Thursday, May 29, 2008

Another good one from Sarah in CA, who just loves that my favorite e-mails from her are the low-brow ones. And here I thought she knew me ;o)

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Happier Anniversary

for Julian and me. Though I met him 5 1/2 years ago, I bought him 5 years ago this last weekend. (We were just dating casually for the first 6 months.)

He'll be 13 years old on July 11. And I'll be 31.

What? No cake?
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Monday, May 26, 2008

Remembering Miss Cocoa

Miss Cocoa in Salt Lake City, 1996

On May 27, 2003, I discovered that my nine year-old Siamese, Cocoa, had vanished into thin air from my farm in Arizona while I was away at work. I spent weeks looking for her, handing out flyers to neighbors who would invariably shake their heads and say, "Ya know, them coyotes is real bad 'round here." I had to resist the urge to kick each and every one of these fine folks directly in the balls. I consider it one of my finest moments of self-restraint.

Cocoa wreaking vengeance on a doctor doll in Moses Lake, WA, 1998

Many of you will remember I was undone for weeks, if not months, as a result of her disappearance. Of all the animals I have shared my life with, none was closer to me than Miss Cocoa was.

Miss Cocoa and friend in Moses Lake, WA, 1998

When the pain of missing her started to become more than I could bear, she began appearing in my dreams. In five years, she has never left them. She is with me nearly every night, and I am more grateful for her company that anyone will ever know.

Cocoa with her buddies Stinky and Harvey, SLC, 1997

The following is the third chapter of The Agoraphobic's Guide to Cairo, my overly-written but well-intentioned book about the year I lived in Cairo. Cocoa chose me from all the foreign nationals milling the crowded streets shortly after I arrived, and when I left a year later, she (and her bosom buddy Mubarak) left with me. Though Mubarak took up residence with a good friend I met in SLC in 1997, together Miss Cocoa and I traveled the United States for nine years. She was, without question, my best friend during those times.

This post, and the novel that goes with this chapter, are for her.
RC Cola (1994-2005) and fellow humiliatee Miss Cocoa in Brawley, CA in 1999


Al-Qitta (The Cat)

You could read the temperature in the faces of the young security guards draped at the entrance of the American University of Cairo (AUC) as I left my classes one early September afternoon. Melting in their white wool uniforms of summer, they did not have the strength to stand without leaning on their Kalashnikovs. I returned their drowsy nods as I passed their makeshift post of wood and cardboard. I was not ready to face my new home across the Nile with nothing but several hours of Arabic homework to pass the long evening hours. My married roommates lived a fairly self-contained existence. The last thing they needed was a new roommate complaining about being lonely. So rather than hailing one of the million or so black-and-white taxis filling the streets, I headed east down Mohammed Mahmoud Street. Thousands of Egyptians, Americans and others of all nationalities shared the broken and uneven sidewalks. The overflow, and those in a hurry, strode with purpose on the bank of a stream of ever-moving traffic, where they were uninterrupted by the ankle wrenching breaks found everywhere in the “regular” sidewalk.
My goal was the AUC library, filled with books I could only read achingly slowly, if at all. Just a few days before, I had dared myself to seek out the Arabic translation of Tolstoy’s War and Peace. I found it easily enough on the well-organized shelves and pulled it out to run my eyes over the first few paragraphs. After a minute or so, I gently closed the leather-bound cover and carefully replaced it on the shelf. I acted in a deliberate manner such that anyone watching me might have imagined that was all I had really planned to do, anyway. Two and a half years of Arabic may have been enough to help me find the book, but it was not enough to get me much further than that. Baby steps, I decided. Al-Harb wa al-salaam would have to wait.

But I never made it to the library that day. Instead I found myself drawn through the crowd towards a small shop I had noticed while exploring some days before. Next to the nearby sundries store, where my daily Cadbury bar awaited me, this store would prove to hold my greatest temptation yet.

Cocoa melting in 108 degree heat in Cairo in 1994
Stepping out of the flowing crowd, I paused at the window of the small shop. I was immediately transfixed by a white Siamese kitten imprisoned in a ten-gallon fish tank. The rays of the sun drove through the outer window of the store through the glass of the tank without mercy, creating an Easy-Bake Oven within. Two enormous, aquiline orbs dominated the perfectly round head of the highly indignant occupant. Her face strained with the effort she had summoned to proclaim her injustice, and her bright red tongue was an exclamation point on each terrible scream—all of which were completely muted to the outside world by double layers of glass. To this fierce feline, escaping that tank was not an empty hope: it was a foregone conclusion.

