Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Sophie Z.
(Jan. 2002 - June 29, 2005)

Farewell my sweet, sweet girl. Mommy loves you and will never, ever forget you, your quilly butt and your brilliant ruby eyes!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Seasons Come and Go

Today I fed Sophie and Lola the first mealworms big enough to eat from my beetle and mealworm-growing habitat. Sophie especially liked them, because they were smallish and soft and easy for her to eat. It has taken a couple of months to get mealworms to grow into beetles, reproduce and then get mealworms to grow big enough to feed to the girls. It really felt complete to have gone through the life cycle of those little mealworms, with all their grossness, for the eating pleasure of my two lovely ladies.

I can sense that another season is very near completion, though I had hoped it would last a bit longer. Sophie grows more tired as her cancer grows within her. She is very peaceful, and she enjoys sleeping in her tube or near her tube or under some fleece blankets. She will look at me sleepily with her brilliant ruby eyes, blink them drowsily, lick her nose, and then rest her head near her paws. I can tell from the way she looks at me that she knows it is almost time. It is that far away look that visits each visage in the end days. I can only trust that I will know when the day comes that it is time. Of all the small things I worry about, I am concerned that I will not have the strength to drive myself to and from the vet that day.

She changed a lot for me, my Sophie. Hedgehog rescue, animal law, yahoo groups, hedgehogs at all; these things that are so much a part of how people know me, how I spend my time and what I care about, they're all because she came into my life and I wanted to learn how to care for her and understand her. She gave me a lot for being such a small creature.

I will miss my Sophie time. What a beautiful season it has been.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

There IS intelligent life...

Sometimes I can be a bit cynical (a shock to all, I'm sure). There are weeks on end that I think about the world as a wholly dark place, filled with mindless animals satisfying base needs at the expense of whomever and whatever is in their way. In these times I see how all the cogs and machines and influences and spirals fit together to keep the greedy in power, keep real change a pipe dream and keep the uneducated, apathetic drones happy with their reality television.

And then I come across an article like this. Wow. People can think, and some really do get it. Some really, really get it.

Of course, no one really listens to them. If you read the whole article, you'll notice that we have, in fact, turned on Muslims and those of middle-east descent, waged war in retribution maybe(?), and have yet to bring any to justice, unless you count a prison where the prisoners have no legal council, still, and no rights either as US prisoners nor as prisoners of war under the Geneva convention.

One quick note on that: I am truly glad that our nation is a beacon of democracy and justice to all developing democracies the world over with our dealing with prisoners of war and of terrorism investigation. Gosh, can you imagine what we'd think of a country that tortured people, held people unfairly, violated international treaties and marched into a foreign nation under suspicious circumstances?

I'm only a cynic sometimes. Some other times I'm unconscious or eating ice cream. Seriously. I do sleep.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

My View:

I've decided the world is a dark and evil place full of people who care nothing of others and who wouldn't stop at anything to get more for themselves. I have decided this is never going to change. Politicians are bought and sold by parties and interest groups, through lobyists and wealthy corporations, sometimes even individuals. People don't care what is going on in the world. They demand CNN tell them about the run-away bride, not about the genocide or the reality of Iraq (betcha don't know it!) or heck, Eastern Europe? South America? Ever heard of those places? Well, not that it matters, since the people who own the media also own big companies who build in these places, tap the natural resources, pay the workers nothing (which is more than they had, but really, you want to feel patriotic about paying people 2 cents per hour so your shoes only cost 10 bucks from Walmart?)

I digress. It's never going to change. The world isn't set up to be a good place. That's not the point. We're not supposed to save it or fix it because we can't. The corruption and the lies and the politics and the greed have lived beyond our written history, and are the fault of people long since burred and forgotten as dust, probably the really hard dust to clean off of ceiling fan blades or computer fans.

There are only a few of us who are going to see the world for what it is. Some people might think it's a little less dark than I do, because I'm in a particularly bad mood right now. There are a lot of people who won't ever look beyond the life that they lead every day to see what's going on, so they won't even notice. But people who get it will just get it. We'll know the point isn't to fix it, it's to survive. The point is just to make it out, and even in the end we'll still die trying.

See, we have this fable we like to tell where everyone is promised a good life, meeting the person of their dreams, having that house on the corner and passing away with money to spare. Forget it. No one promised us that it would be easy. No one promised women a perfect man. There isn't one. There's no perfect woman either. People die poor. People die without children. People's children die. People die never having owned a house. THAT is life, not the fable some of us grew up believing.

