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Nicole!
24 March 2013 @ 10:37 am
I saw this tatted lace mask several years ago and thought about it, a lot, ever since then. Eventually you come to realize that if you think about something more than ten times since you saw it, you should buy it (or in this case, make it). However, I do not tat, and none of my local yarn stores even knew what a tatting needle was. I do, however, crochet, and so....





materials

Aunt Lydia's Crochet Thread (size 10)
wire
size 2 crochet hook

construction

The mask is constructed in several joined pieces.

The original mask had you make two separate eye loops and then join them at the end; I'm sure this would work, but I originally made the eye loops as one piece of wire with a bridge in the middle and then crocheted onto that framework.

A central medallion makes up the forehead pieces as well as the eye pieces. I used
this free crochet snowflake pattern for my central & side medallions; I encourage you to do a ravelry search for 'crochet snowflake pattern' and use your favorite.

eyes:
Using the wire, make a glasses-shape (two ovals joined by a middle bridge). It's all right if the wire slips around a bit in the eye-corners; mine did, but the thread will hold it in place once you crochet around them.

Using size 2 hook and size 10 cotton crochet thread, single crochet around each eye loop separately. DO NOT single crochet through the eye bridge.

body: --crochet three medallions.

medallions: I used the first 4 rows of
this crochet snowflake pattern (which is NOT mine!), which uses alternating treble crochet and picot motifs, then reproduced those motifs along the rest of the mask.

Medallion pattern:
chain 6, join with sl st to form ring

Round 1: 14 sc inside ring, join to first sc with sl st

Round 2: ch 4 (counts as 1 dc, 1 ch) ; *dc in next st, ch 1; Repeat from * around, join to third ch made in beg of this round with sl st (14 dc, 14 ch 1 spaces)

Round 3: *ch 3, sc in next ch 1 space ; Repeat from * around until last sc made then ch 3, join with sl st to beg ch of this round.

Round 4: sl st to first ch 3 space, * (ch 4, 2 tr, ch 4, sl st into same ch 3 sp) all in first ch 3 space; ch 1, sl st into next ch 3 space, triple picot (ch 3, sl st into first ch made), sl st into same ch 3 space, ch 1, sl st into next ch 3 space; Repeat from * around, join to first sl st made with sl st


Join medallions to mask along petal edges, using sc to attach petal tips to mask (as pictured) and sl st to carry thread from one petal to the next.

So at this point you have a medallion between the eye loops and two medallions on either side. Look at this picture below: 




filling in the eyes:

Once medallions are joined to mask, you're going to join yarn from the edge of the center medallion. The center medallion will have a petal which points radially outward toward the edge of the mask at the level of the top of the eye loop: join yarn here. (You're filling in the spaces above the eyes.) 

(ch4, sc in 3rd space) across the top of eye and onto the first petal of side medallion for however long it takes to go across your eye. This depends on the size of your wire, thickness of crochet, and the number of single crochet you used to wrap the initial eye-wires. For me, this was six sc.

At end of row, turn, and picot back across this row: *sl st to first ch4 space, picot (ch3, sl st into first ch made), sl st into same ch4 space, sl st into next ch4 space* to the end of row. It should look like this: 





row 1: ch7, sc into top of every other picot.

row 2:  ch1, turn. Sl st into ch7 space and make a petal (ch4, 2 tr, sl st into ch7 space) into every ch7 space in this row. 

row 3: ch1, turn. (Ch4, sc into top of petal) across

row 4: ch1, turn. Picot row: (sl st into ch4 space, ch3, sl st into ch4 space) across. 

Tie off. 

Repeat for the other above-eye space. 


You're also going to do this same sequence along the bottom of the mask. In the mask pictured, I only did rows 1 & 2 along the bottom of the mask so it wouldn't go too far down the face. 

Starch your mask and shape it to your face (I did this by using a plastic bag over my face, pressing the mask over this, then pressing the mask in that shape on top of a pile of plastic grocery bags and letting it dry overnight). 