A young clerk spotted me from the cool, dark recesses of the store and moved instantly in my direction. I quickly assumed a confident air of indifference, looking around as if I might, at any moment, step back into the stream of the passing population. To this day, I am convinced he was completely and utterly deceived by my calculated actions. I nodded in the direction of the fish tank.

“Twenty pounds,” he stated in clear English. (About $7.00 US dollars.)

“It is a half-dead cat with no tail,” I said, to no one in particular. She was in fact more than half-alive, but I have never been one to shy away from profitable exaggeration. In her weepy eyes I could see the beginnings of a typical kitten virus, and her tail—something was seriously wrong with that tail. It traveled only an inch from her body before ending abruptly in a tragic little hook.

Our Egyptian matchmaker stepped briefly behind the store window and scooped up the miserable creature in question. Her cries ceased immediately, and her eyes remained fixed upon mine like two tragic blue moons. She appeared overall as if some hand had rolled her in bleached flour, then carefully and deliberately dipped her paws, ears, tail, and the very tip of her nose in dry cocoa. The young man abruptly tilted her nose to the ground to better display her deformed tail.

“It is the highest fashion for the male Siamese to have the shortest tail possible.” He spoke with the highest authority on feline fashion. Craning her head out of his grasp to keep her eyes locked onto mine, she all but dared me to give this man any reason to lower her back into that stifling aquarium. Something in her eyes suggested that she doubted I even possessed the power to do so.

Feeling myself drawn deeper and deeper into a discussion with only one possible outcome, I tore my eyes from hers and directly faced her captor. “First of all, the kitten you are holding is female. Secondly, mutilation should never be confused with fashion in a Siamese cat.” When he looked down at her in momentary confusion—which probably had more to do with linguistic barriers than anything else—I saw my window.

“Ten pounds.”

The young man shrugged. He knew when he’d been outsmarted by a wily American tourist. I fished a ten-pound note from the pocket of my jeans and handed it to him in exchange for one cutting-edge female kitten. The pads of her tiny feet felt like fresh marshmallows in the palm of my hand. Her brilliant white coat was as velvety as the lightest chocolate mousse. Her eyes, which seemed to grow only bigger as each minute passed, had never left my face, nor had she ever blinked. I began to wonder if she possessed eyelids. Were Siamese cats without eyelids another bizarre trend I was heretofore unfamiliar with?

Finally, I had someone to pass the long evening with—a reason to go home. Knowing I had at least thirty minutes of weaving and riding through traffic to reach my apartment, and having nothing but a burgeoning book bag to transport my new ward in, I begged a small Snickers Ice Cream Bar box off of the store owner and gently placed her inside it. She slid weightlessly to one corner of the box, which I closed as I flagged a passing taxi.

Sitting in the backseat of the typical Cairene cab, one could experience for the first time what it must feel like to be a baked potato. The black roof of a taxi worked even better than aluminum foil to heat its contents. The dry, still air would be just on the verge of taking your breath away when a fresh, hot blast of desert wind mixed with car exhaust would burst through the open windows of the car, carrying just enough oxygen to hold you over until the next breeze. Though nearly every cab I rode in during my stay was brightly decorated with turquoise-colored charms to ward off the evil eye, along with Quranic or Christian sayings (depending on the faith of the driver), it was highly unusual to climb into one that was air-conditioned. It turned out to be just one more cannot-live-without American habit that proved to be unnecessary once you grew accustomed to it.

I may have been getting used to the heat, but I did not want my four-legged ice cream bar to melt before I got home. As we began to work our way through the cars and buses entangling Midan Tahrir, I slowly lifted one corner of the Snickers box to check on her. The instant she caught sight of me the cab was filled with an ear-splitting howl. People passing along the street on foot turned to look in our direction. I give my driver tremendous credit for not driving our vehicle directly into the face of oncoming traffic and/or pedestrians as his head snapped around to see for himself what wild creature was preparing to rip me—and quite possibly, him—limb from limb in the back of his vehicle. I slammed the lid back down on the box—instantly silencing the protest—just as he looked over and, seeing nothing but a guileless tourist, slowly turned back to face the road.

