Monthly Archives: August 2007

Sural In Pisco

My sister-in-law, Sural, is in Peru doing a fellowship for ten months. She was in Lima when the recent earthquake shook Pisco and surrounding areas. We were quite worried about her, but she is fine. She felt the quake, and we later talked to her via Skype, and she described the situation in Lima. Shortly after, she and some fellow students went down to Pisco to help out. She normally has a blog on her travels, but the recent posts about being in Pisco are particularly powerful. Check out the rest of her blog, too. It is called Sirens and Lights. Not only does she provide a detailed description, but she uses vivid writing to do so. The opening of “Earth, Wind, Water, Fire” provides a visceral description of the dust, giving us not only sensual description of the place, but also a literal and figurative atmospheric description. Just read it and see for yourself.


Saturday Catblogging

This is a special edition of Catblogging for Nisha.  I decided today I’d showcase our cats’ hunting prowess. The best measure is when we give them fuzzy toy mice:



Those little girls. They love their toy mice. Invariably, they play with them, a-hem, I mean they hunt them for awhile. Then suddenly the mice seem to go into hiding. For Tillie, the mouse has wondered under that famed “Lost Mouse China Cabinet,” where, were one to move the cabinet, scads of frightened, hiding toy mice would be trying to evade our cats. Cliche’s mouse seems to have gone behind the couch, also not uncommon.



Chrysler 300

I want one! It goes against all of my fuel efficiency needs and car size preferences — but this baby has that 1930’s gangster/film noir thing going on. We are not in the market for a new car, and even if we were, I think we’d be thinking more along the lines of a Prius. But, if anyone was looking to buy me a little gift, I’ll take it.

Tuesday Catblogging — I’ve missed a few Fridays

Since I have missed a few Fridays, I figure I better got some catblogging done on a Tuesday. They have new favorite sleeping spots. Tillie has become partial to a kitchen table chair, especially when my fleece is on it:


Cliche has become partial to the top of the refrigerator:


More Movies!

Sujal and I saw two more movies.  This past weekend we saw Super Bad, which despite its good reviews was Super Bad.  I definitely laughed aloud in several parts, but just ask my mom — I laugh at nearly everything.  The flic seems to be aimed at a different audience, not my set of demographics. 

Then we saw The Bourne Ultimatum, another thumbs down from me, despite its good reviews.  My friend Rita said that David Lynch gave it his seal of approval, perhaps explaining why I didn’t like it.  Basically, when I saw the second Bourne film — The Bourne Supremacy, I thought it was too violent.  To say it has gratuitous violence is an understatement.  This movie was the same.

I have not yet seen, but would like to see,  Rocket Science.  It’s about a kid who joins his school’s debate team.  I figured it could be my professional development for debate this year.  😉

BMI, Pot Bellies, and the Omentum

As I was going to Yahoo to check my email, I cam across the article on pot bellies and their greater risk of causing heart disease. Lara, my home improvement friend, a.k.a. my health improvement friend, recently told me about the omentum and its relation to heart disease and poor health. (Sorry about the Oprah link. It was all I could easily find that had a decent explanation). Lara explained to me that when one is “apple” shaped or has a big belly, the omentum protrudes, and the tummy often feels hard. The fat underneath tummy muscle is unhealthy. Thus, it is better to be “pear” shaped than “apple” shaped, as Sujal’s uncle (a doctor) will readily tell you. If you won’t take it from Lara or me, take it from Oprah — get your omentum healthy! Lose the pot belly. And get your body mass index to a healthy place.

Kirsten — Where are you?

This trailer for Becoming Jane makes me want to see this move with my friend Kirsten. This is in large part because we saw one of the Jane Austen novels made into a film (or was it an EM Forster novel made into film?) together years ago when we were college. We also both love Jane Austen. Then again, who doesn’t?

Kirsten, come down here so we can go see it. Better yet, I’ll meet you at the Berkshire Mall.

What’s the Difference?

I just wanted to write a quick post about the odd discrepancy I see — and I’m not sure why there is a discrepancy at all between these two cases. As I was looking at various web articles last night, I came across this AP story about Pfc Jesse Spielman getting 110 years in prison with an opportunity for parole after 10 years for being involved in a rape and murder case. Three other soldiers were also given sentences — sentences that ranged from 5 to 100 years. The group of soldiers entered a house, took turns raping a 14 year old girl, and murdered the girl, her parents, and her sister.

Does this sound familiar at all? This is almost the same crime against the Petit family. I am mainly anti-death penalty — and it is the kind of viewpoint I want to develop in a non-emotional state of mind, because obviously, emotions will affect my rational decision making ability. And yet, I could be convinced of using the death penalty in a case like the Petit assaults and murders. The Connecticut prosecutors have charged the perpetrators with capital felony — which would either get them life imprisonment without the chance of parole or death by lethal injection. I think in this case, I actually see the merit of that possibility (though I still am very conflicted and need to think further on this).

Why, then, weren’t prosecutors seeking the same for the pfc’s who committed an almost identical crime on an Iraqi family? They raped a child. They killed two children. They murdered an entire family. The sentences range between 5 years and 110? 5 years!?! I’m not necessarily suggesting that the soldiers involved should receive the death penalty, but parole in 10 years? And a 5 year sentence? People make a lot of noise about making sure sex offenders are registered and publicly known. How about the punishment fitting the crime? How about at least some consistency? I realize the two cases are being tried in different realms — one the world of civilians, one the world of the military. I also understand that the stress of war, and the stress of being overseas in a less than successful mission drives people to do some pretty horrible things, like <a href="My Lai, but this was premeditated — they planned it.

What Ever Happened to Integrity?

This NY Times article makes me very sad. What ever happened to integrity? So what if some dumb bullies call you names all fall? That does not mean that you do not do what you believe is right — and giving over our rights in a neatly wrapped package to our president (which apparently means dictator) is NOT the right thing to do. It is a poor use of power. Get some backbones, Dems.

According to the article, Pelosi even says it “does violence to the Constitution of the United States.” So how can she let it happen? And finally, when we have so many other issues to deal with, why are we so preoccupied with legislating around fear?

Springfield! I almost forgot!

In the summer of movies galore, Sujal and I went to see The Simpsons Movie.  I recommend it.  I have to admit, it was a bit weird watching it on the big screen — and they made plenty of jokes about it.  Some of the jokes at the beginning were very funny!  (especially right after Itchy and Scratchy)  I laughed a lot, as I often do when watching The Simpsons.   The only characters I did not see, and I may have missed them, were the two aliens.  Go see it.  Let me know what you think.