Add ribbon & go!


I'll try to answer any questions you have about the pattern, but it's basically "have a good knowledge of crochet, make a mask-shape out of wire, make three medallions and crochet some lace between them." 

Show me pictures of your finished product if you ever end up making it too! 

 
 
Current Location: Lexington, KY
Current Music: Caroline Keating - Montreal
 
 
Nicole!
02 December 2012 @ 05:38 pm
news  
 


finally
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Current Location: Lexington, KY
Current Music: perfume genius
 
 
Nicole!

I couldn’t not see new Bond if all my friends were, right? (jumping off a bridge etc. Also spoilers.) The writing was good (dealing with role of antique spy program in a modern world, Bond’s psychological issues & substance abuse, M’s job making her a terrible person, Bond & M aging, etc), but the point of it was to bring back the Original Bond….at the expense of women. And while sleeping with a sex worker and allowing her to die was pretty awful, it seemed no more apathetic a sex scene than any of Bond’s other miscellaenous conquests. What I found worse was treatment of Judy Dench as M (there is actually a scene where Bond yells at her to get in the kitchen? for real? like, okay, there’s a bomb or something, but you know the writers just started laughing when they put that line in). By the end of the movie, we’re left with a male authority figure in M, and Bond’s former partner has given up field work (on his suggestion) to become a young black woman secretary (who is then introduced for the first time—after Bond slept with her, of course—as Eve Moneypenny). And Judy Dench unrealistically died from a gunshot wound to the side of her hip just to get rid of her. Also the antagonist is a gay man trying to kill his mother.

I know it’s ridiculous to complain about sexism in Bond, but I was actually pleased with what they had done via M-as-a-lady & things in the first Craig-as-Bond movie, and this was just a total reversal back to terrible old sexist Bond. So basically there is a lot going on that makes this James Bond: Return to Patriarchy the movie.

But the car chases were pretty great!

 
 
Current Location: Lexington, KY
 
 
Nicole!
so it’s the Friday night after my FINAL EXAM IN GROSS ANATOMY (shew) and all week I’ve had this sewing fever and already made these pants:



which had their own lil set of conerns but whatever, I found wool pants for $3 and now they fit me. The madness did not stop here, however: at that same trip I found a Jcrew stripey sweater, a turtleneck, a sweatervest, and a Liz Claiborne skirt that fit my roommate perfectly. All these things, keep in mind, are 100% wool, because KY had 3 days of sub-40 temperatures and I suddenly realize that come winter I’M GONNA DIE. I’ve lived in a subtropical climate for the past four years yall. So ant-and-grasshopper style I’ve been furiously scouting goodwill for all the wool clothes. You think I’m joking? I bought men’s pants today when I went back.

anyway so the scoop.

B4: a gray Land’s End XL 100% merino wool sweater





(with the arms!)

B4: XXL Pronto-Uomo 100% Extra Fine Merino Wool Men’s Sweatervest


whatever they looked like that.

so the after pics which is really where it’s at:

the black sweatervest, when I sewed up the sides (but not so much redoing the arms) became a weird fitted t-shirt like thing? I planned to wear it over a white button-down for warmth & stuff so we’ll see how that works out



and the really interesting thing here was the gray one. so I spent like 4 hrs going “I wanna sew something” and clickin around blogs for cute clothing remods and then all of 50 minutes doing actual sewing on both of these shirts. So I had this wild idea to make this gray shirt into a Dolmann, which gross I know, they’re so trendy-early-2000s, but my response was gonna be “This shirt was THREE DOLLARS and is ALL WOOL” but this shirt did not want to be a dolmann and fought it with all its might. So here is its journey:



sewing up the bottom? nope sleeves still look awwwww-full



sewing up the sleeves? UN HELPFUL. what is up with that torso you ask and with good reason.



did not work out. obvs. so then I just sewed it up the regular way:



right? normal shirt! great. So all I did here was resize an XL to a S with some weird branches along the way. WHATEVER I HAVE A NEW MERINO WOOL SWEATER. and a blurry cat.