He did not say a word during the entire trip—though from that point he glanced frequently at me in his rear view mirror. I signaled him to stop when we reached my street corner and I handed him about twice the typical cab fare, hoping to buy his silence with a monetary apology. As I juggled my bag, box and loose change, Cocoa pushed her nose through a corner of the box, landing her gaze directly upon my startled driver.

“There’s a KITTEN in there?”

Before I could answer him, she let loose with another earth-shaking howl of protest. At the sound of it, he threw my fare on the seat next to him and shook his head, peeling out of sight. I tucked my friend carefully under one arm and climbed the never-ending stone flights to my fourth floor apartment.

Cocoa voicing a litany of complaints in SLC in 1997

Cocoa Bean, my official new back up, weighed less than a pound when her feet first landed on the floor of my apartment. She could not have been 6 weeks old. Size, I soon learned, has no bearing whatsoever on vocal strength or lung capacity. I was taught within seconds that she not only knew exactly what she needed from me, but that I would pay a dear price should I deny her. I had not even fully straightened to a standing position after freeing her from her Snickers box when she hit me with her opinion regarding personal space. As far as she was concerned, mine was to include her at all times. I tried to walk slowly from room to room to show her new home, but she stood firmly rooted where I had placed her and just cried. Loudly. So she got her first tour riding on my shoulder. For the first several months, in fact, I could go nowhere in the apartment without Cocoa affixed to my neck or shoulder. If I accidentally left a room without her, she would not stop crying until I returned to pick her up. In my high school science class years earlier, we had learned about imprinting by having live baby chicks follow us around the halls of the school. Even those impressionable young minds had had the presence of self enough to merely shadow us: Cocoa insisted upon living her early kittenhood wrapped around my neck like a living stole.

Mubarak and Cocoa in Cairo, 1993
I was not the only creature in the apartment to which she attached herself. Cocoa Bean was actually the second kitten who had moved in with my roommates and me in those first few weeks. While returning from a late night chocolate run to the neighborhood shop, I witnessed a small tail sticking up like a flag out of a nearby trashcan. I was wearing a loose jumper with equally loose pockets that night, and I dropped the chocolate in the left one as I reached over and lifted the tail, and everything attached to it, up into the air.

Cocoa and Mubarak swap beds in Seattle in 1995

I found myself eye to eye with a wild-haired brown tabby attached to what was left of a quarter of baked chicken. I gave the ensemble a hardy shake, and the chicken fell into the garbage. I dropped the angry kitten into my right-hand pocket. Once I had made my way back upstairs, my roommates were thrilled about the chocolate, but lukewarm about the cat. The cat had an even lower opinion of the situation, and jumped from my pocket to run as quickly as possible to the darkest recesses under the nearest sofa. Near as we could tell from peering at him on our hands and knees, the recluse was maybe 8 or 10 weeks old. Once a dish of tuna had enticed him back out into the light, we tortured him with his first bath, washing what seemed like a pound of raw garbage and fleas from his long, wild hair.

Mubarak and Cocoa eye a grad student's mainstay of orange juine and ramen noodles in Seattle in 1995

Mubarak, named after the president of Egypt, bore silent witness to the introduction of Cocoa to the household just three days later. Mubarak, it turned out, bore silent witness to just about everything. He was above getting involved in the petty affairs of humans, and only suffered us so long as we continued to leave unguarded loaves of bread on the kitchen counters, or lids off of the trash basket. Those were his happiest moments, where he was freed from the fetters of self-dignity. I had hoped early on that he might enjoy snuggling under the mosquito net with me in my room at night, but he preferred the company of married folk and had promptly moved in with my roommates, guarding the space under their bed from unwary creatures of the night.

Cocoa, however, would not have dreamed of separating herself from me by such an unbearable distance. That first night, she fell asleep curled in my arms under the sheet that served as extra protection against the rhino-sized mosquitoes. Given her size, I figured it was not entirely unthinkable that one of the heavier insects might succeed in carrying her off should she work her way back outside the net during the night. I needn’t have worried. When I awoke, she was still asleep under the net, wrapped tightly around my neck.