And this makes me cynical, right? This means I'm hopeless and means I hate everything? Not really. Not at all, actually.

Because I know there's more than this. I feel it deep down and that's how I know it's true. It's the way you hear someone tell you news that you knew about already. That's the way I know. I know that nothing here is forever. I know there's a reason and there's a plan. Oh no, not God's plan for me, well, not really. Not how a lot of people mean. God would be a pretty big bastard to have made me go through this shit, even worse for what he makes other people go through, don't you think? Who'd need a devil then! Who'd need hell! I really don't believe that anyone's imagination of hell could be worse than the lives of some of our brothers and sisters here on earth.

And so, who's plan? What more? Well, I can't tell you because you're going to laugh. I'm just going to say that I believe it and you should search and search until you find something that you believe with all your heart that answers all your questions, that makes sense deep, deep down, and that makes every day of this sometimes truly AWFUL life tolerable and that changes the way you see everything, really changes things.

I will tell you, though, that I believe in finding other good people, gaining strength from one another, and in trying to make life easier for those around me, even if it's just holding open a door for someone with his arms full. I might try to tackle some bigger problems because I have the means and the will, but you know, even a little bit can mean a lot sometimes. I believe there are other good people out there, because I know so many of them. I'm even related to a few. I believe that there are some good things, too, but that it is OK to hate people if they really suck or be angry and separate yourself from anyone in your life who is hurtful or negative.

All the good things in the world are still there, I just don't talk about them as much since they surrounded me for the first 22 years of my life or so. It's just that I was blind to all the evil, the true evil, that I have a lot of catching up to do.

And the Jesus guy said a lot of good things that just happened to be totally perverted by 2000 years of political bile. How have the words of the man who hated dogma become dogma? Don't get me started on that one.

Speaking of dogma: I'm not into some new religion. The word religion to me feels too close to dogma, and I hate dogma. I believe in finding my own truth. I have found some good stuff that's gonna make my life way easier. Go and look for your truth, wherever it may be. As long as it doesn't get in my way.

A Few Thoughts I Don't Have The Energy To Really Get Into But Wish To Express:

I went to Las Vegas and I had a wonderful time, but man, has anyone else been there and been creeped out by it? Opulance and absurdity and worship of the Selfish Man as only one of many false gods. I'm not talking about people going to hell, because there's no hell. But damn. The world goes to hell and the rich go to Vegas.

Cirque de Soleil is the most amazing combination of art, motion, music, drama and skill I have ever seen. This is what I dreamed of when I was young, that the world would erupt into Mystere.

It's easier to jog when it's not 90 degrees. It's also easier to jog when I don't have migraines every day. Low atmospheric pressure causes me to have migraines. Las Vegas has lower atmospheric pressure, and I had a migraine every day I was there. I remembered why I didn't jog for so long. No energy.

God, that Vegas stuff makes me sound like a spoiled yet cynical bitch. Only someone as spoiled as me could be in my position, to have the good fortune to have a family well-off enough to go, and then seem to judge it so harshly and condem the people who go. Let me clarify: I'm not condemning. I'm just saying it scared me. It was the type of maddening materialism that makes me feel like the world is really, truly, I mean REALLY going crazy. It's the kind of culture that will make people literally forget what is real after a while.

The Wisconsin State Assembly passed a measure that will basically protect medical professionals from being punished from not performing certain procedures, and FURTHER from refusing to refer the patient to another medical professional who can perform the procedure that he or she has found morally reprehensive.

I could talk about this one for about 20 minutes but I'll only say this: I resepect that a medical professional may have a moral issue with a procedure. Shoulda picked a job where it wouldn't be an issue, but didn't, ok. Most places wouldn't fire them for not doing it as long as there was someone else to do it, but ok. Hardly ever would come up, ok. ALLOWING A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL TO REFUSE A PROCEDURE BASED ON MORAL GROUNDS IS TAKING THEIR RELIGIOUS RIGHT AND IMPOSING IT ON SOMEONE ELSE'S RIGHT TO HAVE DIFFERENT RELIGIOUS BELIEFS, NOT TO MENTION COMPITENT MEDICAL SERVICE.

