Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Help find a last name!

My new kitties finally have first names! Which is better than "Hey You", or what they were previously answering to -- Smeghead and Young Lady. >_>;

A boy and girl, brother and sister, both black, four months old.
Meet: *drumroll*

MOWGLI (MOE-glee)
Just like the man-cub from the Jungle Book, the boy's always getting into trouble, but is handsome and dreadfully charming.
Nicknames: Moe, Mowgles, Mowgli the Moggie, Glee-boy, Mowglerino

AMENTI (ah-MEN-tee)
Beautiful, sleek-furred, and hidden, like the Egyptian goddess.
Nicknames: Men-men, Ti-ti, Menti, Mental Menti, Mennie, Amennie

Now!

They've got such nice, dignified first names... They need a COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS last name!

Possibilities: MacFuzzybottom, the Marquis (and Marquess?) de Mew, ibn Inkspotti, Scratchmeister-Purrington, von Zoom, O'Clawthecouch, and bin (or ben and bet) Mashugga...

Do you have suggestions for silliness? :D

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

PETA!

...making more actual animal-lovers foam at the mouth than ever.

First of all, I wuv da widdle aminals. I do! I've had cats most of my life, and had many friends, family members and significant others who owned or were owned by pets of all stripes and spots and feathers and scales.

But the more I read about PETA the more it seems that they don't believe in helping or ethically treating animals in at all the same way I think is obvious.

The following story is from This is True dated 17 July 2005. It is Copyright 2005 Randy Cassingham, all rights reserved, and reprinted here with permission:

"Ethical" Defined

After more than 100 dead dogs were dumped in a trash dumpster over four weeks, police in Ahoskie, N.C., kept an eye on the trash receptacle behind a supermarket. Sure enough, a van drove up and officers watched the occupants throw in heavy plastic bags. They detained the two people in the van and found 18 dead dogs in plastic bags in the dumpster, including puppies; 13 more dead dogs were still in the van. Police say the van is registered to the headquarters of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and the two occupants, Andrew B. Cook, 24, and Adria Joy Hinkle, 27, identified themselves as PETA employees. An autopsy performed on one of the dogs found it was healthy before it was killed. Police say PETA has been picking up the animals -- alive -- from North Carolina animal shelters, promising to find them good homes. Cook and Hinkle have been charged with 62 felony counts of animal cruelty. In response to the arrests PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said it's against the group's policy for employees to dump animals in the trash, but "that for some animals in North Carolina, there is no kinder option than euthanasia." (Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald) ...Oops, my mistake: that's "Playing God" Defined.

In his author's notes section, Cassingham had more to say about this story:

The more I learn about PETA, the less I think of them. The story of them killing animals isn't even unusual. According to PETA's own filings, in 2004 PETA killed 86.3 percent of the animals entrusted to its care -- a number that's rising, not falling. Meanwhile, the SPCA in PETA's home town (Norfolk, Va.) was able to find loving homes for 73 percent of the animals put in its care. A shortage of funds? Nope: last year PETA took in $29 million in tax-exempt donations. It simply has other priorities for the funds, like funding terrorism (yes, really). But don't take my word for it: I got my figures from http://www.PETAkillsAnimals.com -- and they have copies of PETA's state and federal filings to back it up. The bottom line: if you donate money to PETA because you think they care for and about animals, you need to think some more. PETA literally yells and screams about how others "kill animals" but this is how they operate? Pathetic.

And you know what I wonder? PETA's official count of animals they kill is 86.3 percent. But if they're going around picking up animals, killing them while they drive around and not even giving them a chance to be adopted, and then destroying the evidence by dumping the bodies in the trash, are those deaths being reported? My guess: no. While 86.3 percent is awful, the actual number is probably much, much higher. How dare they lecture anyone about the "ethical" treatment of animals!

(This is True is a weekly column featuring weird-but-true news stories from around the world, and has been published since 1994. Click the link for info about free subscriptions.)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Where the hell is Matt?

I watched the newest wherethehellismatt video this morning (if you haven't watched them, good gravy, go do so right now), and as always was very moved.

