Thursday, August 13, 2009


I woke up this morning to news that my cat was missing. I looked everywhere, I searched for hours. This evening I found her, but when I picked her up she scratched my arms. In that past three years she has never once been remotely interested in going outside at all. She is full grown but still looks like a kitten. She poses and makes adorable noises all the time, she loves attention. If I walk by her and she wants to me stop and play with her she taps my arm with her paw.

A few years ago I saw that two kittens were dumped off in our neighborhood. They appeared to be nearly identical, one was male and the other is female. They were skiddish to say the least. In the ghetto there are tons of uncivilized folks, and my neighbors fit that description perfectly. They had a pit bull that they kept locked in the backyard, they never walked it at all! In fact, we had no idea they had a dog. Apparently they let it roam the neighborhood at night.

Thanksgiving of that year we went over to my mom's house for dinner. On the way home we were discussing the kittens, they were beginning to warm up to us. Even though it would require some adjusting, we decided to bring them inside. We pulled up to our house and noticed the gate was open, immediately we knew something was wrong. The pit bull was in our yard! I could see the boy kitten lying in the grass by a tree, it was obvious that he was dead. The girl kitten was near the front door and the pit bull was a few feet away from her. Rob freaked out and started chasing the pit bull with a brick around the yard. We chased it and yelled and tossed bricks, there was nothing we could do to get the dog to leave. A half and hour later, I was finally able to get the neighbor to come across the street and get the dog, they're lucky Rob didn't kill it. I think he might have, we were infuriated.

The girl kitten, Isabella, was shaken. Rob was able to grab her and bring her inside. Two days later she was living it up in comfort and luxury. We named her brother Isafella. I am certain she is in the yard somewhere and I doubt she will leave.


Last week I finished reading a fascinating book, What is the What. It's a best seller, so you may have heard of it or perhaps even read it. If not, I strongly recommend it to anyone who cares about either a good story, or, more importantly, about stuff that goes on in this world and looks like nothing we know of at home. Basically, it's the story of a young Sudanese man who ran from the war as a child and eventually moved to the US, where life wasn't necessarily that much kinder.

The following excerpt is his description of the first time he ever saw a white man, at the age of 9 or 10, in a refugee camp in Ethiopia. In spite of the much more colorful theories below, the white man turned out to be a UN worker. Reading this was quite an experience:

"-You haven't seen him?
-No. You're saying he's a white man? His hair is white?
-No, his skin, every part of him. He's white like chalk.
[...] I followed their [his young friends'] stares and saw what seemed to be a man who had been turned inside out. He was the absence of a man. He had been erased. An involuntary shudder went through my body, the same reaction I had when I saw a burn, a missing limb--a perversion of nature.
I began to walk toward the erased man before I realized I had not lifted my pants after urinating. I fixed myself and followed the crowd of boys who were herding in the direction of the erased man. [...]
We returned to our shelters, to our chores, but over the course of the day, theories about the new man abounded. The first theory held that he had been sent by the Sudanese government to kill all of us--that he would count all of the boys, and then he would decide how many weapons he would need to exterminate us. Once he had done so, the killing would come at night. This theory was quickly debunked when we discovered that the elders did not fear him; in fact, they were talking to him and shaking his hand. Naturally, then the pendulum swung and the next notion positied that he was a god, and that he had come to save all of us, and would lead us back to southern Sudan, to triumph over the murahaleen. This idea gained currency throughout the day, and was underminded only when we catalogued the activities in which the god engaged. He spent most of his time with a few of the elders, building a storage shed for food, which seemed like work too pedestrian for a god or even a minor deity. Thereafter, some of the older boys offered more nuanced views." (pp. 279-280)

missing-michelle suzanne

Things that I have noticed missing lately:
black cardigan
one red shoe
a hairclip
my money
my brains

What's missing from this???
Follow these steps and see if you can figure this out.

1) Get a brown, cardboard box.
2) Get purple, orange, and turquoise (or blue) paints.
3) Paint the box orange.
4) Paint your hand turquoise, and smear it on the box (before the orange paint dries).
5) With the purple paint, write your name and date of birth.
7) Turn it upside down.
8) Lie on your side, and look at the end you DIDN'T write on.

What is missing from this sequence?

(these are pictures that I took, because I can't stand not taking pictures.)