Here is a story about the expulsion of CNN correspondent Nic Robertson from Iraq which makes a curious counterpoint to the Peter Arnett fiasco.
Monday, March 31, 2003
Saturday, March 29, 2003
Oh, mercy. Lucy has a crush on the friend Michael brought home with him. The other Michael, as we call him, is charming enough, but Lucy has it bad.
Sons, friends, cars, girls.
Friday, March 28, 2003
A Harris County resident Thursday was ordered to pay $100 a day until she cleans up her front yard of "natural" vegetation that has angered her homeowners association.
This is my destiny if I don't crawl "out there" by April Fool's Day. Does clover count as "natural vegetation"?
Wednesday, March 26, 2003
Tuesday, March 25, 2003
Many months ago, when I first started this weblog, a story came from Sydney, Australia, through that inimitable source Tim Blair of a parrot stolen from a pet store. Hector, the 31-year-old galah, or rose-breasted cockatoo, had been taken from his cage by a couple of silver-haired ladies. I have been checking on this story from time to time on Google and finally found the resolution to the story the other day. Here it is, from Persons Missing News, a source for missing persons in Australia. As the source does not provide a link, I will reprint the feature on Hector here:
7 August | The Daily Telegraph 7/8 p13 by Stavro Sofios
Hector thieves make contact - Breakthrough in the parrot-napping mystery
HECTOR the abducted galah is alive, "safe and happy" with the animal liberationists who stole him - and his owner doesn't necessarily want him back. The kidnappers made contact with The Daily Telegraph yesterday, claiming the 32-year-old parrot was freed from his "prison-like existence" to live with other birds in a large enclosure. The liberationists received qualified support from Hector's owner Doug Eyre, who offered to give up the community icon if they could prove the galah was now in a better environment.
"If you can show me he is happier in this new place, then keep him. Let him live out his last days happy," the West Ryde Pet Shop owner said yesterday. "My family needs closure, the people around here need closure and I won't push for charges if we can talk about it face-to-face. "If you really think this was the right way to go and if you're part of a fair dinkum liberation cause, why not prove it to us? Show me Hector in a good aviary and I might not take him away."
Expert analysis of the letter sent to The Daily Telegraph reveals it was written by the person who stole Hector and is also consistent with witness reports of the kidnappers -- two greyhaired women in their 50s with a "social conscience". The women took Hector, in his distinctive cage, from the footpath outside the West Ryde pet shop on July 20. The theft caused community uproar, with a reward of $7000 quickly offered for the return of the popular bird. "It says something about our society when $7000 is rewarded to put a galah back into a miserable existence in a cage no larger than a couple of milk crates rather than $7000 being offered to release a bird to his or her natural environment," read the letter, printed on a laser printer and sent in a yellow envelope. "Hector is safe and happy. Hector has not been released in the wild but now has the freedom to move around in a very large enclosure enjoying the company of other birds."
The owner gave his consent. Don't expect mine.
Saturday, March 22, 2003
The stupid little bastard who threw the grenade into the commanders' tent is one lucky little SOB. Throw him into the town square here. Dionysus would be disappointed.
UPDATE: My husband won't accept that language. I invite my women readers to offer other suggestions.
It is a glorious day in our tiny burg. Temperature 66, sunshine, windows open, the crack of the bat from the games on the field behind the houses across the street. Sounds like "Donna Reed", doesn't it?
Friday, March 21, 2003
Despite my post below, don't think I'm looking at this war with a casual eye. I sat through the last Gulf War with a different man who had a son in the reserves. He waited every day dreading the news that his son was called up. I cannot imagine the anxiety of parents who know their children are on the front lines, and I cannot imagine the grief of parents losing their children in this conflict, or wives, or husbands, or children of men and women in service.
God have mercy.
Operation "Profound Dismay and Disgust" was a success. Unfortunately, many targets appeared to have been vanquished prior to attack. DNA experts will be required to identify certain specimens. While we can currently report that the area has been sanitized, we cannot guarantee that the area will not require further attention.
The big boys are covering things just fine. There's little I can add from my small town in Louisiana. So I am going to turn my back on "Shock and Awe" and turn my attention to cleaning my refrigerator -- "Profound Dismay and Disgust".
Thursday, March 20, 2003
Wednesday, March 19, 2003
There you go. It has begun. 8:45 pm, Wednesday, March 19, 2003. My military mothers have asked for prayers. I'm sure all the others have, too.
The fantasy baseball league will be meeting here tomorrow night, except for the two boys out of state. Let's see, that should be eight. We'll need some snacks. I have kangaroo sticks left from February. What else? Polish sausage? Spanish olives? Dutch cheese? Italian bread?
Friends of ours have experienced a strange repetition of events this weekend. Twenty years ago, their son was outdoors and heard strange bird sounds. He searched about, and found that the source of the noise was a cockatiel in the branch of a tree. He tempted the bird down and took it inside. They tried to find the owners and failed. The bird became a family pet for ten years.
