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One Day, I, Too, Shall Piss Off Cats 


Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Last year a cat adopted me. I kinda liked this very affectionate cat. So I bought it cat food. Then it came into my house anytime the door was open.

One day, it ran to my bedroom. It made a place for itself beside my pillow.

Then I knew this cat was up to no good.

It was preparing to spinsterize me.

I removed the cat off the bed and deposited it outside. It cried there for two or three days. It scratched up my back door.

When it finally left, I was saved from the fate of transforming into a crazy cat person. Marriage was in the cards again.

It's a pity about cats. I grew up liking cats. I even had a cat once. But there is a time in a woman's life when she just has to refuse cats. Otherwise it's into the Dustbin of History with her.

The cat, thus, is often depicted as the witch's familiar for good reason. Making women into spinsters and leaving them ripe for Satan's picking. Taking over prime sofa real estate. Licking your face after it has licked its slim pickings. Peeing in your purse when you're not looking (but after it has removed the contents of your wallet). Shredding your favourite monogrammed tea towels to the consistency of ragged gauze.

Theories abound as to why spinsters collect cats. Below are some of the more common ones:

1. Cats fill the husband void. A shaved cat, in the morning, will be just as stubbly as a man's face.

2. Cats satisfy the need for misplaced urine. Some women even hold fresh urine to be a great anti-bacterial astringent/crime deterrent.

3. Cats provide the fur required for knitting baby socks for married friends. Evolution favours the shedding cat; during the early Renaissance, prior to the advent of of a fully shedding cat, the highest number of spinster casualties occurred during the Shearing of the Cats, an annual festival still celebrated in the sub-Alpine regions of Switzerland and Austria. (Interestingly, one of the earliest breeders of the so-called Self-Shearing Cat, was a Venetian dandy who accompanied Marco Polo as far as the Rialto Bridge.)

4. Cats are temperamental. Nothing quite resembles the rapport between a wife and a husband, as the sullen, accusatory silences that a cat emits. Cats don't like to explain where they've been all night. Cats don't like to talk about their feelings. Cats can't even speak.

5. Cats taste like chicken. Tasty in any recipe calling for poultry, the cat is readily available and does not break any laws banning livestock in urban areas.

Men who missed the marriage tram to bliss, sometimes collect cats too.

Yet, cats, with their reputation as a woman's pet, can taint the human male with an unsavoury air of feminity. To avoid possible emasculation, bachelors refuse the pussy. Instead, they go for rottweilers, dobermans, pitt bulls, moustaches, beards, sideburns, mullets and goatees.

The ease of fostering excessive hair growth precludes that three out of five bachelors prefer mullets, moustaches, fu manchus, Grizzly Adams specials, Elvis sidechops, nosehairs and natty armpit jungles to the much more deadly killer canine.

Ease alone is not enough in the bachelor's quest for hair. The beard and its kin replaces the wife, much as the cat substitutes for the husband in the skewed woman-cat relationship. Consider the following:

1. The texture of masculine hair can, if shampooed correctly, attain qualities similar to that of female hair. Thus stroking one's beard bears a striking resemblance to patting one's wife (on the head).

2. From a distance a beard looks like the back of a woman's head, as if she is kissing the bearer. With a constant simulated "kiss," bachelors thereby eliminate the need for the wife. The goatee, also called the "pussy face" in parts of Illinois, fits a similar purpose.

3. Beards provide the necessary receptacles for meals. Bachelors often cite their frugality in the Tupperware department to the properties of the beard.

4. A dollop of gel turns facial hair into a weapon.

5. With a beard, bachelors can eat and wash their dishes at the same time.

Indeed, the attraction of singlehood for both sexes is getting so strong that marriage rates are descending all over North America. It is no secret that in Quebec, with the lowest rates of marriage in Canada, boasts a sizeable population of cats. Or, that Alaska, with its propensity for rugged bearded men, has enough bachelors to supply two hundred years' worth of reality shows.

With everyone getting divorced and jumping on the singles bandwagon, being thirty and unmarried is no longer the conversation killer it once was.

I do want a cat! I do want a cat!

(So I can do this to it.)


A Third Thought  


Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Ebola must be like this. Unceasing bleeding that eventually begins to stink.

Andrei Codrescu had the right metaphor: blood tastes like a rusty key. It also smells that way.