And while Mubarak showed only a mild interest in this bundle of fur (purported to be) of his own species, to Cocoa, Mubarak was clearly the cat’s meow. After witnessing her somewhat unusual emotional demands during those first few hours, my first instinct had of course been to skip every day of school for the rest of the semester in order to ensure she never have to endure a minute alone. My roommates had brought me back to reason, and we three left her in the capable paws of her foster brother while we ventured into town for some education the following morning.

Most of the day’s education was received when we returned home. Siamese kittens who have been taken too early from their mothers have some significant issues not only with abandonment, but also with nursing, or so it seemed. We opened the door of the apartment that afternoon to see two small kittens waking from a nap on the sofa. Cocoa Bean immediately let loose with a barrage of complaints, mostly concerning our lengthy absence. As she stretched and stepped away from Mubarak, we had a chance to witness what his day must have been like. His long and wavy fur had been fashioned into so many little peaks all over his body as if some hairstylist, locked in a room with only a cat and a handful of hair gel, had gone utterly and completely mad. In her anxiety at being alone, Cocoa had “nursed” her poor companion senseless.

Mubarak and Cocoa in less co-dependent days, SLC in 1997

She did not stop this behavior, despite endless counseling on the topic, for weeks. Nor did she draw the line at nursing Mubarak. A few days later, I awoke to find a pronounced hickey on my neck. Try explaining that away to curious onlookers at school. Let them think what they will, I decided. I had at last found a devoted companion to help me navigate my way through this confusing and overwhelming ice cream social.

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

If you need me, I'll be at the barn

Blue Thunder by Christine George.

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Friday, May 23, 2008

On Dreaming

"We cast away priceless time in dreams, born of imagination, fed upon illusion, and put to death by reality."

Judy Garland

"If growing up is the process of creating ideas and dreams about what life should be, then maturity is letting go again."

Mary Beth Danielson
20th/21st Century Journalist

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Two more winners from Sarah in SoCal

A woman is standing nude looking in the bedroom mirror. She is not happy with what she sees and says to her husband, "I feel horrible; I look old, fat and ugly. I really need you to pay me a compliment." The husband replies, "Your eyesight's damn near perfect."

He never heard the shot.


A man in his 40's bought a new BMW and was out on the interstate for a nice evening drive. The top was down, the breeze was blowing through what was left of his hair and he decided to open her up.

As the needle jumped up to 80 mph, he suddenly saw flashing red and blue lights behind him.

"There's no way they can catch a BMW," he thought to himself and opened her up further. The needle hit 90, 100.... Then the reality of the situation hit him. "What the hell am I doing?" he thought and pulled over.

The cop came up to him, took his license without a word and examined it and the car.

"It's been a long day, this is the end of my shift and it's Friday the 13th. I don't feel like more paperwork, so if you can give me an excuse for your driving that I haven't heard before, you can go."

The guy thinks for a second and says, "Last week my wife ran off with a cop. I was afraid you were trying to give her back."

"Have a nice weekend," said the officer.

And from Kimberlee in AZ and Cecilia in NM: Why did the chicken cross the road?

The chicken crossed the road because it
was time for a CHANGE! The chicken wanted CHANGE!

My friends, that chicken crossed the
road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road.

When I was First Lady, I personally
helped that little chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure -- right from Day One! -- that every chicken in this country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road.
But then, this really isn't about me.......

The problem we have here is that thischicken won't realize that he must first deal with the problem on 'THIS' side of the road before it goes after the problem on the 'OTHER SIDE' of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he's acting by not taking on his 'CURRENT' problems before adding 'NEW' problems.

OPRAH: Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad.
So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I'm going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.

We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.

Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road...

We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.

Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it!
It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken's intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it.

That chicken crossed the road because he's GUILTY! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.

No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer's Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information.

Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I've not been told.

To die in the rain. Alone.

Because the chicken was gay! Can't you people see the plain truth?'
That's why they call it the 'other side.' Yes, my friends, that chicken is gay. And if you eat that chicken, you will become gay too. I say we boycott all chickens until we sort out this abomination that the liberal media white washes with seemingly harmless phrases like 'the other side.
That chicken should not be crossing the road. It's as plain and as simple as that.

In my day we didn't ask why the chicken
crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.

Isn't that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its life long dream of crossing the road.

It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace.