I also resized the turtleneck much like the gray one, which is embarrassing because it’s still a turtleneck, but it’s gonna get so cold I won’t care. It’s also gray with a black stripe right across the boobs. new wardrobe for winter! entirely in black and gray! it may look sad and depressing but it’ll be so warm!!! I just need to knit myself a bright red scarf or something.

anyway next time on FRIDAY NIGHT SEWING PROJECT! There are fiiiiiiiive more goodwills in town! and I might start a quilt! the end.
 
 
Current Location: Lexington, KY
Current Music: new perfume genius
 
 
Nicole!
19 September 2012 @ 03:47 pm
 I gotta keep my distance to withstand the silence of you missin when you're not there to listen to this nonsense 

 


 
43 degrees this morning; house with all internal temperature regulation turned off is still moccassins-chilly and cat asleep in my lap is radiating heat of 'stay here, stay here'. I do not reach for my notebook next to the bed or go into the kitchen to get some liquid fructose corn sugar caffinated beverage to make me feel awake & focused to read more again of this cranial nerve lecture. More Mumps, etc., again, on the machine. Twice today. At school until 2, lecture on autonomics in cranial nerves, long, sleepy, thick. Things I half-remember from yesterday. Drinking too-thick hot chocolate because I'm out of tea.  Out? of tea? 
 
Lab I was too tired to put on scrubs for, just a labcoat and someone else's snatched nitrile gloves, joking about the usual Human Centipede/Teeth/sex from the arrogant frat boy at my anatomy table over the woman of a body who gave her body to science, whose face we are dissecting. facial nerves. Lecture on Pediatrics for the free Chick-fil-A lunch, eating individual chips as a woman discusses her divorce, her campaign for parents to read to their children, her son. Crunching each chip invidivually between my teeth, no leftover soupy hot chocolate, nothing to drink, just salt against the flat of my tongue. Taste sensation, you know, I know, comes from the anterior 2/3 of the tongue via the lingular nerve, branch of mandibular V3 nerve, branch of cranial nerve V, the trigeminal nerve. Salt, thirst. As I type this Yoni Wolf is saying "mixed in with the light-floating paper rash and paper rest is only just some more smoke rising, no fleeting omen for your rise only waiting, no ancient mystic spirits rising, or translucent sage ghosts calmly speaking truths--you will always thirst like that." 

Yesterday my grandfather had retina surgery. Trying to find their hotel was an adventure, as they kept calling the C Plaza the C Court, the old C House, unable to remember the name change. In lab I fumbled around for the name of the otic ganglion, parotid gland, flashing back to whatever I could remember about the parotid gland from a lecture by an otolaryngologist I attended two weeks ago. I am overwhelmed by the volume of emails I receive, while at the same time I check my email every five minutes, desperate for a distraction. "I used to do many things," I told my grandmother. "We went camping, picked blueberries, went on a search for the best doughnuts in New Orleans, saw friends every day, lived with my friends, worked with people, saw people all the time. And now I'm mostly just alone." In a letter I wrote "People should choose religion because they find it personally fulfilling, not because of a sense of family or community obligation." My grandmother said she was praying for me, as always. My grandfather explained his eye surgery to me, telling me that eyes had corneas, lenses, a jelly inside, and a retina, which was curved across the back. "It's called the vitreous humour," I said, as he drew a diagram on the back of my notes. I don't think my family can really process that I am going to medical school. It's all right. Sometimes in this new house, sitting in my new car, thinking about all the new things I am learning, I feel like a fake. I do not really believe this is happening to me
 
Walking down the hallway to the med student lounge lined in pictures of past classes, smiling faces and similar haircuts on pale faces, I did not say though I thought "I did not feel overwhelmed before". In the morning it was 40 degrees and I put my earflap liner in my helmet, pulled my sweater down over my hands to grip the handlebars, shivered through three layers of cotton on the way to schoool. Cotton, of course I did. There are many things now that are just facts about my life, the conclusions which can be drawn from seem too obvious to state, even to myself. On the way home I wrote emails in my head I will never send, asking my Advisor if he appreciated Alopecia, how there are strings of words that fall in and fall in and fill you and break you and how they start with "I'm not a ladies man I'm a landmine, filming my own fake death" and extend to
 
 "The Heath grows green and magenta in all directions, earth and heather, coming of age—
 
No. It was spring.” 

it goes on, and goes on.
 