Smell is related to taste. If I can smell blood, I can almost taste it.

My repulsion to the smell/taste of blood proves one thing.

I am definitely not a vampire.


On Second Thought 


Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Do you ever think, "Why did such-and-such die, why couldn't such-and-such have traded lives with some useless motherfucker, who we don't want around anyhow?"

I just found myself thinking that. My next thought was to insert the name of some useless motherfucker in the space occupied by the words useless motherfucker.

My first thought immediately after thinking of inserting a name was to think George W. Bush.

This thought was next followed by the thought of Anişoara's body infected by the screaming soul of George W. Bush, while Bush's body suddenly housed the soul of a charming little hamster.

Suddenly, the President would run around chewing on parts of the White House that meet at acute angles. The President would sniff his staff, his wife, and his intoxicated daughters. Would anyone notice? Or would they recall his coke days and shoo the contents of an inner city school bus off the White House grounds? Would the President have enough sunflower seeds and celery sticks? Would his staff realize that hamsters can't eat chocolate, citrus fruits, garlic or onions?

Now, my Anişoara, now possessed by George Bush, would be trapped in the bathtub. The tub is more escape-proof than any cage. Hamsters can't do more than muster a few squeaks.

What would the George do?


Anişoara Update 


Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Anişoara's day at the Port Moody Animal Hospital turned up ovarian cancer. Dr. Siegert explained my three options:

1. Have Anişoara euthanized.

2. Have Anişoara spayed ($120). This might save her.

3. Allow Anişoara to bleed to death.

Dr. Siegert kindly explained how the Romans, when they slashed their wrists in bathtubs, they could drink wine and write down their final words as they died. It wouldn't be so painful for Anişoara either, especially as her painkiller prescription is the strongest available for hamsters.

Three out of three people don't see any point in prolonging her life through surgery. (None of these three people were me.) She had a full hamster life.

I will miss her constant falls off high counters, the little bounce she sometimes added upon hitting the ground, her chasing me around in her hamster ball, her philosophical moments atop her second story house. She whom my boss just mistook for a muffin, what a loss to civilization that such an inquisitive and charismatic hamster should live for a mere two years!

But I am forewarned of the Frankendisasters that can happen should I attempt to extend her time.

My black velvet jacket with the gold trim: I shall cut out a patch of it to serve as her burial shroud. (The velvet part inside, though Anişoara's fur is softer than any velvet.)

There is a spot in the front yard where I can dig a small grave. I will paint her tombstone on the boulder overlooking her spot. (I imagine this should be done by moonlight. Ideally I would dress the part.)

Now that I moved Anişoara to the bathtub, she can truly die a stoic Roman death.


Alas 


Tuesday, July 27, 2004



Anişoara is on her deathbed.

Yesterday she began hemorrhaging far more blood than I thought was possible for a little hamster to hemorrhage.

Poor little cute ball of fluff! She perked up a bit in the vet's office; Dr. Siegert warned me that it was the adrenaline and, furthermore, she was wasting valuable reserves of energy.

Her diet, in these trying times, is celery and cucumber. Since she can't drink anymore, these will replace her water intake. Plus she refuses spinach (I was kinda hoping for Popeye forearms).

The possibilities were, for her lack of appetite and extreme lethargy - she was a superactive hamster prior to this: change in diet (she lost 30 grams or 20% of her bodyweight); heat stroke; old age and the Aspergillis fungus. Cheryl the Red (the Cheryl formerly known as Non-Arizona Cheryl) nodded knowingly to the last one. The Aspergillis fungus is the bane of caged pet owners everywhere.

But Dr. Siegert took one look at Anisoara and let the Aspergillis fungus off the hook. It's either bladder stones or a tumour. The latter seems to be the case. Anişoara developed a strange bump on her right hind leg.

If it is bladder stones, Anişoara can elect to have them surgically removed. If it is cancer, Dr. Siegert said we'll just have to make her last days comfortable.

The only way to know for sure is to take an X-ray (here's a picture of Anişoara's animal hospital radiograph room). Her X-ray is scheduled for 10 AM.

Little Anişoara, may your bladder stones wither to dust and may your foot tumour pop out like an oil-boiled kernel!


Meanwhile 


Friday, July 23, 2004

Thanks to the Squirrel Name Generator, my inner squirrel identity is Major Bignuts.