It's just some dude, dancing -- dancing badly -- in places all over the world, with people joining in or not. It's a very simple concept, but it's incredibly moving, simply because every person in these videos -- all the dancers, no matter what odd clothes they're wearing or how different their skin color or facial features or visible level of health is from yours -- is just having such an awesome time. They're all laughing, goofing off, making fun of each other, making fun of Matt -- just as you would do.

And that's the clever thing about these videos: you watch them prepared to marvel at the exotic locales and fabulous scenery, and you do (Matt chooses some of the most brilliant backdrops), but what you take away with you is that everyone around the world, regardless of creed, class, color, gender etc etc, acts like a complete dork when dancing in front of a camera. More, that they act like the same kind of dork that you would act like.

And isn't that a lovely thing to know?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Girl Scouts

My sister Z and I were pretty little -- I was no more than 5 or maybe 6 years old, which would have made her 3 or 4 -- when we first saw a troop of Jeannettes.

Jeannettes are the French equivalent of Girl Scouts. There they were, crossing the street, all older than us, all wearing smart uniforms decorated with arcane symbols and patches and pins, with matching little hats, and Z and I were exceedingly impressed. They looked like they had a purpose, a group of friends with a common thread... We went to a rather typical French private school, which meant no extra-currics until you were much older, and even then only academic ones, really.

We turned instantly to our mother and both loudly asked to join the Jeannettes. Mom said, "how about Girl Scouts? They speak English." Upon ascertaining that they also would have snazzy uniforms and patches to earn, we agreed that that would also be acceptable.

There were, in fact, no Brownie troops anywhere around us (we lived in the 16th arrondissement in Paris at the time). Z joined a Daisy troop that was available, and my mother... my sweet, darling, sainted mother, actually *started* a Brownie troop just so that I could be in one. 'Cause she's awesome like that.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

True-a-Day



I have subscribed to a newsletter called This Is True, by Randy Cassingham, since the early heady days of the Internet (or at least the early days when *I* got on it, which is the only thing that's important to me. Meaning around the mid-90s).

He culls (with sources cited) weird-but-true news articles from papers all over the world and sends 'em out. There's a free version and a Premium version with more stuff in it, and it's one of the very few things I'm willing to subscribe to.

Friday, February 8, 2008

A conversation with a coworker in the kitchen

Me: *stares into vending machine with half-blank, half-pensive look, while singing under breath* Fish and chips and vinegar, vinegar, vinegar, fiiiiiish and chips and vinegarrrrr, pepper pepper pepper salt.
CC: Heya. How're you doing?
Me: *decides not to tell him I'm trying to figure out exactly how much junk food I can eat now and still have room to stuff myself with Korean barbeque tonight* Not bad. I have a silly song from Girl Scouts stuck in my head, though.
CC: ...It's not 'Baby Shark', is it?
Me, wide-eyed and astonished: No, but I TOtally KNOW that SONG. How, HOW do you know that song? *singing* Baby shark, doo doo, doo doo dedoo...
CC: *eyes downcast, resigned* I have a daughter.

It is SO COOL that the same stupid songs are getting taught to a new generation of Girl Scouts. Srsly. Freakin' cool.

It's easy to forget sometimes how much being a Girl Scout affected me, and helped make me who I am, for better and worse.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Heartless Bitches International

Well, I've submitted an application to Heartless Bitches -- I used to read the site in college, and then sort of forgot about it or wandered away or whatever, having read literally every single page the site contained or linked to. Some lovely snark to be found, and some good writing.

I really appreciate a good mocking. I wish I were better at dishing them out myself, but unfortunately the Ghost of Khan Past rises up, still in elementary school and terrified of all of her peers, and often strangles what I meant to say, or makes me stutter or blush. Darn her. Darn her to heck. Poor thing.

Sidebar: yes, Khan really is the name on my license. And I don't mind if people yell "Khaaaaaaan!!" at me as I walk by, but I reserve the right to insist that they shake their fist at the sky while doing so.