Someone at school asked me if I built my bike. "Just handlebars, seat, back rack, new tires," I said. I know framebuilders, I can't ever say I built my own bike. "That means you did," he said, and complimented me. I like bikes and I like that they are something solid, something that I can understand all the moving parts. I am going to school to understand all the moving parts of humans and it is filling me with despair. 
 

 
 
Current Music: Mumps, Etc. - WHY?
 
 
 
Nicole!
so by the sheer amount of time I spend googling "Zenker's Diverticulum" and "innervation of parietal pleura" and related terms, Google MUST know that I'm in med school. And from all the "Asian Market Nicholasville Rd" searching I do, they also know I'm in Lexington.

So what I'm curious about is how sophisticated is Google's advertising robot? What are they going to start advertising to me? I'm assuming local things, right, so if they know I get knitting emails and am in Lexington they should send me ads for ReBelle or whatever. They certainly know I have a cat because I get vet ads. But what about socioeconomially? Are they trying to market me cheap stuff, because I'm still a student, or more expensive things, because they know I'm going to be a doctor someday?

I love to make jokes about robots running our lives, calling our mothers for us, brushing our teeth, driving our cars. (Smartphones usually equal robots in these jokes, unless I'm talking about my electric toothbrush.)  Google advertising algorithim robots, right? "how well do I match a sophisticated algorithim that predicts things about me based on keywords gathered from my email" becomes "how well do the robots know me" becomes "how predictable am I? what if I'm exactly what you expect me to be?" 

right? What if med school is--more than it is set up to educate or enlighten (which it does, but how well is still up in the air)--a system to produce and maintain smart and kind people? To reward them, to be the kind of fair where if you work hard you really do get ahead, to say "this is what we want our people to be like"? How much of our society is a system set up in this way? Because honestly I'm okay being part of a system that's designed to create and maintain smart and kind people--but I'm not sure if that's what we're doing, and I don't think there's room for everyone in the system we have. 

This new fascination with "What My Demograhpic Data Says About My Life" and "Just Who Is The Man, Anyway, and What Does He Want" just keeps going. First with the Dhalgren then with Google ads. Because I'm afraid. What if they're right? What if advertising robots really do know me better than I know myself? who am I and where do I fit into the expectations that are set up for me?
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Current Location: Lexington, KY
Current Music: the National
 
 
Nicole!
07 August 2012 @ 06:12 pm
I've never fainted or passed out before. I've never even blacked out. This was the first loss of memory experience I've ever had, and it was weirdly metaphysical. I remember sitting in the chair, feeling lightheaded, and then all of my vision except for the very top was filled with colored spots and I told the nurse "I'm seeing spots". I don't know how long it was, either. I remember having the sensation that I was in a very complex dream, that I was somewhere I belonged and knew who I was and what I was doing and had to stay, and then suddenly I woke up and was somewhere, surrounded by women I didn't know, who were all looking down at me. I couldn't remember how I got there, I didn't recognize it. I didn't remember that I had been in the clinic, or that I had gotten a shot, or any of the circumstances of the recent past. It felt like--like in my dream, I knew exactly who I was, and when I woke up I was just someone I didn't know somewhere that I didn't belong, and I had no idea how I'd gotten there or what had happened to me.