This weekend, the father was outdoors, heard a strange sound in the trees, and looked up to find a cockatiel. The bird lit on a ladder and jumped onto John's finger when he offered it. Now they are searching for the owners. If they don't find any, they'll keep the bird.
UPDATE: The owner responded to the ad placed in the local newspaper and claimed the little guy. Good news all around.
Tuesday, March 18, 2003
The sirens are sounding. A tornado is over our parish.
UPDATE: A friend of ours who has a ham radio told us that two tornadoes touched down a good piece west of here. Apparently, the worst has blown over. Now we just have a garden-variety thunderstorm.
I would listen to what you had to say, if you really tried to tell me why I should eat animals for a day. Why don't you tell me and others why we should eat animals for a day?I have a little story apropos of this question. I'll try to keep it short.From 1978 to 1983 I lived in New York City. I fell in with some New Age thinkers. Katherine, in particular, was a vegetarian of the ilk who believed that it was a spiritual necessity to refrain from eating meat. I never had philosophical qualms about eating meat, but to tell the truth, it was inconvenient in the neighborhood I lived in to find meat to cook. It was far easier to pop around the block to the green grocer's and pick up veggies and grains for meals. I also ate dairy and eggs, and spent some effort making sure that I had a complete diet, considering.
When I returned to Dallas in 1983 I continued with the vegetarian diet. One night I was leaving downtown with my pal Sam to go eat Indian food. I stepped badly off the curb and fractured my foot -- just a stress fracture, nothing too serious. I went to the doc-in-the-box the next day. He applied a fiberglass cast, and told me to report back to him in four weeks.
When I returned to the doctor he took x-rays of my foot. After four weeks, NO knitting had taken place. The bone was as clearly fractured as it had been in the first place.
From that day, for the next three weeks, I ate a rare roast beef sandwich and a large glass of milk for lunch every day. After the three weeks, I returned to the doctor and the foot was healed enough to remove the cast.
That's why I eat an animal a day.
Monday, March 17, 2003
Sunday, March 16, 2003
Regardless of how low I might feel, a quick trip to Molli Ann's to see how handsome little Sean is growing always cheers me up. She doesn't even know she has a fan.
UPDATE: I might have to delete this post. Sunday night I dreamed that I was mother to not one, but two chubby baby boys. Eeeks, NOT NOW!
Saturday, March 15, 2003
All right, I should call the cops. It's pitch dark outside and two girls no more than 22 showed up at my door touting their faith. Keep off my doorstep, proselyters, and keep your pretty girls home after dark. Damn it, can't you understand that girls are taken and killed regardless of faith! I didn't have my glasses on and couldn't read their tags, but this is absolutely unacceptable, not because I have no need of their particular message, but because these young women are in danger. Idiots. We just had another body of a young woman from Baton Rouge found at a Whiskey River boat launch. WTF are you thinking?
Patricia and Erin left for Dallas yesterday morning and arrived safely home at mid-afternoon. On previous visits, they usually left on Saturday, but some gentlemen friends beckoned them home early. Ah, well. We were all beginning to turn a little inward after four days together, and the long-distance bills were piling up. It was a good visit -- good company, good food, loud laughter, and the girls had some much needed rest. Patricia told me it's always good to come here to rest because she doesn't knock herself out looking for something to do -- because there isn't anything to do.
That's not exactly fair. We could've jumped in the car and ridden up to Vicksburg in an hour or down to New Orleans in 2-1/2 hours. We could've toured the Indian mounds or taken a drive up the Natchez Trace. But after the 6-1/2 hours over here, all the girls really wanted to do was hang out and be fed.
Feed them we did: Lyman's catfish Monday night, spaghetti and meatballs Tuesday night, crawfish and trimmings Wednesday night, and fajitas Thursday night. Patricia e-mailed her boss that she'd be back at work on Monday if she could fit back into the car.
Come to find out, I am a little behind the times (surprise, surprise!). Erin is eighteen years old and in her last year of high school. She has a job and spends her own money as she sees fit, which means that she has had her navel and tongue pierced. Piercings are so common that they're hardly worth comment. We found with our son Jason, the less said the better. If it doesn't arouse the elders, it just ain't hardly worth doing. Cossie, one of the women at the crawfish boil, and I urged her not to do anything to her face, though. Erin is a strikingly pretty girl and it would be a desecration. I also urged her to change her make-up to a more nude look. Why do young girls think they have to wear so much? And such garish colors? That's not what the hot models are doing. Probably did more harm than good with that advice. Thank goodness she's not mine to raise. By comparison, we teens of the seventies were a calm lot. (My ears are burning. My mother is saying, yeah, right.)
The crawfish boil was a success. Six women were present, and Lyman was the cook. He drove down river Wednesday afternoon to buy a 33-pound bag of live crawfish from a family farming crawfish in drained catfish ponds. The crawfish were satisfyingly large for this time of year, so we didn't have to starve to death peeling enough for our dinners. Patricia had never had crawfish before. She picked up peeling them in a snap, found she liked them, and kept pace with best of us. Erin wouldn't touch them. She ate hot dogs instead.