But if I use my real name, I am Twitchy Fluffyfart.

(Thanks to Firemind.)


Playing the Game 


Friday, July 23, 2004

Raspberry, dahlin':

1) if there were sixteen men on a dead man's chest, which of the men would you like best?

The one with the hook hand.

2) what do you miss most about your parents when they are away? what about the least?

Most: speaking crude Romanian. Least: their advice.

3) if you had to choose between lying to someone to spare their feelings, or telling them the truth even if you knew it could end your friendship, what would you pick?

I'd spare the feelings.

4) what is your favourite "ethnicity" of food?

Japanese. But not all this sushi crap. Japanese is so much more than just sushi. Plus, the sushi here is nothing like the sushi in Japan.

5) if you won 10mill on the lottery, what's the *first* thing you would do?

I would phone one of the people I've already designated as recipients of my largesse and very calmly tell them I just won ten million. After an incredulous, half-hearted "I beg your pardon," I would repeat, just as calmly, that I won ten million. Then, I suppose, we'd start screaming in unison.

*****

Monsieur Firemind:

1. What would you prefer: a naturally hot pink hamster or a giant one to ride on?

The giant hamster. I can see me, in Princess Mononoke makeup, astride a giant hamster, galloping through rush hour traffic.

2. What is the weirdest artifact you have ever catalogued?

Well, yesterday I handled a weird ceramic thing that looked like a bedpan.

3. What does Romanian 'Pig - Latin' sound like?

I am not familiar with pig Latin. I didn't pay much attention to those things in the playground. (I was of a more nerdy extraction.) If you tell me, I'll provide the word to be pig Latinized: purcel. Romanian for pig, it's pronounced "poor-chayl."

4. Which movie would Ani like to see? The Good, The Bad, and the Hamsterly; Ferris Hamster's Day Off; or Gnaws?

Gnawing used to happen a lot around here. If she knows what's good for her, she'd pick the Clint Eastwood movie.

5. What is the wildest dessert you have ever eaten?

The Gobi.

Yeah, that was dumb. My real answer is pear-and-camambert ice cream. I wish it was wilder.

*****

Library Leprechaun, thou lordliness who isn't calling me:

1. If you were able to invent one thing what would it be?

Devices to make tarantulas speak Spanish.

2. If you could spend the day with one person from the past who would it be?

My first choices are generally George Herriman or Tove Jansson. Yet, the more I think about it, the more I'd like to be seduced by Eugène Delacroix.

3. What is your favorite word?

Tough one. "Eh" is one of them.

4. You are being sent into space to live on a lonely outpost and can bring one book. What book would you bring?

Another one I always think about. Most people say the Bible. The complete Krazy Kat, if it ever existed, would keep me thinking. Or Ulysses.

5. You are a top general with orders take over one country and destroy it and all its inhabitants. Which country would you choose?

Again, a hard one. What country can I do without? Malta. I'd blast their sorry asses off the planet.

*****

Mental Office Imogene:

1.) Have you ever seen a painting (or statue)that made you just sit and stare for more than 5 min? What was it/Who was the artist?

Quite a number of times actually. One of my degrees is in art history.

2.) Would you live in the future or the past?

Unless I could specify where in the past, I would say the future. At least I could continue fearing a vague thing like the sun blowing up. In the past, I would immediately begin calculating what tangible threats I would face, making my stay in the past more stressful than relaxing.

3.) What planet are you? (Not what sign... I hate that BS)

Pluto: small, weird, and probably not a planet anyhow.

4.) Have you ever eaten grass... from a lawn?

Damn. I haven't.

5.) Have you ever wanted to date a cartoon character?

Please see the sidebar, under "Pet."

*****

Frank O'Ctopus:

1. why?

Because salmon swim upstream.

2. where?

In the meadow, dancing with all the little pixies.

3. when?

Well, when the crickets put down their harmonicas, for starters.

4. who?

The little strawberry stapled to the book, of course.

5. what?

The marigolds waving in the breeze.

*****

Anonymous: that was six items and they weren't even questions. But I'll answer them anyways.

1. "I do, and I also wash and iron them."
Denis Thatcher, 1981, when asked who wore the trousers in his house


I only wear trousers if they have a fine coat of fur attached to them.

2. "The great question... which I have not been able to answer, despite my 30 years of research into the feminine soul, is 'What does a woman want?'"
Sigmund Freud, psychoanalyst.