They put me on the floor and held my legs above my head, and when I had to sit up so they could move me to the hospital bed I threw up, twice. It was the student clinic so they only had one room with three hospital beds in it. There were three big windows that looked onto the desk where the nurses kept their personal things, and they kept the door open, though the lights were off. They put a cold washcloth on my forehead and gave me a warm blanket, and I was feeling shaky and nauseous still and just kept thinking I want this blanket. It had a hole in it right next to my ankles. My ankles were crossed but I felt too tired to uncross them. After a while I sat up, tried to stand up and walk around, called Dustin to give me a ride home after Kay and Amanda were both busy. While I waited for him to call me back I became more and more aware of the way my hands and feet were getting hotter and my neck was getting colder, and though the nurses kept telling me I looked fine I felt awful.

Dustin used to date this girl and one of the horror stories he tells me is that the only date they ever went on, she threw up in his car. I kept joking "I'm not going to throw up in your car" on the way home, so I got out of the car and made it to the porch, sat down on the porch swing and then threw up all of my cashew craisin ginger-cinnamon fried rice and carrots and shrimp all over the blue floorboards of the porch and my sandled feet. My roommate was super apologetic she hadn't been home to pick me up (she's the nicest person ever) and hosed off the porch (and my feet) and brought me a glass of water.

One of the nurses asked me if I was a med student? how did I do with the procedures? I'm fine, just not when they're done to me. I'm going into medicine to avoid ever being a patient. Seriously, it sounds like the worst ever. Especially if this happens every time. It makes me want to be the nicest doctor ever because being sick is the worst experience.
 
 
Current Location: Lexington, KY
 
 
Nicole!
05 August 2012 @ 07:10 pm


so hi, I'm in med school now! Don't ask me what's wrong with you. I don't know yet.

My first day is tomorrow. I've been studying.

It is very hard to transition from a life in New Orleans, with friends, free time, and a significant other to Lexington, Kentucky (recently named the most sedentary city in America!), living alone, knowing four people. I've spent a lot of time staying home and crying. But that's to be expected, right? With a difficult move! That's all behind me now! (It's not. But I won't have much time to sit around crying in bed after tomorrow.)

One thing I've noticed about myself, as I've sat through this past week of Orientation, is that being told the Institutional Norms and Expectations tends to make me dig in and want to ask "Why?" Let's call it my subversive streak. They've spent a lot of time this week trying to get us to think of ourselves as Professionals now, capital-P and all, and I'm trying to figure out exactly what that means. To me, to us, to our culture. Success IS culturally determined and decided. So how do you be a Successful Young Professional? Do you follow all the right rules? Are you good at your job? Are you courteous to the people around you? Are you respectful of authority?

This isn't something only I have been thinking about, either. There's been an archetype around for a long time of the Idiot Savant,the Brilliant Weirdo, this notion that if you're Good Enough, you can be forgiven things. "Genius is always allowed some leeway, once the hammer has been pried from its hands and the blood has been cleaned up," as Terry Pratchett says. Enter Sherlock Holmes, who's allowed a cocaine habit and shooting holes in his walls (or his modern equivalent House, antisocial and angry with a Vicodin addiction). If you want real life look at Fritz Haber, father of the process we still use to create nitrogen for fertilizer, who came up with gases used in trench warfare in WWI and whose wife and son killed themselves. Genius! There's a subversive element in it. If you're good enough, you get away with a lot. Duh. You knew that in high school, when you realized that if you made straight A's your parents didn't really care what you did with the rest of your time.

But that's not enough, right? If you're good and you want to do good, that's why you go to medical school. I have always been top of my class, high school valedictorian, National Merit Scholar, graduated college even summa cum laude. Because when you're smart you want to be good, you want to do Your Best, and if you can get straight A's in college then you will. I could, and I did.

I don't know if I believe in this system any more.

Medical school is hard. And there are grades. I can, objectively, be smarter or better than my fellow classmates. But I don't think that's helping anymore. Maybe doing research looks good on a resume, but is my resume the most important thing I'm worried about anymore? I hate doing research. (I worked in a very poorly-run lab for a year+.) There comes a point where, in a life-long academic career of competition over, for me, 20 years of school, you have to ask yourself what the endpoint of all the competition is. Do I really want to be an orthopedic surgeon? God, no. I just want to see patients, and help them, and be able to have my own life in the process.

