

Q: “Does he bark?” (in response to me saying that he is probably a Basenji mix)

A: Yes, but not much/only when excited.

Q: “How old is he?”

A: About a year.

Q: “How much bigger will he get?”

A: You’re looking at it.

Q: “Who’s a good boy?”

A: :3

Q: “Can I feed your dog some popcorn?” *


Of course you can!

A couple weeks ago, a couple stopped me on South Congress to pet Cooper. They told me had a Basenji/Corgi mix at home (sidenote: if the Google Image Search results are any indication SUPER CUTE MIX OMG). The guy told me that one day when he was walking his dog, someone accosted him (much like he was accosting me in that moment), to ask if his dog was mixed with Basenji. When he replied in the affirmative, he was asked “It’s like living with a really bad roommate, isn’t it?” And then we had to laugh together to keep from crying.

* Okay this question has really only been asked once, which was last week and it was asked to me by a little girl and was pretty much the most adorable thing ever. I would probably feel weird about it if a grownass person asked me the same thing.

Music Monday: AlunaGeorge

When I was a teenager, I was really into The Scene and fancied myself a tastemaker but now I am older and mostly just want to listen to all the music I liked as a teen. In the past year or so, I have eschewed torrenting and other sources of illegal downloading in favor of a Spotify Premium subscription. The downside of that is that if I can’t find it on Spotify or iTunes, I’m more likely to just give up so I don’t actively participate in music discovery as much as I use to. When I find a new artist or song that I’m really excited about, it’s a rare but welcome occurrence.

AlunaGeorge are from the UK and both their sound and their faces would not be out of place on an episode of Skins or some other show about sexy teens (I don’t know, they’re probably in their 20s so that comment should come off as too creepy?). I’m into the 90s R&B/pop throwback vibe but it still sounds modern. Their song “Your Drums, Your Love” has been on repeat on my various listening devices for the last two weeks, which has been annoying and difficult due to the single having not been officially released in the US yet so I’ve been streaming the video on YouTube several times a day.

On the plus side, “You Know You Like It” which is also fun, as well as a handful of other songs they have released, are currently available on Spotify, Amazon and the US iTunes store. I’m really anticipating their official full-length stateside release, which will hopefully be soon.

In Rememberance

I know that today a lot of people are reflecting on and thinking of those affected by the horrific attacks on 9/11 that happened 12 years ago (!) but in addition profound tragedy of that day, today also has personal significance for me and my family as a day to celebrate the lives of relatives who had touched our lives.

Today would have been my maternal grandmother’s 69th birthday:

Tonia Joann Gaston Phillips

 Grandma Tonia came into my life when I was about three years old, due to my mother being raised by another family. I was her first grandchild but did not get to see her as often growing up because she lived in California. She was extremely funny, sassy and tough as nails. And although my mother and one of her brothers did not grow up with her around, she did a fine job raising three other boys by herself. One of my favorite memories of her is when I was about 19 or 20 and lamenting about lack of money, she suggested I get a part-time job at Hooters. When I scoffed, mortified that my grandmother, of all people, had suggested such a thing, she shrugged and replied matter-of-factly, “What? You have the rack for it!”

Today also would’ve been my parental grandparents’ 60th Wedding Anniversary:

Fielding Duane Draffen, Sr. & Nancy Roberta Huston Draffen

Grandpa Fielding & Grandma Nancy a huge part of my life from the day I was born, I have so many fond memories from their big blue house on Bales Ave. in KC when I was a kid. Grandma was one of the kindest people I’ve ever known. No matter who you were or where you came from, as soon as you walked into her house, you were adopted into the Draffen family. She could also cook like nobody’s business – in hindsight, I very much regret not taking the initiative to learn from her and my mother when I had the chance because I am now in my mid-twenties and pretty hopeless in the kitchen. Grandpa Fielding was a veteran of the Korean War and one of the smartest people I’ve ever known. I remember quizzing him for hours about history and science and 1) him always knowing the answer and 2) never getting impatient with my constant questions. Together they co-founded the Missouri Negro High School Alumni Association (which apparently doesn’t have a website, according to Google) and were perfectly matched partners in crime who raised six (!) children together.

I miss all three of them and wish I could talk to them today. The world has changed so much since they’ve gone. I would love to find out what Grandpa would think about the iPhone and can imagine having to repeat myself a million times while Grandma Nancy figures out how to use Skype. I’d even take Grandma Tonia making me feel bad for not calling her often enough. If Apple ever figures out a way to FaceTime from the afterlife (you know they’re working on it), I look forward to catching up.

Credit to my mom’s and my Aunt (Nancy) Elaine’s (yes, my grandmother figured if her husband could have his first born son named after him, she deserved to have a girl named after her) Facebook timelines, where I stole these photos from.

Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper

A couple weeks ago, one of my dreams of the last six years or so came true: I adopted a puppy. Obviously, since I’ve been thinking about it for literally years, it’s not a decision that I took lightly. I’ve always been an animal lover and I did get spend a couple of years of my life with a lovely kitty but having a dog a special kind of commitment. There’s the obvious financial and time commitments but there’s the stuff like not being able to randomly sleepover at my boyfriend’s at the drop of a hat or take off for a day trip early in the morning and not come back until late at night without making arrangments. Plus, your “need for companionship [has to] outweigh [your] distaste for picking up shit.”

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