I want a sole.

5. "Why can't a woman be more like a man?"
Henry Higgins, lyric from A Hymn to Him, My Fair Lady


I manage to man the mangrove in a mannerly manner. Am I a manteau or, more simply, a manifestation of a manure-manipulating mantis?

6. "Women fail to understand how much men hate them"
Germaine Greer, The Female Eunuch


I understand that men hate themselves.

9. "Women have served all these centuries as looking-glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size."
Novelist Virginia Woolf


I am twice my natural size by sunset each day.

10. "Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage."
William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night


My parents always told me, "many a good banging makes a good marriage."


Games 


Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Raspberry of 16 Days Under the Sundae is playing this game. I want to play too!

Ask me five questions and leave your website/email address. I'll answer them, then ask you five of your own.


Slow Motion Death 


Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Anişoara sleeps most of the time now. She can't sleep in her house anymore because she doesn't have the energy to climb up her ladder. She sleeps so deeply sometimes, it's hard to rouse her. Just an hour ago I thought she was dead.

She also can't eat much anymore. Her seed dish is as full today as it was yesterday. Fresh vegetables seem more welcome.

I thought about another $50 vet visit. Karen said there must be something out there to speed her up again. But I suppose this is inevitable. She's slowing down, until she stops.


Guard Your Sheep 


Monday, July 19, 2004

Myth: There is no place called Transylvania.

Truth: Yes, there is!

Myth: No, there isn't!

Truth: Yes, there is!

Myth: No! Liar!

Truth: Moron! Yes!

Myth: No!

Truth: Yes!

Myth: No!

Truth: Yes! Yes! I'm telling mom!

Yes, Virgina, there is a Transylvania. It's not a fictional place. Called Ardeal in Romanian, Transylvania is one of a few regions in Romania, as the Midwest, the South and the Coasts are to the U.S. The other regions are Wallachia, Moldova, the Banat, Oltenia, Besarabia, and the Litoral (or Dobrogea).* Romania is legally divided into counties. Transylvania contains many counties; mine is Alba County.

Transylvania consists of rolling green hills and creepy mists. Nothing is more wonderful than crossing over the border from Hungary (boring normal houses) to Romania (outlandish monstrosities). Even better, crossing from the flat flatlands of Wallachia, and its unduly arrogant city, Bucureşti, over the Carpathians, one comes down from the mountains and onto some bad vampire film set. Cold Mountain, starring Nicole Kidman and Jude Law, featured this lovely scenery.

The word Transylvania does show up, as Transilvania, on schlock alarm clocks and in the slivers of tourist zones.


Myth: There are no vampires.

Truth: In Romanian legend, one most commonly encounters the strigoi. A werewolf-like being, strigoi are more of a danger for sheep than humans.

Further Truth: My grandparents had a strigoi neighbour. His wife would lock him up during full moons. Once, when I was a wee bairn, a shepherd boy warned me that dusk was coming on and I should hurry to grandma's house before the strigoi came out. (I asked my mother if Transylvanians really put garlic around their windows to keep vampires out. She said, "So that's why we did that!")


Myth: Count Dracula is a fictional character.

Truth: The bloodsucking part is. Dracula was a voivode (or prince, in some translations) of Wallachia. He was born in Transylvania, in the beautiful town of Sighişoara, but he ruled the region to the south of Transylvania. Some of you may know Dracula as Vlad the Impaler. Give yourself fifty bonus points. If you know his name in Romanian, give yourself one hundred points. If you can pronounce his name in Romanian, give yourself two hundred points.

Despite his penchant for sticking sharp pointy things up people's asses to their mouths, Vlad the Impaler is a national hero. My sister uses a Vlad keychain. I have a Vlad bust on my desk at work. We have a Vlad wall plaque in our living room.

We scoff at "Dracula" movies. We snort at faked Transylvanian shots like those in Van Helsing. We are aghast when some rapscallion tried to pass off Czech scenery for Transylvania. (Can't remember which movie committed that faux pas.)


Myth: Jonathan Harper, in Dracula, cannibalizes when he eats mămăligă.

Truth: Mămăligă is polenta.


*Please correct me, Romanian readers.


Wily Miles 


Sunday, July 18, 2004

My recent pilgrimmage to Krazy Kat Kountry had an unexpected byproduct: awareness of weird American language quirks.