So I think this subversive streak has to do with a journey of self-discovery. If I've spent my whole life doing My Best and Living Up To Expectations of others, then what are my expectations? I've never dyed my hair crazy colors. I've never gotten a tattoo. I conform to the Mainstream American Professional Young Girl. In appearance (height/weight/hair color/eye color/skin color), in attitude (I'm friendly and accommodating), in achievement. So is that what I am?

You want your children to read. I have read. You want your children to exercise. I exercise. You want your children to make straight A's, to eat healthily, to bike instead of drive, to go to college, to be savvy to social media but not attention-hogs, to do summer internships, to do research, to be clean and tidy and nice and accommodating. You want your children to succeed. I have succeeded. My friends, my peers, my class, we have all succeeded. Just the way you wanted us to. And every day I check my Facebook page for the average 15.5 minutes* and watch my friends search for jobs when there aren't any, complain about an American system that sets up expectations for its young people that If You Do This, Then You'll Get A Good Job and Be Happy, or at least can buy all the newest stuff, which is just like being happy, right? But we can't. We've done all the right things and now we can't Get A Good Job or really any kind of job. And I, new first-year medical student, have done the financially smart thing and borrowed almost $50,000 from the federal government to pay for the first of my four years of continuing education.

Why is it so hard for people to meet their basic needs and to live? We've been doing it for millions of years. Is the answer just that life is hard and then you die? Is this how it's always been?

I do not know.

I do not know if I am making the smart/right decision. We do not live in a society where healthcare is working. I'm not sure our medical education system is working. We are doing (as we have always done), the Best that We Can Do and I don't know if it's enough. I have looked out the windows on the interstate as I drove through the South from New Orleans to Kentucky, I have looked at the angry statuses my friends post on the internet, I have looked at the newspapers and the streets and the people and I have thought There must be a better way to live.

how do iron filings orient when there is no magnetic field? how are we, how am I, when there are no expectations to fulfill?

At nights here I stay home. On my subbversive streak I've been rereading Dhalgren, a book I feel privileged to have read once, a book I could spend the next four years reading and still not understand. "I've got a theory now--freedom. You know, here--" Loufer says to the Kid, "you're free. No laws: to break, or to follow. Do anything you want. Which does funny things to you. Very quickly, surprisingly quickly, you become-- [...] --exactly who you are."





---
*"That’s a full 15.5 minutes the average American spends on Facebook every single day."
 
 
Current Location: Lexington, KY
Current Music: The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will...
 
 
Nicole!
You could call this week "New pet owner incessantly photographs new pet."

Here she is:


kitten. 8 weeks old. black & fuzzy. she's very smart and loves attention and cuddles. her name is Brie.

My reasoning behind getting a kitten was not initially "awwwww kitten". These kittens (there are six of them; I know the mother and father cat, as well as the previous owners) were born two days before I graduated college. I was stressed and upset about everything and seeing a litter of six kittens just made me mad that a house full of stoners never bothered to take their cat to the vet to get her checked up, let alone spayed, and let her wander outside as she wanted.

Summer sublet. I had a cat at home that was an outside cat, and so I was always like "cats whatever." I didn't grow up with pets; I haven't ever bonded with a pet before, I'm not a pet person. My new, temporary roommate (she was moving out the end of May/beginning of June as I was moving in) had a cat, an orange tabby named Simba. Simba was an inside cat and he loved affection. He walked up against my feet. When I sat on the couch he came and rubbed his face against my hand, as if training me to pet him, then looked up at me expectantly. As someone who's always had animals be indifferent to me, this was amazing.

So roommate moved out. And took Simba with her.

When I came back from vacation, I noticed there were more cockroaches in the house than usual.

That's when I thought "oh, we need a kitten."

