Saturday, October 20, 2012

I. Have. Had. Enough!

So I've heard rumblings from the complaint department about the lack of posting lately.  It's not for lack of fodder, I assure you.  I've been sort of busy doing stuff I can't really talk about yet because it's not set in stone, but I don't want to disappoint my three readers so I will regale you with a tale...

For the past week, we have been hosting Lola while my sister and Music Man are overseas making music in Belgium and other various locales.  Lola, if you remember back, is their absolutely adorable long-haired miniature dachshund.  This is her as a puppy...

So cute.  But I digress.

Lola, as cute as she is, is in love with terrorizing my cats.  She does not have cats in her home so they are one of the novelties and best parts about staying with Auntie Mirth.  But she doesn't terrorize all of the cats, just the one.  See, The Hooligan has enough sense to make himself scarce.  He doesn't come out until after bedtime when Lola is safely kenneled.  He's surprisingly self preserving for a cat that is of questionable IQ.  The Antagonizer is flat out lazy and just refuses to run from Lola.  So while Lola would like to chase her, it's really hard to chase a furry lump that just lays there.  But Tiberius, oh Tiberius you poor thing, he runs like the devil himself is chasing him.  And maybe, just maybe, she is.

The typical situation plays out like this...

Tiberius is minding his own business, walking from one nap spot to another, when Lola spots him.  She immediately heads full bore in his direction.  Tiberius panics and starts running towards any perceived safety.  Lola follows, looking absolutely gleeful.  Around and around they go until either Tiberius figures out to jump up onto something tall enough that she can't follow or I am able to capture Lola and put her in time out in her coop (fenced in area in my kitchen.)  Lola calms down, gets released from prison and spots the cat again.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  All day long.

I've tried explaining to Tiberius that he doesn't need to run.  He outweighs her probably 2-1, he has longer arms and faster reflexes.  He clearly has the advantage.  But no, every day for four days we had the same scenario being played out.  Clearly something needed to change.  And it did.

On the fifth day, Tiberius was laying in the kitchen next to end of the cabinets.  Lola came around the corner, spotted him and immediately headed towards him at top speed.  But Tiberius just looked at her and didn't move.  She kept running but suddenly a really confused look crossed her face as she realized he wasn't running.  She hit the brakes.  Since she has furry feet and was on the tile, this just served to make her slide.  Right smack into the cat.  Who refused to move.

Lola scrambled to her feet and gave the cat a poke with her nose.  Tiberius responded by growling at her and raising a paw at her head.  She backed up, tilting her head in confusion at him.  He didn't get up and he didn't stop growling.  But he did put his paw down.

I figured we were done.  The cat finally figured out the secret to dealing with little skippy dogs that like to chase.  You don't run, they don't chase, everyone is happy.  But Tiberius wasn't quite done with his stand.

About fifteen minutes later I put Lola in her coop to eat her meal.  As a side note, I don't usually separate my dogs while they eat but Lola doesn't have a whole lot of sense in the dealing with other dogs department and doesn't realize that sticking your head into the dish of another dog could be dangerous.  I'd like to return her to her loving owners in one piece thank you very much.  So I separate her from them during meals.  Moving on.

So Lola has just been put into her coop to eat and I go sit on the couch about five feet away to catch up on some very important thing that the Internet has to offer.  About a minute later I hear a Thump! and look over to see that Tiberius has jumped into the coop with Lola.  Hmmm, this is interesting.  Wonder what's going to happen?  Apparently so did Lola as she backed warily away from Tiberius.

After looking at the dog for about fifteen seconds, Tiberius reached a paw out, hooked the edge of her food dish and pulled it towards himself.  He never broke eye contact with her while he did so.  Then he settled in and starting eating her food.  Lola sat in the corner looking very concerned.  After he had eaten enough, Tiberius stood up.  Lola cringed, but he wasn't going after her.  Instead, he reached his paw out again, hooked her water dish and dragged this towards himself.  He continued to stare at Lola while he got a good long drink.  Lola stayed in her corner.  Then the cat sat next to her food and water dish and stared at her until she lay down and looked away.  Then, and only then, did that rotten cat jump out of her coop and walk away.

Today is day eight and while Lola has attempted a few halfhearted runs towards Tiberius just to see if he'll run, it's been greatly reduced.  He doesn't run and she gives up.  Now she has moved on to trying to ferret out The Hooligan from his hiding spots.  The Hooligan, who spent his formative years attached to either of the dogs necks, doesn't prefer to be harassed so I'm sure it will be interesting if she ever actually manages to corner him.  Don't worry though, I've got lots of ice pack, plastic bags and a cooler...I'll try to save the severed limbs for re-attachment.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Banned Book Week

So we're halfway through Banned Book Week and I haven't even mentioned it once.  Hmmm, I must be slacking on my game (a lot) lately. 

As an avid reader, this is a subject that's close to my heart.  I remember being appalled the first time I learned that people in towns across America still actually held book burnings.  I couldn't believe that people still felt the need to burn a book.  But evidently they do and so, an idea was born.  Since that time I have periodically (no pun intended) tried to add to the collection of books in my personal library at least a few books that have banned.  They don't need to be current books, in fact most of the books I have acquired have been what I would consider classic.  Think Dickens, Twain, Caldwell or Steinbeck.  At one time I started a list but it got so big that I kind of gave up on it (for now.)

The thing I figured out is that most books that have been banned aren't "bad" books, they are simply books that make some people uncomfortable.  The problem is that just because someone is made uncomfortable by something, it doesn't mean that the something is the problem.  So, I will continue to peruse the list of banned books in search of new reading material.  Or in search of old reading material that I just don't have on my shelf. 

I've put the list of 2011's ten most challenged titles below...two things should be noted: 

1.)  Brave New World should be required reading for every citizen of the US today and
2.)  Within the last six months, my child has read #3 (the trilogy) and #10.  I'm probably a bad mother, but I'm okay with that.

  1. ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
    Reasons: offensive language; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  2. The Color of Earth (series), by Kim Dong Hwa
    Reasons: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  3. The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins
    Reasons: anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence
  4. My Mom's Having A Baby! A Kid's Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy, by Dori Hillestad Butler
    Reasons: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: offensive language; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  6. Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
    Reasons: nudity; offensive language; religious viewpoint
  7. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
    Reasons: insensitivity; nudity; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit
  8. What My Mother Doesn't Know, by Sonya Sones
    Reasons: nudity; offensive language; sexually explicit
  9. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily Von Ziegesar
    Reasons: drugs; offensive language; sexually explicit
  10. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
    Reasons: offensive language; racism