We've adopted their pounds, feet and inches, replacing our kilograms and metres. Pound has one syllable; kilogram has a hefty three syllables. It gets tiring by the end of the gram. All those extra calories, foolishly expended on uttering a few more syllables, can be retained with a pound; instead of "I weigh 90.7185 kilograms," a simple but effective "I weigh 200 pounds" does the trick and keeps one healthy and hale. Likewise for feet and inches. "I am 165 centimetres" translates to an environmentally-unsound twelve syllables. "I am five-foot-four" solves the trick in five syllables, reducing the energy needs for another seven syllables. The allure of the pound and the foot is self-evident.

However, there is a dark side to all this pro-Americanism: the mile.

Sometimes we might say "I was going XX miles an hour" or "We drove for miles before we reached a gas station."

Does a Canadian truly realize the implications of the mile?

Like most Canadians, I, too, succumbed to the pound and the foot early in age. I remember my grade three teacher explaining a metre as that thing which is almost precisely the length of my outstretched arms. I abandoned the metre as a way of measuring human height at the height of Corey Haim popularity. Those teenybopper magazines were adamant that he was to be calculated in feet, not metres.

The kilometre, however, had practical implications here in Canada, and, in my other countries, Taiwan and Japan. Years of driving have built an understanding between me and the kilometre. Even driving with my eyes closed, I can now estimate a kilometre. Its length is succinct and neat. I like kilometres.

When Arizona Cheryl informed me that I would be hiking eleven miles to the Havasu Falls, I thought "Pshaw, I've walked twenty kilometres in a day."

Miles are wily. A mile, you see, is 1.609344 kilometres. Eleven miles, therefore, add up to 17.702784 kilometres.

In the end, unlike Arizona Cheryl's mild descriptions, we hiked fourteen miles that first day for a total of 22.530816 kilometres. Through places where there was shade only for the tip of your nose if you could squeeze it under a cactus. Your water curdles in the heat. At one point, you realize that chewing dried mangoes, slowly, might help you salivate more. Red dust burns one's nostril so much, that one begins to wish for the ability not to breathe or at least to stick a few cotton balls in one's nose to filter out the dust. The most comfortable, time-tested shoes eat into your feet to erupt into blisters.

Through all this, I kept thinking, we have another mile behind us. One less mile to hike.

The mile is not so easily overcome.

I thought I calculated a kilometre plus another 0.6 kilometre. The mile snickered and elongated itself. It stretched far beyond its alotted 1.6 kilometres.

Instead of hiking the Arizona Cheryl-estimated 17.702784 kilometres, or even the eventual 22.530816 kilometres, we hiked something like 76 miles. That totals 122.310144 kilometres in one day!

122.310144 kilometres means that you are rather stiff for the return journey. The mile again played a trick on us.

"Hey, this isn't taking as long as it did yesterday," we said.

Of course. The mile squeezed itself into about the space of 0.3 kilometres for most of the canyon. Just after we uttered our famous last words, that mile stretched itself taut above us, to the rim of the Grand Canyon, into a staggering 200 miles, or 321.8688 kilometres. Just as Arizona Cheryl drank the last of her gallon (3.7854118 litres) of water.

Red stone around us. A few prickly pears and the danger of the jumping cholla, an attacking form of the cactus, always worrying us.

I suggested we wear our towels like chadors for shade.

Arizona Cheryl, by far the most athletic of us, the extreme sports aficionado, opened her pack to reveal there were a few ice cubes left in her water pouch. "Put one under your cap," I said. She didn't.

My sister warned me that she would collapse and I should stay with her. I ran (or a reasonable fascimile thereof) towards Arizona Cheryl.

Far off in the distance, I could see her amidst a herd of pack mules, talking to a Havasupai cowboy. It took too much effort to hold my head up; I also didn't want to trip into anymore cacti. When I next looked up there was no sign of Arizona Cheryl. I began looking into the tinder-dry gulches leading down to the right from the main path. I expected to see her bright blue towel in some ravine and then I would have to dump my backpack, go down, and heroically carry her out.

"Hey, I'm over here!"