Domesticated animals. I am new to the animal game. When the back of the bag of kitten food said "Your kitten is as cute as she is curious," I was like HOW DID THEY KNOWWWW. Of course they know. In the same aisle they were selling $90 scratching posts, carrying cases, gourmet food made with sweet potatoes and cod. What?

I have this disclaimer: I didn't grow up with pets, and I work in a laboratory that does animal testing. I deal with rabbits every day. I've written about this at length, if you're interested; it's pretty awful. But you start to understand animals as animals. I've had to make the call about when we need to euthanize an animal. They don't think like humans. They have different needs. They are, actually, a different species. But pet stores, pet products, are marketed to pet owners, who are humans and think things like sweet potatoes and cod sound good. Pets, in short, seem to be marketed to people who don't think about the differences between themselves and animals.

Animals are other species. Right? Sure it's cute when she bats at a toy I'm holding above her head, but she's doing it because cats are trained to catch birds. She stretches and pounces because it's thousands of years of predator instincts teaching her to hunt for food. It doesn't matter if the food is in a bowl next to her toys. Her instincts are still there.

Domesticated animals, right? this is what I've been thinking about: mankind's changing relationship with animals. For millions of years humans and animals lived side by side. We had hunting dogs and riding horses, and we domesticated cats because the vermin were getting into our food. And now we live in cities, and we have cars, and we buy our meat at the supermarket, and we have pesticides and insulated houses with no mice. It is no longer necessary to live side by side with animals anymore. People can go their entire lives without having an animal and that is fine, accepted, and normal. Dog breeds that were trained for hundreds of years to herd sheep, or protect a family, or take down predators, now enter shows, or sleep at their owners' feet getting fat. Cats scratch at rope and cardboard posts we make for them and we put bells on their collars to scare away the birds.

What I've come to think is that we've done away with the need for domesticated animals. And yet those animals remain.

Animals are animals. They are not friends or people. They can be trained to protect what they view as theirs. They can be trained to hunt small rodents. But they are not people, no matter how smart they are.

And what I've been thinking about, too, is where that leaves the animals. And where it leaves the people who want to deal with animals. We've coevolved with domesticated animals for thousands of years (if not longer): the desire to have animals is built into us, too. That's why we have so many pet owners, why we think small fluffy things are cute. We've learned over many generations to view them as allies, not as threats. And if the roles that animals once fulfilled in our lives are being replaced by technology in modern society, then we can fight back. We can say that even if these animals don't have a role anymore, we still want them around. We can still love them. We can buy them expensive scratching posts and sweet potato and cod food and make places for them in our homes, take care of them when they get sick. Pet owners, of which I now count myself a member, are part of humanity that doesn't want animals to be replaced with technology.

Animals are animal. Cats do catch cockroaches, by the way. I have a very active cat who loves to pounce at bugs, at pieces of paper, at mardi gras beads that I wriggle in the air for her. If she wants to come cuddle she'll come lie next to me; if I come pick her up and she's feeling playful she'll scratch and bite at my fingers. I'm still training her that it's not okay to chew on laptop cords, and clipping her claws so I can pick her up without scratches. "Pet" has gone from an invaluable member of the household, with real benefit to human owners, to a $300 increase on your first month's rent.

Is that all that's left the long bond between humans and animals? Gone from mutual helpers, shepherds and guardians, to inside creatures who whine and move their legs in their sleep. I wonder if they're dreaming of something more.

So I'm not putting a bell on her collar. Once she's old enough to go outside, I'm letting her catch all the birds she wants, as long as she takes the mice and the cockroaches too. I own a tiny predator now, and I am proud.
 
 
Nicole!
25 May 2012 @ 07:32 am


the glorious 25th of may. were you there?

"They did the job they didn't have to do, and they died doing it, and you can't give them anything. Do you understand? They fought for those who'd been abandoned, they fought for one another, and they were betrayed. Men like them always are. What good would a statue be? It'd just inspire new fools to believe they're going to be heroes. They wouldn't want that. Just let them be. Forever."

 
 
Current Location: home