I have just released eChicken2008, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your checkbook.
Internet Explorer is an integral part of the Chicken. This new platform is much more stable and will never cra...#@&&^(C% ........reboot.

Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?

I did not cross the road with THAT chicken. What is your definition of chicken?

AL GORE: I invented the chicken!

Did I miss one?

Where's my gun?

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Egyptian Equine Anatomy Lesson

How cool is this? I found it while researching the dental differences between male and female horses on-line. (Just so you know, Wiki says: Stallions and geldings have four additional teeth just behind the incisors, a type of canine teeth that are called "tushes.")

Anatomy of a horse from a 9th century AH (15th century AD) Egyptian document at the University Library, Istanbul.
I should have it translated by lunchtime.

Of the year 2025.
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Monday, May 19, 2008

The Tao of Equus

I am currently reading a powerful book devoted to the ability of horses and humans to communicate with and, when necessary, heal each other. It lays strong emphasis on the human raising her level of awareness around the horse in order to be open to what the horse has to say to her.

I thought of that this evening when I went out to administer Jack's antibiotics. (Ten pills twice daily for seven days after losing part of an incisor during last week's dental.) To take the edge off the pill/sludge, which I aim into the corner of his mouth using a giant syringe, I first give him a large molasses horse treat. I make sure to always mix the sludge with applesauce so the other horses have something tasty to lick off Jack's head when I am done shooting the medicine all over his face.

Jack, pre-treatment

Anyway, for every treat I give Jack, I must give Julian the same. (I'd like to see anyone try to do otherwise.) Accordingly, Julian has come to look forward to Jack's nightly nursing visits.

This evening, however, I was all about my consciousness. I was aware. I was ready to hear what my horses had to say to me. I approached them with focused eyes and ears, and Julian was the first to extend his enormous black profile over the barn's half-wall. I smiled and exhaled slowly. We were already becoming one.

"Julian," I asked quietly, "what do you have to tell me tonight?" His tremendous black eyes could have swallowed me, so overwhelming did their bottomlessness appear. Julian did not hesitate to respond.

Reaching down and forward, he took the edge of my coat pocket in his teeth and tugged with all the gentleness a draft horse could maintain, saying, "Give me the goddamned cookie or I'll take your fucking arm off."

I can only imagine where the sequel to this amazing book on communication will take me. Assuming, that is, I live long enough to read it.

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Sunday, May 18, 2008


Image courtesy of Marunde, Komische Bilder

Songwriter Sarah Bareilles lays it out for us in "Fairytale:"

Cinderella's on her bedroom floor
She's got a crush on the guy at the liquor store
Cause Mr. Charming don't come home anymore
And she forgets why she came here

Sleeping Beauty's in a foul mood
For shame she says
None for you dear prince, I'm tired today
I'd rather sleep my whole life away than have you keep me from dreaming

Cause I don't care for your fairy tales
You're so worried bout the maiden though you know
She's only waiting on the next best thing

Snow White is doing dishes again cause
What else can you doWith seven itty-bitty men?
Sends them to bed and calls up a friend
Says will you meet me at midnight?
The tall blonde lets out a cry of despair says,"Would have cut it myself if I knew men could climb hair
I'll have to find another tower somewhere and keep away from the windows"

Cause I don't care for your fairy tales
You're so worried bout the maiden though you know
She's only waiting on the next best thing

Once upon a time in a faraway kingdom
Man made up a story said that I should believe him
Go and tell your white knight that he's handsome in hindsight
But I don't want the next best thing
So I sing and hold my head down and I break these walls round me

Can't take no more of your fairytale love
Cause I don't care for your fairy tales
You're so worried bout the maiden though you know
She's only waiting on the next best thing

I don't care
I don't care
Worry bout the maiden though you know
She's only waiting spent the whole life being graded on the sanctity of patience and a dumb appreciation
But the story needs some mending and a better happy ending

Cause I don't want the next best thing
No, no I don't want the next best thing

Image courtesy of Illustriousbean on Flickr.
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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Stuttering Cat

[Thanks to my friend, Sarah Fox, sweltering over in the southern California desert.]

A teacher is explaining biology to her 1st grade students.

'Human beings are the only animals that stutter', she says.

A little girl raised her hand. 'I had a kitty-cat who stuttered', she volunteered. The teacher, knowing how precious some of these stories could become, asked the girl to describe the incident.