I turned to my left and there she was, Arizona Cheryl under a huge red boulder. The cowboy gave her a bottle of Gatorade, enough, potentially, to last her the 321.8688 kilometres up to the canyon rim. After an hour's rest, we set off, with me ahead scouting prime shady spots up the rock face. (I found two femurs in one spot. Human, I hope.)

The mile fooled us, yet we got the better of it. At the top of the Grand Canyon, two large ladies awaited us with ice cold lemonade. We guzzled down our lemonades, sneering at the treacherous mile, waving our fists in defiance. A growl of "hurrah for kilometres!"

The mile is still there, motionless, awaiting its next victim.


Pissing Off Americans Since Last Week 


Friday, July 16, 2004

"What was wrong with those Arizonans?" asked Krista.

"Oh, you know, they were so American."

"!"

"*%#$!&?!"

I did apologize. Krista asked me if I will ever take up kickboxing again. She wants to spar with me. Just so she can kick my ass.

But Krista, darling, I do love one of your presidential candidates so much, I want to immigrate over there just so I can vote for him. Heck, I would also vote for this dapper fellow.

(Thank you, Firemind!)


Vomit Ghetto 


Wednesday, July 14, 2004

I've managed to foil the banner ad atop my blog (the part prefaced by the words "the quick spot for your blog - Blogspot - start your own!"). There were times when Google had no idea what ads to pair up with my most recent entries.

More recently, I managed to steer myself into a highbrow marketing ad campaign; my banner ads boasted Hemingwhey and Shakespire.

But tonight - good heavens! - I am shamed! My banner ads have crossed into ignomity: vomit ads!

Exhibit A
Vomiting Info & Treatment
Rader Programs vomiting info & treatment. Programs nationwide.

Exhibit B
Nausea, vomiting
Stomach discomfort, bloating: Novartis studies seeking patients.

And to further heap humiliation on this poor wreck head, Google suggests related searches for "Burger King" and "ghost photos."

The solution is as plain as a penguin stripped of its loincloths. I will henceforth write only of benign subject matter. Disembodied cat voices and silent alarm clocks and melting ice cream cones. Hopefully this remedy, though only addressing the symptoms and not the underlying cause, might supply me with more tasteful banner ads, as befits my status as a high caste mover-and-shaker.

So let me begin.

Once upon a time, there was a disembodied cat voice floating in the mists evaporating from a melted chocolate ice cream cone, an ice cream cone that, having been discarded atop an alarm clock, demolished the delicate mechanisms within the alarm clock, thereby rendering it mute. The disembodied cat voice took it upon itself to replace the sound of the hapless alarm clock and would call out the hours and minutes, even the seconds by which time marched.

However, the cat neglected its self-appointed duties by calling the time at whim. Instead of a consecutive mantra of passing seconds, the disembodied cat voice might call out seven o'clock sharp, followed, ten minutes later, by a one ten. Sometimes the disembodied cat voice might manage to successfully nail it; a thirteen seconds sharply on the heels of a twelve seconds. Even on these occasions, the disembodied cat voice might misplace the hour and minute for hours at a time, making it rather a poor choice as a timepiece and contributing to many missed trams.

Alarmed [sincerest apologies for the preceding word] at its lack of timeliness, the disembodied cat voice grew fainter and fainter still. A shyness similar to that of the mountain gorilla took hold of the poor disembodied cat voice until it stumbled upon the concept of, rather than calling out the time, imitating a mosquito (or ţânţar). Now fortified with the ability to prevent missed tram connections, the disembodied cat voice saved the world.


Resurrection 


Monday, July 12, 2004

My Krazy Kat pilgrimage is over.

I checked off Coconino County and Monument Valley from my To Visit list.

However, both places are now on my Revisit list.

*****

It's been a week of 22-mile hikes through the Grand Canyon. Blisters, sunburns, a bizarre allergy (I am not allergic to anything), heat exhaustion - and near death for Arizona Cheryl! - we had it all. Arizona Cheryl did stop a Havasupai cowboy with the words "Please help me, sir" and got a bottle of Gatorade from her saviour. I lulled her to sleep under a huge red boulder with stories of ancient Havasu vampires with cartilage ribs that nest in cliff crevasses during the day. I later found two femurs (human?) under a rock shelter which a bold lizard shared with me.

The Navajo were wonderful hosts - their frybread is like Romanian gogoşi and the thought of their mutton sandwiches is making me wistful. I missed, numerous times, my chance to try Navajo tacos.