Oh, but some things are "just wrong," right? OK! Then fricking DO something about the situations that cause the "wrong" thing that you hate so much! You hate abortion? Why not make sure people have birth control options! Hate birth control? Teach people more about sex and teach young women about their bodies and their options so they're not caught unaware! (studies show the more they know, the longer they wait, by the way) Or we could just make mothers act like mothers, which is really what it's all about. Even if we could save the fetuses, you wouldn't be happy. It's all about keeping those mothers where they should be. Anyone ever ask about those fathers? Ever even THINK about them?

More than I intended.

I'll end this post and write another.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Words of Advice:

Don't go jogging at 1pm when it's really hot and you're kinda dehydrated. You get heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Those are bad things.

If a toilet is plugged, stop flushing it. Toilets can and will overflow.

Lightning is what you see flashing in the sky. Thunder is what you hear after you see the lightning. If you mix up the two around nuclear physicists, you might sound dumb.

Speaking of nuclear physicists... Mike's co-worker and his wife threw a fabulous party on Saturday night, which both Mike and I attended. The food was great, the atmosphere and weather were wonderful and the company was wonderful as always. The only trouble is when the guests divide along gender lines. That means the guys, who are the plasma physicists, go and talk about plasma physics and drink beer and look like something straight out of King of the Hill, while the girls sit around the table and drink fruity alcohol and talk about weddings.

These are all really awesome people, but I'm not sure where I fit in less, the plasma physics or talking about planning, holding and thinking about my wedding. I did the wedding chat for a while, and then sat with some of the guys, who by that point started talking about the legal powers of a neighborhood association, which I actually could talk about. I never thought that property class would come in handy.

One final bit of advice: Think carefully before watching the Back to the Future trilogy with people who will pause the movies to engage in debate over the fine points of time travel and how events fit into the movie-created timeline. ;)

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Hedgehog Pics:

Here are pictures, including a beautiful painting I now own by Amanda Hanlon.

Sophie sticks her tongue out

Lola Checks out the new painting

What? Me? Did you say something about me?

I think down would be a good place to go!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Sophie has Cancer

The vet took some biopsies of Sophie's lump and it turns out that it's a cancer, probably of her mammary gland. They want to do a radiogram to make sure it hasn't metasticized and then remove the cancer with another surgery. I want to do what's best for her, but I also don't want her last days with me to be full of medicines and vet visits and painful recoveries, because I don't really think that's very humane, and it certainly isn't what I'd want in her place. Yet I'm torn, because I don't want to give up on her too soon.

Amanda finished the painting. Interesting timing.


Sunday, June 05, 2005

New Development: Jogging

So, I am now back in shape enough to jog for 10 minutes at a time. Don't laugh; when I started out, I wasn't even strong enough to lift my heft from the earth's gravitational force for half a block. Ten minutes of jogging is a small victory in the war against fatty fatness.

I like being able to jog in the city. It's flat, at least where I run. I also enjoy the little concrete blocks that make up the sidewalk. They allow me to gauge my stride and speed. This is especially important as I get back into the habit, as my inclination is to go too fast, tire quickly, and strand myself three miles from home. Don't laugh; it has happened.

I have also learned that I jog more now that I have an ipod with lots of good music on it. I always used not having good music as an excuse. I never knew it was actually a valid excuse, and that once I didn't have it I would actually work out more.

My goal is to jog until I am in the best shape of my life and then go through marine combat training so I can kill an opponent in hand to hand combat. You never know when that might come in handy.

Have a great Sunday!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

So... it's summer, huh?

So, it's summer. I feel human and functional. I have no job, no internship and no classes. I've started studying, a little bit anyway. It's sunny and hot, and I've already burned my back.

Yep, summer.

Sophie, my hedgehog, has another tumor. I'll try to have her on tumor-controlling medication soon. We'll try to enjoy our time together, no matter how long that is.

Mom and bro are turning big numbers in a week: 50 and 21 respectively. I'm going to Vegas with them for a couple of days. For my 21st we went to Indianapolis.

Finally, I would like to say that my mealworm-growing experiment is working. The beetle container is squirming with teensy tiny baby mealworms. They're really terribly disgusting. I hope they grow into non-microscopic size soon. They're more tolerable when they're big enough to feed to my hedgehogs, if only because of how much the hedgies love to slurp them up. Oh yeah.

I hope summer is good for you, too.