Wednesday, September 24, 2003

white thong panties with glow-in-the-dark cartoon amoeba octopus thingies

Don't you love laundry day?

I taught two kids' aikido classes with the aforementioned under my gi. Not that the little darlings will ever know, or the bus drivers, or the maiden aunt I just picked up from the BART station (well, maiden might be stretching it a bit...), or the parents of my students worried that their children have Sensory Integrative Dysfunction, or the woman who showed me the room I hope to rent.

But now you do. Lucky you! I leave it to my more politically-inclined friends to blog about the important things; I'm putting my space to more, um, fundamental use.

The Beijing Dog Park. Better known as the Shenzhou Doggy Park. I don't know what I was thinking when I made the journal entry on August 31, 1995; mostly I talked about the Women's Conference (which is edifying) and the fact that the portolets were squat-style (which is not.) Finally, I had this to say about the Doggy Park: was astonishingly, grindingly depressing...a far cry from the description in the infernal grey book. [The park] itself seems abandoned--like it was built to be really nice, and then promptly forgotten.

And that's it! The next entry deals with two women architects talking about 'the spirit of space' and the role of women in environmental design, then there's the address of some guy in Hong Kong who I guess I was supposed to write to and didn't, and then bang, it's two years later and I'm whining about some other guy and trying to keep my car from being repossessed. And I wonder why I'm not a famous travel writer. I guess I thought my photos would be evocative enough.

So here's what I remember when I look at the photos, which I may someday scan and throw up here. A gilded swan boat, half-submerged in an artificial lake. An absolute herd of tiny dogs with big eyes and big hairy ears, standing behind a chain-link fence and yapping like it was going out of style. A dog that looked exactly like the one my mother bought when my folks were first married, the dog who won Mike Royko's Ugly Dog Contest in the Looks the Least Like Any Known Breed category. A fox in a box, literally; a train car that had been fitted out with tiny animal enclosures in the windows, and a black fox in one of them, pushing its snout against a hole in the plexi. My climbing a fence to fill a German shepherd's bowl with water. Our friend trying not to cry as she looked at lethargic dogs in a cage. And everywhere faded paintings of dogs in heroic revolutionary settings with heroic revolutionaries--working dogs, police dogs, valiant dogs.

Oh, and some very unusual chickens with extra flappy bits hanging off their beaks and necks, and the capybaras. Which weigh up to 110 pounds, incidentally. UC Berkeley's site mentions that they are truly rodents of unusual size, and I appreciate the Princess Bride reference (PB may just be to Cary Elwes what Rocky Horror was to Tim Curry--the sexiest thing we'll ever see him do, and the role for which he'll always be remembered.)

Just to confuse the whole favorite rodent thing even further, I'm now voting for meerkats. I know they're not actually rodents but mongooses (mongeese?) but they're just so damn cute. Had I known I could go play with some the last time I was suffering in Palm Springs, I might have escaped that insanely boring dinner where our friends talked endlessly about how expensive manicures had gotten. A date with a suricate. If I can't have a meerkat, how about a Baluchistan pygmy jerboa (which is in fact a rodent)?

Yes, I was the kid who amused herself reading the Funk and Wagnall's Animal Encyclopedia, which was available in the seventies one volume at a time from the grocery store. I so looked forward to the new ones--Iguana to Jerboa, say--Mom would buy them as soon as they were available, and I'd read them in the back of the car heading home, surrounded by bags of groceries. Kangaroo to Langur. Lemur to Meerkat. Mole to Nuthatch.

My aunt, freshly arrived from Chicago, wants to know if I'm excited by the recall. What an odd question. I buried my face in my hands and groaned when she asked. I would sooner see, oh, a capybara in the Governor's mansion than Ahnold. If I'd thought of it sooner, we certainly could have gotten one on the ballot.