I also did not meet any Hopi - those happy people and the generators of a nifty book called Hopi Sex Tales.

I did meet Mr. Morris, a Navajo septuagenarian and among those who stormed the beaches of Normandy sixty years ago. I also met Eslaim, a Navajo beautician who gave me a manicure the colour of reservation mesas and who introduced me to the music of Navajo-African singer Radmilla Cody.

Bookwise, I am guilty of breaking my promise not to buy any more books. But I found a 1900 account of a female schoolteacher's life on the Hualapai and Havasupai Reservations and a book on coatimundi and a book on Arizonan First Nations cooking and a book on the weirder aspects of Arizona (I missed my chance to discuss prairie dog language with a Northern Arizona University professor as well as the Amado grill). I also stumbled upon the Flagstaff Value Village (called Savers). From the reservations, I came away with a dalmatian rock necklace (of which I am exceedingly proud) and a black obsidian fish pendant.

The saguaro cactus was charming. The jumping cholla was an adversary I missed this time. I turned over a few rocks looking for scorpions and tarantulas with no luck. I did see elk, cottontails, jackrabbits, a dead, skinned javelina, and a roadrunner.

No one in Arizona seems to have stumbled on Krazy Kat being the perfect marketing ploy for promoting their state.

*****

It seems rather unhealthy to be back home. Here in front of a computer, instead of contemplating some big red rock in the American Southwest. The Vancouver greenery blares at me. I miss the flock of swallows outside my Flagstaff window and the train clamour.

Even though all the militarism angered me (my travelmates warned me to hush up before I got us all arrested), last night, encountering a Marine recruitment centre, I did sign up for more information. I am curious if they will bombard me with Marine junkmail.


Goodbye, Cruel World! 


Saturday, July 03, 2004

Back in a week.


Uncollected Judgments 


Saturday, July 03, 2004

Woodrow Burns sent me some spam: "We purchase uncollected Judgments."

I sold a judgment about chain-smoking termites for $7.50 at a garage sale. Those two contradicting judgments about dancing polar bears went for $13.99 at the car trunk sale. I still have an unwelcome judgment about penguins rowing coracles if any one is interested.


Vomit Tales 


Friday, July 02, 2004

On Mr. Surly Snobby's blog, I made the following comment:

"When I was about seven and ready to throw up in my sleep, I dreamt that someone was handing me little toy cars and ordered me to swallow each one. I obliged and he handed me toy car after toy car. When he unveiled a life-sized ferrari and said I have to swallow it, I threw up. Then I woke up.

This was my "Hot Wheels" stage of development."

As a result, I've been reminiscing about all the times I've vomited. I try to keep vomiting to a minimum, so I can recall all vomiting episode of my post-infancy life. After 17 vomitless years, I am back in the vomiting game.

Please enjoy the following list of my vomiting adventures.



MAKTAAQ'S VOMITING RESUME



1980

Arrive in Canada. Hear much about the great McDonalds. We are penniless. My parents refuse to take me. Friend, a Chilean refugee, invites me to her party. Her mom takes a liking to me. When the mom learns that I have never eaten at McDonalds, she insists I eat everything on the menu. I am only seven, but she orders me two burgers, fries and a strawberry milkshake. All I remember is the milkshake returning from beyond the grave to haunt me. As a result couldn't eat strawberries for nearly twenty years.

1981

The car-vomiting experience recalled above.

1998 January

Guess how I ring in the New Year? It was actually kind of soothing.

1998 February

Bad Valentine's Day vomiting experience. I can't believe he still wanted to go out with me the next day.

1999 February

Thai boat, everyone around me vomiting. Couldn't go on deck due to raging typhoon. The only bag I could find was a half-empty chip bag. Spent three hours vomiting.

1999 June

Food poisoning. The night before my surprise birthday party that I knew about. Fancy restaurant salmon.

2001 May

Food poisoning. Bad Japanese school lunch salmon mixed with jetlag.

2002 June 28

Stupid Japanese convenience stores. Why do they carry alcoholic beverages? Why are they the same price and have the same packaging as soft drinks. Someone could mix them up.

2003 March 30

Fancy salmon lunch? Or over-eager Japanese hosts force-feeding me? My second-to-last night in Japan and I wanted to make sure I ate all my favourite foods. Because I will never have another chance to eat them again.


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