'Well', she began, 'I was in the back yard with my kitty, and the Rottweiler
that lives next door got a running start and, before we knew it, he jumped
over the fence into our yard!'

'That must have been scary', said the teacher.

'It sure was', said the little girl.

'My kitty raised his back, went 'Fffff, Fffff, Fffff'....
And before he could say 'F*ck!!!', the Rottweiler ate him.

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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Can't find Hope? Rescue it.

When depression and anxiety have not just pinned you to the mat, but rather rolled you up in it and discarded the whole mess behind some run-down building in Detroit, desperate measures may be called for. A few weeks ago I wriggled my way out of the mats and headed for the local animal shelter. At the time I wasn't sure if I needed to take something home or insist on being admitted.

One week earlier, I had a deliciously vivid dream about James "Sawyer" Ford from LOST. But that's a matter for another time. More to the point, around the same time, I also had a vivid dream about a guinea pig.

Considering how many guinea pigs I have shared my life with, this is no shocker. My four-legged friends frequently visit me in my dreams--which works out great, since I don't have to feed or clean up after them there. What was unusual this time was that I had never met this cavy before. His markings were entirely unique to me. His coat was a mix of brindle brown and white, with a large white stripe on his face. He was smooth-coated and very amenable to being held. I actually woke up smiling.

I had really not thought much about having pigs again once my last boys crossed the rainbow bridge (or jumped off it, or whatever they do) back in 2006. My focus since then had been on finding keeping up with my dogs, horses and the infernal cat. Yet I suddenly found myself thinking about this pig non-stop. Soon enough I was looking up the Dane County Humane Society on-line. [I remember quite distinctly that this occurred during a break from work.]

With a fair amount of suspicious trepidation, I went to their search site and typed in "Rodents for Adoption." Several white mice named for various European countries (Italy, France, Estonia) popped up. And one guinea pig.

[Note to psychiatrist: Latest symptoms to new drug regimen include rodential premonitions.]

Those of you who know me will be surprised to hear that I did not rush right down to pick this fellow up. I decided this was just my subconscious' idea of a practical joke. I wasn't going to jump back into guinea pig rescue after one bizarrely pointed dream. So I sponsored him on-line...for three days, at which point I started calling the Humane Society and all its outlying partners to find this pig. By the time I found him, he'd been adopted.

That's a good thing. We want homeless pets to be adopted. But now my engines were running and I had nowhere to go--a dangerous situation in my condition. I have bought horses in this state of mind.

Instead, I contacted the Wisconsin Guinea Pig Rescue, where there was no shortage of homeless cavies. I was soon promised a trio of boars from an overloaded shelter in Onalaska (near LaCrosse), WI.

While I was waiting for those boys, I noticed a couple new guys come into the Dane County Shelter. Amal (Arabic for "Hope") came home with me first. He's cute as SHIT and very friendly. He now lives in my office, sleeping the day away along with dogs SodaPop and Ginger Ale.

A few days later I returned for the last of his brothers at the shelter, during a tornado warning. The tornado was reported to be on the ground NW of me, headed NW as I headed SW, so despite the ominous clouds I made the trip. As I pulled into the empty lot of the Society, about 5 does watched me from the edge of the firs on their property. Calm in the eye of the storm. I did not have a camera with me, so imagine 5 differently sized does sandwiched between a dark picnic table and a stand of white pine, all in the pale yellow wash of a tornado-ridden sky. Pretty, isn't it?

I came home with 'Azoom (Arabic for "Determination"), but not until he had peed on me in excitement.

He also turned out to be estranged from his brother, Amal. After several bursts of fur-flyin' fist fightin' I had to put a partition down the center of their cage. As you can see, 'Azoom continued to live up to his name by trying every way he could think of to get into Amal's cage.

He did not succeed. Construction is now under way to expand their conjoined condo.

And yes, they all have Arabic names. That's for all of you who complain that I don't use my Arabic enough. I'm sure the FBI will be suitably impressed.
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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Sleep Mode

And sometimes, I don't have my health.

That's when I spend all my time sleeping or watching this video, because it's the one thing guaranteed to make me smile.

Dave Grohl and Will Ferrell perform "Leather and Lace"

I'm going back to bed, now.

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