One of our guests was a woman widowed just six weeks ago. The very day her husband suffered a fatal heart attack I sent out the invitations for our party in February. She was, of course, not able to come to that party, but as she's a great fan of crawfish, she was invited to this small gathering. At the end of the evening, once we'd finished eating, she told us that we didn't know what we'd done for her that day. It would have been her 38th (excuse me, that would be 48th) anniversary, she said, and she would have been at home grieving had she not had a safe place to go. Just heart-breaking. We received a pretty thank-you card from her yesterday. Sometimes we do good.
Lucy had a week of it. Patricia was so disappointed early on because Lucy kept her distance and eyed her suspiciously. Patricia kept talking to her, and by Thursday Patricia was stroking her breast. In a few more days they would have been chatting merrily together. As it is, Lucy made a new friend just in time to lose her. We need to expose her to other people more often.
All in all, it was energizing. Now on to the yard.
Friday, March 14, 2003
Thursday, March 13, 2003
Wednesday, March 12, 2003
Monday, March 10, 2003
Sunday, March 09, 2003
Lyman has said "Call Kathleen." Kathleen lives across the street. She is married to an old marine and has two boys in the Army reserves. I called Kathleen. She has four children now, the two boys already mentioned and two girls, 16 and 18. I asked her two questions. "Where are the boys?" and "Would one of your girls befriend my niece?" The boys are at Fort Eustace (sp?) in Virginia, undergoing 15 weeks training before they can be deployed. "What do you think of the war?" "It's coming. All we can do is support our troops." "Tell me. I'll buy sunglasses, bake cookies, write notes, send e-mails. Just tell me what they need." "Thank you, Janis."
Many years ago, long before I came to this neighborhood, Kathleen lost a baby girl, Megan, to SIDS. This war is hard on her.
And yes, she thinks it's always good to make a new friend.
So don't expect to hear much from me this week, as my sister and her daughter are coming. I haven't spoken much of Patricia, but she is a pretty, crazily funny and kind woman. I can't wait to have her for a whole week. Her daughter, Erin, has put in an order for Lyman's catfish. (How does Billy Joe Bob do it for only $4.99?)
I might unleash Erin on you. She's seventeen, and I'll predict that she'll be bored without a friend with her.
Friday, March 07, 2003
...It's an ordinary Friday & is our holiday; the weather is great & all signs of nature are reminding me that spring is coming...So I don’t feel like studding at all, you know It's less than two weeks to the end of year & the new year holidays & the high school is not serious at all, no one feels like studding & every ones waiting for free coming days... we have about two weeks & sometimes, a couple of days more holidays for the new year, many ones say that there must be less, I also do believe that generally Iran's holidays are too many , but actually like everyone else I have get used of it & can't stand less than it ;)... Anyway, first days of new year, is the days of dido bazdide eid; that means that all of relatives & friends go to each others houses , just as a matter of seeing each other in the new year, at first the young ones should go & see the olds of the family & then others...I think somehow It's a nice custom, for example there are lots of persons of our relatives that we don't see them in the year at all & It can be a reason for seeing each other, & also the ones who have had argument & are not in touch, must stop these kinds of behaviors & start the new year with kindness. So first days of the New Year is spent on such a think, personally I don't like this custom & have no sense of seeing the ones who I hardly know, but it should be done...there are lots of little things like this that make the great culture of Norooz, & all of them are based on happiness, kindness & nice connection between humans, ... Oh, I feel that nowadays so far we are from these things & we are getting farther & farther, That's why these customs seems strange for this new generation that have been growth in sadness, lie, tricks & have seen many ones who don't care about humans' peace & happiness.
Anyway...forget about these talks, beauty of spring & the magic of nature is another thing & that will destroy all the bad things itself. I'm just waiting for the bride of seasons to come & gives everyone hope of surviving...
Sunshine! Sunshine for Lucy and me!
Thursday, March 06, 2003
Iranian Girl is considering some spring cleaning:
My room is a real mess, I wanna make it tidy & clean it; actually killing two birds with one stone, first for the coming year & the Norooz that we should make house nice & clean & also for the little party that I'm gonna have with my friends on the weekend...although here is like hell & I just don't know where exactly I should start from but I'm happy because both of the reasons are good & I have great motivations...Honey, I feel the same way, except maybe for the "great motivations". When will the weather clear?
Wednesday, March 05, 2003
Tuesday, March 04, 2003
I keep trying to do something silly and life overtakes me. Some Christmases ago, I instituted stockings for Lyman's boys. Neither are married, though this past year they were 35 and 27 years old. I shop for nail clippers and emery boards, nail brushes and toothbrushes, pens, post-its, notepads, packs of playing cards and, for a joke this year, duct tape. Every American boy needs a roll of duct tape, right?